I realise gentle Reader that I have ventured on the unsteady terrain of social conflict, however, as these are confessions of my fearful heart, I feel little shame in sharing them.
Before I proceed though, I must reiterate the belief I currently possess, ‘I am just like anyone else, my journey through time is similar to many. I admit I know little, hence, for as long as I live, I will attempt to know more.’
If you are still with me, let’s begin. When I was going through a rollercoaster which many call ‘adolescence’, I was inclined to shirk immediate concerns for the sake of distant disasters. I was lapping up conspiracy theories like a cat does milk.
I worried endlessly about a doomsday. I didn’t really pursue the theory scientifically but allowed it to sink in my bones so much so that I seemed to have known a truth that most are oblivious to.
Oh, stupid arrogance! Oh, arrogant stupidity!
I was checked by many but there were too few to whom I paid heed. I was obstinate in my view because I wasn’t very happy then; the idea of the world coming to an end stimulated me.
One day a friend of mine asked me to elaborate my theory and I obliged. I explained how the world is defined in time through ancient calendars and they all seem to say that our time is up, through premonitions of the future which apply accurately today.
He asked me for details and I knew where this was going; so to save face, I admitted that I had learned none. He compassionately said, “Then do”.
So I did; and as you can imagine, I laughed at my folly. What I had construed from what I knew was utterly in contrast with what it actually meant. I saw the meaning of the text in objectivity because I had no opinion on the subject, the subject was so entirely new.
Like in Lego, 10 bricks of the set if joined together can make a variety of structures and so can 5 of them. So now when I had considerably more bricks, I was seeing different meanings and that’s when I understood our curiosity.
Curiosity, as defined in the dictionary, ‘is a strong desire to know or learn something’. If we believe that we already know, then could we still have this trait? Could we ever be curious if we truly believed that we know everything there is to know about something in particular much less everything in general?
With this understanding, I now invested myself in the process of learning; most times it was practical information I sought, but there were times when I desired for more. I began in small doses, like verifying the information I read in the newspaper and then progressed to the pursuit of the entire picture.
And here I arrived at the rather touchy subject of religion. I sought to understand as many concepts of the scriptures as I could and attempted to interpret them through all the perspectives available.
I must confess that I, for the moment, view books as a source of someone’s interpretation of knowledge. I refrain as much as possible from leading my life based on my senses and keep my opinions subject to change.
So to me, (like in every book, I have read) parts of the scriptures were convincing as well as applicable but there were also parts which though convincing were inapplicable to the world we currently inhabit.
The subject of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in books, through my point of view, was exactly what was open to interpretation. So of course, I was classified as ‘Atheist’ by people who can’t resist a distinction. My peers then questioned me on science and I was certain that theists and scientists weren’t terribly friendly. But I really was neither.
One of the questions that stood out among many is, “So if there is no creationism as proven by science, where did we all come from?” I was stumped. I hadn’t read anything on this one.
So now I pursued science with as much passion as I could muster and realised that science has never aimed to find out where we all come from. It only seeks to explain what needs definition, even so, it clearly states that this definition is reliable until new data appears.
Therefore, it is impractical to think of science as the ultimate truth. Science is explained as ‘the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.’
Religion, on the other hand, is defined as ‘the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power’ or ‘a particular system of faith and worship’ or ‘a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.’
This makes clear that science is only a study of what we discover through our own senses or through technology and religion is a belief that allows for individual interpretation of the universe within and beyond us through scriptures.
At this point, I stumbled upon spirituality, which is prescribed by both, science as well as religion. An interesting diversion I have to say. The definition of spirituality goes something like this, ‘the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things’.
I had for a long while believed that I understood these terms clearly; little did I know that these are more than just terms, they are concepts built over centuries. Hours were invested in making what we recognise today as mere words. Thousands of minds pondered over millions of questions to be able to give us answers we now take for granted.
Would they be satisfied with what we make of their teachings? I have a feeling that they may say, “Guys, you really misunderstood!”