The concept of God has been an experiment since childhood for me. Thanks to the ever-changing beliefs of my father in pursuit of exploring the idea of God and faith, I have been exposed to various belief systems including Hinduism, Christianity, non-religion etc. The good part of all this has been that my dad was not inclined to be absorbed into any particular ritual or dogma and sort of in a continuous state of exploration. This unique dichotomy of believing in something and yet questioning it had a profound impact on the way I started looking at things. All through these experiences, the constant has been the belief that there does exist a supreme being, who is the source and the very reason for the existence. The name of the God in question changed, but the belief in the existence of a supreme being continued.
The purpose of existence and the thought about the very origin of the whole universe has been a reason for continuous thought and exploration for me. While these bigger questions linger, there was something else that continued my association with the belief of the existence of a supreme being, “Faith”. This faith did not require a specific deity or a form of worship but a faith that there exists someone who is watching over and guiding me towards the path that I need to journey. This has been a crucial aspect for me especially during some critical phases of my life, where I had to deal with the unexpected loss of parents one after the other. All through these travails, there was this belief that someone is watching over and I would at some point be able to overcome the travails thanks to the justice to be provided by God. There have been continuous setbacks despite my best efforts ( or might be I could have tried better), and all through this, it was the faith that someone is watching and I would have my reward. which made me survive and hope for the future.
Meanwhile, my exploration and experimenting on different ideas about God, Humanism and others continued. There isn’t any particular incident or a reading which made me to question the concept of God, but it was summation of all the experiences that I started to question this concept and in turn my faith. Belief in any religion or practice was something I long overcame in my younger days, but questioning the existence of God and my faith in that aspect was a new experience that i started having. It was particularly tough to not believe in the existence of God, especially with concept of faith which happens to be the bedrock of what I believed in. The thought that there might not be anyone who is actually watching me over and it has been me all alone who have been fighting all-through and would need to continue fighting all alone, was sort of unsettling. It was as if something is snatched away from me, and I am suddenly left without having anything to continue with my life. Honestly, I might not be still open to the absolute fact that God does not exist, but I have started coming terms to the aspect that it does not matter if God exists or not and my survival is very much up to me. This thought, as I said is quite an unsettling one.
It was out of this unsettling feeling that I happen to find faith in something new, myself. Removing away the faith in someone actually helped me to start having faith in myself. Now there is no one else, that I could throw the responsibility on or wait for deliverance. If I am expecting a solution, I better start working on it. This sort of enabled me to start having more focus on myself, of identifying where I am doing wrong or where I am actually being good. Diverting the faith from God, and building upon the concept of faith on self has been an enriching one for me so far. The possibilities that me , as a human can achieve does seem to be more feasible especially with the realization that there are no unknown factors that influence. each and every occurrence now can properly be analyzed, understood and corrected upon to try and improve on it. This possibility make me more optimistic and I do feel empowered that it is me who can make things happen.
Yes, life does exist beyond the faith in God.