RELIGIOUS FAITH. THE STATE OF UNSHAKABLE FAITH
6. From the religious point of view faith consists of the belief in the special dogmas which constitute the various religions. All of them have their articles of faith. From this aspect faith may be either blind or rationalized. Blind faith examines nothing and accepts without verification both truth and falsehood, and at each step clashes with evidence and reason. Taken to the extreme it produces fanaticism. While sitting upon error, sooner or later it collapses. Only faith that is based on truth guarantees the future, because it has nothing to fear from the progress of enlightenment, seeing that what is true in obscurity is also true in light Each religion claims to have possession of the exclusive truth. But for someone to proclaim blind faith on a point of belief is to confess themself impotent to demonstrate that they are right
7. It is commonly said that faith cannot be prescribed, from which many people declare it is not their fault if they have no faith. Beyond doubt, faith cannot be prescribed, and what is even more certain, it cannot be imposed. No, it cannot be prescribed but only acquired, and there is no one who is prevented from possessing it, even amongst those who are most refractory. We are speaking of basic spiritual truths and not of any particular belief. It is not the part of faith to seek these people out, but they who should go and seek faith, and if they search with sincerity they are bound to find. it. You can be sure that those who say: There is nothing I should like more than to believe, but I cannot," only say this with their lips and not with their hearts, seeing that while they are saying it they close their ears. However, the proof is all around them, so why do they refuse to see? On the part of some it is indifference; of others the fear of being forced to change their habits. But in the majority there is pride which refuses to recognise the existence of a superior force because they would then have to bow down before it.
In some people faith appears to be inborn, a spark being enough to cause it to unfold. This ease of assimilation of spiritual truths is an evident sign of previous progress. On the contrary, in others there is difficulty of assimilation which is a no less evident sign of their backward natures. The first already believe and understand, having brought with them on being reborn the intuition of what they know. Their education is complete. The second still have everything to learn; their education is still to come. Nevertheless, come it will, and if it is not completed in this existence then it will be in another.
The resistance of the unbeliever, we must agree, is almost always due less to himself than to the manner in which things have been put to him. Faith needs a base, one that gives complete understanding of what we are asked to accept. In order to believe it is not enough to see; above all else it is necessary to understand. Blind faith is no longer of this century, so much so, that it is exactly blind dogmatic faith which produces the greatest number of unbelievers today, because it tries to impose itself, demanding the abdication of the most precious prerogatives of mankind, which are rationalization and free-will. It is principally against this kind of faith that the unbeliever rebels, so showing that it is true to say faith cannot be prescribed. Due to the non-acceptance of any proofs, blind faith leaves the Spirit with a feeling of emptiness which gives birth to doubt. Rationalized faith, when based on facts and logic, leaves no doubts. Then the person believes because they are certain; and no one can be certain unless they understand. This is why they are unshakable, because unshakable faith is that which can stand face to face with reason in all epochs of humanity.
This is the result to which Spiritism conducts us, so triumphing against incredulity, as long as it does not encounter systematic and preconceived opposition.