I was never planning to do this post here. Not in the near future anyway. But Vagabond’s response to my previous post “Do You Believe In God?” warranted a response for which a follow up comment was woefully insufficient and consequently, this post became inevitable. Once again, thank you Vagabond for taking this blog to places it had never really considered and wouldn’t have ever stepped into but for your regular and remarkably insightful comments.
The fascinating, confounding entity that continues to baffle a large section of humanity irrespective of their belief system and the fact of whether or not they believe at all.
But who is God? What is God?
I don’t know. In all probability, nobody does. What I do know is that there is a Higher Force…some abstract divine consciousness that is indefinable, formless and ultimate. But that is because I believe.
Many don’t. And do perfectly fine.
But even those who don’t, do usually have something they rely on. For some, it is life. For some it is logic. For some it is hard work. And for a whole lot of them, it is their own self.
What is important here is that belief…or idea of having faith in something is important for us as human beings. We ought to repose our faith is something…or someone. It may be an abstract entity, it may be a school of thought, it may be another human being…it may even be our your own very self. As a matter of believing in your own self is actually a very widely recognized school of spiritual thought that is based on the philosophy of Aham Brahmasmi (I am the Divine Flame).
The idea of faith is independent of the entity. In fact, if we were to believe in the idea of a Higher Consciousness as an abstract, fluid entity, it automatically translates into the idea that this Higher Consciousness will then manifest as per our own individual belief system, no matter how atheistic. And so, if you believe in yourself...you are in fact believing in the Higher Consciousness that manifests as your own very self via self realization in your particular case. The Higher Consciousness can manifest as anything from the version of God you believe to the soul of the departed loved ones you believe are looking over you. It can manifest as kindness of the strangers, as affection of a beloved, as reward of hard work, as surprise turn of destiny, as your confidence or will power, as your ability to fight and survive…even as a leap of plain, old logic.
If you believe, manifestations are just another detail. And of course, there are no coincidences.
The fallacy lies in anthropomorphizing the idea of God. To think that He is a human equivalent, which as I had said in my previous post, automatically implies that in our understanding, He exhibits all the good and evil that humans understanding can encompass.
It is oversimplification. Because if there really is a Force…a God powerful enough to helm the entire Universe, His…for the lack of better term, qualities would be way beyond human understanding or comprehension. Human sentience, human good and human evil would be nothing more than a pale shadow of whatever He stands for and is comprised of.
Theist, atheists, agnostics—they are human categorizations. And like every other human categorization including caste, race, color, religion and gender—they are incomplete. A mere piece of a puzzle, I am pretty sure the God…or the Higher Consciousness is way beyond such petty human categorizations. What is fundamental here…what would matter in the larger scheme of things is the idea of faith, irrespective of the entity that it is reposed in. Because faith is a force…a force which in its true form can actually alter the Universe, change the rules of the game and alter destinies.
If faith is so powerful, then why do disasters hit the faithful? Why is there so much suffering around us? How is a loving God letting so many people languish? Why is there so pain in this World?
God is love. God is faith. God is also personal.
The pain, the sufferings, the tragedies…they are an inevitable part of the cycle of creation and destruction that is essential for this Universe to survive. Just for a second, imagine a Universe where this God ensures there is no pain, no suffering, no tragedies. It is Utopia. And the kind that everyone thinks is ideal.
But is it?
Will good hold meaning without the bad? Will love hold meaning without hate? Will life sustain without death?
These are complex philosophical questions. They have no right answers. Just your answer…and my answer.
The point is, to say that God doesn’t exist because there is evil and suffering and pain around is a little problematic. It is not wrong…because after all, it is a matter of personal belief and the Higher Consciousness would be meaningless if It did not respect personal beliefs and choices. But the argument, per se, is in broad brush strokes.
Besides, instead of drawing second hand conclusions, if we actually ask people who have been through immense personal sufferings and tragedies, we will find an unbelievably large chunk of people who will tell you how they found THEIR GOD right in the midst of their tragedy, their pain and suffering. Of course, there would be an equally large number of unbelievers borne out of those very tragedies. But the fact that faith manages to sustain for such a large number of people in face of insurmountable human catastrophes and nearly impossible circumstances by itself speaks volumes about how faith, the Higher Consciousness and human sufferings interact in real human situations.
The value and function of faith in human lives are complex and multi layered. And while the idea of faith being an actual Universe altering force may be a doubtable, the importance of faith as a veritable coping mechanism is undeniable. And since this can of worms has already been opened, it makes sense to explore the idea of faith and its facets in a little more detail. This post, however, is already in the philo-spirituality overdose zone and any further additions here would be overkill. If you are not already brain dead with boredom, do check back for the final and concluding part of this rare series of serious posts on this blog on God, faith and everything in between!