Often, as it has become an inevitable ritual after someone knows me long enough, I am sometimes asked why I refuse to conform, refuse to follow what others do, and why I reject a number of popular beliefs, systems and thoughts.
I am not a contrarian because I want to be one. Often, it’s easier to march to the one tune and revel in common, malicious & unintelligent gossip – it’s the easiest way to be social, but decidedly, at least for me, is a stutter step towards intellectual suicide.
Firstly, we are not normal – not by any means – and are very far from being rational. (Though we think we are) Abnormality seems to be the status quo. Our lives are awashed with glaring contradictions, smeared with paradoxes and we are rarely able to explicate our actions and thoughts.
To make my point, consider this: a while back, a friend of mine singled out a colleague for his bizarre beliefs of sprinkling water to deter spiritual infestations.
It is nonsense, she said contemptuously, and proceeded to dismantle his disconcerting claims of being able to communicate with otherworldly ephemeral beings.
I listened quietly, and pointed out that she wasn’t really any different.
After all, as a fundamentalist Christian, her beliefs were comparatively equally disturbing – she talked and prayed to an invisible friend who would apparently find some time to listen to her; joined others in praying to an unproven divine being whose portfolio of creating a world of suffering should have gotten his celestial ass fired many times over; believed that somewhere out there, her deceased loved ones were waiting for her, possibly cutting their nails to pass time.
Though it’s difficult to hear, we often fail to recognise our own abnormalities. It’s easier and way better, like an emotional catharsis, to just hammer away at the rogue nail and forget we are the biggest and blackest pot in the room.
There is no distinction between religions, the supernatural and cults. The first is more universally recognised, the second is often considered culture and the last simply doesn’t have enough members.
When a cult gathers a large enough following, it becomes a religion. One needs to look no further than Mormonism and Scientology (not to be confused with Science).
A memorable quote aptly summarises it:
“When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called a religion.”
Evidence is the great equaliser, but since neither religion, cultism or the supernatural barter in scientific evidence, their baseless assertions surely can be dismissed.
Is it not ironic and contradictory that we dismiss others with a snap of the finger and fail to dismiss our own credulous beliefs?
So, have you thought about (HYTA) other glaring contradictions in your life?