Of God and Other things!
I have been an atheist since I understood the concept of God and religion. The idea of bowing and scraping in front of man- made idols always looked ridiculous to me. As a kid, I was made to tag along, when my mother visited religious shrines or temples. Even at that age, I had a weird feeling that people are watching me pray, that they could see right through me and the veneer I put up when I stood in supplication in front of the very idols that made me uncomfortable.
Gradually, when I became old enough to air my opinion, I turned openly agnostic, agreeing to some super power but still not ready to find it in idols and temples. As I grew in confidence, I even started entrusting my friends with the knowledge that their God had never been kind to me. Going as far to say that if He had made us all, He has to tend to all of us irrespective of whether one kneels in prayer or not, that blessed should also be the ones who do not kneel.
Recently, I came across a book on the history of philosophy and religion. An entertaining read at the onset, it soon asked me questions I had never thought about before. Being an avid reader, I have come across books that I stand behind and others that I disagree with. But never in my reading existence, did a book make me feel INSUFFICIENT, like I was missing out on some important piece of the puzzle that would finally complete the giant zigsaw, that life is. It was sheer helplessness to find that I had no faith or any power whatsoever, to put my faith in. It was not just the absence of God but also a total disregard for the bounties I had, things like life, people, comfort, dignity, things that I had always taken for granted, had never thanked anyone for.
I was perturbed. It was like I was in a huge dining room, bustling with activity, every seat taken, people eating, talking, laughing, sharing experiences and suddenly, everybody leaves. The hollowness and ineptitude that I felt, sitting suddenly all alone in that dining hall, was inexplicable. I could still feel the warmth of companionship, hear the tinkle of cutlery, a shadow of laughter here, a shared confidence there.. All gone in a jiffy!
What then, fills that vacuum? What comes inside and never leaves? Cause make no mistake- everything and everyone leaves, sooner or later. Wealth, beloved people, love, friendship and even life. What can, then, help us keep ourselves together? The more I think, the more I believe, it has to be faith.
I spoke to some people I could speak to, about such stuff and a pragmatic atheist friend said-” There is no God. Why do you worry about faith and in whom to put it? You got to have faith in yourself and if you have to put it somewhere put it in your abilities. ” Sane advice, granted!! But it didn’t stop me thinking and brooding all day long. I have faith in myself, I truly do but that doesn’t keep me going when people leave and I am all alone. Gradually, yes, one learns to pick oneself up, dust away the blues and get going again. But even that needs motivation because life does have a way of pulling us down to the rut again and again.
Now, I don’t know whether God exists or not, neither can I vouch for any of His miracles but lately something has been tugging at my mind- not religion or spirituality, nothing as lofty as the latter or as superficial as the former. But something deeper, more profound, something I have no words for. A deeper knowledge, may be. A lone thread of self-realization that might lead to consecration and eventual enlightenment and salvation of soul.
A week ago, this would have been impossible to write cause I have always felt that deeper insight into one’s psyche is a whole sack of mumbo- jumbo. But I am desperate to have atleast something STAY. Desperation may not be the best motivation to lean towards God but it surely works.
I hope once I find Him, He stays!!!