17 January, 2021

Broken Song Of Bernadette

From Lourdes to Velankanni, God is beseiged with demands for miracles. But a moral choice confronts Him.

Nirala Tripathi
Broken Song Of Bernadette
“What, no wooden legs?”

—Anatole France
upon seeing the discarded canes and crutches on a visit to Lourdes

While it’s true that Freud’s psychodynamics has largely been discredited, his views on the nature of religion pertaining to wish fulfilment are still considered relevant. In The Future of an Illusion, he says religion represents merely the perpetuation of a piece of infantile behaviour in adult life. That it’s simply an immature response to the awareness of helplessness, going back to one’s childhood experiences of paternal care as in ‘My father will protect me as he is in control’. Belief in a personal God is thus little more than a childish delusion; mostly wishful thinking.

Now, wishes can be realised in only one of two ways—either by working hard towards achieving them by many practical means, including taking the advice, help or guidance of others, or they can be realised by...



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