Saturday, October 26, 2013

Choosing a belief system.. Or not?

"A belief system is not something you choose.. It chooses you". As much as it sounds like a bumper sticker, I agree with this. There used to be a time when I was aware of different schools of thought, but they were merely textbook knowledge. I was never drawn to them - not to read and definitely not to reflect. Having grown up in Chennai, the hometown of Jiddu Krishnamurti and living a few kilometres away from his foundation, it was hard to not run into one of his lectures here, or another one of his books there. But it made about as much sense to me as would a C++ program to my dog. I 'wanted' to understand him 'cause it was cool, a lot of people who I looked up to read him and would throw around his quotes rather offhandedly in the middle of conversations. Everytime I tried reading him or listening to him, one of two things would happen - I would fall asleep on the book or his long, complex sentences comprising simple words would keep repeating themselves in my head, and made less and less sense, the more I pondered them. (It was his thoughts that seemed complex to me)

Three years later, I now live in the United States and like a lot of Indians, have revisited Hinduism (and the paradoxes that it comes with), and other schools of philosophy that have been influenced by it (like Nihilism). I had completely forgotten about Jiddu and his love for confounding me with his words. Then one day, I chanced upon one of his videos on youtube. And it resonated loud and clear with me!

How did this happen? I'm unable to reduce this to the same as reading a book or watching a movie several times to uncover layers you didn't get the first time. Agreed, in the book/movie example you grow in maturity over each read/watch and are able to see new things. But a belief system?

As Ray Bradbury says - "We're a fabulous mulch of everything that's gone into our heads".  How exactly did the mulch created by the experiences of the last three years draw me to towards the things I believe in, today? If I had to trace it down to a series of links, I suppose I could. After all, given the kind of information we have at our disposal, I suppose I could prove a connection between fractal geometry and the Taliban, if I had to. Just saying.

No comments:

Post a Comment