From a religious standpoint, my way of looking at things is as simple as it gets. I don’t believe in following any one image of “God” personally, but I strongly believe in the concept of freedom of belief. If I do not believe in following religion, I would not in any way impose this ideal on anyone else, in fact some of my closest friends are very staunch in their respective faiths, including Hinduism, Christianity and Islam as well as a Buddhist, though he is not as ‘committed’ as the others. We argue and debates amongst ourselves, but always in good spirits, and through this I believe that we’ve all grown as human beings.
At the end of the day I am not a religious man in the conventional sense, though I have at various points been a fan of the philosophy and teachings of all the major religions, a couple of the minor ones and a few that are not really considered religions but history. What I realised at the end of the day was that I’m not a religious man, but at the same time I’m not an atheist. What I am is a spiritual man.
A very large part of my belief is based on the idea that God (or whatever you want to call it) was here before us and has given us LIFE; and as such owes us nothing, because we have in our power the ability to do what we want, for better or for worse, and the ability to make that very choice. There is nothing more that we can ask for. We can feel such a range of emotions and create such amazing works: The art of Da Vinci, Monet and Van Gogh; the music from traditional styles, to Mozart, Bach and Beethoven, to the Doors, Dylan, Marley and Floyd; the wonders of science like nano-technology and medicinal cures; the leaps and bounds of philosophy and understanding of the human mind and the world at large. We are amazing and luminous beings and for this we should be thankful, not begging for more!
The very world we live in and have adapted to is a wonderland of life’s wonders. Everything from the lakes and rivers to the rolling hills, stark and harsh deserts to the lush and verdant rainforests, snowy hilltops looking like the sparkling jewels that no one being can possess to the fluid depths of the oceans where the seeds of existence first took root and where there is more life than anywhere else we know of. This is our gift from God, and I think it is unfair of us to ask for anything else. Even when we ask for deliverance from evils, it is evils that are the making of men, not gods.
In the end what I am is a HUMANIST. I believe that in each and every human being there is the ability to create wonders and artistic genius and the capacity for love and purity of essence. There is also the ability to be the worst that life has to offer because we have ability create, which is why we ponder the concept of A.I., because that is the ultimate creation – the creation of consciousness and life itself.
But life itself is a double-edged sword. While we have the ability to create wonders, we also have the ability to be the ultimate destroyers. The shark is called nature’s perfect killing machine, but that is not true, that title is for humans and humans alone. There is nothing in this world that we cannot dominate should we desire it.
In a way this is the ultimate riddle of life. How can you know good without clearly knowing evil? How can we know real joy without knowing pain? Satisfaction without hunger? This is the real reason we have history, religion, literature and all the other arts, they teach us about these things without having to actually go through them. After that it is up to us; no one can stop us if we believe something strongly enough, they may break us, but the belief always remains. It is our gift and our curse, and in its own way, our road to perfection – it is the reason that we grow the most out of adversity; immense suffering makes us want to make things better. It is why we become complacent in peace and take everything for granted, because we have nothing to make us want to change it for the better. In fact this is when we make some of our worst mistakes because we “knew not what we did”.
Along with my ‘religious’ beliefs, my ethical beliefs merge in and can be listed very easily:
2. What I get in life, I will earn to the best of my abilities, taking from others makes me less as a person and undeserving of what I have.
3. I will be honourable speak truth at all times, even if it ‘inappropriate’ because to lie would make me less human.
4. I will never begrudge another what he/she has.
5. I will be true to my family, friends and loved ones for as long as I live.
6. Whatever task I undertake, I will perform to the best of my abilities and with integrity, always.
7. I will always be mindful of the world around me, caring that I don not harm it needlessly and be grateful for it.
8. Always be grateful for the life that is in me.
9. Be true to myself and believe in what I am and be proud of it.
10. Live and let live.
11. Lastly, wish always to simply live a good and happy life. Never at the expense of anyone else – ever.
Sure, in some ways, this is a little idealistic and people have told me as much on a number of occasions, but I don’t care. I don’t tell them how to live and will not be told how to do so myself. I believe that life is far simpler in many ways than we make it out to be, and sooner or later people will realise that, I only hope that it is sooner.