Conversion isn’t about Math

By Jagdesh Singh | OPINION |

Let’s start by me promising you that I won’t be proselytizing to you with my beliefs. Why? Because they’re my beliefs. Not yours. How I got to where I am is so distinctly unique to me compared to all the souls in this great creation of His. In fact, it’s even unique compared to all of His creation in the past, present and future.

How I grew up, my upbringing, the teachings from those close to me, the people I meet, the books I read, plus millions of other variables make it utterly impossible for anyone to have the same exact experiences I’ve had or will have. And these experiences form my set of beliefs, which then form my principles and then my view of life and spirituality. And it’s the same for you, too. I’d hate to say it because it’s so cliched, but we are all as unique as the snowflakes that fall from the sky.

This uniqueness of my being me, also directs how I accept opinions and new ideas. I might be someone with a closed mind or someone so steadfast in my being and my thoughts that I won’t be able to see your point of view. Or, I might be the total opposite and can accept new ideas that make more sense at the time listening to these new ideas.

It is with this premise that I find the whole debate about conversion to other faiths really meaninglessness. Why would it matter to you or me, with our own experiences, our own belief system from these experiences, when someone decides to look at another belief system or values that might make sense to him or her? Neither you nor me know what infinite experiences they’ve gone through to arrive at the juncture where they’d like to follow another new set of beliefs.

To use another cliched phrase, it’s your life, not mine. As a living human being, you have every right bestowed upon you by the powers that be to practice any faith that you yourself see fit. Is this going against God’s will, you may ask? Again, it depends on your belief system on what or who God is, isn’t it? That’s not for me to tell you, that’s really for you to figure out. But one thing I can really assure myself (and not you), is that the God that I believe in doesn’t barter with fear. She doesn’t deal in fear, and doesn’t keep count.

Don’t fear choosing a path that you think will bring you closer to your God. If that means converting to another faith system, so be it. Who the hell am I to tell you that it’s the wrong path? Especially if we all intrinsically know every stream or river will ultimately lead to the same ocean.

Religion these days have been very tribalistic, each professing to be closer to each of their Gods, professing that theirs will be the only path that leads you to the true Kingdom of Heaven. Perhaps these are all the same? The same God. The same Kingdom of Heaven.

The spiritual game, not the religion game, isn’t about the numbers or the Math. We don’t need numbers to further vindicate or validate that we’re on the right path. At least for myself, there’s no bonus gift for me to bring more souls to pray to the God I believe in, or to bring to heaven. There is, however, some really good karma for me if I helped another living being from suffering or pain. I’m quite dogmatic about this belief of mine. This is built on another fundamental spiritual pillar, that of which we are all from the same origin, the same ocean, and have God in each of us.

Okay, let me get off my high horse now. Conversion, be it of faith or of the imperial unit system to the metric system, gets me tired every time.

Jagdesh Singh, a Kuala Lumpur-based executive with a US multinational company, is a father of three girls who are as opinionated as their mother

* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.



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