How to Invent God out of Improbable Events

Years later, after I’d been in remission for a while, I would attend a very good friend of mine’s wedding. He would introduce me as one of his groomsmen, tell a few stories about our friendship, and conclude that I was the only guy he knew who could make a story about sticks interesting. I would like to share that story here about how I invented and conceived of God from a few sticks.

I was in love for the first time, I was on an educational path which would lead me to financial success, and I was in the prime of my youth - until it ended; the love, that is. I would barely make it out of third year final exams, only to return in the summer to my small, farming community, home town. Nothing could have prepared me for the mental torment I would endure that summer.

It all started with a very severe panic attack which lasted roughly one half hour. From there, by and by, I sunk into a deep depression. So deep was this state that the meaning of words and objects no longer registered in my brain. Every couple of weeks spent in this emptiness was culminated by another severe anxiety attack in which I thought the world, along with my self, and everyone and everything in it would be annihilated. It was annihilation anxiety. Between bouts of anxiety I would spend my time stocking grocery store shelves in the midnight hours. This was in no way good for my health. Along with the depression, the anxiety, and the crummy job, I ventured on with things, as I always had, assuming a light was at the end of the tunnel.

One day, as I was wonton to do, I travelled down to the river and sat on a spot at the bank. It was a muddy river; about 200 metres wide, moving slowly with the current, and very still. At the bank where I was sitting some sticks and small pieces of driftwood were gently floating on the water. Now, at this time my ability to relate words to objects had been demolished inside the depression. I was interested however in the possibility that just by looking at the sticks I might be able to cause them to move. So, for the next couple of minutes I concentrated on this bizarre endeavour.

Coming up the river was a tug boat, moving slowly. I watched it with intent and I drew an imaginary line between my spot on the river bank across the river. I estimated that given about 25 seconds, the tugboat would cross this imaginary line (something which I found vaguely interesting in an entirely nerdish manner). To my slight surprise, as the tugboat gained way, a speedboat appeared from the opposite direction heading down stream. I watched intently as the tugboat, the speedboat, and the imaginary line between my position and the other bank of the riverside all coincided at the same moment! Hoorah!!!

Now this got the gears going in my head. How could it be that all three of us had intersected at this precise moment? Imagine the odds of all three of us going about our day in such a way that, had we instead done anything even remotely otherwise time consuming during our day, this occurrence would have never had happened. The likelihood of this event alone amazed me. I thought that on a sub atomic level the intersection of three atoms at once must be occurring quite often indeed! But on a macroscopic scale?! Forsooth! I had no words to describe it. Nonetheless as the speedboat quickly continued onwards downstream, and the tugboat slowly upstream, I sat in my spot with the amusement of this happening starting to fade.

What now caught my attention was the wake in the water, produced by the boats. I stared at it intently without realizing what would soon happen. The first wave of wake approached the banks, followed by another, and another, and within a few moments it was right upon me. When that first wave of wake crashed against the bank of the river, right where I was sitting, I gazed in utter stupification at what was happening. The sticks on the bank were now moving up and down with the crash of water. It was all happening quite violently. One wave of wake after another crashed against the banks of the river. This collection of sticks which I had set out to move with my intention was now moving on its own. Suddenly it occurred to me that this very rare, and improbable event had been ordained by the Universe to show me that, somehow, it was possible for me in ordinary time to approach a certain location in space and form a certain intention - but that, for the Universe, it was possible to instantaneously arrange such a series of events that the extreme finitude of my own volitional power would be utterly put to shame by the timeless and dimensionless volitional powers of GOD!!!

Now, I had conceived God. That was to be sure. No other explanation would suffice. And I quickly took my leave from the riverbank with this idea still foaming in my mind. Out of the nothingness of depression, I had been given a tool, also designed by nothingness, which would add an even emptier layer of nothingness to the already stifling madness I was enduring at the time. And that is the story of how a floating collection of sticks and driftwood gave me the ability to invent the conception of God out of a very rare and improbable event.

Now, I know many of you will think, “as rare and improbable as that event may have been, no ordinary person in their right mind would assume the existence of God based on that occurrence!” And many of you would be right. However, I was so desperate for something to mean anything at all, that this improbable occurrence opened my empty and depressed mind to the possibility of a Universe which could predict my intentions and predict my location and time, and - out of thin air - send me a message - so very clear and far reaching. Needless to say, within a couple of weeks I was noticing sneezes and coughs on the bus and was tying them back to an irritating twitch I’d developed in my solar plexus. It wasn’t long before that summer of intense anxiety and depression would cascade into full blown psychosis with a headache of such proportions that it would last four consecutive years. In the place of heartache I had, through no effort but my own, substituted a psycho-somatic tension headache which I knew was there in my mind, but hurt so much that I could not feel it. And for that very reason it lasted four years. Later on, when I would come out of the mind-fuckery, I would talk to the devil and say, “For God’s sake Lucifer! Why did it have to last four years?” And Lucifer would merely remark, “Try seven. It’s worse.”

Most of us are three monthers. And some of us treat what we know is a conceptual mind fuck with cannabis, alcohol, or pain-killers to help us deal with what is a mild sensation of evil and dirt combined. I was a four year man. Most of us (those who can admit it. Those who have the life experience) will have endured a year, or a third of a year. Never talked about. The key was to not let the children know about it. The reality was that the time you spent there was roughly proportional to the intensity of the Grip. I would later call it “The Grip”. But we don’t talk about it. It’s off topic. And besides, there are some of those out there who will never be released from the Grip. And there are some of us who will endure it for seven years, come out of it, and soon reach full enlightenment. Besides all that, I hope you have enjoyed my little story about the floating sticks as much as my happily married friend did. Through pure delusion, I invented a very real, a very potent, and a very external, omnipresent Being.


Ratty. your back!!! It Must Be The Will of God!!! What stupid shit stuff do you have for me now!!!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha… The survey found that nearly half of the homeless people questioned possessed some educational qualifications. Of these, 48 per cent possessed GCSEs, 16 per cent had A-levels, 15 per cent had a university degree and 13 per cent had some professional qualification.

There are no odds. Do you know how to estimate odds? What’s the probability that every single tugboat that comes up that river in exactly the same way, that met a speedboat from the opposite direction going the exact same speed, would intersect in the exact same way, along the same imaginary line? Pretty fucking good I would think. I’m willing to put money on the odds.

LOL… no, another occurance would have happened and the odds would be exactly the same.

“Butterfly Effect.” It explains why you are a nutjob.

Improbable occurance? Some boats go by and the waves caused by the boats move stick in the water. It must be God! OH FUCK!~

And people sat there and listend to this story!!! Holy fuckl! You need a better class of friends.

You dipshit… you had a peak experience and put way too much into it. Give up the magical shit and look around you. Sticks move on waves in the water every day. It takes, it’s no more magical than watchig an ant carry a leaf or a cloud form a face. Your problem is; you have no idea at all how common these experiences are and you think it’s something special. ITS NOT. Do it again right this moment. It’s not magic. It’s the world you live in.

In Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs, self-actualization is located at the very top of the pyramid, representing the need to fulfill one’s individual potential. According to Maslow, peak experiences play an important role in self-actualization.1

Self-actualization is actually considered quite rare, which means that peak experiences can be equally elusive. Not all people reach the peak of Maslow’s pyramid.

Peak experiences are not restricted solely to self-actualized individuals, however. Maslow believed that all people are capable of having these moments, but he also felt that self-actualized people were likely to experience them more often.

Definition of Peak Experiences

Peak experiences are often described as transcendent moments of pure joy and elation. These are moments that stand out from everyday events. The memory of such events is lasting and people often liken them to a spiritual experience.2

Other experts describe peak experiences in the following ways:

“Peak experiences involve a heightened sense of wonder, awe, or ecstasy over an experience.”

"…a highly valued experience which is characterized by such intensity of perception, depth of feeling, or sense of profound significance as to cause it to stand out, in the subject’s mind, in more or less permanent contrast to the experiences that surround it in time and space."4

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Aside from my ingrained fear of hell, here is one of the more subtle odd things that kept me bound to religion for so many years.

Between my work in law enforcement, my military activities, and some of the recklessly hazardous recreational activities I did just for fun, I was more often than not involved in many incidents where I should have been killed. (Whether purposely or by accident.) And while I may have gotten banged up and scratched up a bit here and there, I was never even seriously injured. As a result, this made me begin to question why I so fortunate, when I had seen many people I knew who were far more careful/cautious get killed or severely injured. Due to my religious upbringing, I naturally begin to believe there was some type of “higher power” watching over me and protecting me. Somewhere in my head I convinced myself “it” was saving me for some type of “higher purpose” in life. Problem, though, is that I had NO IDEA what that “higher purpose” was. And that in itself caused me a fair amount of consternation and mild anxiety.

I did not consider myself special in any way, and I knew I was not fully “in-line” with the whole Christian belief system. Yes, many, many doubts I had. So why would God (or whatever it was) choose ME, of all people? Bothered the shit out of me for years. And in the meantime, I became more and more “reckless”, seeking out activities/situations that were increasingly risky. I was an adrenaline junkie, to say the least. Worse, though, is that I was an adrenaline junkie who believed he was “divinely protected” and invincible. It’s an absolute wonder I ever lived long enough to escape that mindset… (chuckle)…


Cog wins again.

Fuck me. Can we start placing bets?

Well - you’re not alone in this line of thinking. It’s encouraged in religious circles BUT I always remember…

Hitler survived 42 assassination attempts; Castro survived over 600 plots & attempts.


God must have had REALLY BIG plans for them.

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Must have. That hapless fuck of a deity likes the ones that commit genocide in his name :smiling_imp:

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Religion was invented over time, people started praying to the fire at first because they thought it was magic, then to the sun, people always made religion and stupid people believe it, it is absurd that in the 21st century still people believe in a non-existent religious deity.

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And 100 % of licensed medical physicians have a college or university education. What percentage of college drop outs end up on the street? What percentage of homeless people have drug addictions or mental illness?

I meant it was a rare occurrence in the same way that a solar eclipse is a “rare occurrence”. It had absolutely no meaning (in case you missed the irony).

My friends are near and dear to me, asshole monkey.

No. The point is that severely depressed, anxious people will cling to anything even remotely resembling “meaning”. And that vulnerability led me, in particular, to a four year bout with severe psychosis.

It’s an interesting story about sticks and I know you like it, you dirty shit slinging curmudgeon.

Ratty, I think it’s adorable how you always seem to be able to bring out the best in our dear ol’ Cog. He’s been so much happier since your return. :two_hearts:

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Well, yeah! If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the old man is starting to have regular bowel movements again. Just judging by the enormous mass of feces he’s hurling around.

I’ve seen caged monkeys high on premium grade crack cocaine throw less shit around than this happy, upbeat version of Cog.

So, just happy to help where I can :wink:

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Only in your mind. That being does not exist in my world. Nor, I suspect, in anyone else’s mind.


To be sure. I didn’t quite word that properly. It was real to me in the same sense that my existential crisis was “real”.

@rat_spit Yes, what you experienced was very real to you. I will never dispute that. But now that you have a better understanding on your own mind, what method do you use to separate this fantasy from the real world?

For example, if what I witnessed was only by myself with zero collaboration from anyone else, I would be concerned.

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I literally came to my senses. I had been subconsciously repressing my sense of smell for over 25 years.

When I took kava root, it heightened my senses. And when I came down off the high, I was super aware of my breathing and sense of smell. This grounded me, allowing me to view visual perceptions without the delusion that my personal volition extended beyond my body.

The voices quite literally faded into the background along with the delusions.

I am sincerely happy you got it under control.

Thank you. The repression of smell is so ingrained that I spend a lot of mindfulness focusing on the feeling in and around my nose.

“Mindfulness of Breathing” or “Anapanasati” in the Buddhist tradition is said to be a tool for eliminating invasive thoughts.

I like to imagine that all of my interest in Buddhist literature has boiled down to this one very powerful and grounding technique.

But I take full credit. I don’t think your average person has as much deep rooted tension stored in their nostrils as do I. The twenty year task of coming to terms with what was more of a neurosis in my adolescent years seems to be pivotal in my overall perception of reality.

As long as I stay grounded at the breath, my other perceptions seem to behave normally. Whereas my former experience was one of a certain distrust of even looking at the outside world. I wasn’t simply sheepish, so to speak. I was outright paranoid. And the voices fed on that, so it seems.

But things are better. I’m going through a big work transition that is fodder for uncertainty and anxiety. I believe better times await. But for now I am the one waiting and hoping and keeping my fingers crossed that a new job opportunity comes my way.

But I digress …

I have to agree. The only time my nose bothers me is when I am in a barn full of cowshit.

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Well that experience is to be expected. Pretty much all of us had such moments in our lives.
We are observing, pattern seeking animals. But most of all, we are strongly influenced by our post rationalising.
You predicting crossing line of the boats is just a usual performance of hunters brain. You need to be able to predict where to run in order to catch a moving object.

However, your surrounding has informed your mind in such a way that you had to invent explanation that is inline with your expectations.

But most important part is not the improbability of events. It is the insignificance of that event. As we know god is not described only as incomprehensible part of our mind, but as actual agent of our existence.

For me personally, even if such experience was provided by god, I would prefer him doing something useful instead of playing with my perception.

The bible is the claim, not the proof. And since my existence on this planet can be explained without resorting to anything supernatural, I categorize all of this religion stuff as an the invention of our minds, nothing more.

For me, I deal with what influences me, not hypothetical fairies and leprechauns and gods.