The mystics of modern world who thrive on humanity’s primitive knack for mysticism often proclaim with utter glory that spirituality is what distinguishes us humans from the animals. But the biological reality of life is, the element of spirituality does not distinguish us from the animal kingdom. Rather it is the extraordinarily unique blend of emotions, creativity and intellect, that sets us apart from the rest of the animal society. This fusion of vivid and varied elements of mental features makes us humans. It makes us a species unlike any other.
There is nothing objectively extraordinary or magical about the mental trait of spirituality. The very term “magic” simply reflects one’s lack of knowledge and understanding of a certain phenomenon. The socially hailed magical element called “spirituality” evolved as a counter-mechanism for the fear of the unknown while we were living in the wild. If we look closely, we can discover the existence of this apparently supernatural, paranormal element in various species other than humans, such as dogs. Dogs are spiritual in their own instinctive knack for sensing life in even inanimate objects. And in this aspect, the humans are not much different.
However, due to the extraordinary advancement of our brain circuits, unlike any other species, the humans quite unconsciously learnt to incorporate spirituality in their daily lives beyond the wildest instincts of all the lifeforms in the world.
Now let’s go back in time. Think about the distant past, when our primitive ancestors were surrounded by the permeating darkness of absolute ignorance. In every walk of life, they encountered something incomprehensible. But irony of Mother Nature was that they had no modern means to satisfy their curious yet childishly immature mind in the face of those enigmatic natural phenomena. Thunderstorm, Earthquake, Volcanoes – all these events sparked nothing but fear in their instinctively driven mind. They were the slaves of Mother Nature, and as such they were tormented in every walk of life by the surrounding harsh environment.
Unlike now, instinct used to get the best of them, back in those days of incessant hardship for survival. Instincts drove their scared mind to forge explanations of paranormal nature our of their fear, anxiety and ignorance. Their mind was immersed in the sea of ignorance, where there was neither a single shred of data available to them, nor they had the brain capacity to comprehend such data. All they could sense with their instinctive mind was the overwhelming abundance of power-play by some sort of force, stronger than them.
Hence, they felt the growing urge to appease that supposed supernatural force with rituals of worship. And they began worshiping all the natural elements of nature, such as stones, hills, trees, lakes, animals and many more, driven by their craving for a sense of security. As such practice grew more prevalent, the brain circuits for such mental trait, began evolving. And slowly their worship of natural elements acquired stronger roots of spirit origin in their mind. Thus they learnt to impose the primordially concocted idea of spirits on various elements of nature. Thus in the mind of early humans, a whole new world of nature spirits was born. In this world, the lakes were home for lake spirits, the trees were home for tree spirits, the rivers were home for river spirits and so on.
Thus evolved the early neurological ground for spirituality, which would later pave the way for the arrival of the modern structure of religion in the human mind. Since then the human brain has evolved a lot, especially in the intellectual domain. However, despite the intellectual development, the early instinctively spiritual sense of a Supernatural Force driving the universe, still prevails in the psyche of the general population. This primitive idea got even more reinforced when a few individuals in the history of humanity publicized their mental union with their preconceived notion of that Almighty Force or Entity. Thus, through misinterpretation of individual experiences of the simple yet subjectively extraordinary mental state of transcendence, the primitive sense of spirituality got psychologically molded into the modern humanized conception of God and Gods.
(This Article was originally published on Goodreads, under the title “Man’s Invention of God)