What might the earth, as a self-aware entity, worship as a god as you've defined it above? Why should we not worship that instead of the Earth? If it created the earth and provides for it, it is our creator (as "one of the other entities involved" that you point out, above) and our provider as well, indirectly. It created and provides for that which created us and provides for us, just as in Christian theology, our parents, who created and provide for us, teach their children to worship, not them, but God, who created and provides for everyone, according to the theology.
Is belief in the Earth God a theistic or a pantheistic one? That is, is the relationship between each of us and the Earth God a personal one (theism) or an impersonal one (pantheism)? If personal, why is it that we don't get any unequivocal communications from the Earth God? It is much the same with Jesus, for example; I've talked Jesus's ear off in the past, but he never got back with me on anything. It's a lot like talking with the big Sacred Heart statue in church. Not much two-way communication going on. Many Christians say that Jesus talks to them in their hearts but it could be that they simply answer themselves and are deluding themselves that it's Jesus. If the relationship is impersonal, that is, the Earth God just does things for us without trying to communicate with us, how is it different from simply being a part of natural law like the rest of the universe? This seems to be what pantheism is about, mostly; trying to say that nature is God.
Pantheism can be personal or impersonal depending on how you look at it. Here are some definitions of pantheism:
From the American Heritage® Dictionary:
pantheism SYLLABICATION: pan·the·ism PRONUNCIATION: AUDIO: pnth-zm KEY NOUN: 1. A doctrine identifying the Deity with the universe and its phenomena. 2. Belief in and worship of all gods. OTHER FORMS: panthe·ist NOUN panthe·istic, panthe·isti·cal ADJECTIVE panthe·isti·cal·ly ADVERB
From the Columbia Encyclopedia:
"pantheism (pan´theizm) [Gr. pan=all, theos=God], name used to denote any system of belief or speculation that includes the teaching "God is all, and all is God." Pantheism, in other words, identifies the universe with God or God with the universe. The term is thought to have been employed first by John Toland in the 18th cent., but pantheistic views are of very great antiquity. While all pantheism is monistic, it is expressed in different ways according to what is meant by the one whole that gathers up in itself all that exists, or what is meant by God. If the pantheist starts with the belief that the one great reality, eternal and infinite, is God, he sees everything finite and temporal as but some part of God. There is nothing separate or distinct from God, for God is the universe. If, on the other hand, the conception taken as the foundation of the system is that the great inclusive unity is the world itself, or the universe, God is swallowed up in that unity, which may be designated nature. Some forms of pantheism have had their beginnings in religion; others have been based upon a philosophic, scientific, or poetic point of view. Noteworthy among the religious forms is Hinduism, in which the only reality, the supreme unity, is Brahman. This conception is closely connected with the idea of emanation. Pantheism had a place in the speculations of some Greek philosophers. Xenophanes taught that the one God could know no motion or change. The conception of Parmenides left no room for development or ethical meaning. Stoicism gave a more definite expression to pantheistic doctrine, emphasizing the identity of God and the world. There is pantheism in the teachings of the Neoplatonists and of such Christian philosophers as Erigena and such mystics as Eckhart and Boehme. The writings of Giordano Bruno of the 16th cent. carried such weight as to influence the development of modern thought, especially through Spinoza, in whose monistic system pantheism receives its most complete and precise expression. In it God is the unlimited, all-inclusive substance, the first cause of the universe, with innumerable attributes, two of which, thinking and extension, are capable of being perceived. Pantheism of a kind can be traced in the idealistic philosophy of Fichte and Schelling, Hegel and Schleiermacher. Together with mysticisn, it fills a large place in literature, particularly in the poetry of nature."
Getting back to your questions, I don't know who Earth might "worship". Perhaps It sees the Galaxy It's in as a Parent. Humans have only in the last century become aware of galaxies. I think galaxies qualify as Gods as well. Interesting questions about "worship". Parents don't worship their parents usually, except in ancestor worship. It seems that the more remote ancestors are, the more worshipable they are. Earth is a very remote ancestor of ours that is right here and still lives, so it is probably worshipable in that sense. I think respect and love is what it is really all about though, not so much worship. May I suggest that people should respect and love their Gods?
By the way, this concept of a living planet, Earth, being a god bespeaks a fractal universe; a fractal pantheism that posits self-similar gods within God. I see Earth as a manifestation of a divine principle, a dynamic that creates physically present, self-aware entities within the universe on many scales and in many forms that are part of a self-similar whole, making Earth a living being of which we are a part. So this much greater than a human entity, this being, Earth, that we live on and with, that knows us all very intimately, that has made us as part of Itself, and is Itself part of a larger Self, is a member of a physical/spiritual hierarchy. Thus for us, Earth is God "down to earth", right here, right now!
I think it is quite possible to have a personal meeting with our God, (Earth), Who thereby can appear to us as some kind of visionary being or voice. Too many stories from too many different places since human beings began make it difficult to discount this. I think the evidence suggests that the spiritual aspects of reality resist human demands. Personally, I think simply asking and patiently waiting is the best approach. Being open and good hearted and able to think for yourself also seems to attract God's personal attention.
"Natural law" is probably what God must follow as well as everyone else. The default relationship with God appears to be the impersonal one. Somehow one attracts God's personal attention. Formulas have been devised, but they don't work very well probably because they are demanding of God's attention. I suggest making a simple prayer by simply asking. Use a relaxed approach without the histrionics, demands and repetitions that probably bore God to tears. When God appears to you personally, (as a being in a vision or a voice), God comes from a place you don't suspect. God kind of sneaks up on you. God does not seem to like using the same approach more than once. It probably has something to do with the negative aspects of human anticipation. God appears to like the pure heart rather than the anticipatory one. Let the Magic begin.
The problem is one of regression. If we were created by the earth, and the earth created by the galaxy, and the galaxy by the universe, and the universe by ... what? I noticed you didn't use the word "worship" in your argument. I wouldn't worship technologically advanced aliens, for example, even if they could show that they created the earth. They are a part of the universe, not the creators of it. I could respect their power, but they would not be divine. In the same way, respect for the earth is not worship of the earth. Earth is a part of nature, not the creator of nature.
Finally, using the words "creator" and "provider" fall somewhat into the teleological argument. Did the Earth "create" us in the sense of "design and construct" us? Very, very unlikely. The earth is simply a part of the process of evolution; it's the raw material from which we've sprung. What is "provided" for us is simply the resources that evolution (and its hypothesized forbear, abiogenesis) made us out of, naturally selecting them for various uses over the eons of time. Reading intelligent design into a natural process is the purview of creationism, not theology, which keeps itself decently in the realm of metaphysics, not physics.
Well yes, "everything" is part of "nature". That Earth had a big hand in creating us seems to be obvious. Do you have a problem with this statement? I'm not positing the "big designer" or "intelligent design". You're trying to argue with me over aspects of that abominable monotheistic god. You seem to be trying to confuse the "Earth as God" concept with the old, failed monotheistic god concept. This is a new concept, a fractal pantheism. As I stated previously, the default relationship with our God--as I defined It, seems to be the impersonal one. Humanity is currently in the process of finally combining physics and metaphysics. Having clearly defined terms has been a stumbling block until now. This construct is a step in a good direction.
Peace:You have some really interesting theories. I come to a block every time I see the idea presented that we must worship *only* Earth or be doomed? Even Jehovah does not dispute the *existence* of other gods. He, like you, merely asks that those who would worship him worship *only* him and disparages all others. Can you help me understand the difference?
Greg:How can one "worship" only Earth when there are trillions of gods in the universe? You misunderstand. In addition, "worship" is the wrong word in my opinion. One should respect and love their gods more than "worship" them. I merely suggest that since Earth is the god of this planet ( a self-evident, self-referential assertion), and since Earth is right here (!!), that we should personally get to know Earth as a great first step in our journeys into the Divine.
Peace:If she created us to save her, then we are her gods. I love and respect Earth to such a degree that I hope never to leave her for any great length of time so long as I live in this body, especially not in these times when she so badly needs the support of any who are willing to give it and so badly needs the small efforts of individuals to be combined in a greater effort of assisting her in healing. However, I respect and to some degree understand your drive to leave her, and I agree that the human species' greatest hope for survival in current fashion is to move into space and see what it offers and what existence we can create within it. What god do you hope to come to know after you've gotten to know her?
Greg:Well, in my experience, Earth has come to me as a "Him". Be that as it may, our galaxy is a god and I also want to get to know her/him/it, not to mention all the myriad other planets (gods). All of this implies, of course, that there must be literally trillions and trillions of gods in the universe (galaxies, solar systems and planets). Being able to talk to Earth as a person would quite likely enable one to talk to the other gods as well. This would enable mankind to set up links to communications in the galaxy and beyond with truly amazing and wonderful consequences. It's quite a beautiful prospect, don't you think?
Peace:Yes, it certainly is, and I agree with you; speaking with Earth as with a person creates incredible potential. Thank you very much for taking the time to expand upon your thoughts.
Greg:By the way, I don't think we're Earth's "gods" so much as we are It's "hands". These are "hands" to build, not destroy. (The monotheists seem to have often gotten that one backwards..)
Peace:Oh! Not then, self-realized individuals, but a part of Earth. Our ventures into space then will be as roots and/or shoots? I think I begin to see! Thank you.
Greg: Sort of like that. In space we could be like"extensions" of Earth, but this is not really an either/or proposition. We can be "self-realized" but only as a part of that from from which we come. So we are "hands" and "selves". We seem to be "copying" the arthropods as we "invade" the new environment (for us) of space, which makes sense since arthropods were the first animal forms to invade the land and the air. Plants were the first complex life-forms to invade the land and air so I think your plant analogy still stands as well. Microbes, of course, were the first to invade all environments. That analogy also works for us as we are also "super-microbes" since we literally consume the earth (as they do) with our technology. In fact, the Earth was covered with a microbial "infection" for about a billion years before anything more complex evolved. All "higher" life came from this "infection" and still absolutely needs it in order to live. So when people try to denigrate our activities as an "infection" they are wrong and right. They are right in that life is an "infection". They are wrong in that they assume that the "infection" is bad.
Peace:Ah-ha, okay. That makes sense then, yes. As always, I appreciate your patience with my queries and your taking the time to explain. I agree; no thing or condition is inherently 'bad', merely misunderstood and or misused. Thanks muchly.
Greg:You're very welcome. I appreciate your questions very much as they help me to flesh out the concepts pertaining to the Earthgod idea. Thanks muchly to you as well. I have a little problem with your treatment of the word "bad", though. "Misusing" or "misunderstanding" have to be considered bad which kind of contradicts your statement that "no thing or condition is inherently 'bad'". So I think people just need to be more careful of their usage of words like "bad" or "good".
More Questions and Answers
Q. You provide a quotation from Homer's Odyssey at the bottom of your website pages that "without the gods, man is nothing". Isn't it true that without man, the gods are nothing?
A. Well, that may or may not be the case. I think it is not. In any event we humans can never prove that! However, the original statement that "without the gods, man is nothing" can be proven. All you need do is look to your own life!
Q.Your website is interesting, but the idea is not new. The idea that something that was created is a god is the basis for some pagan religions, such as sun worship, moon worship, cat worship in ancient Egypt, to name a few. I'm not all that familiar with Wicca, but I think that Wicca may be a form of earth worship.
A.Of course the idea of Earth being a god is not "new". I would say this idea is at least as old as Earth! What is truly amazing is that so many people for so long haven't seen it or have forgotten it. You mentioned that "something that was created is a god...etc." which seems to imply that there is a greater god that made Earth. Earth created Itself out of cloud of dust and water. The dust and water were provided by the matter of exploded stars and the water in our galaxy, (mostly). So, I guess one could say that the galaxy is a parent of Earth, which is fine by me. That probably qualifies the galaxy as a greater god which is also fine by me. One only gets into trouble, as I have pointed out, when one tries to define a parent of the galaxy--namely that infinite, all-knowing ruler of the universe god--which is impossible to define, and therefore impossible for a human to talk about. Before we ignore Earth in favor of some greater god, though, don't you think we should first get to know the one with the easiest access who is closest to us and loves us the most without judgment, Earth? Knowing Earth is God gives one spiritual ground to stand on, quite literally! I think that Earth is old enough to have evolved Its own self-awareness which is made up of all the living things of Earth, including us, and quite possibly everything else of Earth, also. I think that when a person consciously connects to Earth's self-awareness, (Its knowing of Itself as an entity), then that person will have a real, true spiritual awakening or experience. I think this could be the real source of mankind's knowing that there is a god.
Q."Not only that, but quantum mechanics suggests that if any entity knew everything, the universe could not exist". I don't see how this follows. An observer within this universe may not observe anything on the quantum-mechanical level without disturbing it, but a being that is not limited to four dimensions faces no such constraint.
A.Well, you probably can't observe anything on any level without disturbing it. Be that as it may, The implication is as follows: You can't know both the exact position and exact energy of a particle, (the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle). You can know one or the other, and once you know one you cannot know the other. I think that if it were generally possible to know both, as for instance an omniscient entity would, the universe could not exist. Further, if some entity knew everything, that would eliminate chance. Eliminating chance would, I think, also make existence impossible. Have you given thought to the idea that since the "big bang" began at an infinitesimal size, that the entire universe may be a quantum event, and that we're "inside" it? If you postulate a being that exists in more than four dimensions, and that knows everything, then I'm sure you will be waving your arms and talking in tongues to "prove" it!
Q.If morality (knowledge of good and evil) cannot be completely defined by people and only completely defined by a divine being, how are people who haven't made a conscious connection to the Divine going to sufficiently know it?
A.Well, you have to start somewhere. One source of wisdom is other people. It won't be "complete", but our parents, teachers, friends, acquaintances, and other authorities can and often do provide a good start. In fact, you can find such wisdom going back to antiquity. Cicero, a Roman philosopher during the time of Julius Caesar, provides wonderful discourses on this subject. Read his "Discussions at Tusculum" in "On The Good Life", translated by Michael Grant, for example.
Q.I believe God made man in His image. So God looks like we do doesn't He?
A.I think God made everything "in His image". So therefore God can appear in many forms. When we humans meet God face to face, He can appear as a human if He wants or anything else if He wants, and even if we don't meet Him face to face He can still appear anyway He wants. We certainly can't say that when He makes an appearance, He can only appear as we do. It would be the height of conceit to think that God made only humans in His image.
The idea that since He made us in His image and therefore that we humans are the highest created living expression of God is so incredibly conceited and short-sighted that other intelligent sentient beings in this universe (including those of the earth) who are not human must be absolutely horrified and flabbergasted to hear of such a thing and probably would be tempted to "give up" on us for being so incredibly and hopelessly obtuse.
Q.Can humans be gods?
A.Using the fractal-pantheistic model I have outlined in this website, I would give a qualified "yes" to the idea but only in the sense that we humans are gods over our bodies or maybe over other lesser("smaller") things and certainly not over each other. The idea that some human can be a "god" over other humans has led only to despotic systems that justify slavery, that eliminate freedom and liberty and that also diminish the ability to think for oneself. The elimination of god-kings and the establishment of freedom and liberty as a philosophy for government (using a constitution) and the great benefits flowing from these things all serve as good evidence that humans should not try to be gods over each other.
Q.Why doesn't God get more involved in human affairs than appears to be the case?
A.I think Earth is heavily involved already! When it comes to the many little details, though, imagine that how humans would appear to a more evolved species would be similar to how monkeys appear to us. In other words, when you see a bunch of conceited monkeys squabbling over territory, would you get involved? Would a more evolved species? Would Earth (God)?
There probably are cases where involvement would be desirable, however. If the squabbling was leading to or going to lead to widespread destruction of the habitat and endangerment of enough life, intervention would be desirable. In that case more evolved species or even Earth (God) probably just might decide to get involved.
What do you think? In the case of monkeys would you wipe them out (because you never really liked them that much anyway?) or would you do things to minimize the monkeys' negative effects and try to keep as many of them around as possible (because you kind of like monkeys and you can see how similar they are to humans?). One day they might be useful you know.
A.I think Earth has as much control over Its basic bodily processes as anyone else. In other words, when Earth "farts", has "diarrhea", or "coughs", you shouldn't say God is "punishing" us. It's just part of life.
Q.What about faith?
A.What about it? Faith is a powerful force in human affairs and cannot be denied. The "placebo effect" a good example. This is where asugar pillis given to a person who is told that it is medicine and will cure him. As it turns out, the person will get better or be cured more often than chance would indicate.How is this possible? It appears that the power of belief is sufficient in many cases to bring about cures and miracles. Here's the rub: You can't say it was the sugar pill you believed in that cured you. Likewise, when you believe in some god and a miracle happens because of it, you have to be careful saying it was that god that did it.
Q.But what about a real god that really performs miracles?
A.A self-aware intelligent entity like Earth can do things that we would classify as miracles. Knowing that this is possible would engender a faith that miracles can happen. Faith is faith. We owe it to ourselves, however, to remember the "placebo effect" and prove that that pill was indeed medicine and not fake. Mistaking a fake for the real thing is the problem. May I suggest that if the god you believe in can't be proven to exist, that you could very well be deluded? This is why the Earthgod concept is so useful. This god really does exist!
Q."It appears that the power of belief is sufficient in many cases to bring about cures and miracles."
This is a mere state of mind. If a person realizes that he is being lied to, and knows that the pill is sugar, then the reverse to the placebo effect happens?
A.Yes, I believe that would be true. The power of negative thinking is a real phenomenon also.
Q.Poor person who is enlightened to realize that everyone around him is telling lies, because they like believing in 'lies'. Since when they offer their sugar pills for his illness and it does not work; they then blame the patient for not having faith.
A.This is a false negative. If you know everyone around you is telling lies, then get the hell out of there! Doctors don't offer sugar pills, they offer real medicine and having faith that it works definitely can help it work. Likewise, not believing that the doctor is actually giving you medicine can interfere with the therapy.
Q."A self-aware intelligent entity like Earth can do things that we would classify as miracles."
Which would then be a misinterpretation of natural phenomena. Classifying some phenomenon as a miracle is trying to avoid an explanation for what really happened.
A.A miracle is something you can't explain. You have no point here.
Q."May I suggest that if the god you believe in can't be proven to exist, that you could very well be deluded?"
Which is supposed to be what Faith is about- believing something without proof.
A.That is a form of faith, but not the best form. Faith is best when it is a simple "knowing".
Q."Faith" and "knowing" are two different things. Saying they can be the same thing is unnecessary blurring. I suspect you have done this "blurring" a lot, and as consequence I can't follow what you are saying.
A.I'll try to be more clear:
Definition of faith:
n. [< L. fidere, to trust] 1. Unquestioning belief, esp. in God, religion, etc. 2. A particular religion. 3. Complete trust or confidence. 4. Loyalty.
from Webster's New World Dictionary
I think #3 applies best to the way I used the word.
Definition of confidence:
n. 1. Trust, reliance. 2. Assurance. 3. Belief in one's own abilities. 4. The belief that another will keep a secret. 5. Something told as a secret.
from Webster's New World Dictionary
Definition of assurance:
n. 2. Sureness, confidence.
Definition of know:
v.t. 2. To be sure or aware.
from Webster's New World Dictionary
Definition of sure:
adj. 2. That cannot be doubted, questioned, etc. 3. Having no doubt, confident.
So "knowing" is implied in the definitions of "faith". Hopefully this is "blurry" no more.
Q.Why are we here?
A.I think Earth made us to save It. I don't think God made defective humans that needed "saving". Perhaps Earth is aware of the possibility of asteroids and comets striking and causing large-scale destruction. It could use some "hands" to reach out and stop an asteroid or comet before that happens. We are those "hands". Being the "hands of God" in this sense is a very positive way to look at it. Indeed, this is opposed to an old monotheistic concept of the "hand of God". That is a very destructive one in which people, themselves, commit heinous crimes and then say it was "God" doing the destroying. So Earth grew these "hands" to build rather than destroy, and monotheists have often tragically gotten it backwards.
Q.I think I see where you're going with this. Are you trying to justify our civilization? Considering how damaging it is to the environment, you must be kidding.
A.Well, think about it. If we actually and literally save Earth from anasteroidor comet striking it, we will indeed "justify" our civilization. Consider this: The destruction caused by our civilized activities here on Earth is nothing compared to the destruction that would be caused by a large space rock. I think Earth is making a great gamble. It has grown us and allowed our civilization which is causing destruction. Earth could be gambling that we will eventually grow up and become Earth's saviors!
There are undoubtedly more reasons why Earth could use humans. Once in space we will be able to restore Earth much more quickly from the effect of agiant caldera exploding. The one atYellowstoneis almost as big as the one in Toba that last blew up. TheToba explosion was probably what so greatly reduced the human population around 74,000 years ago. When the Yellowstonecalderaexplodes (almost certainly within the next 100,000 years judging from its past behavior), we had better be in space! Not only this, but Earth also undergoes geomagnetic reversals. There will be another one, and when it happensit will probably take a couple thousand years for the magnetic field to drop to zero and then reappear in the reversed mode. Space technology will be a big help in dealing with the possible effects of this.
Q.So there we are in space with a polluted, overcrowded planet beneath us that we may no longer be able to live on anyway. What good is that?
A.Think about this: We have never solved any of our problems "on" Earth. Perhaps we need to be "off" Earth before we really solve them. By learning to live, work and play in space and on other planets and moons in the solar system, I think we will finally learn to solve earthly problems and restore Earth. Earth could have another purpose in growing us as well. It might be using us as "seeds" to make other planets and moons in the solar system come alive that are now "dead".
By literally saving Earth, we will earn the "Great Benefit". Once we have so qualified ourselves, we will inherit the solar system, a most awesome future for us and one well worth it.
Q.Scientific understanding changes when hypotheses are verified (eg. mathematical proofs) or theories are accepted beyond reasonable doubt (eg. evolution by natural selection). Belief in a god is unverifiable by any known scientific means. Therefore any attempt to fuse science and religion immediately breaks the basis on which scientific understanding "progresses". I don't see how treating the earth as a god will help us in facing the huge challenges imposed by environmental degradation. It would be too easy for unscrupulous or misguided "priests" to impose their own agendas. Plus ca change.
A.Earth needs no "priest". Go-betweens get in the way, and have an awful habit of emptying your wallet while blinding you with horseshit. Earth is here for everyone in real-time. You can access It yourself. You don't need a "priest"; only a mind.
So long as you remain confused by the old, failed, monotheistic, "infinite" god concept, you will continue to think that science can't deal with it. Earth being God removes that hindrance to scientific inquiry.
HEartHEartHEart----He who laughs last laughs best. So do it with heart.