Interpretation and Consequently Disintegration
With the rapid increase in knowledge by means of books and advancement of sciences, there rose a breed of people intelligent enough to turn the people’s faith in god to their own advantage. They interpreted the virtues in a way that suited them. As virtues and morals have no definite standards, keeping the essence constant, their forms were changed. As different men interpreted them in different ways there were different followings.
In the pre-historic times, private property did not exist, except may be a few things like odd shaped rocks etc. These, a person guarded by means of his physical strength. Gradually, with the discovery of agriculture, some people started setting barriers around pieces of land and claim ownership. Here too, they guarded the land with their strength. As society got more and more complex and organized, materials were being put at a definite value. Kings sometimes used to give land and other valuables as gifts to some of their subjects.
As private property came into existence, in order to protect the owners, some systems were developed by the rulers of which, one was the police. A man using his property as a capital, with his intelligence, increased it, resulting in a further accumulation of property. This brought about a class difference.
Frustration increased in the lower class people when they saw the upper class people living in a better standard. To stop this frustration from turning violent, in addition to the police, god was brought in to the picture. Hastily, some new virtues were added like, “You must be loyal to your master”, for example. Also, the feeling the lower class people entertained, was termed as jealousy. This feeling was condemned as a sinful thing and was emphasized with convenient examples.
But, as wisdom grew, people realized that what they were previously led to believe as divine is not so divine. For instance, the way Galileo shattered the myth of earth being flat and proposed his theory of it revolving round the sun. A little more thinking on other such things furthered their wisdom and they found holes in many other beliefs, and a slow disintegration of their beliefs started.
They realized that sometimes, a man who does not value the virtues has more to gain. They saw that a man who cheats the society by manipulating the law has more to gain than a person who strictly abides by his morals. This is nothing but the animal law being re-enacted, only with lesser competition as majority anyway were following the rules.
People discovered that even though they are strictly abiding by values and morals, they are still living a life of misery, whereas those who do not, are living in luxury. This, they could not understand. So, in order to console such people, the karma theory was brought in to the picture. The karma theory declares that how you live here in this life time depends on your behavior in the previous life. If you are in misery now, it is because you sinned in previous life. If you behave in a good way now, you will have a good life in your next birth.
To understand the karma theory better, let us take the example of a child doing something wrong. The wrongful act was ignored at that time. After 20 years, he was suddenly punished for that act. By this time, the child will have forgotten what he had done such a long time ago. Also, the child will have no sense of right and wrong. Like the child, we don’t have a definite idea of what a sin is. It is because there is no absolute standard, and it changes according to the times and prevailing conditions. The logical thing is, the child’s act should be condemned there and then, so that he will know what is wrong. But unfortunately, god is not as logical as us.
Here, in the society, a man commits something wrong and he is left alone. Moreover, he is allowed to enjoy the fruits of his wrongful act, under the pretext that he will be punished in his next birth. But here, the discussion is not about the validity of the karma theory, but how it is used to exploit people, and how it helps as a peace maintaining force.
When an individual sees another person living in a better style than him, even though he is not abiding by the rules, he consoles himself with the karma theory, that he will have a better life in his next birth, whereas the others will have one of misery. With this, his frustration subsides and he takes shelter in another virtue which is “You must be satisfied with what you have and you should not be jealous of other’s fortunes”.
Thus, karma theory is one of the many other devices which are employed for deviating people’s minds from realizing the truth. Here, the point to be stressed is the manipulators are not a separate breed of people who exploit the people by means of the above theories. But, as the instinct for power demands a better standard of living, with their courage, they look at life in a realistic sense and take whatever they can from it by any means.
But as they grow old and near death, they start thinking again, as they have no knowledge of what lies beyond death. Now, at this time, they start tending towards god and try to be virtuous as they have nothing to lose now. This is the reason why generally most people turn to god as they approach old age.
This again, is used to reinforce faith among the people. It is said that even though all his life he was a bad man and an atheist, the fact that he turned towards god at the last moment, signifies the greatness of god.
But, as science advanced, people began to realize more and more the nature of things. Gradually, they began to see through god and along with him the virtues and morals. In countries where much freedom of thought was given, a rapid disintegration of the morals began. As a result, there will be a rampant increase in crime rate. Also, the sexual restrictions are slackened, the sentimental ties will weaken, which will result in a weak family bond, which in turn gives rise to uncared for children. This ultimately results in giving rise to selfishness as a necessity. As men turn more and more selfish, they again come back to the point where they have started from, that is the survival of the fittest mode, only this time in a refined and sophisticated way. And to these people who have broken the chains of virtues and morals, the others, like the people in countries like Iran where the people still abide by strict religious principles, for instance, will seem like uncivilized people and become an object of pity for them and those people will envy the ones in the country where there is freedom, as every individual instinctively craves for freedom.