Do you believe in God?
Asking this questions in the West has become something tricky. People normally feel that they need to spend a fairly good amount of time explaining themselves on why they believe and in what exactly. Being religious has almost become something negatively connoted, associated with close-mindedness, poor sense of rationality and even poor education. If you believe, you are almost socially obliged to specify that you believe “even if…” and there is usually some extra information that will serve as a justification, so that the interlocutor can make sure that you possess common sense.
In India, religion will confront you at every corner, whether you like it or not. Goa is also a particular “masala” of religions: Hindu, Catholic, Islam. However, interestingly enough, people are just ok with it. Whatever your religion is, you will be respected. Every house, business and taxi cab has an altar inside so that you can make sure you know what is believed to be the case 😝.
“What is your religion? Do you believe in God?” Are absolutely common questions that even your taxi driver can ask you in a completely chilled way. And they expect a chilled reply, without too much additional information.
As many of you know, even if I am very spiritual, I do not associate with a religion.
I do believe in a Universal energy constantly affected by the unfolding of things and vice versa, and I do believe in the creative power of our consciousness to make things that are beyond the scientific abilities that we possess. This explanation wouldn’t sit well with an Indian. Then they say: “oh, ok, you believe!”. That is why I learned that the answer is YES. A fearless “YES. I believe in God” is the way to go in my case.•
How interesting that I still don’t like saying it? How interesting that I still feel threatened by the word?
What have we, humans, what have we done to the word -and in the name of- “God”? •
I love how free I feel to be spiritual here. I think we really need, in the west, to revise the subject: study more, know more, understand more. Less skipping of theology classes at school to begin with. They should be 100% curricular!