The Buddha offer direct knowledge that leads to enlightenment. Faith in turn gives us access to knowledge. As faith and knowledge support one another, they enable us to enter the path of realization.
It might seem that the interplay of faith with knowledge forms a closed circle. How can knowledge be developed by faith when faith is developed by knowledge? If we do not have either faith or knowledge, are we excluded from the path that the Buddha taught?
This way of asking the question already points toward the answer. None of us is completely without faith or knowledge, so each of us already has a starting point for the path.
We can build genuine confidence by starting with what we ourselves already know.
When we have a sincere wish to practice Dharma and resolve to live in the light of the best knowledge available to us now, our actions and our understanding merge with the teachings, allowing a steady growth and refinement of knowledge.
Tarthang Tulku RinpocheTeachings from the Heart