Ecce Homo (Behold The Man)… My Thoughts
by Jake Block
— Pontius Pilate
I’ve been asked how I think that gods, goddesses and demons have affected and influenced man’s journey along the Left Hand Path, and while I understand the use of metaphor and myth in this, intellectually, I have to conclude that metaphor and myth are the only ways that such beings could be considered in this question, as all such beings were an invention by man who, in his justification for the things he could not in his primitive nature explain or understand, determined them to be within the province of the very beings he had invented.
I see no reason to deal with that much mysticism and anthropomorphism of the conceptual when the reality of existence as a human being can be and often is far more magical than any tale from the mystics. Man’s journey from there to here is a heroic tale that Joseph Campbell could applaud in its duality, its self-metamorphoses and its triumph in the face of daunting odds. It is the ultimate tale of man reaching for godhood and succeeding.
Consider that one of the earliest known humanoid types is Homo Habilis, or “handy man,” who lived about 2.4 million to 1.4 million years ago in Eastern and Southern Africa. In his earliest incarnation, he could barely be distinguished from the apes from which his divergent strain developed in the Early Pleistocene era. Even at this point, the hominid evolution had been progressing toward the evolutionary strain we would one day recognize as “human” for over 1.5 million years, yet from that dim point in history until the time of Homo Habilis, the concept of “god,” as far as we know, had yet to be formed and expressed in the hominid mind. Man was in survival mode, when he had more pressing things to worry about that if “god” cared whether he copulated with female A or female B.
The more complicated man’s existence became, the more questions he had, simply because of his lack of experience and his lack of problem solving skills that, in his primitive state could only be learned by gaining the experience he needed and inventing the technical fixes to the physical problems as they presented themselves. This is exactly what those men who had superior qualities of intellect and logic did, and it was these men and women who dragged man from the primitive to the advanced.
There were, however, other men and women who, even as today, lacked the skills for innovation and invention or the physical ability to advance change. Moreover, they were mentally hamstrung by the fatalistic attitude that if THEY could not solve a problem with their intellect, then certainly no other could, but the truth was that things were being accomplished and change was being affected. If he could not, and collectively THEY could not, then the only logical explanation for them was that there must be some all powerful being that was intervening in the efforts of man.
But man has never needed interventions of the gods, for the gods were inventions of man; tools to be used when needed and stored in a shed, not to be worshipped any more than a hammer or nail. The problems arose in a conflation of reality and myth that, like the innocent lie inculcated on the mother’s knee to become an accepted truth. In the ensuing ages of man, simple acceptance of origin myths and acculturation of their assumed importance in the evolution of primitive man codified into the realms of religion became not only a control mechanism in the religiously enslaved, but the vehicle for a schism between Homo Sapiens (Wise Man) and what I have termed to be Homo Intellectus (Intellectual Man).
Aside from my personal Atheism, I think that the time for gods, goddesses, demons and any other anthropomorphic entities is long past, especially on the Left Hand Path, were we champion individual effort and achievement, with man’s success in life is not dictated by his faith in the gods, but in individual merit. Those who, for whatever reason, think that man is incapable of survival without these relics of the past need only look at how far man has come in a relative galactic blink of an eye. From living in the trees to modern cities around the world, from barely walking upright to standing at the doorstep of space, from dying of the most basic of microbial infections to surviving plagues, rivaling the potential of any mythological “god” one might care to mention.
Homo Intellectus needs nothing from the gods, save their continued role of coddling and controlling the world of men not yet ready to be free in mind and spirit, but children to be guided and assisted, whether they request it or not. My take on it all is that man should bask in the light of the things he has achieved in the world, and own up to the things that, let’s face it, he has blown in his own ignorance and ineptitude. Yet even there, he has the ability in his individual deification to recognize his shortcomings and mitigate against the effects of his folly.
Let those on the Right Hand Path keep their gods, goddesses, demons and angels, for whatever comfort they might glean from their presence in their lives. Those who, even on the Left Hand Path, share that need will at least have them to commiserate with while the rest of us move on smartly to the future.