The Greatest Story Ever Told
Too busy gazing at our navel to notice, Armageddon
This is my attempt to form a narrative and make sense of everything. I will do this in 3 parts. I believe everything can be categorized in to 3, no less because, the concept of time requires us to acknowledge that there is a beginning, a middle and an end, and the fact that our own physical sense of existence within the abstraction of time, is defined by the confines of our own mortality, which follows 3 distinctive stages, birth, life and death. My claim here is that, humanity has approached the 3rd and last act, i.e., “death”. It’s not as hopeless as it may sounds; because I would also argue it is through our own demise that we can truly achieve immortality, hence it might not quite be the end, in 3 parts, but actually 3.14159265359…
God is the mother of all ideas
It can be said, that the mother’s womb is a microcosm of the whole universe, where millions of years of evolution are compressed into 9 (3 X 3) months. Our umbilical cord connects us to our evolutionary past, our distant ancestors, all the way up to the big bang, (no pun intended). This sense of oneness and what can be called the collective conscious, which is devoid of time and space, is lost once we are expelled from the womb (paradise) into the world, with our umbilical cord severed.
“ So he (Shaytan) misled them (Adam & Hawwa) with deception. Then when they tasted of the tree, that which was hidden from them of their shame (private parts) became manifest to them and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise” – Surat Al-Baqarah Verse 22 – Quran
Like our birth, the moment Adam and Eve bite into the fruit of knowledge, we were condemned to a life of shame, conscious of our own nakedness and solitary physical self, our naval, as the only symbol of what had joined us all together. Journey of life starts from here onwards, in pursuit of what it means to be isolated and physically independent, as well as seeking a way back to find our collective soul, connected in oneness with everyone & everything, as we were in our mother’s womb. Our shameful & incompetent bodies become the obstacle, which separates as well as, the only entity through which we are able seek this connection
“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” – William Blake _The Marriage of Heaven & Hell.
Through this cavern (our body), we perceive the outside world, using merely our senses, thus we are only able to measure and rationalize the meaning of what surrounds us, from our individual sensual interpretation of it. As we grow, we part ways with our instincts and learn to sublimate our temptations (propagation of the original sin, the basis of all religion, resulting from Adam and Eve rebellion in paradise), to the extent, where we are only able to distinguish between what is true and what is false, and what is good and what is bad, by applying reason (intelligence). But as we come to realize quite early on, that the universe that surrounds us is in fact too vast to comprehend by our own perception alone, we imagine a singular measure to uncover the infinite reasons for the goodness and truth of all things, which is absolute and universally applicable to us all. This singular measurement came to be defined as GOD, which from that point onwards became the reason for all things, the truth of all things, and the goodness of all things. Pyramids, Synagogues, Churches, Temples, and Mosques were erected as mediums to unite us into believing this singular measure, which it was assumed, would help us achieve immortality and a sense reason for our own existence. Because alas, what could be worse than not having any reason to live.
Architecture is the great book of humanity, the principal expression of man in his different stages of development, either as a force or as intelligence. – Victor Hugo – This will Kill That.
Rebel without a God
That was until everything, including the existence of what we perceived to be real, the world, universe and everything in it, is thrown into doubt, and what was left which was of any certainty, becomes those things which we know by our judgment, thinking and understanding of them in our own mind. The only thing we can comprehend with absolute certainty remained our minds capacity to think, and therefore the existence of a thing, that thinks, which is I.
‘I think therefore I am’.- Rene Descartes
What was significant from this point onwards was that a line was drawn between “I”, self and the “other”, objective world outside, which gave human the confidence to put the self at the center of reality, and our individual reasoning as the only basis for all truth. I (man –a singular being) became the measure of all things”. This was the time of so called “Enlightenment”, when science disguised as art, allowed belief in the absolute/ or GOD itself, to be revealed as merely a cover-up for our doubts and uncertainty, the very trait which we came to claim as the certain proof our existence.
This Romantic idea which allowed the self to interpret reality in its own interest, later turned sour, when the burden of our reasoning started to weigh down heavier and heavier on our own shoulders, as the universe we were able to comprehend became larger than we could have ever imagined.
“If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders – What would you tell him?”
I…don’t know. What…could he do? What would you tell him?”
To shrug.” ― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.
The expansion of our understanding of the universe through science shrunk us to into insignificance, a tiny speck in amongst the vastness of the cosmos. The only way left for us to find solace was to retreat further into the darker unknown crevasses of our mind, (psychology). But without any absolute measure or belief system to guide us, we became lost in a state of narcissistic self-involvement, encouraged by Capitalism, a moral justification and rational for self-interest and self-actualization (the ultimate peak of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs). Our existence was to end up being of any relevance, solely on the basis of our ability to spend, consume to cultivate & nurture our own self. All advertisement or marketing combined came to proclaim one singular message, which is, “When in doubt, Consume”. If Descartes was alive, he could possibly have revised his original philosophical proposition as to state, “I consume, there for I am”.
In Web we trust
From the time we were condemned to exist, we have struggled to understand the reason behind our existence. We created an absolute measure of the truth, and erected monuments in stone to perpetuate the idea of an omnipresent being, which was the all-powerful patron of truth and goodness, to guide and sanction our moral judgment. These monuments came crumbling down, when GOD as absolute truth, came to be exposed, as mere figment of our own mind, and the only thing we could proclaimed with absolute certainty, became our own ability to imagine, believe, and create a singular measure of what is real, true and good. The self became responsible for its own interpretation of reality, and it didn’t need to be sanctioned or guaranteed by a singular all-powerful being. But ultimately with all that power and freedom, we had claimed for ourselves, our knowledge was only able to expose the self, as small, insignificant, fortuitous and ignorant. Merely being free to take responsibility for our own reality and existence wasn’t enough; we needed to understand why we came to exist, or the meaning behind our existence itself. Self-alone came to be revealed as a pathetic basis to formulate such meaning, but by the time we understood this, we were too lost in a state of Narcissism, unable to think beyond our own self-interest. We had transformed Mosques, Churches and Temple into Shopping Malls. If humanity was to write it own obituary this would have sufficed, but I refuse to allow it, so I will continue…
Individually the self might have been lost in a state of narcissism, but mankind as a whole, has been constantly in pursuit of a larger purpose, to extend itself from the confinement of our physical self and seek immortality. As stated initially, our primordial need since birth has always been to find a way to be reattached or reconnected in oneness as we were in our mother womb. All human technological inventions are in pursuit of this motive, but until very recently we have only managed to extend our physical self; but with Internet ultimately it has allowed us to extend the self mentally, and even create a digital self /a second being, or a projection of our self which lives within an actual space, albeit virtual, created and sustained by humankind itself. Social Networking Sites has come to replace the churches, mosques, and temples, where through continual self-promotion, we have created a virtual consciousness made up of information about us, more absolute, truthful, and omnipresent than god itself. We are just too busy gazing at our navel to notice our demise. This is the moment I died and my life flashed before my eyes, and everyone else’s eyes . Thank you Facebook, and goodbye.