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How Religion Turns Evil

About Abhijit Naskar

Abhijit Naskar is one of the world's celebrated Neuroscientists, an International Bestselling Author of numerous books and a popular advocate of mental wellness and global harmony. He has revealed to the world with his contributions in Science how the basic awareness of the brain can completely redefine our perception of life and make our daily life much more cheerful. He takes us on a fascinating investigative journey of understanding the human mind and its vivid features. He was born in Calcutta, India. His rejuvenating scientific philosophy of the mind has been lavishing human life with the colors and sweetness of self-awareness, since its advent with his very first book "The Art of Neuroscience in Everything".

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“The Church has carried out some of the most inhuman and above all un-Christian acts of human history, yet, it is still gloriously hailed by the majority of human population as to be synonymous with Jesus Christ.” – Neurons of Jesus: Mind of A Teacher, Spouse & Thinker

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You have heard countless times from me, that Religion is not a book, it is not an institution, and it is not even a person. True Religion is realization of the self. The Bible, the Quran, the Vedas and all the scriptures in the world are mere inventions of man (not woman) in the pursuit of understanding the self, and to some extent, in the pursuit of authoritarianism. Scriptures from the past have nothing to do with the neurologically created and experienced sensation of divinity and religion. However, all the books which humanity so gloriously worships as sacred, attempt to codify the divinity that is born with the human body and dies with it. This divinity or simply religion is born with the self created by the brain and ceases to exist when the self dies upon the death of the brain.

Religions began as realization of the self, but ended up being retaliation against each other. A handful of individuals in human history, empowered by their own neurons of divinity, experienced something quite extraordinary. They experienced something beyond this mortal world. They experienced being one with an Omnipotent Entity or Abstract Source of Energy. Despite the fact that, these experiences were all taking place exclusively within their own brain, they manifested as extraterrestrial encounters. Hence, the pre-conceived notion of Supreme Entity somewhere up in the sky, got more deep-rooted into the psyche of the ignorant masses.

When a person lacks understanding of the physical universe, and its phenomena, the primordial nature of the mind is to fill in the gaps with all kinds of gibberish concepts that originally come from our primitive days in the wild. And one of these concepts is that, there is a superhuman entity somewhere out there, who keeps an eye on us. That is the most natural knack of the primitive part of the mind. Because here, by believing so, we are psychologically entrusting an imaginary father figure (or mother figure in some religious beliefs, such as the Hindus) with our security and peace of mind. It does act as a placebo effect, but unlike the placebo pills used in our clinical trials, this placebo effect of a father figure or a personal God, has immense biological impact upon all aspects of human life, through the neurobiological substrates of the mind.

In simple terms, when a person believes that a God is truly concerned about the well-being of life on earth, and especially of human life, the belief adorns that person with various positive psychological elements such as emotional stability, in times of distress and a highly functional moral compass. Here this belief has nothing to do with reality whatsoever, rather it serves the evolutionary purpose of self-preservation.

However, if history has shown anything, it is that where there is a God, there is an institution trying to lock up that God in its lifeless structure of orthodoxy, in order to have authority over people and sell tickets to the Kingdom of that God. Thus emerged all the pompous lies about the extraterrestrial Kingdom of God or Heaven. To quote from my book “Neurons of Jesus”

“By infusing Jesus the man with the divine magic – by making him capable of earthly miracles as well as his own resurrection, the early church turned him into a god within the human world. Thus, the church reinforced the monopoly on the so-called route to heaven, i.e. salvation only through Jesus Christ. And during those days, whoever kept the keys to heaven would rule the world. “

This way, religion became politics. It became everything but realization of the self. It became a matter of doctrines, books, hierarchy and superiority of institutions. Hence, today the majority of the human population, perceives religion to be synonymous with certain books. And that is why there are so many conflicts in the name of religion and God in this so-called modern world.

A Christian would ask you to believe in the Bible, to believe that the Bible contains divine irrefutable commands from God. A Muslim would ask you to believe in the Quran, to believe that the Quran contains glorious messages from God or Allah. A Hindu would ask you to believe in the Bhagavad Gita, to believe that the Gita contains answers to all your problems given by God or Brahman. Thus, a religion becomes merely a matter of blind faith upon texts of the dead people. Hence, no religion can maintain a healthy relationship with another for a long time.

To quote from my book “In Search of Divinity: Journey to The Kingdom of Conscience”

“It is not much use to talk about religion, until one has felt what the founding fathers felt. Why is there so much disturbance, so much fighting and quarreling in the name of God? There has been more bloodshed in the name of God than for any other cause. And it is all because people never attempt to reach the fountain-head. They are content only to comply with the customs of their forefathers, and want others to do the same.”

The point is, what the individuals, whom humanity venerates as prophets, experienced was something beyond the laws of their contemporary religious dogma, and as such, all of these individuals were hailed by the religious institutions of their time and society, as heretics. However, their ideas did indeed succeed to influence a bunch of people stuck in obscurity. So these people embraced these individuals as their own personal Gods, and in the mind of those ignorant people, every God must be worshipped with utter obedience. And their way of showing obedience was to concoct laws and rituals to ascertain the divine significance of their personal God in the spiritual patriarchy of religious prophets. Thus, obedience for one divine Teacher, turned into obedience for a God. And in time, it turned into obedience for a set of laws. And quite unexpectedly, one person’s battle against religious orthodoxy or fundamentalism, led to the birth of yet another orthodox circle. This happened at various corners of the world in various circumstances.

In Asia, Buddha, a Hindu, stood up against the orthodox Hindu society, and ended up constructing yet another religion called Buddhism. And on the other side of the world, Jesus, a Jew, stood up against the orthodox Jewish society, and ended up being the personal God of yet another religion called Christianity.

 

(This Article was originally published on Goodreads, under the title “Religion, Prophets & Politics.”)

Further Reading 

Abhijit Naskar, 2016, Autobiography of God: Biopsy of A Cognitive Reality

Abhijit Naskar, 2016, In Search of Divinity: Journey to The Kingdom of Conscience

Abhijit Naskar, 2017, Neurons of Jesus: Mind of A Teacher, Spouse & Thinker

 

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