A LETTER ABOUT GOD AND EXISTENCE
By Ketayun Bana
Isn’t it strange that a while back I had to redefine my own faith in God…not because of any external circumstance but because of an internal, subjective ‘something’ I can’t put my finger on. What is amazing is that I received this email from you. Perhaps it’s a cosmic conspiracy to make me write down what I spent so many years thinking about! The difficulty is in articulating what I feel.
Firstly, like most of us, I grew up believing in a Christian God. He was an old man whose temperament swung between wrathful and loving, jealous and just, unrelenting and forgiving. He was the all powerful creator who could destroy everything and anything on a whim.
Secondly, I believed that the universe was caught in the eternal struggle between good and evil. I imagined that there were absolutes such as positive and negative, right and wrong.
Thirdly, I believed that the human soul separates from the body at death and rejoins the karmic cycle from where it came, going through a never ending cycle of births and rebirths to finally reach moksh.
These beliefs had served their time and there was a spiritual push within me to go past a ‘threshold’beyond which these beliefs didn’t make sense any more.
The Christian God had all the qualities which were, in fact, mirror reflections of myself and what I understood. But the sheer magnificence and power of what we can experience through nature alone shows a shortfall in our comprehension.
Perhaps there is no difference and no division in the universe? What if, like different parts of our bodies have the sole purpose of keeping us alive, everything is a part of God? No less and no more…
If this concept of God is even marginally true then how can God not exist in everything? Good and evil? White and black? Falsehood and truth? Every conceivable thing?
It is very necessary in the human context to have set laws and rules that ensure that the fundamental urge for life is protected. That is the basic desire and impulse in every living thing from an ant to an elephant…the urge to live. Have we glorified the rules with which we must play to survive? Is evil unacceptable because it infringes on this basic urge and, for the same reason, is good applauded? What if God exists in all that is good and all that is evil? Is that why good things happen to bad people? And why bad things happen to good people? Is, in fact, evil as important and necessary as good? Because it is only when we comprehend what is evil that we can avoid it for self survival?
Our brains are simplistic in that we can understand only what we perceive. And what we can perceive is a narrow three dimensional world and linear time in which everything falls into place in the context of our senses. Our senses allow us to choose what promotes our physical survival and well being.
If we were to see and perceive things without subjectivity what would we consider to be good and evil? Would the difference between the two blur and fade? And if good and bad are the same thing with different names and in different contexts…why is there karma? And what exactly is karma? Is it the universe balancing itself off? If karma is the consequence of every action then existence itself would create karma…
When I remove the distinction between myself and everything else I get the only answer that makes any sense.
What if I am the same as everything that ever was and that ever will be? What if the only thing that differentiates me from everything else is my body? Will not the law of karma already apply to me?
When I see a sun set or the mountains or whatever, I have that nano second before I make a judgement about how beautiful or breath-taking it is. It is in that nano second when everything is still that I experience a sense of oneness with what I am experiencing. Before the judgments come…it’s beautiful, or it’s golden, or it takes my breathe away…it is in that fraction of a moment when I experience neither joy nor sorrow that there is a stillness which brings infinite peace. Perhaps it is in the stillness of out heart that we attain moksh?
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