Jayary 347

There was a time when I was often asked whether I believed in God. It doesn't happen so much any more; liberal adults aren't allowed to be curious about one another. Anyway, my invariable answer was no. Not because I am an atheist or even an agnostic, but because I don't believe. I don't believe in 2+2=4 either.

What good is a belief? The minute you have one, you open yourself to doubt. Is it true? Is it false? If it's true, why is it true?

The precariousness of belief led Descartes into the cave of his own consciousness. It might equally well lead us into complete planetary destruction; solipsistic retreat and unbounded violence strike me as the only logical terminus' of belief.

What's interesting is that the hold of a belief is often in inverse proportion to its believability. Abstractions incite the most fervent beliefs without giving us any grounds for doing so. Like that belief in God - again remember that the fault is not that of the God or gods, but of the faculty of belief itself.

If God is the source of a large number of unsupported beliefs, power is another. Control over a nation or kingdom. What does that mean? What does it mean to have private property? We behave as if these terms are completely transparent, but do we really think that the belief in private property is any more supportable than the belief in a six armed goddess?

Duryodhana's belief in power was his undoing. Then again, heroes are supposed to believe in power aren't they? Yudhisthira, Arjuna and Karna might have disagreed, but they were unable to stop the belief in power from running amuck. Or, to flip the equation, they were victims of the power of belief.

The Jaya warns us about the flaws in both natural and supernatural superstitions.

Rajesh Kasturirangan

Rajesh Kasturirangan

I think. I write. I meditate. I agitate.