I was interested in the origins of everything; thus, after Buddhism, my path crossed with the Hindus.
Arguably the oldest religion that would survive and thrive to this day,
Many people would burst at me for saying this, but Hinduism is the origin of Buddhism, Hindu yogis, and Zen teachers were the ones to guide Siddhartha to enlightenment.
Not surprisingly, however, while reading the Hindu accounts of life, I found many things that relate to the rest of the religions.
At that time, I was sure that religions are very relatable, and they share many aspects, including goals, which lead me to stop halfway through Hinduism from proceeding to it’s study.
I thought that Investing too much time studying religions is a waste. Therefore I progressed into reading merely surfaces of other faiths and was intrigued by many of their ideas. Still, the sensation that I used to bare in my mind before (that I’d have to experience them all and study all religions unbiasedly) was long gone.
Religions are many because of the vast array of cultures, and merely studying theology by reading it’s material and practicing its sects proved to be unpractical for me. I had to interact with the culture because, in the end, religion is the way that leads to such cultures; it sets the rules of living.
Another challenge I faced while studying north Asian religions was the language.
You can find almost anything about any religion that you seek, but learning the faith in its core language is vital because of translations’ often bare inaccuracy.
Thus I left to seek out the “opposing view” of the atheists.
I knew that some people didn’t adorn a specific religion, and some didn’t even believe in God or a supernatural force of any kind; I wanted to know why? What drives such living!
Most of them would shrug or smirk when confronted; some would say it’s absurd, some don’t because they can’t see it with their bare eyes but just like the “religious ignorants” that followed the rules of their environment without questioning briefly, by following the trends were those atheists that I’ve encountered.
I could find an opposing view easily almost anywhere towards religion, but none were compelling until I met Summer.
Sid: “who’s that?”
“Summer was my main guide, I would say in that period; she would simply ignore you when you ask her anything and tries to avoid people.”
“What do you think about god, could he be real?” I asked her
“Nah, God is bullshit,” she said plainly.
“well, that’s just disrespectful!”
“why? why am I disrespecting them by saying something that I believe in, and they’re not by doing the same thing?”
“because they believe in that god and you don’t, they believe that this thing is holy, they give it respect more than the respect they give to anyone, and you are saying that it is like spitting on them all.”
“well, I don’t care, They’re stupid; they don’t respect my views, so why should I?”
The argument was heated, but then I realized that this is not how I am going to get anything useful out of her, I knew Summer, I knew she would storm off whenever she encounters an opposing view that she believes is so stupid that it’s not worth fighting for,
So I went with it, and boy was that the right decision.
She taught me so much, not by talking but by merely referencing reliable sources and guiding me to find excellent outlines of the scientific view.
It was at this time I was truly enlightened and amazed at how everything came to be out of nothing, the idea of trillions of worlds and organisms coming into existence out of reactions between small particles that collided at the right time and place.
It was fascinating and proved to be more of a compelling argument.
Interestingly, atheists are mostly believers in science; although most scientists are religious, elite ones aren’t, and the community of the
non-believers posed many engaging questions for the opposite view.
One of the things that caught my eyes in science was how it barley has anything proven, it’s mostly theories, and that is because it’s falsifiable, which means that it can be tested.
In the end, if it’s wrong then we move to another method, the scientific tests have to be as accurate as possible with a clear guideline to the question that the trial should answer, they work on proving the truth and not the belief. It’s subjectively bendable in contrast to our ancestor’s beliefs.
I’m not going to get into any specifics now but what also intrigued me was
how deceitful the world could be if you don’t look around once in a while.
Take the internet, for instance. The internet has evolved to be our source of knowledge, and yet that knowledge could be all wrong if you choose to read unreliable websites and articles. I read a book at that time, a book by famous neuroscientists about the subject of deception and how we can’t trust almost anything that we encounter as to be accurate, because many things prove to be unreal or just made up in our mind and that’s when I was lost, lost in meaning. I didn’t know if anything was real at that point, and I started fact-checking everything around me because truth, in the end, is the only thing that holds some of us into waking up in the morning. I wanted to know the truth behind everything and prove to everyone what is and isn’t right, only to find out that that is just energy going into waste.
In the end, what if I found out the truth, preached about it, what if we found some source of knowledge, for example, that explains our world that explains our simulation, what then?
Is this going to make a difference?
we are affectionate creatures that got built-in emotions to help us survive, we couldn’t thrive without our emotions, we need them, they give us the sense of fear, happiness, rage, love, and most importantly belonging
what I’ve learned during y time with summer was the fact that we like to be included in groups and labels, because the group is most often the strongest, in a group, you can get a lot done, and most importantly find a side to stick with, but that’s when it gets ugly.
we learn this in basic social psychology,
whenever you are in a group/ group’s mindset or whatever you want to call it; you start building a bias to your view because of the spotlight effect (that you are in the center, everyone is observing you, and in the end, you’re the one that holds the right mindset ) so you favor your group for having the same ideas as you do and as a result, start hating on others.
Which explains why, for example, atheists think believers are stupid and ignorant, and believers think atheists are cynical and irresponsible.
We don’t look at ourselves from an unbiased, critical perspective (mostly), and that is what’s wrong.
The study of evolution and origins proved to be as exhilarating as any view, endless, but in the end, logical with a label (Athiest) backing it up.
But I couldn’t bear that label under my identity.
Baring a label showed to be an impossible task for me, I have researched most of the world’s religions, came to my conclusions and was amazed by the logical view of science and held it as a fact that it was the right side.
But in the end, it wasn’t enough, despite the logical explanation of morality, being, feeling, and all aspects of life.
There’s still a possibility that the religious side might be correct, and you can’t argue that wrong (because the supernatural is unfalsifiable), and I couldn’t.
I was in a dilemma, what am I?
I concluded that baring a label is useless; it’s just another way to belong to a group, because when you want to get into a group, you’d have to take all of it’s characteristic to yourself all the stereotypes and hatred towards opponents, unconsciously, of course into your identity.