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Day 297: Analogy: Tree and Religion


Image Source: Google Images
For the lack of a better image ! 
Once upon a time there lived a few people. We don't need their names as once we name them, it is human tendency to associate a specific gender, ethnicity, nationality, and so on. In this story, let us not label anyone, just yet. So, let us just call them people. People walked around this 'earth' (that belonged to them) discussing about life and values as at that time when there was nothing defined or set in a rule book. They were totally 'free' and liberated in every sense. As they walked they came across a huge 'tree'. They decided to climb up to fetch some 'fruits'. As they slowly and carefully ascended up the tree each of them parted ways and settled down on a branch that was convenient for them. For instance, a couple of them decided to take the branch that faced the west side of the valley. A few others sat on a bark that was hanging down to the eastern side. They got their 'fruits' and decided to rest in those branches. Each individual felt that theirs was the best view and the delicious fruit. To share this with the rest, they kept calling out to their friends about this surreal experience. They wanted to share the beauty of their scenery and the nutritious fruit. However, as every single one on that tree felt the same, they didn't move to try out anything new.

In the meantime, a few people climbed down the tree and decided to walk around. They felt that walking out and looking around was the best form of liberation and they enjoyed that. The ones up on the tree felt that those who were not up on the tree were missing a lot in life. They might even miss their chance to get a taste of 'heaven'(as in the view and the delicious fruit). This offended them. They all turned against the ones who were deviating from the 'norm'-that is being up on the tree.

Every leaf that fell down that tree indicated the passing time. The seasons changed, night and day went by and the folks settled down happily in their usual spot and called it their own. Their children and the grandchildren all considered that as their own sweet place. As you might have guessed, once a while, people who were very curious and active by nature moved around and jumped between these branches to get a taste of the fruit and the view. Some of them liked their new place while many others decided to go back to their own spot. There were also a handful of them who loved the 'whole' tree itself and loved that the branches were helping them look 'up' to something more important in life. And a few others decided that it was useless to be up on the tree and climbed down to walk away.  All these caused a lot of chaos and noise around that there was not a single day that these folks were happy with anything available to them.

Well, you get the picture, don't you? The tree, its branches, people, view, fruits, walking away free and all this is an analogy to the one big and important issue that keeps getting politicized every day in this world- religion.

We all seek to understand the beauty of life, the reason for our existence, and many such unanswered questions. For that we hold on to this big tree and choose a branch that we hope shows us our path. A few others who don't belong to the crowd walk away and don't stay under or around the tree. What we don't realize is that just sitting on a branch and seeing what the view (as the obvious view) will never help us explore what we seek. Nor will just walking away. There is nothing special about the tree or the earth if we don't find ourself.

Our world is very similar to this. I used this analogy of a tree to express my view on religions. Religion is like a tree (created by man). Each religion ultimately believes that the view or the perspective they can give to their members/family/people is the best in life. A few who keep wondering if there is actually a better view are the ones who keep hopping between different religion and explore different avenues. Many others find the tree and its branches to be extremely noisy and 'nosy' and they decide to walk out free. These are probably the ones who are either atheists or agnostic and they don't really like sitting on these branches to find their 'fruit'.

So, finally who is right here? Is it good to be up on a tree or walk around free? Well, honestly, there is no answer to this question. As human beings, we are all seekers looking out for some answers in our life. We think we might find it when we climb a tree, a few others think we need to walk around and uproot the tree. This seeking is what keeps us alive. I think it is sad that we have come to a state where we still politicize the aspect of religion and measure the success or power with respect to every other. Why do we have to keep making those noises? Isn't our goal to go beyond the obvious, find answers to the deepest secrets, and fly higher in our thoughts? If that is the goal, then it doesn't matter which branch we sit or if we walk away from the tree. The answer is surely in us- within us.

For a few the branch provides some solace and probably helps them hold on to their thoughts. Let it be so. For a few they are not too happy with the branch and hence walk away from the tree. Let it be so. It does not matter what we do- our goal is to love, be kind, smile, understand our own potential, and evolve to be a better soul. Let it be that way and let us not keep attacking folks from other branches or the ones who don't belong to any branch. They are as human as each of us and we are all only trying to live. 
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