Myths and Lies
The Living Gods
I recall vividly the first day I discovered a story about prehistoric mythological gods and their adventures. It sounded like the world’s greatest fairy tale and yet it possessed some kind of mystery that made it feel more real than any other story I had ever heard. The characters were so well defined. Flying through the skies, crossing the world in a flash, causing the thunder and rain, and bringing love and fertility to people while somehow being engaged in a perpetual battle for some righteous cause. It was mainly the Greek, Roman, and Egyptian gods that I was so taken with. Although I was told on many occasions that they were not real, and they were merely imaginary deities who arose out of people’s overactive minds over thousands of years, I began to wonder what the possibilities were that maybe somewhere in the distant past such deities actually existed on Earth. But my history teachers were steadfast in their pronouncement that they were just imaginary characters of simple people who needed something to believe in. Those simple, primitive people must have had great imagination, I thought, saddened by the reality that modern man no longer has such a vivid imagination . . . such detailed imagination . . . such convincing imagination, which could last for thousands of years. But in the Western education system, driven relentlessly by Judeo-Christian monotheistic beliefs, any teacher who would carelessly admit to the possible existence of ancient gods would be rapidly dismissed. That little part--which has firmly held our culture in a stranglehold for 2,000 years--I did not know for some time.
Then one day a small technicality dawned on me: all the great civilizations of the world have their own mythology filled with magnificent gods. It made me wonder how they all heard about these gods. A well informed thirteen-year-old friend of mine provided the answer. “People passed the stories down from one generation to another for thousands of years and that is how they spread all over the world,” he said convincingly. Of course! That is what people did, they told stories to their children and the stories traveled around the world being told by mothers everywhere. That seemed like a plausible solution to me, and I was satisfied for a while. But as the years went by and I started to delve into more juicy literature, I suddenly wasn’t so sure anymore. How is it possible that every civilization around the world had a similar set of gods they prayed to? And the gods did not take thousands of years to reach them; they suddenly appeared out of the blue, taking control of the local humans’ lives and destinies. This seemed to present a logistical problem. Even today, with international flight, with media covering every corner of the world, it is still difficult to get a message across, which people will accept, swallow, and buy in to. People must be really impressed by something to embrace it, or they must be enticed by the promise of reward, or forced by the threat of violence. It is therefore very difficult to swallow modern-day explanations of how the primitive people of the world all got to hear the stories about these fantastical gods.
What makes these assumptions even sillier is that the people of ancient times had no idea who lived 200 miles away from them, let alone 10,000 miles away. How could those amazing stories of majestic gods have traveled such distances? And who was telling those stories to the people 11,000 years ago? Who actually created those stories? It gets even more confusing when we realize that all the ancient cultures had very much the same group of gods they prayed to, feared, made offerings to, were protected by, were punished by, and whom they seemed to have regular contact with. If this sounds strange, let me quickly remind you of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and other biblical legends who had exactly those kind of experiences with their god constantly. It was as if the gods were controlling the people’s lives on a daily basis in ancient history. Is it possible that the gods of the ancient Mesopotamians and Greeks were the same gods of Noah and Abraham? The many descriptions in the Sumerian tablets by kings and priests of their gods are very similar to the descriptions by the biblical characters of god. Let me also ask, why has it been 2,000 years since god has physically appeared before someone of international stature, or anyone else for that matter, and had a conversation with them?
The puzzle of the ancient gods is a crucial element in the quest for our origins. Let’s face it, the insipid explanations of how the primitive people created these gods from their imagination when they were bored thousands of years ago is not plausible; it stinks of our modern-day arrogance. There are simply too many holes, too many incredible coincidences. The most visible coincidence is that all the ancient cultures had virtually the same gods with the same hierarchy. There is always the supreme god responsible for creating the world, his sons and daughters, and their offspring. And in each case the god was incredibly well profiled. The people knew which aspects of their world each god was responsible for, how the gods looked, what they wore, how they traveled, who they married or had kids with, what they liked and disliked, and what offerings to make to them if they were angry. In most cases people even knew where the god actually lived.
The gods were powerful with abilities way beyond human comprehension and yet they looked like humans, ate like humans, and displayed the same emotions--love, hate, loyalty, and anger. This amazing similarity has baffled historians and anthropologists for years. Yet the moment we venture beyond our small-minded outlook, we can begin to recognize the genetic link between humans and their gods.