I don’t know if there’s just something incredibly spooky about an all knowing, all powerful, always present force that doesn’t do much except hold reality together, or if it’s just the campfire setting. Either way, I am terrified.

Brahman is…complicated. Sometimes misunderstood as a God much like the ever watchful Christian God, Brahman is really something else entirely. As in other religions, there is a more technical and theoretical concept behind this strange force that pervades all of existence that I’m not sure the average believer is acquainted with (I’ve never had the chance to speak to native believers, regretably). I’ve heard it referenced in different books as a kind of god akin to the many others that are recognized in Hinduism and I’ve also heard it described as Lil K describes it in the strip: a kind of force that is both being and non-being, that gives structure and form to the universe around us, and that is a part of everything we see and experience. That’s a pretty complicated idea in a religion full of complicated ideas.

Really, it only takes that single concept of Brahman to really get your head spinning. How does one recognize a force that is and, simultaneously, is not? What does a force with no real direction of its own somehow maintain reality from without while concurrently holding it up from within? There are a host of seemingly implausible and inexplicable ideas surrounding just this one concept, never mind the sizable population of Gods and spirits that abound in Hinduism. Did I mention all of those Gods are meant to simply represent different paths to the same goal? That each of them are all facets of the same force?

And just what is the goal of all this?

Life is an attempt to recognize that one is not actually separate from one’s surroundings or that one’s surroundings are even necessarily real. If you can recognize that you are, in fact, Brahman (and this would only happen after many lives and reincarnations) then you can be free from the suffering of eternal reincarnation.

As I said above, I’m not sure how much the native believers of Hinduism adhere to these concepts. One of my dreams would be to continue doing this comic while I travel and talk to people about their beliefs and folklore so I could remedy that problem. Maybe someday that will happen. I know that Christianity, Judaism, and other religions more prevalent in my area are more complicated than most people give them credit for but it’s hard to see that when the average Joe boils it down to black and white.

I guess we’re all guilty of that sometimes. When you live a busy life and just want to hold on to your beliefs, it can be tough to parse out concepts like Brahman or a God that isn’t like us at all.

But if we could give these things a bit more thought, maybe we could make the effort to give other things some more thought as well. Maybe Hinduism has it more right than we know. Maybe we’re all just treading different paths toward the same goal.

After all, it can be hard to tell if other people are walking beside you when you’ve got blinders on.