God, no!

“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”

-Douglas Adams

I am a South Indian with a house in which a wall is dedicated to an over-sized mini temple with the idol/picture of every god in the Hindu mythology (this is an exaggeration, of course); and the praying style complete with a tinkling bell and incense sticks. Get the picture? So, if mindlessly following your father through a crowded, oil-stained marble-floored temple does not make you an atheist, then… nothing will.

So my granduncle asked me the other day, “When was the last time you prayed?” I was taken aback by the question but I still joked, “I say ‘Oh god!’ too many times. Does that count?” He, being the chilled-out granduncle that he is, was amused, “Jab se hosh sambhala hai, you’ve left all this.” I just had to laugh at the Hindi phrase he used. It still rings in my head. It’s so true. From the time I’ve consciously thought of these ideas, I’ve always damned the idea of god- maybe not as vehemently as I do now.

Everyone knows I am not particularly religious, but I only scream ‘There is no god. Grow up, people! Be the miracle!’’ in front of my friends. It annoys them a little. They wince. I’ve even been politely scolded so many times for being blasphemous. With my relatives, I don’t try to act smart. I keep mumbling in my head: I have no point to prove. Do whatever gives you peace. Leave me out of it.

“Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you—even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition. Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world. So none of this is happening. Such things could not occur. Never a word of it is literally true.”

— Neil Gaiman

I just don’t like the idea of one single, all-powerful entity. It just doesn’t give me peace to know that someone not present here, is watching over us (-only humans; other organisms can live and die at peace, btw.) So now, I only call upon the holy powers residing in the infinite sky down, whenever I am irritated with human stupidity; exactly like some dissatisfied, rude customer, snapping my fingers to call the absent manager (not even the waiter, mind you; just directly to the person-in-charge) to clear the mess up.

The funny thing is I can totally accept that the universe is a fluke. Everything makes sense then, even the possibility of aliens.

(Read questions in italics in a patronizing tone.)

How do you explain miraculous things that god does?
Science, of course, and Math too! Miracles are statistical outliers that are result of permutations and combinations of all kinds of madness that this diverse universe has to offer.

What about souls and spirits, then?
Universal energy.
My web of life theory (yet to coherently write it down on paper) + Game of life theory.
Basically, it is: Us –> Distributed energy –> Spirits/Souls –> Different motivations affecting and reacting with everything else –> all this mapped down to a seemingly chaotic, but still patterned web.
I can’t explain it articulately yet. In due time with more reading and thinking, I shall.
Plus, I am convenient that way. For now, I realize I am more romantic about the idea of souls than I am logical.

It does not mean that atheists are irreligious, consider nothing sacred and do not value existence. Religiousness, devotion etc. are concepts that can exist without a god. It’s the same debate all over again. We let religion monopolize morality and the path to transcendence.

You know what, you can be grateful for just being alive without having to pray to a god. Any form of art can take you to a sharp, focused, peaceful meditative trance.. Enlightenment? Isn’t that just the self actualization theory?

There may not be heaven and hell, and the world may not be fair but I totally believe in Karma. The logic is simple: You reap what you sow. The evil that besets us is ours. If it is ours, it can be corrected. We need no savior (that maybe a line out of a song.)

I know god is the idea summarizing the unexplained. But giving a label to ambiguity and perfection doesn’t help me. I’d rather make a theory, work with it, even realize I was horribly wrong, correct it or abandon it then (also bear consequences, if any) than just damn it all as impossible and ambiguous at the very start.

Even my mom remarks, “For a person who doesn’t believe in god, you say ‘Oh, god’ too many times!” To that I say, “No one’s here yet. So, point proved too many times over.”

So anyway, here’s to the atheists, and the road of distrust and doubt we voluntarily choose, in the hope that one day, it’ll reach unshaken trust and surety.

I’ll be such an insufferable bitch then. Yeha!

God save you then!

Signing off,

Tame SheWolf

WORDLY WISE:

“What have I always believed?
That on the whole, and by and large, if a man lived properly, not according to what any priests said, but according to what seemed decent and honest inside, then it would, at the end, more or less, turn out all right.”

— Terry Pratchett

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14 thoughts on “God, no!

  1. I am glad you chose to belive in karma. Coz God or no God…karma is one thing which renders me faith that all those people who’ve been doing bad to my life are gonna get their share of it back some day…and plus it keeps me reminded to put the bitchiness in me to sleep. (Karma is one reason I’m not found killing apart all those people who FORCED me to hate them) 😛

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      1. No fetish in particular. But why do you ask? What if I said that I did have one? 😛

        Anyway, I’m just curious. Every time I have described my ‘South Indian’ friends by that term, they have never failed to admonish and remind me of the undeniable propensity of North Indians to group all the distinct and myriad communities of Southern India into one big mess. Following this, they exhort me to learn more about their culture and the differences therein.

        For this reason, I was quite surprised when you described yourself exactly how they wouldn’t have. Not so much as a mention of your language or culture.

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        1. Haha.. Then I’d tell you mine. But now since you’ve wasted your chance by being safe with ‘What ifs’.. we’ll move on. 😛

          So, apparently, I am from Mangalore, Karnataka. But since I was born and raised in Mumbai, I call Mumbai my hometown too. I can speak Tulu (with limited confidence and vocabulary) but not Kannada.

          I always refrain from using any group identity (even when I have to loudly acknowledge that I am Indian, I hesitate for a second.) I generally don’t like the context of the situations when I am supposed to announce it. And, I am annoyed by people who are proud of their group identities..

          Anyway, South Indian is as broad and specific I could allow myself to get.

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          1. I was expecting a more daring answer than a reciprocation. That is why I went with the subtle nudge and a prod in the right direction. Alas! It was not to be.

            I am also not too fond of labeling myself and avoid it. Nice to know someone else who is also like that.

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  2. Everyone has a crutch. For some people, it’s watching IPL, for others it’s Sunday Evening Football, and for most people, it’s God. It’s a psychological placebo or a spiritual tranquilizer.

    I am an atheist myself too, and I used to be of the rebellious kind – picking up debates and rational arguments with fellow humans – religious or agnostic. Then I learned to accept it for what it is – everyone is thrashing desperately against restless existential rumination and in favor of purpose, meaning and bliss. And they are also thrashing against the numerous obstacles (physical, emotional and spiritual) that life throws up in their path, and yearn for an angst-free peaceful existence. And in all this thrashing, it’s just a lot easier to gulp down a vague medicine of “God” (sab uparwaale ki kirpa hai, aur sab bhagwaan ke haath mein hai! OR yeh hamaari taqdeer hai. This is our destiny), than to reason or rationalize it through.

    Which is why it’s much easier to fall into the pit of existentialism and worse nihilism for atheists and agnostics as compared to the devotional agarbatti-loving, mantra-chanting people. This is not always the case of course. But it is damn more likely.

    Having said that, here’s an excellent quote for Atheists/Agnostics when it comes to life, living, purpose and more:
    >> “For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.” — Charles Bukowski

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    1. Hahaha.. Nice quote. All that rings in my head is “We are here to drink beer.”

      I get what you are saying. You accept the idea of God because it’s the easy way out. You don’t accept the idea, then nihilism is the easy way out.
      “Unlearn the teachings”.. I think that’s key. All philosophies tend to have a default course of reacting.

      Being aware is the hard part.

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      1. On the contrary, I don’t accept the idea of God personally at all. Like I said, I am agnostic, tending towards atheism. I however used to be argumentative with religious people previously, and with age, wisdom and maturity, have let that go. I accept that most people need it as a psychological placebo of sorts. That’s the essence of what I said.

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          1. Aah okay, makes sense. But then the fact remains that “being aware” and then working through rational inquiry can potentially lead you to corners of darkness and nihilism. In my experience, it’s much easier to fall into cynicism and potentially nihilism when you are a rational inquisitive and awakened agnostic/atheist as compared to when you are a simple-minded God-worshiping person. It’s not always true, but it’s more probabilistic/likely. Anyways perhaps you could write another post elaborating on this more! 😛

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