Why man needs to invent God
Go back maybe 100.000, maybe a million years. Then pantheism, namely ‘nature doing its thing,’ ruled1 uncontested. Life was anarchic,2 brutal, miserable and short. All biological systems functioned as both predator and prey. The pantheistic rule was simple: ‘The quick (i.e. smart) get to eat (and reproduce). The slow get eaten!’ To survive3 one needed to be fitter, both mentally and physically.
Enter (the) MAN, later named homo sapiens.4 To increase his chances of survival5 and that of his off-spring, (the) MAN needed to invent a personal and family (or group) specific set of rules6 whose purpose it was to limit7 the sheer blind brutality of nature’s rules and thereby increase the probability of personal (and family) survival.
So (the) MAN invented a set of (cultural) rules that served to safeguard not only the integrity (and survival) of the individual (family member) but also of the family (or group), both internally and externally.
Being smarter than his ancestors, (the) MAN observed the goings on around him.8 He then devised9 a set of personal and familial (or group) rules derived10 from his observations of a wide variety of successful (i.e. fitter) individuals and families.11
But, then as now, individuals and families (or groups) - all monarchs in their own right - were not prepared to accept the new (now cultural12) rules because they limited their self-realization via their own set of rules.
So to gain traction, i.e. political leverage, that is to say, the power to enforce13 the rules for the welfare of the family (or group = all), (the) MAN simply universalised14 his overall more locally efficient (survival) rules. And then, to make his set of rules compelling he simply superimposed a Guide & Control mechanism, namely attached the promise of heavenly reward for compliance (i.e. the obedience) and the threat of hellish punishment for the non-compliance (i.e. dis-obedience).15
And, hey presto, by universalising his (cultural) rules set (the) MAN deified16 the rules set and then, to get even more traction, he personalised the rules set as God17 and whom he gave this or that name.18
Once the cultural rules had become established, everyone within the family19 and the family competing with other families20 for survival had a better chance to survive. And that made almost everyone happier, the more so some men now metamorphosed as high priests, i.e. G.O.D.’s representatives, quite naturally21 used and then misused their office to acquire the power and wealth they deemed necessary to safeguard their own survival.22
And so it was that (the) MAN invented top-down G.O.D. to serve as almost irresistible means of modifying the individual’s and the family’s behaviour to improve their survival chances.
© 2018 by Victor Langheld
1. For rules read: limitations, restrictions, boundaries; laws, to wit, algorithm, fractals and so on.
2. Indeed, monarchic. Biological units, i.e. quanta, behave as monarchs, i.e. as autarchic singularities, until proven otherwise, usually by ‘Trial by Mortal Combat.’ In the event of no challenger existing to disrupt, that is to say, of a true monopole (or monopoly), the monopole, facing extinction because no longer generating identifiable reality, self-disrupts via a Big or small Bang. The Big Bang ends minimum entropy status, maximum entropy ensues and the path to the reestablishment of monopole (@ min. entropy) starts again, in the process generating the most curious emergent (i.e. G.O.D. selfies), such as the atom and the human.
3. i.e. to avoid deselection and death.
4. Ancient Greek mythology had it that Homer’s Ulysses represented the first homo sapiens. In ancient India it was the Kashtriyas, the hereditary warrior caste, who it is alleged invented the Upanishads, that is to say, the Big Bang that ended the Vedic period, that paved the way for new, unfettered, i.e. rules free thinking in religious and social engineering.
5. Survival, i.e. continuance, as identifiable reality is the sine qua non of biological endeavour. The ever more sophisticated means to it, for instance, new behaviour rules, new tools and so on, display as emergents. In short, the whole universe happens as the ongoing effort to sustain and increase (in breadth and depth, hence sophistication) continuance of identifiable realness. Changes to relative survival capacity are self-signalled in humans by changes in the ubiquitous Guide & Control functions of happiness (i.e. joy) and unhappiness (i.e. misery).
6. In other words, behaviour modification.
7. In other words, to weaken or deflect, thus protect.
8. This is the ‘bottom up’ approach to problem solving. The 1st task is to collect and collate data.
9. i.e. generalised.
10. i.e. abstracted from the data, albeit specifically in the direction of the goal of personal or family survival.
11. For ‘family’ read: extended family, horde, group, clan, tribe and eventually states and nations.
12. i.e. ‘grown’ from the bottom up. The Upanishad designation ‘Brahman’, to wit, supreme creator, derives from the word ‘grow’. The Brahman too was a ‘bottom up’ invention, then transmitted, i.e. installed and enforced top-down. New entrants are presented and so installed with the Brahman (or any God) as top-down function. This is highly politically efficient but cuts off the individual from his (and a given group’s) own (as Brahman selfie) bottom-up ‘growth’ (or creation) function. That the Brahman (or any God) functions as an open source (hence anarchic) ground ‘growth’ function (as Meister Eckhart and the Upanishad inventors realised) is deliberately hidden by the law enforcers (i.e. policemen), i.e. the priests, to safeguard their own positions.
13. i.e. superimpose.
14. By becoming universalised the (cultural, actually niche) rules became undifferentiated, an open source code, at least in regard to those subject to the rules, i.e. the in-laws. Once universalised and enforced top-down the rules operated as a distributed network (within the group).
15. In this regard see: Genesis 2&3. Later St. Augustine, following St. Paul, would declare disobedience as the Original Sin, and which was enforced as true (via the threat of anathema) for the Christian peoples still subject to the Jewish Rule, i.e. the in-laws, but untrue for all others, i.e. the out-laws.
16. Since the rules worked as a top-down distributed network prior to time, place and form (like, for instance, the Traffic Code) they were simply conceived of as God.
17. Thus for God, irrespective of the given local name and which is intended to distinguish it from other Gods, such as Eli become Allah, or Shiva, even the Mahayana Buddha, read the acronym G.O.D., standing loosely for General (thus top-down) Ordering Device.
18. Dreaming up names for God, up to 100 and more, was a favourite pastime for both Christian and Muslim priests. Positive and emotionally highly charged names( such as the Merciful, the Loving, the Father and so on) were intended to affect the ‘heart’ of the naïve no inclined to listen to reason.
19. i.e. the in-laws (i.e. in Judaism the Jewish neighbours).
20. i.e. the out-laws, and who were treated as such, namely robbed, tortured, raped and murdered and by divine sanction, elsewhere called Jihad.
21. As individuals at the top of the pecking order charged with installing and enforcing the LAW (i.e. God’s will) they reverted to monarchic behaviour, namely the very behaviour which the new, cultural (or niche) law had sought to eliminate. Initially monarchic (or monopole) behaviour benefits an individual or group. Later, to protect itself, it prevents new bottom up ‘growth’ and so defeats its own original purpose. That’s how the good priest who serves his selected niche God become the bad priest who thwarts G.O.D.s’ undifferentiated law. The same goes for all monopolies.
22. This was particularly pernicious in the case of the Indian priestly caste (i.e. varna = colour) of the Brahmins, specifically after the caste became hereditary. The Brahmins, for their own survival, made sure that the law they enforced (elsewhere called sruti) could not be changed so their status would not be changed and the power that went with it not ended. By so upholding a top-down law that failed to be upgraded bottom-up (specifically by the Sudras) as times changed they failed to serve the people it was intended for. So the Brahmins corrupted India top to bottom. Only during the period of the Upanishads (or Vedanta) and when the power of the Brahmins weakened, could new ideas about ‘growth’ (i.e. Brahman rather than Atman) emerge. However, as literate Brahmins, the priestly caste, gradually took charge of the new ideas of the Upanishads, for instance of the (fundamentally to them unacceptable) notions of ‘Aham Brahman asmi’ (‘I am Brahman’) and ‘tattvamasi’ (i.e. ‘Thou art that’), they redacted and so corrupted them (via the neti, neti notion) in their own self-interest, India fell back into post Vedic stagnation and decay. The great but blinkered Indian scholiast, Adi Shankara, did his level best to endorse the Brahmin narrative (including the Brahman ordained hereditary cast system) and so made sure ‘nothing changed in the Hindu fold,’ thereby furthered the decay of India.