How gods are born

Within this website I explore whether there is a spiritual realm, a supernatural realm, containing God, mind, souls, consciousness with its contents (ideas, emotions, love, reason, etc) — this, from a purely philosophical and unreligious point of view. I first assume there is a spiritual realm so as to explore the implications; then I present my conclusions.

Way back (and even in modern times), ancient people would feel profound awe of natural events around them — or fear. Lightning, fog, rain, wind, wild animals, day and night, ice, fire, wars having battles and killing: these invoked strong emotional responses of the energy and power of the world. Also, noticing they were consciously aware with emotions, feelings, passions, and etc.

As they were pondering such and such an idea, something would suddenly strongly startle them, perhaps thunder, perhaps a growl, perhaps a tree falls over, perhaps they trip over a root and fall. Being primitive, they would innately assume that the idea caused the physical event; and a god was born.

The god of wind, for example, became a god when someone's child was blown off a cliff. They ascribed life to the physical phenomena and the ideas. They transferred their experience of being alive to the newly created god — and a god was born.

Other sources of gods are: (1) hypnagogic hallucinations, (2) effects of severe mental disorders, (3) noticing that animals have personalities.

Through stories, the reality and existence of these gods were passed on to subsequent generations, with embellishments added each time. Finally, social pressure (and ignorance) provided the vitality for people to believe the stories as real, just as with today's religious beliefs which are based on fictional stories. Perhaps the story itself is scary enough for people to believe it. For example, if you don't believe the Christian gospel, you will die eternally — that's the (false) story.


The ancient gods

Pondering modern scientific theories and their older counterparts, for example, Newton's mechanistic laws vs. general relativity with its new paradigm of what space is.

But our minds have stabilized (evolved) to only be able to visualize the world of hard objects bouncing into each other in space and time. This is our everyday experience.

Consider the pagan view of gods energizing the powers of nature. Lightening is caused by a living powerful god who zaps down a thunderbolt. Wind, ice, thunder, lightening, volcanoes, tornadoes, steam — so many gods there were! And the human passions and powers too came from gods, manifesting their powers and wills upon us here on earth.

Once science discovered the true sources of all these natural powers, the idea of gods was proven false. It's a physical universe following physical laws.

But maybe God or a god created the physical laws and the universe — this is the view of modern (ancient, actually) religions. So, what if we discover that's not the case either, that God has an explanation too? A new paradigm of thinking that does away with God?

I doubt you can get any more basic than my view:

  1. The physical realm (the universe) provable by science (within its proper domain) and based on the philosophy of the scientific method and the existence of personal scientists having consciousness, mind, and reason.
  2. Things other than this, which I call the spiritual realm. Not provable except to list things in this category. All of social science, philosophy, the subjective experience of consciousness with its contents, and etc.

How does God reveal himself?

The model I'm familiar with is: we naturally don't know about God, so he/she has to reveal himself/herself to us. He/she does this via a revealed religion or a revealed spiritual path using prophets and ending up with holy books, scripture.

This seems wrong to me. In creating us and in creating the universe in which we live, God has given us all we need to know of him/her and to commune with him/her. God just is, and we just are.

In the experiencing of the joys of life, we are worshiping God. Every emotion and feeling of love, peace, awe, hope, joy, compassion, and etc.; each moment of these is worship of God.


Religious ideas

A religion has a set of core ideas which most everybody accepts. Then a layer of variations of alternate ideas around these which different groups accept to the exclusion of the other variant ideas. Maybe additional layers of more and more optional ideas.

Some ideas are thought to be essential by some groups, and they will think of people not sharing these ideas as outcasts of the religion, as not even belonging to the religion at all, even if they hold to the core ideas.

But the entire set of views, core and alternate variants; these are all false. And that's the important fact, missed by the religious.


Reincarnation

Reincarnation is a common view in certain religious systems and spiritual paths. But some serious problems with it are never mentioned.

The basis of reincarnation is having a fixed number of souls, implying a fixed number of bodies. If you think humans can only reincarnate as another human, this means a fixed number of human bodies.

Maybe souls can be created to make up the difference, but then you will have too many of them making the problem worse, since souls live forever.

Assuming only human to human reincarnation: with the rapid population increase in the last few centuries, where did all the souls come from? And when massive civilization collapse occurs when fossil fuels run out, where will all these souls go as the human population suddenly decreases to perhaps 500 million?

So then you have to claim there are many worlds having humans and that the human souls are shared between these. That means that on one world there is population growth while on another there is decline. Who is micromanaging all this to ensure the accounting works out?

Then they say, "I'm an old soul" because they like antique furniture. But this furniture was constructed by the previous generation, so actually, they are a young soul. An old soul would like basket weaving and pottery and animal skins.


The karma trap

They say, "it's your karma"; usually when something bad happens.

You are trapped in reduplicating your actions from a previous life or the past of this life, and there is therefore no learning or growth possible. You can't turn bad karma into good karma; this, because all actions are controlled by past karma. Good begets good, and bad begets bad.

Plus, there are only two kinds of karma: good and bad. But life's activities are more nuanced and subtle, having shades of meaning.