Chapter 30: Allow Faith to Happen
What is the difference between surrender and blind faith or belief?
Many things have to be understood. First: the difference between faith and belief. And second: the difference between surrender and faith.
Belief is always blind and cannot be otherwise. Belief, as such, is blind. No belief is possible if you can see, because belief means you don’t know and still you believe. If you know, there is no need of belief. Something you know, you know: there is no need to believe in it. The need for belief comes only when you don’t know. Belief is part of ignorance.
I am here. If you know it, there is no need to believe in it. Belief is unnecessary: knowledge needs no belief. If you believe in something it means you don’t know and yet you think you know.
When someone says he believes in God, it means he has not yet known God. That’s why he believes. But the belief creates such an atmosphere around him, creates such an attitude within him that he begins to feel that he knows.
Someone asked Shri Aurobindo, “Do you believe in God?”
He answered, “No.”
The man was bewildered. He couldn’t conceive, he couldn’t imagine, that Aurobindo would say no to the question. He asked, “What are you saying? Are you an atheist?”
Aurobindo still said, “No.”
The man said, “Why are you creating a puzzle? You say you don’t believe in God and then when I ask if you are an atheist you again say no. What do you mean? You are contradicting yourself.”
Shri Aurobindo said, “Wait a little. You aren’t allowing me to say anything more than no. When I say no, you start asking other things. Wait a little. I was saying that I don’t believe in God because I know him. Because I know him I don’t believe in him. He is. This is not a belief. This is my knowledge, my knowing.”
Knowledge comes from seeing, and belief is blind. Belief, as such, is blind. There can be no belief with seeing; it is contradictory. Belief means blind. To say “a blind belief” is just repetition.
Then what is faith? Faith is also blind, but in a different sense. Faith is blind in a different sense because it has its own way of seeing. It is not seeing through reason, it is seeing through the heart.
Knowledge is of reason. Belief is also of reason. Knowledge and belief are both of the head. Knowledge has eyes and belief is blind, but both belong to the head center, to the intellect. Belief is intellectual.