Faith is a kind of future seeing*


Faith for me is a physical experiencing, a kind of future seeing that is inseparable from creation, because we’re doing/making something that hasn’t happened yet, but it is in us to do this. So to the degree that literature is an act and experience of creation, it is inseparable from some form of faith. Whether you are producing literature or consuming it, you are in the presence of faith.

This faith is not a hope, or some stubborn, unfounded belief, or an egotistical insistence that my way is the right way, or that all my images will play out as I’d like them to; they will not. This faith is an access point to what we already are but haven’t manifested. Though there may be no proof, there is never the less substance and alignment, feeling and purpose. And then the creation comes.

My growing sense is that no one fulfills any significant intention of creation without large doses of faith. Though writers are champion doubters, capable of spinning intricate fantasies of disbelief, there is that core that knows and always knew. In this sense, faith is what we can’t escape of ourselves, no matter how much we equivocate. Though there may be no tangible proof for it, it is that essential element of identity without which you are not you anyway, so why not just accept it?

Though doubt might seem eminently more reasonable, provable and replicable, it is actually an absurd indulgence when it drives you to embrace and enforce your own oblivion. I don’t believe there is some external force that insists on my annihilation, but if there was, I certainly won’t be a party to it in my own intellect. If this sort of doubt registers as a passive naturalistic kind of death urge, then faith is an equally innate but less unexercised movement towards life and light.

 

*Rock & Sling, the literary journal that recently published my personal history essay, Black Sheep, asked contributors to share our view on the connection between literature and faith. They included this in lieu of the standard bio.

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