A few days ago, there were posters put up for a new play in the film theatre. I didn’t think much of it, assuming that it was just another new film when I walked past them. But then when my friend casually told me about a play she was planning on going to see and asked if I wanted to go to, seeing how I might be interested, and I thought, why not? So at around seven ten, we left and hurried down, though managing to surround our brisk walk with conversation. The play turned out to be a really good one, although we agreed that the ending was a little abrupt.
We were walking back together when we were stopped by a young guy outside the university compound. I remember the world around us bathed in the orange streetlights' colour, as we paused, and he asked us if he could ask us a few questions. My friend replied, ‘No problem,’ and I shrugged, as I wasn’t in a hurry to anywhere. I didn’t quite expect it to take as long as it did though, but in return, I now have material to write about.
The ‘few questions’ managed to take up more time than I had expected it to. And I guess that I should have realised what he was going to ask, but I was still surprised all the same when he inquired if we believed in god. It so happened that my friend and I had this conversation before with some other floor mates of ours, so I knew her answer. She replied confidently that she believed in god, but not in religion. He turned to me, and I hesitated. Then I replied in the best way that I could explain what I knew, and said that I believed in god, but not in the way most people would assume it is. He did pause just slightly there, but proceeded to ask more questions in which I can now only sum up as those related to ‘sin’ and ‘heaven and hell’.
It wasn’t that the questions were difficult ones, –some which were like ‘Can you remember the number of lies you’ve told before,’ to which I replied yes to, for it is true that I can count the number of lies I’ve ever told since I was born. It is the extend to which how highly I think of truth. If you want your truth to be nice, then, I believe, you should have the integrity to live that up. – but yet it wasn’t easy for me to reply, if I were to truly say what I honestly meant. Of course it wasn’t! How were you to truly lay out all the beliefs of your life to someone you’d just met a minute ago. And it wasn’t a matter of the fear of being judge as it was more a matter of time and degrees of understanding. However, it did get my engine for thoughts started; and thinking about it, I realised that the word to put to it is that religious people tend to believe in things too literally.
“Metaphors are a way to help our minds process the unprocessible. The problem arise when we begin to believe literally in our own metaphor.”
– ‘The Da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown
The guy talked like god was a ‘thing’, some ‘shape’ that existed out there, when it is energy, just with a different name. That which cannot be created nor destroyed, has always been and always will be. ‘God’ is just another label for it, capped on by people -not that there’s anything wrong in doing that, for even languages are created with labels. The dog we see there isn’t really the ‘dog’ as the word is, it is a sculpture of matter. And in another language, there would be another word labeling that living sculpture.
Then he spoke of those famous places: heaven and hell. And like so many do, he spoke of them as if they were actual places, with land and clouds and grass and wind. Or the fire pit, maybe, if you were speaking of that hell. These had me confused for many years since I first heard of it, until reading something caused an epiphany. Heaven and hell aren’t ‘real physical places’, they are state of minds, feelings. When you are feeling great, you are in heaven, and vice versa. Or perhaps, it should be said that they aren’t places at all, for has it not been said that one of the only things we can be certain of is that we will all end up dead? And as state of minds flow along with time, ‘heaven and hell‘ are journeys. Paths which you are given the freedom to choose as long as you take control of your mind.
Sin, is defined by the dictionary as ‘an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law'. I believe that it is generally seen as something terrible bad to most people, and for this, I would say that it is right for people to avoid it even though it in itself is of some neutrality. Committing sins is when you send out unpleasant vibrations causing destruction. And working with the law of attraction, you receive what you send out and would thus attract its like back.
As for religion,
“ ‘Religion is like language or dress. We gravitate toward the practices with which we were raised. In the end, though, we are all proclaiming the same thing. That life has meaning. That we are grateful for the power that created us.’
Langdon was intrigued. ‘So you’re saying that whether you are a Christian or a Muslim simply depends on where you were born?’
‘Isn’t it obvious? Look at the diffusion of religion around the globe.’
‘So faith is random?’
‘Hardly. Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. Some of us pray to Jesus, some of us go to Mecca, some of us study subatomic particles. In the end, we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves.’ ”
– ‘Angels and Demons’ by Dan Brown
It should be noted that I am not condemning any religion specifically, but in fact embracing all of that into a much bigger truth. It is alright if a religion is truly like a language or a dress, but it is not when people start going against each others who ‘dress differently’. When that happens, when tyrants try to control people, those minds have lost the real essence. The distinction between a tyrant and a leader is that a leader leads, helps others in understanding, whereas a tyrant would create fear in order to force rules and laws upon the mass.
You see how the phrase ‘if you don’t believe in Jesus, you’ll go to hell’ or others which are used in trying to persuade people to join a particular religion, has been so wrongly interpreted. As it has been said above, hell is a state of mind. This universe is governed by natural laws, many which still remains unknown to the mass population perhaps apart from the single ‘law of gravity’. What those phrases actually truly mean are if you’re ignorant towards those rules, you’ll probably suffer as a consequence, as you would then be allowing the outer world and its circumstances to drag you by a collar, with things happening in seemingly arbitrary ways.
But I don’t believe in deploying fear to force people listen to you, because how would you learn that way? Oh people, learn and obtain understanding for life would then be so much more magnificent.
“God is not some omnipotent authority looking down from above, threatening to throw us into a pit of fire if we disobey. God is the energy that flows through the synapsis of our nervous system and the chambers of our heart! God is in all things!”
ps. I do not claim to be an expert, but I’ve collected my understanding over the time of several years, from various sources (not just the Dan Brown books as it may appear so. It just so happened that those had the right words.), and so up till now, I would believe these to be true.
And I realised that I should also add that I do not think badly of that guy who asked to question us. He did what he knew was best then, and he was indeed a polite young man and all, and I do not have anything against him. I would say that I'm talking more about the whole concept.