I do not claim to be a very experienced thinker nor a seasoned philosopher. I write what a common man feels, but often fails to remember, for the rest of his life. I only wish to eternalise the answer of instinct to life’s every throw.
The revolution which India has been exposed to, has transformed the lives and lifestyle of every individual to a large extent. Globalisation is not just about economy, it relies on this underbelly of rather abstract attractions – as Joseph Nye, the Harvard academic, puts it “The Soft-Power”.
In this age of the new world, it is hard for identities to be maintained – unspoiled and untouched. India has perhaps been the hotbed for cultural clashes and with the advent of the new world, I see the society largely polarising and people belonging to either of the two brands – the Outright Rejectionists and the Passive Embracers.
The Rejectionist finds it “cool” to be called an atheist and delineates himself from the mass. He rejects every element of divinity and spirituality calling it the miscarriage of time.
The Embracer never dares nor cares to question the authenticity and need of the tradition and the ritual carries on and leads an unquestioned life. The fear here is not so much about what people choose, but about why they choose it. It is indeed disquieting to note the silent decadence of the strongest religion of mankind – the system of Questioning.
However, in the space between light and shadow, there exists another rare breed of mankind. They embrace the religion of common sense. Intellect is their seat of god and every practice must go through a gruelling, reasoning session, in order to be embraced or rejected. These people, though very few, have been buffering the faith system of the country and re-evaluating the relevance of every practice in the modern world.
Faith however, is a very complex socio-psychological state of mind which governs every activity of mankind. It is the magic tonic that feeds assurance to people. For those who think it is a dogma, its importance ends there. Faith “heals” only when you have faith in it. The entire mind-body complex starts aligning in the direction to think positive.
Paulo Coelho said, “When you want something, all the Universe conspires in making you achieve it”.
Once, I had accompanied my mother to a spiritual “guru”. While we discussed on few logics of religious practices, a woman rushed to him looking very distressed. She seemed to be very disturbed with life and wanted to unload her emotions. She frantically explained all the unfortunate things happening to her and he listened to her very intently and with spiritual poise. At the end of her monologue, she was told that the planetary inclinations were very unfavourable but this phase was to end soon; she must light a lamp every Saturday and meditate in the name of God to restore peace.
The lady now looked quite settled and peaceful. “I am very happy now, as you have told me that the bad is going off. To me your words are absolute and I do not question them,” she said.
I was awestruck, believing that indeed faith was greatest cure for anything. I wondered why the same logic wouldn’t have worked if I had told her! Only he could make her believe. “Faith” has now started the solve-problem-plant in her mind and heart.
Perhaps it is not in our reach to understand this complex system to every detail, simply because the human mind has limited its paradigm; but its effects can definitely be felt. Some people choose to understand how this operates, by dissecting and analysing, while others are busy enjoying the “miracle”. Faith in these people will only grow stronger and have a stronger effect next time.
Think of the times when things have happened to you and you called it a miracle.
Strange but interesting – the System of Faith.
Words: Chirag Jain
This was published in Eclectic (January 2010) issue