In this world, there are three types of folks when it comes to religions and beliefs: believers, atheists and agnostics. The first two are very fortunate because they face no grey areas when it comes to beliefs (and I do not include any sort of senseless ones). But for the unlucky agnostics, all that appears to them are the grey areas formed by unsuitable overlapping of science and religion as a result of incomplete/insufficient education. To them, this is a question of the ages (and who knows, it just might be).
Welcome to the 26th post of Narrating The Dream that also risks creating a huge controversy with the topic I am covering this time. The Worth of Religious Faith. (I will try not to be judgmental or anything offensive. And this topic was supposed to be ‘Worth of Faith’ with faith being in general terms but I took a turn down the ‘religion’ road. Oh well, maybe some other time.)
“Faith is a gift I am yet to receive.”
Spoken by Tom Hanks’ character Robert Langdon in ‘Angels and Demons’, this clearly expressed an atheistic view in a diplomatic manner. For the atheists, this can be their tagline (if they are looking). For lots of people, their lives, their circumstances, certain events and other such things often make them either a devout follower or a strong heathen. One can say lots of things of what they should have done but if one dares to stand in their shoes (even if in imagination), it is very highly unlikely that any of us will do other things. To them, faith is overrated and survival is everything. But the truth is that somewhere deep within, for some even so deep that they themselves may not realize it, every one of them is looking for a reason to believe. Everyone is looking for a miracle.
For the devout followers, faith is something they have obtained (or revived) in their minds. To them, the god(s) leads us all on a path of salvation and there are tests littering the path like the debris on the road after a cyclone. It is all just to test our worthiness and how much our faith really means to us. To these folks, faith is of different worth (as per beliefs). For some, it is faith just to recall god’s name at opportune moments, for some other others faith means in believing that his guiding hand always helps you, nudging you towards the right choices. For some it may be ingrained in their daily life by their elders or they may have adopted religion on their own but ultimately, it cannot be denied that for these people, faith is a strength that helps them face any obstacles.
But what about the agnostics? These folks are unsure of whether there is a god or not. Sadly (and maybe thankfully as well), rarely these folks realize that they belong to this category. To them, faith is something they have a little of and with a lot left to be desired (or not, as the case may be). And when what they hear from their elders and priests about their gods and religion conflicts with what they find in scientific developments, all they get is confusion. Lots of new questions arise and people rarely find folks who could give unbiased answers for them. And so the agnostics never really understand faith. It is an unsolved enigma for them.
My personal advice to them? Search it yourself. Everybody lies. And so look for the original scriptures and try to understand what they are telling you via subtexts. Apparently, the old folks had a love for speaking in riddles and when others failed to understand its hidden implication, they created new meanings completely different from the intended ones. So refer to the originals and find out what they really meant. It will be the deciding factor for everyone who was ever doubtful, even if for a second, about their faith.
There is no one who can tell you what the worth of faith is. It is something that everyone must find out on themselves because it is unique to them only. To some, faith is what helps them get through the day. To others, it just might be chains that bind them. To some others, it is just a part of them, nothing more and nothing less. To me, faith is having the reassurance that even when I fall, even when I make mistakes and when I am selfish instead of selfless, there is hope that I can atone for them later someday and that I will never be abandoned for my mistakes. There will always be someone’s company with me for help, even if I don’t realize it.