This morning I read a blog post by Frank DeMarco. In it, his “inner voices” (“The Guys Upstairs” or TGU) talk to him about living in faith versus living in trust. Their conclusion is this:
"Your task that life is calling you to is to learn to live in a very different kind of faith. Perhaps we should say, living in trust. They sound similar but are very different." [bold type is my own emphasis]
This is a statement I want to comment on. I full heartedly agree with
But I cannot really explain why, I always sensed it, but so far never put it clearly in words.
In that article, TGU also suggests to Frank to look up the word “faith.”
I took that as an open invitation. (I hope that was OK, Frank? smiling... )
So I researched, dug into the words, into myself, and tried to find an answer. I do that that constantly in my own inner dialogues, and it is a practice that I have come to trust. Only, I don’t just look up a word in the dictionary, I go past the modern sense to what it once meant when the word was formed. The difference is often striking – you will see that below as well.
Thus, I used that technique to find a difference between “faith” and “trust.”
I put the specifics below the text in a note. Here is the takeaway:
Faith vs Trust
Faith is a sort of trusting, but it is a trusting based on being persuaded, forced, or compelled. (see details in the note below). So the trust is put into you from the outside.
Trust is a sort of trusting that is firm and steadfast. It is tied to the idea of a tree, steadfast and firm like a tree. A tree is an organic being that grows from the inside. So to trust, at least that is my reading, is a firm feeling, an inner sense, that it is TRUE – a word that also comes from that same origin.
Remember that our words, which we simply throw about today, were once formed by our ancient ancestors. Who had a much more intimate relationship to nature, living within nature, one that is almost foreign to us. But if we really listen, deeply, we can regain that same sense, of nature speaking to us, that same sense of awe. And the idea of a tree is very telling. For these ancients lived in nature and were surrounded by trees. They saw growth (and decay) all around them. A tree grows. It is at first it grows subtle, then becomes steadfast, does not bend.
Another word that came from that same root as ‘trust’ is ‘true,’ and 'truth.’ All these words are tied to the same sense of being steadfast like a tree: to trust the truth – within ourselves.
So to trust is tied to truth.
There are other words tied to this process: of growth, from within, like a tree, into something steadfast, firm.
One such word is “matter” (It is from a different root, but has that same sense. I know, because “Matter” was a key term in “The steps of Essence”).
"Matter" originally was the firm inner part of a tree from which growth comes. To look for a meaning for our lives, for our truth, we look for its matter: what matters to you, your matter, from which you can grow organically. We must listen to our inside to find that matter, what matters.
TRUST now has that same sense. A firm, steadfast, knowledge, that it is the TRUTH (same origin). We trust in that knowledge. In that believe ( a word that is tied to love). And that knowledge comes from deep within yourself. It is something that is organic, coming from within you. A trust IS you. It is tied to your matter.
So trust is another gate to the truth, a very important gate, maybe the most important (?), an inner gate, a compass like none other.
This is why I always found that sentence in Emerson’s essay “Self Reliance” so beautiful. It speaks to me like hardly any other:
"Trust yourself – every heart vibrates to that iron string.”
A trust, that is you, from within yourself. You simply know it is true, if you only listen.
A faith, that is also you, but it was put into yourself from the outside, compelling you to believe. For some that is good “enough,” they make it their own. For others, faith is not enough.
Of course, many beliefs (and belief systems) are constantly put into ourselves, through an ongoing dialogue. We have to trust if it is compatible, true, to us. It is not taking them by faith, not being simply compelled to believe, but to trust yourself: is this really a part of you? Can this really become a part of you? Is it ALREADY a part of you, a part you sensed all along, just never put into words?
So for me, the answer has always been: not to live in faith, but to live in trust.
To trust myself, on all my paths. To take the path less taken. To march to my own drummer. ( And by the way, it is only at that point that a life can become authentic. "The Steps of Essence" was all about living authentically, so I know a bit about it... ).
Not everybody has that courage. Maybe not initially. I always had. But I think, others can learn as well: trust yourself.
If only they can learn to listen, deeply listen, to themselves.
Today, and every day, I ask you, listen. Listen to yourself. Those soft whispers. Listen to your voices. Inner voices. To your heart. Feelings. Hunches. What do they say? Hear them whisper. Feel. Be.
from Latin fidēs, faith, trust.
Ultimately from IE root *bheidh- “To trust, confide, persuade.”
Wikipedia on “faith” : From *bʰeydʰ- "to command, persuade, trust",
Wikipedia on *bʰeydʰ : 1) to compel, force 2) to trust
So the sense behind faith is to trust, but through compelling, forcing, confiding, persuading.
Definition: “Firm belief in the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing”
From IE root dreu-: to be firm, solid, steadfast; hence specialized senses "wood," "tree," and derivatives referring to objects made of wood.
Derivatives include tree, trust, truth, true.
Namaste — I bow to you and the Divine in you.
Copyright © Hanns-Oskar Porr