I reasoned as follows. In general…
Do we need religion? Opinion of Russian philosophers. Religious instinct.
First of all, let’s ask ourselves several questions. Do we need religion? Maybe it is fabrication, kind of entertainment for suffering people, unessential when they are happy. There are several works about it. For example, the two-volume book by Belyaev, Professor of St. Petersburg Ecclesiastical Academy. He wrote it at the end of 19th century. “Concerning Atheism and Antichrist”. There he analyzes all the biblical evidences of the latter day of the mankind in terms of eschatology (theory of the End of Days). Or the outstanding book by Russian philosopher of the first half of 20th century Ivan Ilyin – “Axioms of Religious Experience”. He states that some religious instinct resides in the human being, like salivation reflex at Pavlov’s dog. It is unconscious. The difference is that the dog’s reflex is response at the sight of food, while the human religious instinct wakes as a rule due to some undisputable threat (they say: there are no atheists in the war). Let’s agree and base our further reasoning on this as a fact. Eventually any study always rests on the shoulders of some giants.
Is religion a frozen construction or the way?
Well, since religion is so essential for the individual (as we have agreed to suppose on the basis of the predecessors' conclusions), let’s discuss the following issue. Is it a frozen or kind of dead thing or the vital way? When saying the way I mean not the uplift of an individual within the confession chosen by this individual, but general religious determination of the mankind. If there is such a way, don’t you think we have stopped too early? Is it the right time to dismiss the religious progress like shabby rags? Someone may say the motion is still in progress! Lutheran Church, Seventh-Day Adventists, Mormons and even Hubbard followers have come to world in the last few years. Isn’t it a religious progress? I say no. It is not a progress! It is not a progress in terms of translation motion. It is rather hanging about. Or maybe sidestepping. Anyway they are attempts to take something from you, but not to give you something. Lutheran Church does not count, because it was an appeal for freedom from intolerable power of Vatican and intolerable trade in sacred things by the Popes. It is not creation of something new, it is rather restoration of something destroyed. And nothing more! All the rest are new attempts to lull your mind in accordance with the call of the times and scientific and technological progress. While the last phenomenon is an ordinary sect of admirers of quasi-science fiction. Anyway all the mentioned movements are based on the already existing. While translation motion implies extension of the framework!
We deal with standstill. Has there ever been the way? And if it has been, maybe it is over?
So we deal with standstill. Has there ever been the way? And if it has been, maybe it is over? I dare say nobody has tried to think and to continue it for a long time. Let’s do it together!
We need to find the red arrow on our road map. Let it be analysis of the findings of our predecessors!
We need a road map to understand if there has been the way and to continue it. And we need a red arrow on it for us to follow it. What should we consider as an arrow on our way? Let’s find it out! Let’s have a look how our predecessors moved. We’ll analyze their way and continue it.
For this purpose we should have an overall look at religion. What are the components?
Let’s look at the object of our study from inside to enhance the volume of our perception. To understand where to dig!
What does any religion consist of? In general it consists of two things. God theory and human theory.
In its turn the human theory consists of two components - ethic and meditative, i.e. different techniques of bringing the body into compliance with the soul. So don’t think yoga is something unique. Any religion uses its manipulations with breath, muscles and bones. They vary. For example, in Christianity if you blowing out the whole Jesus Prayer (or mantra), standing in the posture of Nilus of Stolben Island (kind of lotus pose), you may attain nirvana (your soul will leave the body). However it’s not the way to the truth. It’s rather escaping. Escaping from uncomfortable and fearful questions. It’s hiding the head in the cement floor called bliss. It’s not the way and we’ll not discuss it. What about the ethic component? It also penetrates all the religions and theories. Even Bolsheviks, atheists, just copied their Code of the Builders of Communism from the Exodus 20 of the Old Testament (10 Commandments). Is it the way? No. Endless playing with styles of behavior, but not the way. Then what is left for consideration?
God theory! Splendid diversity! Everyone is doing whatever he can. Some have Vishnu with an elephant head, others – chariot-riding Zeus the Thunder-Bearer, and still others – Godhead, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in one person. Where is the way? We need to determine the most important and fundamental idea of God theory. Which penetrates al the religions, cultures and centuries. And then to continue this particular idea. So, what kind of idea is it?
Idea of oneness or multiplicity of God! Is it the Idea? Is it fundamental? Is it the most important?
Idea of oneness or multiplicity of God! Is it the Idea? Is it the most important? Is it fundamental? For example I’m pagan, polytheist. I’m sitting under acacia cross-legged, not eating, not doing wrong, not killing an insect. Why doesn’t an aureole appear above my head? From the point of view of a Christian, or even worse, a Muslim I will go to hellfire, because I do not accept the Good News about One God. Everything may be forgiven – adultery, murder… Oh God, that’s trifle! Repentance – and everything is all right. But how can you repent if you are pagan? You confess it or you do not confess it! To be or not to be. Everything may be forgiven… Except that! For Jewish and Christians the Good News about One God is the first Commandment. In fact the same is about Muslims. But if it is so important, sometimes even more important than life-and-death issue, if this concept is so important… Maybe it is the Idea and the Way we are looking for?
So the idea of oneness or multiplicity of God is important! Fundamental! But is there any dynamics in it? Does it imply any way?
Let’s put aside the poetry so characteristic of religion and look at the object with a fresh eye. What kind of God perception do we deal with? There are four of them, or even five due to some variation. Namely.
- Pagan perception – there are many gods (three per capita only in India, while the population already exceeds a billion…).
- Jewish perception – One God in three persons.
- Christian perception – Essential Trinity.
- Islam – Allah is the one.
- And the last perception - perception of atheists – there is no God.
The last two perceptions are similar. One in three, but the oneness is the main point for Jewish, while Trinity formula is the main point for Christians.
It is the solid one. Allah is the one and that’s it! They even consider Jewish and Christians as pagans due to their Trinity formula.
- One in three or three in one.
The way of religion development, the way we are looking for, is just that. From perpetuity to zero. Everything has been like that in the history. From pagan cavemen to present-day atheists!
Little poetic note. About zero.
You may wonder whether the zero is the best expression of God essence under consideration. Maybe it is unbelievable, but yes! Look at the scheme of interconnection between the Quantifiers of Contemplation of God and you’ll understand it partially. However the zero here is some intermediate result making us think. Some turning point, from which there is no way, except… We’ll talk about it later.
A couple of words about terminology
First I called the category under consideration the Unit of God Quantity. Then I realized that it is inadequate. Zero could hardly be a unit, but in our case it is one of the values of this Characteristic of God (do you remember atheists – there is no God). That is why I introduced another term — Quantifier of Contemplation of GOD!
Final CONCLUSION concerning the WAY we are looking for!
The whole human history is the way of searching for One God. In other words the way of searching for Quantifier of Contemplation of God, running from its (quantifier’s) perpetual value to zero.
But what’s the use of it? Why do we need the way? Why do we need this search?
Way of search… But why? What for? To tell you the truth, I have no idea. Like anybody else. And it will be so forever. But concealing of it (I hope temporary) does not excuse our obligation to think and move forward. Anyway God is one, you may say. God is one! Or… There are many gods. Whatever! What does it matter? Where and how can we use it? Which other facts do exist? And what do they underlie? For example, Volga flows into Caspian Sea. A great fact! And what? What can we build on it? We can build a float! And float a ton of turnip from Nizhniy Novgorod to Astrakhan in autumn. Though what do they need turnip for in Astrakhan?... What about the fact of the unit of God quantity? For example, God is one. What can you build on this fact? We may build great culture! And it has been built. The difference seems minor. One God or many gods… No way! Absolutely different worlds stay behind each of the perceptions. Hot Hellenic hedonism in one of them, inspired looking for God in another. Really, why look for God, if He slugs in each pleat of tunic? Greedy, small and pitiless. But when God is one, we must look for Him.
What is the conclusion…
These are all the conceivable and mentioned in the history Quantifiers of Contemplation of God. What next? Our way has brought us to zero. Zero is zero! (In fact we may step to the left, to the plane of real minus numbers, but it will be too formal, because the negative semi-axis does not differ from the positive one, it is just ordinary visualization of elements contrary to the elements of the positive semi-axis in the operation of addition). Is that the end? Dead end?
Dead end is not that terrible. There is something worse. If we take into consideration the tragic depravity of real numbers, we, honest people, do not have a right to stay on the real line. I mean we must jump out somewhere…
So we have exhausted current measurement of the truth. Now let’s go further. Say good-bye to the real line and… go to great spaces of multidimensionality! In our case we will add the second dimension to the one-dimensional quantifiers of God!