Friday, October 01, 2021

More than logic

The force that inspires the heart to believe is not identical with the impulse that stimulates the mind to reason. The thoughts that breed beauty in the songs of faith may fashion shackles around the reckless wrists of scholars. The purity of which we never cease to dream, the untold things we so insatiably love, the vision of the good for which we either die or perish alive—no reason can hold. It is faith from which we draw the sweetness of life, the taste of the sacred, the joy of the imperishably clear. It is faith that offers us a share in eternity. It is faith in which the great things occur.

We rarely manage to cross the gulf between heart’s believing and minds plain knowing. There is no common basis for comparing religion and science. It is impossible to render the visions of faith in terms of speculation, and its truth cannot be proved by logical arguments. Its certainty is intuitive, not speculative. Its apparent demonstration has often resulted in its frustration. Unlike knowledge, which is a quiet possession of the intellect, faith is an overwhelming force that enables man to perceive the reality of the transcendent. It is not only the assent to a proposition but the staking of the whole life on the truth of an invisible reality.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 336

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