Everybody has their own faith in whatever they believe to be reality. We all believe that the world works in a certain way. Most of us understand that we don’t really know exactly how that works. Even though we don’t know just how it works, we develop faith in what we believe to be true. These imagined truths are the rocks upon which we build our lives. These rocks may be religions, people, books, methods, principles, or even rocks. We can make rocks out of anything. Then we live our lives according to these rocks.
Many of the rocks that we live with were created for us. Our parents, teachers, and cultures lay down all of their rocks for us so we would have something to stand on while we work on creating our own rocks. As we live and learn, we realize that some of the rocks we are standing on are not rocks at all. They are just beliefs. They crumble when we stand on them. That can be unsettling. That can make us nervous. If we find a rock that is not a true rock though, we are fortunate because we can throw it out.
The bigger problem occurs when we find ourselves suffering because of the rocks that support us. If we don’t know that the suffering is because of wrong rocks, we will believe that the suffering is because of us. That is a big rock. We go about our lives standing squarely on that rock, suffering, not even thinking to look under our feet.
As soon as we discover a rock that is not a rock, then we can begin to examine the whole pile. We use our suffering to detect faulty rocks. If we continue to suffer, we need to continue to examine those rocks.
With enough examination, we realize that our rocks are not even holding us up. They are holding us down. Then, instead of being afraid of falling down, we become afraid of floating away.
As we break up our rocks we need to have faith that we will float. When we begin to float, we need to have to have faith that floating is fine. Once we are floating we can see everybody around us, suffering and defending their rock piles. We are filled with compassion, because that suffering is our suffering too. We can’t just tell them that their rocks aren’t there. Their rocks won’t allow that, yet.