His question sets up two ways of seeing. He is looking for "a reasonable way." He is seeing reason as the way to resolve the question. He is dismissing faith as "blind." My faith and my personal experience tell me that there is a place to be found where reason cannot go. A place where the intellect cannot take us. This is the place of inner peace, of the ability to find unconditional love in all circumstances. A place of inner guidance where the still small voice speaks. We can see and understand all of the things that appear in our daily existence through reason. But reason cannot fathom what faith brings to one's life. To examine these two ways of seeing I turn to ideas from Mahatma Gandhi written in Young India Journal in 1925. In this article he discusses the differences between faith and reason:
"It is faith that steers us through stormy seas, faith that moves mountains and faith that jumps across the ocean. That faith is nothing but a living wide-awake consciousness of God within. He who has achieved that faith wants nothing. Bodily diseased, he is spiritually healthy, physically poor, he rolls in spiritual riches.
Without faith this world would come to naught in a moment . . . Faith is not a delicate flower, which would wither under the slightest stormy weather. Faith is like the Himalaya mountains which cannot possibly change. No storm can possibly remove the Himalaya mountains from their foundations.
Experience has humbled me enough to let me realize the specific limitations of reason. Just as matter misplaced becomes dirt, reason misused becomes lunacy.
Rationalists are admirable beings, rationalism is a hideous monster when it claims for itself omnipotence. Attribution of omnipotence to reason is a bad piece of idolatry [just] as is the worship of stone believing it to be God.
I plead not for the suppression of reason, but for a due recognition of that in us which sanctifies reason itself.
There are subjects where reason cannot take us far and we have to accept things on faith.Faith does not contradict reason, but transcends it. Faith is a kind of sixth sense that works in cases, which are without purview of reason."
Faith cannot be taught, told or successfully proselytized, but it must come as an awareness opening in each individual. How may this happen? With me it began as something inside calling to me more and more insistently, until I could no longer ignore it. For some it may come from an absolute wonder and awe at all of life and existence. Seeing everything with complete wonder is a powerful first step to finding faith. Opening to the idea of faith is a first step. In order for it to take root and grow (to become as strong as the Himalayas) a continual spiritual practice is necessary. No matter what the nature of one's spiritual practice, if one consistently applies it, faith will take root and grow,and the more faith one has - the more faith one will have.
I live in faith, and my faith is not blind; however, my faith sees not with my outer eyes, but with inner spiritual eyes. It is a world to which reason is blind. Faith is a world that allows me to know purpose in life and find meaning in life's activities. It allows me to find inner peace. And I know there is simply no capacity of rational mind that will lead to inner peace. All that can be said is that faith is a world one cannot see until one sees it - and that is unique and individual to each person.
Gene Ford Runnels