“Why have you chosen Hindusim?”
People ask me this question from time to time, and I never quite know what to respond. I suppose the best analogy is to have a favorite color, but you don’t know what to call it. Let’s say, for example, that you like blue. Really, really like it. Only nobody around you likes blue. They like purple. So you learn to like purple for a while, because it’s what’s there and it’s the color your family likes. One day, you see somebody who likes blue, and they give you that word – “blue.” Suddenly, you’re really happy to show people that you like blue. And then somebody asks you why you like blue. What do you say? There’s not an intellectual response to that. “I like blue because it’s what I like. It’s part of who I am.”
The academic in me counters that I could be taught to answer that question. Perhaps I don’t have the language to answer yet. That’s probably a little true. On a deeper level, though, I don’t think there is an answer that would satisfy me. I can’t communicate a feeling in a way that allows someone to understand it fully, unless that person has already arrived at a similar place. It just feels “right.” I had a conversation a little while back with a Western woman who has converted to Islam, and she knew exactly the feeling I was talking about (more or less; her color in the analogy was perhaps yellow or green). “You feel it here,” she said, placing her hand on her heart. I knew just what she meant.
I guess that’s my answer. I have been following this path for quite some time, but didn’t have a name for it until now.