Professed as a travel junkie, I will try my very best to go on short trips and visit the many places I can afford, all around the world if I can! When travelling, it is never the bustling cities, nor the numerous malls that attracts me. The beauty is in the simplicity, the tradition and the rusticity of their rural to suburban areas that really draws my attention. It is such places that lessons can be learnt, and to understand their culture and their roots.
I visited Eastern China, and learnt about their traditional burial ritual, their emphasis on returning all back to Nature, is simply awesome, and indeed no matter now advance we are in terms of technology, how can we forget to repay Nature of her wonderful gift of life? What amaze me are the advanced skill sets they applied to their daily work and way of life, which we can only achieve now with machines. And they are no different from us in any ways! What happened to us?
I went to northern India, and I am treated to a sight of wonderful artistry, colors bright and beautiful, scattered everywhere in their towns, villages, even on the clothes they wear. Shrines that keeps the tradition of Nature. Worshiping others that otherwise provides us with a staple diet, a message reminding us in a subtle way to never forget who we owe our lives to. Utilizing what nature provides them, and reusing the waste products that can save both money and the environment, they are the ones who we should look up to learn the essence of recycling! And such actions are parts and parcels of their daily life, passed down from one generation to another. Less schooled and simpler in life, but they are blessed with the knowledge of nurture and love to Nature. We on the other hand, seeks self fulfillment and disregard the pleas of Nature.
I travelled to Northern Sumatra, and learned of Batak culture and tradition. Much of it was lost, but from the artifacts and bits of history still upheld by the old and aged, I learnt about their way or natural selection, and rituals that celebrate the cycles of Nature. Putting nothing to waste, they too recycle in any way possible, respect the old, and have a sense of justice that return what is not needed back to Nature. We take away whatever Nature gave, but never show gratitude nor did we return in kind. We did not show the respect to Nature where it is due.
There is one similarity these three places showed me. They have a faith or faith that is centric only to them, and owe it only to one name: Nature. It may be spelt differently, celebrated differently, but the root of it echoes the same intent. Peace was much attainable, and wars then were small scaled, centered between only two groups or tribes, and mainly for food and territory for hunt. Life functions no differently from any other animals in the world, just slightly better at using simple tools and knowledge. Uninterrupted by the introduction of what I considered to be mass-marketing faith, whose base intention is to spread like a virus, to influence and conquer the hearts and minds of many to believe in one man’s story of his/her life. When a faith began to spread its ideology towards other groups, in a way it binds the groups to form a cluster, and spread further to form a territory. So when one ideology is formed, a few more feels the same and starts their own ideology. What happened these few thousand years is the product of such parasitic faiths, seeking lands unlearned and virtuous, and began to preach, eventually swallowing the whole village. When a time comes one faith meets another and neither giving way nor compromising, has war started again, only on a larger scale and over nothing. A peaceful place with many villages and each an individual faith, now divided by clusters of a few faiths, and feuds are frequent and bloody; simply because each party is convinced of their own piece of story, usually about a life of a person who thinks highly of themselves.
This experience is deduced into the above theory when I came to understand based on the example of a particular village that have their own beliefs before the mass-market faiths came. It was peaceful, quiet and just in their rights, but with the “invasion” of foreigners who were enticed over the opportunity of exploited resources, came with their shovels and guns, and together with minds clouded by their beliefs, began infecting the peace and tranquility. When more came, the space for further preaching reached a ceiling, and in a bid to stay in power, violence took place over reason and compromise. So my question now: if every individual beliefs and faiths is simply isolated among themselves, and even if others where to know of it, to only understand it as a piece of history, talking about “his-story” (or “her-story” if it is a matriarchal group), will the world be much more peaceful, with lesser and unnecessary feud over a story?
I would say yes, based on my theory that a faith, acts very much like a story, told about a person on his or her experience, and concludes with their own theories in life. Then they expect you to take their story, or theory, no matter if it is a proven truth or no, as a norm to follow through. What adds on to this theory that significantly causes the root of unrest is the factor of time; as a faith passes through a period of time, and from one person to another, the ideology changes and perhaps some were modified to better suit the person who is preaching about it. And therefore whatever feelings that person who preaches will be added into the story conveniently. This will result in a new testimony and a new ideology.
To conclude, I would like to put forth my understanding of how faiths play an important role in the life decisions of every individual, and to carry the question of truth in such a story to be made a faith. The spread of ideology based on one source of information is further manipulated by individual preachers, and the likely consequences of non-compromising each different ideology. It was further explained about the scenarios that play when a group feels to take the ideology or to refute it, and what happens when reasoning is left behind over feelings and the want to be in control.