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We can kill our own dependency on gods inside us and let ourselves free of them, at least of the earthly ones


October 9, 2006

There is a huge social problem that causes other social problems. The root cause is often neglected but the results are out there to see. And here I am especially talking about the Middle East. This huge social problem is god-dependency. Take some time and reflect on this and it may not seem that distant an issue even for Iranian-Americans, who are more independent-minded and secular.

Many peoples are socially and culturally (due to centuries or millennia of non-practical education, or lack of any appropriate education at all) inept to be the masters of their own fates and lives, so they always try to resort to one God or the other, or a combination of them. This social problem is present in almost any people, though much stronger in some and weaker in others. Probably Arabs and all Muslims are highly god-dependent, while East Asians may be the least god-dependent. Americans have a different view of God, one who has much smaller interference in everyday life, but who is wrathful at times.

This problem of god-dependency is not just about the one and only God we usually refer to. It's more about a Psyche of gods, which is not written or accepted as such, but it is practiced with utmost care and adherence. For centuries and even beyond Muslim peoples have had to deal with various gods, who at times brought satisfaction and joy to the masses, and at times betrayed their expectations.

God-dependent peoples even feel the need to have several gods, who are more or less approachable, powerful, or dependable. This type of culture goes back far beyond Islam, Christianity, or probably even Judaism. It's been common for a long time to have one almighty and distant powerful God who never dies, another one who will appear in the future and will tidy up the world for the suffering ones, and another one who is in power now at some place for some people.

A few examples may clear up things a little bit. There have been times for Iranians when they had all these three gods together and there have been other times when they did not. And Iranians, being so scattered around, speaking various languages and having different habits, often had one or two of these gods different from one another. But I think it's okay to assume that Iranians' last serious man-god was Khomeini. The only almighty God has always been there ever since accepting Islam (Sunni at first, Shia later).

Ever since becoming Shia, Iranians have had the future god in the person of Mahdi, the twelfth Imam. Khomeini was the last man whose earthly authority could not be questioned, whose face was seen by people on the surface of the moon, and whose abilities were recited by various believers to have been miraculous. Khomeini's devotees could do unimaginable things, among which giving up their lives at Khomeini's will, without questioning or doubting.

Doubting the man-god's decision was considered a sin, a shame, a disgrace, and nevertheless a dangerous undertaking for the unbelievers who happened to be among the many believers. Iranians even had more than usual babies born simply because Khomeini told them so.

Let's give examples of Arabs. Arabs have had so many gods of their own. The latest one is Bin Laden. That's no doubt, but because of Bin Laden's unfavourable surroundings, he is unable to exert the influence Khomeini did.

One really hilarious thing I recently discovered was that Ahmadinejad seems to be that one man-god for some Arabs. But he's not much of a deal in Iran. Iranians have just had quite a disappointment with their recent man-god they probably still remember the lessons and are less amenable to man-gods and quite suspicious, for now.

Why to say all this? Well, we can compare why Westerners, and Far-Easterners are doing well, while Middle-Easterners are not. Because Middle-Easterners are the last large number of people who are still waiting for gods to do things (miracles) for them. They haven't yet learned to entrust themselves and take care of their own lives and futures. And this is a serious problem indeed.

Gods are not dead. They never die as a concept, because there is always one who is out there watching, one who will come in the future, and one earthly one who presents himself as the only able man of the wrathful God who is here to solve problems. But we can kill our own dependency on gods inside us and let ourselves free of them, at least of the earthly ones.

The only non-man God is harmless as long as he is not represented by a man-god on earth. And the future god (Jesus, Messiah, Mahdi and several other less known ones) is okay, though the Israeli-Palestinian issue can, to some extent, be blamed on his presence, or actually his perceived presence on people's minds.

It's a good start to try to face this weakness within ourselves and accept the fact that God has given us enough powers and resources to be able to do things without a need for any man-god, or dictator in one simple modern word. Comment


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Ben Madadi



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