Sometimes a thought just hits you and what you had figured out eons back, suddenly becomes easier to explain to others. This is something like that. How the premise of most of the religions- of there being a supreme being, or more-is simply a hoax- but not necessarily a mala fide one. Imagine all those centuries ago, when society wasn’t ‘cultured’ and ‘civilized’- hand over a fork to a man of that age and he would use it as a weapon before cutting through pancakes. Such were a few men, the influential ones, who in modern times would feature as the Time Magazine ‘Person of the Year’ or ‘100 Most Influential People’- back then, they enjoyed the title given by a popular consensus- of a God, deity, messenger, the enlightened one, the Prophet and the Priest.
The process was simple. Imagine yourself in a crowd of around 50 people; imagine your class for that matter. 50 uncouth, barbaric and violent people who take recourse to violence at the drop of a hat- because that was the only method of dispute resolution that they were aware of. Amongst them however were few who preferred the peace and quiet but had to resort to barbaric acts as they had no other choice.
This is where you enter.
All the years that you have been mingling with this society, you have known some version of the ‘truth’. You have lived your life according to your personal moral code, a set of ideals and principles and you have your life’s philosophy all figured out by the time you are twenty-five. Of course, you want to alter the status quo around you, and for the better. So you talk to 2-3 more men who share your feelings and opinions and agree with your ‘way of life’. These are the men who spread your word amongst the people, slowly and gradually, magnifying your character and charisma with every person they meet. Most of the people start to follow your principles over time as they figured out a life without constant fear is something they preferred over daily violence. But to some of them, your words and ideas had such an effect that raised you to the pedestal of a leader. You realize that the only way to get everyone consenting to your way of life is to instill in them the fear of the unknown. You speak of supreme powers and omnipotence and omnipresence and of being smitten by thunderbolts- you use their weapon of fear against them, but as you believe, for ‘their own good’.
So your era begins. And over time with graying hair, you have gathered a considerable number of ‘followers’ who swear by your methods. You allow them to worship you because you know that makes them feel closer to a ‘God’ and in turn, maintain their fear of disobedience. You know that you are right, because your methods work. You are aware that the public has mystified the concepts that were merely simple ideas- simple guidelines that you provided.
Then you die. You die confident- confident that these men won’t resort back to their old means, won’t resort back to dying for you or killing for you, or disrespect your greatest tool, your creation- God.
Your creation. God.
About the Author
Rohan is currently an undergraduate at National Law University, Odisha with a keen interest in Intellectual Property Law, Economics and Anti-Trust Laws. He is serving as the Associate Director (Programs) at Model Governance Foundation. With a flair for writing short opinionated articles and poetry, he also dabbles at parliamentary debating. Musically inclined, also a drummer and percussionist.