1. The Beginning
‘Who am I?‘, ‘Where am I?’ and, ‘Why am I here?’ are some normal thoughts any average man or woman living in the 21st century might have in the shower.
Most of us take these thoughts in a lighter sense, move on and face our day. We go to our jobs, get yelled at by our bosses and get frustrated throughout the day, get back home, get entertained and finally fall asleep, where we find a temporary solace. We wake up the next day and repeat the same silly charade!
We postpone the means to find the answers to these questions almost every day. The answers can wait, we feel, resting the questions on the factor we believe to have created everything and us – God.
No matter what religion anyone follows, most people around the world have come to the major conclusion that a divine creator created each of us for a reason. And by living our lives, we are fulfilling that purpose. We worship our Gods through reverence, by benevolence and sometimes due to fear, and hope that someday we may find the very purpose of our lives through them. This series of actions seems to be an easier road to travel, for we don’t need to strain to understand our lives and the reasons behind everyday events.
It is natural too, since the thought, ‘why worry about it when we can make money and just have fun in the little time we have,’ constantly keeps running in our minds. While most of us are confined within the comforts of our religions, there are a few people who stand out from the crowd and take these questions seriously. This, they do so not out of disregard for conformity, but out of pure curiosity!
It is these people who choose to take the tougher paths to understand the life we live through, the reality we live in, to find out the reason why we were created, and sometimes, to question the very notions of Gods themselves. Usually, our societies criticise these individuals. Their views are ridiculed and their ideas rejected to be nonsensical. But actually, it is the ideas and thoughts of these individuals that collectively carry humankind into the future.
The collective progress we humans make in understanding reality and God can be attributed to these individuals who stand out of the crowd. We call them by many names; scientists, intellectuals, philosophers, being a few. It must be remembered that these individuals don’t see any special attributes of reality an ordinary person like you and me can’t see. But the way they perceive reality is what brings about all the differences in the world.
The non-conformity of these individuals to the conventional ideas of the times is not new in the history of our existence on this planet. Numerous examples of people who gave out new ideas (sometimes getting lynched for that) and rejecting the popular notions exist. While a few ideas were not accepted right away, a few others changed the very perspective of humankind in a day. Albert Einstein and his theories are great examples of this.
The curiosity to know everything about anything, to gain the knowledge by any means necessary, even if it is to tear down their very reality if they have to, has helped those individuals obtain the answers they seek, and to share with us, the knowledge they gained. It is with this collective knowledge that we shall now attempt to understand the answers to all our questions about reality and the God that created it.
One might wonder as to why the need for understanding reality arises in the first place. The answer being, to understand the beginning of any process, the process itself needs a complete understanding. That is, the question of ‘why’ of any process gets clear only when the questions of ‘what’ and ‘how’ are fulfilled. And in our search for God, the creator of the reality, we need to understand everything the God has created.
Attempts to understand the God, have, are and will take place until man sees or interacts with the entity himself. The search for proof that God exists continues to take place forever, with the processes seldom yielding requisite results. Even so, the search goes on. What has prevented us humans from understanding God in his/her totality is that we forget the fact that we are the part of the processes that go on ever since God created everything. We tend to exclude ourselves in the search process and believe ourselves to be external observers.
This exclusion of ourselves from the processes has not yet yielded the answers we seek. What is needed then is a complete understanding of reality, with us humans being the focal point in the search. So saying, that in our attempt to understand God, we’ll take the tougher path ourselves, outside the views and teachings of religions, by understanding everything that has been created (which includes us and our lives) and evolved through time, from the point-of-view of science, the adversary of religions.
Yeah, science is a boring subject for many, but don’t worry, we are not going into chemical reactions or anatomy of cells or mole numbers or anything of the kind. Our discussion will take the ideas from sciences that are most necessary for our knowledge base and most practical for our understanding.