April 29th, 2007

Trust vs “Trust that …”

I’m reading Alan Watts’s book “The Wisdom of Insecurity” (1951). The following passage touches the heart of what I wanted to get at in my post “Trust that …”

We must here make a clear distinction belief and faith, because, in general practice, belief has come to mean a state of mind which is almost the opposite of faith. Belief, as I use the word here, is the insistence that the truth is what one would “lief” or wish it to be. The believer will open his mind to the truth on condition that it fits with his preconceived ideas and wishes. Faith, on the other hand, is an unreserved opening of the mind to the truth, whatever it may turn out to be. Faith has no preconceptions; it is a plunge into the unknown. Belief clings, but faith lets go.

What Watts calls “faith”, one might also call “Trust”, and what he calls “belief”, one might call “trust that …”. In this sense, “Trust” does not depend on someone acting a certain way and so is re-aligned with what we call “needs” in NVC.


2 Responses to “Trust vs “Trust that …””

  1. Emma McCreary Says:

    Oooh, I love this quote. That is exactly what I think about belief vs faith (only more eloquent). =)

  2. Angela Harms Says:

    I love the idea behind what he’s saying. What comes up for me is how hard it is to use these words. I’m reminded of the quote (attributed to anonymous kids, Mark Twain, and others): Faith is believing what you know isn’t true. I’m not sure how to reclaim language that’s been twisted by years of authoritarian thinking.

    I do love how the world seems to be becoming more critical and less dogmatic. I have hope that soon people won’t be able to imagine how people could use either “faith” or “belief” for anything other than conjecture.

Leave a Reply

(You can use HTML in your comments. The Preview button below shows you what your comment will look like when posted.)