It is interesting to see the different manifestations of divine powers that humans have come up with.
A week ago while in Vietnam, I visited the Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, Vietnam. The Cao Dai religion is a culmination of a few religions, including Buddhism, Christianity and Confucianism. In their prayers, the worshipers faces the Divine Eye, which represents God.
I believe that most, if not all, religions lead towards the same path. The question of religion should then become whether one believes in the existence of God.
A few years ago, I came across a Japanese saying about water. It commented on how water could represent both life and death. One could not live without water. Yet, one could also easily lose his life to water. Such is a paradox of life.
I first stumbled upon this quote while reading the photography book of Alex Webb titled “Suffering of Light’. The Magnum photographer commented of how he was mesmerized by the radiance of color photography, especially of photos taken in the tropical region.
While the streaking sun had bothered me much while I was in Bangkok, I am relieved of the slight tinge of vibrancy in my photos.
There is something called the Terror Management Theory. No, this theory has nothing to do with horror movies! Rather, it proposes that human behavior is always motivated by their sub-conscious fear towards death. So, religions supposedly came about to help us mere mortals make sense of the world (and make peace with death).
This brings me to a point raised by a Thai friend of mine. She mentioned how, in a Buddhist perspective, an early, natural death may not necessarily be a negative thing. A person who dies young may have a pure soul and have completed what he or she is meant to do on Earth.
I may not be a Buddhist, but what she said resounded in my heart. At 23, I’m still making sense of the world, let alone death. Ironically, I’ve come to realize that the fear of death has somewhat made my life worth living.