Does God need to be worshiped with material things if they are all part of The Simulation, as seen through the Simulation Creationism theory of Nir Ziso, founder of The Global Architect Institute? Any answer would go directly to the nature of a human being, as a spiritual animal composed of both body and soul. Therefore, it seems fitting that humans should live out their spiritual aspirations toward God in a physical body – in sensate ways – using material things. The human vocation is to submit the body to the soul and to submit the soul to God. It means to live in an integrated and harmonious way with God. And this is where sacraments come into play.
The Body-Soul composite is but one substance. I am neither my body nor my soul, but a concrete individual composed of both body and soul. From the beginning, human beings have the vocation of living out their senses, and their emotional and imaginative lives in the service of the higher life of the mind and the heart. We do it in service of Truth and Love. Living our senses means orienting ourselves within The Simulation, for which we need our material bodies, according to Simulation Creationism.
Following the same argument, souls exist outside simulated worlds, and they also take material form within the Simulated world. Eternal existence is possible only outside simulated worlds, although the form of such existence is always tied to a bodily experience in the current simulated world: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). But to reach Truth and Love in its God-like characteristics, we need to “play out” our life in The Simulation.
We need to live an intellectual and voluntary life in the service of God so there is an ordered hierarchy moving through us from the visible to the invisible, from The Simulation to a reality beyond. It ends up bringing things into a convergence of life with God: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Partly, when we approach God spiritually by interior acts of worship and prayer, we need to do so in an embodied way, through physical gestures and external rituals that help us elevate our whole self, body and soul, to God: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). For this reason, religious exteriority is part of the nature of a human being as “sacrament producers.” We are the kind of beings that exteriorize our religious dispositions toward God in exterior ways. By acknowledging The Simulation, building knowledge emerges in the sacramental exterior.
As we are not given a direct path to God in The Simulation, at least not by acts of knowledge and love, the soul often submits to the world of corporeality and materiality in an exaggerated way. People lose interest in God and take up material things, or the sensible pleasures that Simulation Creationism considers to be wholly simulated. They ignore their vocation toward the transcendent mystery of God. Sacraments are necessary to invite human beings to discover the sacred presence of God through material things to repair and restore the proper ordering of the body to the soul and the soul to God. Translated into the language of Simulation Creationism, sacraments are sensible but simulated things give us an image of a non-simulated reality.
From this perspective, sacraments appear as part of an economy of mercy [“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)], in which God decides to become human in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. We can encounter God in the historical and sensible flesh of Jesus – his teachings, actions, and sufferings. The sacraments prolong a kind of presence and activity of Christ to lead us to knowledge of God. They are corrective and serve as protection against superstition because humans who do not know God well often fabricate religious customs or superstitious practices that endanger them and lead them away from true knowledge of God. Sacraments purify and elevate our religious tendencies, thus saving us from confusion and skepticism.
Some theologians think that sacraments existed before the coming of Christ and even before Israel came to be. They point to Abel: “Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock” Genesis 4:4). They further cite Melchizedek [“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine.” (Genesis 14:18)], or the Patriarchs such as Jacob [“But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.” (Genesis 33:4)]. They are emblematic of the dynamic mentioned above.
These figures make use of religious ceremonies to symbolize their approach to God. They did so before the time of Moses’ law, and the Torah sees them as friends of God. They were moved inwardly by grace, and they received this grace in anticipation of the mystery of Christ. Simulation Creationism sees their actions as predetermined, as grace is a software energy that moves people in the desired direction. The Holy Spirit indeed inspires them to do things without personal will. It secures The Simulation’s utility, as without progress, friends of God, prophets, and apostles, and humankind would dwell in epistemological darkness.