Saturday, July 24, 2010

present moment – part three

Talking about delay of gratification, made me think of religion. I am no expert on the subject but that won't stop me from blabbering about it.

 All organized religions describe a form of heaven and hell. If I obey by the rules of that religion without any questions (doubt is usually a sin!), I will end up in heaven. What's very convenient is that heaven will come just after I die, so I won't have to spend sometime in this world working on my fear of death – possibly the deepest and the biggest instinctual fear we all share. Some religions are pretty descriptive about the steps to follow between death and heaven, while others leave a little more room for imagination. And if I don't obey by the rules and become a sinner, I will burn in hell.

 I've never heard of anyone who's been dead, experienced heaven or hell and came back to tell about it. Experience aside, there's no evidence that it even exists. There's a possibility that all that scenario is the product of a smart and creative priest who knew the soft spots of the human beings an used them to keep us on track. Essentially almost all the sins described by religions are bad; I agree that we should not steal, lie, harm others, etc... I just don't understand why I have to obey them fearing “hell” after death, a place that no one has first hand experience of. 

Throughout our lives, we observe countless examples how people are rewarded here and now when they do good deeds and how they get punished when they engage in actions that we call sins. People who have dedicated their lives to helping others and refrain from harming have an inner calm and satisfaction in their lives. Cheaters are rarely happy in any of their relationships and spend so much effort trying to cover their lies, that life can become unbearable. Greedy or gluttonous people are very unlikely to feel a moment of peace and contentment, spending a life trapped in an inner hell of dissatisfaction. These are oversimplified examples but I  think they give the idea. I can lead a happy life when I do moral things and mean no harm to anyone else. Although it may be in somewhat different forms, this can be experienced by anyone immediately, without waiting for some unknown time and place after death.

Why then do we keep craving for heaven and fearing hell while the life that we breathe, cry, laugh, learn, love in it passes with every minute? Shouldn't we try to make something good out of this one instead of blindly investing in the next one that we don't even know to exist?

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