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An Important Question for Your Views

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by Pablo, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. Pablo

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    I am an agnostic who enoys life, is very comfortable with his surroundings and inner being, is not spiritual, drinks, smokes, looks at other women without guilt ( sometimes points out the nicer ones to the wife!) and generally indulges in whatever makes me (and my wife happy). I have no guilt, no urges that are left undone and am happy with the fact that we evolved from apes.

    I have a few things that arouse my curiosity (a) why are mangoes so nice tasting (b) how was the earth placed in such a way so that the sun isnt so near that we burn to death and not so far that we all freeze and (c) what was there before the Big Bang? These queries, however, get a few moments of my attention now and again when i am feeling philosophical . These are not the questions i am asking though.

    My question, and please i would prefer answers without endless diatribe and MORE IMPORTANTLY without self important and wise sounding statements and one liners ....

    Some posts on this website have made reference to faith and the need to have a faith in a religion or God ( i capitalise God for respect to yourselves) to guide ones self on what is right or wrong... or what to eat or what not to eat...or who to marry and who not to marry.

    The question for you that also raises my curiosity is why do i not need to have a need for such a faith?
     
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  3. Annie

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    Only you can answer that for yourself. Different people believe different things and have different needs. Most if not all of us are just trying to make sense of this universe with the limited information we have. I see your point though about religion telling you what to eat and who to marry. Some religions and religious people go too far.

    There's something I am curious about though. Why do you feel the need to come to a Sikh forum and tell us about how fine you feel about NOT being a Sikh? Maybe you're searching for something?
     
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    #2 Annie, Aug 21, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  4. Pablo

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    Annie,
    Yes it was rather smart ! You ask a very petinent question.. I was raised a Sikh and had a few spare moments :sippingcoffeemunda: so I thought I'd raise a question on this forum.

    My posting shouldnt be taken as a vehicle to promote how "cool" I am for my particular way of life. (I appreciate that others may find the life I lead as far from "cool"!) The information given was just a background for anyone interested.

    I am just curious as to any thoughts on the question at hand.
     
  5. Ishna

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    I had to read your question a couple of times due to sentence structure. I've gathered you're asking why you personally don't feel the need to have faith in something? If I'm wrong please restate your question.

    My response to my interpretation of our question would be "because that's just the way you are". There is spectacular variation in creation, and it keeps on keeping on, to borrow Paul Simon's lyrics "spinning in infinity".

    And you're a part of that creation. And you've discovered the human's primitive urges for comfort, excitement, women, and everything else that makes you a happy monkey (I support that theory too!). And that's fine, however I don't think it leads to any particular evolution.

    Please excuse the analogy as I mean no disrespect but I'm short on time: it's easier to paddle in the kiddie pool than learn to swim in the ocean.

    I don't see Sikhi to be as much of a faith-based religion as other religions are. Sikhi to me is more of an acceptance and acknowledgement of reality. I don't need to have faith that there is a man in heaven watching my every move to reward or punish me after death. That would indeed require a lot of faith on my part. It is easier for me to look at the wonders of creation, appreciate and be in awe of them for what they are, and then be in even more awe thinking the creative force which moves to create the wonders of the world also moves to create wonders so much further away from earth that I can't even imagine, and has been doing it since before the big bang, and will be doing it far after the universe has collapsed in on itself, because -what else could there be?!-.

    And I can't help but offer some thoughts on your other questions you weren't actually asking us:

    (a) why are mangoes so nice tasting Just because they are. And I hate mangoes, go figure!
    (b) how was the earth placed in such a way so that the sun isnt so near that we burn to death and not so far that we all freeze and No idea, but lucky for us? I suppose the Sikh answer might be "the creative force wanted to create life and so by the power of physics placed the earth right here".
    (c) what was there before the Big Bang? I was watching a show on dark matter last night and asked myself the question: what did the big bang bang into? Doesn't an environment already need to exist for something to expand into? And that's where the awe and inspiration of some creative force come from, from my perspective. There will always be the "what came before that" question.

    Gurfatehji
    Ishna
     
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  6. Annie

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    Pablo ji,

    I was raised Christian but left that faith when I was a teenager. I find more truth in other religions, but also a major part of why I want nothing to do with Christianity is that I don't like the attitudes of many people who follow it, or how they have warped the religion to fit their agendas. I wonder, did you feel that way before you left Sikhi?
     
  7. Lee

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    Pablo ji,

    Of course only you can really ever hope to answer question regarding your Self.

    As as Sikh however I am bound to answer in this way.

    Gurur ji teaches us that all is Gods will, perhaps then you are simply not yet meant to search for God?

    Or perhaps your karma dictates that you should at this time question your lack of faith?

    I don't know, but I wish you happy hunting.
     
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  8. Harry Haller

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    Pabloji,

    Firstly welcome to SPN!

    I read your post with interest as you sound like me 15 years ago. You sound like a very happy and settled individual,and you have every right to ask yourself, and indeed anyone else, why on earth do you need a restriction on your activities. Well, you don't!.

    Having said that, you mention you look at other women without guilt,sometimes pointing the nicer ones out to your wife, to me this statement speaks volumes, I do not look at other women, not because I feel guilty, as guilt as a terrible thing, but for the pure reason I have no wish to, I am not saying I have conquered lust, but everything starts with a seed, and I see no point in planting seeds that will only cause me problems. The fact that you point out the nicer ones to your wife, intimates to me, that she clearly loves you very much, and is willing to accept you fully, and be secure in your love for her, regardless who you look at. Your wife is clearly a remarkable woman, and she clearly values your happiness and outlook on life. I would ask the question, would you be as happy and contented if it were not for the understanding of your wife?
    If you have no urges left undone, again, I commend your wife for being completely in tune with you to the point where you are happy and content.

    Sikhism does not really dictate who you marry or what you eat, you can eat what you want, and marry who you want, you are thinking more in terms of culture than religion.

    As you have stated you are a lapsed sikh, rather like I was, I would mention that 99% of everything you think you know about sikhism is probably untrue. There is no concept of sin, there should be no guilt, we do not answer to anyone other than ourselves, rather like you already do, the five K's are there, as far as I am concerned as a statement of joy rather than a prerequisite. So in fact, you are already a sikh, as you are asking questions and pushing forward the boundaries of your thinking.

    And now the big question, why should you have a need for such a faith?

    Reading between the lines, and observing the comments about your wife, you come across as someone who cannot believe their luck!, but what if it does not last, will it end? Yes, I am afraid it probably will, you sound like you have your wife's full attention, do you have any children, or pets?

    In life, people get ill, they get tired, they get pregnant, things happen, you have to ask yourself if you lived alone would you be so happy with life?

    If the answer is yes, then I have no answers for you.
    If the answer is no, then my dear friend, you have to be happy within yourself, even if all your other roads to happiness have been shut off. Faith gives us access to the creator that lives within us all, and is present everywhere. Once you have accessed this force, you will find yourself content and happy regardless what is happening in your life, you will be reliant on nobody else, and you will also unlock the key to every question in your life, of course it will take time, but see it as an insurance policy. One day, when you and your wife are old, and you have children and grandchildren, you will not only be able to love all of them, but yourself all fuelled by the love of the creator within you. The first step to this to really know yourself, rather than know what makes you happy and stop there.

    I hope that helps brother
     
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  9. Pablo

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    Yes I did. Purely because of the same reason as you for leaving Christianity. Any book, any hymn, any teaching and any quote will always be warped by the writer, composer, teacher and quoter - who knows for sure what was actually said or written. It is for this reason I cannot accept anything unless proven before my eyes. Yes that also applies to evolution and the big bang theory. Everything around us has been warped and it makes no sense to me to say one faith hasn't been or is less warped than another and makes even less sense to need to follow such faiths because of the lack of proof that the original ethos has not been tainted ....in any way at all.

    Hang on, I may have just answered my question !! Praise be to...err..myself ?! ( with a little help from Annie !)
     
  10. Ambarsaria

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    Pablo ji I find you are little glib about what you write while expecting answers to be precise. Your approach also appears to follow the same direction. Now we are having a philisophical discourse so no bad feelings, no demeaning or negative intent is implied and I apologize ahead if you are at all bothered how I am writing and will edit my post if desired or needed. So let us look at part of your latest post,

    Hoping the above adds to discourse in this thread.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  11. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Does one really leave their faith,or does their faith leave them?
     
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  12. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Sinner ji one cannot live without faith. The question is faith in what,


    • You crossing the road and assume the cars will stop as you cross the road
    • You drive a car and you assume no will hit you head on
    • You take a train and assume it will not go off the rail
    • You fly in a plane, you assume there will be no explosions or mal-function
    • Life is a series of assumptions
    • What are assumptions, times when you don't control or know everything and still go on with what you do
    • Many many more .............
    Is assumptions in the face of not knowing and still doing called "faith". I would call such that.

    Same goes for spirituality. You can seek full understanding and temporarily have faith in things you don't understand. But let your faith be a temporary instance, as the grace of understanding is the fruit worth going for.

    So faith is always there whether it s spirituality or day to day living. Those who claim not to have faith in things or concepts till such are proven individually to them are just hallucinating in some inner conceited holiness which is as imaginary as the faith they detest. Just my thoughts not to offend.mundahug icecreammunda

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  13. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Sat Sri Akaal Veera

    I remember a story about two children one had 'faith'and used go to a place to light a candle the other was jealous of him and would go there after to put it out .

    One day it was raining heavily so the 'faithful' one did not go but the other managed to get there despite the awful weather to put it out !

    I think the story goes that he was deemed the more faithful and given darshan.
     
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  14. Ambarsaria

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    Sinner veer ji that is the unknown in life. One can be here living 90+ years without knowing or discovering much as compared to an excited mind which is looking for and discovering a lot. Is there a difference in the two, of course there is. However, that difference does not make one all good or the other all bad.

    It is the use one puts to what one knows and not the total of what one knows. Quality versus quantity argument.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
  15. Harry Haller

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    Pabloji

    Not all quotes, books and teachings have been warped, Shakespears writings pretty much convey the message of time, without being warped, and he was born in 1564. The SGGS ji was written much more recently, and thankfully, given the way it was written and documented, is a lot more easier to read in its original, than say the Bible. In fact, I have just logged on to wikki, and seen the one of the original writings by Guru Har Rai Ji, and I can just about read it, even though it is handwritten, this is the original, as written and documentated by the Gurus. As sikhism is such a young religion, we do not have the danger of material being warped, as the language is Gurmukhi, which even I can read and understand, although I understand some is written persian, sanskrit and others.

    Most religions will show you the path to self enlightenment in one way or another. I have met many enlightened sikhs, mulsims, christians and jews, I have also met many fools who know nothing about enlightenment but just repeat parrot fashion what has been written.

    Man has been on earth for many years, in that period, some men have made it their life mission to connect with something bigger, that gives us an answer to life in all its facets, through the pain, the suffering, the solitude, not just the fun times, its easy to ignore this and be glib when you are surrounded by fun, but is fun enough to sustain you through births, deaths, and more importantly knowing yourself, you are just a snapshot of the good times my brother, does looking at the whole album scare you?
     
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  16. Harry Haller

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    Even an atheist needs a god not to believe in :grinningsingh:
     
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  17. Annie

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    I have a few random thoughts here.

    I hope I will not offend anyone - no disrespect to anyone here is intended. I'm sure we have all complained or at least read other people's complaints about certain Sikhs who are superstitious, or confuse Hindu or Christian ideas with Sikhi. Also those who confuse Sikh values with a particular community's cultural values. Perhaps Pablo ji has been exposed to too many of these type of people and it has given him a negative view of Sikhi. But the group of wonderful people on this website prove that Sikhi can be a more pure and noble way of life.

    Spirituality does not have to be all or nothing. It is possible for a person to study many different religions, take the wisdom from each, and leave behind the meaningless (to you) ritual.

    Truth is within you. If you listen quietly and with an open mind, you may be surprised by what your heart recognizes as true.

    Just because an idea came along some decades or centuries after the founding of a religion, doesn't mean it is inherently incorrect. It may be, but then again it may not be.
     
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  18. Pablo

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    Thank you all for your responses, i comment on as many as as i can below...

    @ Ishna - apologies for sentence structure, i was using my mobile phone!
    No offence taken at the happy monkey reference but points deducted for the wise one liner "it's easier to paddle in the kiddie pool than learn to swim in the ocean"!

    @Lee - "Gurur ji teaches us that all is Gods will, perhaps then you are simply not yet meant to search for God? Or perhaps your karma dictates that you should at this time question your lack of faith?" My dabblings in Buddhism stopped when the concept of Karma came up - I cannot subscribe to any path/religion that states an act of kindness must be done for a better next life because that act then becomes selfish.

    @Harry Haller - you said "The fact that you point out the nicer ones to your wife, intimates to me, that she clearly loves you very much, and is willing to accept you fully, and be secure in your love for her, regardless who you look at. Your wife is clearly a remarkable woman, and she clearly values your happiness and outlook on life. I would ask the question, would you be as happy and contented if it were not for the understanding of your wife?" - I point out the prettier ones because having pointed out (from far away) what i thought was a pretty girl she exclaimed "thats not pretty!". Its a quid pro quo situation as she also points out pretty girls to me! We are as understanding as each other.

    you also said "As you have stated you are a lapsed sikh, rather like I was, I would mention that 99% of everything you think you know about sikhism is probably untrue. There is no concept of sin, there should be no guilt, we do not answer to anyone other than ourselves, rather like you already do, the five K's are there, as far as I am concerned as a statement of joy rather than a prerequisite. So in fact, you are already a sikh, as you are asking questions and pushing forward the boundaries of your thinking".

    One problem with this - is it only Sikhs that ask questions and push boundaries? Does asking questions and pushing boundaries have to carry a label?

    you also said "In life, people get ill, they get tired, they get pregnant, things happen, you have to ask yourself if you lived alone would you be so happy with life?" - well yes i would as a person shouldnt need another person for happiness. If it comes along then its a bonus!

    @Ambarsaria - you said "I don't know what Sikhism you understood that you seem to have left. We all have different understandings." - I think you have hit the nail on the head with that. I couldnt agree more. How do you know whether the teachings that you believe are the correct versions? What if the originator of the translations of the hymns and guidance that you hold so dear are in fact the wrong understandings? And further more, who says whats right and wrong? My point is no-one will ever know what the Guru's meant apart from themselves. Same with Ghandi and the same with Hitler. No-one will ever know their rationale and motivation apart from them. So isnt it easier just to follow your own moral code which takes a bit from here and a bit from there - without a label based on, if you strip it down - the unknown?

    @Sinner - "Does one really leave their faith,or does their faith leave them?" - almost points deducted for a wise one liner but why cant a person have a faith in the most important person there is regarding a mental and emotional state of being, ie themselves.

    @Ambarsaria - "So faith is always there whether it s spirituality or day to day living. Those who claim not to have faith in things or concepts till such are proven individually to them are just hallucinating in some inner conceited holiness which is as imaginary as the faith they detest. Just my thoughts not to offend." - Isnt inner holiness what Buddism broadly (very broadly) encouraged? I dont want to get into a debate here but isnt it possible that Guru Nanak maybe took a bit of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism to create Sikhism? I dont want a debate like i all i am asking is, are you all 100% sure he didnt. If you are 99% sure then there is still 1% of you that must agree then that Sikhism may have an element of inner holiness. If you are 100% sure i want your secret as to how you transported back in time to speak to Guruji personally and discuss with him his intentions when creating his version of Sikhism. (i say that as it couldnt be more different to Guru Gobind Singh Ji's version) Oh and putting a smiley face after your thoughts doesnt detract from a fairly insulting bit of text !

    @Sinner - "I remember a story about two children one had 'faith'and used go to a place to light a candle the other was jealous of him and would go there after to put it out .One day it was raining heavily so the 'faithful' one did not go but the other managed to get there despite the awful weather to put it out !I think the story goes that he was deemed the more faithful and given darshan." - Can i just clarify then that stomping on anothers faith in such a blatant way instead of talking to the other child as to why he has the faith results in a prize?!

    @Harry Haller - "Not all quotes, books and teachings have been warped, Shakespears writings pretty much convey the message of time, without being warped, and he was born in 1564. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ji was written much more recently, and thankfully, given the way it was written and documented, is a lot more easier to read in its original, than say the Bible"

    This ties in very well with my final thought that i have raised above with Ambarsaria. How does anyone know just that any teaching / story / song is what the originator has actually written? What if Shakespeare's plays were written by another and dictated by Shakespear? What if the writer put a spin on what was being said. Minor point but you get the idea. How do you all truly know what you believe in is what was intended by the specific people you worship? My final thought on this? Live and let live and live by your own made up moral code not by someone elses?
     
  19. Ishna

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    Ji, Sikhs don't worship people.

    Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is our Guru, the Universe is our Guru, the Sikh is the student, we read, we sing, we have fellowship and we learn. We grow and apply what we learn in our lives. We strive to be good people and practice according to what we know. What more do you need?

    Why do people get so hung up on "knowing for 100% sure"? You will never ever know 100% sure about anything, you can only go on what you've learned.

    You've already decided that's what you want to do. No one here will stop you. My personal thought is that I am a student, I don't know everything, there is much wisdom in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and in the lives of the Gurus, and the wisdom is the key. If I haven't taken any lessons in the kitchen, the meals I cook will be haphazard. If I want to cook delicious, wholesome, beautiful food, I may need some more experienced chefs to teach me first. Then when I have the skills and techniques and know which spice goes with what flavour, I can apply these myself to my cooking and make kickass Aloo Prontha all by myself. I haven't met anyone who can make aloo prontha without a recipe and some practice...

    You will find some similarities between most religions, because most of them are teaching core spiritual truths for human beings. Some are more heavily layered with nonsense, or ritual, or rules than others. But they're all trying to talk about a human, a higher power, that relationship, and human life. And Guru Nanak Ji through to Guru Gobind Singh Ji had an audience at that time in history, had existing traditions to work with, so naturally their communication will have an element of the existing religions in that area at the time.

    Good luck to you on your journey.
     
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  20. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Dear Pablo

    I accept the point deduction I deserve it,and I must try not do one liners in future!

    Cordially

    Sinner
     
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  21. Harry Haller

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    firstly, I agree completely, live by your own moral code, people are not there to be worshiped, in fact I am not even sure worship is the correct word, we cherish or love the bani, the ideals, and the force, the truth that put it all in order, if that cherish and love appears like worshiping, then that is a human way of expression, I feel it is more of a connection myself.
    I put it to you Pabloji that you are not living by your own moral code, you are living by the code of pleasure and self, from your style of writing, you have ego, pride and you are self centred, other than the fact that your wife appeases your ego and pride, you have not seen fit to mention anything else about her, this seems all about you

    I hope I have answered some of your questions, apologies if I have been direct to the point
     
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