The Humanized God – By Rosaliene Bacchus

Three Worlds One Vision

Gobekli Tepe - Artist's rendition of construction

Artist’s rendition of the construction of Gobekli Tepe (c. 12,500 to 10,000 B.C.E)
By Fernando G. Baptista/National Geographic Creative
Photo Credit: National Geographic Magazine

The second of my three-part series covers “Part Two: The Humanized God” of Reza Aslan’s book, God: A Human History. The author traces the development of organized religion with its pantheon of humanized gods from its birthplace in the Ancient Near East to Egypt, Greece, and Iran.

For almost two and a half million years, we were hunters-gatherers. Then, some 12,000 to 10,000 years ago, we settled down, built villages, and began growing our own food and rearing animals. The discovery of the temple at Gobekli Tepe (Potbellied Hill) in eastern Turkey, widely recognized as the earliest religious temple, suggests that the birth of organized religion may have precipitated this dramatic shift. Based on archeological records, we know that the first domesticated animals appeared in…

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  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On 12/23/2017 at 12:54 am

    It never fails to dismay me and thus confirm the pernicious bias of Eurocentric/some Western and Abrahamic (EWA) commentators when they continue, despite all the contrary educational tracts out there, to ascribe the birth of world civilization to Western Asia (starting from Iran/Persia), the Middle East and Greece, To them, east of Iran is just a black box of people who are late comers, owing their enlightenment to the EWA group.

    They never notice that Iran is adjacent/contiguous to India (ignoring the 1947 breakaway of the separatist Islamic state, Pakistan –‘Land of the Pure’). Somehow they believe there is a high wall at the artificial border with smart people on the West side and dull ignoramuses on the East side.

    So, I’ll let them into the works of four scholars, three from the 19th C. when data/information were less unsullied by modern charlatans with political & religious agendas to instil. It will shock them to hear that it was India who either provided the germination for much of the ideas, or it was Indians who emigrated west, thus lit the sparks of the civilizations. Here are three 19th C. works :

    India in Greece (1851) by Edward Pococke
    Pococke argues that it was Indians who went to Greece and sparked that civilization.

    The Bible in India – Origin of Hebrew and Christian Revelations (1867) by Louis Jacolliot, a French High Court judge in India

    Jacolliot argues that the Abrahamic religions and Western laws are all sourced from India.

    The Fountainhead of Religion (1893) by Ganga Prasad, Preface by Paul Tice
    Ganga Prasad traces the all religions from the Indian Vedic-Hindu religion, first to Zoroastrianism (Zoroaster was Indian) to Judaism to Christianity and then to Islam.

    And, a fourth, Origin of Civilization and Language (1994) by a Guyanese, Dr Premsukh Poonai MD., PhD. (Plant Geneticist and Chemist) Dr Poonai argues, as above, that Indians went to all of western Asia and Europe taking Indian ideas to these places.

    Origin of Civilization and Language (1994)

    There is yet another, even older, but will sit on that yet.

    Veda Nath Mohabir.

    • Ali  On 12/23/2017 at 2:04 pm

      From your constant criticism I get the impression that you’re always right and everyone else is always wrong. If Hinduism is the father religion don’t you think they would know about it and discuss it? Yes it is an old religion but it still is no different or superior to the others. They also all teach some truth it a whole lot of bs. Please get off your high horse sir.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On 12/23/2017 at 5:39 pm

    Ali: maybe you haven’t looked closely. This forum is for discussion. Criticism is part of the process. Also, Look again. I provide documentary proof which scholars of worth claim about Hinduism. You say Hinduism is “bs”. Where is your proof? Put forward your challenge for all to see.

    • Ali  On 12/24/2017 at 1:52 am

      You recently implicitly called Reza Aslan a piece of s…for criticism he leveled against your religion, citing JT.

      Resorting to name calling is the lowest form of debate. What’s with the anger?

      Is your religion that important to you?

      Gimme a break.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On 12/24/2017 at 9:22 am

    So you are pissed off because i refer to Aslan as “s—” for what he did to yes, ‘my religions’ which is very important to me. Also, Because it is a source of cosmological and universal knowledge. That is what it is sourced from – the Vedas = knowledge. I have cited several scholars above along with very influential and respected physicists Brian Cox, Carl Sagan, philosophers Aldous Huxley, etc etc.,who support that view.

    But you in turn call Hiinduism “bs”. So how did Hinduism wrong you YOU???

    • Ali  On 12/24/2017 at 11:39 am

      You cherry pick your ‘scholars’. There are numerous bright minds who have both debunked and abandoned religion. When it comes to the source of knowledge it comes or should come from your brain, not some old text. Is your brain less capable than those of the remote past? Give it a rest.

  • Veda Nath Mog  On 12/24/2017 at 1:56 pm

    Citing Carl Sagan. Brian Cox, et al who quote these Hindu texts approvingly are supposedly dunces? Furthermore these text codify the eternal truths of the universe. They are Not revelations as others are. Name a few who challenge the Hindu texts.
    Still how did Hinduism offend you to call it bs?? Would you call xtianity and esp Islam bs? Or, you like bully who pick on the target?
    Seems you just emerged from a slimy hole.
    Another thing why don’t you publish your full name as I do rather than secrete yourself in that slimy hole and then emerge to cast aspersions and insult. Is that all your intellect can muster?

    • Ali  On 12/24/2017 at 4:14 pm

      You are obviously an angry old man who must know a lot about slimy holes ‘cause the stuff you keep putting out reeks of a foul odor.

  • walter  On 12/24/2017 at 2:07 pm

    Few years ago at Pearson waiting to get on a very late departure to London, a man takes out his prayer mat, and started praying.( wow,before all the crap) This was greeted with, amusement,laughter, and some anger. For me it was a defining moment, I decided to drop the middleman and speak directly anytime, anywhere. I understand the need for symbolism, structures (churches) etc. because on occasion I still attend. Now I think most of the confusion is caused by excessive middlemen, claiming to know the “Answer” But as a Cardinal once said, Believe, Why take a chance.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On 12/24/2017 at 10:19 pm

    Walter: That man you saw taking out his prayer mat and started praying wasn’t acting all voluntarily. Praying 5X/day at appointed times is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and MUST be done by all observant Muslims. I will give a few examples from experience.
    Up to a couple years ago, I was flanked by two Muslim neighbours. We decide to erect fences; so the Pakistani guy and I went to Home Depot where we rented a van and piled in the material. Once home, at midday, this guy quickly excused himself for over an hour. I was left to unload 30 bags of stone chips and cement, plus all the other fencing material. I had to do it quickly in order to return the van and not incur more costs on my credit card. (I also subsequently dug all the holes up to 30 in deep with a hand shovel in sweltering heat).

    When time to collect the money, I went to the divorcee lady (whose portion of fence I built pro bono) on the other side. She invited me in and brought out some refreshments, while I wanted to get going. To give her a hint, I asked the time and she pointed to the clock on the wall. I noticed that it had the name of the nearest mosque and queried her about it. She said that she got it from the mosque and that it was timed to synchronize with the mosque’s time for prayers. It made a sound at each of the 5 appointed times.

    Another time I went to a South Asian fair around dinner time. As I was looking for something to eat, suddenly several of the eateries closed down and several men were seen virtually running to a tent where others had already gathered to pray.

    I have a family member who was on the security staff at UT. He told me of a Muslim security guard out to make routine checks one night at various University assets. The control centre tried for about 15-20 minutes to get in touch with him but he had turned off the walkie-talkie (which was against regulations) so he could pray. Because he was reprimanded, he was planning bring a Human Rights complaint.

    So, as these episodes show the airport prayer was acting not just out of faith, but by regimentation also. I also know another guy while we were out on work assignment in Windsor, pulled out a compass in the airport – on our return trip – in order to know which direction to face for his afternoon prayer).

    So, do ‘Believe, and don’t take a chance’ – as the Cardinal said – but I wouldn’t consider the airport prayer’s actions a model.

    On the matter of intermediaries, it depends on the subject matter. We all have had and continue to have these intermediaries to guide us in various facets of life. Intermediaries such as parents, older siblings, teachers, mentors, doctors, lawyers, historians, anthropologists, textbooks, research materials, expert opinions on arcane subjects (such as theoretical physics and cosmology)., etc etc etc were/are all necessary at some point in our lives.

    The only intermediaries I will be hesitant about are ‘prophets’. History is clear on this: very few prophets agree with each other, otherwise there would not be major religions with their own prophets and bloody conflict/genocide among them.

    On the other hand, I will be partial to only one so-called ‘religion’, which has NO prophet. It is based on eternal cosmological/cosmoginical “knowledge” which seers/rishi apprehended during deep meditation and codified in the Vedas and other texts of the Vedic (Hindu) philosophy.
    Fortunately, respectable intermediaries such as CERN (effigy of Shiva-Nataraja in foreground), Fritjof Capra (Tao of Physics), Carl Sagan (COSMOS series), Brian Cox (BBC Human Universe series), Robert Oppenheimer (Manhattan Project), Aldous Huxley (Preface to a Bhagavad Gita), Schopenhauer (comment on the Upanishads), Henry Thoreau (Quote: “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvat Geeta,..”) and many, many more sharp minds validate various aspects of Hindu philosophy.

    Veda Nath Mohabir

  • walter  On 12/24/2017 at 11:53 pm

    I understand, he was being led by a middleman, I meant I will converse with God whenever I think it necessary. One of the problems with a “No conclusion Discussion” it usually ends up as I know more, better educated and so on. As much as I admire people with the discipline to accumulate all that knowledge, I am going with a Leap of Faith. I think someone said the odds are more than 60% that God exists, much better than my poker odds. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy all the information, on both sides, because the subject matter is interesting.

    • Ali  On 12/25/2017 at 8:26 pm

      Bullets and bullseye. Some people just want the rest of us to know how stupid the rest of us are and knowledgeable they are. It never fails.

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