Coincidences are occurrences without prequels. I do not believe such occurrences exist. Rather, I think we simply have forgotten or we are unaware of the prequels to which apparent coincidences are sequels.
Life events are like numbered movies numbered from I to IV or like television serials. They do not arise from nothing. They are populated by unique characters each belonging to a living person whose chance of existence is statistically zero. They are affected by natural forces and by supernatural notions, or by notions that we think are supernatural because we do not understand them.
Coincidences are apparent, not real. Actually according to Hinduism the world itself is an illusion and only God is real. Still, within the illusion or Maya of reality, I cannot believe our lives march forward by mere chance. Things happen as a result of our karma.
Karma works like an arrow which may be stored in a quiver, aimed from a bow, or soar in flight. The arrow’s place in time and space determines where it will strike but it cannot fall unless it has been launched. What happens as a consequence of its landing is not random or coincidental but is an effect caused by the actions of many actors.
Like individuals, nations and societies own their karma. The impact of their collective actions and interactions produce consequences such as widespread prosperity, poverty or war.
On some occasions, we are put in positions that mandate war. At other times we seek war. Sometimes nations and our leaders are united in purpose. At other times they are divided. But whatever the circumstances, cause and effect are at work.
It is difficult to understand or even clearly imagine the interplay of karma involving millions, perhaps billions, of people, but I find it more difficult if not impossible to consider that collective destinies are random. History is evidence and much of what happens in the world is understood in terms of our past behavior.
See Chapter 6, Karma and Reincarnation, of On Hinduism by Irina Gajjar to understand how karma works.
To ask whether God exists is to ask whether God can be distinguish from that which is not God.
It is to ask whether we can distinguish between spirit and matter, between the eternal and the temporal, between truth and falsehood, between reality and illusion or between existence and non-existence.
Do you think this is the right question? Do you think the question matters more than the answer?
See Irina Gajjar’sOn Hinduism, Chapter 3, The Bhagavad Gita, p. 70.
Often I wonder about the God or gods in whom atheists disbelieve.
Do they disbelieve in truth, in nothingness, in energy or in the unknowable?
Do they disbelieve in nature?
Some of us think God has certain forms, powers or manifestations. Some of us are tentative in our belief or agnostic while others are unwilling even to consider questions associated with the notion of God. Yet others blame God for all the atrocities we humans have committed in His or Her name.
I deeply respect all belief and no belief, but I wonder what disbelievers think when they go beyond denial.
Asserting our religion, belief or skepticism to ourselves and to others will ground us.
We should not understate ourselves or remain quiet when our tradition, belief or skepticism is disparaged, or ignored or misrepresented. Open mindedness is not passivity. We should voice our convictions.
At the same time, appreciating the belief of others will enhance our own faith in our own view of truth. Open mindedness is the opposite of arrogance.
Charlie Hebdo has elevated atheism to spirituality. The inspiring bravery with which its cartoonists responded to the horrific terrorist massacre could not have arisen without a deep faith in the power of truth.
In my view, truth incorporates divinity. Mockery of extremism in organized religion represents belief in freedom, goodness and understanding. These notions are divine as distinguished from mundane.
It is the power of truth that has galvanized good people everywhere on earth. Thus I cannot but say with all humility “Je suis Charlie.”
Organized chaos might be order or a party. It might be the universe or multiverse. It might be evolution or devolution. It probably exists though this expression or notion, like that of a giant shrimp is oxymoronic.
Managing organized chaos requires multi-tasking. It requires the ability of an artist who views everything as a canvas. It starts out as a mess and a blur and ends up as a beautiful painting.
For those of us who think in more linear manner, functioning in the throes of organized chaos is difficult if not impossible.