***This blog will remain in a constant state of flux, between the edited and the updated…constantly changing…like life itself…evolving as thinking evolves…***
Some of the world’s dominating religions would like us to think that only a couple thousand years of human civilization are relevant and that the world was either comatose or in a state of moral and psychological chaos before their inception. However, human race has been flourishing for over 5000 years and surely the inquiring mind came up with other workable theories before then. Of course it is hard to put a ‘date’ on some of the older religions such as Judaism and Hinduism. While Judaism may be more streamlined, Hinduism is more akin to branches of alternate thinking tied together by some commonalities.
However, this is not a treatise on religions and I am sure there are ‘experts’ towards that goal, the point is not which one of these religions is superior and which one decreed as the ultimate by a higher form, but rather how relevant are these systems and where do they stand today?
Religions are but theories of this enigma called life – how it came to be, why it came to be and a how-to – at least for those who need or want a set of instructions to go with it. Religious thinking evolved as human consciousness evolved. Religions started as an exquisite marriage between the need for social norms to ensure societal survival and the more individualistic mind yearning for answers to profound yet fundamental questions. Some amount of individualism has to be sacrificed for communal good and this would only happen if those rules were etched in so called holy books and trimmed with futuristic consequences extending oftentimes into the afterlife. This ensured that society sailed more smoothly.
However, over the years, the religions gathered more and more moss, traditions got tarnished with superstition, high priests established themselves as demigods and more importantly, many of the basic tenets of the religions lost their relevance. But then peoples’ minds had become so mired in the rituals and moors of the religion they were born into that it became impossible to break free. The fear of consequences and now and in the life after, fear of excommunication and ridicule kept the outliers more inline, bound by the chains of their religion.
The mind continued to think, ask questions, science evolved, aided by the few who ventured into the woods, their logic and scientific methods as tools of choice to chip away at this mystery called life. Science developed as the logical alternative to religion, the pathway of the mind as a flowchart of ifs, hows and whys. Theories were formed, tested, some proven with tools created. The proofs however limited by the tools. How can you measure that for which there is no tool…yet. Do all tools have to be of the physical form? Thought matters, is that tool enough?
However, as of yet, science does not have all the answers, especially so for the big questions such as the ‘why’ of life. Science as it is today and religion are both but crutches, temporary aids to living life. If one limits science to materialistic tools, that is. Religion, limited by logic, science limited by its tools. But the mind yearns to go beyond beyond science and religion, knowing that it knows nothing yet. Science has been merely chipping away at the edges of questions, religion shrouds them with a cloak of theories.
It is because of the limitations of the knowledge we have today that religion is still filling in the cracks, as a band aid, an instant gratification of sorts, so the mind could then look beyond the questions and get on with this mundane life. There has always been a constant tug of war between religion and science. Those that stick to empirical formulas and facts limp behind, forever caught in the duality of living a life they have not fully understood yet while those mired in religious beliefs go on unperturbed, but ignorant.
What if the mind broke free? Of every tenet, every decree, every tradition of their religion? What if we stood naked, draped only by our thoughts, evolving, spinning a web around us? Is it possible? More often than not, it is the fear that something ‘bad’ would happen that keeps us from this nakedness. The fear of some materialistic loss in this life that we lead as a consequence of our transgression. Ridicule of friends and family or fear of an after life in hell. What if we rose from such fears and did stand tall?
What then, where then, is the answer? The mind screams. Its neither science as it stands today nor religion. It is something beyond, an off shoot of their intersection. Some minds cling on to religion in order to fill in those gaping holes science is yet to fill. Is this necessary? Why not leave the unanswered questions just as they are, unanswered, instead of spinning theories to mask them? Whom are we cheating? What does religion accomplish today anyway? There is more strife, hatred and abject terrorism in the name of religion than any positive consequence from it. Individuals may seek and obtain peace, or even respite from the unsettling nature of life’s deep questions as they rest on their deeply ingrained religious beliefs, but then they give up on true liberation, and get mired forever in the web of hypocrisy.
The only valid argument religionist have had so far is that science has not answered any big questions yet. However, we should stop considering the scientific method from the purely physical nature that it has now, and explore other planes of thoughts. We need to extend science beyond what is today. It is at present an analytical tool on the observable universe. We need to extend it and go further into metaphysical and ethereal realms.
If we are to find the essence of all, we need to look beyond the tools of the physical world, beyond tools such as microscopes and telescopes. What we need are thought accelerators more than particle accelerators. We need to delve deep into thought and introspection. It is a deep knowing, not defined by our thoughts, beyond our thoughts, not quite a feeling, but a subconscious perception that comes when one sheds all, accepts all, brings the inside to the outside into one seamless existence. It is a personal strife, a personal journey that encompasses all, undefined by words or even thoughts or emotions.
A sanyas of the soul.