GOD OR THE FORCES THAT GOVERN THE UNIVERSE
When we reflect upon mankind’s evolution, we see that weapons have continually become more sophisticated and that nowadays there are arms of mass-destruction. We also see that continually a smaller percentage of the world population has gotten hold of a larger percentage of all available resources, thus increasing the tension between the different groups of people and between them and their environment. Therefore, we can come to the conclusion that a society that doesn’t live in harmony, like ours, is eventually bound to destroy itself.
It is the most important lesson mankind has to learn. It does not mean that we are bound to destroy ourselves, but that to guarantee our survival we must put an end to our conflicts and therefore discover why we have conflicts with the other people and with our environment.
Whereas our intellectuals – scientists, philosophers, politicians, theologians – ignore this, Genesis, which is at the origin of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, recognizes this reality: 10 generations after putting an end to harmony (Paradise), our ancestors almost completely destroyed themselves (the Great Flood). Since Genesis says our ancestors put an end to harmony by eating a forbidden fruit, we have a good reason for studying this book: asking why we have conflicts is the same as asking what the forbidden fruit refers to.
Genesis is a book of wisdom. It encourages us to ask questions whose answers lead to new questions, and this dynamic enables us to discover its secrets and reflect upon mankind’s true nature. Its main protagonist is God or the forces that govern the universe. With God’s main characteristic being the principle of cause and effect, the belief in God is really the belief in the principle of cause and effect.
Whereas the ultimate effect of not living in harmony is mankind’s self-destruction, its ultimate cause was a change in people’s diet: Adam and Eve were vegetarians before they ate the forbidden fruit. Eating the forbidden fruit made our ancestors get a bad understanding of God. Whereas, a bad understanding of the forces that govern the universe – not seeing all the consequences of our behavior – divides people, a good understanding of the forces that govern the universe – seeing all the consequences of our behavior – brings people back together.
The fact that a society that doesn’t live in harmony is eventually bound to destroy itself, teaches us that we are all on the same boat, and if that sinks, all people – rich and poor, good and bad, believers and non-believers – will perish. Therefore, we should not only care for our own wellbeing (material and spiritual), but also for the wellbeing of all the others. When we believe in God, we believe that there is a reason why people are poor, or sick, or evil. We thus realize that we are able to help them.
When we understand God – when we see all the consequences of our behavior –, we realize that it is better not to do to others what is hateful to us. ‘How’ we achieve our objectives is very important. When we do not respect certain rules – do not kill, do not steal, do not lie, etc. – we will sooner or later suffer the consequences. The end never justifies the means.