Essay 1 : Conceptualising “God”
The “God of Humans” v/s The “God of the universe”
If we were to hit a rod onto the surface of a flowing stream, the undivided flow of water seems momentarily divided into two streams. In the evening sky, the moment the first star appears and twinkles, the otherwise unending sky appears to have acquired a point of reference, quadrisected into four cardinal directions.
This material world too, in all its eternity, gets divided into two parts as soon as the star of human awareness starts twinkling. Dichotomies like the beautiful and the ugly, the fragrant and the malodorous, the melodious and the harsh to hear, the soft and the hard, the dear and the unpleasant, the good and the bad, the divine and the evil, and others emerge as soon as human need becomes the point of reference in this cosmos. All that humankind considers good, pleasant and helpful is one part of this world while all that is unpleasant, all that unfavorably or adversely affects human existence is the other part of this world. He who creates the good part is “God” while he who creates the bad part is the “Rakshas”, “Asura”, “Satan” or “Devil”. Accepting these elementary human sensibilities as the working criterion for understanding the usefulness, goodness or badness of the cosmos is quite unavoidable.
Our ancestors realised ages ago that it was impossible to count, analyse, characterize and qualify or quantify each and every living species and non-living entity of this immeasurable and unfathomable universe. Instinctively they chose to analyse the things and beings in the universe using the five senses humankind is gifted with- touch, sight, scent, hearing and taste. Now everything had one or more attributes one could, well, “sense”. For example, the rose was red by color, soft to touch and fragrant by scent. While a fruit was sweet or sour by taste, aromatic by scent, cool and wet to touch, with a certain appearance for the eyes. A cuckoo was black to see and sweet to hear. A breeze was cool or warm to feel (to “touch”) while a sea storm was frightening to hear, forceful to feel and salty to smell. Given the primitive times then, this very idea of using the five senses was a veritable leap of human ingenuity! They developed this thought process to call the five senses representatives of the Pancha Maha Bhootas (The Five Great Elements), namely Pruthvi (Earth or the solid state of matter), Aap (Water or the liquid state of matter), Tej (Fire, light energy or radiations), Vaayu (Wind, air or gaseous state of matter) and Aakash (Outer space, vacuum or the Great Void). Spiritually, they theologized that whatever conversation or dialogue we humans could have with the God of this universe was also through these five senses, hence they even developed the concept of the five-headed deities, like Pancha Mukhi Mahadev, Pancha Mukhi Hanuman or Pancha Mukhi Ganesha.
Just as the process of studying the universe and its objects and beings with our five senses was so natural and instinctive, so were the attempts at trying to figure out if there indeed was any psyche behind the very forces who could create this universe. These forces were deified and became objects of faith across ancient cultures. The thought that came forward was that by creating this bounty and abundance of natural wealth for human prosperity, Nature was indeed very kind-hearted and affectionate like a mother who provided for her children, us human beings. Nature was Mother Nature, Mother Earth, Mother Life, the Goddess “Srushti” or “Prakruti”, who tended to us her children. By psyche she was all that a mother could be- affectionate, loving and providing. This “faith” has only been reinforced from time to time by the gifts Mother Nature has been showering onto us from time and again onto humankind till today! Likewise the Creator was Father Creator, the powerful “Purusha”, who though so powerful was yet, by psyche, so kind, gentle, caring and compassionate that He laid the very seed of human existence and a habitat to sustain human life!
Truly, for the benefit, utility and happiness of humankind, the compassionate God has created nature with such meticulous paternal love! This sun, this ocean, how majestically big these Great Elements! But the kind God employed even them for the service of humankind. Just as a mother would keep cool sweet water filled up for her kids coming home from their play out in the afternoon sun, so does the “Sun-God”, using sunrays as suction conduits, suck up only the water sans the salt from the salty oceans thereby sparing the sweet water of the rivers – and then store up this distillate in heavenly reservoirs, making it tempting even to the Gods! Just imagine the control mechanism over this saltwater-to-Sweetwater conversion – only as much capacity is there in the sunrays for this conversion as is the water required in one year and only as much is the water storage capacity of the celestial reservoirs- the clouds. At the same time, the oceans are themselves not turned sweet, sparing our whole life from becoming tastelessly bland!
Look at the animals! They are of various calibers of intelligence and various specializations, as varied as the varieties of services humankind expected of them in the pre-industrial ages! The Gods taught the camels the art of eating desert thorns and going without water for days, adapting them to life in a desert habitat – and they became the ship of the desert, a lifeline for sustaining human life in the inhospitable harsh desert! And how swift is the horse! God has given him strength and forbearance to both gallop for hours and to manoevour in the midst of a pitched battle all the time balancing and bearing the weight of a human rider for hours. There are many examples of steadfast loyalty where horses have even sacrificed their life for their masters, like the horse Chetak who carried Rana Pratap to safety before dying of exhaustion. Yet God has not over endowed the horse with the intelligence to ride a human being instead. Take the dairy cow or buffalo - one just has to push dry grass from one end to get rich, creamy, fresh, life-giving milk in abundance from the other end. Really, how kind God must be to his human children for creating such a biochemical process as milk formation! What’s more - God endowed the same dairy cow or buffalo that produces milk with the ability to leave behind her own progeny, a reproduced copy, with the very same miraculous biochemical abilities to turn dry unpalatable inedible grass into sweet, creamy milk before she retires or passes away. A milk-vending machine that vends not just milk but also another milk-vending machine!
One has to sow just one grain of wheat - and it turns into a plant producing more than a hundred grains! Just one mango – a divinely juicy, delicious, nutritious, pulpy fruit – but it comes with its own seed that if sown and nurtured, turns into a majestic tree that gives hundreds of juicy mangoes for generations of a human family, year after year. Not just that, the mango even appears by branch grafting, producing whole orchards after orchards of the noble fruit in veritable abundance! Rice, millet or other varieties of different foodgrains with different nutrient profiles and tastes grow in all sorts of climatic conditions – in each case, one gets a whole sack full from one single, sowed grain. The varieties of fruits- pomegranates, bananas, apples, figs, jackfruits, dates… from different climatic profiles follow the same law - just one sown seed supplies enough fruit for satisfying the needs of at least a small family! All sorts of tasty, nutritious vegetables grow by themselves when kind of “ordered” by the mere act of being sown – the Lord God made this possible for us his human children! Then there’s sugarcane, after all a mere grass – with its weed-like propensity to proliferate wherever water is available. But when humans discovered its sweet juice, it just had to be disciplined into growing within the space allotted to it and nurtured by irrigation before it grew into vast lush stretches of such a generous produce that after being squeezed of its last drop of sweet juice by industrial scale sugar extraction processes, can still provide basic roughage to field oxen from leftovers! In fact, today’s scientists in the field of unconventional energy resources are researching the possibility of employing crops like sugarcane and even weeds from hillsides to generate the bio-fuel ethanol just when the world thought its fossil fuels were getting used up! Truly, when one resource dries up, another becomes available! How can we humans ever even quantify, leave alone repay, the kindness that God showered on humankind, making arrangements for every aspect of human existence!
And what about human anatomy! From the soles of our feet to the most microscopic of the organelles of the brain, the layout of the human body is full of masterly, orderly planning and co-ordination- O Lord, how meticulously Thou hath designed our bodies for us! Our human eye- how many ages, eons, generations of evolutionary experiments hath Thou conducted to bring our eye to its present capabilities? Initially the eye was just a nervous tissue able to merely make out a ray of light, which could only differentiate illumination from utter darkness, recognize a shadow more than actual details of a form; but by continuous evolutionary experiments, trials and errors, we humans now have our beautiful, spherical, moist – and – ambitious human eye. Today the human eye is so capable that we humans have the ambitious foresight(!) to beat Thee at Thy own game, by inventing a duplicate eye, an extension, the telescope, to view not just the interiors of Thy own cosmic laboratory of outer space, but to discover none other than Thee Thyself somewhere in space!
Further, how can one ever describe fully the festival of beauty and colours Thou hath conducted in the Three Worlds? The ultra-delicate flower of the Parijaat, the ultra-fragrant Golden Champak flower! The peacock’s vibrant plumage – the colors and design of every feather, the peacock’s inimitable gait! What a natural artist that noble bird is! When I watch the bird spread his plumage, dance with excitement and cry out aloud, believe me, O God, even my heart dances in sync with every step of this gifted bird and cries out Thy glory in admiration of Thy divine creation. In fact, I feel like sulking that I do not have the wonderful plumage of the peacock. The whole earthly creation resounds with the songs of birds and is a kaleidoscope of pleasant sights and landscapes! Roses, chamelis, bakulis, Juhis, Jaais, Champak, sandalwood, Ketakis… creepers and shrubs in full bloom, whole gardens full of them freshening and lending fragrance to the atmosphere! The Gods of love, Madan and Rati, are busy linking the hearts of lovers! The nights are starry, the dawns are pink, youth is confident and fresh, sleep is sound and deep, and love is like a cool breeze heralding the rhapsody of springtime. There is material and spiritual growth all over… O Lord, how can we humans not help thinking that such a beautiful world was created specially for us by Thee? If we love, nurture, protect and provide for our children, so doth Thee. Thou truly art both our father and mother and we Thy children. Even the milk our mothers give us is given ultimately by you. O Lord, we are Thy devotees and Thou, the Lord God of humankind, the God of Man!
Not just that, Thou art the only God, there can be no other and Thou hath created this world specifically for our peace and prosperity!
… This ideology, this concept of “The God of humankind” creating the universe specially for the survival and prosperity of Humankind could indeed have proved truthful and correct – if and only if everything, every being and all conditions in this world would have been only helpful, pleasant, beneficial and useful to humankind.
But alas! The cold fact is that most of this earth, the very earth we instinctively consider Mother Earth, Mother Nature and Mother Life is hardly all that safe, protective, kind and considerate to us humans as we were just philosophizing. On the contrary, the living conditions existent on this planet and influences of the atmosphere, the sun, moon and stars in reality seem to contradict our pet theory of faith too much – conditions that obtain on earth are mostly inhospitable, harsh, with the law of the Jungle working all the time around us. Humankind has to struggle for its very survival and struggle still further for ensuring prosperity.
Take a good look at the very Sun and oceans we sung paeans in praise of just some time ago. The way the unsparing rays of the hot sun finish off a helpless victim of sunstroke or heatstroke is quite comparable to the ruthlessness with which a gatekeeper watchman beats a poisonous snake by repeated relentless blows- striking the final blows even when half-dead. In the very India where millions of Hindu Brahmins offer prayers to the Sun God every sunrise and sunset, the very same sun shines hot for the entire spell of a drought or famine, even lasting several years, killing thousands of heatstroke, hunger or thirst.
In the Quran, Talmud, Torah and Bible, devout prophets sang in praise of God Yahweh, “For us Humans, O God, Thee hath kept a plentiful supply of fish for us to eat in the oceans!” But the same oceans are also full of creatures like human-eating sharks which can eat a human body alive and whole. The oceans are also teeming with other forms of sea life like poisonous snakes, sting rays, electric rays and the Portuguese-Man-of-war which can either kill, maim or in any other way seriously harm any human form in sea-water – a swimmer or diver, a shipwrecked sailor, a fisherman, marine biologist or oceanologist – the ocean Gods are quite busy nurturing these forms of life harmful to man with sustained impartiality. Quite similar to a mugger who first poses as a traveler’s guide, then waits for an opportune time to shed his mask to finally loot his trusting quarry in the middle of nowhere, the ocean, while carrying afloat thousands of rafts, boats and vessels at a time, suddenly throws some of them off its back and into its terrible jaws to swallow up entire vessels and ocean liners like the doomed Titanic, drowning all the thousands of people aboard in one gulp. Oceans can unpredictably erupt into tsunamis sucking entire populations of coastal settlements into their watery graves.
Rivers in Africa, Australia and South America are full of potentially human-eating creatures like alligators, piranha and crocodiles. The holy rivers, on whose banks civilizations and cities flourished, can swallow up entire townships or at least several thousand helpless people and animals in one spate, be they the Holy Mother Ganges or Jamnaji, the Brahmaputra, Hwang-Ho or Nile, the Holy Jordan or the Father Thames.
Primitive Semitic devotion believed in the Abrahamic Books that the Elohim (Yahweh of the Bible and Allah of the Quran) created the goat, lamb, deer and other creatures so that his believers would get lots of meat to eat! But the devotion with which the believer smacks his lips on seeing “food” animals blinds him to the obvious fact that the same world in which he resides with his “food” animals is also home to potentially man-eating animals like the big wild cats, crocodiles, bears and sharks. If a man-eating Sunderban Royal Bengal tiger preys on an unsuspecting human child and is spotted smacking his lips after devouring the child’s flesh, should we say that God created small human children with tender flesh just so that some man-eater can have a delicious meal? And as if to provide icing on a cake, the world has its share of dangerous vegetarian beasts as well, from the very herbivorous African river hippos that can cut a human form into two in one snap of their jaws (just as easily as we crunch a slice of cucumber at our dinner table), to the grass-munching land giants like the bison or Assamese rhinos and ultimately the largest land mammal, the solitary bull African elephants all of whom are known to kill humans more often than do the carnivorous big cats.
When a tsunami strikes a coast, it sucks in everything it can from coastal human inhabitation- brides in their own wedding ceremonies about to garland their grooms, mothers suckling their meek hungry and vulnerable infants, artists with unfinished paintings and sculptures, lovers locked mid-ardor oblivious to the world, devotees in mid-meditation with spiritual ecstasy… entire cities like Dwarika and Atlantis, regions and subcontinents have gone under water, got buried under volcanic lava like Pompeii… as quickly as Ganesh devotees immerse a Ganesh idol in the sea – with cataclysmic precision. And yet, the next daybreak, the same Dawn Goddess Usha, who was soulfully venerated with sacred chants of the Vedas, appears as pink as always over the destruction.
The Quran quotes that Allah created the moon so that the believer could tell the parts of the day to know when to offer namaz. But when the “infidel’ Chengiz Khan stormed Baghdad, the cultural capital of Islamdom, massacring all Momins in his wake, slaughtering clerics and the Caliph with his family, demolishing the whole city, razing all buildings and walking over a pile of cut heads of killed Muslims, did not the moon still rise over the same Baghdad that night too, informing the namaz-hating Chengiz Khan about the times of the day just as it did the namaz-performing Muslims?
Fragrant flowers, melodiously singing songbirds, the haughty peacock with his inimitable plumage, even entire forests get roasted alive in a single bushfire or forest fire, like we roast a brinjal on a flame.
While a human population trustingly plays the game of life in the daytime and rests secure every night in the lap of Mother Earth, some particular moment the same terra firma demolishes the unsuspecting population with one earthquake tremor – buildings get flattened, both huts and architecturally marvelous monuments of human creativity and civilisation, like a pack of cards ceases to exist. Entire villages can be swallowed alive in a moment with the same earth opening up a giant crevice in an earthquake!
Historically giant meteors have hit the earth and in some cases, even set in massive cycles of climatic change and destruction with extinctions of entire species. Can a flaming comet also not suddenly appear out of the blue (from outer space) and hit the surface of the earth setting ablaze entire regions much like a flaming torch can set ablaze a whole pile of cotton?
For every lifestyle there exists a dysfunction. The human body, when diseased, is a museum of pathologies and pain- furuncles, epilepsy, tumours, agony, coma, palpitations, diabetes and heart arrests… The world out there has its rounds of bubonic plagues, famines, cholera epidemics …
Our faith and belief that humankind is the centre of reference for the whole universe and that not just our own planet - the earth with her plentiful resources and life forms - but the whole cosmos was created by God only for humankind, only to favour humankind, only to provide pleasure to humankind and only out of special partisan fondness for humankind, eventually crystallized into belief systems, some open to contrary thought and other times closed to alternative view-points, like unbending dogma unwilling to confront rationalism. We humans even created religious texts of this dogma, selectively only documenting phenomena supportive of our theory that God first manufactures and then employs even stars, planets, comets, black holes, galaxies and constellations exclusively for sustaining human existence, protecting human life, providing fun, pleasure and entertainment to humans and eternally providing resources to human civilization, happiness and prosperity. This blinkered approach has only blinded us to stark, obvious natural phenomena and unpleasant observations of accidents and natural catastrophes endured by humankind that contradict our doctrine of “God’s Creation for human welfare”. We have to free ourselves of the shackles of this dogmatic conditioning to outgrow our primary assumption and adopt the approach of unbiased reasoning and dispassionate analysis to explain observations both pleasant and unpleasant.
Faith in this God-of-man theory can best be treated as a development of the primitive emotional human mind at its most innocent, childlike, seeking state. Faith created scripture - we can even marvel at the poetic expressions and emotional inputs that created some devotional scripture. We can pragmatically and patiently hear out, even study with interest all religious, devotional and ritualistic versions of the same God-of-man belief across the world as necessary stepping stones in the evolution of the human mind. Not all scriptures are unbending dogma. Some scriptures and cultures like the Indic (Bhakti-Vedantic, Buddhistic and Jain), Greek, Egyptian (Pre-Arian and Arian) and Far Eastern (Taoist, Confucian, Shinto) showed a readiness to discuss alternate viewpoints freely, while other types of scriptures like the Bible and Quran show the otherwise seeking human mind trapped at some primitive stage of thought not amenable to reasoning, with self-imposed fossilization, in the evolution of human thought processes.
It is completely beyond human reasoning powers to deduce the real intention due to which or without which this cosmos came into existence even with the best of telescopes, space exploration technology, knowledge of physics and mathematics – or with the most insightful of meditative techniques. We can only reason this much – the world and cosmos are not specially created for man; man matters little to other space bodies, whatever our earthly human thoughts - theist or atheist, scientific or devotional. We humans are only as significant in the big universe as may be some other creature- some worm, germ, bug or bee. In other words, humans are no more than a very ordinary, temporary production in the eternal flow of time and the incessant dynamics of the universe.
Thus, crops do not grow, fruits do not ripen or spices are not delicious so that humankind should be fed good food. Crops grow, hence humans can eat them – that’s all. Rivers do not flow because humankind needs water- on the contrary; we happen to get water because rivers flow. Even when it was the age of the dinosaurs before the evolution of modern humans, rivers had been flowing, flowers were blooming, the stars were twinkling – just as they do so now! Even when the earth was under the grip of the ice age, or even before the very birth of earth, this very own home planet - the sun had its cosmic motion unfazed by anything else. Why, even if this very sun or our very own Milky Way were to vanish, the rest of the cosmos would be probably as affected as the luminosity of daylight is affected by the death of a firefly. Such an unfazed, unperturbed cosmic power that would not elicit even a moment’s mourning by the sudden nemesis of a hundred suns or solar systems even on a daily basis can still be venerated as “God” (to satiate human spiritual hunger) but slightly differently - as the “God of the universe” - certainly not as our older conception of “God of Humankind”.
If our “God of Humankind” would not have provided even elementary aids of survival, some minimal resources to exploit or primitive conditions of protection from the wild side of nature, could anyone or anything have stopped Him from disallowing any human existence? Yet, the human race did get access to natural bounty as comprehended by our five elementary human senses, could exploit resources and could modify circumstances to make quite a few habitats hospitable to human survival. Not only did humans survive, they prospered into civilizations. They did not just get a world, they got a rich earth, with rivers of water, edible foods, and useful animals – with fragrant flowers, scenic beauty and melodiously singing birds added in to enliven existence. The human race has eventually flourished so far, certainly not perished!
Yet, this appearance of human life on earth, juxtaposed in the evolutionary history of the earth, itself juxtaposed in the eternal universal upheaval of creation, sustenance and destruction, is no more than a speck in time, a temporary, ordinary and miniscule event not worth reckoning in the largely unknown, unfathomable history of the universe. Whatever dependability nature has shown with whatever few conditions encouraging human existence on this planet earth, are merely a coincidence. So long as this coincidence lasts, so long as we survive as humans, we humans can term this coincidence, this favorable set of circumstances, the “God of Humankind”; we can even offer Him a flower out of devotion and gratitude. To this, and only to this limited extent, can we condescend to say that the “God of Humankind” is kind to, partial towards and protective of his human “children”.
Mentally envisaging the “God of the universe” is merely going logically further in our God-conceptualization exercise. There are two techniques, scientific and spiritual, essentially complementary to each other. Scientifically, we have space shuttles and telescopes augmenting the eye, to note birth of stars or their celestial burial in black holes. Spiritually, ancients reached yogic contemplative planes like Saptapatal, Brahmalok, Vishnulok, Devalok, etc. through meditation augmenting the inner mind. Either way, the universe (or the “God” of the universe) is uninfluenced by prayers, unperturbed by human emotions, unaffected by human birth or death, prosperity or tragedy, too abstract to be affected by anything, partial towards no one, certainly not humans, is equally responsible for both genesis and nemesis. Neither does this power purposefully bless us, nor purposefully punish us. This “God of the universe” is too subtle and omnipotent to be a personality like a jealous Old Testament Yahweh who vindictively resorts to curses against and punishments like sending locusts and frogs against bonded followers trespassing into worshipping alternate God-forms. The power of the “God of the universe” is also not thanks to some seat or tag of authority, like is the case of the celestial Indra (whose power being not his own but by virtue of the throne of the “ruler of heaven-residing deities”), who insecurely presupposes that anyone engrossed in meditation, sage or demon alike, can get strong enough to usurp his throne and depose him. The “God of the universe” requires no medium like angrily foaming prophets whose careers were nothing more than haranguing people into remaining bonded to the Old Testament books of dogma by issuing dire warnings, or mysterious secretive shamanic witch-doctors sacrificing poor animals to entities like demons and spirits in occult rituals while mumbling to themselves in a state of mind bordering on epilepsy, creating a whole plethora of lesser Gods, demi-Gods and other entities taking their toll tax from a seeker on a spiritual quest on the way towards the real God unluckily trespassing onto their domain of esoteric teritory. The God of the universe could freely be “He”, “She”, even “It” - we don’t know, we can call this force what we want.
Conceptualising God of this nature requires not just intellectual effort but also spiritual courage. We now have a God to bow before but we must learn to take care of ourselves in individual and collective crises in life within the framework of natural laws, praakrutik dharma. If one is the captain of a sinking ship, one should use all knowledge in navigation and ship mechanics to save the ship, passengers and cargo first – all prayers to the God of the ship or the God of the Seas or the God of humankind are only after all realistic efforts are instituted. Like vitamin B complex helping the main medicine fight an illness, rather than becoming the medicine itself denying other specific medicines the credit of working. Thus the God of humankind is nothing other than one side, namely the bright, congenial side - the feel-good factor - of the God of the Universe. Whether the devotionally conceived God of Humankind partial to humankind or the intellectually conceptualized God of the Universe partial towards no one, we can treat every conception with respect, since we term the conception “God”. Particularly when we have first respected the “God of humankind” and then pulled Him into the morass of half-baked notions of devotion, the “God of the universe” deserves greater respect.
We first invested the conception of the God of humankind with human emotions and personalities, good and bad traits, then invoked Him (or Her) to account for each and every positive or negative personal event and gradually, pulled down Divinity into the mud, demoted the stature of our conception of “divinity” into an entity that serves our selfish interests and base desires by ordinary bribes of prayer. The bigger our personal desire, the more flamboyant or expectant our prayer gets - the “God of Humankind” would do us good if we conduct some sacrificial rite, organize a Satyanarayana Pooja, attend successive masses of Novena or repeatedly visit a fakir’s mausoleum. Imagining any covenant with the “God of Humankind” simply ties us up in illogical knots - if we offer prayers of gratitude to God for saving us from danger, then who presented us with these dangers in the first place? The same “God”! First He slits our neck and then He heals it. If we should worship Him for healing us, should we also not full-fledgedly blame Him first for hurting us? It is like the story of two roadside beggars fighting amongst each other saying, “I am right, you are wrong” and desperately but unsuccessfully trying to get the judgment of superiority from an emperor whose retinue passing momentarily by their way – the emperor does not even notice, the convoy passes ahead and the two beggars go back to wrestling each other in the muck. Well, invoking the “God of Humankind” for these twin emotional outbursts of blaming and thanking, for every worthless and inconsequential event of life, is worse than the fight of these two roadside beggars. The age and limits of our universe are too big to even be measured - human devotional tantrums do not matter at all.
What is rational is that we can study, infer, discover, analyse, comprehend, teach each other and then recode for posterity the laws by which the universe and its components exist, govern themselves and act or interact. We can then try and align ourselves with the laws of the functioning of nature and the universe in ways beneficial to the human race, conducive to our survival. This is the only thing possible for us humans. Thus any act, behaviour or conduct of a human being conducive and helpful to the survival of the whole human race and to our habitat (the earth and “her” environment) in the long term is good, ethical and correct behaviour. On the contrary, any thought or conduct that can make us perish or destroy our own habitat, anything that can adversely affect human survival or can be a deterrent to long-term human survival of our human habitat is bad, unethical and incorrect behaviour. This definition of human ethics is workable, rational and clear to understand. But beliefs like “What ‘God’ likes is ethical” and “That which is helpful to Humans is liked by God” are untrue and untenable, in fact too childish to sustain. We need to realize that we are part of the universe, but the universe is not ours or ruled by us. To a negligible extent the universe favours us. To a much greater extent, the universe is unfavourable to us. Accepting this truth clearly, bravely and unhesitatingly is being both human and humane. And this is the true religion of the entire human race, the true worship of the “God of the universe”.