A few years ago, I returned home from the gym around 1 pm. It was Saturday, I remember. And after the good training session I had, I was tired and hungry—I want to point out that being hungry is one of the things that make me ill-tempered. The fridge was empty, and the idea of going to buy groceries and cook something myself was discarded even before opening the fridge. So my options reduced to buy a pizza.
I went out and walked to the pizza restaurant two blocks away because I could not wait the thirty minutes of the delivery.
When I was half the way a guy sweeping the street called me: “Have you heard of Muhammad?”
“Yes,” I answered and he followed asking me a series of questions. In the blink of the eye we were chatting and debating religious matters in an open and profound way that we sat on the sidewalk and when we realized, four hours had elapsed—meaning four hours without food—, and actually was not mad, and by the contrary I was on a terrific mood.
After saying goodbye, I walked for my pizza asking myself: “Why people find so difficult to coexist with someone like you that believes in something different?”
“Maybe I am being naïve.” I answered myself. “Maybe one day I will understand it.” I said and followed my path.
And until this precise day, I am still naïve and keep doing myself the same question.
“And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your member than that your whole body go into hell.”
A controversial passage of the Bible indeed. Just like all the recent news about Gaza’s conflict, and the sprouts of violence around the world.
I want to be clear before I begin that: I’m not theologian, historian, politician, anthropologist, nor a middle east resident but as far as I know I am a concerned homo sapiens sapiens.
I was born Christian—and say born because my mother taught me holy father since I was in her womb—and was evangelized before I had the opportunity to choose. (Similar stories even in different religions, anyone?) Now for me, faith is a matter of choice, and everyone is free to choose the beliefs that fit for you.
World’s religions proclaim the pursuit of the truth, and as the ignorant homo sapiens sapiens that I am, I question everything (One sample is this blog) including faith.
My quest for knowledge—bits of truth that enlighten me to understand the full picture within my limited individual point of view—had took me to read from quantum physics and general relativity to the strangest concepts of transcendence in religions.
I have find very interesting things, persons, concepts and events that fall in categories that range from explained by both science and history to unexplained, a realm that it’s currently exclusive of faith. There is a debate if faith and existence of God are intrinsic of humans (biochemical process in the brain), that could explain our attachment and need of it.
Everything I have witnessed, has an element of truth and an element of uncertainty. Because even “universal” laws of Newton don’t apply in certain places of space, and general relativity doesn’t outlive the quantic realm. The greater the level uncertainty is, higher is the possibility of error.
I can understand people consider faith, truthful. But what I cannot understand is that people overrides the uncertainty of mistaking by choosing faith blindly.
No religion in this world have the degree certainty that surpass the most elemental of truths: We are brothers by being humans—same species—and the closest, certain, tangible thing we have to a God is Mother Earth. Yet everybody concerns more to attending at services in Sunday but doesn’t care of pollution. Why this should matter? Because no prayer can eradicate Fukushima’s radioactivity or disappear the garbage island in the pacific twice the size of the State of Texas. So if we develop cancer by the radioactivity, can we blame God?
From that perspective, everything that interposes in our coexistence with our brothers is a hindrance and certainly will bring hell on earth, not because it’s written on prophecies, but because we are creating self-fulfilling prophesies.
If your God—or beliefs or religious authorities or group or sect—asks for killing, for torture, for inflict suffering on your brothers, for seek for violence in any form instead of peace, I say: Can you please stop for a second and question your beliefs? Can you act with humbleness and accept that you may not have all the truth? Can you act like a homo sapiens sapiens and think instead of believing that you are some kind of homo superior?
Many people will argue that Gaza’s conflict—and most of the conflicts—are driven by politics or money… well, deities take many forms, like power, money, pleasure or desire, so everything I have said applies. All are uncertain, intangible and impermanent, a construction of the mind after all. We are just like addicts trying which drug resonates with us.
Others will argue that I say this because it’s not my property at stake, but truth is, I rather give up on things—like inherit my parents’ house for instance—that fight my brother for it. Actually I wrote a story on another post entitled “The damned house” that exposes that subject.
I know we hardly can grasp a conflict so old to know who started it and complex to understand the responsibilities of each side, and I would be crazy trying to solve it in a blog with a thousand words post, but I do know violence can be avoided because another culture endured the same… Tibetans. They suffered oppression and abandoned their homes instead of fighting. Why? Because they understand the impermanence of life and things.
In the book entitled, “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying,” Sogyal Rimpoche, tells the story of a Lama that was the Tibetan’s Da Vinci, a born inventor. He used to create inventions and once finished he destroyed them. People asked him why, and he answered that “someone can get lost in the invention,” driven by the good things that could come from it, driving the mind away of what is truly important.
His nature was to be inventor, and he didn’t refuse the nature of his gift, but he was wise enough to know what are the real purpose of things, because he questioned.
Now summarizing, it doesn’t matter if you believe that the world is 5,774 years old or if your God will compensate you in heaven with virgins that doesn’t excrete fluids for uphold his Word… we are no 100% certain of those facts, but we are certain that the man at the other side of the trench is your brother. Maybe born from different father raised in a distant land under different customs, but bellow everything is still your brother.
I will not ask for love, that’s a cliché, but at least I would like to pray for respect.
I’m certain that if people in this world were less religious and more spirituals, this could be a better world.
M. Ch. Landa