Sunday, March 22, 2015
MAN DOES NOT STAND ALONE
Julian Huxley, (1887-1975) the well-known British writer, did not believe in God. He believed that man did not need God, a concept explained in his aptly titled book: Man Stands Alone. It is noteworthy that a reputed American scientist, Cressy Morrison, countered Huxley’s thesis with a book titled: Man Does Not Stand Alone. Even more so today, many people express the view that they do not need God; that success can be theirs without their believing in the Almighty. But if you conduct a survey, you will find that their views do not reflect mature perception. In fact, such remarks are spawned by immature minds mostly belonging to the under forty-age group. Psychological and biological studies show that human beings attain maturity only after reaching middle age. Prior to this, they are not in a position to form any sound opinions on the realities of life. Surveys show, indeed, that superficial remarks about God are made mostly by those who are as yet immature. But with the transition from immaturity, which comes with the acquisition of experience and knowledge, a great number of people, including atheists and apostates, become serious in their approach to the subject of God. A thinker has aptly said: A smattering of knowledge turns people away from God. Greater knowledge brings them back to Him. Here are a few examples to illustrate this point. Let us take the case of a youth who, having grown up with romantic ideas, enthusiastically enters into matrimony by opting for a “love marriage”. But very soon this love turns to hate and the couple ultimately separate. Then the husband realizes that his acceptance of love as the “summum bonum” was the result of his own immaturity. Consciously or unconsciously, he begins to feel that his perception has not been clear enough to understand life in depth and that a superior guide is required to compensate for his inexperience. Then there is the example of an ambitious businessman who starts a business. His business goes on expanding until a time comes when it becomes unmanageable. Now he realizes that certain personal limitations bar him from fulfilling his desires and ambitions. He comes to feel that he needs a vaster world in order to realize his dreams. Similarly, yet another youth forms a political party in order to fulfill his ambitions, and a time comes when he finally contrives to secure an important political niche for himself. But then he meets the fate similar to the one faced by Jawaharlal Nehru. Like Nehru, after he is elevated to the position of Prime Minister of India, he suffers from second thoughts. He feels that there exists a far greater power than himself and that, without the cooperation of this power; he cannot carry his plan into effect. Most young people enter life with great ambitions. But again and again they undergo such experiences as remind them of their helplessness. Disease, accidents, losses, and disadvantages – all these repeatedly remind them that their lot in life is one of unfulfilled desires. Then they see that, however great one’s material success, one inevitably dies within the span of 100 years, leaving all one’s wealth behind. Such bitter reflection shows that all the sweet dreams of childhood and youth stemmed from ignorance. For it is impossible to have complete fulfillment in this present imperfect world. One’s goal in life – whether it be the making of money, the acquisition of fame or power, or anything else of this nature- proves less than ideal. After the individual manages to achieve these things, he again suffers from the feeling that whatever he has achieved falls far below his expectations. Thus he remains as unsatisfied as ever. Finding success becomes as meaningless as not finding it. In this way, in the course of daily life, a feeling of helplessness comes over man. This helplessness can be compared with the kind of helplessness that he experiences after the observation of the universe through a telescope.