I recently watched a Star Wars anthology series, called Rogue One. Thoughts can come from anywhere, and here’s one that sprung up during the movie, when a blind Force-believer dies, and his atheist (for want of a non-existent word for people who don’t believe in the Force) aide now starts believing in the Force suddenly. Pause.
Translating that to our wretched world, with a very long prologue first – I’m agnostic. But I want to believe that there is no such thing as a supreme power or a God. I think hope is a lie, that keeps the weak-minded from giving up. But hey! Now I’m certain that was the reason this God character was created in the first place. Because the world is such a surprisingly disastrous place, and is full of shocks and calamities and sorrow at times. And well, people were getting into trouble, and a few heads got together to make up a nice story so they can live in hope for a while. It was all a lie, but hopeless people hung on to it. They cherished the idea, they gave divinity to coincidences, and hence Man gave birth to God! What happened after, is all well-known history. Humans have the tendency to over-utilize everything – fossil fuels, their brains, and of course the hollow theory of God. That happened. Investors and businessmen (that’s not a modern job description, that’s a state of mind) rubbed their hands in glee, and started feeding on the foolish hopeless layman. Now, multiple Gods came up, just like we have Samsung and Apple and LG making the exact same phones with different operating systems, and fighting over the market. They didn’t like each other, made people fight, and kill. This concept of religion, was at first responsible for unifying human populations. It gave people a rule-book to live by. Chanakya in the 4th century wrote a truckload of theories on how he thought a kingdom must be run. And that is exactly what the king followed, and that is exactly what the citizens had to follow!! I wonder of any of my readers have read Chanakya’s Arthashastra. If you have, you would know why my sentence has such an appalling tone to it. It was written by a human being (however wise), who thought what he saw fit must be the law. Sounds familiar?
Religion was once the basis of bringing people together, to unify them, give them an identity, and help them become part of a race. I think this idea was perfect, to start with. Sans religion, each individual person, in my opinion, would have developed an identity crisis and would have become a disaster in the making, considering what out neural networks can do. But alas, now we don’t have that concept anymore. We are left with the remains of what was once a brilliant idea, but is now only a pain in the neck (much like grad school for many).
Getting back to my Rogue One thought, this movie was set at a time when nobody believed in the Force anymore. They thought it was a farce, that Jedis don’t exist anymore, and the world was a place of darkness and fear and destruction under the realm of Lord Vader. But, there was one man who still believed that the Force existed and was constantly urging others around him to follow. The interesting part is that his aide, a complete non-believer sees something miraculous happen to him, and his faith in the Force is resurrected. He now completely believed in it. And well, we all know the Force exists because we know the Jedi clan is still alive and Obi-Wan is in hiding, so we smile in glee as people start to accept the Force.
But wait. I call this phenomenon on Star Wars an emotional beauty, but when the same thing happened during the birth of multiple religions on Earth – when one believer instilled that faith in a million others – I call it a total fail? Why? Because the Force is not an entity. It does not have a face, it does not have multiple arms, it does not walk on water, it does not have a symbol, it does not teach to preach or to fall prey. It teaches to live in peace. It teaches to live in harmony and to protect. It is a way of life, like all other religions we humans have, only it is a feeling, not an identity. It protects and enlightens Humans and Ewoks and Wookies alike, it is like the Sun.
God, in most people’s opinions must be like Schrödinger’s God I presume. If people open their minds to investigate the existence, and find that there is technically no God there…oops! Now they killed the concept of God for themselves. If only they had never opened it! Then there is the other type who are such staunch believers, they think that if they refuse, they can be certain they will be punished for their disloyalty (much like Lord Voldermort). I think it is unfair to strip people of the hope that they find comfort in, but I think it is not only fair, but absolutely necessary to strip ourselves of that irrational, unnecessary, insecure cloak that we call religion, that clouds our view and muffles our hearing, and chokes our airways. A complete revamp of the way people see and conform to religion is what we need.
Like Dr. House says, “You can tell me you put your faith in God to put you through the day, but when it comes time to cross the road, I know you look both ways”.
May The Force Be With You!