"Donate generously and win a ticket to meet with God", I read it aloud from the notice board in front of an old structure. Had it been some other day, I would have preferred a ticket to one of those mindless comedy shows that painfully try to induce laughter in its audience to spending my evening in a gloomy conversation with someone whose existence didn't concern me much. However since it was one of those days when the conflicting and confused part of me was exceptionally active, I was willing to go to any extent of silliness to pacify it. So I made my donation and went in.
Well I was not the only one. In fact it was a rather crowded room with people standing patiently in a queue. So I waited for many long hours before I was finally summoned into God's chamber. As I stepped in I saw God standing right in front of me. "I must say you are immensely popular in today's world....I haven't seen such a long queue as it was in front of your chamber today, anywhere except of course the local wine shop in my street", in my confusion, I blabbered . God didn't seem pleased. "Based on the meager donation you have made which is a direct result of your inclination or the lack of it to meet me and considering the number of followers waiting outside, you get exactly four and a half minutes to talk...and your time starts now." he said looking at the watch.
Without wasting my time further with any more pleasantries, I came straight to the point. "It appears you have put in a lot of hard work in creating this universe. I am sure it was doing absolutely fine before mankind was launched. What I am not sure of is why you went all the way to create the human species and place it in this world absolutely clueless of what it was supposed to be doing with itself. Ever since we managed to get a little comfortable in your world, we have been trying hard to find the meaning for our existence. Some do manage to create their own meaning but the mysteries still remain unresolved...the purpose of life is as elusive as ever".
"Looks like narcissism has become a driving force in your species. Or else why would you amuse yourself with the thought that I have created a higher purpose for humans if I haven't created one for any of my other creations? May be you are looking for a meaning when there is none at all." said god. "I was coming to that.” I said. "After a long search for a meaning many of us have concluded that there may not be any. But then that doesn't clear our conflicts, in fact it aggravates them. Many philosophers have spent their entire lives coping up with the meaninglessness of their being and have filled their over exerted minds and many blank pages trying to define a reasonable way to live life in the absence of any meaning. How does one make a decision to choose something among the innumerable options that you have made available in this world if there is no meaning of any choice that one makes? "
"Hasn't any one told you that I don't play with dice? Do you think I would let you fiddle around with the rest of my creations? Do you think I would give you the freedom of choice?" God responded. "Now this confuses me further....So are you saying that this decision of mine to come here today after making such a huge donation was not my own but something which was already decided? Could I have not just walked randomly on the streets instead of standing outside your room for hours?", I probed further. "May be not, although there is some amount of uncertainty involved in this assumption...you should know this better, having been born in this modern world of science and technology…haven’t you heard of the causal chain? Are you not familiar with the philosophy of determinism?” said God. “So that should absolve me of the feeling of silliness caused due to this absurd action of mine today.”, I said hoping to find solace in God’s words. “I only said that I may have deprived you of free will…. But not from the sense of having a free will. It is after all not the ability to make a choice but the feeling of the ability to make a choice that evokes guilt or pride. Moreover, may be your emotions are as inevitable as your actions”.
There was no conclusion to be drawn from the discussion that I had so far and my time was running out. “Dear God, like everything else, the time allotted to me and our discussion have both come to a futile end and I haven’t got any definitive answer from you for any of my queries. All your answers were accompanied by a confused “may be”. Please clarify this one doubt of mine before I take leave of you – are you the god of Ramana and Krishnamurti or are you the god of Camus and Sartre or are you with Einstein and Laplace?”, I made a final attempt to know the truth. “I am the god of all those standing outside my room as much as I am the god of the ones who prefer to line up in front of the wine shops. I am equally the god of the theist and the atheist. It doesn’t matter if they see me differently and paint this world and its creator with different colors that they have access to. What is important is that they learn to love the picture that they paint of this world.”, God paused for a moment and added, “…or maybe not!!”.
Monday, August 23, 2010
The dreadful darkness that time and again casts its shadow over me…It has become a frequent visitor and accompanies many of the setting evenings when I fail to keep my mind sufficiently guarded with the mundane activities of life. I desperately try to fight it back with fresh air and bright lights but it refuses to leave. The darkness reveals some known facts about the pain and miseries of life (and death) with such intensity that it almost feels as if I am living them that very moment. The futility of life and the inevitability of death, both stare at my face at the same time. And the impact is more that I can endure. But are not life and death the two opposite extremes of one’s world? So why should both cause similar feelings of such severe depression? In fact is any of the two such a terrible act of nature in true sense? I try to go deep into it and understand these extremes better. I haven’t been able to do so yet. But I do hope someday I would come to terms with, even befriend this darkness before it engulfs me forever.