The stagnant myth that has seeped unnoticed down into a pool beneath our current secular philosophy is that, when humans got smart enough to worry about what happened to us after death and to wonder about the cosmos around us, we invented first religion and then God. Freud, the philosopher: we concocted a father who would take care of our fear and ignorance. Still buying into that? Have you shut your mind off from thinking about it the other way round?
We spent six million years sharing our intentions within small groups evolving to maximize the advantages of 20-30 heads and bodies over one. Underlain by the rules of justice and morality, our awareness within these kinship groups was a single consciousness as we proceeded to evolve to coordinate our survival for 100,000 generations. For all but the last two minutes of our hour on earth as hominids we have lived our lives together with our families immersed within the mind of God. Then out from this single collective consciousness of our group organisms, each one of us evolved the narcissistic motivation called “ego” – to demonstrate how I myself am something really special. This is the self that we are aware of, and the reason we are aware of it is because we can “see” it from the perspective of our underlying group consciousness from which it has so recently been hatched.
It has been scientifically demonstrated (Libet, B.-1985) that when we move our finger at the moment of our own choosing, there is neural activity in our brain to initiate the finger’s movement before we are aware of making that decision. We as individuals do have free will but our awareness of it is made possible because it is refracted through our much older and more established group consciousness. Ironically, it was Freud, in his day job, who discovered the sexual and narcissistic nature of this specifically human and individually willful consciousness.
When this new self consciousness arose just 200,000 years ago, the language and culture that grew out of it groped about to explain the God consciousness whence it came and, indeed, was the source of its unique quality of self awareness. It was natural for us first to assume that it emanated from the animals, rocks, mountains and stars that surrounded us. As explained in the last 3 blog posts, the reality that all power derives from the evolved capacity of many individuals to function as a single organism was not lost on the politicians who wasted little time learning how to usurp it and to commence waging wars of domination.
It was then left to the ancient Hebrew prophets to be chosen to discover that, beneath this brilliant new human self consciousness lay the collectively evolved consciousness of a soul that had been for 6 million years grounded in and then nurtured by the Will of God. Nor is it hard to understand the difficulty in grasping that the intentional source through which we are conscious of ourselves dwells within our long evolved associations with one another within which we are all immersed inside our social ecology like the very air we breathe and the water in which we all swim together.