We are curious creatures by nature and our ancestors would often question “Why?” or “How?” to understand the world around them. Unfortunately, when we began asking these questions, no humans had the ability to answer them correctly. The world was so complex that it seemed as though something or someone must have created it. Our ancestors made up stories with characters that created parts of the natural world while including moral lessons. But all stories must eventually come to a close.
Ancient stories would often involve characters whose power was great enough to cause the natural phenomena of our world. Many cultures would look to the stars and find familiar shapes of the characters in the form of constellation stories. Some cultures shared stories of their ancestors but likened them to animals to represent a character trait: totem poles are an example of this trend.
Eventually, early groups of humans would meet and they would discuss their explanation stories to each other. Sometimes this led to warfare, other times it led to an adaptation of the story itself. Over time, the trend of many characters fell to the idea that only one character was supreme among all of them. We call this ideology monotheism, the belief in only one god. The stories continued, this time referencing a single character with enough power to create all of the universe.
The stories claimed that this omnipotent character was powerful enough to hear your own thoughts and communicate with you directly through your thoughts. I want you to empathize with an early ancestor here. Imagine that you are born into a world you know nothing about but amazes you on a daily basis. Then you’re told that a god created everything you see, including you. You are told that the voices in your head, which are actually just neural paths firing outside the consciousness, are the voice of this god. You then create god as a character in your mind and give it the abilities you’re told god has from the stories you’ve heard.
Believing in god is excusable since we did not know the truth about our universe when we first started asking questions. The only way to make all the surrounding complexity make sense was to create a Creator. In fact, since there are still parts of the story we do not know, it is still acceptable to put god in as a temporary placeholder to fill the gap in your knowledge. However, it is absolutely necessary that the truth replaces god when we discover it.
We used to think that lightning struck because a god threw it but we now know it’s caused by dislodging of electrons from friction. We no longer have to believe in a god throwing lightning bolts because we understand the truth. Refusing to believe verifiable evidence because of your traditions will only slow progress.
To believe in god also means that you believe in the role you play in the story of god. For some of the current major religions, that story goes like this: you are god’s child and are born to live out a life on Earth as a test to see if you are worthy to live with god after you die. In this story, you are a single character for the entire span of your life. God is the ultimate top down perspective because nothing is more powerful than god, our stories made sure of that.
When you believe that you are only here on Earth for a brief time before you spend an eternity with god, you treat the Earth as a temporary living space. It means that you are destined to continue the same story in which you are the same character year after year. Alternatively without god, you can live many lifetimes within the short period in which you are alive. Approaching the world without god is looking at life from a bottom up perspective. The question is not “What does god want me to do?” the question is “Where can I go from here?”
To close a character is to end it so that it does not come back. When you close god, you release the ceiling of your potential and get to see the universe as it truly is. We often feel a sense of enlightenment when we learn about our role in god’s story, but this is not truth.
To believe in god is to believe that everything that has come to be is part of a grander plan. Everything is the way it is because of the laws of nature and our accomplishments to manipulate the world around us. There is no Grand Plan, there is only what we do with the time we are here. Seeing yourself as nothing more than a part of a larger story means you can never truly alter the course of events in the Show.
God is often the manifestation of the unknown and the parts of your brain you haven’t explored. God is the all-mighty and has an intention in mind as the story that we live in unfolds. To remove god is to lose a huge amount of comfort that god provided from the vast unknown. Without the certainty of a grand story, uncertainty floods our consciousness. But I have a placeholder for god and it involves a shift of perspective.
The story of god implies an individual created all the complexity upon complexity of our universe. The alternative story is that everything formed from nothing based entirely on randomness. The latter sounds totally ludicrous due to the sheer amount of complexity of the universe. The universe isn’t exactly random, it has rules. The Fundamental Forces limit the energy in the universe to behave in a specific way. The randomness is still present, but the amount of possible universes decreases because of the implementation of the basic rules.
This guided randomness is what allowed our sun, our planet, and life itself to form. The additional guidance from predation and intelligence shifted the randomness along an even more specific set of possible universes. The competition of nature and humans have vastly changed the world from the physical state before us.
When you zoom back to see how many possible universes could have happened from all the randomness of our past, you gain an appreciation for the one possibility that did come true: reality.
It was a random event that brought a comet nearby our planet, likely giving us water. It was a random event that sent a meteor hurdling into the planet to alter the course of life and allow mammals to take over. It was a random event that dried up the forests and sent us on a quest to change our world to survive. The randomness of your universe isn’t something to be scoffed at but marveled.
Understand that this reality is just one of an infinite amount of ones that could have happened instead, and yet you get to be a part of this one. You get to know about your true past. The fact that it was all guided randomness makes our existence even more spectacular than if an all-knowing being created us.
You might be thinking, “Live and let live. If people want to believe in god, let them.” I claim that closinging god is a necessity because of what god means to us. Many people claim that all the love and wisdom they offer to others comes from god and simply flows through them. Without a god, that love and wisdom come directly from you. You are the source of god’s love. You are the source of god’s wisdom. When you discover your power and don’t give credit to another character, you can truly unlock your potential.