Saturday, September 03, 2005

Belief changes with context

Radical thinkers exist in society. Radical thinkers, who will almost never be welcomed initially, are always around us, but seldom show their faces. It is quite vague as to why there is such a dearth of radical thinking. Any random thought will sound radical if it does not fall within the limits of accepted belief. Almost anyone is capable of thinking radically but fear, could be the reason to suppress these ideas. Fear is a main factor because a radical thinker runs the heavy risk of being outcasted and there are just too many examples in history to be confortable.

For example, consider the case of the dead being honoured. Why would the dead be honoured? Maybe because, the close relatives like spouses would not like to see it any other way, maybe the deseased deserved it, maybe afterlife is true, maybe it is the last thing that the person wanted. The bereaved could go into a shock and since saying good-bye is psychologically a very healthy process for the close ones, this could have been incorporated into every religion.

Anyway, to a total stranger, the last rights performed for a dead person might not have any significance. Which could mean, that the stranger was not empathizing with the bereaved or could be a disbeliever of the whole concept of honouring the dead or could be a simple case of irrelevance. The reasons shift with the context of the stranger, the context being place (same town, country), time (same time, centuries apart, or civilization apart) and religion.

A set of quesions and answers would explain the situation better.

Would I have approved the burial of live assistants along with the deseased if I had lived during the ancient Egyptian civilization? probably yes. Would I have thought of entering any of those sacred pyramids if I had lived then? probable not. But a civilization apart, do I feel the same about the Egyptian burial rites? No. Is the mummification process of the Egyptians anything more than a historical awe? No.

The whole idea seems morbid as the full extent of the topic unrolls.

Well then, think about the Egyptian grave robbers. They have lived in that era, and have made a living by breaking the rules, by thinking radically, facing their worst fears. Would I ever steal from a Egyptian pyramid laden with gold and precious stones if I was given the oppurtunity now? probably yes. And most people now would do it, but maybe with some "superstitious" reservations.

How did this morbidness become a normal thing?



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