Religion is Dead, Long Live Religion

Religion as a system of living is dead.

What remains is only ritual, some archaic pictorial descriptions and a strained existence with a society that wants answers now.

Promises of nubile maidens, an unstrained existence, of honey and wine amidst Mediterranean climes, harps and precious little actual work to do don’t hold water anymore.

Instead of religion being the equalizer and opener of minds and doors, now it is money that plays religion’s role.

Money is the disinfectant for all notional ideas, the grand flattener of various mental terrains. Religion, social structures, moral values, caste & creed and every damned ism vanishes with money.

Religion is nothing but a few spiritual best practices that helped the individual connect with their higher goal . A set of best practices that have worked for a few and been codified into systems.

Let us not get into what the goal itself is. Each race and time seems to have its own definition of it.

The point to note is who checks if these steps work now. Whether the ism and systems hold validity, who would stand up and question its efficacy?

Does the crossing of the fingers to symbolize a cross work? Does the gesture of bowing the head to a temple passing by gain the attention of the god? Or the call to the faithful, does it rouse the spirit? Do these gestures done over a life time, accumulate in some way, and open a path to the rare heights?

The religion and the ritual has lost its efficacy. We need to step back and re-invent the methods and means of our aspirations.

Whether it is in the bunch of universal values we adopt. Or in the rigorous monitoring of our motives. Or even the curtailing of our appetites. The time has come to better understand the residual effect of our thoughts and actions, or as some would say to be aware of the Karmic impact of our actions.

In a sense we have to return to first principles, to begin anew. To discover the forms that are relevant to the current age and time.

And in doing so build the next version of religion. A personal religion. Intensely private. Of infinite variations.

What would such a religion look like? It would allow me to be born with the Vedic chant, sit at the foot of the Cross-bearer and learn of fortitude, cavort with the Dark-Hued one besides the banks of Yamuna, bow in utter obeisance to the fierce protection of the All-Mighty Mother, smile a little at the humor of a Rishi and allow me to join my brothers at their fasting.

I shall not be confined to a single strain of joy. Delight in its infinite variations shall come unto me.

I shall not be circumscribed by a single taxonomy. All methods shall be mine but none shall call me their own.

Within me Zeus and Indra shall discuss the finer aspects of their bolts. Adam and Manu shall wonder together what it means to be the first beings to aspire. The triune of the Bible and the triune of the Veda and Purana shall discover their shared identity.

With the middle man and the chatter of a mindless crowd gone, my paltry breast shall be big enough to hold the universe of truths.

The individual ‘I’ shall discover its oneness with all that is. And the many shall cease to baffle me.

This I shall learn to be the true religion.

Long live religion!

To Name an Idea

to name an idea, essence, cognition, word, bartimaeus
Creative Commons License photo credit: broxtronix

A quote from Thomas L Friedman about naming an idea.

In the world of ideas, to name something is to own it. If you can name an issue, you can own the issue.

In the Bartimaeus Trilogy, the Djinn called Bartimaeus gains power over a magician, and his master, called Nathaniel when he learns of his true name. The true name had enough power that it could control the owner of the name! The novel itself is brilliant, the sarcastic wit of Bartimaeus has to be savoured. I shall write a detailed review later but suffice to say more than handful of wonderful possibilities occur in the novel. 

On another note, forget what it means to an idea, with that we come very very close to the mystic sense of what a name aught to be!

A name is said to stand in for the actual thing it represents in the world of thought.

To understand what I mean by that, let us do a simple exercise. i)Think of nothing, imagine a white sheet, blank space whatever..but nothing and next ii) Think of a white elephant.

Now if you had played along with me, from nothing we could concoct a picture of a elephant in your mind, with just the suggestion of a word.

If we were to talk this up, we could say a word could create stuff in your mind, or the word could materialize things. Perhaps not in the tangible world of flesh and form, but still could create in the mind.

Perhaps this process we followed in my little game applied with some alchemy, could lead to the actual creation of things? Say you utter a word and the thing manifests in flesh and form! I shall pursue this line of thought in another post 🙂

Names were originally the phonetic equivalents of the essence of thing or action or idea.

Follow for instance the evolution of early Sanskrit in an essay by Sri Aurobindo, called Origins of Aryan Speech. In it you would see that root words were inextricably woven close to the actual sense of the act, not the act itself or the thing itself but some untraceable essence of the thought or thing.

Guess that is enough rambling for now! What do you think? What connections could you make?

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Many Selves – The Inaugural Post

Taken by Flickr User: happyhorizons

Image via Wikipedia

Hello,

I am a blogger based out of Bangalore, India.

My old blog was getting a little too cluttered- with Sri Aurobindo, Terrorists and Singularity jostling for space on a single browser window.

Hence I decided to have start this new blog, dedicated to topics that make up our sense of self, our aspirations and our highest goals.

Why the name “The Many Selves” ? –  I have noticed that what we are in our normal moments is only an aggregation of the many facets of us hidden inside. We are either the result of one predominating tendency, or a handful of them coming together to deliver a summed up experience.

Just as our emotional selves has its ups and downs, like us feeling peppy or depressed at different points of time, the notion of what we are also changes over a period of time. Or even many times within the same day.

I believe we become what we are.

But there is no single clear route by which we have arrived here. And our destinations too will not be reached in a known manner.

Regardless, the way to proceed forward in any endeavor is to confront, harness and utilize these individual selves.

The new blog will be a place where I share my thoughts and insights pertaining to this goal of harmonizing and letting the aggregate self move forward.

And in sharing these thoughts I hope you would take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in your inner challenges. 

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