Tuesday, December 3, 2013

When god flips the coin

Consider the following hypothetical case of someone (say Mr.X) riding a motor bike in a highway along with 50 other fellow bikers. Suddenly a Meteoroid falls on Mr . X and injure him severely.

Mr. X asks himself: “why me?”. “How come I got hit while the 49 others escaped unharmed”?
In circumstances like this, we resort to the supernatural. “It must be the work of God or some devil or Mars in the wrong box of your horoscope”.
It seems logical to think that there must be a reason why the Meteoroid fell on Mr.X. This is human tendency, to look for reasons and connect anything associated with any event (happy or sad). For example, suppose if Mr.X was wearing a black helmet on that day instead of his usual white helmet, then he is likely to think that the black helmet caused the meteoroid to fall on him.

What is the position of science on things like this? These are called Random Events.
But is there a reason why it fell on Mr.X? Is every random event the work of God (or some unknown supernatural power?).

Let us take the example of tossing coin. You can get “heads” or “Tails” if you toss a coin. It is impossible to predict (using science or otherwise) the outcome of a single coin flip. Now you can extend the Meteoroid logic to the coin flip and you can ask the same question “Why did I get Tails this time? There must be a reason why I got “Tails”? Then we can conclude that there must be someone who is deciding on the outcome. In this case, perhaps God is deciding on the outcome of the coin flip? (Every time anyone flip a coin?)

Suppose we continue to flip the coin and note down the result (heads or tail), after doing this say 100,000 times ( making god work longer!), we will discover that nearly 50% of the time we got heads (or tails). (50% probability). This tells me that there is a pattern for this random event (it still wouldn’t tell me how to predict the outcome of a single coin tosses).

Suppose you pray to god every time you flip the coin and hope for a particular outcome (head or tail), you will notice that God answers your prayer sometimes and not other times! Overall the probability getting heads would still be 50%. Roughly god will answer your prayer 50% of the time (that is if you keep flipping for a long time!- the number of trials should be large to get close to 50%).

There is no supernatural force deciding on the fate of the coin, it is just natural random pattern. Contrary to what you think, a lot of things that happen in our life are just “random”.

Swamy Kujrarananda's Life Curve
Our life is just random. You cannot predict what would happen tomorrow (good or bad). There isn’t any supernatural thing that is going to decide how your day would go. But there is a pattern. We all go through various emotions - happy, sad, sick and joy, love and hate, revenge and forgiveness, etc.

At some point in our life nothing will work, we are miserable ; unhappy; on some other days we are happy as heaven ( see my Life Curve). The pattern of life is same for all – whether you are the Queen of England or a beggar on the street, whether you are priest or an atheist, white or black. This, the natural pattern, is like tossing the coin – it is random, but there  is still a pattern. (Ever wonder why astrologers always tell you something good or bad will happen in six months’ time?)

Our life goes through a pattern of happiness and sorrow – with or without God, with or without angels, demons or fairies or astrologers and the like.

So when a Metroid strikes and injure you, just bear the pain and know that this is random.
Not because you sinned in your past life (karma) or forgot to pray, or that planet mars was angry.

Bad things  happens. It happens to me, to you, to the atheist, the priest and the preacher, and every one on this planet. You need to learn how to deal with them and have the patience and courage to go through them.

In fact what make us happy are all the sad things that happened in our life. Just look back in your life and recall the moments when you had to go through hardship and suffering- the low points in your life. Then take a deep breath and look at your life now. How do you feel now? Happy?
(OK if you are going through hell now, you need to wait a few more months or years and look back!).

Life is just Random… take it with your chin up..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Swami kujarananda ki jai ho...

About Me

I am an Engineer by profession. Spritual and Anit-guru advice is my part time job!