The following depiction is completely fictional and the characters therein are also completely fictional. Any resemblance to characters living or deceased is purely coincidental.
We live in a world of fast information, cliches, answers that are fed to us on plate and doctrines and traditions handed down to us since we were created from the dust of the earth, this is an inevitable juxtapose unforeseen to our predecessors. We have access to videos of moon landings and video game walk throughs, recipes for almost every dish on earth and self help videos on how to get the perfect eye shadow for that party you are going to attend on Friday at the “Golden Dragon” Chinese restaurant on that country road heading out of town.
In the beginning, man was made from the earth, and our partner was fashioned from a rib taken from that first man Adam. She was Eve. Ever since that day that God that scooped up the earth, we have been in a state of holy deadlock.. oh I mean wedlock., but we have also been in an existentialist battle to understand ourselves, why we are here and who put all this together. why are we born and more importantly, why do we die?
Yes, that’s right.. I think it’s more important to wonder why we die? What is the necessity, if god created us, for us to die? I am about to be macho and tell you, I am not afraid to die, I understand it is coming, I know, just like my next meal, I must have it, I must engage in it. I do not want to die slowly and painfully or in utter terror, however, I know I will and I am of the mind that when I do, it will be the end of me. I will not go to a place where my relatives are waiting, their souls gathered in paradise, instead I will cease to function, in the same way a laptop does when its hard drive eventually gives up.
Do I value myself so little? Goodness, no, I love being alive, in fact I might say that because I do not live in the comfort of an afterlife, I live more than those who think there is something else coming after death. In fact I wonder, as we have a perception of heaven with our family, when your soul reaches heaven, how old would your presence be? i mean, say I remember my grandparents in their heyday as grandparents , during their 50s, would they be that person when I reach even or would for example my grandmother be the old, sick , dementia ridden shell that she was when I last saw her. if little Sarah dies at 5, is her soul commended to heaven to be perpetuated at that age?
This is just a jovial poke at the idea of our perceptions of heaven and what religion leaves unanswered. I looked at Adam and God, on that painted ceiling by Michelangelo and the things that struck me quite immediately were that Adams hand resembled that of an alpha ape, such as a chimpanzee, offering his hand for a lower ape to give submission, this would be totally wrong in the context of our understanding, yet, if you pay attention to the cloud or shell in which God is floating, you see that it resembles the shape of a human skull or moreover, human brain. This made me very curious, why is Adam accepting God, and why is he contained in the shell of a human head or brain? Also if you don’t mind to humour me, why is God a he? God could be as in the Buddhist style, very androgynous.
Did Michelangelo intend this suggestion or is it just my imagination recreating the tooth fairy and the sandman all over again? If I can imagine the link between the paining and the relationship of Adam and God, is it not equally plausible that others might elaborate thoughts on similar ideas and eventually we are “religious”.
It will be obvious by now that I am an atheist I suppose. I am not here to mock religion, I am not given over to the supposition that I am smarter than religious people, in fact, my mind is open to proof, but I will need more proof than merely the threat of God punishing me for non belief, that is for cows and sheep in the field and perhaps they have a god too.
So I go to a wonder latin phrase “Cogito ergo sum” which is over cooked, super cliched and probably used by every quasi philosopher that roamed the middle earth, yet, this simple line, this totalitarian sentence, describes consciousness in its very essence.
I think… therefore I am.. it actually means (dare I interpret?) that, if we were to break down the existence we have, we could prove by the thoughts we have that we are conscious and aware of ourselves, we cannot prove the physical, our mind could make it all up… but hark, what light through yonder window breaks, it is my brain in a jar, using its matter to think. The problem in this line of deduction is actually non existent unless you wish to move away from the pure mental aspect. if we isolate our minds and say, Ok, I’m a being made entirely of thought, completely alone, then what of the universe, what of everything I see and interact with? Is It all made up? If it is all made up by me, and everything is illusion, then am I not God, or rather was Descartes not God?.. in his own reality…
So, is Michelangelo, portraying consciousness in his beautiful painting? It seems to me that he painted a brain and he says that God comes to Adam from that brain and the hand signals are resemblant of apes master and submissive behaviour, yet it would then mean that Adam is master, offering his turned down fingers and God is the submissive, as if reaching out to become part of man.
Ok so you have guessed it, this is not about painting ceilings, I have a few at home and they will be difficult for me even in one colour, this is about consciousness, Descartes’ over used philosophical literary summary, which cliches a person who studied the stars, the world, mathematics and physics and whom was the modern pivotal voice of philosophy.
Do we think? Do we accept doctrines passed to us because if we don’t, we go to hell, or our community shuts us out or we are punished by mans laws derived from the same ideals? Or do we independently think and feel and derive our own conclusion, free from the sticky grease of peer pressure in whatever form it adopts.
We love to think we are individuals, but I think we are not. We love thinking that we have a God, but I doubt if you will have chosen the right one of about 50.. and when you die, you will have felt the pressure all your life of assuring yourself that you followed the “only” god and that you will have your place in heaven.
How can so many religions be right? Then, how can so many people simply believe what they are told, like sheep? In fact In Christianity, they have a flock and a shepherd.. in other religions they use fear and oppression to maintain their followers, but at the end of it all, its just another religion claiming ownership, power, right to punish, piety, love and warmth.
God is not touching Adam, Adam I think is touching God. Without mans consciousness God would not exist, .. ask a cat if it’s sunni, shea, catholic, protestant, zen or whatever .. It will lick its butt and carry on with it’s day..