Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Life Arts    H3'ed 5/25/09

On Nature

By       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     (# of views)   12 comments
Author 28369
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Ben Dench

Originally posted:  http://bendench.blogspot.com/2009/05/on-nature.html

 

Before there was God, there was nature. After God died, nature remained.

 

All gods that have ever existed have been the attempts of human beings to anthropomorphize nature or the forces of nature in an attempt to deal with their world. The Abrahamic God behind the Universe is not fundamentally different from a god behind the sun, a god behind the storm, a god behind the sea, etc. In every instance it is human beings putting a human face on something which they do not understand. All gods are a metaphor for something which is more godly than any God: life itself. Remove life from God and what does God become? A shadow. A monster. Death personified. “The will to nothing pronounced holy!”

 

Before the rise of the city-state and industrialized society, before we turned away from the rest of nature and starting looking in, only to ourselves, we were more integrated with our environment—with the earth, with other species, with each other, with our bodies. Humanity felt connected with the rest of life. This was Eden.

 

The rise of agriculture and the city-state allowed for tremendous amounts of people to be supported by smaller and smaller amounts of land. We were surrounded not with other forms of life, but only with humanity and the products of humanity. Our gods became less “natural” and more “human” (Ares, Venus, Horus, Odin, etc, are all expressions of different aspects of human nature1)—and eventually less “human” and more “abstract.” Cut from nature, our gods became transcendent, and monolithic. We no longer felt the interconnection of life all around us. We had to look inside and imagine a point above it all—outside of the world of desperation we had created. God became “one” because divinity became too sterile to exist in abundance. We, looking in toward ourselves, decided that a “Great Human,” like ourselves, must have forged the world the way we forge machines. We did not grow out of nature—nature was built by us.

 

Nature became an enemy, a threat, an outside. Whereas once living in harmony and balance with other forms of life was our goal, now our goal became one of dominance, self over other. Other forms of life—even other human beings—became threats to be harnessed or destroyed. The rise of the Newtonian mechanistic worldview represented the dominance and instrumentality of the natural world—what was considered, essentially, to be God’s machine—by the human mind and rationality. The God that had detached itself from its base, which was nature, was not long for this world. Having already become one, and transcendent, it now became more abstract and distant. Thus was deism born. But even this was not for long, and this abstract God, less and less relevant, finally died, leaving atheism as the natural result of this process of transcendence. Science turned back to nature and the study of nature, not as God’s machine, but as a self-contained and closed system. But though God had died, the values that had given birth to God remained, and the world was now viewed not as a vibrant and vital organism, but as a more or less disenchanted mechanism—certainly no source for spiritual fulfillment. We came to look at nature as something stupid and empty. God, paradoxically, became the articulation for many of the essence of life, and so a world without God meant to them a world without hope—a conclusion they sought desperately to avoid through any means necessary.

 

But:

 

“Your spirituality is one of death” speak the shamans and other keepers of the old ways “for you can only have true spiritual connections with things that actually exist—not with any Great Human forger of the world, which is only a product of your imagination."2

 

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Ben Dench Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Ben Dench graduated valedictorian of his class from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in the Spring Semester of 2007 with a B.A. in philosophy (his graduation speech, which received high praise, is available on YouTube). He is currently (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Interview with Richard Carrier

The Origin of Hell

Violent Jesus

How We Know That Christianity Is Not True

The Origin of Satan

On Masochism