It is that time. You do not know him/her. Actually you don’t even know the language proper. You are not judged if you do not use the respectful plural for singular, when you address the elders. The karma points are not taken seriously, at least by the people around you. At this point of time you would have already been introduced to him/her. Only then you are taken to school.
Now at this age (today), when you read random articles like this one, you might (or, I apologize and make myself clear inside these holy brackets ‘You choose not to’) realize that the introduction you had at that time was peculiar than the other introductions you ever had: ranging from people, the idea of mermaids, to complex school of thoughts that make you blink twice, really hard, or serious (worse) buy a book.
This one was different because you don’t know how you got acquainted. However, it was a simple process. That much you know. You were asked to believe, and you did. There was not any serious fight, because there was no harm. Believing anything never hurt, except some beliefs make legs liquid in the dark. So you might have nodded when people like parents, people who are the sole reason you can walk, talk, convey or comprehend, ask you to do such a simple thing.
Nod, ‘yes’, palms together closed eyes, knees on floor and bent-back, clasped hand and sharp glare, folded hands and heads up, the holy words which movie-subtitles read out as indistinctive murmur, daily bath, good deeds, indulgence on threads and people with more threads, company of books that won’t fetch marks but points, and the belief that all this will get one more close to the old acquaintance–the God(s). This was simple than homework, and definitely better than monthly tests.
Now, we can say we believe in god, at this point. He/she with no doubt is the most powerful entity ever known. No matter what word you use to praise or describe with awe, there will be people who will tap your shoulders to correct you with a better word. Some less powerful might pop bullets inside your skull, then let your friends and family know the right word.
The sad part is god, just like Gandhi, crosses a phase in every individual’s life. Gandhi? You like him first. Then you think you are big, and you don’t like him. Later you become really big to like him again, or you stay the same (disliking or/and not so big). Anyway he was an influential person, and still is. So is god in this matter, influence, support and sometimes a resort. But he/she suffers a similar, but only rougher phase in people’s lives. His/her very existence is suddenly doubted, unlike Gandhi who was always there in the history books and Marina beach.
You see things unfolding, moving, and just existing all your life and you had attributed them to god. Now you look back and remove god from the equation, because you have more time and no one calls you to play gully cricket. The simulation gears go to work and you see the things still unfold, move, or exist just the same without god in it. You repeat it for several instances and you see things work anyway–without the god factor. You find metaphors while you contemplate in serenity: God has not even been the sugar that you can manage without in a coffee, he/she was the bird you missed to see which flew as you sipped your coffee. The bird that did not even turn your coffee into the tea you like. And of course no water to wine, so you begin to doubt, but then again you don’t have the time to think long.
Then you walk the phase two of the original phase. Reading now, can never be considered time waste. You read about evolution: survival of the fittest, change-iest, random-est. Now you do the fitting. You fit the fact that god did everything that no one else did, either by accident or by purpose. So evolution becomes god’s act. Some deny, but that is what happened you argue. Animals died because they were not taller; killed and preyed upon for not being the right colour; starved to death because they shouted different. Natural selection the book calls it. You say nature is god, and you think one should hate god for this, you even pull in words like racism. You still love nature, grass and stars. So now denied existence in your heart and then getting accused, god waits (you think).
The aftermath. It is exam, game, or a loved one in hospital. The almost 18 to 20 year old practice tries to drive you to a place of worship or tries to make you do the single sided conversation. It is time for some healthy dilemma. But you and your conscience have mountains of ego, and it gets impossible to even deliver a feeble punch with the ego-induced-inertia you guys have gained. So you can neither deny nor accept god now. You decide to be in the middle, say, you decide to pay for the taxi that people take to temple, or buy random kids and old people food. Later this becomes routine. Not the charity but Denial; Doubt; Dilemma; Eat, and Not Pray, and Love. Terrible cycle to deal with, and yet you choose this.
My one sided conversation
What follows are not facts to either confirm or deny. Call it preaching if you want to be hard on me. Or just read. Just being the keyword here.
God was created to solve issues and to attribute the unknown to something. We still follow the same, we call god particle by the name ‘God particle’ because it is not understood yet. What is not understood is god. It is not in school text books. When you cannot define something in a textbook it becomes god. God is contextual. A dead man’s god is not a living man’s god. A child’s god is not the same as an old woman’s.
If something cannot be done then it is left for god. Not for solving always, but sometimes for easy closure. Most people want good to happen when things are at the worst, when life is at the rock bottom. And many try to contact god wishing good to happen. So god is something that people relate with so much good and positivity. And by people, we are counting in billions.
I do not find it easy to quote Dawkins or Indian exports. I quote from the subtitles of one of the best movies on earth ‘Om Shanthi Om’ though it did not attribute the quote to The Alchemist.
If you want something from the bottom of your heart, then the whole universe conspires to get it to you.
So if you want something, just want it. Not need, yearn or even ask, just want it. It might sound bad English but it should work. Mind you, Shahrukh Khan is the lead actor of the movie ‘Om Shanthi Om’ and the line in italics is his dialogue from the movie. But it is difficult to believe, and more difficult to keep believing that you will get what you want. It is tiresome to keep ‘wanting’ something when you doubt the result.
This is when god comes into play. Many ask god for it. Now you know for a fact that god is a belief of billions wanting things to be alright and they are always associating god with good. Don’t do complex math, it is just a big mountain of positivity. God after this realization, or acceptance will seem larger than life, interesting and trustworthy. The problem now boils down to just asking and waiting, because now a bigger force is working. It is convenient and it is free.
99.alotofnines % of completed tasks that has ever been given to any man or woman, was completed because the man or woman started by wanting to do it. Even with this logical and simple statistics, people find it super hard to believe that they can do almost anything by wanting it. It is just difficult for them, so all they do is pray and get their pocket-sized token, rather than carry the assumed-heaviness of actually wanting it, around.
I believe this is why people choose to believe. And I believe that they need not be converted to a non-believer, or convinced that god does not exist. Let them believe, if you find it convenient you do too. The thought is simple, gives relief, and takes out steam off the brain and heart.
Going to a place of worship is also something similar. The non-science is also very relatable. Imagine you are going to an important place, filled with important people, and you need to present yourself the best. Will you take the short route of high traffic, garbage in narrow lanes, and urinating Indians, or will you take the cleaner longer road where you have a high chance of a person who would reciprocate your greeting for a nice day? Let us also kindly assume you have a lot of time to get there. Yes, you will take the longer route. Convenient and the person greeting maybe good looking.
Similarly, you will take the loud laughing room, rather than the weird scorning room with an air conditioner. Isn’t it then normal that people visit places of worship because no one makes them uncomfortable there and no one is? On top of that, it is a place filled with similar people–not people of the same religion, but the less judging believers. Less judging at least in this context.
What I ask of you? Let people be what they are, unless they harm others. No one is stupid, and don’t look at anyone that way. But do gently correct the ones that think god asked them to shoot, bomb, knife, or torture–if you get a chance.
Pssst! Or The Post Script
- It is a possibility that the you in the piece is not even you. So drop the gun!
- Many do better after the belief phase, it seems to work well in sports and money, but many scientists and writers still make a good living bashing the big man/lady. So anyway is a fine way.
- The use of ‘she/he’ because a few friends (my majority readership) are feminist, and I respect and fear Hollywood, Bollywood, and Kollywood (in the reverse order). I can very well tolerate if you follow a male god actually.