So today is a response to a prompt, Reason to Believe
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Anyway today I’m musing on Reason to Believe, a weighty subject if there ever was one but it’s a good challenge which interests me. It’s something that we all have in varying degrees, no matter what it is that we say we have belief in.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some of the most sacred places in this world, from Italy to India and onward. These places have all provided not only wonderful photo opportunities but some great food for thought also. People like you and me, depending on their faith travel for hours, days sometimes weeks at great personal expense and discomfort just to be close to a religious leader or special place where something once happened.
What do they gain from this? Do they feel better afterwards? It all depends on the strength of their belief. But it’s not only the religious amongst us, those of us who can harness the power of belief can quite often achieve things we once never thought would be possible. It’s pretty interesting and because of my travel experiences I’m thrilled to have been made to think about it again.
Ancient and mysterious Varanassi in Northern India holds some very special memories for me. To die and to be brought here to be burnt upon a fire is the ultimate honour. The smoke filled areas run alongside the river and choke anyone venturing too near. The scale is incredible, the fires burn throughout the day and night, dead bodies are brought continuously down to the river to be first dowsed with Ganges waters and then laid upon the pyre. You may imagine all of this to create a strange and sombre mood but the opposite is true, the beliefs here are different, the atmosphere is not sad as such. Small boats bob alongside the burnings, quite often full of open mouthed visitors who can’t believe their stinging eyes, a cricket match then completes the scene whilst bodies are ignited and souls are reclaimed by the wonders above, smoke rises and combines with the vapours of drying clothes laid out on the steps, the washer women look on impassive… This has been going on for thousands of years.
So where does all this come from? Why do we need it so much? It makes us great or a lack of it can make us nothing. For me the world is a better place because of it, people are given energy beyond their abilities and disturbing ideas such as death are dealt with in a way which gives us comfort.
I’m not religious but I think a little positive belief can be good for all of us, even if it’s just believing in yourself for a moment.
You can do it!
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