During the break at home, one of the books I read was ‘Outcast’ by Winwood Reade. What I understood of the philosophy of ‘God’ of one of the characters described in the book was something I found interesting.
Now I must put a disclaimer before I go ahead that I do not know anything of the existing literature of philosophy on this or any other matter that has troubled human mind since eternity. Nor do I see myself getting interested in Philosophy in forseeable future for reasons which I will avoid stating here. So, if any of my philosophy oriented readers find the idea hardly novel, they may please excuse me. At the same time, if such readers want to get into a discussion, I do not guarantee my participation. I know there are open questions, but they do not interest me enough. I will be a silent spectator, though I have no objections if a discussion follows here. So long as it is within limits of civility and you know, other etiquittes. Finally it does not exclude the possibility of my getting into a discussion either. It depends on my mood, the line of discussion (if there is one at all), and whether or not BMP decides to dig the road in front of my office/home (unpredictable as weather!).
Okay, the disclaimer might have gone longer than the actual point I was making. The idea there was that this world is a drama (hardly novel :D); not in a metaphorical sense, but in a real one. There is a species, which has its civilization and society and everything else, like we humans have. They have their art-forms too. One of the art-forms is the drama. So, one day one of the drama-writers has decided to make the earth as his stage and story of the earth’s and earthly creatures’ evolution (as we know it) as the plot of the drama. The difference between their drama and ours is that they have the ability to put in lives in their characters. So, while the drama goes on all the pain or happiness or the suffering is real. Though everything vanishes once the drama is over. So, this writer decides to stage this drama and the theme of his drama is evolution of goodness, respect for life and other humane quality from utter bruteness and callousness of the nature of creatures. Whether this evolution was a good story or not, but that drama-writer or the creator had complete control over the characters. In fact, in the review by a magazine (yeah – they had those too), this drama was highly criticized for several reasons including the pains it had given to its characters. The author was blamed for not utilizing the power of putting in life in his characters in a proper and responsible manner.
Now, you get the idea? What does this translate into from humans’ point of view. There is a power above us, which is almighty. Almighty, not in the absolute sense, but in the sense that it has complete powers over us, humans. There are powers above this one too. Further there is no guarantee that this almighty is fair, perfect, all kindness. He/She has just knitted a story; and a story can be tragic, can be painful, can be unfair and what not. It is very likely that this creator suffers from ego problems, some kind of frustration or complex and by exercising his power over his characters, he is trying to get rid of those feelings.
Looking at the state of the world, the history and things around us, to me this sounds like an interesting idea. I have alway found it difficult to accept that there is no power above us. If things are running despite our not knowing them (we are discovering nature’s laws only with time, that too with no certainty that they will not prove to be wrong in due course of time), there has to be something/someone who put them in place and is making sure that they are observed. Again some people have questioned as to why must there be a cause. I do not have an answer, but this counter question does not satisfy me. So, there is a power that is above us is a feeling I can not get rid of. Now, whether that power is indeed what religions would want us to believe – nice, kind, fair, endowed with all goodness and perfection – is something questionable. We see enough of injustice around us, don’t we? And while there are theories explaining all that, they all seem forced justifications. So, God might not be perfect after all.
Of course, even this would leave several open questions, would lead to several other interpretations. On the lighter side, may be all these karmakanda intended to appease the God are not so ridiculous :). He need not be a rational being after all. Might be vulnerable to appeasements!! On a more serious side, there seems to be hierarchy of authorities and drama. Where does it end? Is there a supreme power sitting at the end? In that case, it still makes sense to search for that supreme power. Or is it an infinite series of power? Is there some interpretation of God being anadi (having no beginning) and ananta (having no end) then?
Well, I end here. If readers find/think of something interesting/not interesting, they are welcome to share it.