Just Emkaying: The one with God, Religion & Humanity

Mar 13, 2016

The one with God, Religion & Humanity

The evolution of one's belief is primarily through what one has been taught, learnt and experienced over time. If you are one of those who has very strong beliefs on Religion, God or any related topics are are the easily offended, then you probably won't enjoy this post.

*my blog, my rules*

Religion is a very strange topic. People love to fight over religion using "God's" shoulder to fire from. It is rather ironical that the religions that we see today, have nothing to do with the virtue's and purposes that it was meant to eschew, or that's about as much credit as I would give it.

My personal experiences have taken me across three vast, (and I'd like to think sequential) paths when it comes to these things. The first was when I was a child and God to me was a picture  placed on a small pedestal on a height in our tiny apartment in Bahrain. There used to be semi annual celebrations, which very basically a lamp and some incense sticks symbolising something important. Am not sure what it was, but I wasn't the very curious or questioning type, and these occasions never needed me to do something drastically different from daily routine. I do remember maybe once a year we used to go the one temple (if you could call it that) that existed in the country, and get some prasad. God was this cool being who you offered acknowledgment and that was about it. I've also been to a few Churches for functions, and there too I learnt rather than prayed. Also, my parents deserve full credit for never holding out God as this mystical being that would punish me for doing something wrong, or as a threat to control me. Something I've seen grandparents still do.

*bow your head and ask forgiveness*
*eat this to relieve yourself of sins*
*do this to get that*

In Phase 2 of my life, personal setbacks meant that I went in search of meaning and support. I visited religious places, attended preachings regularly. Joined groups like ISKCON and tried to understand life as it was supposed to be, and began to find meaning and explanation of various life events. I am grateful for it, because it was what I needed at that time. But after a few months, I realised that what I was listening to, was my mind's convenient & self satisfying interpretation of someone else's interpretation, of perhaps even further watered down interpretations.

And this is only going to get worse because we don't have a culture of questioning & healthy curiosity. If we did, the people who do all these religious ceremonies would have answer to questions like - "Why are we doing this? What does each of these things mean? How exactly is this going to help?", and therefore themselves would had been clear about what they are doing, or better still, not practice it themselves.

I've realised today that many people in this day peddle soothing solutions and words, because it fits the bill. Individuals who understand human psychology, and the gullibility of the audience are quick to pounce upon the opportunity to lend a listening ear, offer solutions that have some pseudo - cultural - religious connections and in the process build a following. Some do it for power, some for money, and there are a few who do it for either but have done meaningfully well for society too.

It works on a very simple mechanism - everyone has some or the other problem in their life, the magnitude of how big it is depends on how they perceive it. And simply put, everyone needs to hear how to solve it. If you listen to me and it works, there's the "See! I told you so!" and if it doesn't then there's the "You've not done it properly!".

Convenient right?

Anyways, I was quite serious about religion having something to do with God, and it being very important to lead a good life. However, the last few years it has dawned on me that whatever religion is today, it definitely does not have a lot to do with God, or society for that matter. Any religion that preaches or demands violence or retribution, that believes in collecting money for building religious institutions, or indulges in anything other than real, tangible improvement of society is not doing God's work.

That is, if you believe in religion. 

Or God. 

Today, I think the best I can do, is to do good for Humanity. And that is as pure and simple as it gets. If I needed religion or a God to tell me to help a Child study, or get a poor family food, then I honestly don't think I am much of a Human, and no religion or God can help me. It makes no sense to me to put a 100 Rupee note into a collection box, or to spend 1000's in prayers and rituals, when the same can do more for living people at the exact same moment. Imagine, billions of dollars lying in trust funds and sealed up vaults, just lying there, rotting away for nothing.

Every day, thousands of people are dying in the name of religion & God. I can assure you that these people are actually dying because someone out there who runs the show, is high on power, money and greed. There cannot be an all powerful being that would want this. There cannot be a God who allows this.

Unless we are actually his toys, in which case we are just things, not humans. 

I think God and religion were actually created to bring order or stability, to induce fear to get society to function, and there are perhaps really good lessons that were meant to be passed on, but have got corrupted over time. Perhaps they have become irrelevant and outdated for what is needed today - which may explain why new societies gain so much traction.

So what does that mean to me? Do I not follow religious practices? - I am trying to get my head around that. Many I have stopped - because I don't understand them. Some I do, out of respect for someone else's happiness (Till I know better). I think there might be a deep power within each of us, perhaps like a network of nature, like energy, but there's nothing I can prove about it. Do I believe in a God? I don't know. But if he does exist, he better have a damn good explanation for the mess that society is today. When I started my Facebook account in 2010 I think, I had put down my religion as "Humanity". I don't know why I did it, but today it makes a lot more sense.


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