Recently I had a conversation with a friend about the idea of “faith based religion.” She had been to a workshop where the facilitator had stated that the spiritual movement that she was teaching about was not faith based because the beings that were celebrated within the cosmology would exist regardless of whether or not she believed in them. Therefore, “faith” was not required of the adherent. This argument has so many issues, I don’t even know where to begin.
First of all, and what it all boils down to is that any spiritual system is rooted in belief. One must believe in (have faith in) whatever it is that is the cornerstone of philosophy. If it is simply a philosophy, all adherents need to believe that this philosophy will bring about a desired effect. It is not necessary for those who are not part of this path to believe as do the adherents in order for that path to be “real.”
Let’s look at a popular example – Christianity. Christians believe that this fellow named Jesus was an G-d’s son incarnated as a man on Earth in order to absolve the sins of mankind. Those who follow Jesus are certain of his existence. They are certain that it does not matter if anyone else believes in him, he exists and so those that do not believe will suffer the fate of the nonbeliever.
For any spiritual path, philosophy, or religion order to be effective, it is necessary that those following it believe in it. For transformation, growth, or understanding to take place, one has to believe in the possibility. I do not see how any movement is possible without faith. Faith, is the key.