....and all that jazZ

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Man and God

I saw a movie last weekend. The last temptation of Christ. It is undoubtedly a thought provoking movie that will make you question some things that you believe. If you believe that is.

The movie is based on a novel and seems to suggest that Jesus was a Man-God or God-Man however you want to call it. That is he was not just human, he was more. The Son of God ? Perhaps. Almost God, but not God. He starts out being confused like any other man until he discovers who he truly was. He performed miracles. He brought Lazarus back to life. And yet he prayed and begged God not to crucify him. And just as he is dying, he is offered the final temptation. The life of an ordinary mortal. With Mary Magdalene. A life of conjugal domestic bliss. The viewer realizes that he is probably hallucinating. And then he comes out of his subconscious filled with the realization that He is the salvation of the world. That he must die. And he smiles and says "Accomplished". The worlds sins are washed away by the blood of this man.

As I watched this movie, for most of the first part I didnt like what I was seeing. And I didnt know why. And then I realised what it was. I was willing to accept Jesus as divine. Tell me he was God and I'll buy it. I was willing to accept that his flesh was just as mortal as mine and he just brought a message of love and peace and the rest of the story is all made up. Tell me he is human with all the failings and I'll believe you. But the movie did neither. It said he was human, and more. That he stood there and proclaimed that "I am the son of God, I am your salvation. I will come back to judge you." for some reason hurt my sensibilities. And it hurt it on two accounts
1. I dont believe in demi-gods. I believe in the Supreme and in humans. One is beautiful in perfection and the others beauty lies in his imperfections. I realised that I wanted them to be separate and never merge.
2. Even if he was Godly, his proclamation bothered me. It came across as a rambling of an unstable mind. Not something that God would say. the God I know does not judge me. He loves me no matter what. And I respect and love him no matter what. I have no reason to be afraid of him and will not be bullied into it.

The first is a problem with my attitude. The second is a problem with every religion.

The first brings us to the following questions/observations
1. Why do we, who believe in something as irrational as God, find it so hard to believe in men with supernatural powers? We dont have to make themm God, we dont have to condemn them as frauds necessarily either.(the satya sai baba for example. I dont believe in him. But apparantly he has performed miracles.There was an article on a man who exposes fraud babas and that guy apparantly tried to expose this very influential baba and was asked to sit quiet :))
Paulo Coelho has an article on his website devoted to this very question.
2. What is a miracle? Isnt the human body a miracle? Miracles are everyday things. To me fourier transforms are a miracle. We believe in so many things beyond our level of comprehension, why not believe in human beings who do things taht we do not understand or that modern science has not been able to explain?
3. What is God? To me its Nature,and Life as I know it. God has no human traits or flaws.

Now coming to the latter, the problem with religion
1. It uses fear to enforce a code or system of ethic. But then again. What is right and what is wrong? Its too subjective to generalise.
Some say "Judgement day" and others call it "karma".
2. We as humans need some sort of belief system to keep us going, and thats where it steps in and is severely abused.

This discussion has no real end. Does it? Is there an absolute truth? In my language there is. It is faith. However and whatever it is. Man and God in such a world are inextricably tied to each other. Whether Man created God or God created Man in such a case is of no consequence. For they contain in themselves the other and yet stand apart as night and day.The day Man ceases to believe, God is dead.

As for the movie, any movie that makes you think and question is a movie worth watching. If not anything else, it just helps you understand yourself better.


  • Quite a voluminous output! And very well articulated too. Yet, I don't see much of a point in it. Perhaps the movie took you through all of it, so you felt good about it. Fine. I don't see you saying anything (except the last two sentences) controversial either. So I wonder what I should say! Well, I'll just wait for the next post :)

    -- Akshaya

    Originally @ Oct 26, 2005 09:58 PST

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:52 AM  

  • Touchy topic, so I'll leave my comments on the movie. People criticised it left right and center when it came out for its depiction of Jesus. The moral is even scary, isn't it? You can't clamour for everyday simple things and aspire for greatness. If he had decided to be a simple carpenter with a wife and kids, the higher purpose would have been lost

    Originally @ Oct 26, 2005 10:20 PST

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:53 AM  

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