Archive for December, 2012

69 – On Organized Religion …

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

There is currently no physical evidence whatsoever of the existence of Jesus. The accounts of his life, according to historical records, were written decades after his death, and thus they differ. It is a very well-known fact that the human mind, in recollection, begins to take for certain its own distortion of events.

But the Fact remains that like Buddha or Muhammad, Jesus left an indelible mark on Humanity. Thousands, millions, still follow him. If Jesus truly existed he must have been a very courageous man. With a message of Love, he dared to challenge the tyranny and cruelty of the Roman Empire, knowing full well that this will bring him death by crucifixion.

History shows, Organized Religion creates gods in our own image but with qualities we can never attain. We are told that Jesus was human enough to feel desire, anger, love, loneliness, doubt, pain; but we are also told that he was god-like enough to be born of a god-impregnated-virgin, come back to life after three days, and ascend to heaven in his resuscitated body. And although the god-like qualities cannot currently be verified … may never be … followers are expected to believe in them without doubt. This is Dogma.

In our current cultures, especially in Western and Islamic cultures, the overriding role of Organized Religion is to perpetuate Dogma by limiting Rational Thinking. The phenomenon of Organized Religion as a form of Power and Control is a great Human paradox: Organized Religion is a human invention that commands Division and blind Obedience – our god is the true god, no questions allowed – yet it also brings us together to help others and to do good, especially in catastrophic situations. As a form of Power, Organized Religion is a wonderful force when focused on Nurturing human nature, but as a form of Control, it is a horrific force that keeps us Hating and Killing each other.

Faith, to believe in something, to know that there is Something or Someone beyond the beauty and brutality of Nature; to know that there is Something or Someone behind the order, creativity, and complexity of our Universe; to know that there is Something or Someone inside all of us – stirring us to keep on going, to keep on seeking – is a characteristic of our highly evolved intellect. We are highly self-reflective creatures, and so we have the capacity to wonder about what it means to be Human, to Exist, to Love, to possess a Mind that can reflect on itself. But because each one of us grows so uniquely – day by day, moment by moment, experience by experience, manipulating and being manipulated by our environments – our beliefs are very personal, and filled with doubt and wonder. And because we are vulnerable, especially in our developing years, it is a horrendous crime to bend Belief to perpetuate Division and Dogma.

Organized Religion rescues millions from desperation and loneliness, but it also incites hate and ignorance. How different our world will be when Religions let go of Dogma and guide people instead to discover their own Faith … how very different!

Revised February 2019

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68 – On Misguided Power …

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Man’s ascendancy through his evolutionary path – all the way from his adventure into the open savannas as an erect simian, to the technologically advanced and savvy competitor in today’s world – has been of a constant struggle for Power.

Before agriculture was introduced into primitive groups, the male had to risk their lives to hunt for food, while the females controlled and maintained the social structure that nurtured the group and its progeny. The advantages of agriculture to grow and store foods brought an end to this primitive structure, introducing the male to the concept of Leisure and a whole new social struggle, the struggle for Power – to be the dominant ruler, to control his world.

The initial step to overcome this structure was to take away control from the females. The second step was to create a hierarchy through brute force. But as the members of the group grew into the infirmity of old age, dominance by brute force had to be substituted. And the fabrication of personal contact with imagined deities to explain the unexplainable and inflame worship and submission, replaced brute force by introducing deception and fear as tools to attain control and power.

These are, of course, sketchy scenarios based on a very incomplete record of our evolution. But these primitive forces – strip power from the female and incite worship in the older male through deception and fear – are fundamentally the same forces dominating our cultures today.

Three powerful and erroneous ideas were later introduced to fortify these primitive forces: 1. Descartes’ assumption that the mind is separate from the body, which led us to the false idea that because we can Think we are separate from and superior to Nature 2. Newton’s assumption that the Universe is mechanical, which led us to think that Nature can be understood by taking it apart and 3. Darwin’s survival of the fittest, which has been twisted as ‘Might makes Right’ to impose oppressive and destructive political-economic ideologies. And with the advent of the industrial age, and with the Rights of individuals given to corporations (religious and otherwise), the notion that Power can only be achieved through brute force, destruction, deception, fear, and without regards for responsibility for our actions, took over on a global scale as the most ‘successful’ Paradigm for Humanity.

This is our current Paradigm: Brute force, fear-based obedience, harmful growth upon fragile resources, destruction without responsibility, unquestioning belief. This is the Paradigm we depend upon to lead us into the Future!!!

The unsustainable population growth this Paradigm demands (corporations need consumers and organized religions need followers), and the devastation it brings upon the environment that gives us life, have wrought a crisis that is forcing us to question its destructiveness. But the patriarchal powers that benefit from it are fighting with everything they have. It is thus that any discussion on the most critical issue facing Humanity – unsustainable population growth – is obliterated.

We claim to have evolved higher intellects, to have attained higher levels of self-awareness, to have become highly ‘civilized’, yet the limiting and destructive notion that the success of a group, or society, or culture, can only be achieved under brute power, deception, and fear, still dominates most male behavior with the sad consequence that most women in positions of power take on the same male-like behaviors that easily overpower their nurturing instinct.

It is undeniable that under the domination of this Paradigm we have indeed achieved enormous ‘concentrations’ of wealth and amazing technological progress. Yet it is also undeniable that under this same Paradigm the devastation of unending war, violence, ignorance, genocide, starvation, environmental degradation, incredible levels of irrationality, deception, hate, poverty and cruelty, is rampant.

Can the male in our ‘advanced’ cultures realize that our lust for Power is not Creating but Destroying our future? Can we see that the perpetuation of our primitive and hostile mentality is the cause of the greatest crisis Humanity has ever faced? Can we understand that giving less power to the survival instincts that dominated our long-gone ancestors while instead giving more power to more creative forms of cooperation, will not be horribly detrimental to our virility?

Reviewed February 2019

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the Blog, click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page, down below the Archives.