Secularism is called the panacea for all the problems that religion has created. Religion, as defined by the Abrahamic dispensations. Religion, that is no more than a belief system predicated on following. Someone’s edicts and utterings.
If believing something that you have not experienced is sealed by an emphasis on faith without experience, then to uphold this faith and belief one needs to resort to fanaticism. For, how do you assert the primacy of that, which you have not known. For, it takes either Childish munificence or utter ignorance to assert the existence and longevity of a Santa Claus. We have never met him. No one has. The guy who is supposed to have first talked about him, has himself not met him. But there is a belief to be upheld. And, upheld it will be through blind assertion.
When blind assertions collide, conflict and violence are a natural consequence. For, blind assertions beget Exclusivity. Otherwise, how do you even believe in something that you aren’t sure about? I am right, and therefore, you are wrong. My assertion, blind as it is, survives.. barely. And through fanaticism, it will be made to thrive as well.
What happened in India in the name of God was something remarkable. From Samkhya yoga treatises to Advaita articulations, from Vasistha to Krishna to Ramana – God’s primacy was denied for Spiritual seeker as a starting point. Samkhya looks at world as two instincts – Survival (Purush) and Flowering (Prakriti). No God. In the state of Advaita, all is One. Either everything is God, or none is.
If one attained to the highest possibility than a human system is capable of delivering one to, whatever you experienced was so huge.. so complete.. so enormous… so Superlative; that you called it the Highest Existence. God? Possibly. Meaningless, as the word is, it wasn’t important much. In any case, its primacy over mundane existence wasn’t the aim of articulation. Its Superlative nature defined the articulation.
Superlative, the Highest – or God to Abrahamics – wasn’t the starting point. Wasn’t the a priori assumption. For, if you started with a predisposition, you could hallucinate yourself to it anyhow. Important was the seeking. The search. Not the finality. It could take years, decades, centuries or many lives.
Seeking has been the highest virtue of Dharmic Spiritual journey, not Faith!
Seeking opens the possibility of experience. Faith coupled with Belief closes all ways. If it is used as a ploy. If it is the Faith of a Hopeless lover sans any discrimination, it could be quite another thing. But then you were a complete misfit in the society. You were a Devotee.
Secularism of the West: Blind yourself to Believers’ Fanaticism
Secularism came as a reaction to the crises of Exclusive Belief systems, which beget Conflict. So West, in a bid to fight Religious Fanaticism – a product of Exclusivity – propounded Blindness as the way out. If the society were to be – at least for Social Contract purposes – be blind to conflicting beliefs; conflict could be managed. Not resolved, mind you.
Constantly, the specter of Fire was available. It was just being managed and avoided. Until it would catch up.
If you are the only Exclusivist, then maybe you can save yourself from yourself. But if your existence has created other Exclusivist clones, then God (whatever that creature is) save the planet and humanity! And, that is where we are now. Secularism is a joke. One aggressive Exclusivist – Jehadi – is tearing apart the fabric of blindness (Secularism) constructed by another Exclusivist, a smarter yet principled one.
For an Exclusivist, whose God is a matter of Faith and not experience, can only save himself with a fig leaf of blindness as long as there isn’t another one like him around. More exclusivist and more aggressive.
Secularism of India: Not Secularism at all
When the Indian leaders articulated Secularism, they espoused the phrase of “Sarvadharma Sambhaav”. Which translates that all Dharmas were to be looked at in the same way.
Those who articulated Secularism thus, also made a damning assumption. That Dharma is Religion. It is not. Dharma is the foundational law, or intelligence of existence. It is the essence of a form. Rose has an essence. Jasmine also has an essence. Cactus too. Essence of Cactus is not the same as that of a Rose. But it is the essence nevertheless. It is fundamental to its existence. It is not a belief. It is its very way of being. A Jasmine’s essence is beautiful, but it is NOT the greatest or the best. Cactus is not a “poor kid on the street” by comparison. You cannot and do not compare fundamental essence of two forms. Sarvadharma Sambhava is understanding the futility of comparing one’s essence with another.
There is no talk of belief here. It doesn’t matter what the heck a Rose believes in or a Cactus espouses. There foundational nature is different, yet sacrosanct being the representation of the microcosm.
Dharma is an articulation of Inclusivity. That, there is a beauty in being different. That, being the same is not a virtue, but a curse. At least at the level of Form. The dimension, where form ceases, all is one. But then articulations ceases there. So, defining Oneness in Spirituality is a rather idiotic process. For, the dimension that is Shunya (Empty), how can even One exist?
Secularism of Sarvadharma Sambhava variety, is therefore, no Secularism at all. It is an understanding of a completely different dimension.
Secularism is a nonsensical paradigm
Secularism is, plain and simple, the greatest boon to the Exclusivist fanatics. Those who want to assert themselves and can’t help pushing it to the limit, love getting the ticket to sit on the same table as the Inclusivist and argue equality.
As soon as the world agrees that the agendas of Exclusivity and Inclusivity are synonymous, peace is forever shoved down the drain. The Exclusivist will make sure that Inclusivity can’t survive. For, he knows that he is the best. So, Souls must be saved. Word of God has to brought upon the heathens and the non-believers. Belief being the only valid currency, Exclusivist cannot fathom a world without belief and its progeny, the fanaticism.
That one can interact via essence escapes him. Completely.
Secularism is an insurance for the crimes of the Exclusivist. Not a harbinger of peace and medicine for conflict. It is a perpetrator of conflict inherently!
World, therefore, needs to ensure that Inclusivity is understood and upheld in face of the onslaught of the Exclusivity. Not to grant the latter a seat on the table.