In the third episode of “The story of God with Morgan Freeman” the actor, who played God himself on a couple of occasions, sets out to discover who God really is. For some reason National Geographic channel requires a subscription to view this episode online but it can be “explored” here.
Freeman starts with a visit to a jazz club (or was it Blues?) and says that the way people play music there can be called a religious experience. This might score him some brownies with people who care about jazz (or blues) but otherwise it’s a pretty tall claim that springs out of “whatever I like is good and godly” rather than any serious search for God.
From there he jumps to a māyāvādī den that is Varanasi and gets brainwashed into a version of Hinduism that we see as atheistic and that we made our mission to fight. The woman who acted as Freeman’s guide convinced him that there’s no personal God in Hinduism and there’s no monotheism there. Hello, what about us? What about all the vaiṣṇavas in India who reject the notion that Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu magically appear out of impersonal Brahman? So this poor “god” just went out and increased his ignorance.
They didn’t mention Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa in any way and thus implied that they are no different from millions of other Hindu gods. Most of those gods, except Śiva and Durga, are jīva tattva, the same as we are, just happen to be in a position of higher authority in universal order. This inability to differentiate between gods of the material world and God the Vaikuṇṭhas was displayed in this episode again and again in connection to other religions traditions.
As a good atheist would do, Freeman then went to England, to the Stonehenge, calling it the first evidence of people worshiping the Sun as the main god and thus a precursor to monotheism. England’s climate wasn’t very kind so people had to rely on Sun to control the weather and that elevated Sun god above any others. He then talks to a couple of guys doing a research into buried parts of Stonehenge but it leads nowhere. The point still remains – Freeman fully buys into atheistic theory that people invented Gods as they evolved from monkeys and had to deal with their challenges.
Freeman then jets off to Egypt to hear about a pharaoh who declared himself to be the one and only God, God of the Sun as well, and how his cult unraveled very quickly after his death. What did Freeman learn from this story I don’t know, he jumped over to Moses who founded what Freeman thinks was the first true monotheistic religion.
This obsession with monotheism isn’t particularly healthy. Whether there’s one God to rule them all is not the problem, the fact that there are millions of other, lesser gods who are responsible for everyday minutia of our lives remains. They can’t be forgotten or disrespected and there’s nothing wrong with people worshiping them per se. It’s not very smart, as we learn from Bhagavad Gītā, but it is the reality – for vast majority of human population worshiping those “lesser” gods is the only religion they know. Freeman himself, with his atheistic worldview, doesn’t deserve even that so why does he go chasing the Supreme Lord of everything and everyone?
We can answer that in Kali yuga proper worship of demigods is impossible and so benefits from doing so are utterly insignificant. Comparing to pure bhakti they were insignificant in better ages but now it’s really near zero. Instead of wasting time on this one should appeal to the Supreme Lord directly and so that’s the kind of religion that the Lord gave to Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Speaking of Judaism, there was a certain point in Jewish history when God told Abraham that worshiping all other gods from now on was unnecessary, as we learn from the scholar interviewed for this episode. Later on Jewish God has become really jealous and in Christianity and Islam worshiping others has become punishable by death. God would murder these deviants himself by millions, if we take stories in the Bible literally.
This is why Christians don’t take Egyptian gods seriously, or Stonehenge, or Hinduism, or any number of religious beliefs they’ve discovered in all parts of the world. This is also why they are completely disconnected from nature, seeing themselves as controllers rather than servants of those who actually control it. That’s where our atheism comes from.
Islam is somewhat different in this regard because, just like us, Muslims simply overlook intermediary deities and go straight to the source itself, which is Allah for them. They know they don’t control the world, Allah does, and in that way they are somewhat spiritually superior to Christians.
What is most interesting about Islam, however, is that God has become essentially non-different from His name, specifically from the call to prayer. I think this is what Muslims practically discovered for themselves and it’s proof that saṅkīrtana IS the yuga dharma for this age regardless of any particular religion. The conversation with imam in that episode was the best and most truthful part, in my view.
Unfortunately, the narrative doesn’t end there and Freeman goes to Navajo country to witness a religious ritual of a girl being promoted to womanhood. Whatever superior force that participates in such rituals is not God but Freeman somehow misses it, unable to see the difference.
And then there’s a story of a doctor doing brain scans of people having supposedly religious experiences. Finding God inside your brain, as they called it. I don’t even want to comment on that stinking pile of ignorance. Freeman buys into that premise like an atheist would – that God is simply a product of our brain activity. The only good thing about that part was when the doctor admitted that when he scanned the brain of an atheist he found that the atheist was unable to activate certain parts of the brain to the degree that religious people did.
I mean they are measuring nonsense. All they can see is who is trying harder to concentrate on God rather than actual God’s presence or existence.
The final part of the episode was in some American megachurch and it was fairly inspirational – up to ten thousand people attended spirit raising service, sang about God, declared their faith in Him etc etc. It was still about “belief through faith”, though, not actual God realization. They just get carried away with whatever they choose to believe in today. God woke me up on time, God cleared traffic for me, God saved me a parking spot, God healed me etc etc. It’s all about me me me and the best version of me there can be, which is, incidentally, how Freeman summarized this episode. He literally said “The god in me is who I really am, at my core. The god in me is the best version of me.” What a delusion.
So, in the beginning of the episode this “god” poked his nose into Hinduism and was told he has no nose. At the end of the episode he concluded that he himself really is God, he just have to become good at it. What hope is left there for these people?