Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Living on a prayer

Its been a while since I've prayed or offered any kind of prayers and I have long since stopped thinking about it, except when requested to accompany someone to a temple of sorts. Yet, today's events struck me a bit amusing. It turned out that my uncle was not present at my grandpa's bedside while he passed away because he was out, offering prayers at a temple nearby.

It got me thinking, why exactly do we pray? After some pondering and without going into the line of thought of god and so forth, the only logical answer, I could come up with was a re-enforced belief structure.

Why? One may ask. Well the answer is fairly simple. Everything we know or claim to know is based on some knowledge, which in turn is based on some belief. At the most fundamental level of Physics and Math we have made assumptions that lay the foundations to our advanced theories. Thus, a prayer merely seeks to transfer the responsibility of our lives to some abstracted entity that we believe has the power to solve our problems. In return, we seek and some manage to receive a security of sorts.

Yet, my misery plagues me as I seem to have the uncanny ability to carry it with me. More like one of those symbiotic relationships we keep hearing off in those Nat geo documentaries and Zoology textbooks. Now, I struggled to see if I could rationalize myself to do some load transfer to an entity such as described above, thus receiving a huge increased processing power. Here, I am reminded by Pascal's statements...

There may or may not be a god.
The only way I stand to lose is,
if he exits and I dont believe in him.
So, I will believe in god.

Much as I try, I still fail. I guess my belief structures got eroded over time. Knowledge is like that cliched surgeon's knife. Yet, there seems to be no sutures to undo the works of millions of boxes pandora that have been carelessly strewn all over the place (And I happen to find most of them and open them). Strong belief structures although lessening chance for exploration, creativity and rational thinking provide a strong support structure that can help weather the toughest times.

Funny how choices always create a dilemma such as this. Re-quoting what my good friend Matt quoted on his page, I decide to move on.

"The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way

Where many paths and errands meet.

And whither then? I cannot say."

~Bilbo Baggins

Its a choice we all make at some level of our consciousness. Guess Bon Jovi had it settled good eh?


Naveen Nair said...

prayer...refined (or maybe the most unrefined ) means of passing the buck....

Naveen Nair said...

sorry to hear about your grand-dad though.. !!!