Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pranks on the sands of time

In this Part 3 of a series, I think about God and suffering (in the context of killings) and the dichotomy of good and evil in the human mind. These aren't clear answers but just my 2 cents. I wrote these at this Orkut discussion thread. You can find the other parts linked from here.

Creation: Pattern or arbitrary ?

The ancient question is still being researched heavily and quite controversially.
But my take is, Yes, for the pattern part. The advocates of both sides, Intelligent Design and Natural Selection, both agree there is a pattern. One says there is a pattern by design and the other says there is a pattern in the process, in acquisition of traits. The difference, is only about, who put the pattern in ? Or was there one ?

Is God just a fabrication of the human mind in a world of random possibilities?

:) :) Well, some schools say, the world itself is a fabrication of God's Mind. Or Man's Mind, meaning Man is God.

Is God a temporary diversion from the madness of suffering ?

I don't think such a diversion would work anyway. God or not, when the madness (to mean suffering) hits you, it would no more let you bury your head in the sand nor would it spare you even if your head is in. Lot of people, choose God to cope up in times of suffering, because, well, it works for them and effectively so. If it didn't work, God wouldn't have been operating in that segment any more. There are things in life that truly help you in times of suffering. Like love and care, faith can do it to a great deal, if you have it, that is. Even if all other aspects of Faith are debatable, the therapeutic value of faith needs to be given atleast as much credit as that of love and care.

If not,then where are the answers to this dance of death, to this depletion of hope,to these hungry flaming fires of hell,to this downward spiral?

Reminds me of a quip that Ramana Maharishi used to give his disciples, when confronted with the question of how do I find out the cause of the world's suffering and alleviate it. He often said, first find out the cause of your suffering, we'll catch up with the world later.

What meaning to make of suffering...

The questions assume, to a large extent, the reality of suffering and the value of life. I sometimes think, what are catastrophies or achievements for us, are just childish pranks for God. Consider a kid, playing on the sands of the shore, building castles in the sand. He would build for a while, then he would demolish a section of it and build again. Or his friend would demolish it and they would fight about it. Or build one more together after a little while. And when it's time for lunch, they would move away to play another game, the fights fading away. Even if they fought and cried, their parents would know not to take them too seriously and would tell them so too, indicating the transience of both the castle and its demolition and the fun value behind it.

I myself find this ridiculous at times, because how can suffering be unreal ? Someone slaps you, you immediately know whether it's real or unreal. Your arthritis or asthma is quite sufficient to tell you whether it's real or unreal, you don't require news of massacres in the papers to tell. But there seems to be a school or a section of humanity, that want to question that experience and get to its deeper reality.

The whole problem is that, to understand this in actuality, we have to consider the possibility that suffering may be unreal. Or real only from a relative perspective of the kid. That's a colossal problem for us mortals, because, it requires a different plane of thinking and training. But if the Truth lies there (just in case) and if Truth is what we seek, is there an option but to look in ? Reminds me of Einstien’s quote : The problems that we face today cannot be resolved at the same level we created them.

Is that why the Goddess of the Three Worlds is also called "The Playful One" ?

1 comment:

  1. I will look at the concept of suffering alone. Though the idea of suffering as a sport of gods is quite horrifying [coz most of the times in suffering our ultimate succour is God]the manner in which we approach it depends on our conception of God itself. Now this conception of God works at two levels. Firstly, there is the idea of God that we have acquired by the virtue of the religious practices that we follow. I remember that there is one whole sequence in the Vishnu Sahasranama where the magnificence of the Lord is described. When I heard the transliteration of the entire Vishnu Sahasrama, strangely enough this was the only image that remained in the mind, till date. And trust me, in my times of need, those are the lines that I automatically remember. Secondly, the personal conception of God that we have. This may probably have nothing to do with schools of thought or religion [maybe it does, but a layman would still not be aware] So it is the image and the working relationship with that power which we call God, which may actually define as to how we may conceptualise suffering. In such a case, to understand the true nature and implications of suffering, what is perhaps required maybe objectivity. The ability to come out of the experience and boil it down to its true terms. Probably it would still retain the element of sport [even if suffering is sport, the ultimate result is that it brings you closer to God spiritually] we still have solutions to come to terms with it. Saying that it is sport seems to be more of an escapist route when considering the practical implications of suffering on our daily life.


Thank you for your comments....

THANK YOU: These reflections draw sometimes from readers and friends who initiate ideas, build up discussions, post comments and mention interesting links, some online and some over a cup of coffee or during a riverside walk. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this blog are the blogger's personal opinions and made in his individual capacity, sometimes have a story-type approach, mixing facts with imagination and should not be construed as arising from a professional position or a counselling intention.