Long ago, in times of need or trouble, the people prayed. But that was before enlightenment appeared on the horizon. That particular philosophy encouraged emphasis on reason and questioning everything.
Early humans created their gods with the sheer power of imagination. They imbued their gods with all of humanity’s foibles. For some reason, they forgot to add the positive sides of their nature. The various gods existed based on the particular beliefs of a group of people. The resulting lesson was never to underestimate the power of the mind.
From the histories of ancient peoples, we learned their gods became far too human, especially how they embraced the baser human instincts. As we know, unchecked emotions lean toward lust, anger, hatred, avarice, and war, to name a few. Every so-called pagan deity wanted the love and adoration of humans without giving anything back. Often, the lengths they went to achieve their goals harmed mankind.
As humankind turned away from the gods of old, they found new faiths more suited to their tastes and needs. But no matter the religion, it was and is an effective method of population control. In the past, there was a balance between praising and thanking their gods and the begging for things.
For example, in Greek and Roman mythology, if you wanted to win wars, you prayed to Ares or Mars for a successful outcome. But they did not sit back and wait for the gods to fight their battles. They fought harder in order to please their gods.
The Israelites of the Old Testament, like Judas Maccabeus and his people, prayed to Yahweh before a battle. Then they attacked their enemies with ferocity. Their intensity often made the difference between the size of their forces and that of their enemies. And that is why they often won against overwhelming odds.
In modern times, the number of unbelievers grows. One reason may be that if you do not believe, you absolve yourself from the religious consequences of wrongful behavior. On the other hand, far too many folks pray for things rather than in thanksgiving.
No matter what religion folks profess to follow, greed is their new god. Hubby and his wife met people who claimed to be religious but prayed for things like finding a good deal on a car or house or other material cravings.
Imagine you are an immortal being. For some, this is a stretch, but for others, they already consider themselves superior to most folks. Therefore, the exercise is easy to embrace.
As an immortal being, you seek a new sport to banish the boredom of eternal bliss.
Who better to watch than those pesky humans? Even though they always want something and are rarely satisfied. Nevertheless, humans are an entertaining lot, which is why they continue to exist and amuse.
There is something the worshipers of old knew, but modern man has forgotten. You can ask or try to bribe the immortal being of your choice, but millions of people are on their knees doing the same thing. Consequently, the odds are high the celestial busy signal activates and remains so.
In the mythologies of any belief, you realize immortals love the adoration and attention of their followers. But rarely did the gods bother to interact with those lowly creatures. The most frequent exception to the rule of non-interaction was Zeus. Throughout his reign as “head god” (pun not intended), the guy could not keep his toga in place.
If you still have your immortal hat on, consider this tidbit. If all you hear from those pesky humans is “I want” or “If you do this for me, I will become a monk in your honor. Isn’t that a fair trade, my divine lord?”
For those who are parents, be they toddlers or teenagers, does that bit of bargaining sound familiar?
A caveat: immortal beings appear to help those who help themselves.