Slavery of the Mind

If the question is "Will you trade your mind with Satan in return for eternal happiness?" , most of us without blinking an eyelid will say "Nooo".
But if the question is "Will you trade your mind with God in return for eternal happiness?" , then why should the answer be any different?
Afterall, in both cases you are enslaving your mind, right?
Before you jump into conclusions, let me clarify a few things - this post is NOT one of those eternal does God exist/ should I believe in God debate. I am NOT an atheist.
I also know that different people believe in God differently and to different degrees and no one way is better than another..
And I am talking here about people who have the resources to think for themselves. By which I mean, they have the economic and intellectual freedom to be masters of their mind - if only they choose to.
And that is what this post is all about - it is about the choice one makes...and as liberal minded as I would like to think of myself, I am not liberal enough to accept slavery of one of the most powerful things I have come across - the human mind.
To me stiffling its potential is nothing less than a crime.
This post is the outcome of something I have noticed in my new work environment - rather in and around my new work environment. The minimum education levels of people in the companies out here is an engineering degree. (mostly) Their work demands logical thought which they are very good at as well. However, there are eerie pockets of religious extremism (for want of a better word). I am not saying that they plan any harmful activities - atleast not in the traditional sense of the term. They organise prayer meetings and pray and preach the word of God. Till this part of the script is acceptable to me - in the name of religious freedom or whatever. But, the sad part is when they say "It's God's Will" - for anything ranging from a sudden downpour to the spread of fever epidemic in Kerala to Koreans being freed in Afghanistan. (no exaggerations here). They all belong to some order or the other - and no religion is free from these orders which literally trade your soul in return for a guarantee of happiness.
One common thing I have noticed among youngsters falling a prey to this malice is that all of them have had a personal tragedy of some sorts which they couldn't rationally explain. (like a loved one's death). And the perpetuators of these religious groups pounce upon them as targets - preach and convert them into disciples - all in the name of supporting them during their time of grief. Once converted, these youngsters then become the agents of these groups - looking for other hapless souls to buy out...
Maybe the intention is nice and noble - but the nagging question in my mind is - Isn't it possible to console someone without twisting their personalities?Without taking away their belief in themselves? Without making them feel as pawns in the hand of a player (albeit a loving and caring one)?Without making them sacrifice everyday pleasures like being able to make fun of your friends (you can always apologise if you cross your limits, rite?)Without making them chant the name of God every ten minutes ? (I mean pray as much as you want, but why should it be a forced routine?)
And I know it is not an isolated phenomenon. Anywhere in the world, even among highly educated people, you find this trend - of slavery of the mind.
So I dug deeper and I guess the answer lies in 'attribution theory' - where we try to atrribute things that go horribly wrong to a third party.
Whatever be the reason, de-addiction from these religious orders is sometimes a more painful and longer process than de-addiction from drugs. And I don't understand how these 'friends in misery' are any better than 'fair weather friends'. The way I look at it , the latter is better - atleast they take away just your material possessions - your soul is still in your control !!!

P.S Views are solely mine.

Comments

alex said…
Tinkerbells,

Thats 'the' question to ask. I am asking the same one these days too. :)

Shall wait for the full post, if there is one.
Anonymous said…
Hey good to see you back... and will wait for your full post...
where art thou now?

bombaydosti
Tinkerbells said…
@alex: yea, post complete :)
@bd : i am these days in the capital of God's Own Country. u seem to have disappeared from Orkut too..no way to catch up????
bombay dosti said…
I had experienced a similar phenomenon while i was in the institute.And when they are roommates, and you actually see them transform,and they even invite you to these religious aspects... believe if not anything, i even got scared.I am fine if they believe they have to say the name of their gods a hundred times; they believe that theirs is the one and the only way and therefore they genuinely believe that they are doing others good by including them into the sect... isn't it scary to know that some act is a source of discomfort and those people are not even aware that they are doing this ?
Tinkerbells said…
@bd : yea it is scary...especially the transformation from a bubbly vivacious person to a 'pious' and 'holier than thou' person.
alex said…
Tinkerbells,

"Isn't it possible to console someone without twisting their personalities?Without taking away their belief in themselves? Without making them feel as pawns in the hand of a player (albeit a loving and caring one)?Without making them sacrifice everyday pleasures like being able to make fun of your friends (you can always apologise if you cross your limits, rite?)Without making them chant the name of God every ten minutes ? (I mean pray as much as you want, but why should it be a forced routine?)"

Exactly!

I think people tend to depend on persons or ideas of those but themselves.

Faith:The notion is a very well crafted one which leaves no room for any questions.

How was/is your stay in TVM??
Tinkerbells said…
@alex: yea faith - 'blind' !!
stay in tvm - have shifted here permanently - rather semi-permanently (read that as a couple of years at minimum and a lifetime as maximum) ...I am yet trying to identify the dynamics of a close minded homogeneous small town :)
alex said…
Tinkerbells,

LOL. Dynamics!

Tvm is a place i love, because i did 5 years of my schooling there. :)

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