In my more mature years when I started the process of deconditioning myself and started questioning many things that were unquestioned givens and accepted as such coming from long-standing traditions, I began to wonder as to how things evolved to be what they are. Now I do not take anything without careful scrutiny. Soon I learned that life is difficult. But I do not want it to be any less difficult knowing that level of difficulty brings with it its own satisfaction. With new discoveries in science and technology, we are learning new things about the universe. Even though we have made some new discoveries and explorations in social sciences in the last century, we have not made marked progress in spirit life that makes this world a better, safer, and more trustworthy and loving place. I do not think that humanity has failed, but it is going through a hedonistic phase with a good measure of adolescent rebellion. We are all familiar with the “my way is better than your way” and “my way or high way” of the “me generation” of the 1990’s. As I was in the midst of the drastic social changes let loose by human rights and women’s rights movements and struggles that were taking place, I did not have the time to distance myself sufficiently and do the needed processing that was vital for wholesome and healthy living. I was too busy earning a living for myself and my family. Knowing that religions and the so-called God’s will interpreted by their leaders were the ramparts that defended societies that housed racism, casteism, colonialism, and extreme and scandalous disparity and inequality in wealth and resources, religions lost their credibility for me; the interpretations of religious leaders lost meaning for me. The whole humanity should be ashamed, for instance, knowing that according to the latest statistics one per cent of humanity controls 99% of the world’s wealth. We are so pathetically desensitized that such statistics do not shock us anymore.
In the background of what I said above, I started more specifically scrutinizing the gradual evolution of belief systems, dogmas, and doctrines and how incredibly naïve I was in believing what I did believe. This examining for me was very essential as I wholeheartedly devoted the most important years (17 – 42) of my adult life to religion and the God that religion proclaimed. I now strongly believe that everyone’s life is an experiment with truth and holistic living, that everything in life – both good and bad events – has something to teach us, and that everything, purifying and strengthening us, helps us face our life meaningfully. Coming back to belief systems, dogmas, doctrines, rituals, and traditions, they may be good for others, but for me I would like to go behind them and the time before they were formulated, trying to get to the root of things where it all began. I would like to know how persons lived before these dogmas, doctrines, and rituals were formulated. For instance, with regard to Christian religion I would like to learn deeply about the teachings of Christ, the person of Christ, and how he and how his early followers lived so I can live and love as they lived and loved. I do not need to persuade others to a particular way of being as they can avail themselves of the same data I have and see for themselves if my life is also worthwhile. As I am fully capable and responsible for my life, I do not want anyone to be responsible for mine. I am fully aware that we need everyone in this vast universe, that I am not an island, and that I do not need to re-invent the wheel. I have the total heritage of humanity where humanity triumphed over evil and humanity unleashed evil on fellow human beings. We have within ourselves what it takes to make the very best or the worst of ourselves. This makes life at once challenging as well as exciting. This way, while one can be frustrated with the way things are, there is not a boring moment in life, and there is also no need to look for thrill outside of oneself. One can learn even from one’s frustration.