For a while now, the idea of religion has been puzzling me, the realization of which keeps coming to me at irregular intervals. During the unlikely event when I am found watching the news or the very likely and habitual event where I am sprawled on my bed doing nothing except admiring my blue walls, these thoughts come itching at the insides of my brain. Before these recurring thoughts resulted in a scabbed membrane, I figured giving it an outlet would ease the turmoil a bit.
The human body is 75% water and 25% religion. Religion is nothing but a non-fictional Frankenstein’s monster. What must have begun as a phenomenon conceived through a potpourri of beliefs, has now taken on a life of its own. Religion is an entity now, a dangerous one. And it is getting life from our species. Perhaps it would be apt to think of it as a virus. As long as it exists independently, it remains harmless. The instance it comes in contact with a being, it tethers itself. It tethers itself so tight that it begins to infect. The infection then spreads to every cell with such intensity that the repercussions play out in every aspect of that being’s life, affecting even the most natural aspects, such as ideas of food or civil codes of conduct. The social media posts which crop up once in a blue moon glorifying instances of interreligious friendships which warm the heart, are just one thing- examples of moments in which people are embracing their primal quality of being human. Religion has no role to play in affecting the outcomes of such events. They are nothing but moments in which humans are actually humans, which comes as a surprise to us. Such is the extent to which we have desensitized ourselves to other beings.
Perhaps it is intrinsic to human nature, to surrender to a higher authority and function thus. This way, some weight of the accountability of our actions is distributed to that higher being. I’m not countering the beliefs of any religions. Even if I attempt to do so, I’ll be unceremoniously burned at the stake (which comes full circle to prove my point about how toxic the idea of religion has become). Any dialogue discussing religion invariably comes with a clear disclaimer which notifies everyone of its intention to not hurt religious sentiments. Because that is what we have come to, and that is also something I’ll have to add as a footnote. I’m not visualizing a perfect utopia, where all barriers disappear and people snap out of their trance-like states to realize the futility of wars and come forth to join hands with the promise of a peaceful world. Because a) that’s bullshit b) it’s too late. It’s not going to be possible in a society where people are divided in their thoughts over everything. There’s nothing at all to which everyone nods in unison. But being opinionated is fine. It’s actually a good thing. At least it ensures there’s always something to talk about. It’s not an issue when two people argue about their favourite choice of meat. It sure becomes an issue when one kills the other over it. Holy cow, it becomes a serious issue when a laughable topic such as this becomes a catalyst of communal tensions. We attribute an awful lot to religion and this has made discussion around it so heavy. Everything we have done, will do, or that happens is regulated by crediting the consequences to the 300 million plus Gods above.
I like to think of these as 300 million plus beliefs and nothing more, because honestly the mere thought of these many physicalities and objects showering blessings upon us appears amusing to me. All these beliefs and faiths have sprung up at some point in history, appearing to the deprived as their only source which will hopefully bring them some respite. The presence of so many beliefs is not bothering. In fact, a million more may develop and it would still be alright. What’s troublesome is the fact that people accord this genre of their beliefs the highest priority, to the disturbing extent that they are ready to spill blood to defend it.
Why can’t a religious belief rest comfortably in the part of the brain where other beliefs (Jensen Ackles is the hottest; Deepika Padukone is overrated; Thums Up > Pepsi) reside? Does it always have to stand in attention of any utterance against it, at which point it loses no time in violently silencing the guilty party? It seems like our religious beliefs have an ego that’s rather frail and can’t endure any personal attacks because they are largely insecure and feel the need to defend themselves repeatedly.
We need to calm down. Religion needs to calm down. Breathe. Adjust. Adapt.
And if you still say your God is better than mine, okay. I agree. Let’s get down to important things now?
[Disclaimer, as promised: Not meant to hurt religious sentiments in any way. Please don’t beat me to death.]