Welcome to a problem-identifying node of the Pandeism index!!

You know how sometimes you're sitting in the middle of the bar.... and you notice a pretty girl who's looking your way -- and she's smiling at you, maybe even coyly waving? And you think, "wow, this girl is actually coming on to me!!" But then, just as you're about to get up to go talk to her, you realize that she was looking and smiling and waving at someone else, someone way behind you, the whole damn time -- she's never actually even noticed you!! She was (and remains) blissfully unaware and unconcerned with your very existence, and you, well you were simply so caught up in that moment, in the secret desire to be the target of that affection, that you were primed to believe that it was you she was looking at.

Now imagine you were at a table in middle of the bar with some buddies, and you all thought the pretty girl was looking in the direction of your table. You'd surely mention that amongst yourselves, give to one another affirmation and encouragement that you were collectively the targets of her observational affection -- your reassurance suggesting, if not outright declaring, how very worthy you are to be the subjects of this pretty girl's interest. And if one amongst your group were to have doubts, the rest of you might collectively try to talk him down from them.

Well now.... write that sentiment larger and consider the possibility that that's how certain amongst the theistic faiths, especially the believers in an interventionist personal deity, are about believing that they are the target of divine attention, all of the time. Like the man in the middle, they sense a divine presence underlying our Universe and immediately imagine that it's looking, smiling, waving right at them!! Joyously they erect the conceit that their Creator wants to be with them, and fulfill various of their scenarios for receiving happiness. And these people unknowingly looked beyond, they get together in groups to reassure each other that such is the case, that it is really they who are the targets of an unbound supply of love and attention. And they inspire the most self-certain amongst them to put on the haughtiness of faux authority and lecture to all the others that this is indeed the case. And wherever someone suggests otherwise, they try to convince, and failing that, denounce.

But who are we, who possibly feel the presence without even the capacity to gauge the gaze, to claim to be the target of what we perceive, wish, desire gutturally? Who, indeed, are we even to note the eyes of the pretty girl at the other end of the bar, and before ever hearing a word from her, to instantly assure ourselves that her gaze and her smile and her wave signify no less than her compelling wish to bestow undying love upon the subject of those motions? And, naturally, that it is we alone to whom they might be aimed?

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