Etymologies, meanings, and definitions of spiritual, religious, and philosophical words beginning with the letter F.

Faith really means "confidence, trust, integrity." The modern interpretation as "belief" started in the 13th-16th centuries when the Christians were attempting to spread their teachings, and changed the meaning to "belief." In reality, faith is not equal to belief.

Ultimately, faith comes from the Greek πείθω pitho / peitho "to persuade," and πίστη pisti, "faith." Over the centuries, root words include:

  1. The Old French feid, foi from root of fidere "to trust." The change from feid to feith (faith) made to render it analogous in form with truth, ruth, wealth, health, and other similar sbs: feiþ, feith, feyth.

  2. From Latin fidem, acc. of fides, faith, reliance, credibility, credit, integrity, veracity.

  3. Greek πίστις, faith; πείθειν, to persuade; πέποιθα, I trust.

From the same root are fid-el-i-ty, af-fi-ance, con-fide, de-fy, dif-fid-ent, per-fid-y, fiducial, faith, confidense, fiance, fiancee. Thus, we can now see why we still say an adulterer is "unfaithful." Faith does not relate to "belief," but to confidence.

"In order to enter the kingdom, the treasure of faith is essential. As long as the psychological split has not been produced within each of us, faith is more than impossible. Faith is pure knowledge, direct experiential wisdom. Faith has always been confused with vain beliefs; Gnostics must never make such a serious mistake. Faith is direct experience of the real, the magnificent vivification of the Inner Human Being, authentic divine cognition... Faith is the direct perception of what is real, it is fundamental wisdom; it is the experience of that which is beyond the body, the affections and the mind. We must distinguish between faith and belief. Beliefs are found stored in the Intermediate Mind. Faith is a characteristic of the Inner Mind. Unfortunately, there is always a general tendency to confuse belief with faith. Although it seems paradoxical, we emphasize the following: “Those who have true faith do not need to believe.” This is because genuine faith is living knowledge, exact cognition, and direct experience. For many centuries people have confused faith and belief. Now it is very difficult to make them understand that faith is true knowledge and never futile beliefs." - Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion

"Faith is not simply admiration, but something that arises from a deep understanding of the teachings..." - The 14th Dalai Lama, Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment

Generally speaking, a fakir or faqir (from Arabic) is simply an ascetic, hermit, or renunciate, of which there are many varieties. Yet the term fakir has been narrowed to refer primarily to thoe who performs acts of endurance or the seemingly impossible (such as holding their arm upright for many years), apparantly in an effort to strengthen their willpower.

"Asian fakirs fight in a frightful way within themselves in order to develop the force of willpower. The entire fakir’s path consists of multiple, incredible, and difficult physical practices. Any fakir is very capable of adopting any difficult physical position while keeping his body steady for hours, months, and even years; or he can sit under a tree on top of an anthill or under the scorching rays of the tropical sun. Any fakir is very capable of sitting on a bare stone under the sun with his arms opened in the form of a cross, or amongst thorns and caltrops for entire months or years. Indeed, fakirs develop the force of willpower in a severe way by means of all of these physical tortures. Nevertheless, they do not achieve the creation of the body of conscious will (causal body) because this is a one hundred percent sexual problem. If the body of conscious will (causal body) could be built with the physical tortures of fakirs, then according to the law of correspondences and analogies and in obedience to the hermetic maxim that states, “As above so below,” we would also have to state that the body of bones and flesh, the physi- cal body, can also be built with such practices. Consequently, the sexual act of father and mother would be superseded. Therefore, to affirm such an absurdity would be the lamenta- ble consequence of a mistaken idea." —Samael Aun Weor, The Narrow Way

"To obtain conscious will is impossible without working in the Ninth Sphere (Yesod, sex). Many places exist where people are submitted to tremendous tortures in order to acquire conscious will, but really they only store some energy. The true fakir has his guru and he does not leave India. The fakirs acquire many powers but nothing else. Some of them raise an arm and they do not lower it ever again. The arm becomes withered. They pursue willpower with such actions, but their willpower does not pass beyond such action. They do not achieve the building of the body of conscious will. All of this miraculous stuff deviates people; therefore, the fakirs are deviated." —Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah

"Fantasy, besides placing us in ridiculous situations, stops all possibility of internal development... Fantasy is a real force which acts universally upon mankind. It keeps the intellectual humanoid in a state of sleep (hypnotic state), causing him to believe that he is already a Human Being, that he possesses true individuality, a will, awakened consciousness and a mind of his own, etc." - Samael Aun Weor, Revolutionary Psychology

"Fear is the worst enemy of Pistis Sophia. Men kill each other because of fear. Nations arm themselves and go to war because of fear. We mistrust people because of fear. Espionage and perversity exist because of fear. There exists thieves and prostitutes because of the fear of life. The aspirants flee and part from the real Path because of fear. Frontiers, documents and restrictions of all types, which interrupt the journeys of people, are due to fear. Fear is the cause of thousands of personal and collective conflicts." - Samael Aun Weor, The Pistis Sophia Unveiled

Fermentation is a chemical or metabolic process induced by living or nonliving organisms like yeast or bacteria that decomposes or converts compounds into other ones. Bread, beer, wine, cheese, yogurt, and vinegar are examples of foods created by fermentation.

In Sexual Alchemy, fermentation is a process whereby the brute mercury - crude, untransmuted sexual energy - is decomposed or converted, extracting energy in the form of electrons, the pure essence of the mercury, called the soul of the mercury. More transmutation frees additional energy, which is added to the soul of the mercury, and eventually originates a new type of mercury called “mercury fecundated by sulfur.” Just as bread rises or yogurt continually expands, this is the rising or expansion of the creative energy known as chi or Kundalini that facilitates the creation of the electronic solar bodies.

The fig tree solely represents the feminine sexual forces. It is impossible to reach deep realization without the alchemy of the feminine solar forces. The Angelic Hierarchies related with these elemental forces of Nature are those who apply the karma to fornicators.

The Caduceus of Mercury has two serpents, which symbolizes the Spinal Medulla with the two ganglionic chords: Ida and Pingala. In the common and ordinary human being, the right serpent (Pingala) ascends while the left serpent (Ida) descends towards the atomic infernos of the human being, for his own passionate satisfaction. It is necessary to transmute the sexual energy in order to lift up the fallen lunar serpent. It is necessary to raise the fallen serpent, which is represented in Eve and the Fig Tree. Pingala (Adam) is entwined with the head upwards, while Ida (Eve) is entwined with the head downwards. One is OD and the other is OB according to ancient Kabbalists. The serpent with its head upwards is solar and masculine. The serpent with its head downwards is lunar and is related to the forces of the Fig Tree. It is necessary to raise the fallen serpent. The two serpents were raised upon the reed before the human being departed from Eden. However, when the human being departed from Paradise, Lord Jehovah said to the lunar serpent:

“Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” - Genesis: 3: 14)

We must fight against animal passion (the lunar serpent) and bruise its heel, because it has bruised our head. We must fight against the victorious beast. We must transmute our sexual energy in order to raise the fallen serpent. Angels have the two polarities of their sexual energy, masculine and feminine, flowing upwardly towards their head. Present Human beings have their sexual energy divided. While the solar, masculine, positive current ascends, the lunar, feminine (represented in the Fig Tree), negative sexual current descends. It is necessary to raise the negative pole of our sexual force. This lunar serpent, this fallen serpent, this passionate serpent, must be raised upon the reed in order to ignite the fire. For this we must learn to control the feminine principles represented in the Fig Tree, in order to achieve the birth of the Child of Gold of Sexual Alchemy (Christ). The two serpents (two currents) must flow upwardly towards the head, just as the Angels. Thus, this is how we prepare the two serpents of the Caduceus of Mercury (Spinal Medulla) for the advent of the fire of the Holy Spirit.

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man (the Child of Alchemy) in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” - Matthew 24:30-34

"The fish is the living symbol of Primitive, Gnostic Christianity. The two fish of Pisces linked by a hyphen have a profound Gnostic significance; they represent the two Souls of the primordial Elohim submerged within the deep waters of Mother-Night... It is a pity that thousands of students of occultism have forgotten the Gnosis of the fish." - Samael Aun Weor, The Esoteric Treatise of Hermetic Astrology

Also, study the Hebrew letter Nun.

A reference to the ancient secret knowledge of Tantra or Alchemy related to sexual transmutation. [See: Vulcan]

(Theosophical/Tibetan) A term used by H.P. Blavatsky to represent the active (male) potency of the Shakti (female sexual power) in nature, the essence of cosmic electricity, vital force. As explained in The Secret Doctrine, "He (Fohat) is, metaphysically, the objectivised thought of the gods; the "Word made flesh" on a lower scale, and the messenger of Cosmic and human ideations: the active force in Universal Life.… In India, Fohat is connected with Vishnu and Surya in the early character of the (first) God; for Vishnu is not a high god in the Rig Veda. The name Vishnu is from the root vish, "to pervade," and Fohat is called the "Pervader" and the Manufacturer, because he shapes the atoms from crude material..." The term fohat has recently been linked with the Tibetan verb phro-wa and the noun spros-pa. These two terms are listed in Jäschke"s Tibetan-English Dictionary (1881) as, for phro-wa, "to proceed, issue, emanate from, to spread, in most cases from rays of light…" while for spros-pa he gives "business, employment, activity."

In the Twenty-two Major Arcana, the card referred to as the number 21 is the Fool, which some authors have numbered as 0 or as 22. The fact remains, that in Gnostic Kabbalah it is number 21, which is represented by a wanderer walking aimlessly with no course or objective and carrying a bag on a stick over his shoulder; he holds a staff in his right hand. His clothes, in disarray, leave his sexual organs exposed, thus, a tiger cat (symbol of fire, Shin) follows him around, biting him incessantly. His face shows that he is unaware of this attack, thus, this is why he does not try to defend himself. So, unconscious sensitivity to the nature of fire is found represented in the Arcanum 21: the sensual mind slave of the sensations of the flesh, the impressions of material life. The Fool is the symbol of present humanity, which is the blind slave of matter and sex.

"Thus says Iod-Havah; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death." - Jeremiah 21:8

A symbolic and deeply meaningful structure in ancient philosophy that represents the power of the cross [+] in the creation and formation of any existing thing. Unfortunately, modern people, not being initiated into the hidden meaning of the ancient writings, have interpreted the four elements only literally, as meaning physical air, fire, water, and earth. The primary importance of the four elements in ancient philosophy and religion is that they characterize subtle forces, especially psychological and spiritual forces within us:

  • Air: Mobility
  • Fire: Temperature
  • Water: Fluidity
  • Earth: Solidity

"The four Elements were fully characterized by Plato when he said that they were that "which composes and decomposes the compound bodies." - H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine

"In the words Iod-He-Vau-He, we find the mystery of the Tetragrammaton (the Holy Four), the four words, the four elements. More profoundly, we find our Being, our most complete Divinity." - Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah

"The sun (phallus), masculine principle, is the father of the Stone. The moon (uterus), feminine principle, is the mother of the Philosophical Stone. The wind (seminal steam) bears the sun in its womb and the earth nourishes it. This is related with the four elements which are living manifestations of the Akash." - Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah

"All those who want to attain in depth Self-realization, must work in their laboratory with Sulphur (Fire), Azoth (Air), the human being (Water) and the Bull (Earth). These four elements form a cross." - Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony

The psychological importance of the four elements is visible in the temperamental differences among the signs of western astrology:

  • Air: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius
  • Fire: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius
  • Water: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces
  • Earth: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn

The first four books of the Christian New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

“The four Gospels can only be understood with the key of Sexual Magic and the Perfect Matrimony. The four Gospels were only written to serve as a guide to the few who follow the Path of the Razor’s Edge. The four Gospels were never written for the multitudes.” - Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony

Legend has it that the first teaching of the Buddha Shakyamuni revealed Four Truths to humanity. He said, "It is through not understanding, not realizing four things, that I, Disciples, as well as you, had to wander so long through this round of rebirths. And what are these four things? They are the Noble Truth of Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Path that leads to the Extinction of Suffering." Vast teachings have been given expressing the nature of these Four Noble Truths; but perhaps none have been as direct as this short expression from "The Aquarian Message" by Samael Aun Weor:

First Truth: To have absolute consciousness of pain and bitterness.

Second Truth: Pain is the child of fornication, and whosoever spills the semen (reaches the orgasm) is a fornicator. This is a tremendous Truth!

Third Truth: We have an “I” that must be decapitated and dissolved in order to incarnate the Verb, the Christ.

Fourth Truth: We can only decapitate and dissolve the prince of this world, the “I,” with the Arcanum A.Z.F.(White Tantra).

A descriptive term for the qualities of initiatic tests given to disciples in order to measure the state of their psyche and thus the quality of their psychological work. These tests are reflections of the qualities of the four elements of nature.

"The four ordeals within the White Lodge are in order to examine the white disciple’s morals. For instance, in the ordeal of fire, the disciple is attacked by crowds of enemies who insult him. Instead of returning insults, the disciple throws love towards his enemies. This is how he triumphs in this ordeal, when with serenity, he passes through the fire without becoming burned. The ordeal of water for the Gnostic in the White Lodge is given with the sole purpose of knowing what level the disciple’s altruism and philanthropy has reached. The White Lodge’s ordeal of air is given with the sole purpose of knowing the disciple’s capacity for resistance against great adversities, and for detachment from material things. Whosoever succumbs to the grave inconveniences of life fails in the ordeal of earth. There are many persons who have passed these ordeals within the very struggle of life, within the daily battle of obtaining their daily bread" - Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of Beelzebub

"In the solitude of these mysterious sanctuaries, the neophytes were submitted to the four Initiatic ordeals. The ordeals of fire, air, water and earth always defined the diverse purifications of the neophytes. The neophytes are submitted to the four Initiatic ordeals which are verified in the Internal Worlds. The human being still is not a king or queen of nature, but the human being is called to be a king in accordance to Melchizedeck. Disciples must be tested by the four elements in order to examine them. They are submitted to ordeals in the forty-nine regions of thought. These ordeals are for everyone, man and woman. One can help oneself by having pure thoughts, but this is not enough; meditation is necessary." - Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah

"The first state of consciousness is called Eikasia.

"The second state of consciousness is Pistis.

"The third state of consciousness is Dianoia.

"The fourth state of consciousness is Nous.

"Eikasia is Ignorance, human cruelty, barbarism, exceedingly profound sleep, a brutal and instinctive world, an infra-human state.

"Pistis is the world of opinions and beliefs. Pistis is belief, prejudices, sectarianism, fanaticism, theories in which there does not exist any type of direct perception of the Truth. Pistis is that consciousness of the common level of humanity.

"Dianoia is the intellectual revision of beliefs, analysis, conceptual synthesis, cultural-intellectual consciousness, scientific thought etc. Dianoetic thought studies phenomena and establishes laws. Dianoetic thought studies the inductive and deductive systems with the purpose of using them in a profound and clear way.

"Nous is perfect awakened consciousness. Nous is the state of Turiya, profound perfect interior illumination. Nous is legitimate objective Clairvoyance. Nous is intuition. Nous is the world of the divine archetypes. Noetic thought is synthetic, Clear, objective, illuminated. Whosoever reaches the heights of Noetic thought totally awakens consciousness and becomes a Turiya.

"The lowest part of man is irrational and subjective and is related with the five ordinary senses. The highest part of man is the world of intuition and objective spiritual consciousness. In the world of intuition, the archetypes of all things in nature develop. Only those who have penetrated into the world of objective intuition, only those who have reached the solemn heights of Noetic thought are truly awakened and illuminated." - Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony

A Kabbalistic view of creation and existence based upon a division into four levels, illustrated in this verse from the Bible:

"Everyone that is [1] called by My name, and [2] whom I created for My glory, [3] I formed him, yea [4] I made him." - Isaiah-Yeshayahu 43:7

These four levels are called the Four Worlds:

  1. Atziluth, the world of Archetypes or Emanations. (Example: the level of potentialities or "blueprints." In the sperm and ovum are the possibilities for a child.)

  2. Briah, the world of Creation. (Example: the father and mother unite sexually and the embryo of a human being is created.)

  3. Yetzirah, the world of Formation. (Example: the child is formed in the womb for nine months.)

  4. Assiah, the world of Action. (Example: the child is born into the physical world.)

"A point is a cross section of a line. A line is a cross section of a plane. A plane is a cross section of a body. A body is the cross section of a tetra-dimensional body, that is to say, of four dimensions. Every body is tetra-dimensional, has four dimensions. The fourth coordinate or fourth vertical is the basic foundation of all mechanics. Intermolecular space corresponds to the Fourth Dimension. In this three-dimensional world of length, width and height we never see a complete body. We only see sides, planes, angles, etc. Therefore, perception is incomplete and subjective. In the Fourth Dimension, perception is objective. There we see bodies from the front, from the back, from above, from below, from within, from without, that is to say, completely. In the Fourth Dimension, all objects appear simultaneously complete. There, perception is objective." - Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony

"The fourth dimension is time. Therefore, whosoever wants to know something about the fourth coordinate, let him study Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. I see you seated and writing at that desk. If you observe that desk, you will see that it has three dimensions, which are length, width and height. Yet, a fourth vertical exists and this one is time itself. How much time has passed since the carpenter built that desk? Thus, the fourth dimension is seen by all the world, because there are no people who do not have a determined number of years. There are newborn children, other people of twenty years, and many elders who only await death. Time in itself has two aspects: First, the chronometrical aspect, that is only superficial, and second, the spatial aspect: this is what is fundamental. Reflect on this; I am not discussing beliefs with you, we are discussing matters which are completely scientific. We need to have only a little bit of maturity in order to understand. The conquest of exterior space, cosmic travel, will be impossible as long as we do not achieve the conquest of time, that is to say, the conquest of the fourth coordinate. If a cosmic ship left our world at the speed of light (300,000 kilometers per second) and after some hours of cosmic travelling returned to the Earth at the same velocity, then you can be absolutely sure, that upon its return, the crew members of the ship would not find the world that they left, but instead, they would find a new world, an Earth more advanced by many thousands of years. This was already demonstrated by Einstein with his mathematical calculations. Therefore, the day in which the men of science invent cosmic ships capable of going beyond the velocity of light, they will have then conquered time, in other words, they will have conquered the fourth dimension. That is all. This world of three dimensions is the outcome of the square of the velocity of light, therefore if we pass beyond the velocity of light, we enter then into the fourth dimension." - Samael Aun Weor, Gazing at the Mystery

"Time in itself is the fourth dimension. This is clear… The fourth coordinate is summarized in two totally defined aspects: the temporal and the spatial. It is unquestionable that the chronometrical aspect of the fourth dimension is just the surface… It is indubitable that the spatial aspect of the fourth vertical is the depth… A fourth vertical always exists within the tridimensional world in which we live. This in itself is time." - Samael Aun Weor, Parsifal Unveiled

(or Fourth Path) There are four basic kinds of spiritual schools:

  1. The path of the Fakir: those who seek union with God through willpower and physicality; this includes those who practice Hatha Yoga, physical austerities (tapas), etc.

  2. The path of the Monk: those who seek union with God through emotion, the heart; this includes those who practice Bhakti Yoga, whose religion is prayer, or music or devotional practices.

  3. The path of the Yogi: those who seek union with God through the intellect, the brain; this includes those who practice Jnana Yoga, who study and memorize theories and doctrines, or through various forms of meditation.

  4. The path of the well-balanced human being: includes those schools and religions which unify all three paths in one, under the equilibrating influence of chastity, and guided by the Three Factors: birth, death and sacrifice.

"When referring to the schools of the Fourth Way, we find that Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, and Nicoll had written what they knew, but their expositions suffer from many mistakes. For example, Gurdjieff committed the error of mistaking the Kundalini with the abominable Kundabuffer organ, and Ouspensky committed the same error. We cannot desist recognizing the existence of that blind fohatic force that has people hypnotized; yet this one has nothing to do with the Kundalini, but with the Kundabuffer that is the lunar fire. The Bible refers to the forty-four fires, but only two great fires can be spoken of: Kundalini and Kundabuffer. The Kundalini is the Pentecostal fire, the lightning of Vulcan ascending through the dorsal spine, the positive fire that crystallizes in worlds and suns. Its antithesis is the Kundabuffer, the negative fire that crystallizes in those psychological aggregates, those quarrelling and screaming “I’s” that we carry within and which are negative crystallizations that have people immersed into unconsciousness. Gurdjieff also committed the error of not speaking about the Lunar Bodies that everyone has. He only says that we must transform the Being and that we must build the Solar Bodies. Ouspensky speaks about the Second Birth, but his teachings are incomplete. To begin with, the Solar Bodies have to be built in the Ninth Sphere, thus reaching the Second Birth. But neither Gurdjieff nor Ouspensky give the clue. The school of the Fourth Way is very ancient; it comes from the archaic lands. It is the foundation of the great mysteries and is found alive in Gnosticism, and in the religions of the Egyptians, Lemurians, Atlanteans, Phoenicians, etc. One has to tread the path by that Fourth Way. We need to march with equilibrium in science, philosophy, art, and religion. In the staged arts of long ago, the individual would receive information in his three brains: motor, emotional, and intellectual. In the schools of today however, only the intellectual brain receives information. Neurosis and the sick states of the mind are due to this. Mental disequilibrium is avoided by balancing the three brains." - Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah

or Fu Hsi (Chinese: 伏羲; pinyin: fúxī; aka Paoxi (庖牺; 庖犧; páoxī)) The first of the Three Sovereigns (三皇 sānhuáng) of ancient China, and a great Master reputed to have emerged from a virgin birth.

"Once a giant footprint appeared by Thunder Marsh. A girl named Hua Xu stepped in it and later gave birth to Fu Xi." - Taiping Yulan