the Basica

  To be faithful is to be trustworthy. It calls for loyalty and the integrity to live by what one promises. A person who is faithful needs also to have trust in whomever or whatever that person has comitted to, because a lack of trust can lead to the breach of a promise whenever things get rough. When trust, loyalty, and integrity are involved in one's relationship to Ultimate Divine Spirit, one is among the faithful to it. The collection of things one understands that Spirit to be saying to and asking of humanity and that one agrees with concerning what has been said about that Spirit is one's belief system, spiritual path, or religion. Living by those things with trust, loyalty, and integrity makes that set of things one's faith.

  The Basican Guide makes this distinction between belief and faith, pointing out the difference between what one thinks and what one trusts and commits to. But, although integrity is required of all, the Guide does not demand that everyone have faith. Why is this? Because the path to trust is a personal journey that must be made freely. Trust cannot simply be imposed. As one reads later on in the Basica, it is also because people can legitimately have two different approaches to Basicanism. One is to simply agree with what the book says and follow it because it makes sense to them. The other is to trust it so deeply that the time eventually comes to make a lifelong commitment to it.

  The only ceremony fully detailed in the book deals with declaring one's sacred devotion, which is called consecration. It is performed once in a person's lifetime. Those who have done this are not the superiors of those who have not. They are simply people whose spiritual development now includes this type of bond. Because the bond is permanent and because the person's development will be different from then on as a result of that bond, the movement into that stage is considered a one-way passage. While Basicanism, in and of itself, may be described as a spiritually oriented way of thinking about both the abstract and the concrete and as a method for living honorably within that view, becoming consecrated makes it a Basican's faith.

  Consecrated and unconsecrated Basicans alike believe that what the Basica says is true. But neither consider the book itself to be an object of worship. A strong separation is understood to exist between respectful treatment of things associated with Basicanism and such a high degree of reverence for those things that one might risk violating the Guide in response to damage to or loss of them. One way of stating this is to clarify that Basicans are people who believe the book rather believe in it. And this is exactly how the book puts it. In this way, reverence for the guidance and for its Source are kept well and firmly ahead of prizing the material object that spells that guidance out.

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