Book Review: Keeping The Faith Without A Religion

Spirituality & Health Magazine
reviewed by Don Lattin

Keeping the Faith without a Religion
By Roger Housden
Sounds True

Roger Housden has done the seemingly impossible: he has written a bible for the “spiritual but not religious.”Growing your own religion is not easy. It can be a journey riddled with self-deluded spiritualism and self-serving narcissism. But as Housden points out in this inspiring yet levelheaded little book, “the era of absolute truth is over.”

“The aberrations and idiosyncrasies of all traditions,” he writes, “become plain when they rub shoulders as intimately as they do today.”

He begins his book by making a distinction between faith and belief. Faith “implies a basic trust in the way life weaves its pattern,” while belief “means the mental acceptance of an opinion.”

The journey begins by noticing those moments when “our familiar sense of incompleteness and separateness falls away, and we feel like we’re less ourselves than we’re a silent awareness, both personal and impersonal at the same time.”

The struggle, of course, is to expand those moments into a new way of life.To assist in that endeavor, Housden’s first six chapters offer a road map to how to trust the knowing, the mystery, the darkness, the joy, the changes, and the imperfection of life. The final four explore the power of letting go, finding beauty, cultivating kindness, and keeping faith with the human spirit.

Finding faith, Housden writes, is a lot like falling in love.

“It can open us not only to another person but also to a love that is so beyond our usual experience that we want to call it divine,” he writes. “In this sense, love gathers us up beyond ourselves.”

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