The F-Word: Reconsidering Faith with Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel

 For some faith is an outdated, even dogmatic idea. Namgyel sees it as “not something you have or don’t have, faith is a way of being in relationship to the world around you.” She refers to it as “faithing”. This dialogue takes a deep dive into the Buddhist principle of mutual causality and dependent origination. She says “everything leans” and explains in greater detail the following: “This is a very, very deep principle. The Sanskrit word for it is Pratityasamutpada, which is often translated as dependent arising or dependent origination. I like Joanna Macy’s translation, which is ‘mutual causality’: Everything is bumping up against everything else and causing it to happen. It’s a continued genesis of appearance and experience. It’s a way of talking about the genesis of appearance which is happening all the time in a continuous way.” Her shorthand for this is “everything leans.” She suggests that a helpful mantra in answer to any inquiry might be: “It depends.” She adds, “[W]e live in a world where ‘it all depends’ and everything is influencing everything else. We might think we know something at one moment but everything is always interrupting and influencing and so it’s always changing. Life, as we know it, is very dynamic. I’m trying to look at that kind of nature and how we navigate that and how that releases our intelligence and releases our ability to respond to the world with more intelligence.” There is much to contemplate in this spirited dialogue.




Program 3639 Description

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