One should approach reality out of trust, not out of fear. The essence of faith or trust is letting go. The fearful man can never let go. He is always on the defense, he is always protecting himself, he is always fighting, he is always antagonistic. Even his prayer, his meditation, is nothing but a strategy to protect himself.
The man of faith knows how to let go, the man of faith knows how to surrender, the man of faith knows how to flow with the river and not to push it. He goes with the stream wherever it takes him. He has that courage and confidence that he can go with the stream.
This is my experience and observation too. Whenever a fearful person comes to me he is incapable of surrender, although he thinks he is so strong that he cannot surrender. Nobody likes to feel that he is weak, particularly the weaklings never like it. They don’t want to come to the realization that they are weak, that they are cowardly. They think they are very strong – they can’t surrender.
My own observation is the stronger the person, the easier is the surrender. Only the strong man can surrender, because he trusts himself, he is confident of himself, he knows that he can let go. He is unafraid. He is ready to explore the unknown, he is ready to go into the uncharted. He is thrilled by the journey of the unknown. He wants to taste it, whatsoever the cost and whatsoever the risk. He wants to live in danger.
A man of faith always lives in danger. Danger is his shelter, insecurity is his security, and a tremendous inquiring quest is his only love. He wants to explore, he wants to go to the very end of existence, or to the very depth of existence, or to the very height of existence. He wants to know what it is – “What is it that surrounds me? What is it that I go on calling ‘I’? Who am I?”
A strong man is ready to surrender. He knows that there is no need to fear. “I belong to existence, I am not a stranger here. Existence has mothered me, existence can’t be inimical to me. Existence has brought me here, I am a product of existence. Existence has some destiny to fulfill through me.”
The strong man always feels that destiny there: “I am here to do something that is needed by the existence and nobody else can do it except me, otherwise why should I be created?” So he is always ready to go into the dark, to search, to seek. This Buddha calls shaddha, faith. It is better to translate it as trust.
Even one single thought of serene faith…. And then he adds another condition to it – serene faith. You can have a kind of trust; it may not be serene, it may be full of turmoil. That won’t help, that won’t take you far. Faith has to be serene. Faith has to come out of stillness, not out of the noise of the mind. Faith has not to be a belief. Belief is always noisy.