All of us believe in something, atleast we believe in ourselves! Most of the times our beliefs are reasonable. We believe in things, ideas, objects etc, etc. For instance , you believe that this life is finite because you see people around die. So it is reasonable to believe that life is finite. You believe the trees are immobile because you see them standing in one place all your life. You believe water is fluid and not solid( when not turned in to ice) because you see it flowing . So beliefs are mostly formed by some experience , generally verified by some proof or other. And most of the times we as humans generate consensuses of these beliefs and we call them truths. Yes sometimes we also tend to see, over time that our beliefs may not always hold true and a new belief is generated.
However not all beliefs can be verified or generate consensus.When you cannot reason these experiences you call them ‘magical’ or ‘mythical’. Does that make this experience untrue? Do you discard these beliefs because you cannot explain to some one that your experience is real?
I call it “having to believe”. Having to believe is a choice you make to believe in something, in spite your reason tells you otherwise. You just ‘choose’ to believe because you want to it be true.
I’ll explain through this story. This is a story my mother told me when I was very young. I had no idea why she told me this tale , until recently I understood in its entirety,what she meant.
“One day two girls went to the river side to play.River was located outside the town and girls were generally not allowed to go there. But they were tempted to gather some smooth polished stones that were found in the shallow river bed. So they sneaked out without telling the elders where they were going. They got so carried in gathering stones,that they forgot the time. And it suddenly got dark. The river was located outskirts of village and there was no much habitation on the way. As they realized they were marooned in that place, they were very petrified. To trace the steps back was impossible because it was not a paved road.
They dropped all the stones they had collected carefully and stood frozen with fear. Speechless with thoughts crowding each of their minds. By now one of the girls had begun to cry .
Just then they heard a voice in pitch darkness… a thick raspy voice.
“What the hell you two are doing here at this hour” the voice asked in angry tone.
“We were playing and did not realize the time” -said one of the girls in barely audible tone.
“This is not the place to play games ” the voice retorted back in booming voice again.
They tried to orient themselves to the direction the voice was coming, but could see nothing. Nothing at all. They could hear sounds of his sandals, rough leather sandals worn by Shepards in the town. He must have carried a staff because he banged it hard on the ground as he spoke angrily. Staff had some bells that jingled sweetly as he moved the staff.
For a moment there was silence.
Then the voice emerged again.”I will drop you home” . Just keep following the sound of these bells. And if you want to remain alive, do not turn back and look.I mean what I say.Just walk” the Voice boomed in a ruthless command. They had no choice but to follow his command.
The girls hugged each other tight and walked. Walked in that pitch darkness. They kept walking at the sound of the bells and creaking leather shoes. One of the girl’s house came first. So he stopped and asked her to go home. They could see some people moving in far distance . He again warned the other girl not to turn back and look.
Fear was paramount for the girl, as she walked. All she could hear was her own heavy breath. She could not see or hear a thing around. Even the sound of his staff bells had ceased. She kept walking, till she saw her house in the distance. She did not wait for the man to tell her to go home and ran towards the lights that were dimly lit.
“Where had you been?” her mother admonished her as she saw her running into the house. She said nothing. In fact she spoke nothing to any one for few days. But she was very curious to solve this mystery. The two girls kept this as secret mission and tried to investigate on their own. They knew some man had helped them and wanted to know who he was. They checked out among the farmers in the village who lived outside the village if they had known anyone who had helped the village girls in the night. But no one knew it.
After some days they just gave up their quest.
After sometime they revealed this story to the elders of their house. When they heard story they brushed it as casual event by saying “oh! you just met the village god. he is know for helping people who loose their way!”.
My mother stopped her tale abruptly. She never explained this tale to me.
She just narrated it and left it for me to accept or reject it. To make my own judgments. But I Know from that day onwards she chose to believe that someone will be always be there for her when she looses her way in life and she was right. Either it was her mother or later my dad.And if no one was around to help her, she believed in god. SHe believed that god would always be around to protect her!
I believe this is her tale of “having to believe”.
This is her personal myth she lived by.
And now I do too…
Today I just shared it with you.