Benumbing Unbelief and Its Contradictions
– Noor us Sahar
It has come to my knowledge that Silas Marner is an incredibly dry book. More so because it speaks of the industrialization of a people unbeknownst to me. But sometimes brilliance can be dry, I suppose. One of its initial aspects carry forward the idea of a benumbing unbelief, that could not be restored by any words to shake Silas’ emotions to a sense of pain. This benumbing unbelief is still among us; some toil hard to keep it away and some already carry it within themselves.
Most people link belief with the Ultimate; God. Our history, culture and survival as a species depends upon these factors, Whether we choose it or not. Our brains are programmed and channelized in such a way that in order to survive, we must have the notion of hope and faith instilled deep within us. Perhaps it is these factors that make people hope beyond hope, beyond rationality, and creates a paradigm in which they can anticipate better circumstances.
This also brings with it a wide array of emotions, feelings that would not perhaps exist, had these ideas of a belief system had not. But life itself is a vicious cycle. We repeat things over and over again every single day, hoping that the product will bring relief in some form. This depressing reality is what drives many artists, writers and philosophers to create something extraordinary. Or, perhaps they are far too aware of this haunting reality to conform to the norms which dictate the lives of ordinary people. Van Gogh ate yellow paint because he thought that would get the happiness inside of him. While that may or may not be true, all of us try to get this feeling, “happiness” inside ourselves, albeit by different methods.
Love, beauty, courage, determination. The adjectives that drive us to achieve, the means to the ultimate end; happiness. How depressing the thought of the cycle of life is. So we believe in life cycles that exist beyond ours; heaven and hell. We hope, sometimes beyond hope, that this absence of happiness will be fulfilled in the next life. Some believe in rebirth, a new chance to live life again in the same world and perhaps do things differently. Act differently. And be more content to induce the feeling of happiness from this contentedness. The result we want to achieve is the same for everyone. It is, in the end, the combination of serotonin and dopamine induced in us that drives us to continue living. Everyone’s weapon of choice is different.
Some use drugs, some use love. Some use small hobbies that make their lives seem more fruitful. And some degree of faith in the unknown is attached to each of these. Ultimately, we all have different means to the same end. Without these, the benumbing unbelief that would enter our minds and hearts would perhaps make life itself unbearable to live.