Poetry – We used to worship

We used to worship

We used to worship the sun and moon;

We thought they were gods,

But now we understand what they really are –

Only rock and gas –

And the mysticism has dissipated on the solar breeze.

We used to worship trees, rocks and streams

And pray to the spirits that resided within,

But now we understand the molecules

Possess no spiritual qualities

Other than the wonder that resides in our own minds.

We used to worship Zeus, Apollo and Baal;

Make sacrifices, follow rituals

And offer up our prayers.

Now they, and the tens of thousands like them,

Are banished to the past.

Their universal power no longer of consequence.

How many virgins;

How many sheep, goats and cattle,

Had their throats slit

In a futile attempt to curry favours

From an all too human god?

No lessons from the past

Seem to impact upon us now.

Our beliefs in Jesus, Mohamed and Moses,

In Shiva, Rama and Buddha,

Will last for ever.

They will surely not, like all the rest, eventually

Follow the sun.

Will they?

So I will sit in awe and thrill to a sunset,

Lie beneath the stars and absorb the majesty,

Smile with soft eyes at the spectrum of life

And relish the warmth of love and friendship.

It is the closest to worship I can achieve.

It’s enough for me.

Opher 22.6.2016

We used to worship

The lesson of the past is that things come and go. So many gods who were universally worshipped have toppled into oblivion. Gods and Goddesses thought so powerful that they constructed the universe and ruled all things, and either gave or withheld their assistance to humans, have been long forgotten. Where are Hrouda, Rura, Tiwaz, Vercana, Amon, Ash, Hu, Ket, Mut, Ptah, Aife, Blai, Clota, Cred, Ixtab, Mudu and a million others. People put their faith in them. People willingly died for them. Prayers, rituals, costumes and sacrifices were conceived to satisfy these deities. Their assistance was sought and praise was heaped upon them when it worked, and excuses found when it failed (we were not following the instructions were we?). So many forgotten tribes were the ‘chosen’ ones.

So many religions waxed and waned.

Yet the ones we presently subscribe to are the real ones; the only real ones. They will never wane.

For one who does not believe, such as me, the prayers, costumes, rituals and entreaties, of such superstition look interestingly absurd. While I adore the pageant, majesty and colourful creativity I share with Freud the view that I am witnessing a mass hysterical psychosis.

If there is a mystical force it is within all of us, all the fabric of the universe, and not embodied in some human created god. I do not believe there is such a human construct as paradise or hell. I cannot wait for the waning; for an awakening. We have life, an incredible universe and we live in the midst of great wonder and majesty. We are surrounded with astounding wonder. That is surely enough.

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