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.
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.
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.
We, who find ourselves singularly blessed to be living in so modern of a world, can likewise all too easily feel a schism pulling us in two polar opposite directions – one hard to their left, the other mercilessly to our right – with an almost perverse schizophrenic duality. For this modern world very much also has a landscape that’s been long ago mapped by distinctly ancient systems of belief – if not still finding it defined outright by various matters of faith and religion primarily intended for a humanity yet in its infancy.
For our understanding of the divine has remained utterly unchanged over the eons… despite however countless many centuries and millennia might yet pass after the fact; regardless of how much progress might’ve come in the interim; and no matter how unrecognizable the all of everything for everything may just now be, compared to how it was during their assorted establishments.
But this is also neither to put down or dismiss in their entirety (as somehow irrelevant, outdated, or even, as some faithless sorts may claim, entire falsehoods made only by the hands and minds of man) those teachings understood to be the works of that Higher Power – rather it’s just the opposite of that!
Realities such as the third amendment of the US Constitution seem inconceivable today, where having soldiers take residence in private homes is unthinkable only but two short centuries later – yet even so, still do we find the deepest of meaning and resonance in that very same Constitution throughout time itself. It is in this same way we should look to our existing sacred works, as well – with the realities that ours is a civilization which evolves and matures –changing– over time.
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: