I’ve recently noticed “as if for the first time” that when people pray they always look “upward” — i.e. perpendicular to whatever place they’re standing — or kneeling or groveling. I deduce that they conceive of their “god” as topologically isomorphic to a huge donut, about a thousand miles wider than Earth.
[Of course, if people ever pray at the north or south poles, this would have to change; then “god” would become isomorphic to a hollow sphere.]
When I raised this issue in a blog recently, Paul Krasner asked “Does this mean that the pledge of allegiance should be changed to ‘one nation inside god’?”
Not necessarily. Although the Bible and Koran always speak of their god as “above,” Christians, Jews and Moslems can either accept what their rituals imply — a donut god — or return to a flat Earth….
Giambatista Vico, “the father of sociology”, suggested in The New Science that Thunder historically underlies the “god” idea; the Noisy Thing roaring in the sky , seemingly in rage, had to be appeased. Sometimes lightning came from that roaring monster, and sometimes lightning killed somebody. Hence Zeus bronnton [Zeus the thunderer], Jupiter, another thunder god; Thor, Donner, whose very name means thunder; etc…. and Yahweh….. and Allah…… Joyce uses this god=thunder equation repeatedly in Finnegans Wake [which drove me to read Vico…]
I have also observed that thunder on the sound-track — signalling oncoming tragedy or horror — appears in films as diverse as those of Orson Welles, James Whale, Howard Hawks, Wes Craven, Monty Python etc etc…. Listen for it and note how bloody often it pops up…… especially in thrillers….
The monotheistic idea implies a cruel and grumpy old electric donut surrounding Earth and ever threatening it.
I think this explains the “structural unconscious” or inarticulate neurosemantics of Bozo, Ariel Sharon and Osama bin Laden equally. They’re all heaping up human sacrifices, as at Stonehenge, to Him Who Thunders From On High.