The Oxford dictionary gives two definitions of faith. The first is to have “complete trust or confidence in someone or something”. Spiritually, trust is the basis upon which our faith evolves. Thus, we begin the mystical path by placing trust in the Master, envisaging that he will help us find the Truth. As Maharaj Jagat Singh states in The Science of the Soul, “unless we have faith in the method revealed by the Master, we cannot expect to make progress. Faith in the Master’s instructions is necessary for advancement on the path. If a student has no faith in his teacher, he will not learn.”
Whilst our faith is initially intellectual in nature, it is the driving force making us meditate. As Maharaj Charan Singh explains in Die to Live:
You must have faith in the path which you are following, that this is the path which goes back to our destination, and faith in the one who has put you on the path … and he’s always with you to guide you to the right destination. Unless you have that faith, you will never practise meditation. Faith doesn’t take you to the destination. Practice will take you to the destination, but faith will make you practise.
The second definition of faith given by the Oxford dictionary is holding “strong beliefs in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof”. The philosophy of the path of the Masters, however, is based on scientific inquiry and personal experience as the route to truth. The mystics expect us to nurture the gift of faith bestowed upon us. By using the spiritual tools we are given and searching for the proof personally, over time, our faith, which was once rooted in spiritual concepts, evolves, strengthens and becomes unshakable because of personal experience.