“… people prefer to believe in and worship a god who is remote rather than live out the godlike nature which is their inherent being.” Henry Miller (from Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch)
In the true beginning, there may have been heavens, but there was certainly no Earth as we know it. About 10 or so billion years after this real beginning, there was finally an Earth, but even then it was uninhabitable by even single cell organisms for several billion more years. And far from being the center of the Universe, Earth is merely a speck of a speck of a speck of dust thrown to one of the far reaching corners of this still expanding Universe.
While humans ascended from the evolutionary cycle approximately 200,000 years ago, much of the history of the Universe had been percolating and changing for about 14 billion years. However, humans, perhaps the most curious of all known creatures, remained a self-centered, confused, and frightened species that desired and demanded a clear explanation of the source (and importance) of their own existence, and, as a consequence of this unquenchable thirst for understanding and knowledge, we did what humans always do: we made things up and thus was god created.
One can only imagine what the first god was like, finding its origins out of a fertile and desperate imagination, but it was likely quite vague and general. As humans became more sophisticated, so did their god; however, as true knowledge and understanding grew, so did we desire that the supposed power of our imagined god would expand as well. Before we understood the immensity of the Universe, it was sensible to attribute the creation of the Sun and a handful of planets to god, along with a smattering of stars that decorated the night skies purely for the pleasure and delight of human beings. Little did early humans realize or conceive of the complexity, age, and size of the Universe; even in today’s times, we are only beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to understanding the Universe.
Since its creation by humankind, god has been converted many times. Interestingly, with the advent of science, god continues to evolve, but now evolves at a much faster rate than prior to scientific discoveries. While civilization is approximately 6,000 years old, it is not very clear when god was created by man. However, early writings and tales indicate the presence of and belief in an imagined god for at least as long as humans have been recording their existence and sojourn on this planet.
Ironically, two of god’s greatest enemies are the sciences and the arts, of which both disciplines are known as seekers of truth. These practices grew from a deeper desire to better know and understand god, but instead ended up stripping the many veils of this prevaricating impostor. In our attempt to further buttress and prove the existence of an all-powerful being, our discoveries instead weakened the already flimsy foundation of our self-created truths to the point of the utter destruction of the concept of god.
However, such discoveries and realizations have done woefully little to diminish our absurd belief in an invisible creator. For all of our vaunted intelligence and alleged thirst for facts, we remain steadfastly allegiant to our fables. We are more than capable of seeing the folly of those older gods from previous civilizations which we no longer worship in this modern society, such as Thor, Apollo, Zeus, etc., yet we stubbornly cling to the notion that our currently created god is a different creature altogether and is thus deserving of our unending devotion and sacrifices. (Speaking of devotion, even as a kid raised in a fundamentalist christian family and culture, I always thought it rather petty of our contemporary god to demand eternal worship at his/her/its feet. It came across as both needy and insecure.)
However, while we have clung for centuries to the crazes of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, we have also performed plenty of upgrades to both religious beliefs and practices, in accordance with the logic that cultural changes demand such tweaking. Employing logic to further cement and encourage our irrational beliefs is an oxymoron at the very least. When humans are finally capable of realizing the folly of creating gods to worship, perhaps we can move to the next stage of existence: making the most of our brief moment in a blink of the Universal eye instead of attempting to secure an infinite seat at the banquet of a supposed heaven by spending our earthly sojourn adhering to restrictive behaviors and ridiculous acts in order to appease the god that we created.
Most interesting of all is how we have continued converting god to accommodate our evolving needs and concerns. Over the centuries, god has been revamped by various societies to better reflect their practices and values. Now that we have grown into a global community, regardless of the imaginary borders which we have drawn across the globe, we have the need for a global god to administer to our broader needs. It should come as no surprise that this modern world has generally substituted their worship of god with the worship of money; both are made up from the depths of our mad minds and both are incapable of providing any relief from our suffering.
Since humans thrive upon analogies and symbols, money is the ideal substitute for the old-fashioned god of yore. Money, like god, was created by humans, and its value and utility is measured by humans. Moreover, a coin, being round, has no beginning nor end, just like the god we imagined. Most importantly, money buys us the same amount of love and security as our ancient god: in other words, none whatsoever, even though we are continually fed the pap that god/money is love and god/money will secure us a place of comfort on into infinity. Most people will sell their souls for money (and have done so), just like so many have sold their brief time on earth for god.
Speaking of infinity and our place and role in it, check out this informative and humorous summary of the Universe and our meager standing as humans on a minor planet, rotating around a minor sun, which belongs to a minor galaxy amongst the billions of galaxies in the Universe: