Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Demystification Trilogy 2: Demystifying God

In my undying quest for knowledge
and the unceasing trials of journey within,
in every prayer of mine, I beseech Him to
reveal Himself via any channel under Him

He is a master of masquerade;
never reveals more than what he wants.
Approach him with the humility of the surrendered
and the simplicity of a child
and he would unfold to you
in ways unexpected and mild

Through my perennial introspection,
through my friends’ communication,
through my silent meditation,
through the books and my comprehension
and through seer’s sermonization,
He revealed himself in proportion
commensurate with my ability of absorption
and my hunger for devotion

Then one day He commanded
me to be, for others, a mode.
For them to comprehend Him better,
He wanted me to write “Demystifying God.”

“I don’t believe in God. Why should I when I’ve never seen him, heard him, felt him, tasted him or spoken to him? I do what I’ve to do. I don’t think anybody controls me. There is no living proof of God.”

In the course of my life, I’ve heard such statements many times. I always found it difficult to counter them with the only weapon I had: faith. Something told me there was more to it than the argument could prove. And I delved deep into the search for an answer until such time when I could, if not satisfactorily counter those assertions, atleast cast a hole of doubt in the wall of disbelief and systematically prove the inadequacy of the claim.

Let us examine every reason that people give for not believing in the existence of an entity I choose to call God or a force that seems to control our very existence.

I can’t see God so God doesn’t exist: Our ability to see depends on a lot of factors. We see objects only when our eyes can process the rays emitted by the object in front of us. Science has proven that human eyes can process rays only within a certain range. If the same object that we see today would tomorrow start emitting X-rays or UV rays instead of the visible light rays then the same human eye would fail to see that object. Would we be right then in saying that the object doesn’t exist just because we can’t see it? A person suffering from jaundice sees the world as yellowish. But does it mean that the world has actually turned yellow? One disease can colour our impressions of the surroundings. Doesn't that point to the fact that eyes see what is relative and not the absolute truth? Our eyes function under certain conditions. When we fail to see things, we need to respect a possibility that those conditions were never met.

I can’t hear God so God doesn’t exist: If the only sound that existed in the universe was the one that humans could hear then the bats would never have survived. Science has proven that bats can hear sounds which are way below the hearing range of humans. Assume a scenario where you’re sitting in a quiet room. Suddenly you just tune in your radio and hear a song. Is it that the sound ways started coming only when you tuned in the radio? Infact, the sound waves were always there. Radio was the tool you needed to convert them to audible waves. So would it be fair to say that just because you couldn’t hear those sounds (captured effectively by the radio) those sounds don’t exist?

I’ve never felt God so God doesn’t exist: Our sense of touch also works for a certain level of grossness. As the matter starts getting subtler and subtler, our ability to feel it goes on reducing. We can always feel a solid more than a liquid, a liquid more than air and air more than vacuum. In fact, our ability to feel the air around us also depends on the relative motion of one with respect to other. As long as both air and human are stationary with respect to each other, the latter can’t feel the air. Would it be right in that case to say that air doesn’t exist because I can’t feel it?

And similarly, other such ‘senses’ based arguments can be countered. The bottomline of this argument is to say that ‘just because you can’t experience doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.’

Now consider a hypothetical two-dimensional world where two-dimensional people can comprehend only height and width but not depth. In other words, they can understand squares and rectangles but not cubes or cuboids respectively which are depth based extensions in third dimension of those two dimensional shapes. A person living in three dimension can very easily comprehend a cuboid and cube but not a two-dimensional bloke. What is a cylinder to a three dimensional person is either a circle or a rectangle to a person living in two dimensions. Our three dimensional mind is also living under this self imposed limitation. Until our mind evolves enough to comprehend the fourth dimension and starts living in it, we won’t be able to understand the omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience of this all-pervading entity called God.

Take our hand for instance. We all know that our brain controls our hand. It moves, grabs, slaps, holds and caresses as our mind commands. Assume for a moment that our hand gets the sense of hearing and an ability to speak as well. What would our hand say if we were to ask our hand, ‘Does brain exist?’ I’m sure our hand would reply in the negative for it doesn’t have a brain to comprehend a brain. Brain is way beyond a hand for our hand to comprehend the former. Consider this then. Beyond senses are the sense organs, beyond sense organs is our brain, beyond brain is intellect, beyond intellect is intuition, beyond intuition is maya (the delusion) and beyond maya is God; how could we then expect to understand God with the limitation of the tool called brain? What people don’t realize is that the very tool they use to judge, comprehend or prove the inexistence of God is by itself inadequate.

So what is God then? God is the omnipresent pure consciousness. To explain consciousness, let us understand what we mean when we use the word ‘I’. When a person uses ‘I’, he means the collection of physical, liquid and gaseous matter that is enclosed within his body’s periphery. Why is that so? That is because when someone touches his body he realizes that someone has touched him but when that someone touches a table lying beside this subject, he doesn’t feel the touch. Why not? That is because his consciousness is limited by his physical periphery defined by his body.

The universal consciousness that God is can hence know and feel everything that happens within his endless realm even as we feel every sensation within our body consciousness. Whether you like it or not, that supreme consciousness is what we all are destined to dissolve into. We don’t have a choice there, no matter how independent or self-made we think we are. As the creator of the Matrix in the movie “The Matrix Reloaded” says to Neo, “You don't have a choice, for you've already made your choice.”