Sunday, 10 September 2017

Beliefs are hard bricks

A very religious-minded old lady was dissatisfied with all existing religions, so she founded one of her own. A reporter, who genuinely wanted to understand her point of view, said to her, " Do you really believe, as people say you do, that no one will go to heaven except you and your housemaid? " The old lady pondered the question carefully and said, " Well, I'm not so sure of Mary."


However advanced, liberal and forward looking one may be, the inveterate prejudices will always beckon him back. What we create as something altogether new and different has the distinct elements of our past beliefs. There's no relief from belief. Neurologists are of the view that if a person wants to relinquish all his beliefs at the age of 25, it will take 150 years to completely get rid of those beliefs he/she wanted to part with, though there could be exceptions.

It means most of us will never be able to get rid of our unwanted beliefs and prejudices in our lifetime because no one has that much longevity. And this neurological observation is quite incisive. We talk about equality, egalitarianism, anti-capitalism, Marxism and what not but how many of us will allow our maids and domestic help to use our restrooms or sit cheek by jowl?


 The engrained prejudice that they are servants and can never come up to our level and status will always be there in some corner of our collective mindset. In my life, I've come across so-called non-believers and atheists and I've seen many of them take umbrage when something not so complimentary was said about their 'erstwhile' faiths.

 I call them fashionable atheists. Dropping all beliefs ostensibly, yet sticking to some of them deep down is the tragedy of mankind. Beliefs engender stereotypes and we all have stereotyped opinions about people, objects, races, countries and communities. Even those who call themselves 'global citizens', like Socrates, are racially, regionally, linguistically and nationally prejudiced. Man can travel to the space.


He can reach moon, Mars and other far-flung planets but he can never be completely emancipated from all his beliefs. At least a remnant of them will remain to remind him of his limitations. I still remember somewhere I read, " Beliefs are hard bricks, the building of human nature is built of." I've no doubt about the profundity of this statement.    

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