I am agnostic! It simply means that if there is God, let him or her be. If God does not exist, so be it. I am not bothered either ways and I’ll go about my day my own way without supernatural dependencies or influences. Now, take your two minutes to give me the perfect scorn that I’ve got used to receiving at the mention of my religions status. When you are contentedly done, come back, we’ll talk more.
I watched the satirical movie ‘Oh my God’ last night and couldn’t take my mind off it. Paresh Rawal with his atheist reasoning and Akshay Kumar with his definition of a true theist assured me that I wasn’t the only weird one in the world. No, I am not going to write a review on what has already been said in the movie. If you want to hear about it, go watch. I am only writing down an epilogue with my own views and experiences because this is MY blog.
A few days ago, a friend asked me in a truth or dare moment, “Honestly, do you believe in God?” and I replied, “I used to”. There was a time when I was very proper and pious, praying to the almighty for the simplest things in life. “Oh God, please let my class teacher be absent today. Oh God, let my dad forgive me for losing my new pen and get me another one”. I used to go on insanely talking to myself and reflexively conclude “Okie, I’ve got to hang up. Take to you later.” You get it? I was that addictively religiously dependent. And then, things happened that led me to the opposite end of the spectrum, hating God, refusing to enter temple of any kind or even attend the festive pooja rituals at home. I used to dodge the religious processions and deliberately rebel anything and everything divine.
That was a phase before I became a fully converted atheist. I realized that hating God was by itself a belief in another form. I mean, you cannot hate something that you don’t believe exists. So, I stopped my hatred and started taking the rationalist’s route, debating on the existence of God. It gave me a sadistic pleasure to win such arguments just like how Paresh Rawal as Kanji would have felt when he did in the movie. Instead of going to scriptures, my interest was drawn towards books on abnormal psychology, trying to fathom the mysteries. I would have probably been the only student to have borrowed the only psychology book available in my engineering college library.
Psychology has answers to a lot riddles that we think has no solution. Today we know that whoever believes that he or she is possessed by God or demon is actually displaying his or her alter ego. Likewise, something that we believe is a miracle of God is nothing but answers coming from the subconscious mind, basically from one’s own inner self. Courtesy: ‘The Power of Your Subconscious Mind’ by Dr. Joseph Murphy. God or not, our deepest desires when worked upon with diligent effort will definitely materialize.
With a little more reading, little more time and a little more maturity, I kind of understood that atheism at extreme would become as much a religion as any other. One fights for Krishna, one fights for Jesus, one for Allah and one for No God. Not so different isn’t it? That’s when I decided to stop fighting it, to blend with the greys between the black and white, to take a middle path, to become an agnostic. Looking above to the super power did make me less efficient by myself. Answered prayers hyped my expectations and unanswered ones caused blame and disappointments. This neutral path that says “No one but me is responsible for my decisions and actions” has pulled away the leaning stick, driven me to take bold decisions and face the full consequences, good or bad, without pointing fingers.
A couple of months ago, I went on a trip to Tirupathi. Trip, not pilgrimage! My religious neighbors were happy that I was finally coming around. My mom said it should have been God’s call that I visit him and made me want to do it. My husband was just plain amused. When I asked myself why I wanted to do it, the answer was pretty straight forward. As a child, when my mind was innocent to accept everything that was taught in school, including moral ideologies, I believed going to Tirupathi would give me an answer and it did because I BELIEVED so. After so many years, in spite of rationalization, I go to Tirupathi seeking for an answer. This time around, I know that the answer would come not from God, but from my subconscious that continues to remain influenced by childhood belief of going to Tirupathi giving me answers. Answers that could come today, tomorrow, next year or next decade. Either I should re-work on my subconscious or just make the trip. The latter is easier. To go to Tirupathi without prayers or offerings but simply because I want to and I don’t need a reason to want to. Twisted explanation but that works for me.
This is where an agnostic enjoys full freedom. He doesn’t have to support or defend his religious stand. He can just be himself and do what he feels is right, without harming anyone, raising questions from his conscious and deriving answers from the subconscious and just be responsible for it without fear or favor. No need to glorify God, no need to prove God’s non-existence, to follow rituals that makes him happy, you know, like making and eating sweets for Diwali, to give up those that doesn’t make a lot of sense, okie, I don’t want to quote examples from this endless list and to frame a customized personalized regime that helps him go about his day to day life in the best possible way. I must say I like this stand.
Agnostics are not anti-God people. We just don’t need him.