Friday, April 7, 2017

When Gods Leave

Do the Gods need your worship to exist? 

This question  really intrigued me. There were some accounts that the Gods need people's prayers and worship to exist. Though there are some people who would say that the Gods do not need their worship to exist. 

The worship of Gods evolved through time. In the ancient past, things that cannot be explained by human's intellect become the Gods. These are the heavenly bodies like the sun, that provide heat and life. The ancients also discover the influence of the moon in the movement of the tide, and it also became a deity. Most of the gods in the ancient time are from the forces that moves the world- the sun, the wind, moon, the sea, etc. The Gods then became anthropomorphic, given a human form in the cultures that came next. Ancient Rome once believed in the Numina, the divine presence. The divinity that embodies the forces in the universe, until this divine presence was "humanized" and became the Gods of the Roman Pantheon that we know and loved. 

The worship of the Gods also evolved overtime. In the ancient time, when the Gods have physical manifestations that people see, they would just look up to the sky and pray to the Sun. There are sacred sites allocated to the worship of these deities. There are sacred springs and rivers, a holy grove in the forest, a cave where people go to leave offerings and libations to the Gods. When the Gods were given human forms and faces and the worship became established, temples were already erected in these sites. Priests were also needed to do the "full-time" job to tend the shrines and take care of the divine. The worship was also changed, as the rites and rituals already started to have more theatrics and drama. Compared to the worship in the ancient times which is simpler and very personal, it became more of a group activity when the services were done in temples. Religious rites become more of a social gathering rather than a personal communion with the divine. 

Going back to the question that the Gods need worship to exist, this probably depends on the God in question. Of course, some people would say that the sun or the earth can exist even if there's no one worshiping it.  Love, Peace, Mercy, can exist even though the Gods that embody them are not worshiped anymore. But is it really true that the these forces can exist even though the deity embodying them is not known? 

My opinion about this is, without knowing the name or the deity that governs these forces or guards these sites, we are just looking at them like ordinary things or places. For example, if nobody knows or acknowledge the existence of the god of a specific river, people would look at that river as just a body of water. A sacred spring wont be sacred anymore, if nobody knows or would believe that a Goddess dwells on that site. The place becomes "dead" and people who are sensitive to these things would feel that there is something missing. Sometimes in these places, people would feel a lingering presence and sensitives may feel that this site is sacred. For me, the Gods would still be there even forgotten, lingering and waiting to be remembered. The problem would be with the people who are not aware that they are there. They can observe that the place is dying or just feels that something is off. 

They say Gods do not die, they just cease to exist until such time that one seeking soul will discover them again.

                                                            Source: LupaSola - DeviantArt

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