In terms of the help that you get from having faith, the Buddhist approach is that you could help yourself, rather than being helped from the outside. You learn that you can help yourself—completely. Buddhism is not a pyramid approach. One of the symbols for Buddhism is a wheel. So it’s an eternally circular approach, rather than a pyramid approach. Faith is meant to help you. It recirculates things: what you put out goes around; it goes around and then it comes back to you.
“The Charnel Ground” in Devotion and Crazy Wisdom: Teachings on the Sadhana of Mahamudra, forthcoming from Shambhala Media.