Away from straight thoughts on vogue, voyage and voracity, we thought to share with you moments of reflections we experienced in the eventful memories we chased, some reflections on faith, fears and fidelity of religions and rituals.
As we drove back to Luxor along the river Nile watching the January sun preparing to take a setting dip with a fabulous display of colours, we realised that the more you travel, the more you know. And the more you know, there comes a point when you feel like letting others know less and less about your discoveries. This is because you realise in today’s times, there is so much unknowns yet so many know-alls all around you. With their mandate to brandish the myopic versions of the silos they adhere to, there seems to be no room for seeing everything end to end. This is primarily because they never want to take ten steps back away from their surroundings since they relate taking steps back to defeat. That is why they become so consumed and absorbed by their own world views that they can never see the forest for the trees. That is how it has been, and that is how it is supposed to be.
Many a tourists may see for themselves the Great Pyramids of Giza with an insight in the lives and rituals of the Pharaos. Wonder how many would observe the patterns that emerged across civilisations. How many would notice that while the hieroglyphics invented by the Pharaohs may have become extinct, the Chinese characters went through the same thought process to depict to convey meanings through pictures and after centuries of modifications – is still being used as the language form of the majority population of the world. How many would take note that while the religions and rituals performed by the Pharaohs which comprised of numerous gods and the veneration of semi-humans and semi-gods have all been wiped out by the arrival of Abrahamic religions in that region. Pretty much all civilisations around the world across all times naturally worshipped strong elements of nature and among all – it’s the survival of Hinduism as a full-fledged practicing religion until today’s times.
Certainly the question is not whether worshipping a piece of rock or another human being or something supreme but invisible makes sense or not – the discovery is that there are patterns in their emergence and survival across the human civilisation – because they are very likely, invented and introduced by human beings in the first place. To be more specific – by the Social Scientists. Hence, we want to share the observations while making this reflective twilight return journey in the land which claims to be the place ‘where it all began’ – Egypt. Our enlightenment directed us to dedicate this discovery of wisdom in relation to these great Social Scientists who shaped the human history across ages.
These Social Scientists are the intelligent men who observed the cycle and phases of life and nature around them. It is by design of human capacity to learn and remember, that this group of men were found to have lived in every place and time related to every civilisation. These Social Scientists were able to identify trends and patterns of human emotion and interaction with each other and with their surroundings. They contemplated on the cause and effects of natural calamities and how it impacted the human existence. They aspired to uncover the power of nature to forward their commune. The discovery of fire, the need to hunt, to attack and protect, to quench the hunger and hence cultivate – the survival instinct kicked in to continue the evolution of the human race.
The role of these Social Scientists had been fundamental in designing the end to end processes needed not only to run personal lives but also to run communities and later – countries and kingdoms. They invented ways of recording the information as the observations continued. Either on a piece of rock or on a papyrus, they not only realised the need to keep an account of facts as they happened but also exercised the liberty to add ingredients of folklore, assumptions, faith and fear as and where appropriate in the narrative. Scribes of the Pharaohs, apostles or Sahaabis all had an equally important role as the key social designers. As they not only registered the experiments, results and observations but also they influenced the thought process of their design-in-chiefs – the Social Scientists.
As communities grew so did the complexities. The need to control was felt either by dint of force, fear or faith on elements beyond human comprehension or on natural elements on soil or space. Mortality being the only inevitable conclusion of a human life, the pivotal role of death and the life thereafter was introduced. Human life being fragile and vulnerable, it was important to wrap the controls and code of conduct for individuals and communities with the abstraction of divinity, which if not followed with fidelity must have been at least fiercely feared.
No man would allow another man with equal number of limbs to obey each other unless there was the supreme intervention and supervision of the third force that clearly had more powers to destroy, create and maintain the parties involved. A force which had far more unthinkable ability to cause havoc and to rescue the distressed which no human alone or together could have ever accomplished. Hence God was created. Conceptualised first in the human mind and visualised in natural elements. It was important to create the concept of God not to protect the creations of nature but to protect what the Social Scientists formulated as codes of conduct or the supposed best practices to lead a just life in this earth and in the one after they imagined. Without the supreme seal of approval, it would have been just another human endeavour which would have been vulnerable to infringement by mortal adversaries.
As per parallelism, different social designers emerged concurrently in different parts of human habitat both at same time and in course of subsequent centuries. While some viewed the codes of conduct from a different perspective without the need of any direct conflict or contradiction, others chose to defend their own and attack, impose, replace any value system not compliant to their own view of earth, heavens and hell. It is important to note that along with the battle of the communities, the battle of genders was inherent in human evolution. The Social Scientists were not above and beyond the inclination to safeguard the male sexual authority and superiority over the female race. No wonder the best advocate here again was God Himself to defend the vulnerable male ego, to sustain the masculine quest for polygamy and to nullify the presence or existence of female sexuality. While many subsequent religions made an attempt to relax the shackles around this gender bias, the fundamental stance by all Social Scientists was clear to establish the female body as the reproductive machine, fragile, with a need to be protected and controlled to avoid the hell-fire.
It is important to appreciate and acknowledge the rationale for the emergence of rituals which transformed into full-fledged religions since the time when human cognition and learning aptitude began to mature. Unless we accept the need of religion felt by majority humans across the world even in present times, we cannot question its relevance to evolving human values until now. Today this is increasingly being facilitated by technology and the easy access to information in order to challenge, validate, confirm or reject the assumptions made by Social Scientists during their respective times – which they ensured to be labelled as ‘prophecies’. In other words, what they established as the path to follow was nothing but a pure reflection of the general human value system, the wisdom to choose between right and wrong. Remainder of the prescription was preached to elevate the codes of conduct at a higher level mixed with sufficient level of mystery, vagueness, sometimes contradictions -to convince humans of the exclusiveness of the supreme power(s).
Fast forward in today’s time. It is obvious for those who reflect on all sides that every person posting a status update on Facebook could claim to be the messenger or messiah of God or the God himself. It proves that every human generally shares the same value system as experienced by Social Scientists in their times. They didn’t know about similar thinking peers or even if they knew, they would have refused to become their friends or follow them to the T. The fact that the holy books continued to be sent by God or written by some very intelligent thinkers or by their sidekicks, indicate that the Facebooks of religions only reflect the faces of the Social Scientists and the way they published their news feeds to their friends and followers. If we are clear in 2016 that Mark Zuckerberg is no God but an intelligent technology entrepreneur whose innovation changed the social interactions among humans, then we can safely question the innovators of the Books accepting that their intentions and instructions still have an impact today – positive or negative; that they were extremely intelligent and their approach was entrepreneurial. But following them blindly or fighting over their versions of the Books fulfil the observations made by the Social Scientists in the first place that humans can never agree on one God. Because there is none.
Disclaimer: After reading this, may be you can continue to follow us or maybe you can decide to give an ‘f’ about it. But certainly this post is not about Food or Fashion, other ‘f’ words. Fank you.