Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Shadows of forgotten ancestors: God

"Repeatedly, in many cultures, we invented reassuring fantasies about our parents -about how much they loved us, about how heroic and larger than life they were. As orphans do, we sometimes blamed ourselves for having been abandoned. It must have been our fault.
We were too sinful, perhaps, or morally incorrigible. Insecure, we clung to these stories, imposing the strictest penalties on any who dared to doubt them. It was better than nothing, better than admitting our ignorance of our own origins, better than acknowledging that we had been left naked and helpless, a foundling on a doorstep.
As the infant is said to feel it is the center of its Universe, so we were once sure, not just of our central position, but that the Universe was made for us. This old, comfortable conceit, this safe view of the world has been crumbling for five centuries. The more we understood of how the world is put together, the less we needed to invoke a God or gods, and the more remote in time and causality any divine intervention had to be. The cost of coming of age is giving up the security blanket. Adolescence is a roller coaster ride."

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