Our cave-day ancestors were probably very clever, resourceful, rational, logical and pre-scientific. They had to be so in a difficult world in order to stay alive in a hostile, barely supportive environment.
They had to be so to bring generations of us forward 200,000 years for humans to the point that we all now exist. They brought us here through their great capabilities to survive and determination to drive our species generation by generation forward in time.
Always working on improvements, I can picture one of these primitive persons blowing on a leaf and watching it tremble, wavkng side to side, as a result. What does this mean?
As he tries to figure out the way that the world works, his blowing on a leaf helps bring about an understanding of cause and effect. Yet, when a whole forest of trees tremble in the wind, I can imagine him thinking that a giant supernatural god lives on the other side of the mountain or up in the sky behind clouds — one capable of giant breaths — exists.
After all, it is a reasonable supposition if one doesn’t know about wind convection and other related factors, which were later understood. Accordingly, the other prior interpretation of reality that he had is reasonable and logical as a substitute given the state of scientific knowledge at the time when he lived.
Personally I can’t ascertain whether there is a god, gods or not. I haven’t been, I suspect, born with the so-called god gene and tend to favor evidence from a scientific and factual foundation over faith and imagination. the imagination that our cave ancestor may have had. I guess that I just wasn’t hardwired that other fanciful or, alternatively, faith-based way.
The God gene hypothesis proposes that human spirituality is influenced by heredity and that a specific gene, called vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), predisposes humans towards spiritual or mystic experiences.
So my three gods or three parts of one god, presuming the actual existence of any parts or gods, are the “god within” for starters.
This first one is wondrous. It causes people to have compassion, empathy, caring and sharing acts, heroism to save lives of others and wonderment about the world. This god gives courage when one fights social injustice, serves humanity in many diverse ways, sacrifices for others and helps the natural environment.
A Quaker once told me that “God doesn’t have hands and feet. So he asks us to be them to carry out his kind, just and benevolent will.”
The second one is god of Ecclesiastes. It is a position that Buddhists, in my limited understanding, reject. It is the god of vagaries and change. We get swayed by this god to be happy one moment, angry the next, sad the next and so on rather than to watch the world as an ever changing movie of experiences and be detached, but loving toward it all.
Ecclesiastes 3New International Version (NIV)
A Time for Everything
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
15 Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.[b]
16 And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.
17 I said to myself,
“God will bring into judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
a time to judge every deed.”
18 I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath[c]; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”
22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?
– From Ecclesiastes 3 – A Time for Everything – There is a time – Bible Gateway
The classic song from the 60s band “The Byrds” … Turn! Turn!” To everything, turn, turn, turn. There is a …
The ugly god in my set or the worst attribute of an one god is this one — the butchery and killing god. It is the god of evolution, the god of food on your plate, the god of my mother dying because pneumonia germs gobbled her up, the god of animals and plants being eaten while alive by other ones (like a deer eat from her belly inward while consciously experiencing the event onward up into her womb where an infant almost ready to be born, tender meat, existed. And let’s not forget the god of forest devastation (and all life that lived in a forest) so that we can have the wood turned into housing products, paper and other goods.
If you like the god(s) of evolution, all power to you. You can enjoy the carnage of the powerful against the weak whether in wars or humans pitted against the natural world as we build empires of consumable products at mega-stores and elsewhere located.
If you like being manipulated by momentary and passing feelings and other sorts of reactions, love the god(s) of Ecclesiastes. He or they can help you have a replete experience, I’m sure, as you get manipulated by passing circumstances.
The only one that I could tolerate is the third one and if I offend any god(s) by selecting my position of respecting this orientation, watch about how I would react in Hell (if there is such a place of torture for enacting wrongs in life). Watch me in Limbo (if there is such a place). Watch me in Heaven(if there is such a place). As a matter of conscience and from the deepest part of my identity, I would be unacceptably difficult in any of these locations since I always try to bring into being rightful behaviors based on caring.
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Since you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.
I, personally, do not find it endurable, So I’d be so totally obnoxious and a fighter-supreme in all three locations in which I’d be thrown out since I do not want rewards in Heaven, punishments in Hell, nor an in-between state in Limbo.
I have no use for any of these states. None.
Adamantly, none! I’d just rather blink out of existence or be free to roam to continue efforts to try to uplift the world involving people and the natural environment since both need great ongoing help until the point that the Earth is destroyed by the enlarging, spent sun consuming it..
No, I do not want rewards,, nor punishments. I do not want anything in between those two states like Limbo. I just want life to carry out well on Earth after my passing.
I used to drive Jehovah Witnesses loopy when I told them that I do not care to please God. I only wanted to do whatever is right, good, just, moral, compassionate, empathetic, kindly toward the world. Accordingly, I would not be controlled by a deity whose views may be contrary to mine. I would never serve wrongfulness as best as I could manage regardless of an all-powerful leader (a God or a king) trying to get me to conform.
Perhaps I am an “oddity.” I don’t care about amassing as much money as I can in this life to give myself as much advantage as I can. I don’t care to march in lock-step to invade other species or other nations so as to decimate them and steal their resources. I don’t care about being accepted in Heaven for being a so-called “good” person. How facile a view!
Instead I want to help ALL life forward to a good point and if there is a life after death, I want to continue in the effort. It’s that simple since to not be that is to not be myself as a person. I’d have had to be transformed into someone else to conform to god(s), the devil or something else.
No way! I will not be taken from myself, my core central self, as long as my consciousness exists! I will not become a different self regardless of consequences that are posed to me as an afterlife bringing me something good, bad or in-between.
I don’t care about whatever god or gods bring your life meaning. My only hope is that you can help bring life forward with fervency on this planet regardless of your religious views.
Go ahead, Believe in whatever god or gods that you like to follow. I’m happy that he, she, it, them give your life meaning based on your indoctrination into whatever view that you have.
Just don’t expect me to conform to whatever version of reality that you have. It will never happen since I have an ultimate goal to serve life and not Kali or any other God or Goddess serving destruction rather than support of life around us.
So in the end my position is quite simple. Come what may for me personally for now and/or hereafter. my stance is firm and clear.
Sally Dugman is a writer in MA, USA.