Please God, please be there

Posted: September 21, 2010 in abstract, life, Quotes, religion
Tags: , , ,

For the most part of my life, I had believed in some form of God. It ranged from a close, personal God that I almost talked to, to an abstract entity that was probably just realization and understanding of the Universe. As I grew up, and started examining God under the lens of rational sense, there were more questions than answers. At the same time, I also started understanding the scientific view of the world better, and went through the history of many breakthroughs that form the foundation of our current understanding of the universe. God, even at the very high philosophical level doesn’t seem to fit into the scientific framework that informs us of the workings of the universe, and forms the very base of our modern life. The conflicts of God theory with modern science were obvious. As I went through the quest to understand life better, I slowly started leaning towards the scientific view, and started letting go of God. A couple of years ago that process reached its culmination and I have more or less abandoned God completely.

One of the many good uses of God is, this enormous positive energy that you can freely draw from. No matter how bad the situation seems to be, you can be eternally optimistic and never lose hope. When there is an omnipotent entity that is taking care of you, there is no reason for you to worry about anything. You just go about doing the right thing, and you will be fine. The obvious downside of not believing in God is that you have to generate your positive energy internally, and keep marching forward against all odds without any help whatsoever from some form of destiny or whatever that is; basically you are on your own, and no matter how well you do what you are supposed to do, no matter how impeccable your planning is, no matter how scrupulous you had been, no matter how hard you worked, no matter how well you deserved it, there is no guarantee that you will get anything that you aspire for. As Robert Burns put it,  “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”, and there is nothing that you can do about it except keep fighting with an unwavering determination.

I was well aware of what I was getting into when I had let go of God. I had a few really serious setbacks, and went through some very tough times in the past few years. But I managed to cruise along without ever losing hope or turning to God for help. Recently, I went through some really hard times when suddenly everything seemed to go wrong.  It was like all the hell broke loose at the same time, at a time when I was least expecting it, and I was almost reduced to a passive entity without any means to fight back. In the midst of all that I fell ill, and what started off as a harmless fever lasted for more than a week. The sickness, and the antibiotics that I had to take made me very weak. The antibiotics killed off all the good bacteria in my body, and I got a fungal infection in my mouth. I couldn’t eat anything at all, and of course that made me even weaker. I was staying in bed under multiple blankets, with my sweater on, but I was still shivering. I could not remember the last time I was this sick. Blood tests seemed to give conflicting results. There were several unexplained symptoms that could potentially point to very scary and serious health issues. My only  reasonable hope to get out of the situation seemed to be something positive happening on its own. And why exactly would something positive happen on its own, when things that certainly had no chance of going wrong were utterly going wrong though I had taken care of every contingency humanely possible? I was exhausted both physically and mentally , and drained out of energy. I almost broke down. That’s when it occurred to me how much more easier it would have been if there were a God that I could turn to, and transfer my burden over. Even if there was no answering service, even if God is not really going to do anything for me, just the fact that i have faith in a powerful entity that would take care of me, would have been an enormous morale booster, and lifted heavy burden off me. But then I can’t just fake faith into some entity that I have no reason to believe in; can I?

I knew I had to pull myself together, and draw on my own willpower to keep moving forward. Even if I utterly failed at everything that I was doing, even if my worst fears came true and I were to be diagnosed with some monstrous disease, there was no reason to lose hope, it was not the end of life. Well, even if it meant the end of me, there was no point getting depressed about it. I had to keep living in the moment, enjoying every little thing that life offers, remaining as happy as ever. After a week, fever seemed to come under control. After another week, I could manage to take little food, and slowly started recovering. All the diagnostic reports came out, and there seemed to be no reason for panic. After around a month, I’m almost back to my normal health except for an alien bitter, salty taste on my tongue due to the infection. I got back to doing my things, and started working to make the best of the challenges staring at me.

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Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    Funny I read this now when I have been thinking similar stuff myself… not related to faith in God in any way, but more to do with the nature of people and the way they react to things and how they become that way. May be you can check my post when I publish it. 🙂

    Regarding what you say, I think what makes life’s difficult moments tougher is our own pessimism, not so much the non-belief in God/supereme-power. Although they may be co-related like you say. All I am saying is if you were an optimistic Atheist that might work too. And regd your question – why will something good just happen by chance? Recently I had a coffee-table discussion with friends on this topic and we concluded that it is the law of probability. If bad things happen one after the other, the chances of a good thing happening increases. 🙂

    BTW, sorry to hear about your troubles. I did not realize it was that bad. All is well that ends well, I suppose. Good to see you back to normal.

  2. Nobody says:

    I agree; God or no God, our own optimism/pessimism determines how we deal with a tough situation. The point I was trying to make in this post was that belief in God seems to be an easy way to generate optimism. It’s kinda like the placebo effect.

    If bad things happen one after the other, the chances of a good thing happening increases.”
    This conclusion seems to presuppose an equal likelihood of bad and good events happening, and that they are probabilistically independent. I’m not sure if it’s true. Also, if we accept this premise, then we would have to think that there is something bad about to happen when a lot of good things are happening 😦

  3. Anonymous says:

    I did get your point; just wanted to add that during trouble some people turn to God to complain ‘why me’ instead of a ‘help me’. So, may be it is not that simple/direct a relation?

    And ah, what a pessimistic view of probability! 😉 Given we both know no special property of bad/good events to say anything specific, I would say why not assume equal probability? If we’re talking of things beyond our control, if bad things can happen for no reason, good things may happen for no reason too. And then there’s the rest of the time – the time when nothing good/bad happens. Ideal time to verify if one is pessimist/optimist. 🙂

  4. Nobody says:

    I agree; even with God, people can bring in their own negativity and turn it into a pessimistic view. However most of the faiths have one way or the other to deal with these ‘why me’ situations.

    “And ah, what a pessimistic view of probability! “
    Well, that’s me! 😀
    Actually, someone I know mentioned sometime back that his wife was worried something bad may soon happen in their lives, because it had been a long time since something went wrong. I was reminded of this when you presented the complementary version of this view.

    I had thought quite a bit about the possibility of random events leading to good things in the context of societies, especially that of India. There is an item lying around in my drafts. Hopefully I would get around to finishing it one of these days. You are not going to like my conclusions though.

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