Many a times I tried to choose an ideal “Religion” for myself. But, every time I realized that I did not fit well into any of the conventional religions. The most important reason being the hard shells of rituals by which the cores of these religions appeared to me as covered, so much so that it made me to wonder if it would ever be so easy for an average individual to understand the dictums that lay at the cores of these religions. In other words, I felt that it was the external (including ritualistic) aspects of conventional religions which primarily differentiated one from the other; and, which also by now created in varying degrees the foundational psychological differences across human beings all over the world – and, quite interestingly, even within a religion having different “sects”!
But, then, religion has always been subjected to interpretations – for good or bad, depending upon times and circumstances. So, for all practical purposes, one is required to clarify his/her perception about religion; and that’s what I am going to do for myself now.
The first thing I, after a long process of thinking, realized that, before I try to explain my perception about religion, I should first clarify my perceptions about two aspects viz., Good Person and God.
A good person for me is one who always thinks and does good, in terms of his/her conscience, for everyone in the society. I feel that conscience is the sense of one’s inner-self; and the inner-self knows the truth – only truth, and nothing else. One is therefore aware of the fact that, more often than not, his/her inner-self correctly knows whether a piece of work done by him/her was good or bad. So, individuals differ from each other in terms of the degrees of contradictions between their thoughts and/or works on the one hand and senses of their inner-selves on the other; and, hence, while hunting for a “Good” person, one should hunt for those who are found to have lesser of such contradictions.
As I understand, God as a spiritual concept existing presently for all people except for a microscopic minority i.e. the so-called “atheists”. It may even not be correct to say that the “atheists” are all who do not recognize God as a spiritual concept – a large number of them in fact are against ritualistic approaches to recognition of God only. Even the rest of the “atheists” do not recognize this spiritual concept i.e. God, not because they intend to be “bigots” but because they do not find sufficient scientific bases to accept it.
For me, however, the spiritual concept of God is an automatic psychological anti-dot that protects an individual from mental break-down in a situation where he/she finds himself/herself helpless – a situation which arises out of either his/her serious failure to maintain a balance between his/her works (also thoughts) and senses of inner-self or perpetration of unbearable miseries upon him/her by superior external forces (natural or human). God therefore for an individual is that automatic psychological anti-dot against mental breakdown which more often than not works as a ray of hope
to encourage him/her to continue the journey of life – and therefore also an indirect and very discreet submission on the part of him/her about limitation of the self. And this spiritual concept of God survives in human mind owing to, after being psychologically re-energized, self-initiated do-or-die type of actions or seeking of help from unthinkable quarters, for overcoming a problem of very serious nature; which often clicks ( or clicked for him/her at least once in the past or used to click sometimes for others). This, I feel, is how God as a spiritual entity continues to be important for most of our mankind.
I therefore found that a new religion – “Humanity”, would fit well in to my framework of mind. Here, I would like “Good People” – cutting across race, religion, language, sex, national jurisdiction and whatever goes by such categorizations, to come together to think and do works for betterment of mankind. Please keep patience, and don’t try to dub and discard me as “Idealistic”. Because, we all, in the ultimate analysis, are “Idealistic”. Those who subscribe to conventional religions believe that their religions show the ideal ways for their livings. Those who do not believe in the conventional religions are also in the pursuit of “better” or “alternative” ideals – from their own perspectives, to follow than what are available for them now. In fact, I do not know even a moment in anybody’s life when he/she is not involved in the race for idealism. I would have been wrong only and only when each one of us could decide for ourselves that henceforth we under no circumstances would use the terms “But”, “If”, “Could”, “Should”, “Help”, “Respect”, “Honour”, “Appreciate”, “Fairness”, “Justice”, “Good” etc.! And, be aware that, we preach ideals only and only when we either are defeated (more, if by unfair means) or see possibilities of mutual destructions. In fact, I feel that, our existence is increasingly becoming dependent on “Talks”, “Treaties”, “Agreements”, as if what I explained earlier about goodness in an individual – in terms of lesser degrees of contradictions between one’s thoughts and/or works on the one hand and senses of his/her inner-self on the other, is finding embodiments in great international events/recorded documents. And, for the defeated always, and victors sometimes (frequencies increasing also for them in a nuclear age), idealism has been the ultimate way for survival.
Now, you may like to know as to why I decided to subscribe to a religion called “Humanity”. That will make me attend the question as to why we need “religion” at all. I think we need religion to have a good living for all of us – the concept of “goodness” in an individual or a collective body of individuals being explained by me earlier. God – being a spiritual concept and an automatically self-generated mental support-giving phenomenon to continue journey of life, may or may not favourably be experienced by all individuals uniformly. Because, at least from my point of view, it may not have guaranteed outcome. So, while I have no problem in allowing the concept of God as a spiritual one and to be within myself to at least encourage me to continue the journey of my life – without any guarantee for helping me out of an odd situation and thereby making me to admit the limitation of myself; I shall not prefer to use this spiritual concept while undertaking a public mission at any level. This is primarily due to the reason that, in the public domain, I would like to be guided by two considerations. One, that all my actions in the public domain shall be based on scientific planning; and, second, that I can accept my target getting missed, in matters public, if at all by a very negligible margin and nothing more than that.
In other words, I want to keep, along with those that are certain and foreseeable which I justly deserve, also those WHICH ARE UNCERTAIN AND UNFORESEEN FOR ME AS WELL AS OTHERS, for myself only. Because, I WANT SOMETHING GOOD AND CERTAIN ONLY TO HAPPEN TO THE SOCIETY – a society where the values of people with good and scientific mind-sets act as driving spirits.
N.B. : My Religion – Part-II, may not exactly come up in sequence, as some other topics (held up for long) are going to appear in between.
Don’t forget to share the blog!!
Any religion is a belief and ways to uplift the followers to attain emancipation.But most of the contractors of religion are misleading people and exploiting their beliefs instead of showing the right path.
Humanity and peaceful coexistence should be the goal of any religion.
Thank you, Pulin.
An excellent lucid exposition Mr Barua. Even though I don’t believe in compartmenalising myself, I would call myself both an agnostic and an atheist. I do accept the fact that the human desire to have a belief in God is a psychological necessity to have an external source of support. However, I except that the creation of God itself by the powerful at the dawn of civilization was a political act intended for the control of the masses. If there was no concept of God, then the onus would be on the individuals to create the agency and subjective of pure goodness. This is very difficult to accomplish both in conceptualisation and practice, as those of us who evade formal religions know. This is likewise linked to the first part of your discourse pertaining to inherent human goodness.
Looking forward to part-II.
Thank you very much for your valuable comments.