|Photograph by Helen Jarvis Reynolds|
Delusion; a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence, especially as a symptom of a psychiatric condition, a false or mistaken belief or idea about something.
Faith; a belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof, a strongly held set of beliefs or principles, a system of religious belief.
Within the Pagan community I have often seen statements disparaging the idea of faith or belief as if it were equated with delusion. Considering that the definitions of faith and delusion are very similar in that they relate to beliefs that are held in the absence of proof, I suppose that is understandable.
I have had moments of crisis when I questioned whether my faith was indeed delusion. I think that is something any intelligent person of faith faces at times. But while I have no actual proof that my beliefs are true, I retain my faith.
It is not without evidence but, I cannot prove it to anyone. My evidence is in my experiences and in my observations of the world in which I live, and in what I know of the history of the human race and our persistence as a species to embrace faith.
I have chosen to embrace certain delusions because they are lovely but, I recognize them as such. I do however distinguish them from my faith. My faith is essential to my well being and to my happiness; my delusions are simply indulgences like the occasional spoonful of Ben and Gerry’s. Without my faith, I die. My delusions just make life a little more pleasant but should only be indulged in consciously and in moderation.
Ultimately, what someone else thinks of my faith or my beliefs matters not even a little to me. My life is made better by my faith. My heart has more hope, my mind more peace, my soul more joy. I wish everyone these gifts, though I know not where to discover them except in faith.