This was an easy line to cross – and the crossing of it had serious consequences.
But let’s start with the beginning. It was obvious to us that everything had its own spirit. And in our time, this is still a useful concept -for Software Developers, for example. Different software packages behave their own way – just a different people behave their own way. Everything behaves in its own way – including the basic particles of physics.
The next big step was the discovery of gods and goddesses. Supernatural beings of all kinds that – let’s be honest – we invented ourselves. Because we somehow knew they had to exist. So they existed – in our minds – a very important place to be. Without being too philosophical about this – we can just note that being in people’s minds is being real – as far as people are concerned.
If we believe the Earth rotates around the Sun – it does, although this belief makes no difference to the Earth or the Sun. We have to face it – we are strange creatures, very strange. And this gives us our strengths and weaknesses.
Fast-forward thousands of years later, to the beginning of the Modern World – about 1400 CE. We have now forgotten this – but it was a very big deal. In only a few hundred years, amazing things happened. We invented banking and markets – and most of all – Machines. All kinds of machines, that were powered at first by water and air power – and then by fossil fuels.
But this was nothing compared to the effect of all this on human minds – we became supernatural beings ourselves! In our own minds. And we set to work enforcing this belief on everything else. They would soon know who was boss! We had taken the place of God.
In a way, this was an improvement – we had taken back the power we had given to God – and we were now responsible for our own actions. Except it didn’t work out that way. We ended up in a complete mess instead – the American Civil War, WWI, the Depression, and WWII, with the Holocaust. We could not possibly have gone more wrong.
Did we know this? No, we did not. We were strange creatures – divine beings, with nothing in our minds.
Something new in the world!