Prior to moving on to the now, there should first be a rumination on the before – the what and why of various religious dogmas the world over – before we ourselves can move forward and beyond. Let us begin by an examination on some of the marked changes unfurling over the past century and change which has radically altered our understanding of who and what we are, and where it is that we exist.
Now imagine yourself in such a state as we might have been in so very long ago, when that divine Creator provided us with His teachings, wisdom and guidance. In other words, what does this idea about humanity having been in an infantile state actually mean to us?
Try to picture the world back then, right alongside you yourself – much as you’d be without any of the fancy schooling and knowledge that we presently enjoy. It’s hard, if not impossible, to actually try and do so, isn’t it just? To shake off the decades of being filled with the gifted knowledge of the entire human race made over many countless millennia – our uncanny ability… our downright obsession!- with self-discovery, exploration and comprehending any real understanding.
Here is the portrait we should be going for just now – there’s certainly no electricity to power anything we might make. There is no atom, elements or molecules. There is no evolution. There is no DNA. There are no neurons. There were no dinosaurs. There were no mass extinctions caused by giant space rocks slamming into the Earth near Mexico. There is no nuclear fusion which fuels the stars themselves.
That giant ball of fire in the sky is precisely that – a giant ball of fire. Oh, and it probably orbits around the Earth, being the center of the universe. But of course, there is no universe. No galaxies filled with countless, near infinite, other stars. There was no big bang – the universe, which doesn’t exist yet, has always been and always will be. No quarks and strings, or Higgs Bosons to impart mass. No electrons or neutrons, protons or anti-matter. Time is a constant, always the same. Gravity… just isn’t. At all. Down is always down, nothing more. There is no such thing as any outer space, and thereby most certainly no weightlessness amidst floating in darkness. Newton may have deciphered Earth’s effects with his apple, but the most basic concept of not being pulled to the ground when you jump as happens in the void of space is anathema.
Life… has always been – no lifelessness as existed around the Big Bang days during our universe’s birth. Houses, clothing… even words themselves? All are optional, if they should even be an option for us to enjoy – at all!
So imagine again waking up back then – you know you are you, and that’s just about the extent of it. You can see the world around you. You see others who look similar, and other things that don’t. You look at the sky – why is it blue during the day, you might ponder (certainly nothing so grandiose as our atmosphere’s compositions reflecting light most in the blue spectrum.) You see that giant ball of fire in the sky – magnificent! But what is it? Who put it there? What does it do? Where does it go at night? Why does it ever have to leave you alone in darkness for half the day? And when it does – the sky turns black?!? How can that be? And those glowing dots, what on earth are they?
Two weeks pass by, and you decide to look at the night sky again. My God! That huge glowing orb!!! What… what could it be? Where was it two weeks ago? Wait, wha… what? Another week passed, and now it isn’t even a full ball anymore?!? What magic, what devilry, is this? How can it be but a chunk of pale ghostly light, like a giant took a bite out of it. And then… it disappears again.
Now back to you – what are you? What are we? We know we exist, we know we can ask ourselves who and what we are. How is such an impossibility possible? How can we ask why? How did we even come to be at all? Let’s see… We know… well… that’s about all we know. We know we exist. There are no organs, not to the common man at least. Most certainly no brain. No blood supplying nutrients and oxygen to cells spread throughout, no neurons who store memories in a mishmash of electrical signals and proteins. How are we even formed? By God. It must be magic, there is no other option. How else do you propose to explain the incredible complexity, the outright perfection, of the human body? How can eyes form to see, hands to touch, tongue to taste, nose to smell?
And your ears! Again, more devilry! How can you hear, and what is sound itself? You breathe, but what and why? You sneeze… evilness abounds! Clearly a good blessing is in order, as it must be your soul getting pulled from out of your very body! Indeed, there is the root of it all – the human soul. How else may you come to understand how you walk and talk, think and learn, ask yourself the most basic of “Why?”s… when all those other living creatures you encounter (animals and whatnot) are utterly devoid of such blessed gifts. What part of you is it that contains you? Where is that part which asks why to be found inside of you?
And death! What is such a thing? Why do we stop existing? Where do we go when that body of ours inevitably fails us? For that matter, where do you come from? Where (or even simply what) were you… before you were you on this world?
Now there’s a legitimate point to be found in all these meandering questions: Many in today’s modern age desire to shoot down and contradict those ways of old as somehow being detestable or outright wrong in their various archaisms.
While setting forth on a ‘you’re wrong, I’m right, nanananabooboo!’ might be seen as appealing to some due to it’s efficiency and simplicity as much as anything (since, rather clearly, “you’re just right and they’re simply wrong“) this is a wrong way to go about things, in and of itself.
We should instead endeavor to understand just how and why such thoughts, beliefs and concepts came to be in the first place. Much like a mathematical equation in elementary school when you were criticized for not showing your work, ‘showing the work’ behind these religious beliefs allows us better understanding for why they were and what they accomplished in our societies. In so doing, I believe one will quickly come to see them in a similar light as I myself have: Provided to us by a very real divinity and Creator of all things, yet intended primarily to put an infantile human civilization on the right path – bringing us to the here and now.
By then looking at the same problem from a new perspective, one aided by our exponentially expanded knowledge and understanding of all things, we can both appreciate where earlier views came from and then offer new ones grounded in our present understanding – with the added caveat of accepting that just as ‘they’, our forebears, didn’t have the whole entire picture back then, so too might we very well be wrong today in relation to those generations who come after us and bring their own further expanded knowledge with them.
This is perhaps one of mankind’s very greatest of attributes, both collectively and individually: Our ability to embrace change by conceding whenever we may be incorrect about something. If we refused such progress, just try to imagine where we’d be right now! Stuck in the exact same state throughout eternity, living naked inside of caves. Mercifully, our Creator gifted us with the total opposite – something that’s primarily responsible for the miraculous modernity we enjoy living in today.