“We met at the wrong time. That’s what I kept telling myself anyway. Maybe one day, years from now we’ll meet in a coffee shop in a far away city somewhere and we could give it another shot.” – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Lately, I have been processing a lot about things I have agreed and disagreed with, then reviewing them. Including my perspective of the three word religious people are afraid to catch on: sin. This word makes me question: “Why do they badly want to interpret what God wants us to do and not to do? Don’t they just base the interpretation on their own personal motivation and experience? Does everyone have distinguished experience when it comes to spirituality?”
Thinking about sin, based on the movie “The Devil’s Advocate” there is a scene where the Devil (played by Al Pacino) implies that his favorite sin is vanity. Meanwhile, in “Kite Runner”, a book written by Khaled Hosseini, the biggest sin of all is stealing. Every sinful activity humans do refers to stealing. If we kill someone, we steal someone’s life. If we lie, we steal the truth. And so on. So, what is the real biggest sin of all, then?
Recently, I talked to Trisa Triandesa who is studying Cognitive Neuroscience & Neuropsychology for an article published in Geometry Media. There is one thing from the conversation that sticks in my head. He said that humans are not rational creatures. Everything we do is based on what we believe, our experience, and —regret to tell you the truth: subjectivity. It means that if we are not rational and rather subjective, to our own core, why do we bother so much to play God? To judge who is bad and good, to be sinful or not? Who are we to name other people’s sins rooting from our knowledge? Even more, if we are not rational, does it mean we don’t have the right to think someone else is worse than us by telling them what we personally believe is sinful? Not going to a mass is sinful. Not reading the bible is sinful. These make us sinners?
Isn’t everyone a sinner after all? One confession to the priest does not instantly wash away the bad things we did, does it?
Photo by Wendy van Zyl from Pexels
Don’t take me wrong, I don’t say that we should be unfollowing religious rituals. If certain religious people who are afraid to end up in hell do all those things, good for them. Nothing is wrong about that. But it does not validate that other people who don’t do exactly like them are worse. Believe me, many people who do all the religious rituals do not implement the essential point of a religion to other human beings. They fail to show kindness to creatures they can interact actively with. They prefer to let themselves be hypocrites who always bring up God, shield themselves with the rituals to approve whatever they do. Or worse, to polish their image as someone who follows religious practices in order to mask their wrongdoings.
What I’m trying to say here is that I think it’s better we keep religion for ourselves. Truly and only. Don’t push it to others. Basically, the existence of religions is to make us acknowledge what are good and bad things for ourselves, to avoid hurting others or maybe ourselves. Not vice versa, to hurt others just because they oppose our religious perspectives. It is not our job to decide if someone will be in hell or heaven. We never know exactly how our sins are taken into account. No one can yet prove how it works up there. Most of us have a religion because it is a legacy from our parents. When we were born, we could not choose what we wanted to be: a Christian, Moslem, Hindi, Buddhist, or others. Our parents or family passed that to us and most of us could not get away with it (especially in Indonesia, unfortunately). It is sad that some parents will not accept their kids to convert with no apparent reasons. Worse, some parents could exile their kids from the family tree if they dared to.
In this complicated world, I wish more of us would watch “PK”. This Bollywood movie speaks much about how humans, the micro elements of this endlessly borderless macro universe, dare to play God. I hope after watching it, more people will realize that all religious or spiritual rituals are created by humans and only for humans. And just like the pope in “Angel and Demons” says in the end: