Saturday, August 2, 2008

What would you believe?

“If you want to know the truth, you have to believe it,” that’s the X-Files’ tagline. I watched X-Files last week and frankly, I have to admit that I was disappointed; disappointed with the profound simplicity of the storyline and the lack or rather the dimming significance of the X-Files’ factor. I tried to believe that it was a good movie but I just can’t. My cognitive faculty just won’t compromise with the fall of the quality of X-Files.

I’m also unable to dance to the music of X-Files’ tagline. How am I suppose to believe the so-called truth if there is nothing to concretely suggest that what I am about to believe is actually worth to be believed? I’m not a religious person and I don’t appear religious; well at least to those who have corrupted the concept of religious by associating religiousness with long beard, the ability to memorize the decrees and commands of the Holy Book and other features that are clearly human-invented; but I can proudly preach to the world what faith actually means. It is not of simple blind belief per se; to a certain degree faith is reasonable and is supported by evidence. People believe that there is a God because they can see the wonderful universe; since everything has a creator, it is reasonable that the universe also has a creator and the Creator is God. Students have faith that they can do well in their final exams because their on-going assessments tell them that they can do well in their final. We believe because there is a reason to believe, and X-Files successfully failed to supply any concrete reason to persuade me to believe that it is a good movie.

X-Files- good movie- just believe it? It just doesn’t tally. This frustration then brings me to another question. How do we actually form our belief? Is it really based on reasons or in one way or another we lie to ourselves and just coerce ourselves to believe what we want to believe? For years I held on to Disney Channel’s tagline, “you can do it if you believe,” So whenever I was about to engage in something that seemed difficult and impossible for me, I always forced myself to believe that I could do it. Sometimes, it worked, if luck was on my side. However, most of the time, I could always become Hulk or any other superheroes whose life is filled with rage and frustration.

Let me put this straight first before we go on further. It has always been my principle to form my faith based on reasons; though I know to a certain extent reasons can’t always explain everything. But being a vulnerable and simple Joe Blogg, I quite frequently defy the principle that I hold on to. In spite of the availability of reasons and evidence to suggest the opposite, I normally choose to believe that I can do what I dream to do.

I’m a positivist and perhaps that explains the transgression of the principle. For this particular fight that I recently engaged in, I was told in advance that my path would be very gravelling. I was informed that Giants would stand in my way and Doraemon couldn’t do much but only help me and my partners in crime to get prepared in a short period of time. I knew of my ability and coupled with the fact that my partners have the necessary knowledge concerning the thing that we would engage in; I suggested to myself that we could do it. It was reasonable and possible to think that we could do it. But life is not like the Hindustan’s movies or any of Barbie’s fairy tales; not everything would work to our expectation.

With the faith that we could actually do it, we entered the battlefield and fought our fight. Nevertheless, when the result came, I could see that I wasn’t David at all. I could be Samson but I was never a David. My invisible swords could not even give one of our enemy giants a single significant bruise. The evidence pointed out to the fact that the juries were not impressed with the beauty of our swords and the fighting skills that we portrayed. Sitting at the comfortable Honda’s couch, I tried to figure out why we failed. I had a hard time digesting the fact that we failed to beat the giants. Though the evidence clearly suggested to the contrary, I still tried miserably to believe that I did better than them. In frustration, I violated my principle.

For the past two weeks I forced myself to believe that I could do well in the fight that I would engage in; for a fortnight I coerced myself to believe that I could surf up over the other participants and emerge to the top. For fourteen days I tried to believe that we could make people proud of us. For 336 hours I carefully crafted the faith, but it only took seconds to annihilate the dream. In one shot, two sets of law brought me to my knees. The law of gravity backfired me while the natural law thrust me to the corner.

Now I know why people like the phrase “you can do it if you believe”; it gives you hope but not necessarily a living hope. Hope is what gets many people going; hope is what made people believe and do crazy things; hope inspires, resurrects and comforts us. People would just do almost everything to get it; too bad when hope is founded on a wrong premise. So I guess that leaves me with a couple of questions:

  1. Do I really believe based on reasons or do I just believe to appease myself?
  2. Even if I have plenty of reasons to corroborate my belief, what do I actually believe in?


shimmerman said...

The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and "mangled mind" leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.--Elizabeth Drew.

LUQA said...

=) u are back!