Religion + Money = Hypocrites

June 27, 2012

“There are many lessons to be learnt from this incident. But I don’t think any of them are new. Not at all. So I really don’t see the point of elaborating on something that has come so many times only to go through to the other side and into the rubbish heap of history. We have all seen this before. And if we don’t even know what it is – then it just means, either we are so deep into it that we can’t see it for what it is. Or maybe it’s so terrible that a part of us is able to swallow up the other half to convince the rest of our brain that this can’t be happening. For me, making the decision to cut away from my faith was perhaps the most difficult decision in my life. Understand no one wants to break away from their faith. It’s not something that a believer does, not even one whose embattled. As when each of us try to find faith. It’s not so different from a man or woman looking for his other missing half. So when one decides to put this thing called faith down – it’s really a way of saying good bye to the idea that you will never ever get to sit down and talk to your other missing half who is running somewhere in this world. And you are really just the man or woman who says, “I am too tired to search for you. I love you. But I can’t do this any longer.” Let me tell you where all this happened. There was this time when I went to Isreal for some Christian tour. Somewhere in this hillside town facing the Sea of Galilee. I woke up really early to go for a jog with this kid called Jason. We ran all the way up to the hill in Hafia. It was fun. As some of the sections were so steep that you can’t even stop if you wanted too – your body just keeps on going and going. I was going through a rough patch then – so although this kid was with me. My mind was really miles away spread out like the morning fog. All I was focussed on was that yellow amber halo on the top of the hill, as the sun began creeping behind the hills – when I reached the top. The kid was still mid way up. I remember standing on a promontory as I took a full sweep of the city. Even made out the tiny hotel where we started the run, it was tiny and really faraway like the idea of The Maker – I had no idea that we had scampered so far in such a short time. I checked my watch. We had maybe less than a hour to get back. But I wasn’t worried. Instead of felt incredibly peaceful like someone who had just reached the end of a very long journey. You know that feeling don’t you? When you have arrived at the point when you can no longer go any further. It’s like a river when it discovers the sea. I don’t know whether you have ever seen the river as it mets the sea from an airplane window or in a picture. But even from all the way up there, you can always make out clearly where the river ends and the sea begins – there is always this line in the water that separates fresh and salt water. This was how I saw myself, as the river that had finally reached the great expanse of the sea – there was really nothing else to do anymore except give all of what’s left of myself to this one moment. I remembered feeling sad that it had come to this. You see I have been trying to hold on the best I can. No one suspected that I was reaching a point when I could no longer hold on. No one. As I am by nature very good at hiding my feelings and emotions – nothing ever leaks out. Then very suddenly I realized, this was the most beautiful moment in my life – I realized this at the precise moment when the first rays of the sun pierced through the grayness of a slumbering city and touched my face – it was a moment of ephipany. I wasn’t highly blessed and highly favored. I wasn’t a new creation. There was no great architect in the sky.  There are no invisible lines where destiny and hope intersects with some heavenly design – it was just all a crock of shit. As for all this nonsense called religion – it was just a great diffusion of energy that really signified a great nothing – god did not exist. He was simply a figment of my imagination. I just made him up in my mind. It might as well have been a dream. And now suddenly I was awake – and for the very first time in my life – I could see what I had to do so very clearly before me. You see, I wanted to believe in this idea there is such a thing as goodness. But that idea doesn’t exist, its a myth. Perhaps when we all want to believe in something so much. We make it all up as we go along like a song or poem. That is how I see it. But whatever we choose to fabricate with the raw material of mumbo jumbo can never last or endure – at some point, your mind always finds a levelling point between what you want to believe and what you should believe. I think for me, the finality of the realization that I was irrevocably alone in this planet and that there was nothing after this thing called life hit me especially hard. You see my friend, you cannot possibly have any idea how much I wanted to believe. I really wanted to believe.”

Extracted from a thread very recently in Phi Beta Kappa.

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