- Firefox instead of Chrome, Opera or Safari.
- Like reading books and articles on a tiny little 5″ phone screen.
- Prefer ebooks to physical copies.
- Expect favourite books, music, news, television shows, movies and porn to be accessible online for free.
- Grad student. Math.
- Linux. Windows is disgusting.
- Neither own nor plan to own any Apple products. Disagree with their non-customizable product designs.
- Reddit. Facebook is too pretentious. Snapchat? What’s that?
- Youtube. Because CGP Grey. And Nerdwriter. And Brady. And Destin.
- LaTeX, for everything.
- If audio then podcasts, if podcasts then history, if history podcasts then Dan Carlin.
- More time spent on Google and Wikipedia than all other sites combined.
- Stackexchange over Quora.
- Poetry over prose.
Do I believe in God? It has been some time since I have actively thought about this question. If you’d known me 8 years ago, you’d know that I was what can only be described as a fanatic atheist. I was a rationalist, on my way to be a scientist. I felt that science disposed off the need for an omnipotent omniscient creator and I was ready to debate this out with anyone who’d care to listen to a hot-headed teenager who read a lot of popular-science books.
But in the years since then, I went from being an Ayn Rand egoist-atheist, to having existential angst, then washing up on the shores of my limited but seemingly important life experiences, part nihilist and part an Orwellian pessimist, a believer in human folly, to finally end up as an Asimovian romantic.
Since mentioning how this series of transformations was affected by my surroundings, conversations I had with important people in my life, and events that shaped the path I chose to tread on will no doubt be more an exercise in psychoanalysis than a simple blog post, I will stick to simply penning down my current thoughts and ideas on the issue, lest I change my mind again about my notions of a deity.
Do I believe that God exists? The answer is no, if by God you refer to the idea of the kind of creator that organized religion would have us believe in. I do have a concept of God, but His superpowers in my ideology are slightly different. For one, my God does not concern himself with violating the laws of physics, giving blind people eyesight, performing miracles, killing demons, or punishing sinners. My God is not concerned with what I do or how I do it. He is simply indifferent to our world. He is neither omnipotent, nor omniscient, nor benevolent. He is apathetic.
What is the use of such a God you might ask? I tend not to use Him for any of His advertised benefits. I don’t use him for explaining natural phenomena that I don’t understand, I look towards science for answering those. I don’t need Him as an excuse to not harm fellow humans, Darwinian evolution is enough to teach me that. I don’t look to Him to scare me away from stealing, a rudimentary moral code guided by societal norms is sufficient for that. I don’t need Him for finding solace in the face of difficulties — my friends and family do that. I don’t ask Him for luck because I have made my peace with both probability and causality.
What is He to me then? He is an idea, a fantasy I’d like it to be true. He is a construct of my mind to placate me when I am lonely and desperate. To distract me sometimes when I would rather internalize my thoughts than look at the world around me (yes, I need to do that some times). He is my placebo. I don’t ask Him for luck but He can make me temporarily feel lucky. I like to believe that He holds the answers to my problems because then I can trick myself into feeling more confident. Best of all, He doesn’t get offended by what someone with a different faith might say. Why not? Because He’s not real. I know it, and He knows it. Yes, I realize that the God I believe in is no different from an imaginary friend and much like a child, my imaginary friend makes me feel happy and secure.
Who has the final claim to a creation? The creator or the source of inspiration? Perhaps the creation itself. Or is it Time, the sole witness to the process of creating, all-observing yet forever silent?
You write these for yourself, not me, she said;
I don’t care for your poems, I heard.
To be fair to her, she was angry.
To be fair to me, I have a heart.
Sorry, she said; never again, I vowed.
But days crept by, I continued to love her —
that would never change nor cease.
Poetry grew in me again,
like weed — resilient, stubborn.
Love to romance to poems.
I held back my feelings, stopped myself, hated her.
Love to hate, turned poetry to poison.
She didn’t realize ofcourse,
didn’t care enough, I suppose.
How long was I to asphyxiate myself?
How long must one wait idle on a battlefield,
for an enemy to even realize that war has erupted?
A very long wait, I learned.
An unglorious victory, I earned.
All that was left then, was to parade my shame;
and get back to the thankless task of writing poetry —
pretending I never had a heart,
that she never broke,
over poems I never wrote,
which were never about her,
never meant for her,
that she did care about.
With bricks and walls,
with sweat and blood.
With my own hands I shaped,
the castle that I made.
With many a grand gates,
to welcome my mates.
And with sentries posted thither,
to keep them all safe.
What with drawbridges,
and crocs and a moat.
A King, a queen,
and a full court.
The castle thus made,
was a fortress very great.
And I felt proud of that man,
who had made the structure stand.
Prouder still, of his sight,
his vision, his might.
Of the mind that had thought,
there was nothing it could not.
So great it was that I didn’t think,
twice before adding that one last thing.
I placed atop my castle,
the hopes, the dreams, and fears of my life.
But down, down, and down,
came crumbling without a sound.
The walls of my fortress,
its towers, windows, and all else.
The pressures of my ambition,
the castle couldn’t withstand.
Because lovely it may have been,
‘t was but just a castle of sand.
And then I realized,
there could never be a structure.
That could possibly have the power,
to hold them both together.
That my dreams, fears and hopes,
only I could bear.
The burden of my life,
was for no one to share.
I shall have to find the strength,
of body, mind and soul.
To lift my own cross,
and to move to my goal.
With the width of my shoulders,
and the strength of my arms.
I shall have to do it.
To keep my world from harm.
I shall raise it to glory,
With my arms around its girth.
Ready to face life,
to move heaven and earth.
Sometimes I ask myself;
Do I believe them,
and what they have to say?
How else would I know,
if I’m good or am bad?
With their biased opinions,
Can it ever be known for sure.
If I’m at all good.
Or am any good at all?
I know what’s good.
I know what’s not.
But I know, I myself,
Don’t know my self.
Do they know more,
Do they know better?
Do they know me?
Do they know me enough?
Do they know enough?
To know who I am?
To know what I am?
What I’ve done & am capable of?
If they knew, could they tell me?
If they could, would they?
If they do, is it the truth?
If it is, would I know?
If I knew,
would that be good?
But if I am good,
would I want to?
And then, sometimes I ask them;
Does it really matter,
If I’m really good or not?
Isn’t it just enough,
Knowing which of the two I want?
@Dalai Lama – Pardon that comment. _/\_
@Cpt. Obvious – I see what you did there.
It is something I shouldn’t want.
That it is not mine is sure,
That it is not supposed to be, obvious.
But today, I felt sad.
Felt bad to feel sad.
Sad because I did not get it.
Bad because it should’t have mattered.
It was inconsequential,
or so I had thought.
But every time I see it,
it reminds me I am a failure.
A failure –
for hoping that in some world
I do not desire it,
as I do madly in this.
Or that in some world
it exists not, to be desired madly.
Or better still, that in some world,
I have it, to be owned, to get owned.