New Ecopsychology
or Spiritual Ecology

Vladimir Antonov

Faith versus Knowledge

Translated from Russian by Mikhail Nikolenko

The foundation of faith is our trust to what we heard or read. This concerns, in particular, the religious subjects.

As for knowledge, it is acquired through one’s own practical experience, first of all.

There is a number of kinds of religious faith.

On the contrary, religious knowledge is one and common, though there are different levels of profundity of this knowledge, and there can be errors of particular spiritual seekers.

It is personal cognition of oneself and God that allows an intellectually developed person to gain higher and highest spiritual achievements.

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Faith is needed on the early stages of spiritual development, because it ensures one’s aspiration to cognition.

Church ritualism is the most common socially-established form which contributes to gaining and strengthening faith. The religious rituals can be more or less reasonable and effective. Some rituals can help one feel the presence of God. Others can be regarded as felonious; such are, for example, those related to bloody sacrifices or aimed at harming other people (rituals of black magic).

Also one has to take into account that on the background of ritualism, the believers are offered some kind of ideology peculiar to their religious movement: from true Teachings of God — up to hatred to humankind robed in religious form.

But even in a case of the best religious rituals, at some stage of one’s development, one begins to understand: God have never taught people ritualism! It is people who invented rituals and imparted them to next generations!

Moreover, God does not need our rituals! He needs from us something completely different: He needs that we develop ourselves (as souls)! And “daily bread” that Jesus suggested to ask from God-the-Father is not food for our bodies but higher spiritual knowledge and spiritual guidance from the Creator!

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Let every reasonable person think: what does God want from me?, what does He want me to be?

Jesus said: “Be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect!” (Matt 5:48).

And: “I have cognized the Father” (John 17:25). “As the Father knows Me, so I know the Father” (John 10:15). “I and the Father are One” (John 10:30). And: “Learn (this) from Me!” (Matt 11:29).

What does the Perfection of the Creator consist in?

In order to find answer to this question, one, first of all, has to understand that God-the-Father is not an old man riding a cloud, as He is depicted sometimes. He is an infinite in size Ocean of the most subtle Consciousness abiding in the multidimensional depth of the universe.

He is also the absolute Love, Wisdom, and Power.

It is that we have to learn from Him! And we should ask a help from Him just in this studying!

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One has to begin this learning from God from studying the ethical principles suggested by Him — for changing oneself in accordance with His Will.

It is also important to gain understanding of what is God, man, the meaning of human life on the Earth, and ways of realization of this meaning.

Then one can use methods of cleansing the body and its energetical structures from energetical contamination and begin to work on “opening” and further development of the spiritual heart. The latter allows worthy spiritual seekers to realize the precepts of Jesus Christ mentioned above.