Alfred de Grazia: Man's divine mirror
Bust of Alfred de Grazia in clay, by Spanish sculptor Evelio Delgado Gomez (1953-1991). Evelo was born in San Miguel de Abona, on the island of Teneriffe. He was awarded First Prize in the Art for Humanity Foundation, James Wilbur Johnston Competition in Washington, D.C. in 1985. He worked at the Seward Johnson Atelier in Trenton, N.J. for eight years, until his death, a victim of AIDS, in Trenton, only two weeks after casting the bust in bronze. It was his last work. Evelio has a street to his name in San Miguel de Abona.
Man’s moral record in religion is largely unacceptable, whether to humans or to gods, if such exist. No anthropologist, philosopher, or theologian is pleased with it. It has been continuously expurgated and in parts expunged, to make it look better than it is. To little avail. It still appears as total theomachy: a struggle of man against god, god against man, man against man in the name of gods, and man against his divine self.
From: The Divine Succession - a science of gods old & new
No god is the same to any two people, nor to any two sects. This is a psychological fact, akin to saying that no two people share the same experience. It would be a more definitive statement if the gods existed in no other realm except the minds of people. It also relates to the fact that no two delusions or hallucinations are alike, although especially when a group happens to hallucinate the same image - an angel, say, or unidentified flying object - the description may be close, and when a mass of separate hallucinations is analyzed statistically, one does obtain averages and types.
When two people discuss a similar religious experience - a visual revelation of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, say - one can statistically adumbrate shared social and psychic features of the people that tend to qualify them for the experience, such as a deficient formal education, erratic and disturbed personal backgrounds, and so on. Cases where a team of scientific observers, warned and trained to be objective, are rushed to the scene to corroborate the vision are rare.
Even were such to occur, the new (and probably negative) evidence would have to be dismissed on grounds that the preparation for objective identification would necessarily incapacitate the team to share the experience. If the two people had seen a monster in the Sewanee River and called it a dragon and the team had hastened in with cameras and nets, an alligator of a certain size might be captured and the vision placed upon a firm scientific footing. It would not be surprising, then, if the original viewers claimed an improper identification, insisting that the wrong creature had been snared. Whereupon psychologists would once more be called upon.
That gods are often snares and delusions must be admitted. Yet the occurrence of the delusions, we have implied, takes on patterns evocative of actual events and of common mechanisms of the analyzed human mind. Natural expressions of high energy occur in cometary approaches to Earth, deluges of water and other material from the skies, anomalous intensifications of heat and cold by conflagration or sudden icing on a large scale, simultaneous large scale volcanism, and otherwise. Much evidence goes to show more of such catastrophes in ancient and prehistoric times than over the past 2500 years.
We say that the more frequent these occurrences and the greater their intensity, the more that gods appear and the more religious humanity becomes. If these be called gods insofar as they are apparitions and because of their enormous effects, then there is a real historical reason why mankind once was much more religious than now. Geology and archaeology can demonstrate (with much more research than they are inclined to provide) the actual basis for enhanced early religion. Psychology and the history of religion can show how the religious mind has expectedly peaked in these actual stress periods and subsided when the strains relaxed.
Practically all historians of religions and renowned modern theologians have accepted evolutionary theories of cultural development in describing religious history. Even Henri Bergson who spoke of a "discontinuous evolution which proceeds by bounds" saw this progressive achievement of higher forms of behavior against the backdrop of an unchanging natural scenery. To all of such thinkers, religion must have progressed out of a rational advancement of humanity (even though Bergson credits mysticism with innovation in religion). That is, rationally evolving man creates ever more rational religion.
Without correcting the human mental infrastructure, they have placed an ever heavier superstructure upon man, not knowing that when man has assumed the burden of what they term rational behavior, it is because natural conditions have allowed him to do so, and that this happened as much or more during the Golden Age of Saturn as during any period of modern times. Apes have not become smarter; horses have not; how should man have done so without a proven physiological alteration of his mind?
If one wishes to animate the ancient apparitions (metaphorically or delusionally) and assign the fantastically great natural events to interventions of the gods, defining gods as "whatsoever can produce such effects," and further goes on to distinguish and assign gods to the different effects of, say, air, fire, water, and earth, there can be no logical objection. So long as one does not proceed beyond the evidence to impute motives, make misleading classification, and imagine an organization of the cosmos, none of which can be even partly demonstrated, the gods of nature can be said to exist as truly as "democracy" or an "infinite regression series."
Here is where mankind gets into trouble with the scientific authorities of anthropology and psychology: it assigns a great many undemonstrable qualities to the gods and spirits. Then, hardly pausing, it fashions such qualities into a mirror of man, which like the mirror in the fairy tale of Snow White, so long as Snow White is dead, always tells the Queen that she is the most beautiful. The mirror lies.
We can make two principal statements and several dependent propositions about the Divine Mirror of Man: first, all human qualities are found among the gods; second, divine organization portrays a reorganization of the human mind.
To demonstrate that every human quality has been sometime, somewhere, and even frequently, a divine quality requires hardly more than a list of references on the history of religion and anthropology. Let the reader make the test himself; let him try to think of any human action or trait, no matter how trivial or significant, which a god does not exhibit. The humans build a great tower to reach the sky. Very well, the gods have already their sky-topping mountains, their cosmic trees, their pillars of heaven, and many sacred paths by which souls can ascend and angels descend. When the constructions threaten the gods, the gods destroy them. So it happened with the giants who piled Ossia upon Pelion to reach Zeus, who, however, overthrew everything, and as happened with the Tower of Babel, which the Hebrew Lord sent crashing by lightning and quaking.
But this is a sublime challenge, someone may object; an ordinary act is not divine, for example, excretion. But urine is a word from Uranus who copiously watered the earth in earliest times; and gold is the excrement of the gods to some people, perhaps remembering vaguely an exoterrestrial fall-out of the precious metal.
Is the god assembled anthropomorphically? The implication, even when not stated explicitly in sacred scriptures and legend, is that all of the traits of the divine do amount to a creature not unlike man. That Elohim created man in his or their image is, of course, a direct statement of the Hebrew Genesis, and if one were to compose a physiological mosaic from all references to Yahweh, the mosaic would evolve to look like Moses and act like him, including how Moses would like to have acted.
The Divine Mirror, it seems, is more perfect than the gazer. For it contains all of his qualities and all of his dreams and desires. Sometimes these are contradictory, but the mirror finds a solution. It may show a god with devilish features, or a god who is both female and male. Does it ever show a god who is both brave and fearful? Often; despite the fact that fear creates gods who are afraid of other gods, afraid of themselves, or mistrustful of their worshiper, this last being a kind of fear that drives gods (as it does men) to excesses of all kinds. So, indeed did the Lord behave toward Job, when the Devil drove him to be suspicious of his devoted and good worshipper.
In an early work, C. J. Jung wrote an Answer to Job where, brilliantly but in a fundamentally naïve form, he hints that man is too clever for God. "It were better," however, "not to wax too conscious of this slight moral superiority over the more unconscious God." One notes the marvellous schizoid behavior of the human, Job, when he is trying to control God. The making of the ambivalent god and then the controlling of him becomes the greatest work of man.
God suspects and is jealous of the game that man is playing, a contradiction-in-contradiction, mirror in a mirror in a mirror, contra-contra-contradiction, which the schizoid can continue indefinitely, always one step ahead of God. In the story of Job, one finds the full range of schizophrenic conduct, including the creation of the Lord as the preferred instrument for working out human delusions. I trace the schizotypical character of the human race in other books.
Significantly, wherein lies at least his early naïveté, Jung separately focuses his research upon Job and then upon schizophrenia. In the story of Job and God, we even locate a tendency of humans to make of gods what they would make of themselves if they could, a kind of unreflective healthy instinctive animal, rid of the curse of self-awareness - though this same self-awareness is the only true mark of the human and the source of god as mirror of man.
Usually, it is declared that the gods are not like man, because they possess an infinity of virtues. But who is to say what is virtue, except man-bound-in-culture? And what are the traits that appear infinite in the Divine Mirror but extensions of the valued traits of mankind. Even philosophers, and certainly theologians, submit to the dictates of mirroring when they accept the challenge of defining gods, and thereupon they say god is omni-this and omni-that: omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnicreative, omnivalent, all-loving, absolutely just, and so on, settling, to be sure, on precisely those qualities that man has and wants much more of: power, respect, affection, wealth, skill, and knowledge.
To win a debate over whether all divinity that man can know is anthropomorphic hardly needs empirical evidence. So logical is the proposition, that it is probably a tautology. That is, granted that man can only know by an extension of himself, the self becomes the model of the real, and no trait can be imagined that is not already present in humanity. Therefore, in the anthropocentric sense, all divinity must be anthropomorphic.
In the days when gods were rampaging upon the Earth, theology was close to the disaster-ridden life of the people, naming and describing the fulsome operations of the divine forces, transmitting direct commands from above, concocting rites, and letting out the chains of fear carefully into sublimatory and practical behavior.
When the gods remove themselves somewhat, the chains are slackened. Language, symbols, and myth are allowed to bury memories deeper. Religion becomes less depictive and denotative, more general and abstract. Finally, philosophy is freed to play about the sacred and rationalize the cosmos. The gods of the philosophers are mirrored. "An otiose God, then, surveying unmoved 'this dusty, fuliginous chaos, ' is the residuum of all this furious apostrophising." So wrote once Frederic Harrison.
We find that the most ancient people - and we are not told how - knew that the planet Jupiter had bands and the planet Saturn had rings. Probably they witnessed them directly and more closely than at any time until the year 1659 A. D., when scientists observed them by telescope. By the time of Plato, several centuries before Christ, this knowledge was perhaps only present in legend, and was part of the legend that has the god Zeus Jupiter overthrowing his father, the god Kronos-Saturn, and binding him to prevent his return to power (and thus bring further destruction upon the world). The knowledge comes to us via the works of the platonic philosopher, Proclus, eight hundred years later (ca. 410-1485 A. D.).
Proclus, in startlingly clear language, but philosophical language, tells us that Jupiter, mighty and powerful, the supreme intellect of the universe, bringer of law and order to the world, asserts his own reason upon the world by putting the also perfect intellect of Saturn under bonds. Then, because Jupiter is logical and just, he binds himself, too, so that he also will be subject to his own ordering principles.
As I proceeded elsewhere to trace the development, the statements of Proclus exemplify how a primordial real experience becomes anaesthetized by its traumatic effects on humans; it is forgotten as direct experience. Yet it is remembered obsessively in the form of a religious creation legend, and then the suppressed memory and the legend are sublimated one more step into philosophy, where they are used to express concepts of divine rule and natural law. The new ideas still give relief to the deep hidden anxieties over the horrible warfare of the gods, and they promote respect for human government and laws, which, it is said, are and should be modelled upon the behavior of the gods.
The nature of the gods is geared into the nature of religious organization. The jealous Yahweh of Moses was not the syncretistic Yahweh of Solomon; nor was the charismatic-leader-led, tribal, confederational, religious organization closely similar to the imperial, bureaucratic, secular-dominated, religious organization of Solomon. Forms of religious organization have been many, no two quite alike as we are prone to say. This, too, is a Mirror of Man. From the organization of spirits-shaman-tribal culture to the organization of the Holy-Trinity-priesthood-Roman Catholic world religion, variation is endless.
The descent of secular organizations from theocratic ones is well marked. For instance, the 13th century forms of political representation in England and elsewhere owed much to the representative convocations of the Dominican Order of the centuries preceding. Where not well-delineated, the lines of descent are concocted. In the 17th century, the Stuart line of England was "demonstrated" to go back to Adam, the First Man, and the divine right of monarchy was sustained. We might begin at the earliest age, and go on for many pages listing the religious structural forms and their secular descendants.
Suffice to say here that the secular forms, so far removed from the primordial religious ones, are nevertheless still "sky-struck." Stars and totems adorn their banners; the right and the left factions stem from the Saturnian Throne in the sky; the official secular calendars are largely religious in origin; the American dollar portrays ancient Egyptian cosmology; parades, processions, decorations, robes and a multitude of rituals precede and accompany officers even after they swear an oath, in which "So help me God" may be absent, but the pledge is as symbolically complete and solemn.
Celestially or mundanely, man is operating with the same mental mechanisms and their external social extrusions. Symbolizing, displacements, identifications, memory, obsession, cognitive disorders, aversion to others - these psychic movements (were they not mostly unconscious, they would be called maneuvers or tactics) are all directed at handling fearfulness, and function in both religious and secular contexts. They are expressed in habitual, orgiastic, catatonic, and sublimatory behavior, which again have religious and secular counterparts.
The reader may have remarked that these mechanisms and expressions are schizoid and, if practiced in full conflict with the customs of one's group, would amount to a full-blown case of schizophrenia. The human is naturally schizotypical - I call him homo sapiens schizotypus elsewhere - whether speaking of religious man or secular man; when an individual diverges from the peculiar schizotypicality of his culture, he is identified as schizophrenic.
We would stress how much our view contrasts with the conventional approach, which analyzes the human as a rational individual with egoistic impulses who is struggling to reconcile these with social or altruistic demands. The distinction between self and society is itself a socially imposed distinction as it is presented, say, by Henri Bergson or the English utilitarians (whom he assails). The distinction is ex post facto. The factum is the schizotypical mechanisms mentioned above. These are what set into motion the operating religious and secular person. The "social" is immediately part of the person; it arises from the original gestalt of creation of the human species, and in the birth and development of every person thereafter. The experience of all peoples has been generally the same, intense ecological stresses anciently operating upon a divided, fearful mind. To say therefore that gods are "good" and men are "evil" makes anthropological history impossible, theoretically or as fact. We have already said that gods, relatively or cross-culturally considered, display all "evils" and all "goods." It matters relatively, not absolutely, that the burden of good and evil is shifted to certain different gods, devils or spirits going from one culture to another. The basic facts are the common experiences of "gods" and the ambivalence of the human mind in relation to itself. The ultimate expressions, such as "selfish" against "altruistic," are just that - expressions - not the fountainhead of the social problem or of the problem of man against god.
The obverse to "how the gods could be believed to do evil to people" is, "how the gods could be believed to do good." The efforts of humans to justify the evils visited upon themselves are extraordinary, considering the gravity of those evils. Some profound reason must prevent them from declaring that gods and devils are one and the same - a disaster. Why do they not recognize the animated high-energy forces of the world as the open enemies of the human race? Indeed, this did become finally the feeling of a great many people in modern times, whose change of attitude coincided with a de-animation of the forces of nature.
Primeval man and his successors found good in the gods because in the first place the ideal of the good god itself performed useful functions. The gods created man, and man was superior to the mammals whom he resembled and lived among. Therefore, gods should be loved for their creative deeds.
Still, gratitude is a refined subliminatory trait that would hardly result from this syllogism. There had to arise a satisfying powerful identity out of the gestalt of creation: the creative god was built into the mind of the creature; it was his first projective delusion. His first great relief from fear was placing the responsibility for his creation, not upon himself (an idea that must promptly have occurred) but upon "some himself not himself," ergo a god. Who denied god, denied himself; who denied himself would not survive. The madness of great delusions was the condition for survival.
There remained only the elaboration of the madness into human norms. A quick transfer of traits occurred - man gave to god all of his abilities and took them back as blessed gifts, down to the rudiments of stone age technology, the very fashioning of a club. Because of the obvious powerfulness of the gods, the gifts acquired power in the human mind, and man would step forward to control the world with an obsessive confidence, a false confidence, very often, yet with enough successes to accredit the transfer. At the same time, man could deny his personal responsibility for all that he was creating.
Further, by imitating the gods, invention was promoted. More and more objects and procedures for controlling himself and others were imagined to descend from the gods and more and more were created under divine inspiration. This despite the interference of the gods thenceforth in inventions of all kinds, wherein nothing could be invented and applied unless it had come from the gods or was blessed by the gods. The psychological mechanism had its drawbacks; in the most peaceful and pragmatic periods, the wellsprings of invention were overlooked, while the subservience of practical innovation and social reforms to religious dogmas and rituals was promoted.
The mechanism for projecting and retrojecting gifts of power and techniques was in itself adequate to explain why a punitive god could be assigned benevolent and beneficent qualities. Yet it was not the only source of the idea of the good god. The first mutant humans came into being in the midst of chaos and destruction. That they had survived while all around them lay a biosphere of death and destruction, including what had been their own kind, was a miracle; their minds were now equipped to reflect upon it.
Mourning was a trait already possessed; mammals and primates mourn. Beyond mourning, however, or if human mourning were to be distinguished, was a new consciousness of the self, an individuation from the group, that could see what had happened to others, see what oneself had escaped, and assign to the escape a selective feature, a blessedness, a sense of being chosen for survival.
Thus arises the quality of personal satisfaction and joy amidst ruin, that interjects itself into the most grandiose human tragedies, and causes people to dance, laugh, and sing when the world shakes and burns around them. It was a primordial human acquisition, directly connected with the animated forces of destruction. Sailors, returning aboard a ship off of Krakatoa in 1883, who watched the desolation of their families on the shore from volcanic explosion and tsunamis, laughed and jumped with joy that they were being spared. Hysterical conduct, to be sure, in awful fear, but such is the nature of hysteria, and laughter often is a fringe around hysteria.
The divine identification and imitation justified and provided morale for survivors to revive and conquer. A newly-acquired super-mammalian aggression abetted the profits of survival. Those who survived could move out, reinforced by grace of the gods, and in imitation of the gods, readily loot, kill, or enslave whoever remained alive and within range. The material gains of aggression were thenceforth regarded in the category of gifts of the gods, and regularly some portion of them was returned to the gods by means of sacrifices. From old Mexico, Brundage gives us a song composed by the Emperor Axayacatl: "The flower death (for sacrifice and cannibalism) came down to Earth. It came here. It had been created in Tlapallan (Heaven)."
Nor were these the only material benefits that came from the divine delusion. On some occasions, carbohydrates descended from the sky, notably during times associated with terrifying celestial phenomena between 3000 and 3500 years ago, when manna, soma, and ambrosia were provided to starving survivors. This I explain in The Lately Tortured Earth, where too, many legends are reported insisting that copper, gold, silver, petroleum and iron were exploded or dropped onto Earth and used by their finders. Meteoric iron was commonly used long before the controversial "Iron Age" and may have fallen in amounts sufficient to institute this age. Myths of dragons burying gold are met with. And so on. The stone (and wood) age might have gone on forever if the surface of the Earth had not been blasted into metals and by metals from the skies. If this should be a fact, then mankind would be historically as well as psychologically blessed by the gods.
Fountains and springs of water erupted, too, in many places, even where the pre-existing waters had been diverted or buried, so that the gods could be said to have first removed good things and then relented and given them back. The gods, sang Homer, were the givers of all good things. Jupiter took away fire to punish mankind; the god-hero Prometheus stole it and gave it back to man; Zeus enchained and tortured Prometheus eternally for his gift. But the fire remained.
We have spoken largely of displacement, identification, projection, and aggression heretofore. Alongside these mechanisms moves habit, the human's answer to the blunting of instinctive behavior during the creation of self-awareness.
Outstanding in human behavior is the voluntary and unconsciously motivated repetition of actions in every sphere of life. In individuals, the repetition is called habit; in groups, custom. In animals, instinct serves for habit, the distinction generally being that instinct is untrained. Habit and custom are inculcated by training or imitation. Not only is habit pervasive of normal activities of individuals and groups. It is also characteristic of many psychopathologies, where it is called obsession.
The origin of habit and custom lay in the primeval fears of the self-aware human, and the discipline that such fears sub-consciously and later consciously impressed upon him. First came schizophrenic obsession. The more intense a blow or trauma to the body (mind), the more intensely and frequently it is autoinflicted neurologically afterwards. An obsession is an auto-inflicted reiteration of some or all of the initial reaction to a trauma.
An obsession discharges quantas of the stored force of the trauma, which originally could be tolerated short of death only by its redistribution (i. e., memorizing) in successively less related circuitries contacting the affected area. Some effect of a trauma also are discharged through interfering circuitries, some of which were developed in primeval man as analogously obsessive and some in non-analogous behavior, especially symbolic manifestations and erratic uncontrolled seizures.
These forms of dissipating the impactive force of the trauma are founded upon analogous primate behavior. They establish themselves as quasi-voluntary and voluntary activities of the split self, which more or less observes its own reactions and discharges. They are seen by men as voluntary, because the self views the action as a decision of two or more compromising internal selves.
Four major patterns of expression emerged finally from the primeval trauma: catatonic, obsessive, sublimatory, and orgiastic behavior. Authentically human behavior was ever after derived and composed from one or more of these patterns. Hence all human behavior reflects, no matter at how great a distance in time and pragmatic relevance, the traumas of cosmic destruction and creation that made and successively battered primeval humans.
The catatonic consists of activity whose primeval function was to keep the world unchanged. The Atlas who held the world on his back was a catatonic symbol of arrested movement; when Atlas shrugs, the Earth shakes. The Hindu Manu who held the world up for ages while standing on one leg and meditating is another catatonic god. Since the Hebrew god rested on the seventh day of creation and ordered his example to be followed forever, many millions of people have dreaded to violate the Sabbath, fearing that the world would be upset in various ways by the angry God.
Physiologically, catatonism is a freezing effect, to prevent the conscious from opening up blockages of suppressed fear. It acts promiscuously, but also in more sophisticated ways, that is, partially and selectively, reluctantly forced to do so by other more determined modes of coping with the needs of the organism.
Primevally, the person froze with fear. Symbolically, humanly, the meaning of freezing with fear became the preservation, at all costs, of existing circumstances, the arresting of the world, of sense intakes, of outputs, of activity, and especially of free or creative activity, all both individually and socially. By projection, if the person and group stop, the disorderly processes of nature will stop; the disorderly processes are deemed to proceed because people are moving and acting.
Obsessive activity has the function-effect of sustaining a line of behavior, of repeating it endlessly with as little deviation as possible. The first symbols and signs of the self-aware persons were naming and ejaculating. Almost instantly this became liturgy, a continuous repetition - expressive, denotative, and expiatory - of anguish, labelling of the cause of anguish, and formula for control of the cause, all in one utterance, repeated continuously. Thenceforth, over thousands of years, the obsessive in symbol and behavior become infinitely varied and yet basically recognizable as originating in fearfulness and its reciprocal of ritual controls. Habit, "the great flywheel of progress" (William James), and custom came to dominate human affairs.
Sublimatory activity functions and has the effects of discharging impulses that are traumatically aroused, together with associated agglomerated impulses, by deviant behavior that simultaneously and subconsciously is analogous enough to the impulses to be organically tolerated, and yet sends the organism in new directions that not only complement and supplement but also contradict other behaviors. Even when contradictory, the sublimation is subconsciously recognized by others to be providing such discharges and is accepted and even encouraged by them.
Symbolic communication is heavily developed by and originates in sublimatory behavior because it is like an endless treasury of ambiguities, flexible for the most remotely analogous tie-ins of original impulses and ultimate conduct.
Orgiastic behavior functions and has the effects of discharges through explosions of the original traumatic force. It has the characteristics of erratic displays of energy, of spastic behavior, and acknowledged as such: it is actually approved not despite, but because of, its senselessness. It demands death, sacrifices, cannibalism, self-mutilation and the wounding of others - human, animal, plants, property. It is both suppressed by, and revenges itself upon the other patterns of behaviour - erasing obsessions in a burst of destructiveness; alternating with catatonic behavior sometimes side by side; destroying and giving new forms to sublimatory behavior.
The cumulative effect of the four behavior patterns of man was to set him apart as a voluntary self-mover. The continuous gap between the two aware selves allowed a kind of fission-fusion reaction on an energy scale immensely larger and more efficient than that of which animals and hominids were capable. Projects of many different kinds could be generated and carried on. Combinations of the four patterns provided a large variety of model or test cases, the effects of which might be pragmatically adjudged good or bad, before deciding to adopt them as ordinary behavior.
The divine, thereupon, becomes a mirror image of the human, just as schizotypical as, or more so, than man, exhibiting human traits, mechanisms, and expressions. No two minds can see the same image in the mirror. This mirror is emphatically not divorced from human experience. It reflects indeed man's most destructive and exhilarating experiences. All gods are connected with disaster, the greater the god the more central his role in ancient disasters, whose scope is unimaginable to most people today. The primordial human mind governs the modern mind, being the same mind, being retentive of the same experiences.
We presented the view earlier that all religion goes back, overtly or covertly, to the first gods. We presented arguments that mankind was a creation of the very experiences that presented the gods to view. In discussing scripture and legend, we mentioned that the figure of Christ was heavily Greco-Romanized, perhaps even formed for the Gospels by a philosopher-dramatist, Seneca.
The reader may then have wondered: since early Christians had a New Testament, a new model of God and were anti-Jewish (Seneca was so too), why did they not cut their ties with Old Testament Judaism? The reason, I think, is clear: the Christians needed the catastrophic history afforded by Old Testament religion; they required the Creation chaos, the Flood, the harassment of Job, the Tower of Babel, the Destruction of the Cities of the Plain, and the Exodus. Otherwise, they would have condemned themselves to early obsolescence and extinction.