GODS, GENES, AND CONSCIOUSNESS: Nonhuman Intervention in Human History.
by Paul Von Ward Overview by the Author
My research for this book started with a 2,000 year-old question. Why have the four Abrahamic religions-claiming to worship one alleged divine being first known as Yahweh-experienced such internecine violence throughout their common history? Seeking explanations for interreligious conflict, I discovered a deeper issue: the unverifiable assumptions of supernatural religion itself.
When Osama bin Laden, Ariel Sharon, Pope John Paul II, or George W. Bush uses mental, psychological, or physical coercion against others, he obtains religious support by persuading people that his policies reflect their god's will. These men claim the being they worship is The True God, while the others' gods are false. They are not alone; all who worship "the divine one" assume it is unique.
Why do the personalities of "Yahweh", "Father", "God", and "Allah" reflect various cultures instead of various cultures reflecting one god?
The religions represented by these men have taught their followers they have exclusive access to the supreme power. Convinced that their beliefs derive from a unique divine revelation, the faithful in each religion willingly violate the natural rights of others, including their right to life. They conduct crusades and jihads against nonbelievers, inquisitions and witch-hunts against other followers, defamations of opponents, and terror campaigns that maim or kill innumerable innocents.
With so many different versions of an alleged single god, how did human consciousness evolve to the point where unprovable beliefs have such an impact on our lives in the knowable realm? This question leads to prior ones. How did the first concept of divine beings arise? Where did the notion of a supernatural (unknowable) realm begin? Who picked Yahweh from among the gods to be "the supreme divine being" in charge of that supernatural realm? Gods, Genes, and Consciousness hypothesizes that the answers lie in a misinterpretation of actual human interactions with nonhuman beings. It further postulates that all modern supernatural religions came from comparable, but varying retrospective revisions of that history--where humans came to believe their own projections accurately represented a reality beyond human knowing.
The exercise of "theocratic" power...
Why Is This a Problem? A leader (whether in the White House or in a cave) who justifies policy on religious grounds succeeds if he can arouse enough people's emotions. To do so, he engages in psychological manipulation by his use of religious code words. This exercise of "theocratic" power can occur only when followers accept the assertion that his policies reflect the will of the "divine reality" they worship.
People usually do not realize that such leaders take advantage of the energetic association of contrived words with natural human emotions to mobilize their followers and to serve their own agendas. These self-defined spokesmen for a god call their own actions a sacred duty and those of others satanic. They call their followers holy while opponents are called evil. They wreak terror calling it peace-keeping and label the other's war terrorism.
Believers are susceptible to such manipulation because the very nature of a supernatural religion involves unprovable assumptions. Its adherents have come to accept that a realm lacking in factual reality is more real than their collective experience. Thus, blind faith in their own visions leads to real acts of violence and murder-whether launched from Washington, Rome, Jerusalem, or Mecca.
In the popular movie A Beautiful Mind we saw an otherwise intelligent, creative, and loving man endanger himself and others based on his own "divine reality". How did humanity slip into something like that schizophrenic state where an "imaginary reality" exerts such power over our emotions, thoughts, and actions? How in the evolution of consciousness did humans come to give precedence to unverifiable beliefs over knowledge? How did humans come to worship nonhuman entities as divine and follow their self-defined spokesmen?
I believe the answers can be found in the history of ancient human interactions with "advanced beings" and in its re-writing to serve the interests of a few. A psychological look at the historical record gives a plausible explanation for the current split in human consciousness between natural and supernatural thinking.
What Are Advanced Beings?
I use the term "advanced beings" or AB's to refer to all entities perceived by humans to be superior to themselves. It encompasses the ancient gods, their angels and devils, and also modern ET's. It includes gods who walked with Biblical heroes or took them into the heavens, and the invisible "voices" who spoke to Moses, Mohamed, Joseph Smith, and others. The term also refers to ethereal beings like those known as Seth and Pleiadians, and other messengers channeled by humans. It applies to spirit guides, ascended masters, and fields of consciousness tapped by people like Tesla, Steiner, Cayce, and Einstein.
All these AB's (past and present) can fit into a natural model of a conscious universe. Yet, some have been labeled, by one religion or another, as divine beings who require human worship. Since the attribution of supernatural or divine godship cannot be tested, it requires blind faith, acceding one's power to a priest, minister, rabbi, imam, or guru's interpretation of the reputed god's message. These intermediaries gain a psychological advantage over believers.
Humans can no longer recall the beings from the heavens (skies) described in the Bible, the Hindu Vedas, Greek myths, and traditional legends. Most academics now interpret them as fanciful figments of primitive human consciousness. Scientists with materialist and Earth-bound paradigms assert such beings could not exist in the past or present. The religious hold the dubious assumption that while other people's gods must be imaginary, the unseen god they worship is real. The evidence in this book leads to the opposite conclusions: AB's described in early history likely represent an external reality and the gods now worshiped derive primarily from within the human mind.
The book Gods, Genes, and Consciousness reviews the historical and current evidence for tangible AB interventions in human history. Its chronological perspective and generic rational analysis demystify early myths, so-called sacred writings, and modern "paranormal" communications. It allows comparison of ancient descriptions of AB encounters in legends and religious texts with modern reports of interactions between humans and nonhumans or other dimensions.
What Is the Evidence?
The book summarizes how religion, metaphysics, and traditional stories treat AB's. It compares these perspectives with scientific studies of nonhuman consciousness and other dimensions. Juxtaposing studies of the fossil record, DNA family trees, archaeological anomalies, the history of science and technology, cultural institutions, and the development of alphabets and world languages reveals considerable congruence with the AB-intervention hypothesis.
A new look at prehistory suggests early Genus Homo followed a natural evolutionary path with no inclination to worship unseen gods. Widespread evidence points to AB's with advanced technologies intervening decisively in human development in Africa, and Sumeria and Egypt (the Cradle of Western Civilization). An interdisciplinary analysis shows the AB-intervention hypothesis offers a plausible explanation for the presently documented, punctuated fossil and phylogenetic records of Homo sapiens physical development.
A re-analysis of extant texts indicates a symbiotic interaction between early humans and AB colonists on Earth could have resulted in emotional dependence conducive to cults (2,000 to 4,000 years ago). Dominance by AB's could have led to the inferiority complex found in concepts like the "fall of humankind". Twentieth-century reactions of traditional peoples to European colonization, sometimes known as "cargo cults", provide an apt analogy for this complex.
If, as the record suggests, the ruling AB's pulled away from humans, those left behind could have experienced separation anxiety that led to ongoing worship of the now absent AB's. They prayed to them for continued protection. Seeking to re-link with their former gods, the cults appear to have developed re-ligious rituals to induce the AB's to return or to gather the faithful in the "heavens". As a hoped-for "second coming" passed, memories of AB-gods appear to have evolved into speculative ideas about "supernatural" beings (less than 2,000 years ago). Prophets and writers reinterpreted biblical texts about real AB's to suggest they were ethereal beings. Original texts were treated as metaphorical.
Hebrew, Roman, and Arabic priests assumed the task of interpreting the newly imagined supernatural realm. They created symbols and liturgy to perpetuate the faith among believers and to gain new converts. History turned into myth.
In the final stage of the Roman Empire, priests joined with political leaders to develop a theocratic government. Subsequently, supernatural religions have sought to impose their beliefs on natural, secular institutions of government.
The Current Situation
Christianity (Catholic and Protestant), Islam, and Judaism has each come to see itself as the exclusive interpreter of the role of AB's in human development. These offspring of the original Israelite tradition all agree with the Nicean Council's supernatural re-designation of the AB Yahweh (portrayed as one god among several in the Dead Sea Scrolls). Each now claims the exclusive channel of communication with that "supreme god". The result is perpetual conflict.
Conflicts born in the Middle East now involve six continents. They roil social institutions, economies, and governments. Who defines life for abortions, fetal research, suicide or death penalties? Who decides the when and how of human sexuality? Can the state impose a religious limitation on civil marriages? Do humans have dominion over or responsibility for the living Earth? Should a priesthood or common sense set a society's cultural norms? Do schools provide education or indoctrination? Should governance come from those who claim authority from above or be derived from the free will of citizens? Must humans feel guilty and dependent on religions that preach a fallen or sinful nature? Does any group have the right to impose their theocratic ideas on others?
None of these issues will ever be peacefully and democratically resolved as long as the position of one or more of the parties involved claims his rules come from a supernatural realm to which only people who believe like he has access. If one refuses to reveal all evidence of his AB, why should another believe it?
In my view, reintegration of our fragmented species consciousness, and the resulting elimination of religious fratricide, will require an "all evidence-on-the table" re-examination of assumptions relating to nonhuman interventions in human history. The mounting evidence strongly indicates all religions should subject themselves to public examination of their unquestioned assertions regarding their own origins. An unwillingness to do so should expose their lack of credibility as a legitimate participant in making political and social policies.
The book concludes that surmounting religious conflicts will require more than attempts at religious tolerance and efforts to integrate science and spirituality. As in individual therapy, species healing depends on a reality check, a review of the basis for any assumptions that contribute to debilitating illusions. Many wishing to dissociate themselves from their religion's negative history blame its reactionary fanatics. They probably have not thought about how their own unexamined practices may enable the fanatics' blind faith. One's belief in his non-self-evident god lends credence to others' claims of access to another supernatural, divine god. Anyone asserting his religion derives from a historical "divine" event cannot logically deny the fanatic's right to make a similar claim.
I believe humans must try to objectively re-examine the historical record of AB's and revise religious beliefs as they revise beliefs based on new scientific evidence about the physical universe. Until they do so, the untenable model of supernaturalism will perpetuate a global consciousness inhospitable to dialogue and consensus. While war or terrorism results from arguments about whose "divineness" is real, genuine peace and natural human progress will elude us.