Beliefs and Ascendancy of Religions


Everyone has a belief in something. Many folks have multiple beliefs in various things.

That is not surprising for a multitude of factors: one is that you have to belong to something and that comes along with shared or similar beliefs like what others have; the other is fear – fear of being left out of a grouping, fear of being isolated. There must be other factors as well. People have to believe in something in this world, otherwise where does a lack of any kind of belief leave you in this big world?

The unfortunate thing is that belief of any kind also has detrimental effects. For example, similar beliefs lead you to belong to a religion, a caste, or a political party. In its own way, a particular belief pits you against people with dissimilar beliefs. The “other” folks who do not share your belief or ideology become somewhat of an “opposition” camp. When taken to its extremes, such beliefs justify wars, and history is littered with many examples of unnecessary wars and conflicts caused by differences in beliefs and faiths.

I always tell my close friends not to wear their belief(s) on their sleeves. It is important not to get stereotyped in today’s highly polarized world. People around the world who were once welcoming have become highly suspicious of “foreigners” who do not look like them or who carry a different set of beliefs. While many countries profess equal treatment to anyone irrespective of caste, creed, religion, gender or ethnic origin, one should not be surprised about the stares one gets in airports and public places in countries which one does not truly belong to. The reason for such worsening of people-to-people interactions is not difficult to fathom.

Religious beliefs are coming back to the mainstream, and people around the world are increasingly becoming influenced by religious beliefs. This is not surprising as religions have always had an overwhelming influence on mankind, and continue to do so despite changing belief systems and humanistic variations pertaining to violation of religious order an example being that marriage is no longer only the union between a man and woman. But then, people do want to counter their increasing fear of being decimated by some other belief systems fast encroaching on their long-held beliefs. This pushes them to associate themselves with their “own” original religion. May be good or may not be so good, but it is indisputable that people wish to belong somewhere in the face of threats to their existence and their beliefs.

I believe (!) that beliefs cloud one’s mind and do not allow the release of the full potential of the human mind. You get constrained, you get mandated, you follow philosophies and rituals which belong to another age, you get categorized into a grouping, you do not think to the full extent of your brain’s capacity. All beliefs are man-made, and so one is constrained with “previous” human thinking. Where can creativity find its place in such a limited space?

Well, well, I can only say that the wine I am having is working, friends. I can go on forever on this topic. I am trying to rid my mind of old beliefs, and think anew on my life and the world. May be that is the way forward to find total freedom from biases and achieve peace of mind. Why clog the mind with useless beliefs?

It is funny in a way that most of my friends’ groups have people who never mentioned anything about spiritual factors when we were all young, but are now intensely focused on religious matters all the while – I do not disparage such folks. It is not my wont to wean people away from their established and growing beliefs. I would not like to let fear dominate me and insecurity to possess me, and therefore I would not want to get pushed into some beliefs. I am different, and I am sure most of the people I know are different. However, this is a concept that we need to think about and elaborate.

Mind should be free of any and all shackles and then we will be destined to achieve something uniquely creative and avoid all wars which kill people because their belief systems did not correspond with the other folks’ beliefs.

Time to set the mind free and think!

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan

31st July 2016

 

 

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