Ana Santos

FDDS Class of 2014

Know Better – Question #2

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “Your faith is based on acknowledging what has happened in the past and confidence in what should happen in the future.”

Using the readings, provide evidence to support your answer.  Then, regardless of the past and the future, describe the power of living in the present, the moment, the now.


On Faith

Faith is eternally universal, and the persisting beauty of it is that you never destroy it. You can never completely disprove something, so your beliefs are forever suspended in the uncertainty of the unknown. If you have conscience, you have faith. We can see faith as the foundation of religion, or just the universal action of completely trusting or confiding in someone or something.

At American University, I’ve met a variety of people. Everyone comes from different backgrounds, different places, and different mindsets and expects to go their own way in the future. Their faith stems from their religious affiliation, political preferences, and even their university majors. I’m majoring in International Studies and taking on internships in the communication and media fields because I believe that if I do as much as I can, I will have a better chance of finding out what I really love and be successful. Faith motivates people in strange ways.

I don’t think faith is entirely based in the past. It’s a wish for the future. You can have faith in something that hasn’t happened before and you can dream of a future unrelated to your past. At the same time, your imagination, faith, and scope of vision are heavily influenced on your experiences and desires.

To relate faith to our FDDS readings, I would like to talk about what the books themselves stand for. I wasn’t very impressed with The Power of Now, as I expressed in my previous Know Better post. The book’s introspective self-examining methods didn’t have a profound effect on me, and each chapter annoyed me more than the previous one. But the author, Eckhart Tolle, does have a strong audience. After coming across his companion video series, I connected The Power of Now to Robert Greene’s “The 48 Laws of Power.” Tolle operates heavily on Law 27, “Play on people’s need to believe to create a cultlike following,” and Law 32, “Play to people’s fantasies.” Tolle targets people who lack individual spiritual strength and plays on their need for direction.

 

On Now

As an INTJ personality type [Myers Briggs], I live in a world of ideas and strategic planning. I tend not to, as they call it, “live in the now” because I’m always planning that next step. Even though I’m extremely insightful, I find myself “living in the now” only if my plans don’t work out as I expected them to. Otherwise, I’m kind of running on automatic, full speed ahead.

However, I can also live in the moment quite vividly. As an analyst and observer, I tend to examine everything, including my own thoughts and reactions. I take a step back and study my thoughts before I let them control me. Tolle goes very deep into finding the gap between your thoughts and you in “The Power of Now,” but I found this web page explains it just as well in a shorter amount of time.

The 48 Laws of Power doesn’t completely address living in the now. The law that would most apply to living in the now is perhaps Law 47, “Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory, learn when to stop.” The law states that you must understand how your plans and actions affect the present and therefore sense when you’re going too far or too fast. “In the heat of victory, arrogance and overconfidence can push you past the goal you had aimed for. And by going too far, you can make more enemies than you can defeat. Do not allow success to go to your head” (Greene 410). Plan for the future but live in the moment.

The importance if to find the balance between proactively planning for the future but not underestimating the value of the present. To go with the flow and always look ahead and setting goals.

 
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