Is True Consciousness Possible When You Hold Onto Faith?

Faith by it’s very nature is a choice to hold to something that cannot be proven. It is a choice of hope despite the lack of evidence that any exists or does not exist. Those of us that hold onto faith are making a decision that hope is better than no hope, or ambivalent hope. Most of us have faith. There truly few people with none whatsoever. Where that faith is placed is really the spectrum of difference. For some it’s religion, or money, or pleasure, or love, or power. We place our faith in something because it brings us hope of a result and an ending that we can work towards that we desire. The problem is, that we are all working towards death by nature of time. We may have a faith that says death isn’t the end. But the inevitable end for all of us is death. So our faith is about giving all of our pre-death meaning. It is unnecessary after death.

Consciousness then, how I am defining it, is that of being aware and accepting ultimate and complete truth as we know it. Namely one of the only things that we know to be true is that we will die. However, by faith’s very nature we can not know it as truth, only as hope. Hope cannot be truth. So to be truly conscious, we must have no faith, as faith is a choice to postpone truth. True consciousness is at the very least an absence of any faith at all.

Those that have come to this awareness, as the author of Ecclesiastes did, that everything is meaningless have a decision to make. They can live in this meaninglessness forever and sit directly in the middle of the Absurd. The question then is posed – Does the realization of the absurd require suicide? If you both desire meaning and cannot find any, what is left? In The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus arrives at three possible outcomes from fully acknowledging the absurd: revolt, freedom, and passion. Hope and faith are not on the table anymore. The Myth Of Sisyphus ends with Sisyphus being condemned to push a rock up a mountain; upon reaching the top, the rock would roll down again, leaving Sisyphus to start over. It does seem that this one meaningless task is a metaphor for all tasks. It is all meaningless.

Acknowledging the truth will conquer it; Sisyphus, just like the absurd man, keeps pushing. Camus claims that when Sisyphus acknowledges the futility of his task and the certainty of his fate, he is freed to realize the absurdity of his situation and to reach a state of contented acceptance. With a nod to the similarly cursed Greek hero Oedipus, Camus concludes that “all is well,” indeed, that “one must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

This is how I read this ending. You can circle back around and re-choose a faith. This is sort of the journey of the author of Ecclesiastes. After his tirade of hopelessness he ends is struggle with:

Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.

It is a type of admission and acceptance of a premise. Why this one? Who knows. Likely because it’s all he knew. But this to me is a type of mature faith, one that acknowledges the irony of it’s own existence and carries on in the absurdity of it. It’s a type of contentment that is chosen and experienced not because it is truth to you, but because it was chosen by you and seems preferable. If Sisyphus can be happy with the continual pushing of a rock up a hill, why can’t we be happy in our faith of whatever we choose to place that in?

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