By Tinky Ningombam
I am an agnostic. I believe there is a possibility that a supernatural being/ thought/ consciousness can possibly exist, but if it/he/she in-fact does not exist and if there comes a day when I am told that there is no God… I will not be devastated.
I do not particularly like idol worship unless of course one has idolized a once-mortal human form as a God or a demi-God. Making an idol of a hypothetical supernatural God seems like religion is trying too hard to sell its pitch. The idea of God is something that has been the topic of debate for humans forever. I bet it is much easier to explain to kids in the past years about God. We were always made to fear God and to obey him. The moral of the story always being: to follow our individual set of religious doctrines. Stories used to be animated: like how he watched down on us from stars and from the heavens and whenever we do something bad he will make a note of it and punish us with bad luck some time later in the day or sooner. In a theistic culture, it gets much harder to make kids understand what God is and what it means to us. And why we should pray to an invisible force that we will never ever see for the rest of our lives till the time we are dead. Or perhaps not.
I am not undermining faith or people’s personal belief. I say “to each his/her own.” I am not here to talk religion or compare any of them. And I am not a person of Science. I have been a literary student and an ardent literature fan for most of my life and as one, we have been in awe of a lot of mythical characters who may have in the course of human history been glorified and idolized as Gods or as immortals. Morever, faith in God is something very subjective and personal. And everyone is as free as the next person to believe in what he/she wants to believe and let others believe in what they want to.
As a matter of fact people have been more or else concerned about religious superiority and fundamentalist fuel crowds in the name of God. So much so that, atheists have been branded as sinful moral deflectors in the society and not the ones fit for an honest, ergo, “God-loving” life. Morever, innumerous arguments about the existence of God are marred with years of picking sides, political overtures and/or philosophical contradictions.
13th century Roman Catholic philosopher and theologian St. Thomas Aquinas in his book, Summa Theologica presented at length his “Five arguments” regarding the existence of God called The Quinque viæ, Five Ways, or Five Proofs; Fundamentally establishing the fact that in a world of imperfection there needs to be a pinnacle of perfection, an all-encompassing “unmoving” eternal being, who directs the less-intelligent beings in the universe. Also re-enforcing the universal qualities that “God” is attributed as, the all-knowing, the omnipotent, the infinite, the all-forgiving. And just a million other famous thinkers, religious practitioners, philosophers, scientists, free-thinkers etc have tried to give their own views to the fundamental question of the existence of God.
In my own defense, I am spiritual but I am not religious. First of all, it is unfair that most of the religious scriptures have been written by just an opportune set of people who had the chance to put across their stories and if I were to write about magic and supernatural events in that age and time, it will be as popular as science fiction is now. On top of that, logical reasoning has disproved much of the supernatural claims in whose premise most religions set their doctrines. Where, I ask, is the metaphorical heaven in the clouds? Even the stars from which the Gods supposedly look down upon are only massive heated gaseous plasma. And these are only fundamental musings.
It is true that the noted psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud expressed that “God is no more than a psychological “illusion” created by the mind in an attempt to fulfill innate human desires, rather than an actual existing entity.” Something, that is the perfect form unlike all the other forms of life as we know it. The immortal, the all-seeing, the answer to our mortal life, the do-er rather than “us” : the mortals who have no grip over life-sequences and/or our future. Man’s belief in God (s) in that way signifies “hope” in the knowledge that “there is a plan” and a grand scheme.
It is really good to have an introspection of one’s spiritual belief because it really helps us to connect us with our consciousness in a deeper way. For instance, I particularly prefer “pantheism” for its philosophical implication. Traditional “Pantheism” is the view that everything in the universe and the physical world that we live in is part of an all-encompassing God. That we are part of God, that the elements, the earth, the cosmos and the beings are all God. And what I say “God” can be the answer, it can be the consciousness or supernatural element that I sense follows me around, it can be what you trust in the most.
I had a very interesting conversation with a friend sometime back, he is from a religious family but quite an educated and rational man. I told him that I am not sure if there is an after-life, that when I die, I wonder if I will just sense emptiness or nothingness, if I will have any sense at all. How will my soul be redeemed. There cannot be a transfer of souls; there will never be enough souls. Considering some will be stuck in limbo or free from the “wheel of karma”. And the population of the world is ever-increasing, where will the extra souls come from? Do souls multiply or divide? He just chuckled and said “It is said that the universe is like a bead of sweat on Brahma (The Creator of the universe in Hinduism) and creating new souls is not a task for someone who has creates multiple universes”
And to this I quote in Carl Sagan’s words
“The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there`s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.”