In summarizing our previous piece: Since the dawn of man, we’ve always asked ourselves, “Why?” Why -exactly- are we here, to begin with? What are we doing here? How have we come to be here?! Simply who we are… at all? All of those are very good questions, indeed! Equally so, all of those many different answers applied to them have remain unchanged -by and large- for countless centuries, at the very absolute least! Most of them even date back multiple millennia!
And yet… just this past century has brought with it change quite unlike anything ever before witnessed by anyone. Electricity? Transportation, with cars, planes and trains? No less, the dawn of the nuclear age? Then, the past couple of decades alone have rapidly seen such gains become exponential in magnitude- now, only every few years our technologies are totally and completely transforming the all of everything. Think about the previous 20 years: Computers. The Internet. Cellular phones. Genetics and DNA.
Then, over but the last handful of them: Tablets beget mobile devices; the Internet becomes available everywhere, no less coming at broadband speeds! Smart devices beget the Smart Home; where now we can turn simple lights off and on using any mobile device, from anywhere! Our digital devices? Not only do they currently audibly talk to us, but so too understanding us whenever we speak to them! Artificial intelligences surely aren’t very far off right now, heralding a truly unprecedented new world quite unlike any before.
At their core, these ideas represent an alternative view of various faith-based concepts; all the while, it’s also very much a view that remains all but nonexistent in today’s world – no matter where, to whom or for what one might themselves turn. Likewise, they represent beliefs that are nothing I myself see as exceedingly revolutionary, nor anything quite so bizarre as to defy either categorization as or harmonious coexistence fitting within previous such religious thought.
Rather, I feel all of this to be only a natural evolution of our most fundamental questions or cultural/societal tenets. Somewhat crudely stated? With aspects of religion, science, technology and philosophy, it works to take what came before, along with what currently is, and to blend them both together; allowing our present understandings and level of advancement to inform, transform and, just perhaps, even somehow redefining things decidedly ancient or apocryphal in nature.
Indeed, perhaps the most important question for us to start off with considering…? Why is there a complete absence of anything remotely approaching these sorts of ideas – despite our now going on a century or better since first we might’ve begun to inch ourselves toward such (quantum) leaps forward?
We’re now beginning to get much deeper into things, as this post contains one of what I feel is the most central ideas to this entire body of work: Perceiving the all of human civilization much the same as any other singular maturing entity. Meaning…? It progressively grows and advances, maturing all the while, in being able to stand as something fundamentally changed from what it once was.
An idea of a linearly+progressively evolving -maturing- human civilization should not be seen as some excuse or desperate bid to explain away or dismiss certain aspects of older religious teachings. Rather, it is evidenced in every single other aspect of Creation itself: Human beings… or, for that matter, all known life. Stars and planets, alike. The whole universe!
For all things in our humble little slice of reality, there is both a time to be born and a time to die. In between those two, absolutely nothing exists in some static state, wholly unchanging all the while. To expect that Creator would imbue human civilization with such an impossible trait found nowhere else seems most irrational, just on its face.
We -being humanity itself, far and wide; large and incalculable- are much like a single living organism in many ways (as I’ve already established). I’d now like to take a moment to step back and expand further upon this notion, trying to visualize what it really means to us, before once more moving onward.
Imagine all of our history, entailing all men, women and children who have ever walked this earth, looking up and asking ‘Why?’ Imagine it – all of them, and us, as one. Human culture, human knowledge, human wisdom, human understanding, human society, and yes, human religion. It is far too easy to take a microscopic view, seeing ourselves as singular – to imagine that we are little different as individuals from Johan the sailor two centuries prior. We were born, we were kids, we learned, we aged, became adults, began careers and families, age further still, then pass from this world. In the end, we all end up the same.
Belief is a funny thing – our faith being singularly unique throughout all of Creation as something found solely in we human beings. There’s truly nowhere else where we might also observe anything endeavoring to look up and ask of itself, “Why? How…? What?!?”, let alone anything capable of knowing any such answers to those inquiries they might so deign to make! And yet, among those individuals found to exist in the many sorts of cultures and religions that we do in fact know for ourselves? Such beliefs have also come to mean so countless many wildly different things, to so very many widely different peoples – no less, ones that are spread across the whole wide world over!
So then, all that this work ultimately represents is my offering up what those beliefs have come to mean to me personally just now, and absolutely nothing more than that; existing only as but a meager reflection of that which I myself have come to believe is true in this life of ours so far.
Next up on our agenda? One might begin to wonder, “Why doesn’t God step in and make His wishes known to us directly, just as He once did so long ago?” In my eyes, this is an utter absurdity for anyone to realistically expect – it would completely, irrevocably disrupt our entire existence. It would also be exactly the same as a parent stepping in to “reparent” their 50-year old adult child… no less, with that parent’s refusing to step back, let go and allow their offspring to ‘sink or swim’ doubtlessly being responsible for whatever his or her present predicaments may be; those problems which require such reparenting, even at the half century mark! What’s more, God simply doesn’t need to do any such thing! – most certainly not when He can influence and direct the very same desired outcomes, only doing so from “behind the scenes,” as it were.
There appears to be a good many here in our world today who seem to expect that, in their mind, God’s existence is somehow disproven by the lack of any (relatively recent) direct interactions with us or our forebears. All the more, many a conartist or cultist in such modern times have outright declared that, if they themselves aren’t God and/or Jesus Christ reborn, then God at the very least directly communicates to them – and to them alone! Both of these views -that God must either prove His divine existence to us by way of direct interaction, or that God really is somehow speaking to only one out of seven billion worth- are utterly incorrect, in my estimation… most especially not when God -that higher power/force- doesn’t need to do anything of the sort!
All of human civilization -our modern world, itself, alongside all the endless blessings brought with our natural understandings being exploited in the form of inventive technologies- only exist due to the combined efforts of all mankind. Two sayings in particular seem most apt in conveying this idea: How no one person is ever an island, all to themselves; as well as our each standing high today perched upon the shoulders of giants.
Sure, they might just sound ridiculously, if not altogether absurdly, contrived in nature or inapplicable to our daily/personal lives. But they also possess definitive meaning and particular resonance for us, all the same. This thusly works out to symbolize an important notion as it relates to our concerns here: Epitomizing the essential truth that we are all in this crazy adventure called life together – a reality that holds true even throughout time itself!
Further, that we are one and all human beings: Sharing in our most fundamental characteristics and cornerstones, whilst still remaining unique as individuals. Ultimately, all those many individuals combine as one to result in a whole wide world… being the all of human civilization, itself! But even so, that civilization is nothing without the near infinite amount of blood, sweat and tears by all the many countless generations whose time came before ours, here on this swirling blue ball otherwise known as Earth.
So I very much possess an utter, unwavering certainty that we exist where we are today by benefit of our place atop the shoulders of the most towering of giants. That same giant? ‘Tis none other than the all of humanity that has come before us and our time! Every single last individual, from the mightiest and most famous to the lowliest of long forgotten wretches, has in some way or another contributed to our getting here just now. In addition to recognizing our divine Creator, the efforts of our forebears mustn’t be forgotten in any way – or, far worse still, simply ignored out of egocentric tendencies/focus. Certainly, not a single one of us would be in this fantastical future world had it not been for all those many who preceded us here in the modern day.
In addition to the notion of human civilization as a maturing, advancing entity (the closest thing to an actual child in relation to that divine Creator), another important idea forming the basis of these existential ideas hinges upon the thought that, “any technology sufficiently far advanced enough will appear indistinguishable from magic” in the eyes of those unfamiliar with such innovations and advancements.
It is a simple notion, just the same as it’s an exceptionally accurate one. Invent a time machine, take your smartphone back only four hundred years, and you’ve got yourself a death sentence for witchery. That’s just four centuries removed from the here and now! Go back a thousand, and cure someone’s pneumonia with a pill? “Burn the witch! What magic is this, vanishing the affliction of the cursed airs?!”
What meaning does this odd idea of “advanced ideas that are indistinguishable from magic” truly have to us in relation to the divine Creator of us all? How can coming from such a perspective be anything other than unrepentant and heretical blasphemying? In my eyes, I suppose it’s all rather straightforward enough:
Next up comes one of the final pieces of the puzzle as forms the foundation for this here work: The belief that there’s absolutely no sentient being (whether that should involve one divine or otherwise) that makes any Creation completely and entirely dissimilar to anything (and everything) it knows for itself. In other words: Every single Created work is a reflection of its Creator – first, foremost and forevermore.
What’s the meaning I intend to come from this particular notion? Well, much as I’ve detailed previously on these pages, our whole reality has no actual, literal magic anywhere to be found in it (as in that of the “Abracadabra” variety). As a result of this most notable aspect to our existence, so too should we neither expect nor hold that divine Creator to be anything based in some literal form of pure magic. Even so, oddly enough that’s exactly what our current understanding of the divine is centered around in its entirety – how it’s a supreme being existing both in and as sheer magics.