Indigion – the emerging future of faith
The angry Hindu will read Hinduism in a particular way. He will quote selectively from the Bhagwad Gita, the Vedas and the Upanishadas. He will breathe technology into shlokas and “prove” that India was a super-advanced nation millennia ago.
The enraged Muslim views Islam in his own way. He too will pull out verses of the Quran that suit his purpose. He will glorify physical violence. He will read into the Holy book meanings that its author, the Prophet, perhaps didn’t quite ascribe.
The reactionary Christian narrows the expanse of Christ to fit into an evangelical-expansionary confines. So, on the one hand he will try and convert non-believers so they may attain peace and salvation, on the other hand he will burn the Quran.
This coarse and violent politicisation of religion is something we have been living with for the past few centuries, with the Christian Crusades of the 11th Century in Europe and the Muslim invasion of the 13th Century in India as striking examples.
Now, a new politics is emerging. It is more democratic, carries a greater individuality. But it is using the old and decrepit road of religion to ride towards a higher aspiration. So, each mind, body and soul is expressing his faith and belief system in his own manner within the broader limitation of organised religions — the big three of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, as well as the 4,800-and-counting smaller tributaries that emerge out of these as well as from a larger societal and globalised intercourse.
Blending organised religion with individual identity or quest, I call this emerging phenomenon Indigion — creating a personal belief system based on interpretation of religion by individuals. Going forward, this will lead to 7 billion Indigions. Kopimism, for instance — a group that believes believes in sharing information through copying — that has been recognised as a new religion by Sweden, is really an Indigion.
The Indigions of the future will follow as much from blind faith as from cold logic. But above all, it will flow from an inner dissatisfaction with and a sublime inadequacy that religion cannot serve. In its self-serving cycle of expanding adherents, gaining influence and becoming more of a power-play and organiser of society than helping it rise above itself, religion has degenerated into George Orwell’s pigs and is now something the individual needs to rebel against.
In their self-preservation religions are reacting with great violence — against one another as well as against its own believers. As individuals are seeking greater freedoms, religions are hardening and becoming more dogmatic. Little does religion realise that the curst is like an eggshell and any moment it can crack.
This implosion is essential to the creation of Indigion. In fact, for society to evolve, the destruction of religion and its handmaiden dogma is a necessary condition. But the texture of that evolution and destruction is something that we know nothing about today. Conversely, the delight is in seeing how each Indigion works itself out to serve an inner soul, a self-becoming and then how society reorders itself.