In my book, Scratching the Itch: Getting to the Root of Our Suffering, I hypothesized the reason for there being so many instantaneous enlightenments reported when reading about the life of the Buddha or of Zen Master Benkei. I said that people back then were more open to blind faith, to the promise of religion. Whereas today, people are suspect of blind faith and rely more on reason. I think, therefore I am. Also, the ego-mind is much more developed now than in those days.
Recently, in reading Montaigne, The Complete Works, he notes that if faith does not come from some mysterious inner source but instead is founded on reason, then that faith is subject to being constantly beaten down by competing reason. Whereas faith founded on some mysterious inner source is inviolate, not susceptible to being pierced by the ego-mind. Reason can be used to support faith, but not to give it birth. Continue reading