After so many years of searching for the secrets of the gods, I did not imagine that the most difficult part could be the conclusion. Did I really discovered them? Maybe a small part of them at least? Or is it all just a big illusion? What is the truth? And how much does it matter?
In the Asclepius text from the Corpus Hermeticum, Hermes Trismegistus said that „the intelligence of the Divine Being, the thought of the Supreme God, is the only truth, and this truth cannot be discovered – no, not even its shadow – in this world full of illusion, of changing appearances and mistakes, where things are known only in the dimension of time” (32:3). Also in a fragment from the writings collected by Joannes Stobaeus, the same Hermes stated: „The truth is absolutely nowhere on Earth, for it can neither be born, nor made” (3:14), „for the Mind and Reason nothing on Earth is true. On the contrary, for the true Mind and Reason, all things are imaginations, illusions or appearances” (3:15-16) and „there is nothing true on Earth” (3:19). According to these statements, people who managed to reach the highest level of wisdom have come to a simple conclusion, best expressed in the words of the Athenian philosopher Socrates: „For I was conscious that I knew practically nothing…„. We do not know any supreme truth, but only the „truths” that we have created ourselves, based on the limits of our perceptions, depending on the concepts that have been directly or indirectly indoctrinated to us. In the 2nd century, the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius even said: „What you hear is an opinion, not the truth. What you see is a perspective, not reality„. We cannot know for sure who we are, why we exist, how the Universe came to be or whether there is life after death. We believe we know, but we only rely on hypotheses. For example, the Big Bang theory and the creationist version cannot be verified, so we cannot know if either of them is real. No one has returned from the afterlife to tell us what is there, but religions offer us the „truth”. Cases of clinical death are considered evidence of the afterlife without taking into account the possibility of „scenarios” made by the brain, similar to dreams, as stated by the Tibetan Book of the Dead. We believe we have understood the Universe and we dare to impose on others our hypotheses, when in fact we have not even managed to fully know our own planet. Or our own bodies, with the human brain still hiding countless mysteries. Just like DNA.
The information we assimilate is often wrong for various reasons. For several decades, in order to sell their papers, many publications invent more or less sensational news. The popularity enjoyed by the internet has led to the emergence of an impressive number of sites that apply the same tactic of inventing news. Books are not credible sources of knowledge either; many „truth seekers” such as Erich Von Daniken or Zacharia Sitchin have been shown to intentionally lie in their volumes, incorrectly translating ancient texts or inventing myths to fit their false hypotheses. Articles have been written about these falsifications and even books that successfully demonstrate the intentional misleading of these undeserved bestsellers. The press, which pursues only the purposes of the politicians behind it, often manipulates through the information it conveys to the public. Politicians follow only their own interests and do not hesitate to use the masses when needed. We certainly know a few cases where they lied to us, such as that of Adolf Hitler, about whom we were told that he committed suicide in Berlin in 1945, but after seven decades the FBI files were made public, showing that they searched for him in Argentina for a long time after his alleged death. Or that of the number of deaths at Auschwitz, about which for many decades we were told that it had risen to two million, although at present one million victims have „disappeared” from the calculations. The 1947 Roswell incident is also famous, when the first statement from the US Army acknowledged that a UFO had crashed there, transformed into an experimental surveillance balloon in the next day’s statement, which in the declassified FBI files became a full-fledged UFO again. Not to mention the possibility that the 1969 Moon landing was faked and the 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center was staged by the Americans themselves, as many pieces of evidence have emerged with difficulty. And these are some of the most harmless lies of politicians who do not care about the populations they lead.
Religion, self-proclaimed „sole holder of the Truth”, has proved to be just an effective method of mass manipulation. Religions are built on made up facts and plagiarism and, even though they all have the same characters and events, it does not mean that they contain any shred of truth. But only that they come from a single source about which we cannot know if it is based on real facts or is just a fairy tale, like its successors. Something the clergy knows very well, which is why they do not abide their own laws and rules, as the cases of pedophilia in the Vatican, the priests’ keen desire for enrichment or the crimes committed during the crusades or by the Inquisition are well known. Religion, which is the worst mental illness of mankind, forges invisible yokes around people’s necks, from which their leaders profit. For this reason, religion and politics have always gone hand in hand, to the misfortune of the common man. It is said that religion was invented to prevent the poor from rising up against the rich, a very true statement. Countless kings and emperors have declared themselves over the course of history to be descendants of gods or reincarnations of certain deities, which is why they enjoyed the blind obedience of their peoples. People can easily be convinced to perform the most unpleasant tasks, such as sacrificing their own lives, when they believe they are fulfilling the wish of a god. The case of the Japanese kamikazes, willing to give their lives for their emperor, whom they believed to be a descendant of the goddess Amaterasu, is well known. Of course, the fear of divine punishment plays an important role in manipulating the masses, as they couldn’t be controlled as effectively without it. The Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu said it very well over 130 years ago: „Religion – a phrase invented by them / To bend you under the yoke with its power„…
Much of what we know about the world is based only on hypotheses that cannot be verified, not on evidence, hypotheses that are imposed on us as truths. We are „bombarded” from all sides with lies designed to sink us further into the darkness of ignorance. Even if we cannot find the truth, at least we have the power to recognize the lies. By removing them, we can hope not only that we will get closer to the truth, but also that we will give up the status of slaves, freeing ourselves from the yoke imposed on us by manipulators. Something that can be achieved by passing each important piece of information through the filter of critical thinking. Blind faith is the fastest way to deception and, implicitly, to moving away from the truth, whatever it may be.
If we come to realize like Socrates that we actually know nothing, it means that we cannot be sure of the existence of gods either. For this reason, faith and atheism, the two extremes of the problem, seem to be wrong. As we cannot know for sure if there are other entities besides us, we cannot draw a conclusion in this regard. In this case, agnosticism (the philosophical conception that the truth of theological statements about the existence of gods is either unknown or impossible to discover) may be the best choice. Moreover, the great thinkers of the world, especially the Eastern ones, encourage seeking the middle path, to obtain mental and spiritual balance. If we cannot be sure of the existence or non-existence of gods, regardless of the concepts we have been indoctrinated with, we cannot draw a conclusion in this regard and consider it a truth but, at best, only as a hypothesis. However, if these entities did exist, one thing is certain: we should not worship them as gods, so as not to become their slaves. The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius seems to have understood this idea: „Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they won’t care how devoted you’ve been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you’ve lived by. If there are gods and they are unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but you would have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones„.
We do not know who we are, why we exist, how and why the world was made, if we have any mission, if gods exist or if they influence our lives in any way. But if we knew these answers, would it help us in any way? Would the truth about the world we live in change our lives? We seek knowledge, but is it really as important as we believe? In the Asclepius text from the Corpus Hermeticum, Hermes Trismegistus argued that „the foundation of knowledge is supreme goodness” (16:2). We do not know if we are parts of a divinity or just tiny amounts of cosmic dust, but we can see that we are parts of light. Light that often shines through, regardless of the many negative parts of mankind. Good is what can change not necessarily the whole world, but at least parts of it. Not the truth will free us, as we are told, but love. And of course all the positive feelings that spring from it. We are parts of a whole that we cannot see because of our overly developed selfishness. We influence each other willingly or not and if we want a better world, this influence must be based on love. Those who lead us fuel negative feelings, respecting the Latin proverb „Divide et Impera” („Divide and Conquer”). But if we learn to ignore the differences between us and approach each other, the „prison” in which we live could become a true earthly paradise. It is true that we cannot know if the world is really a prison where spirits are sent for punishment or rehabilitation, but we see that deeds and thoughts influence not only our own lives, but also those around us. As long as we do everything possible to eliminate or ignore the negative elements that surround us, choosing the positive ones, we can achieve the ultimate goal of each of us: happiness. We do not really need rewards in the afterlife, countless reincarnations or the blessings of the gods, but only to live properly now, in the present. Together.
It is not at all easy to forget everything you have been taught and to fight not only the negativity around you, but even with yourself. But good things never come easily. And they shouldn’t, because every obstacle overcome is a victory that strengthens the character and prepares it for the other challenges of life. The best advice I have received in this regard comes from the book Moise, le pharaon rebelle („Moses, the rebellious pharaoh” in English) by Bernard Simonay, where the high priest Bakhenkhonsu taught the young Moses: „Observe the world. Love and respect it, for you are part of it. Master your anger and impulsiveness and learn to immerse yourself, to meditate, that is to ponder, to open your spirit, to let your intuition speak to you. Intuition is the subtle way in which the gods express themselves in your soul. It is a difficult path to follow, for no learned man, however great he may be, will be able to guide you. You will have to find the path that Maat (i.e. the personification of truth, order and justice) has drawn within you. Never let pride blind you. Learn to be humble. But be careful never to underestimate yourself. The most difficult task will be to find out who you really are. If you know how to open your spirit, consciousness will lead you to new stages, steps you will have to take before moving even further. And no one knows where these steps will lead you. And also learn to know people. Have patience to listen to them, with your heart. Never boast that your intelligence will allow you to see further than most people. You will have to humbly thank the gods, telling yourself that others did not have your luck. Your duty will be to help them, to protect them, not to judge them or dominate them„.
I tried through this book not to offer „truths”, but hypotheses. Not answers, but questions. Because everyone teaches us what to think, but not how to think. And a wrong question cannot bring the right answer. I do not know if I managed to discover the secrets of the gods or at least a small part of them. But I do not need to know that. I only know that in the five years I wrote this book, I learned that the secrets of the gods matter less than those of humans. To know the world we must know ourselves, each person representing a small world with a unique story. To respect everything that is alive and to realize that we are only a part of nature, not at all its masters. To learn to accept our fellow humans not only because of their qualities, but despite their flaws. To eliminate barriers of any kind between us in order to truly become a whole. To help each other and, especially, to begin to love each other. Because the greatest secret of the gods was, is and will always be love.