The animation of nature is an instinctual interpretation, primordial with humankind. It occurs with humans today, more obviously among the young. To exorcize it takes training.
The earliest gods took shape as the Sky and Earth. There developed next a more definitely formed solar god of the Sky. A change in nature was responsible for the change in divine forms. Logically, and in accord with most evidence of what was manifest, the primordial welkin was densely packed, without brilliant separated lights, until the sky was broken up and these appeared. The great god would have come first in his solar (or planetary) form if the sky had been penetrable.
Until nearly 2700 years ago the skies were periodically invested with changing forms, and much of this turbulence was impacting upon the Earth physically, as well as upon the minds of humans. The scene was conducive to polytheism. Divine presences of all types might be discerned. Yet there was usually a great god, a father of gods, an Ouranos, a Kronos or a Zeus.
We infer from this fact that such beings were at some time most impressive features of the sky and, when they were not, were scalding memories, which had so dominated the human setting that no successor, no matter how prominently active could match what its "ancestor" or "father" had achieved.
Some cultures, such as the Roman, Greek, and Hindu, did not conceal the succession of fathers, and assigned family roles to junior actors, while the Hebrews over a period of time accepted the Mosaic rationalization which fitted several great gods into a unity. This did not come without ideological and political struggles of great intensity and long duration, some of which are recounted, in expurgated form, in the Old Testament.
"Varro had the diligence to collect thirty thousand names of gods - for the Greeks counted that many. These were related to as many needs of the physical, moral, economic, or civil life of the earliest times." He found 40 Hercules alone. So writes G. Vico. The sacred book of the Mahābārata (1: 39) claims 33,333 Hindu deities, and later sources say that there were a thousand times as many. The Nordic Grimnismal gives over 50 names to Odin. The Babylonian Emunia Elis culminates in a recital of 50 names of Marduk. In the history of symbolism and language, words may actually have begun as god-names. Words might have been more sacred than pragmatic, until an advanced state of collective amnesia and sublimation had been achieved. Even today, a great many people cannot adapt to the idea that words are not real hard things.
If the Greeks had 30,000 god-names, and the Hindus even more, then all the world's cultures must have had hundreds of thousands. The great numbers, however, reduces to a comprehensible order when a proper theory is applied to them. The total of this heavenly host includes, first, a few great gods, whose real existence in the sky lent structure to the ages. Second occur the thousands of names of the great gods, most of which have yet to be identified with their referents. Many of these names are concealed references; others are what foreign cultures call a certain culture's gods; some names isolate a quality of the gods; some names are used to marry the gods of one culture to those of another.
The principle of ambivalence (in the form of opposites) leads to the division of great gods into gods and devils. Here the human mind seeks to control the gods by projection of benevolence and beneficence upon a good god, and malevolence and maleficence upon a bad god or devil, hoping that the one will outwit and outstruggle the other. Devils have invariably extruded from an animated religious setting, there being no way of exorcizing them from man's primordially established soul. In the Hebraic complex, god cannot commit evil; if a bad effect is deemed evilly inspired, it is attributed to the devil.
Some religions have merged the contradiction of good and evil into the same god, who holds different names for his given qualities and exercises benevolent or malevolent impulses for inscrutable reasons, or for "obvious" reasons, or for reasons not to be inquired about. The Greek gods were rather of this type. One significant result of the differences may be in the potential intensity of the "guilt complex." The Greco-Roman pagans suffered less from guilt-feelings than their Christian counterparts. Such gods may acquire many appellations, some of them contradicting others. New appellations may also serve to avoid the designation of new gods, an ever-present "problem" in a polytheistic system.
Appellations may thus be congruent and complementary, that is, logical and harmonious qualities that a single personality may possess. Or they may appear nonconforming, leading nonparticipating observers (enemies or scientists) to question the nature of the god. However, as with great contradictions - " God vs. Devil" - so with lesser contradictions - "god of arts vs. god of war" - the contradiction might be only apparent, the same supernatural being having apparently produced a variety of effects during his primary effective manifestations in nature. Thus Mercury-Hermes is both thief and healer. And Santillana and von Dechend refer to "the baffling Mesopotamian texts dealing with gods cutting off each other's necks and tearing out each other's eyes."
In the eternally agonizing search for a great god with whom one might co-exist peacefully, those who followed the path of opposites have been plagued by the possibly triumphant fearful powers of the devil, whereas those who pursued the path of the contradictions had to admit the mutability of their god and the impossibility of more than incessant recurrent reconciliations between god and people.
Another major source of divine names (besides the attributions) is the outcome of processes of memory and forgetting. To forget the disasters that characterized the appearance of the gods was urgently demanded by the bruised mind; but any lapse of memory would be accompanied by fear that god will not permit himself to be forgotten and will punish forgetfulness. The mind then works to define and characterize god so that his image will be tolerable upon the conscious level. It further adds new words to its vocabulary of the divine, discovering that a god called by another name is less threatening. Still further, by the logic of delusion, a god whose name is mysterious or hidden will respect the awe and fear bound up in the secrecy and at the same time will restrict himself to activities that do not threaten the very core of terror that crouches in the human soul. A plethora of non-names, secret and cult-names, and common partial names comes forth.
Effects of many kinds are produced, the least of which is the confusion of names that confronts the outside observer; the selective remembering is tolerable; occult elites can dominate societies; the language and concepts of a people are enriched as the naming of gods flows through the symbolic world by association, analogy, and implication.
Although some thousands of names are those of great gods in one form or another, other thousands are assigned to angels, minor devils, minor divinities, spirits, divinized natural phenomena of the earth, air, water, fire, plants and animals, divine heroes, and divine heroes, and divine kings. This myriad of names also possesses its logic. Prior to human creation the names could not exist: there was not stimulus, impulse, or mechanisms. Once the mind had exploded into self-awareness, however, a great many beings might move into it.
Limits to the number of names were set by the "behavior" of such beings, there being more sub-gods in disastrous than in peaceful times. The need for alleviation of anxiety occasions a sort of subconscious shifting of cargo with an invention and appeal to a new god following the failure of performance of an old one. The logical operation or reduction of "beings" is useful, when, for purposes of control, fewer sub-gods are needed. Finally, the ability of the inventor to achieve collective consensus may sometimes fail; no doubt heroic charisma or priestly office allows one to designate a new god only to a degree.
But, while these factors restrain the process, in any given culture the number of supernatural beings is apparently magnified by the telling of tales from foreign and destroyed cultures; these beings of course enter the mind only as subordinates or evil opposites of one's own gods. Moreover, as in classical Greek mythology, supernatural beings pile their traits and presence upon the true beings of the culture until, to the undiscerning mind, they become indistinguishable from the humans; the totality of divinities and spirits becomes a seemingly nonsensical mass.
By analogy with the cultures of modern tribes, and by reference to surviving cave drawings and artifacts, it would seem that people are naturally inclined to perceive gods in all aspects of nature. This perception is true insofar as the gods of creation must be assumed to be genetically behind every divine or spiritual (supernatural) communication, symbol, and image. It is also natural even among apes (The neuter gender, the "it," is itself probably a product of divinely inspired categorization; "it" is needed not for inanimate objects, as school children are told, but for a godly presence that is neither female nor male.)
The collective experience and interpersonal communication of an event that requires a naming - an event whose connection with the numerous high-energy expressions of nature is obvious but whose direct efficient cause is not a great god - is a final way by which many a demigod is produced.
Thus the breezes are named, the meteors, the volcanoes, the erratic boulders, the deeps of caves and seas, the ancient trees, the animals of curious form and expression, and so on to many thousands. Then, too, the early kings, the kings of crises, their mothers, the sorcerers, saints, inventors, prophets, and so on to many more thousands of the divine and semi-divine. Then, further, the products of their work: "devil's hole," "angel rock," "Mount Zeus," "Meteora," and so on through a world whose geography - that was once worked upon by the gods - belatedly and usually mistakenly accredits the heavenly host via a largely invented name. All of these processes of naming are consistent with and dependent upon the primordial appearances of the gods.
The saints of several Christian churches are a form of minor divinity, who are deemed to have performed celestial miracles, given great social services, communed with the Lord, or served gloriously in battle. Saint Joan of Arc comes readily to mind. Periods of natural and social crisis are their favored setting. The Hindus, who do not draw scholastic distinctions so fine, have created divinities of the same order. Thus the villages of West Bengal worship Sitala, Goddess of smallpox, though smallpox no longer troubles the area. R. W. Nicolas has found the origins of Sitala in the 18th century, upon an unprecedented outburst of the plague. Bengali doctors soon became preeminent in their analysis and treatment of smallpox, using variolation. Simultaneously, the disease was ascribed to Sitala, who had been born late among the gods and found none who knew how to worship her. So she chose to infect especially children with the pox, for "a late-coming goddess required such terrible weapons." Hers became an annual and major rite, accompanied by processions, animal sacrifices, and music. When the plague was absent, she was also served, for "both the presence and absence of disease are manifestations of the grace of the Mother." One notes the psychic need, that science cannot fill, to displace blame to a divine party, to turn punishment by the God back upon the self, and to propitiate and thank the divinity for not exerting its full powers if bestowing evil.
Divinity has often been assigned to kings and emperors. Egyptian, Assyrian, Roman, Chinese, Japanese, and the rulers of other cultures were considered gods, and worshiped in life and death. They have been pronounced by themselves and their associated elites as a relatives of gods or even one of the gods. This practice, so repulsive to democrats, is a means by which an elite and the people it rules can deal with and control the gods. At the same time, rule by divine kings is easier because the source of the rule is a god. He claim to divinity varies with the secularism of the elite and masses, so that it is by no means rare that the god is usurped, overthrown, and killed.
In some forms of society, now extinct, kings were not only gods or semi-divine but were used as sacrifices regularly or in emergencies (often but by no means always in the form of temporarily appointed surrogates).
We see once again, as we no repeatedly and more clearly than in other life spheres, the basic functioning of religion to secure humans from fear of celestial disasters, and all fears of matters deemed to be connected with the heavens gone astray and chaotic. The Japanese Emperor used to be regarded as a god and was compelled to severely restrain his movements upon critical occasions, such as during some unusual celestial phenomenon. This catatonic state was believed to restrain the gods and heavens; if the god emperor does not change even his countenance, one believed, the countenance of heaven will not change either.
The puzzle of the god-heroes, with their half-and-half ancestry, still occupies us. Why must there be everywhere these hundreds of men and women who muddy the waters of great gods?
Typical explanations are unsatisfactory. It is said that gods and god-heroes are the same - a truth, but too limited a truth to answer the question. Others say that people want to be descended from gods, as, later, we shall see that they cannibalize their gods. This also is apparent. And some are content to say that gods are really only big heroes. Because of such explanations and simply because of the inordinate confusion from the plethora of names and deeds, the truth behind myth is difficult to find and, indeed, few are ready to believe there is a truth.
A quantavolutionary explanation of who and what are god-heroes can be set forth for what its worth. God-heroes are sublimatory. When, in periods following the direct and evident appearance and behavior of natural gods, there occurs a lull and a stability, humans, continuing their search of means to control the gods begin the process of denying their existence by humanizing them. If people were left to pursue this process, the gods would be ultimately erased from the human mind (and history). The first phase, that is, consists of direct experience of gods in nature. The second phase permits god-heroes, the third phase pure heroes, and the fourth phase calls for plain human beings with typical human behaviors. To take an example: Mars is Ares; Ares becomes Hercules; Hercules is a god, but also Hercules becomes human, first as a god-hero; Hercules becomes quite human; Hercules becomes subject of a mass of folk tales; the unconscious artistic mind can push to all limits of the imagination with him.
What halts the process of losing gods entirely? On occasion (and many live in such expectations) the gods reappear, wreak havoc, and, so, self-sufficient, unassisted, full and direct god ship is restored. At the same time, the most obsessive and schizoid officials and prophets outlast the social sublimation that is occurring, and insist that gods directly are the only authorities, and will not let the process of creating god-heroes go too far.
Then, too, a minor phenomenon occurs, which is incorrectly elevated to the major explanation by uniformitarianism and psychic monolithics: pride of ancestry; elite self-elevation, etc.; "credenda et miranda" of ruling groups. Heroes are built into a group's history: "A treason it is to deny them." "We can't eliminate god-heroes without denying the gods." That is, the heroes of a ruling class are made divine. This, we stress, does happen but is not the primary and independent cause of gods and god-heroes. The impregnated themselves in the god-heroes.
There is little question that Campbell has succeeded in telling the universal plot of the hero found throughout the world from the most ancient times.
"The standard path of the mythological adventure of the hero is a magnification of the formula represented in the rites of passage: separation - initiation - return.... A hero ventures forth from the world of the common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons of his fellow men."
How does this universal and even obsessive plot of mankind relate to the theory of quantavolution? Simply, we think. First we note cycle: the going forth ends in the return. Second, the world of the hero begins ordinarily, though almost always with premonitions and prophecy; indeed the ordinary may be actual nothingness. This may be interpreted as a regular order of the universe. Next come the disastrous experiences: a succession of personalized natural forces beat against the hero, testing his will to survive, and to control himself and the human and natural environment. When the forces have subsided or have been defeated, the hero returns to a stable social order upon which he bestows his moral and material gains.
The career of the hero thus mirrors the career of the gods, who mirror the career of nature. At first the tie to gods is direct; imitation is permissible, but not "heroic myth," which would be considered intolerable insolence by the gods. Only after a period of the suppression of experiences and after a working out of psychic methods of dealing with them, can a human act out the plot of the gods and be called god-names. Once the process is begun, however, it has no end of sublimated ramifications until the gods are treated cavalierly and even desacralized - until the next catastrophic event.
Campbell joins himself to the psychoanalytic school that regards gods as non-existent psychological means for the human to jump beyond the ordinary world into the imaginary world; "gods are only convenient means to the ineffable." They, and myth, help the mind to transcend phenomena and achieve the great void or openness of spirit. Although this theory is functionally true, it is very limited, and without realization of the grave primordial dependence of the human mind upon the real events of its history and of nature. Connections between divinities or sacred thing and stars are usually the result, not of the activity of the stars nor of the playful resort to placing fairy tales among the stars, but of the fixing of the location from which a great event appeared to originate. The Deluge of Noah, by its many designations, is connected in widely-separate countries with the planet Saturn, but also with the star-cluster known as the Pleiades; some grave event affected the sky and earth when the Pleiades could somehow represent effects of Saturn. Scorpio is the background setting from which cometary Venus launched herself on a destructive swoop upon Earth. Scorpio is identified, if not before the event, then after the event, in new associations with the event. Early and later events occur in connection with Scorpio and by extension are associated with the Venus episode. Myths of one time and character become mixed up with others later on. The stars themselves, alone or in clusters, come to acquire legendary histories, and, as such, acquire future functions as places of resort or transubstantiation or limbo for worldly or otherworldly heroes, people, and divinities.
Plato insisted that the stars "are not small, as they appear to the eye, but each of them is immense in bulk." Further every solid body of heaven had "a soul attached" to it. Thus Proclus in his commentary on Plato's Timaeus declares that each celestial god has angels, demons, and heroes who are phases and extensions of it. And usually these characters have abodes or posting places in the sky. The rich Polynesian legends carry their heroes on many travels that are often imagined as terrestrial and maritime but which originated as travels of gods though the vast stellar and planetary regions. In one of its dimensions, the legend of the Argonauts is of a sky voyage that carried the adventurers to Circe (Corsyra, the Boreal Circle) where the island of Drepane (" sickle") lay, beneath which was buried the sickle of Kronos.
Much of what might be told of angels is sung by Rainer Maria Rilke. Here we have the multi-faceted visions, the mixed love and terror, the mirroring of the human mind, and the sense of co-creatures of genesis long ago.
Every angel is terrible. Still, woe to me, I sing to you, near fatal birds of the soul, full-knowing of you... Early-achieved and over-indulged of creation, you high ridges, dawn-reddened peaks of all genesis, - pollen of the flowering godhead, links of light, halls, steps, thrones, welkins, shields of joy, uproars beauty then suddenly, singly mirrors scooping up outpoured beauty back into your own faces.
To the quantavolutionist, the presence of naturally occurring "angels" is logical and historical. More puzzling is whether they were comets, planets, or meteorites. Thus, the astronomers Strube and Napier attempted a natural history of the encounters between Earth and comets, and argue that in the early days of mankind disastrous comets were variously named and, when they had retired to the farther reaches of the solar system or had crashed or broken up, their natures and behaviors were assigned to the planets who were the regularly eccentric movers of the solar system.
That is, they would deny the asseverations of those such as Santillana, von Dechend, Velikovsky, Milton and myself who assigned the active roles in legends to the planets, and, in the case of the last three, give large changes in motion and behavior to all of the planets such as to fulfill the requirements of some angelic behaviors. This is not to say that comets did not occur, but that their original creation and impetus arose out of planetary explosions and disturbances. Too, it may be borne in mind that any body changing its movement in space will behave as a comet, growing horns and tails and trails and presenting a variety of apparitions.
It will take many years of study, and even then it may be impossible, to determine the historicity of the celestial solid body identity of even the more important "angels" and "sky-heroes" of world legend. Dwardu Cardona, in his studies of the Archangel Michael and others, has set an example of what must be done on a large scale to eliminate the confusion of planets and angels.
Humans have been polytheistic even when their ruling religion states that one god and only one god exists. The people (and usually, too, their religious guides) establish a heavenly host (including devils) to complement, supplement, and assist the supreme god. So it was in the beginning and ever thereafter.
The propaganda for monotheism is massive, so that people claim to believe in one god while worshiping many. The monotheistic illusion occurs in two forms. First, monotheistic affirmations are made by people who upon psychological investigation obviously mean different things by the word "god." Thus, a sample of the American people in 1982 indicates that all except 2% believe in god.
If the same people were interviewed in greater depth, however, different 'gods' would emerge: a punitive god, a loving god, a deus otiosus, a god who pries into every nook and cranny of every mind, a helping god, a god who helps those who help themselves, a very human 'old man', an abstract principle of good, a god of true believers, a god of all people, and so on. Some people feel close to god, others not. God confides in some humans, but such an idea seems preposterous to other believers.
Then, other divinities would appear: the Holy Trinity, Christ the Son, the Virgin Mary, the Holy Ghost, each taking some godlike qualities upon themselves, supremely competent in some regard. Saints, agents of god, would appear in abundance. Many person's religious mentation and practices are given over to a saint, whose direct protection and assistance one feels to be superior to those services obtained from god the Father or God the Son; these latter, it seems, "are never there when you need them." The devil comes up with some or many divine qualities, almost always evil but "doing god's work," and god is often deemed helpless, even if by his own will, to rid the world of the devil. Historical and contemporary heroes, such as George Washington and the incumbent President, find themselves contending with saints for the possession of divine qualities and the performance of miracles. In sum, a great variety of gods exists in fact under the name of The God. Such people may still be called monotheistic, so long as we understand the limits of this term.
Then other peoples of the world confess to more than one god. Such are the Hindus and Taoists, for instance. They need not agree, either, on the definition of he gods of their pantheon, any more than the Teutons, Greeks, or Romans would have agreed upon theirs. A peculiarity of the Hebrew religion of Moses was its very early achievement of an abstraction of the Lord which permitted an easier succession of gods (so long as integrity of a Hebrew nation was preserved). This is so despite many deviations and p polytheistic cults, and much editing of the story to stress the unity of the Lord.
Not all early Hebrews were devout worshiper of Yahweh alone. Also, several rebellions against Moses were directed at his special, all-inclusive, exclusive god, Yahweh. Theologians have occasionally surmised, and correctly, I think, that Aaron, High Priest of the Jews under Moses, would have been fully tolerant of the worship of Baal, and that by Baal was indicated possibly more than one god besides Yahweh, possibly Saturn, Mercury, and Venus (to employ planetary representatives who had many parochial names.)
When Korah and his followers rebelled against Moses, one of their principal complaints, which has not been fully excised from the Bible and is also the subject of legend, was his suppression of their freedom to commune directly with the Lord. One encounters the same demand among the English Levellers of the Seventeenth Century, now raised against Oliver Cromwell, their Mosaic leader of the protestant revolution against the Crown. One god, the rebels are told, means a monotheism both of god and worshiper, by authoritative definition. This other kind of anarchistic monotheism cannot be tolerated by a theocratic regime. Else every person would have his own god.
Jewish legends, which should be generously interpreted in the face of the monotheistic propaganda, accord a place for religious beliefs and practice connected with the Holy Spirit, The Archangels Michael and Gabriel (both identified with planets), the Moon hosts of angels, characters out of Sheol, and the Devil. Legends speak of these entities cordially and understandingly, as well as accusingly. From these stories and the historical record, it is clear that the victory of Yahweh was never complete among the Jews, and that much of the time he was "the professional man's god," the god of priests, military officers, and most kings and judges.
And so it went thereafter; the seekers and executors of "the Truth" sponsored monotheism. Moses was a scientist as well as a monotheist, I have concluded from my study of his life. Akhnaton, monotheist Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, proclaimed his slogan as Truth ma'at, and was overthrown by polytheistic priests and populace. I suspect that he derived his monotheism from the Levant where he spent his childhood, perhaps even from Israel.
Polytheistic societies have had their monotheists, often connected with a free-thinking intelligentsia, akin to scientists. Thus, around 500 B. C., we find the Greek Xenophanes saying, "There is one god" (Fragment 23), and "He sees as a whole, thinks as a whole, and hears as a whole" (fragment 24). The philosophical discovery of a single god often, too, verges upon pantheism; the idea that "all things are full of gods" is not far from the idea that "god is in all things."
When the Romans put down the Jewish rebellions of the first century and ultimate dispersed the population, they acted partly in order to defend the principle of extending religious rights to all gods that would tolerate other gods. This the Yahwists would not accept. Meanwhile, the Christians, having promoted the Son of Man to become the Son of God, and then to become an identity united to a redesigned Yahweh, penetrated the larger population of the Roman Empire. They were persecuted as often as not on grounds that they would not tolerate other gods or worship the divine aspects of the secular power latent in monotheism; nor could the regimes succeeding to the Empire integrate the Christian doctrine firmly into their moral and legal order. The Byzantine Empire accomplished the first unification,. Only after a tine Empire accomplished the first unification. Only after a thousand years from its legitimization, could certain western regimes quite dominate monotheism.
For this triumph, they required a weakened Roman Catholic Church, a theory of divine right of monarchs, and ultimately popular nationalism that in democratic form placed god and country in the hands of the "people." There came them in government and industry the theory of centralization, carefully developed over centuries by the church and embodied in many ideas, ranking from that of papal infallibility to proofs of the existence of god built upon absolute and extreme values.
Finally, monotheism could obtain support from science because science derived support from monotheism. Science has been a greater exponent and defender of monotheism than has traditional Christianity. Almost all scientists who have confessed to a religious belief have been deists, that is, believers in a god whose qualities and behavior bordered upon the laws of Nature. Nature (" herself," we note in a singular transposition of sex) tends to acquire among scientific religious believers and scientific non-believers much of the omniscience, purposefulness, immanence, transcendence, power, absoluteness, lawfulness, orderliness, and responsiveness to human goodness and sin otherwise characteristic of the single deity. There is widely believed to be only one truth, one ma'at, in science.
In addition, then, to its other peculiar historical features, mosaic monotheism operates still as a vital feature in the ideological, hence structural, processes of modern religions of the Hebraic complex, in conventional bureaucratic and single headed (especially charismatic) governments, in judicial fictions (such as "finding the law"), in international politics, in science, in pedagogy, in communist (but hardly "Marxist") regimes, in tradition; philosophy as in most humanistic disciplines, and, of course, in the family.
The sociological treatise whose writing we are imagining would probably conclude that some of the most powerful and pervasive influences of monotheism have been manifested in "enlightened" secularized processes of the scientific revolution of the 17th to 19th centuries and the largely secular political history of the 18th to 20th centuries. Nothing of this should surprise us. Religion, we have already explained, seeps into all things.
A final comment on the effects of monotheism may be in order. Elsewhere, in Homo Schizo I and II, I explained the grave and genetic human problem of combining the several egos naturally emanating from the structure of the human mind into a single ego, "a person who can live with himselves." A percipient authority once termed the ancient Greeks schizophrenic, and central in the syndrome of their behavior was their polytheism. We can surmise that monotheism was not available to them to help "get their heads together."
Further, we say that monotheism fashions a therapy for one kind of schizophrenia by creating another kind. It allows an orderly mind by pushing every object and tension onto one or the other pole - oneself or a god. In line with what we have already said of the effects and function of monotheism in society and science, we can expect from the monotheistic homo schizo a more orderly and consistent accretion of symbols and a greater psychological penchant for mental discipline and linear logical forms (as opposed to artistic, analogical and intuitive modes of thought). Monotheism thus can serve as a tool of inquiry in seeking to understand why certain groups and individuals historically and today have more disciplined minds, are logically consistent, and are superior at scientific investigation and human organization. We stress once more, however, that monotheism does not clearly distinguish religions - all being polytheistic in one or more senses - but that a belief that one is monotheistic may create special qualities in oneself.