Firstly, I apologize. I had intended to create a post for every week over the course of this semester. Unfortunately, I seem to have broken that promise already, due to some pressing constraints elsewhere. I would like to promise that I will continue to post with more regularity, and hopefully with the same level of quality that my ever-loving and yet eternally mute audience so vociferously demands.
But I won't.
And I'll tell you why. I have had a curious thought for a while; I don't know when it sort of germinated somewhere in the recesses of my conscious, but it probably took a more definite shape about a couple of years ago. I visited a church once, when I was staying at my cousin's place for the weekend. I was struck by how different their practice of worship was to, what I was accustomed to. In Hinduism, prayer emphasized - I think, because I am an amateur here - the vibration, the sound of the hymns chanted, over the words used to worship.
Here though, it was strange to not have an air of tension, of intensity but instead, an atmosphere that was relaxed and yet, respectful all the same. It was strange, and an invigorating experience that I took away with me.
My problem though, is that the accepted concept of a higher entity, which, more often than not, is assumed to be one which is more absolute from human beings in every possible way, doesn't tell us if said entity can 'understand' what we are doing. I mean, from what I have seen, it is more likely that 'god' communicates through a higher plane of mutual understanding than the one that, we, his supposed creations use: through words of speech.
So, what I feel is that our chants, our hymns, our self-assurances that 'god' will sacrifice himself for us, that he loves us, that all of our prostrations of surrender to him will communicate to him our emotions, our desires and our hopes could be for naught.
I do not think that I am a person without a belief. But, I'm not sure either. The truth is that, only during our darkest moments, when we despair and look to the sky with wet eyes looking for salvation, is when we truly look for a higher entity, or rather; in our mind we look for 'an entity with superior knowledge of the universe, who is thereby in a higher position of power to dictate what the immediate unknown could hold'. I also feel, that it is at that moment, that we could either be right beside that entity, or further away from him that we can possibly comprehend.
Essentially, we need someone to tell us that 'It's going to be OK' and, because we are not sure of ourselves and of other being at our 'level' of existence, we need a higher, more 'empowered' authority of inform us of the same. Case in point; I often need my parents to review my writing and to suggest improvements. I hold their opinions over that of my peers, because it came from a 'higher' source, which, according to me is more informed about the universe and thus, is able to give me an answer that I am more likely to believe, regardless of the validity of its contents.
So, whom do we actually worship? I believe that - and I say this purely as something that I've turned over in my mind for a while - we surrender ourselves to virtue.
We believe ourselves to be creatures of imperfection, held back by tainted traits such as greed and jealousy. As such, we worship an embodiment of the traits that we hold in high regard; valor, self-sacrifice, piety, humility are all characteristics that feature prominently and more importantly; consistently in major beliefs of today. To put it simply, we worship a being that has all of the traits that we would like to have, and interestingly, because we worship these traits, we subconsciously try to feature them more prominently in our lives.
In other words, we are all shuffling forward in a long march to eventually become the very being that we worship. It can be said then, that worship, to an extent is a appeal to our own supreme self.
But, if such a being were to already exist, it should have reached a stage of evolutionary development where communication by verbal speech is simply unnecessary. A being with such an innate understanding of the machinations of the universe would simply be able to communicate via mere thought.
An advanced being could simply exist, without a need to communicate, without a need to justify its own existence. The idea that our actions of worship will reach a being of such power, is as likely as the odds of us noticing, if an ant were to suddenly prostate before us, expecting us to understand it's actions as an act of worship.
Such an intimate and powerful communication, I feel, cannot possibly be encapsulated by verbatim, but by making a consciously-aware decision to carry out one's convictions and to justify the ends to ourselves. I suppose, an easy way to say it would be that, at the moment of interaction with the supreme; just a moment, a single, powerful moment of absolute belief and clear thought is enough to convey all that you wished to say. However, such moments of mental eloquence come far and few, and they can lead to a cascade of events that could easily change our world.
In other words, Yes, we must create an epiphany for ourselves, each time we pray.
A Happy 69th Independence Day to every one of my countrymen who accidentally stumbled here by accident.