Telephone Religion

Let’s just say, for discussion’s sake, that I gave you one of my books to read and you loved it. You asked that question writers are often asked, Where did you get the idea for that book?

My answer surprises you. I woke up one morning and found the manuscript pages bound on my kitchen table, arrived by magic. The book is unchanged. The only thing changed is your relationship to it. As you were reading, you connected with me, because you know me, or if you don’t, you connected in a vague way with “the author.” Now your connection with the book is to the supernatural.

Where I’m going with this is we have religions that all relate to each religion’s different God. Which works great for a great many people, but there’s one-hundred thousand years of source material to which all these modern religions relate. Themes repeat throughout ancient cultures, first man stories, flood stories, all of this spoke to ancient humans the same way these stories speak to many of us today. Then if you think of these ancient stories as inventions that comfort us or as discoveries we’ve made—helped along by visiting deities or not—over the course of human history about a plane of existence beyond this earthly one, with either possibility equally likely and not mutually exclusive, then no one’s left out. All of consciousness since the advent of our recognition of our temporality is connected in the challenge of being human. You can’t beat that.

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