At the Ex-priests meet at Ernakulam I was quoted as saying: ”I am in my eighties. I'm still a questioning, doubting and searching atheist.” Quoting part of a sentence or out of context can be very misleading and end up in misrepresenting a person. This is just one case in point.
After long search and prayerful study the one conclusion I reached long long ago was this: “The only thing I know for certain is that I do not know and that applies to things in this world and in the next and I wrote it in my book: Womb to Tomb. Later I discovered that it was first discovered, not by me but by Socrates who lived 500 years before Christ. So what am I now?
Still I am a very ignorant, doubtful, questioning, searching, prayerful, devout, believing, pious atheist. A bundle of contradictions in every sense – of course not all things at once but alternating as I move from facing one problem to another, ranging from bad to worst, or sweet to bitter."
This is just to put records straight. Some 670 are reported to have attended the meet. Just to have an on the spot experience I was present from the very beginning from 9 am to 4.30 pm. It was a very informative experience. What I expected to hear as the central part of the gathering was a recounting of the experiences of various participants which led them to leave priesthood or religious life. This has not happened. This experience ought to vary from person to person. What happened was very short felicitations from various participants – I happened to be one of them selected – to this historic gathering.
Honestly I did not go there to felicitate but to listen and learn from the experiences of many who left. These experiences could be varying from the worst to the best, catastrophic to comforting, tolerable to edifying to disturbing. Some may have only a bitter bag of experiences, others a mixed bag ranging from good, better, best, or bad, worse, worst.
This recounting can still be done. So I propose to recount my story instead of asking others to recount theirs. You have to become the change you want to bring about. Almayasabdam could be the forum for this story telling. May I therefore take this opportunity to invite better suggestions from our better enlightened readers."