When I was in my 20s in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I underwent a period of depression and confusion myself. I thought I was facing an identity crisis growing up, not knowing what to believe about myself, about life, about God or the divine. (I only started attending church services and called myself a christian from 2002 onwards until recently.) I found myself going to bookstores and read or bought books on buddhism and new age, such as “The art of happiness” by Dalai Lama, “Tibetan book of the living and the dead” and “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsh. I suppose it is part of growing up in our spiritual journey? Hmmm. I am still evolving and I think we all are in our own journeys.
I remember when I was in my 20s going through my personal identity or spiritual crisis, whenever I find myself facing a challenge, whether big or small, such as facing a physical discomfort in my health or an unpleasant situation at work, I would be thinking to myself “Help me, God” or “Help me, Buddha”. And then later when I experienced a relief from the challenge, I would be inwardly thanking in my heart “Thank you God” or “Thank you Buddha”. Yea, that was me back then, and until today I sometimes still find myself having this kind of inner conversation with myself (though I no longer call upon Buddha’s name). Nobody actually taught me to think or pray like that. It was somewhat instinctual, almost subconscious, for me. Someone from outside, such as from the highly educated world, might read this testimony and call me delusional or confused or superstitious, but hey, at least I felt better and more at peace when I thought about asking some divine or higher power to help me. Yes, logically and scientifically speaking, I might have also done something to help myself in that situation to feel better, such as drinking more water to find physical relief from the discomfort or doing something to address the tough situation at work. Perhaps both methods work hand in hand – both my belief in a higher power and my practical doing to address the situation – steer me towards the direction of finding relief in the end. These days though, I tend to see myself as being one with the divine, and I believe all the wisdom and power and love already is in me and in everyone else.
On a similar note, I have been working on a project recently which deals with the subject on superstition and whether it has a place in modern society. It explores the upsides and downsides of superstition (which is defined as a belief that one event leads to the cause of another without any process in the physical world linking the two events ) and whether it has a place in our modern society. I learnt that many of us today, if not all, do have some forms of superstition at some points in our lives. For example, soccer players or football players believe in entering the football field with their right foot before a match for good luck. It is an age-old superstitious belief, and yet today’s modern, educated and talented people like professional footballers or soccer players still do that in this high tech and information age we are living in. Interesting, eh? Maybe it is human nature to find something to believe in – anything that brings peace and stability and wellness to our being.