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Faith As A Usable Resource

May 9, 2013

I’ve always wondered in faith being a resource. Not wholesale religion as ‘faith’, but personal faith. History is full of heroes who believed strongly enough in something and persevered against seriously skewed odds. Apparently people such as Hercules, Perseus (and more recently), Splinter and Aslan seems to be able to draw from some reservoir of untapped potential that makes them capable of unnatural things. So what is so special about their beliefs?What makes them more able to use faith, or are they simply a product of necessity? Arguably Hercules and Perseus could have been as they were able to slay great monsters and fetch rare objects, but if they hadn’t stepped up, would someone else have attempted to do so? Most likely. So does that mean the term ‘fighting for what you believe in’ merely mean that you were the first to stand up to something? I know a person who believes in the power of his image. They believe in themselves so strongly that they attract other people around them who become attracted to this strength of conviction. Does this make him a hero who fights for what he believes in? Probably not, he gets labelled a ‘Ladies Man’. ¬†Hercules was originally known for his arrogance, Perseus for his skepticism, Splinter for his betrayal and Aslan for his bouts of depression, so ‘perfect people’ are not the blueprint for anything in this context.

Coming at this from another angle, let’s look at ‘Faith As A Resource’ as the use of ‘mana’. Too many games to list use mana as a resource for doing magic or other feats that shouldn’t occur by science. Mana is described ‘the precursor to formal religion’ on Wikipedia. Is this what people draw on to do big things? Science would have found at least signs of something by now if so. I’m sure organised religions may have something to say about that statement, but that’s what I think. We have aura readers, palm readers, tea leaf readers, bone readers and all sorts of fortune tellers. If there was something to find, that line of work would receive a lot more press and a lot more people would be working in that industry, as opposed to being known for being full of charlatans. Maybe there are people out there who can use ‘mana’ or something else that they believe in to do something extraordinary, but I haven’t met or seen them yet, so I remain a skeptic.

On a more science based note, I think that extraordinary feats occur due to mental state. It’s well-known that a smaller guy who is fighting for his life will generally take down a larger opponent (assuming that they have equivalent levels of training or fitness) who has nothing to fight for. Every now and then the papers publish a story of a soldier who took a large amount of wounds and shrugged it off to finish their task. If a person has nothing holding them back, or nothing to lose, then they hold nothing in reserve. Imagine if Hercules or Perseus had heard of a monster and said ‘Nope. That’s too much’. They probably wouldn’t have made it as far as they had, they would have lost a lot of their fame and followers. To people such as them (or at least the type of people they were described as) that would have meant everything to them, so they held nothing back. To die at the hands of a monster was better than to fade into obscurity. So if that’s how some people use their faith, it stands to reason that everybody could manage that so long as they don’t hold back.

So ask yourself, what do you believe in you won’t budge for? Is it your human rights? Is it your human expectations? What couldn’t you stand to lose? If you can base all other things around the protection of that asset, then you should be able to match any of the best.

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