Saturday, April 12, 2008

God vs Religion

I was travelling to work on a crowded Subway. It was an unusual day. Trains from my residence to my workplace were cancelled and I had to take a detour. On the way there are few churches and I was looking over the holy cross with a pigeon perched on it, when it occurred to me.

Everyone needs God. But only the unenlightened need religion.

To me, God represents our inner self. Our faith, our hope and aspirations, our guilt and pride, our fears and convictions.

Religion is oversimplification of God to make him more comprehendible to the masses. The Dos, don'ts and the rituals are an over simplified rule book with broad black and white strokes.

Couple of years back when I was visiting China I asked a friend how did they decide what was right, how did they console themselves when everything seems to be going wrong. Being a communist country there is no concept of God there. He said they look upon their elders for comfort and are largely governed by social norms and conscience.

It seems its possible to survive without religion, perhaps even preferable if you can handle ambiguity in life. But for me its impossible to imagine a world without God.