"METAPHYSICS: A Branch of Philosophy That Deals With 'First Cause' and 'The Nature of Being'"



Our early crude attempts at offering up a token that represented the intent we desired to impart to the forces whose favor we implored was, in large part, at the urging of the increasingly fluent finger-pointers, who saw the advantage in this opportunity to use our shared fears to further their evolving agenda, in the direction and for the purpose, of assigning identities and characterizations to the very entities we sought to pacify. The result of their handiwork not only defined images vivid enough for us to relate to, but ones that were intentionally fashioned to support and build on the already sinister auras we felt threatened by. In the balance of things, the niche they carved would become a way for any who had a penchant for relying on fear, to exploit others and enslave them to a specific belief system. We made it very easy for our way of thinking to be molded into what would serve them and their greed, by giving their explanations enough merit to fill in the blanks of our understanding. We needed someone to help us grasp those things outside our sphere of influence and they were all to willing to accommodate. From the perspective of the “now”, it seemed superstitious lore had always been a part of our culture when, in reality, each story had its beginning in fertile imaginations eager to embellish any rumor enough to make the person relating it, the center of attention. Since antiquity, we’ve all harbored a need to be listened to, as if we were the authority on something. It should come as no surprise then, that many would find a way to use our fear of the unknown in their formula for becoming what others may consider an agent of sorts, for little understood phenomenon. Some, so regarded, acquired large followings among people convinced they had a great deal to loose, to these increasingly tangible forces, if they didn’t make some effort at appeasement. The quasi-go-betweeners grew more adept at their self proclaimed gifts of understanding and influence with each prediction, because whatever the outcome, their interpretation would qualify their degree of success, and place the appropriate blame for any inaccuracy, squarely on the lack of commitment from the “believers”. Curiously, a byproduct of these jaded proclamations and finger pointing, which only served to distract from the facts that didn’t support their claims to begin with, our wannabe “seers” discovered the most prolific tool yet in their quest to control the way others thought and acted, GUILT!!

Our heretofore independent egos exposed a chink in the armor of instinct’s defenses that suggested; guilt, was a promising candidate for the honor of being the first “smart weapon”. Even though it was only effective against people who demonstrated remorse, they were the preferred target anyhow. Having exposed themselves as vulnerable, their unmanaged feelings were left open for exploitation, which only made it easier for their belief system to be customized. As insidious as this approach seems, Divine Guidance is at work and all is just as it should be. While appearances would support the claim that greedy and clever individuals are jumping at the chance to take advantage of unsuspecting victims for their own benefit and gratification, that would be a view limited to the “now” and lacking due consideration of the paths each party involved is following. In every experience, we both learn and teach. At this particular juncture on our paths the capacity to believe in anything other than ourselves was the essential lesson to be gained.

When an infant first focuses on the world beyond those curious fingers and toes that have occupied all its attention thus far, it awakens to something beyond its reach, separate from what it knows, that it can now touch and taste and come to rely on being there, in order that it might learn to believe in what amounts to––via its new perspective viewed from the still limited range of its current vantage point––an alternate reality. That shift in our focus, from the limits of cherished egocentric individuality, to the infinite possibilities offered by the rest of creation––both seen and unseen––is the single most important step toward a future where believing could evolve into a faith, and though it seems the only thing able get our attention off ourselves long enough to take that first step might be guilt, sufficient development of the emotions is a necessary precursor. Not to be confused with the maturing emotional attitude that takes into account the consideration of other’s needs as equals, but that of the demonstrative child who resists responsibility while testing the limits of its actions. Guilt therefore, is based on the knowledge of right and wrong––not the practice of it––and culpability is groundless without emotional reference points. In order to bring people into an attitude of obedience with regard to appeasing perceived threats from little understood forces, a petitioner would use the believer’s wish to be treated favorably by calling upon guilt and explaining benevolence was bestowed only on those who deserved it. By this time every “reasonable” person had something they could be convinced to feel guilty about, so for the agents of doom, it wasn’t a matter of being specific in their judgments, only ardent in their condemnation, thereby setting the stage for the first act; that of believing forces beyond our control could be affected by an offering of penance. Without acceptance of responsibility for our own actions however, there was no expectation for a need to change the way we behaved and our appeasement served only to improve our position and chances of favorable consideration.

Though seemingly coerced into the practice of propitiation through threats of reprisal with an emphasis toward exploiting our fear and guilt, it was of course Divine Guidance that so thoroughly subjugated us into the mindset of “believing”, by the only means that would have produced the desired results. Even though the objects of our attention were not what they claimed to be––and by every measure represented “false idols”––they did and do offer the emotionally arid, a starting point on which to base a necessarily long and convoluted journey to the commitment of real faith in personal spiritual advancement. The One God reality is millennium down the path from this all important first step, so upon consideration of the evidence surrounding this alleged subterfuge of mankind, we see everything that was given up weighed against what was gained and conclude, from the viewpoint of the “observer”, the path leading to faith has had its first stone laid in “belief”, and although it may appear filled with dead ends and false starts, each encounter adds valued experience to the store of knowledge each soul will eventually manifest as “at-one-ment”.

The ability to believe is not instinctive, because instincts are based on acts of self defense for the purpose of self preservation. The key to instinct is self, while the act of believing focuses our attention on something or someone outside ourselves. Being external, it’s a learned behavior requiring endless practice and affirmation, abetted by the support and positive input from people or groups with shared interests and goals, to enhance its establishment in our psyche. Externalizing focus in a way that releases our influence toward the outcome of daily affairs, especially the more important ones, is not only unnatural, it violates every rule of the “look out for number one” school that was the basis of our very survival up to that point on our path. Relying on another to provide for our welfare or to consider our best interests equal to their own, is to demonstrate a dependence on a need that flies in the face of all we have endeavored to overcome in our pursuit of independence. When that benevolent “other” is something we can’t yet define or ascribe an agenda to, we stretch the boundaries of rationality and suffer the rebuke of well meaning but less than supportive peers. Even so, these first tentative trials of what would one day be the forerunner of worship, had to start somewhere and for the purpose of practice––or reasons not obvious to any practitioner––a pattern of thought needed this groundwork laid, so there was a basis on which to build everything that was to come after. The predilection, though not instinctual, for having that “something” to fall back on, after more accepted behaviors failed to effect a satisfactory outcome, is as ancient a pattern as any that deals with the trial and error problem solving demanded by unfamiliar territories. The fact that this precursor to faith took on a mystique or quality bordering on the supernatural, is evidence in and of itself just how out of the ordinary the practice must have seemed to those who considered it as an alternative, even if only as a last resort. Drawing on unknown resources to induce beneficial results regarding something we found ourselves at a loss to deal with, required a surrender of self we were uncomfortable with on many levels. Not wanting to demonstrate any weakness and appear vulnerable, led most to practice their new beliefs in secrecy. It was under this cloak of anonymity that practitioners found the freedom to act in ways they would not otherwise consider acceptable behavior.