Imagine, you are in a vast grassland. So vast that the land seems to stretch beyond the horizon. The grass is small and the land is even (comfortably motor-able). The weather is good. You see a car parked with a full tank of gasoline. You can drive as fast as you want, in any direction you want and as long as the gasoline lasts. There is no destination to reach. You are here to enjoy the ride. You start driving the car, enjoying the music and cool breeze. You are in full control of your life. You feel blissful for the moment.
After few hours of driving, you start seeing other cars driving in random directions. Some of the cars have drivers. Those drivers claim to know about a beautiful oasis at the end of the horizon. The grassland has nothing else other than food and shelter. Every other convenience has to be built by the people. But, the beautiful oasis has every imaginable luxury, as promised by the drivers. You can go to that oasis on one condition - You must obey every word of the driver and believe that such a place exists without any doubt. It is very difficult for you to believe and act in such a way to go to a place that may possibly not exist. And you are not even bothered to go to that place.
You are surprised to see that so many people do not like or enjoy being in the very grassland where they were born. They want to go to a beautiful oasis with much more luxuries and are ready to let go some of the simple pleasures in the grassland. Some of them do enjoy being in the grassland and at the same time listen to the drivers (opportunists). Soon the word of the beautiful oasis spreads out. Each of the cars with drivers is being followed by thousands of other cars. Each of those groups gave themselves a name and set themselves strict rules. The supposedly enjoyable ride becomes a race between the groups. Who will reach the oasis first?. Of course, a race with no destination.
It looks awkward to you. You want to tell them that there is no such place (though you don’t know for sure and your knowledge is limited to your senses and logic). You too start driving fast to help them. Those cars without drivers soon get along with each other, make a stop every now and then, discuss those believers and followers (mostly either criticizing or making fun of them, rarely trying to help them). Your little group neither have a name nor any rules. You device new instruments to make your life and others life easier. With the advances in your brain and the technology that it devised, you re-affirm that such an oasis does not exist. The distance between your group and the believer’s group increases.
En-route, you see little groups of car owners who are not interested in the race, but enjoy being together, happily singing, dancing, helping each other, taking care of each other etc. They just live in the moment. You are surprised to see them and choose to be with them for a while to learn their lifestyle. However, their lifestyle looks too dumb, lazy & unproductive to you. You soon leave the place to join your group.
No one knows about that Oasis.
Some just don’t care.
This is all of us.
That “you” is me.
Most of us are running a race, rather than enjoying the ride. A race, not limited only to religion, but spans across several non-essential aspects of life. The journey has started already and it is going to end eventually. I don’t want to waste time running this race anymore. I simply want to enjoy the ride. How?. I don’t know. I hope I will be able to do it before the journey ends !!!home > categories > thought-experiments
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