Yesterday I told you how we are raising Apra here without any religion and all the superstitious things that come with it. I watch her play and when I see how she is playing her children’s games, I sometimes see a similarity with the actions of religious people. When I noticed this, I had to stop and think for a moment before I realized what was so funny: when Apra does it, it is cute but when an adult person does the same thing, it seems just ridiculous!
The biggest example for this is when our baby plays with her stuffed animals. There are bears, dogs, ducks, and more animals and they all act like they are people. She makes them walk and talk, she puts them to sleep and she also feeds them. It was this image of a girl feeding a non-living thing which made me think of how Hindus feed the statues of their gods.
This little girl has a whole lot of fantasy and that’s how she can have a full birthday party with all her unmoving animal friends, feeling like she just had the time of her life with many friends. She fed them non-existing cake or let them bite off her cashew nuts, imagining that they ate while she is actually eating it all herself. She looks fully natural in what she is doing and I tell you, she is completely, 100% devoted to this act of feeding. We all see her and think it is cute.
Religious people don’t actually use their fantasy, they are told that they have to offer their food to god before they eat it themselves. They often do it just out of a daily routine. Some may bring their full devotion into it, too, however and if you then watch this person from a neutral point of view, I believe you will also feel a little bit funny: a grown man bends down and feeds a statue which may look much less like a living being than any of Apra’s animal friends! I see that and think it is ridiculous that religion can do this to adult people!
A child grows up and knows some day that his or her puppets are not real and don’t need to be fed. They don’t feel hungry whereas their real pet or the bird in the garden does search for food and needs it to survive. Children have learned it.
How come religion makes you get back to the mental state of a two-year-old, pretending that the statue really eats from the food you put there while you know exactly that this is not true?
I always say that it is good to be like children and I will always encourage keeping your fantasy alive in order to be creative and maybe think different than those around you. There is however a difference between a healthy use of your imagination and that routine action ordered by a priest or scripture which is just clear and outright nonsense.
If a child does that, it is cute. If an adult does it, it is strange, bordering on ridiculous. It would be a big thing to laugh about, was it not a systematic plan of religion to keep you in a numb state of mind where you will not question an order even if it is complete nonsense. You are requested to switch off your mind and follow what you are being told.
That’s the difference – Apra feeds her cats and birds and bears because she has the wish to play like this. Religious people feel it would be a sin if they did not. Apra’s mind will grow and her intelligence will one day tell her not to do this anymore. Religious people however will remain in their illusion forever.