God. First.

Sunday is a good day to discuss religious topics in a behavioral context.  In fact, any day is as good as another, but Sunday works for me because it’s at the end of my workweek and it’s the ‘religious’ day in the context of how I was raised.

Saturday is fine, as is Friday.  Technically, it seems that for those who are sufficiently religious, every day should be a day of worship.  But there’s the crux of it – worship what, exactly?

Let’s worry later about who / what / if we worship anything in our modern age.  For now, let’s hit the back button on our magic history browser and ask what our great great grandparents were worshiping in their day.

Even if you are an ardent follower of a modern religion, you know that there was a time “before” your god came around to enlighten your people.  Before that you were heathen, and you worshiped the “wrong” god.  Presumably those people also knew there was a time before, and so on.

Eventually we will come to a group, a tribe, perhaps even a clan with a chief.  And this clan went about without any god.  The didn’t have a god, because, before their clan, there was no group that needed god.

Then, whether you think it revelation, or necessity, or inevitable, they needed god.  Where did they find god, this First Clan?

My guess is that they looked up at the most important, regular, and life-giving object in any human’s existence – the Sun. (And this is a pure guess, Gentle Reader.  Everything before here is straightforward logic.)  Yes, the Sun was God number One.  It’s big.  It’s bright.  It gives light.  It gives life.  It pretty much does it all.  Even today we know that the Sun is the only thing that makes living on Earth bearable.

There’s evidence from anthropology that this is likely, and we do know that ancient civilizations also tend to focus quite a bit on the sun.  So, as students of behavior, the next time you respect your god, or the next time you look up into the sky, think about where it all began.

Up there.


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