I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but believe in order to understand.

St. Anselm of Canterbury, 1033-1109

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What comes first in your life?  Belief?  Or, understanding?

Now I am not talking about believe in a doctrine or an ideology or some product of reason, the limited product of the mind.  I am talking about belief that resonates more deeply, comes to understand more fully the person, not just from people or event that is observed, but rather experienced.  Belief confirmed in lived experience.  The Truth/truth revealed in a lived life.

Belief allows you to see and hear at a greater depth and range than reason might allow, or that working only in and with your mind.

Let me give you and example.  A man is a fastidious engineer, a builder, very diligent and good with numbers.  But he is not comfortable with emotions and does not search his interior life.  He is a fine man, and a very skillful engineer – and very knowledgeable.

Well, he spends a great deal of time building a shed and does a magnificent job of it.  It is large and has a beautifully peaked roof, covered in cedar shingles each carefully laid out.  But, exacting as he is, he never encloses the barn-like opening that sits in the peak just over the ground level entrance – just never bothers to do so.  As a consequence birds nest in the beautiful shed and squirrels have access to it.

Asked about this I mentioned that the fine young engineer had to leave the space – open and unfinished.

“Why?,” I was asked.  “Because he had to allow his soul, his spirit to exist, and this was his only way to do so,”  I replied.

Questioned further, I said – “This was an unconscious act on his part, but completely organic and necessary.

“Necessary?”  “Yes,” I explained, “because you cannot choke off your soul, or the Spirit.  You cannot choke that which is within you – live and act as if you have no soul, no Spirit.”

That is an understanding others might miss.  Why?  Because it comes from belief, a life experienced as one who believes; and, many do not believe, and do not fully experience so that they might understand.

Lest you think this is foolish or unconvincing.  I offer this: belief allows us to anticipate what a person will do or say next and what they mean by an action or statement.  You have, I am sure, gone to others for their thoughts knowing that they are likely to see more than you and anticipate better what might come next in a sequence of another’s behavior.

Belief precedes understanding.  Understanding flows from belief.

We are a barren society when it comes to leaders who understand, because we are largely devoid of leaders who believe.

Listen very, very carefully before you “follow” a “leader.”  When the blind lead the blind, disaster is assured.


Thank you for sharing this with others.  Believe so that you might understand. God bless.