The Goal is a Better World
We apologize in advance if anyone feels insulted by anything we say in this chapter. All the observations are presented in very general fashion to make a better world. Nothing is intended personally.
We consider the history of the twentieth century to have been an absolute disgrace - ongoing economic upheaval interrupted only by war. This presents us with a question: If the prevailing spirituality in the world during this period were adequate, then why did we have all this trouble?
We feel that any person who practices the Golden Rule will agree that governments must do so as well. Why would spiritually developed people condone ongoing immoral activity by government? Evil is not rendered into goodness by being collective human action.
Please approach this material in the spirit in which it is intended. We are working to establish liberty, prosperity, and peace on Earth. If we have to rock the boat a little by asking people to think, then that is what we will do.
This is a long, tedious chapter. If you already understand popular religion then this will just be detailed commentary on something not worth thinking about. At the first sign of weariness, it is suggested that the reader skip ahead to the last statement (# 38) and then continue to the next chapter.
"God is the totality of All. Most other ideas in this connection are merely indigenous mythology. The only real morality is absolute Libertarian reciprocity. All other ideas in this connection are merely criminal rationalization."
1. Religion can be a fine and uplifting thing, especially when it is dynamic enough to take into account the advancing knowledge of modern science and to grow in scope along with science. Much of today's religion, however, is merely yesterday's philosophy fueled by human weakness and exploited by charismatic brainwashing con men.
2. Aggressive religiosity is all too often merely the philosophy of individuals seeking to persuade society to adopt modes of behavior which will unfairly benefit their own interests and who imagine this philosophy to be flowing through them as direct dictation from "God." The mental hospitals are filled with these people. So are the pulpits.
3. Fanatic religioners will equate goodness with scripture, evil with science and humanity. Man is the highest expressor of universal intelligence on this planet, and all scripture at best, merely an earlier product of this. Bigots who actually believe that their scriptures were dictated by a deity will deny the validity of scientific discoveries simply because these are not mentioned in the scriptures penned thousands of years before the discovery. Those who champion the banner of ignorance always seem to present themselves as having more "goodness" than learned individuals. It is not goodness which shuns truth.
4. Belief mongers will openly display caustic contempt for knowledge and clear thinking. They will say "I don't have to be logical. I have the word of God right here in my hand." It's what they have up their sleeves that worries.
"Don't speak to me of reason!
5. A person who will deny what is readily discernible through science in favor of belief is "insane." This is an insanity however, which is normal to lower types of people. There is no cure for this and none should be attempted.
6. People demand more or less of themselves intellectually and spiritually because of their individual level of development. The proportion of fantasy directed behavior of fanatic religioners often parallels that of deeply disturbed psychotics. In spite of this, the sheer numbers of such people give them a consensus for their delusions, eliminating the overwhelming sense of alienation usually present in conventional psychosis, enabling them to function at least marginally in society. However little, this is all that such people want for themselves and they should not be ridiculed unnecessarily. It is their right in a free society.
7. One who will unnecessarily insult another because of religious differences is not a genteel person (13). Those who actually prevent freedom of religion are enemies of society. The outright refusal to think cannot be cured with legislation. Religious freedom is absolutely necessary to natural order because it allows people to find their proper level of actualization. When, however, the beliefs of insane religioners cause them to encroach upon the liberty of others, it then behooves us to at least educate them before more rigorous methods become necessary.
8. Those who arrogantly think of themselves as the "elect" or "chosen" are usually despised for this. The counter reaction to this, in turn, is usually for these very special individuals to escalate their arrogance to the point of a generalized nastiness towards the "unbelievers."
9. Religious bigots will go door to door clearly demonstrating contempt for knowledge by telling people that they shouldn't read so much. In the streets, agitated religious fanatics will goad and insult passers-by, but the minute they get polite rebuttal, will act strangely hurt, as though others are somehow being terribly intolerant of their views.
10. False belief subtly enhances some emotions while suppressing others. This, when the false belief is ongoing, makes the believer feel that he is someone he is not. Such a person is little more than a puppet animated by delusion. The longer the individual holds false belief, the further he gets from the true self, from the person he would have been without the delusion. Drug use works the same way. The erroneous believer however, who speaks about character weakness in the chronic drug use of others, is being obtuse and hypocritical, even though his observations are perfectly correct.
11. Ongoing false belief should not be confused with the knowing and volitional use of controlled "make believe" for productive purposes, such as creative and therapeutic visualization, or goal oriented ceremony involving archetypal imagery. One cripples, while the other greatly uplifts.
12. There are many perfectly decent people today who use proven techniques such as meditation and yoga for therapeutic relaxation, healing, and general good health. The often noticeably pig-eyed television evangelist will openly slander these people, saying that they are "following false prophets" or are "possessed by demons." What ever became of the notion that it is moral to help oneself? If the individual uses the tools which nature provides, of course, he won't need the parasitic evangelist. No serious, self respecting individual will ever give financial support to any of these conniving spiritual bloodsuckers. The supporters of these people are themselves following false prophets, practicing cowardly beliefs which feed on ignorance and hate. Religious slaves deeply resent anybody who has the strength to grow intellectually and spiritually, because their own beliefs have rendered them inferior, and at some level, they know this.
13. The religious bigot often hides his nastiness behind false "morality," using this as a shield to lash out at others. His anger may be fueled by his own subconscious knowledge of what he has done to himself with his ridiculous beliefs. Notice the sickeningly sweet, exaggeratedly gentle and mocking tone the religious bigot will use to mask his hatred and self-assertiveness.
14. The fanatic believer will usually want to argue. When accommodating him could threaten one's other goals it may be better to parry than thrust. Sometimes merely humoring an argumentative religioner works best. In this way you can leave him just subtly aware of what he loses in esteem from more developed people because of his silly philosophy. It is also well to stress very forcefully the greater value you place upon freedom of belief in society. This shows him at very least that you respect his right to believe as he chooses. If he doesn't believe in freedom of religion, it also suggests that you consider him an enemy of society. If he does favor religious choice then your statement helps to emphasize that which unites, rather than what divides.
15. Religious bigots will often see the symbolic and allegorical components in other religions, but not in their own. They will usually attribute literal interpretation of personifications and mythologies to others and will refer to the practitioners as "superstitious." This inability to be critically analytical is one of the primary characteristics of religious bigotry.
16. The insulting religious bigot will often refer to practices of other religions as "weird." It is especially noteworthy that even some of the practitioners of theophagism will say this. Theophagism is the practice of ritually cannibalizing the flesh and vampirizing the blood of a deity. In actuality, the similarity between the basic ritual practices of most religions greatly outnumber the differences. Most, like theophagism, are of Paleolithic origin and symbolize the same things in all religions (14).
17. Imagine a highly advanced intelligence visiting Earth from another planet. where they have solved all social problems and fought their last war 25,000 years ago. Consider deeply and objectively their probable reaction to the bizarre iconography, fanciful mythologies, and ritual procedures of the major world religions. Consider also their reaction to the vast institutionalized difference everywhere between what is practiced and what is preached (15).
"Look to thine own weirdness!" ~ Dirk the Sun Warrior ~
18. Concerning Attainment:
~ The beginning of power comes when one becomes deeply and truly aware that spiritually there is something in the universe more important than oneself and is driven onward and upward towards a vague but transcendental ideal.
~ Constructive change occurs when one brings an immovable will to bear upon the utilization of power as this applies to evolving life in the universe as a whole. At this point the transcendental ideal is no longer vague.
~ Unimpeded evolutionary destiny begins to manifest when the transcendental ideal and the means to it's attainment have become crystal clear.
19. Having no working concept of anything beyond oneself is nihilistic and unimaginative (16). Humans generally use the word "God" to label whatever it is that they conceptualize as being more important than themselves. Although ideas about the nature of this vary greatly, there does seem to be enough common ground so that use of the term "God" usually helps to facilitate communication between people even of very diverse development. For that reason the term "God" will be used in this context.
20. Most of the worst atrocities committed throughout history have been done in the name of a loving "God." It seems that the more energy expended in talking about love, the less energy there is left over to give love it's actualization.
21. God need not necessarily be thought of as an anthropomorphic puppetmaster reflecting human values and weaknesses.
23. The one thing more important than any individual entity is the Totality of All, which itself includes the individual entities which comprise it (17).
24. God is the Totality of All. "Deus est Omnia, Amen."
25. The deities of any people are merely those fantasized particularizations of the Totality of All which reflect individual origins, struggles, and goals. Historically these subjective interpretations of God have been used to justify the kind of divisiveness which finds expression in the exercise of low advantage such as vandalism, plunder, rape, and torture. Apart from the veracity of individual mythologies, the spiritual rectitude of any belief system can ultimately be measured only in terms of the amount of justice manifesting in the behavior of the practitioners towards others. Only those who are free of unnecessary intolerance show integrity in demanding the same for themselves.
26. Religioners lacking the personal integrity conferred by truth, will often seek to rule others through the use of fear by making threats of supernatural punishment.
27. Proponents of many religions have advanced the notion of a savior who was sacrificed for humanity, creating in humanity a moral debt. Without disparaging any true savior, any thinking person knows that showing a small impressionable child a picture of a horribly mutilated person and solemnly telling him that this individual "died for your sins" is the exact subconscious equivalent of saying to the child, "If you don't obey me, this is what will happen to you!" There is little reason to doubt that the fanatical religioner who talks this way to children is aware, at least subconsciously, of the child's reaction to his words. This is merely psychological abuse from those who seek to dominate by fear. It is easy to understand why children who are endlessly threatened this way grow up to be so intolerant of everyone else.
"If a savior ever gets himself electrocuted, they can always cook up a good scary effigy of him with lightning bolts coming out of his ears. That should be really useful to clergymen for intimidating children" comments Dirk the Sun Warrior as he devoutly sharpens his faithful sword, Wartooth.
28. Fundamentalist religioners do not use their intelligence. They think of "God" as a person (18). They speak constantly about religion and try to ferret out non-acquiescence. If you don't share their fantasy world they look at you with cold eyes like those of a pig. In conversation they will try to out-"God" everyone around them. They feel that belief is everything and conduct is nothing. Many of these phonies care only about low self-gratification. Church merely provides social contacts. They resent everyone outside of their group for not believing exactly as they do and will usually try to intimidate with angry declarations of faith or complex allegories from their scriptures. They think the smoke screen of cryptic religious discourse and slave rhetoric can mask their evil behavior. Many religious groups will collectively blacklist anyone who disagrees with them. In this way the outsider can be denied the right to employment and can thus be driven out of the area or even to suicide, without the bigoted majority having to face up to what they have made of themselves.
29. Religious cowards hold strong beliefs which keep them from worldly success and have been taught since youth that weaklings will be successful in the next world and that those who are successful now will be punished later. Underlying these feelings, of course, is the false notion that the unsuccessful are somehow always "exploited" by the successful. They fantasize that after death all this will be sorted out by a "just" God. Those who swallow this nonsense are inevitably people of apathetic nature whose own laziness makes them perceive much of normal goal oriented behavior as dishonest or immoral. This sort of thinking is common to lower class people. It is what makes them what they are, and proceeds as a characteristic thereof. The problem here from a standpoint of individual liberty is that this same apathy, besides leading to Socialism, is also evoked as an excuse for not dealing with people who really do exploit others.
"God helps those who help themselves." ~ Benjamin Franklin !
30. The Ambassadors of Shamefulness sound just like toy robots as they regurgitate their pathetic spiel about belief in some anointed person or another as their savior. They will often counter with this nonsense as a postural surrogate for moral substance politically. Faith is offered as an excuse for immoral allegiances. They think they can do anything they want on Earth now because their savior will forgive them later. When their aggressive criticisms of others are challenged by one who points out their own total lack of tangible activity towards making the world a better place, they make alibi by accusing the constructive person of not having faith in "God" who they seem to feel should implement all right action in the world without any human participation. If you offer constructive political solutions for societal problems they accuse you of trying to supersede their savior. The mindless parroting of scripture is thus used as an excuse for apathy and moral lassitude. People who actually live moral lives don't need saviors. Educated Libertarians can easily demonstrate the superiority of our values in just a few sentences. We don't need to hide behind a thousand pages of tricky talk and falsified history.
31. Religious fanatics who champion ancient prophesies of worldwide destruction are the sickest and most nihilistic of all. Many of their prophets are simply people who understand enough seismology to make an occasional accurate prediction. They then proclaim that this knowledge was divinely inspired. These fools want children to look forward only to worldwide destruction because they really have no faith in anything, especially the power of knowledge in the service of goodness.
32. Doomsday paranoids think that the normal effects accruing to human disregard of environmental laws can only be dealt with by an angry "God." They even believe that massive seismic activity somehow constitutes a supernatural referendum on human evil. They spend endless hours trying to reconcile current events with ancient scriptural prophesy. They ignore the knowledge of present day affairs which would allow them something besides the "lesser of evils" at election time. These Servants of Cowardice never investigate the fact that most doom prophesies have led to apathetic non-resistance in host populations. Historically the writers of such prophesies have usually infiltrated and gained parasitic control in every aspect of life among their credulous victims.
33. We hear a lot today about not displaying symbols from the past which offend. Sometimes this will pertain to an ancient symbol cherished by many, but under which in the recent past, an unrepresentative subgroup has behaved unjustly. Sometimes the symbol will be an ancient one, under which in the distant past many have behaved unjustly, but more recently, not so many. Actually, there are several less vocal minorities who have every historical justification to feel deeply offended by the symbols commonly displayed every day by major world religions. Much of the imaginative cruelty common in the distant past, makes more recent cruelties seem almost humane by comparison, especially in terms of the true number of victims.
34. If we examine history we find that almost every group has been persecuted by somebody at one time or another. The amount any particular group complains or attempts to "educate" others is often spurred by how recently one's people have been persecuted. Only when the links of living memory are broken by the passage of time will such persecution assume a normal historical perspective. Historical complaint, of course, will often reflect a goal of political advantage through sympathy. Some groups have even been "persecuted" or despised all along because of their practice of always trying to rewrite history in their own favor by slandering others. Those with the most subtle and vicious tongues often will, for their own protection, speak very much against violence of the more open and martial variety.
35. The amount of tolerance enjoyed by any particular religion, even in a society professing religious freedom, is directly proportional to the amount of clout wielded by that religion. This in turn, is proportional to the amount of financial or political influence exerted.
36. Less well known religious groups are almost universally ridiculed or slandered by the general public especially by: hate mongering television evangelists; silly stereotypes created through the production of shallow, inaccurate, low-budget movies; and immoral news people who seek to advance their careers through sensationalism pandering to bigotry. How psychologizing become the critics of "cults" pointing out that, "it gives them a sense of identity and belonging" as though this does not apply every bit as much in the case of the major world religions, which are themselves nothing more than large orthodox "cults" seeming to give greater legitimacy and safety merely through numbers.
37. Those who wish to influence others directly regarding spiritual matters must realize that humanity can be changed, but only very slowly. It is useless to go door to door or to doggedly work religion into every conversation. One can however, rent a building, and in the free marketplace of ideas, hang out a sign, advertise, and then see who is interested.
38. The spiritual beliefs of native populations reflect the original human reaction to the country before it became spoiled by the arrival of subsequent invading or immigrating populations. Often the concepts and symbols of these earlier religions are very beautiful and convey a deep sense of rootedness to the land, even when contemplated by the descendants of later arrivals. The lessons and stories are often based upon birds and animals. Some upon the elements. These ideas can teach profound respect and love for the natural environment. The casual study of these earlier ways can have a fine unifying effect within a country upon people of diverse religion and ethnicity.
13. The most insulting person in this regard ever encountered by the author was a modern-day pirate from Miami, Florida. It was January 1991. We were in Palm Beach eating lunch at an outdoor cafe. The girls were in the ladies room to "powder" their noses (author does not use drugs). There was a Catholic priest sitting at the next table alone. The pirate was drinking cold ale and suddenly broke wind with a loud crackling sound like a machine gun, proclaiming "Har Matey, and thar be a kiss for the baby Jesus." A few moments later came a even louder volley with the sly retort "and thar be an Auschwitz nosegay for the Virgin Mary." The priest glared at him fiercely, then looked away. The girls returned and after a few minutes the priest rose to leave. The pirate looked up at him and chanted, "Well he don't go with the girls who screw, but he brown-nose up to his crucified Jew." The priest gasped "Blasphemy!" While the author does not approve of such remarks, he can offer no apology to Jews or Christians, believing that wisdom is best served by associating, in proper measure, with all kinds of people, even murderous vulgarians.
15. "Red and swollen tears tumble from her eyes
16. For example, in debate with Atheists the author found that even one of the most educated and open-minded of them completely dismissed out-of-hand the proven research of J. B. Rhine regarding ESP because he "doesn't subscribe to ideas about disembodied intelligence." The fact that ESP has been accepted science taught in the best universities for the past fifty years doesn't even impinge upon him, because it doesn't fit his motivating premise of dogmatic nihilism. Such an individual is to ESP what a "creation science" religioner is to the proven facts of evolution.
17. A man in Africa holds his newborn son above his head facing the starlit sky:
18. "You cannot petition the Lord with prayer!" ~ Jim Morrison ~