This is a basis of a story I am writing but first a bit of history about where I began.

I remember that I was in 4th grade and my teacher asked, 'What do you think about god?' to everyone. Everyone said a few lines about how god was the power and the giver the provider and stopped. When it was my turn to speak, I was a little nervous initially but then I said, 'I don't believe in god'. My teacher was horrified, the next half hour was spent trying to explain to me that I was an atheist and it was a disease that I should get myself cured . At the end of that session I felt much happier as if I swam the length of a river against the current. More years passed with such discussions being a regular part of my life. My parents saw to their horror me turning into a anti-god monster but they consoled themselves with the belief that I would someday get over it.

I didn't give much thought to Atheism except that it was the only truth to me. But that changed when someone who considered himself religious came to me and said, "You have a point but I still believe in God" during one of the usual discussions. It all seemed to make sense to me, why god exists and this story started unfolding.Here's a rough summary of the first part of the story.

It is the pre-historic era, man has just learnt to create fire and progress was the fastest that had been in humanity. Halem enjoyed his supremacy as the leader of their tribe, he was the fearless warrior who could slay mighty beasts without assistance from the rest of the pack. He had his own set of tools that he created for hunting, tools that everyone tried to imitate but could not make them work the way Halem did. For years he led the tribe to prosperity, he was growing old now but none of the young men could match his skill. He was the unchallengeable leader. But that would soon change.

It was the hot season and prey was scarce but this year it was different, prey was almost impossible to find. They were facing the worst drought they had ever faced. The lack of water and food started claiming the people of the tribe one by one. The strongest men formed secret groups and started hunting on their own and secretly provided their families with food. The remaining looked up to their leader who had no answers. Secretly he was worried about a rebellion against him, but he hoped that the drought would be over soon and they could go back to their normal life. The drought would be over but their life would not be the same.

Amaran was feeling weak with lack of food, he felt he would die and with this thought he passed into painful sleep. In a dream he saw a herd of cattle being slaughtered and food everywhere, but when he tried to eat, he just couldn't swallow. He woke up and realized it was a dream but to him it cleared everything. The next morning he called up everyone in the village and announced, he had found out the reason for their misery. He told everyone that it was told to him by the creator of the world.

This of course confused people, everyone knew that creator could not talk, the creator was the nature that they could not understand. The creator had no form, the creator had always been and was there neither for good nor for bad. But what Amaran said changed it. Amaran said the creator told him that they were being punished for wasting the excess food. They had to sacrifice food that they had wasted and things will return to normal. Amaran was playing a huge gamble, which could take his life if he was proven false. Amaran also told people where the creator visited everyday to watch them, it was on top of the mountain towards the east. Someone suggested they should meet the creator and plead for mercy. Everything made sense to people now, Amaran was right, it was their fault. They had brought this to themselves.

Amaran told them sternly, to never go near the mountain. The creator did not concern himself with worldly people and that he had chosen him to bring forth his message. Amaran himself believed now that it was the creator talking through him and the dream he had seen was a message. Their would have to be sacrifice, after every third sunrise, they had to kill an animal which he would deliver to the creator and the ritual began.

Many people of the tribe laughed at Amaran and his followers but the laughter was left hollow by the hunger and the pain. It was 76 sunrises from the day that Amaran had told the people about the creator that it rained and it rained hard, the plains were green once again and new forms of life surfaced from everywhere. No one could suspect Amaran now, he was their saviour.

The rise of Amaran did not go well with Halem, who was reduced to a common hunter, he was no longer their leader. He decided to confront Amaran and show people that Amaran wasn't who he claimed to be. Amaran was resting in his hut when Halem dragged him out and shouted "Is this your saviour, do you think he can save you? Let us see if he can save himself". With those words he put his spear through him. Amaran was dying, he called his son and marked his forehead with blood. He said, "You shall serve the creator now, I have carried his message and now you shall do it". Turning to Halem, he said, "You have brought misfortune upon you by disrespecting the creator, you shall face his wrath- the creator who is GOD". As he looked at the faces around him, he knew Amaran was much more powerful than he had imagined, he could not imagine living among these people who had god on their side.

As Halem put the spear through his own heart, god was born.

A second ritual was started. Every 76 sunrises, a Halem had to be sacrificed so they could please the creator who was their god and Amaran's son pledged to spread the message of god so they could never falter again.

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Comment by Reverend Slim / Michael Ham on November 27, 2008 at 7:08am
Ravi...Of course, god WAS a creation of man. The most important point made in your essay is that of the power of the intermediaries...the ones who can communicate with god. I think this is an often overlooked aspect of religion. The power of god as a method of control of the people was actually more of an issue of WHO had the ability to communicate with god(s) more so than the power of god... a concept of political power.

The problem of how to maintain this control was foremost in the minds of the political powers as the "one god, with whom direct personal communication is possible" concept gained foothold.

The whole topic of religious history is very interesting, particularity, as far as I am concerned, the relationship of religion and political power. Thanks for your essay...well done.
Comment by Ravi on November 27, 2008 at 6:58am
That's an interesting idea, actually I was thinking of bringing the story from prehistory to now, but that will take quite some time, a lot of research into the evolution of religion. The basic idea is, religion evolved like humans did, every generation 'improves' it and makes it harder and harder to get out of the theist trap but that process is slowed down by the clashes between the religions themselves. If we were living in a 1 religion society atheism would not be tolerated as is the case with countries with a single major religion. I consider secularism as a protection from religious fanatics.
Comment by Ravi on November 27, 2008 at 6:28am
The story is entirely metaphorical and it's fiction. It is a oversimplified version of one of the reasons for existence of god. It means: 'God did not create us, we created god'. The Halems today are the people who have lesser rights because they don't believe in a god, it refers to the people that get killed in extremist violence, it's about people being harassed for centuries for not following someone else's hallucinations. The Amaran's are the religous leaders who have power over us in some ways. This is a very shortened version of what I had in mind therefore it makes the comparisons a little unclear. So yes it needs a lot of expansion (explanation).
Comment by Ravi on November 27, 2008 at 5:53am
I think the tag matches the spirit of the article which is about your truth and their truth. If you look around, you will find plenty of Halems and the frequency is lesser than 76 days so I guess that tradition has continued.



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