We worship things- ideas, people, stuff- only when we simultaneously feel both a need and a lacking; when we grasp at objects that we can no more create than appreciate.
--Sensation becoming fear becoming compulsion becoming vulnerability becoming religion, becoming economics, &c.--
We reason that by paying some daily homage to some idol or habit, for some promise of salvation, that we can appease the Gods- spirits, chance, employers, husbands, wives, colleagues, neighbors, children, bathroom mirrors and scales- and convince them to remain steadfast and nearby with a shoulder for us to cry on, assuring us that we're both beautiful and real; so that they won’t leave us stranded and alone with only ourselves for support and stimulation.
We offer them prayers and chants and sacrifices, we do them favors, create rules and coercions of Morality. We create elaborate stories that are passed down through generations so as to not anger the sun and tempt heat’s removal; so as to not upset the moon and tempt the absence of slumber; so as to not disturb the clouds, lakes and streams and tempt the withholding of rain; all of these things required for sustenance, comfort and the escape from madness.
From that first gasp of air passing impotently over the gils and onto the torn and terrified face of some slick and slithering creature, coughed up out of the ocean to begin the decomposition of Life on land, came the introduction of yearning and the primal fear of having had and lost; and the compulsion toward never, ever, letting that happen again.
On our knees each day we pray for salvation so that we may not suffer an eternity of cold, lonely, nothingness; without heat and oxygen, shelter, and piles and piles of sacred shit; we sacrifice animals, human and beast alike, and agree to automatic withdrawals so that Zeus and AEP will leave the lights on, the power coming down the lines.
And each fantasy once attained, each fear once relegated, is abandoned in favor of new ones; and the selfsame cycle of prayer and sacrifice, contribution, diversification and budget allocation can have a greater impact on securing future comforts- more bang for our homage buck, so to speak, a higher probability of moving the needle, scaling by an order of magnitude, a force multiplier, et cetera and so on. All manner of rhetoric and vocabulary applied to changing evolutionary contexts, no longer cutting up virgins and smearing goat blood, falling to our knees and chanting Our Fathers, but rather maintaining minimum balances and credit scores, dressing the part, building strong professional networks and padding resumes all heavily reliant on new gods powered by combustion and current, the sun and moon and streams no longer worried about and prayed for, taken largely for granted, in favor of monthly tithes for gas and electric, water and sewage, cable, internet, espresso machines, microwave ovens, wine cellars with temperature control, jewelry, golf clubs et al.
Why fear the random and uncertain fluctuations of the universe when they can be seemingly commandeered through science, currency manipulation, debt re-structuring, rhetoric, advertising, spin, politics and complete disregard; directed and harnessed at will, subdivided, allocated, cordoned off and capitalized upon to squeeze every last fraction of margin dry; a franchising of the pearly gates- the commodification of Eden, the apple eaten and the fall from grace at an affordable price, open 10am to midnight, see store for details, restrictions do apply.
The omnipotent response of invisible, unknowable, Gods, no longer profitable in the face of property rights and tort law; the anger of the Gods having very little impact on whether or not you have enough of what I want to encourage me to open my locked gates. The millions of year old fight or flight response giving way to the frantic land grab of reason and permanence; advantage and comfort; resources, access, and privacy; needs giving way to wants as feelings of security are relegated to the luxury of conjecture.
We no longer needed food or shelter, we needed money; we no longer needed justice, we needed a lawyer. We traded journeys for commutes and travel for vacations, degrees for education and promotions for experience. Thirty million years of central nervous system evolution disregarded and overlooked in favor of adolescent reason. The geologically recent emergence of rationality the holy trinity du jour, replete with false prophets, quacks, evangelists, pseudo-scientists and well-meaning and dastardly experts alike, popping up in all manner of roadside stand and corporate mega-plex hawking elixirs and futures and schemes and certainties under the umbrella of analysis, data mining and economic models. All predicated on nothing more than assumption and statistical tools being crafted and manipulated into believable narratives that would be borne out over time like prayers and tea leaves and fortune tellings.
Anything could be proven with mathematics and science just so long as you studied, passed the test and believed!
How could anyone think otherwise?
Off with their heads!