As a child I never understood religion. I thought it was the strangest thing ever. I saw it as a dubious link to someone/something that I didn’t know anything about. I saw all these people praying and praising the Lord and I couldn’t figure out why.  And I was always suspicious of the priests who purported to be the guardians of the religion and part of the dubious link.  But this was many many years ago.

Then as I grew up I began to see how religion positively influenced people around me. I saw people improving for the better by reading, listening  and following the guidance in their religions. These were the same people who would never pick up a serious book, but were happy not only reading these extremely deep and serious books but also using the knowledge in their day to day lives. Never mind that all these ideas and opinions are also available outside the religious genre.  But if it is their religion that motivates them to read and inbibe then it has to be a good thing.

I then decided, on the basis of my superficial understanding of various religions, that I will pick and choose the aspects that I like from different religions and form my own personal religion. It goes against my grain to follow someone and something chapter and verse. I feel I am not making proper use of my brain by not thinking through what I am doing. And if I start to think through I am bound to come up with issues against a religion. If I have the freedom to choose most things about myself in life , surely I can choose various aspects of different religion to form my very own philosophy.

However, what all this does is that it leaves me out all by myself. I am friends with all religions but am also against them since I don’t agree with some other aspects of them. And in the current scenario, where people are more able and willing to identify enemies than they are friends, it is more of the latter. As I withdraw more and more I wonder that if what I have can be called a religion or is it more a way of thinking or because it comes so naturally to me, just an extension of my personality. The lines are very blurred.

I then see the passions these religions inspire in some of their followers. Passions which sometimes bring out the worst in human beings. I look at that and I wonder how religion, if it is really what I understand it to be, can inspire those actions. Which then sort of brings me back to where I started.

That I don’t understand religion.