Faith, then is a quality of human living. At its best it has taken the form of serenity and courage and loyalty and service. A quiet confidence and joy which enable one to feel at home in the universe, and to find meaning in the world and in one's own life, a meaning that is profound and ultimate and is stable no matter what may happen to one's self at the level of immediate events. Men and women of this kind of faith face catastrophe and confusion, affluence, and sorrow unperturbed; face opportunity with conviction and drive and face other with cheerful charity.
Wilfred Cantwell Smith
But another arena is opened when one encounters the experience of union, the experience of silence, and the writings of the more mystical traditions. Here one finds people who speak with the conviction of knowing that divine love exists and is truly unconditional.
This is not the desperate clinging to belief that comes from a fear that life would crumble if one's faith were disrupted. Nor is this a tentative assumption based on honest logic. Instead, one gets the sense that such people have experienced divine love so clearly, so directly - so frequently perhaps - that it is taken as a matter of fact. It is not even any longer a big deal. . . . .
What is it that can lead a human being beyond doubt, beyond belief, beyond faith, into just knowing? My sense is that such knowing stems directly from the pure intuition that occurs in the contemplative state. It is a knowing that can be tested and critiqued by reason but it is not of reason. It is a knowing that can not be clung to, but rather grows within one's heart and directs the very substance of one's life. . . .
Contemplative knowing involves a leap - some would say a quantum leap - beyond faith.
Gerald May - Care of Mind Care of Spirit