The beginning of the journey to the core .. (Part 1)
Getting some spare time is a rear thing or was a rare thing , until the COVID crisis struck the world. Then again, even if there is spare time, multiple unimportant things like past regrets, what-if scenarios, other person’s behavior analysis, etc occupy the mind completely. In summary, rare is the free time and even rare is the occasion when it is used for something very fundamental or useful.
On one such occasion, when I was in Australia, for me, such a rare occasion came, as I was sitting on the Dee Why beach, few meters away from my home in Sydney. And my mind caught up in some very basic questions like – who am I, what is this world, what life really is all about. This time, it was a real inquiry that occupied my mind and stayed there for a long time.
Some of these questions are rather obvious to every thinking human, but not-so-obvious until your encounter with them. The obvious place to search for an answer was to enquire into the religion. But then, which religion? Just because I am born in a Hindu family, should I start an inquiry into Hindu scriptures? The answer was a resounding no-no by the rational thinking part of my mind. So I decided to briefly study and understand various faiths. Everywhere I went, I found the same not-so-convincing logic that there is a god, there is his messenger and the god expects the rules to be followed which are conveyed by the messenger. No logic, the only logic is “ because the messenger says so”.
This was not what I was looking for…!! Suppose I am born on an inhabited island and do not know my religion. Still, I will have the same original questions – who I am, why I am here, and is there any meaning to life other than what is done daily. And then where should I turn to, to find such type of answers or theory which is ‘god’ or ‘messenger’ independent. Otherwise, the risks are too high. Suppose I follow the wrong god.. suppose I do not follow any god.. ? How do I know?
So I was looking for something where I can count on my experience and not just on what someone else says and follow it without questioning it. And to be honest, the religion in which I was born, that is Hindu religion appeared to me equally uninteresting and confusing .. many types of gods, many rituals which I could not rationalize.
This struggle kept on occupying my mind for a long .. it started bothering me a lot since no satisfactory solution was in sight. It almost drove me to appoint that I turned atheist.
And then, suddenly when I was about to give up, I came across a book, there were about 34 pages and it was in English, it was a book of definitions. It defined very clearly all the terms that I had been using rather randomly and without being fully aware of in my daily life sometimes.
Suddenly I remembered the first chapter in my first Physics book. It was about “Standard and measurements and definitions “. I remembered that I had put my faith in this first chapter without asking questions like “why a ‘meter’ is defined as the length of a rod kept in some museum in some city in Europe “ and “ why time is measured in seconds and not in something else”.
I decided to put my faith in this book of definitions and started reading it. Still, I was at the level of ‘ I understand what you say’ though I am not yet sure if I agree or understand it fully. One thing I noticed though was the fact that each and every term was very precisely defined and I could not find any obvious contradiction or fault there. So I decided to keep the faith and remained on the track as I finished the book.
I had hardly imagined that it was indeed the beginning of the journey to the core of one’s self …. But now after 18 years, I can surely say that at least I am on the right track and still very near the starting point with many more miles to go .. many lives to go…