behaviour · emotions · learning · life · opinion

On the fence?

This entry stems from a recent conversation I had with a friend. I told her “I hope…” and she said, be positive and say it will happen because hope is only a 50% chance. My response was well, then I at least have that 50% chance; if left to me, I would give none.

The same evening, I happen to talk to another friend and somehow the conversation steered on to faith. I was telling him that I was being ambivalent off late. His response – you should decide one way or the other. Either have complete faith or be a total atheist.

I realised I was doing just that…sitting on the fence. When I want some hope to cling on to….thinking there should be some help somewhere, I believe in God. When things are horrible, depressing, just not going my way (don’t know if it is the right or wrong one! 😉 ); God vanishes. She (or He if u want it that way! ) is not there! I am not being fair! God has become a matter of convenience….was wondering if it was the same for all?!? Same with horoscopes. I had written I check it out now and then. Do I believe in astrology totally? Again on the fence! 😉

Just got me thinking on how many things I am on the fence about! 😀 One of the many stupid thoughts that came up in my jobless life right now!

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4 thoughts on “On the fence?

  1. Dropped in here from Laksh’s page comment from you. I could relate to your feelings somewhat. I don’t generally disbelieve in God, but I do get frustrated with ‘which God is real’ questions..so much so that I am wonder if atheists would have more peace of mind!

  2. You saying: “I hope” is perfectly valid. If I say, I will become an industrialist and will open and run a company like Tata, does it make sense? Just by saying it without “hope” won’t make it come true. More than outwardly expressing something with confidence, it makes much more sense having inner confidence, and speaking your mind trutfully, with all its insecurities.
    Per Hinduism, there are 5 components for any action to succeed. Iccha-Desire to perform the action is first. I want to be an industrialist. Will Iccha suffice? No. You need the knowledge. Gnanam. Will that suffice? You have the desire, you have the knowledge, but you don’t actually do the action. Will things happen? Kriya. Action. Devi is known as Icha Shakthi-Gnana Shakthi-Kriya Shakthi Swaroopini. Ok, you have all three and you perform the action. Is there any guarantee of success? What if the economy tanks, or if there’s a war? In spite of all three components, your action won’t succeed. The final components of success are circumstances and God’s will, per Hinduism.
    A philosopher once said, it is the fools who are always confident of themselves, the wise are always in doubt. Maybe, sitting on the fence is being wise.
    You oscillating between believing and not believing is the normal state of mind. How can you be sure of something that you don’t know? God is a matter of faith. God cannot be logically proven or disproven. And it is an intensely personal feeling & experience-only you can decide for yourself-don’t take others’ word for it. I think your ambivalence is perfectly valid. And it is ok to appeal in times of trouble. Per Hindu Dharma, even though you appeal only during distress, it is perfectly valid, and help will come, though not in the form you expect. And over time, you’ll think but not ask. You will know the answer to whether your appeal was heard or not. It is ok to appeal. And even when you disbelieve, by the curious nature of the mind, by disbelieving, you are thinking of God. That has merit as well. The Vedas say that, just one thought of God, is like a permanent Karma to your account, that will never let go over multiple lives, and ensure that you realize yourself at the end.
    Finally, there are insecurities in all of us. In your trauma, it is a little more so. The person who you should have leaned on in times of distress is causing you the distress. I suspect that the mind is seeking for someone to lean on, and hence you reveal your insecurities to others, who tell their contradicting opinions, and the mind gets more confused. Your insecurities now is a natural feeling, it is part of the healing process. Just refrain from seeking advice from everyone, but the ones you respect the most.

  3. Responding to anamika’s comment. I remember a conversation in Time between a Catholic theologist and an atheist scientist. The scientist made some well-known arguments in favor of atheism and finally ended his conversation something like this:
    “I know there is not God. I don’t believe in God. However, if there is a God, he is above and beyond everything, much bigger and much more magnificient than anything our minds can even imagine, he is beyond our minds. He definitely cannot be just a Jewish shepherd who was born 2000 years ago.”
    You can disregard his last line as ‘enlightened’ American contempt for anything Christian, owing to its brutal history of oppression, inquisitions and torture and slavery.
    However, check his earlier lines. Throughout the article, the atheist used “God” several times. And finally, he actually seems to have comprehended a sense of what our ancient Rishis have been saying all along.
    This knowledgeable atheist, clearly, himself is tormented by thoughts of whether God exists or not. You can sense KamalHassan’s torment as well, as he seeks to prove his atheism in the eyes of the public over several movies. Clearly, atheists are not at peace. Agnostics are tormented by the question, and they are not at peace as well. Theists are also tormented by various issues, and are also not at peace.
    It is the nature of the mind to be tormented and not be in peace.
    People who can meditate talk about moments of peace. However, for people like us, it is easier to waste time and energy on fruitless arguments of faith, rather than actually try out something that is suggested. How many of us meditate before we actually decide whether meditation works or not? Whether meditation gives us a sense of God or not? Our policies are: I won’t try what’s recommended, because I don’t have time to do it (our excuse for laziness) and I am not interested in doing it. However, without trying it, I’ll comment on it. This is not being scientific, and we lose our claim to open-mindedness.

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