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SRISUVRO

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 6/15/2016 |




As individuals who are also a part of a society, faith, belief and worship play very profound and important roles in our lives. This is equally applicable even to an atheist. Faith, belief and worship are not always about spiritualism or religion. They play significant roles in all arenas of life. They clearly reflect in the many shades of our individual personalities. A deep introspection will reveal how we assimilate many a family beliefs and values within ourselves right from the days when we start crawling on this earth. During this process of assimilation these beliefs gradually captivate our souls and we start worshipping them as we grow up. This evolution of belief into faith and faith into worship can be observed globally in all sections of society irrespective of color, caste or creed. The evolutionary process holds true even for an atheist. A child born in a family of atheists starts imbibing the principles of atheism right from childhood and most often grows up to believe and idolize atheism. That is human life. 
 
Human existence is fraught with helplessness and doubts. There are so many questions and so few answers. Despite the tremendous progress of Science and advancement of Technology – most of the fundamental questions still remain unanswered. However incisive be the reason, it fails to cut through the human mind. Whenever the unanswered questions demolish the established principles of reason like a house of cards, man rushes to take refuge in faith. Faith gradually turns into belief over time. The history of humanity is also the history of progress of faith into beliefs and beliefs into worshipping. It is indeed a bit strange. The reader must have noticed that it has already been stated that our individual lives grow around early beliefs that turn into faith and gradually gives birth to our own forms of worshipping. Once again it is the story of beliefs turning into faith and faith into worship. However, the sequence is a bit different for the history of human civilization.  Faith is the predecessor there. From faith comes worshipping. Over time, it is this duo of faith and worshipping that turn into beliefs for society and civilization.

 How exactly does this evolution happen? Come let us view this picture in the extended vista of history. The appearance of humans has occurred at the extreme last stage of the evolutionary process of life. When we take a look at this process of evolution of life, what strikes us most is the gradual maturing of the brain. The process is very slow. When it reaches the stage of humans it is like a revelation and inauguration of a new horizon. Whereas for animals, the evolution of the brain merely aimed at better preservation of self against external forces, for humans it surpassed the narrow precincts of self defense. Man started asking questions - what is this? Why is this? How is this happening? Where from and where to? Faced with these myriad unanswered questions, when man started to realize that life originated inside the womb of a woman, his quest for knowledge lead him to search for the creator of this universe. At the very dawn of humanity man realized that every creation had a creator. Thinking men came to the conclusion that just as a child is born inside the womb of a woman, this universe must have been born inside the womb of a superior power. Thus started his endless quest to know the unknown. 
 
There was a tremendous urge to find the answers to all questions. When questions remained unanswered, this inner urge to explain life all around, gave birth to imaginary beliefs. And along this path of beliefs the idea of Almighty, a superior power was born. The power bestowed on Almighty had to be superior to humans since man had started to realize the limitations of his own strength. But the key difference between animals and man lay in the boundlessness of the latter’s desires, haunted by his unending list of wishes. And whereas animals do not care about the limitations of their strength or wonder about how to cross those boundaries, men are constantly knocking their heads at the walls of their limits and are relentlessly trying to acquire more and more power to overcome them. It is this relentless search of power that the idea of a superpower is born and bestowed on an imaginary being called Almighty. The next step was to open the horizons of knowledge - Science and Philosophy. It took thousands of years to start. As the poet said – it is the work of men over millenniums. That is precisely the history of human civilization.

Whatever be the topic, it is the extent of our knowledge in it that defines our beliefs or misconceptions about the subject. In other words, when we do not have full knowledge in a subject, we accept different myths associated to it and start believing or disbelieving them based on our inherited faiths and beliefs acquired from our families or society. In a weak attempt to understand a topic with a limited knowledge we start consoling ourselves with these acquired beliefs while trying to attain an equilibrium between our lives and the unanswered questions about it. Till it was actually proved that the earth revolves around the sun, our experiential evidence along with lack of knowledge about the correct phenomenon led us to believe that the sun revolves around the world – and we believed it blindly. However, had the truth been shared without an infallible proof, chances are that it would have been rejected. And that is the fundamental truth about beliefs and doubts. When we perceive truth through knowledge, we don’t have to rely on our beliefs and faiths. Our ideas about the existence of a God or whether God has a definite form or not also originate from this lack of knowledge. Unlike the earlier example, where the fact that the earth revolves around the sun has been established beyond doubt, since Science or Philosophy have not been able to answer these questions with certainty  - we vacillate blindfolded within a void – fighting with our own beliefs and doubts.

At the dawn of civilization, faith in Almighty was nothing but a weak attempt at keeping the elements of nature happy just to ensure that daily life could be negotiated smoothly and easily. There were many a fears associated to every sphere of life. These fears were mainly born out of lack of knowledge about the unknown. Fear of the unknown rose from the fear about someone or something that could not be seen, could not be touched or could not be understood – but could lay a trap in any dark alley on which one treaded. Most of the questions did not have answers. In order to alleviate the many possible and impossible dangers – man started worshiping the elements of nature. This gave birth to the many Gods of natural forces. This is how the weak mind invented rites and rituals, prayers and hymns to pray for safety to the many Gods who were created. The rituals could be different but the key idea of worshipping was same across different sectors of civilization, across geographical boundaries. Gradually, as the horizon of human thoughts expanded, man started believing that each of these super-natural powers owned individual souls that were bestowed with tremendous power. Belief crept in that the universe was a conscious creation of a super-natural soul, whose moods and wishes dictated the well-being of this universe. As a consequence, man started to believe that his own well-being lay in keeping this soul happy. Man devised myriad ways of keeping the super-natural powers happy through the rites and rituals – they prayed for the happiness of their near and dear ones – they prayed for the past, present and future.  Thus worshipping came via the path of blind faith and gradually became a way of human life.

Generations after generations inherited the act of worshipping from their predecessors and at some point this turned into their belief. Familial beliefs. Societal beliefs. Communal beliefs. Religious beliefs. And as mentioned at the very beginning of this discussion our individual lives emerge around these beliefs. Our thought processes are shaped by the precincts of these beliefs. And this invariably ends in worshipping these beliefs. We end up paying our obeisance to these beliefs. This completes the circle. Ignorance breeds weakness which in turn gives birth to faith. An urge to honor the object of faith leads to believing and eventually worshipping it. An individual who is born and brought up amidst this grows up to believe and worship the same faith. Thus evolves society, community and civilization from lives of individuals and vice-versa.

Thus far we have only discussed the roles of belief, faith and worshipping in the spiritual context. Let us now take a peek at the larger sphere of life that exists beyond spiritualism. Since faith itself arises out of ignorance it is obvious that any manifestation of faith emanates from a state of confusion. Faith is always blind. Wherever there is worshipping there is an underlying weakness. It is this trio of faith, idolization and belief that gets deeply intertwined with different aspects of human life and directs human beings along different paths. Whether as a person one is religious or impious, whether he is a believer or an atheist – it cannot be denied that faith blinds a human. Worshipping may give one mental peace but it also nurtures his weakness. Our faiths curtail our growth. If we ever dream of complete self-awakening, then we have to overcome these three vices – it is a must. Otherwise we will go around in circles. Now let’s see how this can be possible.

It has been stated earlier that once upon a time, based on his daily experience, man believed that the earth revolves around the sun. But if everybody clinged to that belief blindly, then the truth would have never been discovered. But when one person could free himself from the impenetrable darkness born out of blind faith, the horizons of a new truth was revealed. The world loves the courageous. It believes in the survival of the fittest. This is the fundamental operational principle behind traditional concepts of royalty and military dictatorship to the modern day concept of capitalism. But one person could detach himself mentally from these concepts and dream of social equality, thereby giving birth to a new chapter of humanity in the history of human civilization.  Though short-lived, it has definitely left its impression in the history of mankind. Its impact is still being felt. One cannot say with certainty that communism won’t rise from its ashes again one day. Let us also remember Gautam Buddha, Jesus Christ and Hazrat Muhammad. None of them restrained themselves to the established norms of worshipping prevalent during their times. Rather they freed themselves from the confines of contemporary ideas and each one of them opened new vistas to humanity.

However, as these new paths aged, they also gathered the moss of time, arrested the wheels of progress and led societies to stalemate. They stopped the human soul from attaining self-realization. But the reasons for this are different and not relevant in the current context. This does not diminish the contributions of these great souls – it does not close the doors to the open horizons that were revealed to humanity through their relentless pursuit for the truth. Man can draw inspiration from their teachings even today. But why are we failing? Why is it that we don’t see similar efforts to break free from norms today. If we forcefully confine our souls to conform to the acquired faith and beliefs, new rays of light will never be able to penetrate our thoughts and enlighten us. The echelons of knowledge reached by them by merely freeing themselves from the bounds of their own existence will forever be denied to us. These great souls could win over their faiths and beliefs – and hence attain enlightenment. It should be remembered that trodding new paths and breaking ourselves free from the vicious grip of faith, belief and worshipping are the only ways to attain salvation.

 [SRISUVRO]
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL

BY LIPIKA DEY

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2 Comments

2 comments:

  1. From Atheism to Almighty a nice long explorative thought provoking article😂

    ReplyDelete
  2. From Atheism to Almighty a nice long explorative thought provoking article😂

    ReplyDelete

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