We are brought into this plane of existence at someone else's whim, and, we leave not out of our own free will, atleast in most cases. But do we have a reason at all to be here? Well, a common answer I've heard oft-and-on is that God created us and that we are expected to lead a life based on a set of rules given by him. I dont see how God or Man has anything at all to gain by this activity; what I've observed and learnt is that nothing in nature is done without some sort of incentive.
I like to view Science and Religion as tools that provide the same solution, albeit in different forms, to the same question: "Who are we and why are we here?". Religion says we are a creation of God, who himself is omnipresent, ever-existent and indestructible. Science explains that we are made of matter, and that matter and energy are inter-convertible and therefore, in essence, made of the same "material". Combining the views, I am inclined to believe that God is really a function of Energy, Space and Time. Energy, Space and Time are the only parameters in nature which are really independent of any other known factors and satisfy the description of God as given by religion. Since we are associated with the very same parameters, we are a part of God too; and equivalently from a religious viewpoint, we are called the Children of God.
Contrary to the popular belief that God is good and just, I believe that Energy, Space and Time are beyond good and evil and therefore God can be looked at as either both good and evil, or neither. If the energy in the universe is assumed to be infinite, and we are a finite part of that energy, that makes us possess infinite energy mathematically - this makes us God, theoretically. And Noetic Science, I believe, will help us unleash this potential latent within us all. I believe that the God-like figures that have appeared throughout the history of mankind were in reality humans who learnt to harness the universal energy for the greater good. If a person possessing advanced technology and gadgets goes back centuries in time, he will no doubt be regarded as God himself by the ancients, or at the very least, a messenger of God. This is evident from what is known as Cargo-cult that took roots in Micronesia shortly after World War-II; when advanced nations came in contact with primitive tribes in Australasia.
At once, it is subtle intelligence and utter foolishness of humans to attribute everything to God. While one might argue that since everything is associated with energy, the former holds, we forget that we are a part of that energy too in this process, which makes the latter hold.
Newton's third law states: "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction". The point to be noted here is that this law does not state whether the reaction must occur instantly or not. According to Einstein, Gravitational Force, travels at the speed of light. So it follows that reaction forces are not necessarily instantaneous. And if a reaction force is not instantaneous, it obviously means you'll experience the "fruit" of your actions sometime in the future. This answers a crucial question pertaining to the Law of Karma. And it follows that there is no reason to say that hurting or doing good another human being in some way or the other will not affect you in the future - I like to view it as a natural consequence of the Karmic law. As Confucius says "Do unto others what you like them to do unto you".
I think this view of the Karmic Law answers why we are pulled into this plane of existence. And I have to admit my ignorance on why the actions had originated in the first place - I earnestly hope Science can answer this question in the near future. I have to admit my ignorance on other accounts as well: I do not yet know how to reason why energy has to exist in the first place; neither can I fathom why energy, space and time has to give rise to a plane of existence that we are currently in - in other words, why can't energy be static? To put it forward from a religious viewpoint, it really the same as asking: "Why does God exist, think and do as he does ?". I am not aware of any plausible reason given by either Science or Religion on this issue.
Understanding our role in the universe and the reason for the actions and the consequences will eventually help us lead better lives and design a happier world. Good ideas can change the world; and better ideas can make the process of change for the better permanent.
Yajur Veda: From space came air, from air came fire, from fire came water, from water came earth, from earth came life.
Science: In space existed energy, from which came matter first in form of gas(air). Gas contracted under gravity producing heat(fire). Combined heat and pressure on gases gave plasma(water).
Unstable plasma disintegrated and cooled to give earth. Life consequently formed.
Each era has its obsessions, hopes and prejudices shaped by the one before. From what I've observed, each generation considers itself more intelligent than the one before and wiser than the one that comes after. Going back a few centuries, when religious institutions were at the zenith of their power, we had a generation that believed blindly in the directives of the religious leaders. And there was a general notion that doing so was being extremely wise and that it guaranteed them a good afterlife. It is worthwhile noting that the power of this institution faded rapidly within the few successive centuries.
Renaissance followed this era, and was considered to be the age that ushered in enlightenment. However, history tells us that this period hadn't been relatively smooth in terms of power struggles. The successive generation in the 1800s had an unprecedented number of inventions to its credit and this single-handedly gave birth to the industrial revolution.
This time, it gets interesting again: we witness a power-shift from the inventors to the industrialists. Power, which was once nearly considered proprietary by religious institutions was now in the hands of people with considerable economic clout. This is the era in which we live today.
Today, we witness ongoing struggles of various genres between nations, provinces, groups and individuals. Neutralize the economic factor behind these "battles" and one would find most of the battles turn into a lost cause.
We live in an age where money, wealth and status take precedence. We do not hesitate to go to any extent to seemingly establish ourselves on an equal standing with our immediate peers. While the general competitive spirit must be encouraged, one cannot help but notice the vain ways into which we have fallen. We drink anything that is branded - even grape juice that rots for decades together (read alcohol) and smoke stuff that will eventually cost us our health and in the process, spend gargantuous sums of money towards medical expenses. This is ridiculous considering the fact that drugs which have a similar effect are banned by law in most countries. The hypocrisy professed by the society is by no means restricted to just these examples. Most speak of showing compassion to all living, yet, we mass-murder animals for food and clothing. If I may ask, isn't Man an animal too? If selective murder does not amount to discrimination and killing a fellow human is still a crime, aren't we being too biased towards ourselves? In other words, aren't we being racist? I have come across instances where absurd claims of divine directives are used to justify such actions; I personally find this unacceptable by any standard. [By the way, I happen to be a vegetarian, teetotaler and a non-smoker]
Each generation has its flaws which it must strive to correct. The path of perfection is a long one; the need of the hour is for man to free himself intellectually. This, I believe, can happen only through education. Education in my opinion cannot be restricted to a specific set of coursework or syllabi. Education must teach the individual to think on his own, discover and realize the potential within. This is my personal equivalent of what is known as self-realization in some religious circles. This may cause outrage to a lot of people, but I believe the solution to the troubles of mankind is not God to come down to earth as a Man, but Man to ascend as a God.
Each newly discovered revolutionary fact goes through three stages: First people would say it is a crazy, dangerous and unacceptable idea. Next, they would state firmly they always knew this truth. Lastly, they will boldly proclaim that they have always believed it. From my personal experience, I have realized that admitting one's ignorance is the first and the best step to learning and change.
To be frank, I'm not a big fan of quoting somebody else; I would rather make my own. The few times when I've quoted another is when the element of "credibility" had been required. Below are some byproducts of an occasional random thought process:
The solution to the troubles of mankind is not God to come down to earth as a Man, but Man to ascend as a God
It is now the age where Justice is never given, rather, it is claimed
The only reason people are asked to be "good" is the remarkable way in which it serves the self-interests of others
The purpose of life is to try and experience the feeling of being at the pinnacle of evolution
History has always been written by the victors. No wonder we think the good always win.
Aren't most fighting somebody else's battle? How can one be sure that one is not brainwashed by another, albeit, unknowingly?
If one says perfection can never be attained, are we going to put up and live with imperfections for eternity?
Most are blind, and most feign vision
Instill fear in a person, it will disappear with time and will come back to haunt the very progenitor of fear
There is nothing to fear about liars, but beware the truthful
An empty man uses pride to fill the void within
Contentment must never be regarded a virtue, for if everyone were contented, Man would never become what he can really be
It is time for man to return to his original state - Godhood
Most things in this world are simple, it is our inability to look at things in their natural form that makes life so complex and intimidating
The greatest mystery of the universe lies not in the mystical creations themselves but in the way we unravel them
I just realized how beautiful zero really is, I stay with it in a term, I become nothing and seemingly useless. But when I raise it above my head, I become number 1!
We can learn from even a gas balloon in some way, the more it is pushed under water, with greater force it rises
The sea remains calm just before the next great wave
The truth is often stranger than the wildest bluff
An angry person opens his mouth and shuts his eyes
All greats had just one thing in common - they passionately stood for what they believed in
People will drink anything that is branded - Even grape juice that rots for 30 years
Inaction sometimes causes more damage than the wrong action
Oh Mother! Is it entirely thy fault that I do not possess all the noble qualities thou possesses inspite of me being your child?
Why are some people deemed unintelligent? Is it because they do not possess the required intellectual capacity? Or is it because enough information is not given to them in a form that is acceptable to their mental machinery? The latter seems more plausible to me in most cases.
Failure may not be a viable option, Fear certainly is not.
Write no code whose complexity leaves you wondering what the hell you did
Even if we justify numerous theories which are proved using commonplace observations, where is the proof that we observe things the way they really are? Can it not be that our observations are wrong while results, in some convoluted way turn out right?
If this world doesnt suit you, create one that suits you the best
How independent am I if I'm pulled into this plane of existence by somebody else and kept here without my consent for another 85 years?
It seems to me that one can be happy only when one decides to be happy
Religion exists solely because of the ignorance of what we call Science. If everything could be explained in terms of textbook science, religion would be obsolete.
It is often the realization of complexity in sheer simplicity that leads to great inventions and discoveries
Probably, only when every person on this planet is made to feel like a king will the world ever know peace
What we really need in this world is not equality but equal opportunity; meritocracy instead of recommendocracy, and the will in every humble individual to test the "greatness" of the "greats" who are are perceived as such.
The true character of a person is revealed by how he treats you when you are powerless
There is often more ignorance spread in the name of enlightenment
Loyalty and Love are probably the most abused words I've ever come across - though much touted, most are loyal only unto themselves; and love and lip-service aren't practically very different in general
The first thing some people would do to a start business is to buy an office with 1 table and 2 chairs.
At times when Men are denied what they rightfully deserve, they begin to play God
Two facets of human nature can never coexist - arrogance of youth and the ego of old age