What Happens When These People Realize Their World is Not Real?

Sundays, a film by Mischa Rozema and PostPanic Pictures. This brilliant short proof of concept film elegantly dramatizes what happens when people first realize that their world isn’t real. A metaphor for our times, this matrix like reality begins to crumble, leaving the characters with the possibility of an awakening.

From VIMEO:

Set in Mexico City sometime in the future and starring US actor Brian Petsos and Mexican actress Sofia Sisniega, SUNDAYS is an ambitious philosophical science-fiction proof-of-concept short.

The end of the world seems like a nightmare to Ben. A memory of a past life that doesn’t belong to him. When Ben starts to remember Isabelle, the only love he’s ever known, he realizes she’s missing in his life. An existential descent into confusion and the desperate need to find out the truth begins. This reality depicts a stunning, surprising and dark world. A world that is clearly not his.

Institutional Thinking – The Matrix, 1984 and The Allegory of The Cave

I saw this and thought it would be a perfect follow up to my last post. Thanks Ethan, and Waking Times for all the awesome information you put out there. (groovy picture below from google images). Keep in mind this was written around 380 B.C. so sadly, it’s safe to say enlightenment seems very slow in coming to the collective we. Does mankind really prefer to look at the shadows rather than look up at the light of the sun?

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Ethan ‘Indigo’ Smith, Contributor
Waking Times

Some philosophical work is so profound as to be influential for thousands of years. Plato’s ‘The Republic‘ is one such series of dialogues. It explains and explores the relationship between state institutions and individuals, and has provided humanity with lessons in politics, philosophy and individual enlightenment since it was penned some two thousand years ago.

One of the central dialogues in The Republic is called the Allegory of the Cave. The lessons the Allegory of the Cave provides to today’s world are numerous, and its depiction of our insidious societal structure is extremely accurate and insightful — despite often going unacknowledged as such.  Through its exploration of our political outer states, it also explores our psychological inner state as well.

The Allegory of The Cave proposes that what people take to be ‘reality’ in total is only a partial reality, or an all out illusion.  As is all similar philosophy, the allegory is layered, but it is partially about breaking from mainstream thinking and seeking individual knowledge; the ascension of  perspective; being in a cave and coming out of a cave. It’s about how we can ascend from the bottom to stand face-to-face with the golden Sun.

Socrates begins:  “Let me show you in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened Behold! Human beings living in an underground cave”.

The 4 Characters of the Cave

In the Allegory there are four character types.  Most people are chained, forced to watch images on a cave wall. Some however, the second character type, are unchained. They need no force; they are so transfixed with the imagery on the wall that the shadows are all they care about, and remain in the cave by choice. The images are cast on the wall by the third character type, the captors, who use a fire behind them to produce various shadows, to keep the prisoners entertained. The prisoners interpret the shadows and whatever noises are made as reality in total, for it is all they know. The fourth character type is the freed prisoner.

The narrative of The Cave hypothesizes what happens after the prisoner is released from the false imagery to which his society is subjected. In the film The Matrix, Neo is the freed prisoner; in 1984, Winston Smith dreams of being the freed prisoner.

The Freed Prisoner

The story of the freed prisoner goes that, after initial shock and distress, the prisoner learns to distinguish between reality and shadows, and sees the fire producing the shadows. When exiting the cave, he is first blinded by the light but eventually learns the basics of nature. He learns what is real, and what is shadow and reflection. He learns of Earth and Water and that all is dependent on the Sun, seasons and all life. After learning of the true reality outside the cave, free of the false images of his captors, the prisoner is inclined to return and inform those still confined to the cave of their present predicament… with unexpected results.

Similarly, the story of 1984 by George Orwell  takes place within an imagined dystopian future;  the allegorical cavern. The Telescreen, which constantly transmits as well as oversees, is equivalent to the shadows on the cave wall cast by the unseen captors, the Inner Party. Most people in 1984 are Proles; they are equivalent to the people chained in the cave, forced to accept false imagery as their reality. They have been prisoners their whole lives and do not notice the fact they are chained. The Outer party are the unchained, remaining totally transfixed on the party line told by the Telescreen. They are so loyal to the imagery and  narrative created by their captors that they will believe whatever they are shown, rather than observe for themselves. They will believe two plus two is five, as the saying goes, as long as it is presented as such on the Telescreen.

In the  dystopian world of  The Matrix, the same futuristic Allegory of The Cave is again explored. Neo is freed and seeks to free the others, and encounters the same archetypes and challenges.

Moreover the return of the freed prisoner can also be related to the ‘return of the prophet’ described in many theological constructs.

The Freed and the Scorned

The experience of the freed prisoner who returns to the Cave to free his fellow captors  is depicted in all three narratives; the Allegory of the Cave, 1984, and The Matrix.

In 1984  Emmanuel Goldstein (Emmanuel = God is with us, Goldstein = gold rock)  is a character who figuratively left the cave, or understood the Inner Party’s images were lies and attempted to get others to understand the institutional lies. Emmanuel is the supposed leader of the elusive Brotherhood in 1984, and is scorned, even hated by society. His attempt to enlighten his community to its captivity is met with disbelief,  resistance and scorn.

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The character of Winston Smith in 1984 is that of a person who attempts to leave the cave. He is privy to certain Inner Party lies and begins to question the Inner Party line  and seek alternate facts and perceptions. Winston’s end is not a happy one; akin to the return of the prisoner hypothesized in The Allegory of The Cave, he  attempts to leave the cave only to be shut in and beaten down – made to hold the party line by both prisoners and captors alike.

Similarly, today, individuals can transmute from dull repetitive ‘thought’ into ascended golden thinking, but as our minds are freed, one at a time, we ultimately find that our broader society is embedded with a series of norms and structures – of Matrices and Caves – that perpetuate false imagery, preserving the status quo from the ‘threat’ of  individual thinking.

Individuals and Institutions

Some fictional literature is so profound as to be relevant for decades (and centuries) and serves to expand humanity’s language and thought; its understanding of itself. George Orwell’s  1984 is one such literary work. It is a post WWII interpretation of the relationship between individuals and institutions, using the archetypal Allegory of the Cave.

The Allegory of the Cave, 1984 and The Matrix contain corresponding layers. Each explores a diabolical form of societal control; the control of thought through the presentation of selective information and images,  in combination with physical constraints of  strict surveillance and imprisonment. Sound familiar? In fact, the original title of 1984 was proposed as The Last Man in Europe. Certainly that is the way many of us feel – as if we are the last lone person – when we first become aware of lies and partial-truths that are presented as reality by those in control, and accepted in totality by seemingly everyone else.

George Orwell’s 1984 spawned new language for age-old structures of manipulation presented in the Allegory of the cave – the word “Orwellian” being one among many. This all-encompassing term is reflective of lies made to be truths, unlimited institutional surveillance, and logic so distorted as to not only convince the masses that two plus two equal five, but that war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength; and also to deny the very basic elements of nature… Just as we do today.

In reality, individual ignorance is strength to institutions. Everyone has their own personal caves and we are all figuratively held in larger societal caverns. Coming up with your own questions is the way get out of the cave and gain enlightenment. Questioning what seems like a lie, or an illusion in the cave, is the first step outside the cave.

The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall toward the earth’s center. With the feeling that he was speaking to… and setting forth an important axiom, he wrote: “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows”. ~  George Orwell’s 1984

Ethan Discusses ‘The Allegory of The Cave’ on Aquarian Radio

Click here  to listen to  Ethan discussing the Allegory of the Cave, and much more, with Janet and Sasha on the Planetary Oligarchy series (presented by Aquarian Radio).

About the Author

Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity and humanity, Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humour.

Ethan’s publications include:

For more information, visit Ethan on Facebook. (I follow him and enjoy his posts).

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

Plato’s Cave: An Explanation of Reality and Awakening

Youtube Video – Here is an animated version of Plato’s Cave, the most popular, most insightful attempt to explain reality as we know it. The ‘cave’ represents the state of most human beings, while the tale of a dramatic exit from the cave means awakening.

More Tom Campbell

Despite the fact that Thomas Campbell totally resonates with me and makes perfect sense in every respect with his words via book or youtube videos, there are those skeptics that just won’t even really hear what he is saying. I think it’s because of preconceived ideas or beliefs acquired during their time spent in their present avatar (ego). He freely shares his information and always concedes that his theory is incomplete and that it is HIS theory, and we should each develop our own intuitive TOE (theory of everything). Concerning the nature of reality, Tom came into my life at just the right time. All the digging through comparative religions, mystery teachings, Gnosticism, Buddhism, anti-mainstream literalistic dogmatic religions, mythicism and all the things I’ve researched the past couple decades seem to be summed (or included) up in Tom’s TOE, with the perfect blend of the much needed scientific and mystic knowledge to derive a solid big TOE . There’s over 230 youtube videos and he posts a new one about every week. His book My Big TOE can be read for free at google books. He is not doing this for money. He has many times said that having an OBE is not that important, so he’s not promising to teach you how to do it. He just says it’s possible for anyone with the proper intent to do so, as well as perform remote healing and remote viewing. But putting that aside and just absorbing his Big TOE is quite amazing. He obviously will have his enemies and debunkers. To me they are the ones that are closed minded and not giving him a fair hearing. They listen to one video and shut him down when their arguments against him are truthfully answered in another lecture. If one were to listen to many of his videos, one would realize he’s not a charlatan with a hidden agaenda. He has other scientists listening and agreeing with him. I hope you get to know him, he is making a difference. The following is from a forum I was reading where a woman asks Tom a question. (Tom never gives a short answer):

Question to Tom: “…..what in your opinion, could your work contribute to the future of Physics”

A very good and reasonable question trying to figure out: “where’s the beef”….. indeed “is there any beef?”

You know, it is difficult to assess the value of your own work objectively. To be valid, verification and general acceptance needs to come from others. To me, it seems perfectly clear though the concepts are very challenging to most who hear them for the first time – other technical people, including physicists who approach my work with open minds generally find that it is logically solid and answers fundamental questions otherwise unanswerable. I live my talk about open-minded skepticism — The skeptical part will feel satisfied and successful – standing on perfectly solid ground — only after physics (science in general) absorbs, embraces and accepts the core ideas in My Big TOE – that’s real validation. But such a major change in attitude and perspective will not come easily or quickly – it will require physicists to rethink their notions of reality from the ground up – to cast aside the beliefs with which they now paint themselves into a corner that does not contain the answer. Trying to change the mind of committed believers has historically been a very difficult thing to do – whether in metaphysics or physics. Cultural beliefs run much deeper than the intellect.

However, the good news is, physics does seem to be moving in that direction – digital physics is a concept that is growing more acceptable by the mainstream. The research describing mind-matter entanglement at prestigious universities like Princeton and Temple (backward causality, modifying random event generators, the placebo effect, anticipatory empathetic reactions, etc.) represent rock solid objective science with immaculate protocol. The fundamental failure of physics in almost 100 years to make any serious progress toward finding a TOE that unites the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics under one more-general set of principles is shouting that the fundamental assumptions of physics are incomplete. The solution to all that is both fundamental and unfathomable is at hand: My Big TOE theory, with just two unremarkable assumptions provides the critical missing ingredient in digital physics (what and where is Dr. Fredkin’s “other”), explains the mind-matter experiments with clear logical science, and unites relativity and quantum mechanics, showing them to be an approximation, a special case of a larger, more general and more complete theory. Just as the “flat earth” assumption was found to be valid for short distances, and Newtonian physics was found to be a special case approximation valid for a limited set of Macro conditions (slow speeds and medium to large sizes).

Once physics sees the logic of it and can outgrow the limiting beliefs that now constrain the traditional solution set such that it does not contain the correct answer, the effect upon our understanding and culture will be as big, if not bigger, than the round earth, Newtonian physics, and relativity and quantum mechanics all put together. (and I think it will one day happen because it is a better theory under the criteria science traditionally uses to determine the worth of a theory). An age of discovery and change will open up the minds and affect the personal lives of hundreds of millions of individuals over a decade – this is science that affects people personally – it is about the point and purpose of their existence – life and death. Science by itself would not have that large of an affect. However, My Big TOE not only delivers a breakthrough in physics but more importantly delivers an even larger breakthrough in philosophy, metaphysics, and theology. It would be hard to overestimate its potential impact on the people of this planet – scientists, philosophers, and theologians all solving their long standing intractable issues of understanding with the same set of overarching principles.

One minor example to make this point seem more real: Most who are seriously committed to religion and who attend my workshops or read the MBT trilogy, tell me that they equate the larger consciousness system with God. It’s a perfect fit for those with a broader perspective of their religion. In their minds MBT derives God – i.e., an understanding of God that explains who, what, why, and how God is – and defines their personal relationship to God with logic and science replacing belief, creed, and dogma. Can you imagine theology where open-minded skepticism replaces belief as the fundamental requirement? I have people telling me they keep MBT and their bibles together on their nightstand?! And that is just theology (the most belief laden and intractable of the four) – the other three: physics, philosophy, and metaphysics are affected no less. If this attitude were to become a widespread concept (MBT does explain theology very nicely – and the fact that it also explains physics very nicely provides vast credibility) what kind of an effect would it have on the world – that is but one potential, one simple example that could contribute to a tsunami of changing attitudes toward the nature of our reality. Do you see the potential and why I said that “It would be hard to overestimate its potential impact on the people of this planet – scientists, philosophers, and theologians all solving their long standing intractable issues of understanding with the same set of overarching principles.” The changes in physics alone would be revolutionary and that would be the smaller part.

This theory is falsifiable. There are literally dozens of experiment that can be done to verify the predicted results. This is real science, not just another wild improvable theory that sounds good if you don’t think about it too hard.

When any of this might happen, I have no idea – perhaps not in my lifetime – it all depends on how the ball bounces – who picks it up and how the knowledge spreads. Who knows, the scientists might not lead this massive cultural change (cultural, scientific, spiritual, growth spurt), instead they may be dragged along by it because they are so committed to their beliefs. Science is the de-facto religion of the West (what most people believe in as being the fundamental source of truth) and science, like religion, has a vested interest in maintaining their belief systems. However, the truth is not fragile – science will eventually, sooner or later, accept it.

I hope this is what you are looking for. In short, here is the potential impact of MBT: this theory could turn physics on its head, produce a broader, more powerful, and more generally correct scientific method (the old one becoming a special case approximation), and advance the level of understanding and productivity of science greatly. It could unify physics, metaphysics, philosophy and theology, solving most all of the outstanding fundamental problems, and all derivable from the same overarching elegantly simple principles based on two easily acceptable assumptions. And that would be the least of it. And because I know that logic, truth and science are what they are, and MBT is what it is, I think one day, when the time is right and people are ready to let go of fear and belief for a better, more productive understanding of reality and existence, all this change will happen because the truth is not fragile – eventually it will become known. Today we are on the cusp of that happening – perhaps even in our lifetime.

Tom Campbell

(here is a partial review of My Big TOE):

Scientific Basis

Tom points out that all systems of cosmology posit a mystical beginning. Even our current physics asks us to accept that the Big Bang was uncaused or that what caused it is unknown and unknowable. He uses concepts from modern physics, analogies from information theory and computing to build his Big TOE (Theory of Everything).

As a scientist, he is at pains to say that his TOE (MBT) is a model, not a fixed set of beliefs. He pretty much despises beliefs, whether materialist or religious, because they put bounds on our experience; they tend to turn into dogma and become a prison for the mind. If something happens that does not fit our beliefs, we tend to reject it, often without enquiry. This is no way to make philosophical or evolutionary progress. (Sometimes you can tell from the tone that Tom has had to suffer ridicule from materialists.) So Tom insists that we should not take his model on trust, which is by necessity a work in progress; the last thing he wants is to make a scientological-style religion out of it. Always, we should “taste the pudding”, test it and see how it measures up to our own understanding; and then develop our own version of the model.

Take meditation for example: he recommends that we should try this for two 20 minute (TM mantra) sessions a day for 3 months, whether we wish to attempt OBEs or not. If after that time, we do not notice a difference in ourselves (‘objectively’ tested by other people’s reactions to us, changed opinion of us, and our own improved ability to focus), then we should vary the technique or move on.

Metaphors

When MBT uses analogies from the world we know, these are to be understood as metaphors. Metaphors are, however, peculiarly and particularly relevant to MBT, because Reality is understood to be fractal in Nature. A fractal is a modern mathematical way of saying “As above, So Below”. The same laws and processes manifest in similar ways at different levels of reality.

Ordinarily, we are trapped in the ‘little picture’. Our Physical Matter Reality is one of many similar ‘subsets’ within a ‘superset’ Non-Physical Matter reality. The NPMR superset cannot possibly be understood in terms of one of its PMR subsets. This would be like the two-dimensional beings of E.A. Abbott’s Flatland trying to comprehend the idea of our three-dimensional world.

However, an insightful metaphor can actually help us to transcend the boundaries between realities and so get a glimpse of the ‘Big Picture’. Poets, of course, have always understood this idea.

Occasionally, MBT also mentions the term “hologram”, but this is not developed, presumably because we can’t easily find holograms in nature. It is easier to find fractal patterns and we can readily invoke fractal metaphors.

Read entire review of My Big TOE here: https://sites.google.com/site/iscatusben/review-of-my-big-t

Lots more videos here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tom+campbell

(Individual) IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH (To Institutions)

Ethan recently asked me to give his new book The Geometry of Energy: How to Meditate  a shout out, available here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T3MZ8K8 He has also been making a lot of interesting Facebook posts. You can follow him here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ethan-Indigo-Smith/423549761069857 . In honor of his new book I will repost an article by him. Cheers.

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By Ethan Indigo Smith

Your ignorance is their strength.  Human history is the story of individuals and institutions.  And today we are at the crossroads.  Arguably all of the world’s most extreme problems stem from information and its lacking.  Today there is a matrix formed at these crossroads, a figurative fork in the road where our story can be altered, where the direction will be chosen.  We can submit to the information overlords or we can share information for all so that the entire globe can move forward.

“Two dangerous runaway processes have taken root in the last decade, with fatal consequences for democracy.  Government secrecy has been expanding on a terrific scale.  Simultaneously, human privacy has been secretly eradicated.”  ~Julian Asange

We can allow institutions to control information or we can open up and share information for all.  Information is restricted from individuals and held by institutions so as to steer our thinking.  Institutions seek to control information so as to control the direction of the population.  The reason we all think the way we do is because of what we know and what we believe we know.  For instance if the majority of individuals knew the detriment of war and nuclear experimentation no one would allow mad scientists and evildoers to perpetuate such ruinous turmoil.  If the majority knew about the total environmental destruction that is taking place we would act to make a change.  And yet information on relevant situations that directly affect us all is restricted so that we are steered to think a certain way or not think at all about certain things.  Access to relevant information is being restricted by institutions.

Alternatively institutions are compiling mostly irrelevant information on individuals.  As the government and corporate oligarchical collectives of the world restrict information on their activities and the world’s actualities they are compiling information on individual activities.  This information is basically useless and arbitrary information or would be, if it weren’t for the impetus to control everyone and everyone’s thinking.  Relevant information should be open to all and the personal/irrelevant information should be irrelevant to institutions.

We all make our decisions on information.  All people of the world have an unwritten right to information.  Controlling oligarchical institutions should not have access to information that individuals do not have.  The divine right of institutions should be eliminated beginning with and perhaps dependent on the open exchange of information.

“Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.”  ~Barack Obama…

(Which as we know was complete bullshit by some guy who was insane and corrupt enough to want to pretend to rule the world. But OUR ignorance is THEIR strength. “Presidents are not elected, they are selected.” ~ Roosevelt)  – hipmonkey

Born To Be Mild

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Your life is not an accident. Your life is lived in your mind. Life is also lived in your heart. Sometimes you rue your actions or inaction. You call them whopping mistakes, and, yet, still, you don’t know yet how one action leads to another and how it will all play out. You can’t think all that much about what has been and what is yet to be.

Your essence comes into fruition not by trying but by allowing. To revel in your capacity to glow and spread your Love to all those around you is a privilege and a right you have and are discovering with each passing day. As cliche’ as it has become, everything you experience in your Earthly Lives happens for a reason, and you have steered your own Lives and experiences in the directions best intended for your growth.

Perhaps the purpose is that ‘God’ (the ancient’s name for Consciousness) needs to evolve to stay alive, and It does this by splitting Itself apart into us, and It’s life depends on us evolving into Love. We are One with this Consciousness.

It appears that consciousness is digital information packets encoded in photons (god is light), and the future exists as a probability (as proven by the double slit experiment) based on our choices and intent. We are this very Consciousness. We THINK we are bodies, but we aren’t. In truth, there is no proof that matter exists. The closer we look the more emptiness we see. Life is at most energy and/or vibration, but even that is a product of consciousness. There is in truth only Consciousness and everything emanates from It. We are the thoughts of Conscious Awareness and that means this reality is a virtual reality. (Virtual means rendering information). We are like characters or avatars in a video game. When the avatar ‘dies’ the player doesn’t die. The player gets a new avatar and keeps playing. Most of us are immersed in the game and don’t realize (or care to know) it’s just a game, but that’s OK. Evolution is a slow process. We will evolve into true human beings, a mankind of Gaia via love and co-operation. Eventually.

And by the way, there are things we just cannot know. I’m fine with that. I love a good mystery. I will not fill that void of not knowing with “beliefs.” That’s a box I struggled too hard to get out of.

Belief = Ignorance.

Pearls Before Swine?

pig_roast  EATING  PORK 

Many religious people are admonished not to eat pork because it is so written in the Bible.

Well consider Gods true concern.

IS IT WHAT YOU EAT?

OR IS IT WHAT YOU THINK?

The pig is a symbol of the lower mind because it loves to roll in the mud.

Not eating pork is a symbol of not consuming the lower flesh which is the carnal mind of emotions and feelings.

 God is saying you are to seek the higher mind in meditation and not consume the lower, which is the pig.

 

So when you are meditating and separating from thought, you are abstaining from pork.

  Matthew 15:11 1. It is not that which goes into the mouth that defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, that defiles a man.

by Bill Donahue – www.truemeanings.com

 

You can make all the excuses you want and continue to roll in the mud of your literalist beliefs, but that my friend is consuming the flesh of swine.

 

The Evolution of Consciousness With Peter Russell

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For years Western Science has relegated consciousness to an epiphenomenon created by the brain. There are, however, serious problems with this approach and an alternative worldview is emerging in which consciousness is an essential quality of the cosmos.

With human beings, this universal consciousness has evolved to the stage of self-reflective consciousness — we are aware that we are aware — opening us to new realms of imagination and innovation. Yet, at the same time, our newfound powers are also threatening our survival as a species. We are being asked to step beyond a limited ego-centric consciousness and awaken to our true nature, to discover for ourselves the inner peace and freedom spoken of by mystics the world over.

Peter Russell is an author, public speaker, and multimedia producer who is recognized as a leading thinker on consciousness and contemporary spirituality. He coined the term “global brain” with his 1980’s bestseller of the same name in which he predicted the Internet and the impact it would have on humanity. He is the author of nine books, including Waking Up in Time, and From Science to God.

His principal interest is the inner challenges of the times we are passing through. Peter believes if we are to navigate our way safely through these turbulent times we need to listen to the wisdom of the world’s spiritual traditions, as well as to our current scientific understanding. For more information on him visit: peterrussell.com

20 Weird Religious Beliefs

Whats It All Mean

  1. The foreskin of [a holy one] may lie safeguarded in reliquaries made of gold and crystal and inlayed with gems–or it may have ascended into the heavens all by itself. (2)
  2. A race of giants once roamed the earth, the result of women and demi-gods interbreeding. (1). They lived at the same time as fire breathing dragons. (1)
  3. Evil spirits can take control of pigs. (1)
  4. A talking donkey scolded a prophet. (1, 3)
  5. A righteous man can control his wife’s access to eternal paradise. (6)
  6. Brown skin is a punishment for disobeying God. (6)
  7. A prophet once traveled between two cities on a miniature flying horse with the face of a woman and the tail of a peacock. (4)
  8. [The Holy One] forbids a cat or dog receiving a blood transfusion and forbids blood meal being used as garden fertilizer. (7)
  9. Sacred underwear protects believers from spiritual contamination and, according to some adherents, from fire and speeding bullets (6)
  10. When certain rites are performed beforehand, bread turns into human flesh after it is  swallowed. (2)
  11. Invisible supernatural beings reveal themselves in mundane objects like oozing paint or cooking food. (2)
  12. In the end times, [the Holy One’s] chosen people will be gathered together in Jackson County, Missouri. (6)
  13. Believers can drink poison or get bit by snakes without being harmed. (1)
  14. Sprinkling water on a newborn, if done correctly, can keep the baby from eons of suffering should he or she die prematurely. (2)
  15. Waving a chicken over your head can take away your sins. (3)
  16. [A holy one] climbed a mountain and could see the whole earth from the mountain peak. (1, 2)
  17. Putting a dirty milk glass and a plate from a roast beef sandwich in the same dishwasher can contaminate your soul. (3)
  18. There will be an afterlife in which exactly 144,000 people get to live eternally in Paradise. (8)
  19. Each human being contains many alien spirits that were trapped in volcanos by hydrogen bombs. (5)
  20. [A supernatural being] cares tremendously what you do with your penis or vagina. 1,2,3,4,6,7,8.

Entire article here: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2015/03/19/20-of-the-worlds-weirdest-religious-beliefs/

Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington.  She is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings, and the founder of www.WisdomCommons.org.  Her articles can be found at Awaypoint.Wordpress.com

YES! She’s on wordpress!!

Here Come The Judge

And aren’t we all? Why bother with judging others and general gossip? I wonder if most all of us are hardwired to engage in this negative behavior. If you think about it, it’s like looking in the mirror and hating yourself. But we do it, I do it. I try to catch it as early as possible and stop. In fact I actually realize that if I could meet my 30 year old self, I’d not be friends with him/me. In fact I would probably not like him (me). Lol! The answer to ALL the problems in the world must be addressed and solved from within. We are so interconnected with each other that we are more of a WE than a ME. It’s cliché, but LOVE is the answer….

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(I love this pic but I don’t recall where it came from. If it’s yours let me know and I’ll credit you)

Big Pharmaceutical Executive Turns Whistleblower

Video – Dr. John Rengen Virapen, former Eli Lilly & Co executive, who after 35 years of service decided to quit and speak out about Big Pharma’s method for profit and the benefit of symptomatic diseases that people live with for the duration of their lives, shares his story about his time in pharmaceutical sales, the corruption in the industry, and what is this doing to the population. Worth to watch every minute!!

Ancient Manuals to the Afterlife

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Two of the world’s most important spiritual texts from the past are The Egyptian Book of the Dead and The Tibetan Book of the Dead. These books, written in two completely different parts of the world, describe in detail the process of transcendence from this plane into the next and offer valuable advice for anyone on a spiritual journey. The Tibetan scriptures were written in the 18th century, while the Egyptian texts were written over 4000 years ago and may be the oldest spiritual scripture in existence. Both offer very similar accounts of people with near-death experiences.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead was part of a tradition of funerary texts which were painted onto objects, not papyrus. The texts consist of a number of magic spells intended to assist a dead person’s journey through the Duat, or underworld, and into the afterlife.

Similarly, The Tibetan Book of the Dead was intended as a tool to attain psychological freedom and to serve as a map for the journey one faces into the afterlife. Some believe it is filled with universal wisdom that can be attained by all who read it.

Tom Campbell’s Big T.O.E.

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I have went through many phases in my life asking the burning questions about the nature of reality. I have always been asking myself “why are we here,” “what is our purpose”, “what happens after we die”, etc. To me it seems perfectly normal to ask these important questions, yet for the most part people have been programmed to avoid the big questions, or somehow bury or block it out of their minds. It’s considered boring to the masses (sometimes the M is silent in the word masses, so be careful – lol). I suppose this is quite unfortunate for mankind’s sake. Really, isn’t it the most important thing to be thinking about as we stand in awe and wonder what it’s all about? Having began my journey by studying Transcendental Meditation and Hinduism (thanks to my hero George Harrison), experimenting with LSD (thanks to my heroes The Beatles), and winding up with dipping my toe in Christianity, Gnosticism, Comparative Religion, Mythology, Buddhism, Astrotheology, Physics, Science, and a host of other teachings, I’ve concluded that when the Church forced Science to split off into it’s own branch because of persecution – that Science has since left out of it’s studies anything to do with the invisible. (The truth is that the existence of matter has yet to be proven, so the invisible is fundamental to understanding reality). Until the two branches can blend we will never understand the nature of reality. I think Tom Campbell has done this. I have also learned of many other “mainstream” scientists speaking out about Consciousness being the absolute center of our existence. It’s being accepted behind closed doors that “matter” is a product of Consciousness, but science as it is now is a religion with it’s own set of dogmas, and I really think ANY ‘belief system’ closes the mind to our ability to understand, learn and know the Truth. We are now in the Newtonian (Materialism), Reductionist, and Darwinian phase in our collective evolution. We have locked ourselves in a box of wrong information while we hold the very key to getting out, yet we refuse to use it. We have become comfortable in our box of misunderstanding, which obviously stops our growth process and limits our ability to learn.

When Tom Campbell used the analogy of a video game to describe our reality everything became a little clearer to me. This reality is a virtual one, our ‘bodies’ are our avatars, but we are not our bodies, we are Consciousness and consciousness is digital information that is trying to evolve through us. This Consciousness is the only thing that exists and the rest can be called an illusion, as the Buddha said 5,000 years ago. Or  a virtual reality in modern speak. I think ancient manuscripts (religion) are trying to say the same thing but it was meant for an audience of a different time. I prefer modern English and modern analogies now, a kind of scientific mysticism. Nothing is more ignorant than mistaking religious writings as history, it was merely early quantum physics language. Nothing to kill each other over, just different ways to say the same thing.

To describe Tom’s Big TOE (theory of everything) would only do him and his own description an injustice. He has hundreds of hours of youtube videos and a book called My Big TOE (which you can read for free on Google Books) and he himself explains his concepts quite well. I found him by accident a couple years ago and listen to him pretty much every night. The thing is though, if you start with a video where he assumes you are familiar with his work, you will probably stop listening and forget about him. I think I began listening to him with his Faith, Religion, and God in the Big Picture interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_bDgox6iqM and loved the Tom Campbell and Bruce Lipton: Two Scientists “See the Same World” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjDQzCq6FdM (I’m a big fan of Bruce Lipton as well). But I recommend Tom’s Calgary videos for beginners, and perhaps The Edge Brothers interviews, especially for the younger or computer literate crowd. His Munroe Institute speech is excellent, but the number of free youtube videos is staggering. He freely admits his TOE is incomplete and invites others to add to it. He asks that we remain open minded and skeptical while admitting there are certain things we just can’t know. I’m cool with not knowing everything. He asks that no one “believe” him and that we understand that words are symbolic and metaphoric and that we derive our own intuitive Big TOE. I really hope by presenting him to you it will enrich your life as much as it has mine.

The following is “about the author” taken from his website http://www.my-big-toe.com:

Tom Campbell began researching altered states of consciousness with Bob Monroe (Journeys Out Of The Body, Far Journeys, and The Ultimate Journey) at Monroe Laboratories in the early 1970s where he and a few others were instrumental in getting Monroe’s laboratory for the study of consciousness up and running. These early drug-free consciousness pioneers helped design experiments, developed the technology for creating specific altered states, and were the main subjects of study (guinea pigs) all at the same time. Campbell has been experimenting with, and exploring the subjective and objective mind ever since. For the past thirty years, Campbell has been focused on scientifically exploring the properties, boundaries, and abilities of consciousness.

        During that same time period, he has excelled as a working scientist, a professional physicist dedicated to pushing back the frontiers of cutting edge technology, large-system simulation, technology development and integration, and complex system vulnerability and risk analysis. Presently, and for the past 20 years, he has been at the heart of developing US missile defense systems.
        Tom is the “TC (physicist)” described in Bob Monroe’s second book Far Journeys and has been a serious explorer of the frontiers of reality, mind, consciousness, and psychic phenomena since the early 1970s. My Big TOE is a model of existence and reality that is based directly on Campbell’s scientific research and first hand experience. It represents the results and conclusions of thirty years of careful scientific exploration of the boundaries and contents of reality from both the physical and metaphysical viewpoints. The author has made every effort to approach his explorations without bias or preconceived notions. There is no belief system, dogma, creed, or unusual assumptions at the root of My Big TOE.
        By demanding high quality repeatable, empirical, evidential data to separate what’s real (exists independently and externally) from what’s imaginary or illusory; Campbell has scientifically derived this general model of reality

Gnostic themes in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings: Interview with Lance Owens (Part 1) – Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio

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Miguel Conner (AKA: Abraxas, I Am, Aeon Byte)

When thinking of JRR Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings mythos, Gnosticism or the Esoterica might not immediately come to anyone’s higher or lower mind.

But here at the Virtual Alexandria we always reveal there is a reality behind the reality. This interview presents the Gnosis of Tolkien and its stunning relation to Carl Jung, transcribed from a past episode with Lance Owens—ordained priest of the Ecclesia Gnostica, as well as the creator and editor of The Gnosis Archive website.

For more of Lance’s insightful writings and lectures, please go here. And thank you to Mandy for an outstanding task of transcribing the interview.

But enough of my drivel, as I like to say, and onto the first part of the interview with Lance (and you will find the audio version at end of this article). Jung and Tolkien and Gnostics…oh my!

 

MC: Thank you very much for joining Aeon Byte. Although most people would not make a connection between Jung and Tolkien—besides there being plenty of Jungian analysts of Tolkien— there seems to be many parallels to both giants of our times. You certainly point out a few in your excellent lectures at Gnosis.org. Perhaps the first one, or the main one—as you mention—is the similar experiences they both had before World War I. What were they, Lance?

LO: It’s a big question because, it’s a question about the nature of human imagination. It becomes apparent that Tolkien had a deep experience of the imaginal realm. We think of the imagination as something safely locked inside the cranium, and what we imagine is a mirror refiguring of images that have come to us through  sensory perception…with everything locked in that cranium has sort of come into it through our physical relationship to incarnation, shall we say.

The individuals who have a different perception, they encounter the imaginal as something independent—as a second reality that is independent of their experience. In other words, what comes to them through the imagination can include things that have not been part of their sensory perception. That are not locked within their cranium. It’s like the vision is a doorway. There’s a doorway, and one can look out into the world, and one can also look in that doorway and find as great an infinite reality. It’s a very strange concept. If one simply is locked in a flatlands world view where there’s only one reality, and it’s all material. This makes no sense. There are individuals who’ve had this experience of an inner reality. An imaginative reality. Tolkien most definitely was one, and Jung most definitely was one.

I think probably at this point in our culture, there are very few people who have not heard the name of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. Of the most published books in history, I think Lord of the Rings is up there near the top right now. Something like two hundred and fifty million copies in print, and then The Hobbit follows shortly thereafter.

So people are aware of Tolkien’s literary production. They’re aware of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit; but hardly any of that reading public is aware of what preceded those books. That this man had a 20 year engagement with an imaginal realm, and produced boxes upon boxes upon boxes of manuscript. Thousands of pages of manuscripts documenting his encounter with the imaginal. He saw the imaginal as a given thing. As a reality, as an independent truth. He did not feel that he was inventing anything. He repeats this again and again in his letters, in his private conversations, that his experience of the imaginal was an experience of a reality—a truth.

The stories that he was telling were not invented by him, they were translations of his experience of the imaginal. It’s a strange concept, but that is the depth that people perceive when the read The Lord of the Rings. There’s something deeper there.

When did this start for Tolkien? Well, it started around the time of the beginning of the first Great War. The World War I as we call it. Around the time 1914, Tolkien began having a sense of a deeper reality that was bidding him to explore it. He began having words coming to him. He called them “ghost words.” He would hear Elven words. Words in a language that he had not ever heard before. That no human had heard before. The words would come not just with sounds, but they would come with meaning. He began keeping records of these Elven words, trying to explore that vocabulary. The words didn’t just come. With the words there came stories. The Elven languages came complete with a mythology.

He had started probing at it before he himself entered the battle of World War I over a period between about 1914 and 1916. At that point the man is around twenty-one to twenty-four years old, and he doesn’t really know exactly what is going on [Laughter] other than it seems peculiar, and no one else seems to understand it. He thinks he perhaps is a poet, and some of his initial faerie mythology and some initial vision is written in poetic form. Then in 1916, Tolkien goes to the Battle of the Somme which was perhaps the most horrendous sacrifice of World War I. A half million men died in six months at the Battle of the Somme. Twenty thousand British soldiers died on the first day of battle—first day of July in 1916 alone. Amongst the men who died at the Somme were two of Tolkien’s three best friends. He was there for the entire battle. He was a signal officer working on the front lines trying to maintain communication with the rear, and he witnessed this sacrifice.

He came home from battle. In late October he became ill with a malady then known as trench fever. They didn’t know what caused it. The men came down with cyclical, recurrent fevers. Now we understand it was probably conveyed by the lice that infested the soldiers in the trenches. He came home with high fevers, and sick in November of 1916 to England. During that period in hospital, this imaginal realm really opened up. Certainly when he came home, there were times when he was actually suffering from high fevers. He may have even had some hallucinatory events, dream events during that period. That was not it alone. The fevers were not persistent, but he did spend several months off and on in hospital. Then many, many more months in convalescence where he didn’t have much to do. During that period he entered into an imaginal relationship, shall we say, with the Elven realm. He began hearing these incredible stories.

Once again, Tolkien’s sense was not that he was inventing them, but that he was actually hearing them. With them came the Elven tongues. When he got home in November of 1916—in 1916 to 1917 through 1918—he produced a series of stories. A series of imaginal investigations, shall we say, that are really the foundation of everything that followed. He encountered this realm as a given thing, to use his own words. He began recording these stories. He had no idea exactly where it was going. He didn’t understand if it was a literary work, if it was a poetic work, if it was anything that would ever be published. In fact, at the time this was entirely a private matter. He kept these things in notebooks.

The interesting thing, the question you asked to start is, well, how does this relate to Jung? The same thing happened to Jung at almost the same time. In 1913 Jung was a doctor of thirty-seven years of age, and had had a long period of relationship to Sigmund Freud. Had broken off that relationship, and he had understood that in the psyche, there was much more than simply the repressed material of our potty training, and our parental relationships that had gone wrong in youth. That this realm opened out into an infinity, and you realize that he had to meet it. He had to enter into it.

On the 12th of November of 1913, sat at his desk and petitioned his soul. “My soul, my soul, where are you?” is how he wrote his beginning. He sat for a month probing after some communication back from this imaginal realm. From his soul. He entered into what he called the mythopoetic imagination. The imaginative realm from which myth came, and he was looking for his myth. He was not trying to invent it, he was trying to discover it. Over a period of weeks he sat, and slowly words started forming. He started hearing phrases, and word forms.

By December of 1913, things absolutely broke open. He began having visions, full visions. He would sit, and he would actually see things, and he recorded them. Recorded these stories—these story fragments. This was the beginning of Jung’s Red Book. Originally these things were written in diaries known as The Black Books. Over the next—about ten years—he filled six Black Book journals with these events. From these he distilled a manuscript which then he transcribed into his Red Book. 

In 1913—this was before the war had erupted—he was having visions of the coming of a war. Amongst the visionary material he was having, there were many references to a great sacrifice that was about to come.

In England, Tolkien was in a very similar situation. He had gone to the Cornish coast in 1914. While there, he had a vision of one—Eärendil, he called him. It came as a poetic fragment. This word Eärendil—it had come to him from Middle English, and it had some intent. It seemed that this word had existed outside of history. That there was a story connected with it, and began trying to tell that story of Eärendil—one who had sailed into the Heavens with a gem of light. Then after the war broke out, and after Tolkien’s experience in the war, he came home and this imaginative realm opened up for him as well.

You have Jung in Zürich having these visions. This entry into the imaginal, into the mythopoetic imagination. Developing stories, feeling that there is an infinite reality there to be discovered. A given that must be discovered. Jung says that we perceive the outer reality as infinite, but that there’s a reality within just as infinite, and just as interesting, and just as important. That we are incomplete. We are only half until we encounter that lost, and forgotten other within us. That other half waiting to join into consciousness.

This experience of Jung is happening around the time of the Great War. He has images of sacrifices happening around Switzerland, and Tolkien is right there in the middle of the sacrifice. He sees it, he moves through it, he comes home, and he starts his own visionary experience.

If one doesn’t accept the fact that people can have visionary experiences, this is all balderdash. What the hell is going on here? [Laughter] It’s hard to get across to people. I remember how I was at a cocktail party talking to somebody about this. I think I mentioned this at one of the lectures. I was talking about the fact that Tolkien was having these auditory hallucinations— Elven words. He was hearing Elven languages. He was hearing from the Elves their stories, and he was writing them down. The lady said to me, “What you mean here is that Tolkien was crazy. Is that what you’re saying? Tolkien believed in Elves?” My response to that was: “Well no, Tolkien didn’t believe in Elves, Tolkien knew Elves.” He knew Elves by hundreds of names. He knew their history, he knew their stories, he knew their sorrows, and their joys. He knew the beauty of their art. He was discovering Elves, he was getting to know them.

The same thing goes with Jung. People say, “Well what was going on with him? He was having these visual hallucinations; was this a psychotic break? Was he mad? Was this an illness?” My answer to that is no, it wasn’t. The man continued to function in every normal fashion during this event, during the writing of what became The Red Book. He continued to see patients, on average five a day during these years 1914 through 1919 or so when he was having the visions. When he was writing the visionary material down. He was on active duty as an officer in the Swiss Army during this period for extended—in total of over half year on active duty—and was able to maintain his family function. Rather complex family function, should we add, at this time as well.

Tolkien was able to function in England when he was having these visions, when he was writing things down, when he was telling the stories. Some of the time he was definitely in hospital from the time he was sick and weakened by his illness, but he was able to function in every fashion outwardly.

This was an inner exploration which was not an impairment of rational function. In fact, it is a turning of rational function, a turning of rational attention—instead of outwardly to the activities of the world—inwardly to the activities of the imagination. So both of these guys were going through this intense experience at about the same time. Historically, there is a certain synchronicity there.

Even more interesting, I think many people have visions of sorts, or imaginations, or hear stories, and it’s interesting. Maybe they write it down, and then they go on with their lives. The difference here is that, what happened to Jung between these visionary experiences—I say “visionary” but I could also use the word “imaginal” or I could use the word “mythopoetic”— “myth creating.” These visions that had become the foundation of a life of work. Jung saw this visionary material that came to him between 1914 and 1920 as the precious stone that he did work for the rest of his life.

He spent the next 45 years trying to explain to the world, to people, to patients, the reality of the soul. The reality of the psyche. The reality of an inner world which was just as infinite as the outer. Which was not a result of it. Which was not simply the residue of it, but was an independent reality. In fact, it may come before—this imaginal realm—might come before outward perception. Then, he went and spent 45 years, the rest of his life, as an interpreter to people of this experience, of this reality. From it came his ideas of a collective unconscious. People once upon a time would say, “Well Jung got his theories of the collective unconscious from listening to the dreams of his patients, and correlating experiences, or from perhaps his own dreams.” Well, truth of the matter is, he got the concept by the experience of actually having gone into the imaginal realm and encountered these figures.

Tolkien, in parallel, had this imaginative experience begin in 1914 or thereabouts. Then break open in magnitude around November of 1916 after returning from the battle of the Somme, and over the next two to three years. He spent the next 40 years of his life further investigating, exploring, and developing this experience of the imaginal.

Both men struggled throughout their entire lives trying to explain what they had encountered, what they had seen, what they had experienced to others. Both struggled, shall we say, with limited success in that effort.

MC: Moving on, Lance, don’t you mention in your lecture briefly that the cosmology of Tolkien’s universe is very similar to a specific Gnostic myth? Which one is that?

LO: That becomes both an interesting, and a complex question. First of all you say, “Tolkien had a cosmology.” What was his cosmology? Where did that come from? People have read The Lord of the Rings and it’s like—is there a cosmology in The Lord of the Rings? [Laughter] Or in The Hobbit—is there a cosmology, is there cosmological vision? You start talking about things like that to people who know something about Tolkien, who have read some of his works and it’s like—what the hell is that about?

The point is: the writings that Tolkien produced are unknown. The things he wrote around the time of the First World War—his initial Silmarillion shall we say—these initial stories are not well known. There are a great number of things that Tolkien wrote that are yet unpublished but, material related to his visions, to his Elven stories…

MC: His own Red Book basically.

LO: Yeah, his own Red Book, and that’s exactly what he called it, you know?

MC: Really?

LO: That’s exactly what he called it.

MC: Oh my God!

LO: Yes, his Red Book. He worked for 20 years before The Lord of the Rings was engaged in: 1937-1938. He’d worked for 20 years creating this material. The Silmarillion was not a little book. There was a little book called The Silmarillion published a few years after Tolkien’s death—edited by his son Christopher—but this was just a very brief condensation of his mythology. As a matter of fact, Tolkien’s Silmarillion filled probably two or three file cabinets. The publisher, after Tolkien’s death, he had eight feet of stacked boxes that included his manuscripts of what was The Silmarillion.

Christopher Tolkien, his son, after J.R.R.’s death, had the task of trying to bring this stuff to publication. He initially published a very slim volume called The Silmarillion, which was a recension of some of the primary myths that Tolkien had told. The first of these is called The Ainulindalë. When you get into Tolkien text, this becomes a little bit complicated because many of the texts have Elven names. That’s how he heard them. Ainulindalë means, the music of the Gods.

Tolkien went through this initial series of visions. There were maybe three or four crucial myths that came to him—crucial stories. Stories that related to the origin of human consciousness, and to the origin of Elven consciousness. The origin of the Elves, and the relation of Elves and Men. The relation of these to the powers, to the emanations, to the Gods. There’s one called The Story of Gondolin, and there’s…well, I won’t go through all those three or four myths.

In 1919, after these initial three or four myths had come to him, he received a cosmogonic myth—as he calls it. A story of creation. A story that starts before the world, and tells the story of world creation. That’s relatively unusual, and these are the sorts of things that are the foundations of religions actually. Cosmogonic myths—how Gods form worlds, how God powers interact with human powers—are, for the most part, foundational stories of religions. Tolkien received just such a cosmogonic myth in The Ainulindalë. He sees in this story that he writes— the original text is about, probably ten pages. There is a good recension of it in the little book, The Silmarillion published. I think it was 1977.

In The Ainulindalë, he tells the story of a first force called Ilúvatar, who emanates several God forms called the Ainur. The Ainur come forth from his consciousness. His emanations of consciousness. Each one is a limited form of that consciousness. Each one is a piece of that consciousness, very much like some of the old Gnostic myths where you have the emanational structure of creation.

One of these emanations—whose name is Melkor—is an emanation of discord. Melkor adds—into the music of creation from which the cosmos flows forward—a tone, a song, a theme of discord. Creation itself comes forward from the force, and the song, and the music of the Gods singing. The cosmos is formed thereof. Melkor goes into the darkness. There is a void, in this initial creation myth, there is a void where the light of the Ilúvatar has not shined. There was a place behind the back, shall we say, of Ilúvatar. The first source. A place where his light, his vision has not gone.

Now think about that. It’s a duality. Here we have the first forming god, Ilúvatar, bringing forth emanations but, in that first force, in that first motive, in that first thought—that forethought—

there is a realm of unseen. A realm of unconscious, or a realm of unperceived. Melkor goes into that darkness, and goes probing for things. It is from that darkness that the discord is brought into the creation. Melkor becomes a force of that discord.

The story proceeds after the formation of the world. After the formation has taken place, the Ainur—the emanations of the first god—enter into creation. They actually come down into the world, and become what men would call gods. There’s not one, there are many and they all have their different elements. There’s Manwë, who is really the God of the Winds, the intelligence. He has a syzygy, a female companion, Varda, who is the Queen of Stars, the creator of the first lights. Readers of Lord of the Rings will remember her as Elbereth Gilthoniel, Star Queen, or Star Creator. To whom Sam prays when they meet Shelob in the caves of Cirith Ungol. There is a force of the water, Ulmo, who’s really a prophetic voice. There’s Aulë, who is a creator, a manipulator of matters.

These various emanations come into the world, and they have relationships with the children of the Ilúvatar. There are two types of children of Ilúvatar in the world. There’s the Human, and then there are the Elves. The whole drama has been set up before Elves or Humans awaken.

Now you asked, “What myth is this like?” I’d say, first of all, it’s a lot like most Gnostic creation mythologies in that it is emanational. That there is a first source. That first source emanates into a variety of powers—forces of different types—often referred to as children. That these enter into the direct relationship of creation. That they are demiurges—this is exactly the word that Tolkien uses. He refers to the Ainur as demiurges, demiurgic forces, forming forces. In this creation, a darkness enters in. A darkness of chaos. A darkness that would control the world, and order it to its own power, who is Melkor—this dark, chaotic force.

I’d say this myth has its most interesting focus of conjunction with the Manichean myth. In Mani’s myth, there is a realm of light. The realm of light is invaded by a dark force, by a force from outside of the light which hungers after the light. That is really the beginning of the whole cosmogonic story. The Manichean myth has a period of, before the mixing of the elements, during the mixing of the light and the dark, and a period that will happen after. We live in a period of the mixing. That’s cosmos. The entire Manichean myth sets a stage of what happened before cosmogenesis. Cosmogenesis itself is an effort to rescue the light from the mixing.

In the Manichean myth, the realm of light is invaded by a darkness. Into the darkness are thrown—sort of as a sacrifice, or as a battle plan—five of the sons of the God force. That’s the beginning of the mixing. These five children of light enter in through a mix in the darkness, are essentially consumed by the darkness, and thereby enter into the creation.

One sees some of this in Tolkien’s image. There’s no exact parallel. The point is, is that there is a mythopoetic imagination which is working with just these sorts of themes, which is really quite extraordinary.

MC: It’s very extraordinary. Beyond that, and beyond the evidence you showed us of how Tolkien entered into the world of archetypes, which I guess he called the Faerie world, and Jung took a similar journey, his world view seems to be eerily Gnostic. You do quote him in your lectures saying that he said, “We are free captives, undermining shadowy bars.” and that, “We’re trapped in a great artefact.”

LO: Yeah. One can look at Tolkien’s cosmogonic myth as a literary creation, but one must understand that Tolkien was drawing conclusions. Tolkien was discovering something in the imaginal and was then drawing conclusions from it about the nature of life, of human reality, about how we humans stand at this particular point in time. He came to see that indeed, we are imprisoned.

That particular story, that poem that you just quote, was written to C.S. Lewis in 1931. 1931 would be 12 years after the Ainulindalë has come—the music of the Gods, the creation myth—has come to Tolkien. He’s trying to indicate to C.S. Lewis, who at that time is relatively agnostic. He believes there may be a God, but he can’t see how the myth of Christ has anything to do with anything. Tolkien writes this long poem called Mythopoeia—the source of myth. He writes it from Philomythus to Misomythus: the lover of myth to the hater of myth. Himself being a lover of myth, Tolkien  being a hater. He goes through this very long, probably about 8 pages long poem, and double spaced. He gives exactly that sense, trying to explain creation he says:

 

[Yet] trees are not ‘trees’ until so named [and seen]

and never were so named, till those had been

whose speech’s involuted breath unfurled,

faint echo and dim picture of the world.  

He goes on to say that:

 

 

But neither record nor photograph,

being divination, judgment, and a laugh,

response of those that felt astir within

by deep monition movement that were kin

to life and death of trees, of beasts, of stars.

 

Then comes this description of who these people were. This image of the human consciousness says, “we are free captives, undermining shadowy bars” – “ free captives, undermining shadowy bars”—  isn’t that the key image of the exile in Gnostic mythology?

MC: Oh yeah…

LO: He says, “Digging the foreknown from experience, and panning the vein of spirit out of sense.” “Digging the foreknown from experience.” Well, what sort of experience is that? It’s the foreknown, that thing, that epinoia. That first knowledge is being dug from experience. What sort of experience? Imaginal experience. Experience of the inner realm.

Then he goes on, “Digging the foreknown from experience, and panning the vein of spirit out of sense.” Here we have this sensory perception of the outer world, but there is also a spirit. We pan that vein of gold, of spirit out of sense.

Then he goes on speaking of the evolution of human consciousness. He says, “Great powers they slowly brought out of themselves,”—speaking of mankind.

 

Great powers they slowly brought out of themselves,

and looking backward they beheld the Elves.

that wrought on cunning forges in the mind,

and light and dark on secret looms entwined.

 

He sees no stars who does not see them first,

of [living] silver made, that sudden burst

of flame like flowers beneath the ancient song,

whose very echo after-music long

has since pursued. There is no firmament,

only a void, unless a jeweled tent

myth-woven and elf-patterned; and no earth,

unless the mother’s womb, whence all have birth.

 

LO: So, the Heaven is just a void unless we see it as that jeweled, myth-woven tent. The inner reality of our imagination which gives meaning to that void of stars. We project out into that realm, our stories, the stories we tell, that myth-woven tent within which we reside.

So, he’s dealing with this mythology. He’s dealing with this sense of exile throughout his mythology. That sense of the Gnostic exile is very much present in all of Tolkien’s work.

via Gnostic themes in Tolkien\’s Lord of the Rings: Interview with Lance Owens (Part 1) – Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio.

Nothing But Love

A good citizen is not the same as a good human being! Where the ”good” citizen is relative to the regime, the good human being is good everywhere. The good human being is good simply because it is good. Let the indoctrination processes melt away. Laws and beliefs have their own agenda and it has nothing to do with what is best for the collective we.

The ancient greeks had a word for the quest for the best regime. They called it eros, which means LOVE. The search for the best regime must necessarily be accompanied, sustained and elevated by LOVE.

“I”

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The primary delusion of mankind is our inability to see things the way they really are. Because of a subtle willful blindness we see things in a distorted way. The world is in fact a seamless dynamic unity, a single living organism that is constantly changing. Our minds try to chop it up into separate static bits and pieces, which we then try mentally and physically to manipulate.

One of the mind’s most clever creations is the idea of the person – and closest to home a very special person which each of us calls “I”; a separate enduring ego or self. In that instant this seamless world is cut in two. There is “I” and there is all the rest. That means conflict because “I” can’t control the vastness against which it is set, though it will try, as that is the nature of the “I.”

This isn’t to deny that the notion of an “I” works in the everyday world. In fact we need a solid stable ego to function is society. But “I” is not real in an ultimate sense. It’s a name: a fictional creation that bears no resemblance to what is really the case. Because of this all kinds of problems arise.

Once our minds have constructed the notion of “I”,   it becomes our central reference point. We attach everything to it and identify with it totally. We attempt to do what appears to be in it’s best interests and defend it against threats and menaces. We look for ego affirmation at every chance to confirm we exist and are valued. The preoccupation arising from all this absorbs us completely, at times to the point of obsession. However this is a narrow and constricted way of being. Though we can’t see it when caught up in a fit of ego, there is something in us that is larger and deeper; a whole other way of Being.

Reposted from https://hipmonkey.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/i-am/ in an off hand way ….

Psychedelics and Religious Experience

by Alan Watts

  1. The Psychedelic Experience
    1. slowing down of time
    2. awareness of polarity
    3. awareness of relativity
    4. awareness of eternal energy
  2. Opposition to Psychedelic Drugs
    1. danger
    2. escape from reality
  3. Footnotes

(Originally appeared in the California Law Review, Vol. 56, No. 1, January 1968, pp. 74-85.) Copyright Alan Watts & California Law Review.

The experiences resulting from the use of psychedelic drugs are often described in religious terms. They are therefore of interest to those like myself who, in the tradition of William James,1 are concerned with the psychology of religion. For more than thirty years I have been studying the causes, the consequences, and the conditions of those peculiar states of consciousness in which the individual discovers himself to be one continuous process with God, with the Universe, with the Ground of Being, or whatever name he may use by cultural conditioning or personal preference for the ultimate and eternal reality. We have no satisfactory and definitive name for experiences of this kind. The terms “religious experience,” “mystical experience,” and “cosmic consciousness” are all too vague and comprehensive to denote that specific mode of consciousness which, to those who have known it, is as real and overwhelming as falling in love. This article describes such states of consciousness induced by psychedelic drugs, although they are virtually indistinguishable from genuine mystical experience. The article then discusses objections to the use of psychedelic drugs that arise mainly from the opposition between mystical values and the traditional religious and secular values of Western society.

The Psychedelic Experience

The idea of mystical experiences resulting from drug use is not readily accepted in Western societies. Western culture has, historically, a particular fascination with the value and virtue of man as an individual, self-determining, responsible ego, controlling himself and his world by the power of conscious effort and will. Nothing, then, could be more repugnant to this cultural tradition than the notion of spiritual or psychological growth through the use of drugs. A “drugged” person is by definition dimmed in consciousness, fogged in judgment, and deprived of will. But not all psychotropic (consciousness-changing) chemicals are narcotic and soporific, as are alcohol, opiates, and barbiturates. The effects of what are now called psychedelic (mind-manifesting) chemicals differ from those of alcohol as laughter differs from rage, or delight from depression. There is really no analogy between being “high” on LSD and “drunk” on bourbon. True, no one in either state should drive a car, but neither should one drive while reading a book, playing a violin, or making love. Certain creative activities and states of mind demand a concentration and devotion that are simply incompatible with piloting a death-dealing engine along a highway.

Read More:  Psychedelics and Religious Experience.

Is Religion Inherently Authoritarian?

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Adam Lee, AlterNet

Compared to secular reasoning, the religious establishment has been slow to act when it comes to moral progress.

Human history is a story of gradual moral enlightenment. Over the ages, we’ve become less violent, less xenophobic, more tolerant, more committed to the ideals of democracy and equality under the law. Of course, moral progress is painfully slow, with many holdouts and local reversals, and we have a very long way left to go. But it’s hard to deny that the world we live in today is less prejudiced and more peaceful than the world 500 years ago, or even just 100.

Religion is a noteworthy exception to this trend of progress. Secular moral reasoning, founded on considerations of fairness and human good, allows for continual self-questioning and improvement as less-privileged groups speak out to demand justice and call our attention to evils that we’d been overlooking. In sharp contrast to this, the immutable doctrines of religion are supposed to be elevated above skepticism. Even if we know more or see farther than the clerics who once came up with them, many religious authorities tell us we should submit our wills and believe without questioning.

The result is that, in most cases, moral progress has left the churches behind. Like the tide going out and leaving once-submerged rocks high and dry on the shore, the archaic doctrines of conservative religion are increasingly isolated and exposed as the immoral and vicious absurdities they are. This has led to more conflict and dissension within the ranks, as believers who grew up in the modern era see the contradictions between what they’re taught and know to be right, and inevitably come into conflict with religious authorities who are determined to enforce the old rules at any cost.

A case in point is the Mormon church’s excommunication of Kate Kelly, a lawyer and human-rights activist who founded a movement called Ordain Women. Kelly’s crime was calling for the all-male priesthood of the Mormon church to be opened to people of all genders, and doing so loudly and publicly enough to embarrass the church leaders. (Although the LDS church calls it a “priesthood,” it’s not a clerical or ministerial position; it’s a rite of initiation, like a Jewish bar mitzvah or a Catholic confirmation.)

Kelly wasn’t a firebrand atheist. She considers herself a faithful Mormon; she was married in the Salt Lake City Temple and went on an overseas mission trip as Mormonism requires. Yet she refused several orders to take her website down and stop speaking out, and just before her excommunication, she was defiant:

“I am not an apostate, unless every single person who has questions to ask out loud is an apostate,” Ms. Kelly said in a telephone interview on Sunday , just before her disciplinary council met.

While she may have meant this comment as a reductio ad absurdum, I think it hits closer to the truth than she realizes. Almost every religion, throughout the ages, has looked unfavorably on people who have inconvenient questions and who insist on asking them out loud. What Kelly has yet to grasp is that religion is a fundamentally conservative force (unlike, say, science, where those who overturn conventional wisdom are rewarded). To claim that the tenets of some existing religion are wrong is to implicitly claim that you understand the will of God better than the authorities of that religion. Naturally, the people who’ve gained status and power within the existing strictures of the church will always look with extreme disfavor on this.

It’s for this reason that religion is not only fundamentally conservative, but anti-democratic. Aside from a few rare exceptions, religion claims that God’s will is delivered through special revelation: it was given to certain people, at certain times and places, and not others. If that were true—if there were people in possession of special, important truths that no one else could ever discover—then it  would be the case that those people would be uniquely qualified to tell the rest of us how to live.

But that expectation bumps up against the modern world, where divine-right monarchy is a discredited theory and democracy is a nearly universal idea (so much so that even rulers of autocratic states often feel the need to hold sham elections). The clash between these principles is most visible in the religious people who believe their leaders have a specially privileged understanding of God, but who also apparently believe the doctrines of their church should be put to a vote. The lay Mormons petitioning on Kate Kelly’s behalf are an excellent example:

More than a thousand Mormons sent letters of support for Ms. Kelly to the bishop and two of his counselors considering her case in Oakton, Va. Hundreds turned out for a vigil in Salt Lake City while the hearing was underway, and smaller groups of supporters gathered at 50 sites in 17 countries, according to Ordain Women.

Mormonism isn’t the only authoritarian religion whose members incorrectly believe they’re participating in a democracy rather than an oligarchy. Roman Catholicism has the same affliction: for example, when Pope Francis was being selected, the author Anne Rice and others asked Catholics to tell the Vatican what they wanted to see in a new pope, as if such feedback would be welcomed or even acknowledged.

The sharp divide between lay Catholics and hierarchy is perhaps best illustrated by the issue of women as priests. As recently as 2013, 70% of Catholics believe women should be allowed to be ordained even though Pope John Paul II announced that the exclusion of women from the Catholic priesthood was an infallible article of dogma and could never be changed. Kindly, progressive Pope Francis has said the same, stating that the “church has spoken and says no… that door is closed” with regard to women’s ordination.

It happens in Judaism as well, even though that religion has no single central authority. In Israel, Jewish women fought for years for the right to pray at the Western Wall, braving routine threats, abuse and harassment by ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jews who believe the holy site should only be open to men. Finally, the reformers won a ruling in Israel’s courts, opening up a designated prayer section at the wall for women. The ultra-Orthodox responded by ordering their own wives and daughters to show up en masse and pack the women’s section, so that the women who actually want to pray there and who fought for the right to do so couldn’t get in.

Granted, there are some cases where churches have joined the modern world without being forced to. For example, the Presbyterian church now allows its ministers to perform same-sex weddings, joining some other mainline Protestant denominations that have already taken this step. But this is the exception that proves the rule, since most of the tolerant and progressive mainline churches are in the midst of a demographic plummet. (The more conservative and evangelical denominations are also shrinking, just not quite as quickly.)

And on the rare occasions that churches recognize their past errors, they steadfastly refuse to draw any general lessons from the fact. Earlier this year, the Mormon church formally repudiated the racism of its past rules which barred black men from the priesthood until 1978. This would be a laudable step, except that the church is determined to learn absolutely nothing from it. In its ongoing fight against women in the priesthood, not to mention its fervent and continued opposition to same-sex marriage, it is falling into the same mistake all over again, refusing to recognize that its leadership is fallible, and that any rule treating human beings unequally is morally wrong. This will no doubt be viewed as another stain on the Mormon church’s record, just as its history of racism now is.

Ethically speaking, there’s no doubt that reformers like Kate Kelly and the Women of the Wall have their hearts in the right place, but it’s legitimate to question their strategy. As the ex-nun Mary Johnson has said, at some point you have to ask yourself where your energies are best spent.

Is it worth the effort trying to change religion from within, beating your head against the metaphorical brick wall of a church that’s run by an oligarchy of old conservative men who choose their own successors and who are determined never to change anything? Or does it make more sense to leave that frozen and fossilized cathedral, to renounce religion and step out into the wild garden of the wider world, where anyone can speak their mind and no one can cite the will of God as a trump card?

About the Author

Adam Lee is a writer and atheist activist living in New York City. Follow him on Twitter, or subscribe to his blog, Daylight Atheism.

 

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Hypatia of Alexandria

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Excerpted from “War Against the Pagans,” in Secret History of the Witches © 2000 Max Dashu

… The Roman state gave free rein to Christian extremists who destroyed pagan shrines and images, or who committed violence against pagan leaders. They attacked people at pagan services and destroyed their temples. Arson was a favorite tactic.  From the late 300s on, monks stand out as the primary aggressors in the battle to suppress pagans in the east. Even Christian documents describe them as violent and crime-prone, beating people they considered sinful, stirring up sectarian strife. [MacMullen, 171-2] The pagan Eunapius remarked that these monks looked like men but lived like pigs, “and openly did and allowed countless unspeakable crimes.” [Eunapius, 423] He added bitterly, “For among them, every man is given the power of a tyrant who has a black robe and is prepared to behave badly in public.” [Hollland-Smith, 170] Some were not above murder.

One target of the fanatical monk was Hypatia, an astronomer, mathematician and philosopher of international reputation. Socrates Scholasticus wrote that “she far surpassed all the philosophers of her time,” and was greatly respected for her “extraordinary dignity and virtue.” [Ecclesiastical History] Hypatia’s house was an important intellectual center in a city distinguished for its learning. Damasius described how she “used to put on her philosopher’s cloak and walk through the middle of town” to give public lectures on philosophy. [Life of Isidore, in the Suda]

Admired by all Alexandria, Hypatia was one of the most politically powerful figures in the city. She was one of the few women who attended civic assemblies. Magistrates came to her for advice, including her close friend, the prefect Orestes. [Damasius, Socrates Scholasticus] In the midst of severe religious polarization, Hypatia was an influential force for tolerance and moderation. She accepted students, who came to her “from everywhere,” without regard to religion.

Hypatia was a Neoplatonist. Some have claimed that she does not really qualify as a pagan, only as a rationalist philosopher. But this description is inaccurate and misleading. First, the meaning of “philosopher” had changed considerably by late antiquity, encompassing even Christian ascetics. [MacMullen, 205 fn 24] Second, such a narrow definition of paganism fails to recognize, as its enemies did, that it constituted a much broader spectrum than temple rites and theurgy. The sacred books of the Neoplatonists were pagan—Orpheus, Homer, the Chaldean Oracles—and they embraced “the esoteric doctrines of the mysteries.” [Cumont, 202] Third, Neoplatonist philosophers were persecuted as pagans, and identified as such in the struggle over the temples. They joined and even led in the pagan defense of the Serapium in Alexandria.

One of these leaders, Antoninus, had been initiated by his mother, Sosipatra of Pergamum, a Neoplatonist philosopher and mystic seeress. Antoninus “foretold to all his followers that after his death the temple would cease to be, and even the great and holy temples of Serapis would pass into formless darkness and be transformed, and that a fabulous and unseemly gloom would hold sway over the fairest things on earth.” The Serapium was razed in 391, the year after Antoninus died. [Eunapius, 416-7] …

Hypatia’s father Theon was an astronomer and mathematician who was devoted to divination and astrology and the pagan mysteries. He wrote commentaries on the books of Orpheus and Hermes Trismegistus and poems to the planets as forces of Moira (destiny). Nothing indicates that Hypatia departed from her home culture. The Chaldean Oracles and Pythagorean numerological mysticism figured in her teachings, as the letters of Synesius indicate. Like her father, she saw astronomy as the highest science, opening up knowledge of the divine.

The surviving fragments of Hypatia’s teachings indicate a mystical orientation. Glimpses of her spiritual views survived in the letters of her disciples, which speak of “the eye buried within us,” a “divine guide.” As the soul journeys toward divinity, this “hidden spark which loves to conceal itself” grows into a flame of knowing. Hypatia’s philosophy was concerned with the “mystery of being,” contemplation of Reality, rising to elevated states of consciousness, and “union with the divine,” the One. [Dzielska, 54-5, 48-50]

Her disciples certainly regarded her in the light of a spiritual leader. Synesius of Cyrene called her “the most holy and revered philosopher,” “a blessed lady,” and “divine spirit.” Though a Christian, he refers to “her oracular utterances” and writes that she was “beloved by the gods.” [Dzielska, 47-8, 36] She spoke out against dogmatism and superstition: “To rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world, is just as base as to use force.” [Partnow, 24] Unquestionably, Hypatia’s teaching represented a challenge to church doctrine. The apparent destruction of her philosophical books underlines the point. Her mathematical works survived and were popular into the next century.

Damasius wrote that “The whole city rightly loved her and worshipped her in a remarkable way…” Her popularity galled Cyril, the new bishop of Alexandria, who “was so struck with envy that he immediately began plotting her murder…” [Damasius, op. cit.] The bishop’s enmity was also fueled by political motives: the politics of religious intolerance and domination.

When Cyril became bishop in 412, he began pushing to extend his power into the civic sphere. His enforcers were the parabalanoi, strongmen who had been the shock troops of bishop Theophilus’ war on pagans and Jews. Bishop Cyril persecuted heterodox Christian groups, closing their churches and expelling them from the city. He spread rumors of a Jewish conspiracy to murder Christians and instigated a brawl between Jews and Christians at a theater. The Jews protested that the bishop’s agents had provoked the fight. The prefect Orestes (himself a Christian) heard out their grievances and arrested one of the bishop’s allies. In 414, armed conflict broke out between Cyril’s supporters and the embattled Jews. It ended with the looting and seizure of synagogues, and the bishop expelling the ancient Jewish community from Alexandria.

Many Christians in the city sided with Orestes and put pressure on Cyril to desist. Instead, he escalated the conflict, calling in hundreds of monks from the desert. They mobbed Orestes in the streets, calling him a “sacrificer” and “Hellene”—in other words, a pagan. [Chuvin, 87-9] The monks hurled stones, wounding him in the head.  The prefect’s bodyguards fled, but a crowd of bystanders jumped in to save his life.

Accusations of Witchcraft

Realizing that he was losing on public relations, the bishop changed tactics. Now he attempted to turn the people against Hypatia as a powerful woman by accusing her of harmful sorcery. A later church chronicler, John of Nikiu, explained that “she beguiled many people through satanic wiles.” It was Hypatia’s “witchcraft” that kept the prefect Orestes away from church and made him corrupt the faith of other Christians. Further, she was involved in divination and astrology, “devoted at all times to magic, astrolabes and instruments of music.” [John of Nikiu, Chronicle 84. 87-103, Online: <http://cosmopolis.com/alexandria/hypatia-bio-john.html&gt; 7-20-01]

In March of 415, Peter the church lector led a mob in attacking Hypatia as she rode through the city in her chariot. Socrates Scholasticus wrote that “rash cockbrains”  dragged her into the Caesarion church, stripped her naked, and tore into her body with pot-shards, cutting her to pieces. Then they hauled her dismembered body to Cinaron and burned it on a pyre. [Alic, 45-6] John Malalas accords with Socrate’s statement that the mob burned Hypatia’s remains. Hesychius’ account agrees that the mob tore Hypatia to pieces, but simply says that “her body [was] shamefully treated and parts of it scattered all over the city.” [Dzielskaielska, 93]

In John of Nikiu’s version, men came for “the pagan woman who had beguiled the people of the city and the prefect through her enchantments.” They found her sitting in a chair and dragged her through the streets until she was dead, then burned her body.[Chronicle, 84.87-103] After Hypatia’s assassination, Orestes disappeared (fled? assassinated?). Cyril prevailed, and his parabalanoi were never punished for killing Hypatia. The bishop covered up her murder, insisting that she had moved to Athens.

No one was fooled. Our nearest contemporary sources agree that the bishop was behind the witch-rumors and the killing, and that his men carried them out. Public opinion may be measured by the fact that Christian city officials continued appealing to imperial officials to curb the parabalanoi, to bring them under secular control and restrict them from public places. They were only partially successful, since the imperial court itself was in the midst of a crackdown on pagans. As for Cyril, whom John of Nikiu credits with destroying “the last remnants of idolatry in the city,” he was later declared a saint. [Dzielskaielska,  97-8, 104. 94]

Hypatia was not targeted only as a pagan. Other pagans—men—continued to be active at the university of Alexandria for decades after her death. It is clear that Hypatia’s femaleness made her a special target, vulnerable to the accusation of witchcraft. Her courage in opposing the escalating anti-Jewish violence and her moral stance against religious repression were factors as well. In defending the assault on the philosophical tradition of tolerance, Hypatia had everything to lose, yet she acted boldly.

Later in the century, her male counterparts also came under attack. By the mid-400s, pagan professors were being sentenced to death in Syria. Some time after 480, an Alexandrian Christian society called the Zealots hounded the pagan prefect and his secretary from office and into exile. The Zealots capped their triumph with the burning of “idols.” Two of them moved on to Beirut, where they incited further hunts of leading pagans. They formed a group to collect denunciations, using informers, and brought  names and accusations to the bishop. This worthy held joint hearings with city officials, which led to more bonfires and the exile of pagans. [MacMullen, 26, 194 fn95]

The cultural repression used to Christianize the Roman empire was unprecedented anywhere up to that time, in extent, duration and geographic scale.

THE FABRICATION OF THE GALILAEANS

if-you-could-reason-with-religious-people
I have become convinced that the Pagan Mystery Schools in pre-Christian times had a firm grasp on the Truth and Nature of Reality. Those teachings were stolen and were slowly phased out to common folks, to prevent them from KNOWING that they themselves were indeed Divine Immortal Beings that contained within and without them the spark of Consciousness that has become known by the word God. No one can pass this knowledge on to others. It is an Intuitive Truth that must be personally experienced. Otherwise you will ”believe” in someone else’s experience (or someone else’s deception, as is proven by Joe Smith’s Book for Morons, Scientology by Ron L Hubbard or Christianity by Constantine. Everyone has before them the blue pill and the red pill, or in other words, a choice: however freedom is not a gift to those who prefer slavery. The following notes were for my own use and not sourced as should be for public consumption. But what the hell,  I think a lot of the material is from mountainman.com, an excellent website. I do not debate ”believers.” Belief closes the mind and takes the place of truth. One cannot argue with this kind of ignore-ance.  To worship the exoteric that passes as history is to ignore the esoteric and miss the mystical Truth and symbolic meaning that for most remain hidden in the Canonized adulterated/mutilated scriptures. Jesus is so obviously symbolic of the sun, and the sun is symbolic of the attributes of ‘god.’ To miss this is to live an entire life enslaved in a fictional reality as a fictional ego based person. (Person, from the Roman-Greek word Persona, a fictional human, masked, actor). Emperor Julian, who with first hand knowledge of what his Uncle Constantine did, wrote down only 40 years later the following:

”It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that the fabrication of the Galilaeans is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. Though it has in it nothing divine, by making full use of that part of the soul which loves fable and is childish and foolish, it has induced men to believe that the monstrous tale is truth.
”It is worth while to recall in a few words whence and how we first arrived at a conception of God; next to compare what is said about the divine among the Hellenes and Hebrews; and finally to enquire of those who are neither Hellenes nor Jews, but belong to the sect of the Galilaeans, why they preferred the belief of the Jews to ours; and what, further, can be the reason why they do not even adhere to the Jewish beliefs but have abandoned them also and followed a way of their own. For they have not accepted a single admirable or important doctrine of those that are held either by us Hellenes or by the Hebrews who derived them from Moses; but from both religions they have gathered what has been engrafted like powers of evil, as it were, on these nations – atheism from the Jewish levity, and a sordid and slovenly way of living from our indolence and vulgarity; and they desire that this should be called the noblest worship of the gods.”

Flavius Claudius Julianus (331-363 CE)

Against the Galilaeans

 
It is imperative for the students of life to understand that it is only by inference that it has been believed that there were in fact christians in existence on the planet Earth prior to the fourth century. The inference that christianity existed at all in the first three centuries leans implicitly and exclusively upon the literature of Eusebius of Caesarea, as its foundational corner stone.
The literature of Eusebius is imperially sponsored literary calumny and genuinely cannot be vested with any integrity. An alternative theory of the history of antiquity considers that the prime Eusebian objective was to create as much distance as possible between the planned implementation (312-324 CE) of christianity under Constantine, and the council of Nicaea.
The very contemporary author, the first century Jewish historian Josephus had his work interpolated for this prime objective.
Constantine was going to promote this “Fabrication of the Galilaeans” as the officially supremely sanctified religion by which he was to tax, administer and otherwise obtain revenue from his newly acquired territories of the empire.
This fiction has fooled the world ever since.
Julian saw Christianity – which within a generation had ceased to be a persecuted belief and had become the official religion persecuting others – as a sickness within the body politic, and felt deep revulsion toward it from an ethical-religious viewpoint. His Uncle Constantine remained loyal to Mithraism (despite the fable of his death bed conversion). Julian’s writings reveal his knowledge of the Bible and the New Testament. He chides Christianity for having adopted the worst aspects of paganism and Judaism, and for having broken away from Judaism; he writes that the beliefs of the Jews are identical with or only slightly different from those of other nations. He compared the myths of Genesis with the Homeric epic and the Platonic cosmogony, and argued that paganism’s religious tradition and view of godhood is superior.
Everything that Julian undertook must be judged in the light of his initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries see: https://www.rosicrucian.org/publications/digest/digest2_2009/04_web/07_keller/07_keller.pdf (and history has been at great pains to misrepresent his actions in every possible way). In order to form a true estimate of such a personality as Julian we must give due weight to the effects of this initiation. What spiritual benefit had Julian derived from his initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries? Through direct spiritual perception he learned the secrets of cosmic and world evolution, the spiritual origin of the world and how spiritual forces operate in the planetary and solar systems. He learned to understand certain things which were quite incomprehensible to his contemporaries (with the exception of a few Greek initiates), namely, the relation of solar influences and the Being of the Sun to the old Hermes-Logos. He understood the meaning of the Pythagorean maxim: “Thou shalt not speak against the Sun!” This does not refer, of course, to the physical sun but to the Spirit which is concealed behind the Sun. He knew that the ancient sacred traditions ascribed the origin of the world to the spiritual Being of the Sun and above all that man must recover his relation to the spiritual Sun if he is to penetrate to the source of his existence.
 
(In Constantine we have a personality who had to abandon the former coercive measures practiced by the majority of the earlier emperors when they sought initiation into the Mysteries. To compensate for this he therefore did everything in his power to advance the cause of exoteric Christianity in the Empire.) He himself was a dedicated life long Pagan initiate, despite the fable of his death bed conversion.
Julian therefore was aware of the ancient Sun-Mystery. He realized that the physical sun is but the external form of a spiritual Sun which can be awakened in the soul of man through initiation, and when awakened can reveal to him the intimate connection between the universe and the historical life of man on Earth. It was clear to Julian that the world can never be ordered on a basis of rationalism, that only those who are able to be in touch with the Sun Logos are in any way fitted to have a voice in the ordering of the world. He had to recognize that the movements of the celestial bodies and the great historical movements of mankind are governed by a common law.
Remember that up to the time of Constantine, in large sections of the population the last remnants of ancient cults had been preserved. Today the question of miracles is a real thorn in the side of Biblical exegesis, because people refuse to read the Gospels from the standpoint of the age to which they, the Gospels, belong. The question of miracles raised no problems for the contemporaries of the Evangelists, for they were aware of the existence of rites and ceremonies from which men derived spiritual forces which they were able to control.
Whilst, on the one hand, Christianity was introduced as a political measure which culminated in Constantine’s edict of toleration, so attempts were made on the other hand, to suppress the ancient pagan rites. Endless laws were promulgated by Rome which forbade the celebration of rites which derived their power from the spiritual world. These laws, it is true, declared that the old superstitions must cease, that no one may practice ritual magic in order to injure others and no one may communicate with the dead, and so on, but these were only pretexts. The real purpose of these laws was to eradicate root and branch any traces of pagan cults which had survived from ancient times. Wherever possible, history has endeavored to hush up or to conceal the real facts of the situation. But our earliest historical records were the work of priests and monks in the monasteries (a fact which modern science, which claims to be “objective and to accept nothing on authority”, studiously ignores). The avowed object of the monasteries (i.e. priests and monks) was to suppress all knowledge of the true character of antiquity and to prevent the essential teachings of the pagan Mysteries from being transmitted to posterity.
Constantine inaugurated the exoteric side of Christianity and Julian the Apostate took up the struggle against the exoteric side of Christianity. It is a curious phenomenon that if anyone with a real knowledge of occult facts that can still be found in ancient writings — makes a study of Christian dogma, for example, if we inquire into the origin of the Mass, or if ritual and dogma are studied in the light of occult knowledge derived from ancient writings, we discover the most extraordinary things. What lies behind these dogmas and cult acts?Countless authors who have studied these questions have come to the conclusion that in ritual and dogma a large residuum of paganism has been preserved or has survived. An attempt was made by the French writer Drach, an authority on Hebraism, to demonstrate that the dogma and ritual of the Catholic Church were simply a revival of paganism. And others attempted to show that certain people were at pains to conceal from the faithful the fact that the dogmas and ritual of the Church were imbued with paganism.
Julian’s polemic against Christianity musters every kind of argument against Christianity, against the historical Jesus and certain Christian dogmas, with passionate sincerity. And when we compare these arguments with the objections raised by the liberal theology of the nineteenth century and the later theology of the adherents of Drews against the historicity of Christ, when we consider the whole field of literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries which reveals most careful, painstaking and thorough philological investigation, there are endless repetitions, so that one has to consult whole libraries — we find that we can piece together certain guiding principles. The leading critics began to undertake a comparative study of the Gospels and found many discrepancies in the texts. But all these critical methods were already anticipated by Julian. The nineteenth-century criticism offered nothing new that was not already known to Julian. Julian spoke out of a natural creative gift whilst the nineteenth-century criticism displayed enormous industry, great erudition and downright theological sophistry.
“It was”, thought the Emperor Julian c.362 CE,”expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which he was convinced that the fabrication of the Christians was a fiction of men composed by wickedness”. http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/thesis.pdf
The Eusebian fiction postulate may be stated thus:
Eusebius in the fourth century was sponsored by the supreme emperor Constantine to write a history for a new and strange religion that Constantine wishes to implement as a method of administration for his newly acquired empires. Manuscripts of prominent Roman and Jewish historians were perverted, false communications between non- existent bishops were fabricated, manuscripts of other writers were interpolated by Eusebius, and Eusebius uses the names of unknown writers to publish his own fictitious literature.
The entire purpose is to establish a priority date for the new and strange religion of Constantine which is as far away from the date of the Nicaean council as is possible.
The Eusebian Fiction postulate is that Constantine and Eusebius were two of the “wicked men” who composed the “fabrication of the Galilaeans” in accordance to the opinion of the Roman Emperor Julian, speaking from within 40 years of the perpetration of the fiction, at Nicaea.
The Eusebian fiction postulate is that the new and strange testament was also written by Eusebius under the sponsorship of Constantine.
The first implication of considering the historical consistency of the Eusebian fiction postulate is that there necessarily must have been another reality of antiquity, in which for the first 300 years, the tribe of christians did not physically exist.
AGAINST THE GALILAEANS
THE WORKS OF THE EMPEROR JULIAN
Letters 1 – 73

5 Reasons to Suspect Jesus Never Existed

belief--

Question EVERYTHING!” ~ George Carlin

Valerie Tarico, AlterNet

A growing number of scholars are openly questioning or actively arguing against whether Jesus lived.

Most antiquities scholars think that the New Testament gospels are “mythologized history.” In other words, they think that around the start of the first century a controversial Jewish rabbi named Yeshua ben Yosef gathered a following and his life and teachings provided the seed that grew into Christianity.

At the same time, these scholars acknowledge that many Bible stories like the virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, and women at the tomb borrow and rework mythic themes that were common in the Ancient Near East, much the way that screenwriters base new movies on old familiar tropes or plot elements. In this view, a “historical Jesus” became mythologized.

For over 200 years, a wide ranging array of theologians and historians—most of them Christian—analyzed ancient texts, both those that made it into the Bible and those that didn’t, in attempts to excavate the man behind the myth. Several current or recent bestsellers take this approach, distilling the scholarship for a popular audience. Familiar titles include Zealot by Reza Aslan and How Jesus Became God by Bart Ehrman

But other scholars believe that the gospel stories are actually “historicized mythology.” In this view, those ancient mythic templates are themselves the kernel. They got filled in with names, places and other real world details as early sects of Jesus worship attempted to understand and defend the devotional traditions they had received.

The notion that Jesus never existed is a minority position. Of course it is! says David Fitzgerald, author of Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at AllFor centuries all serious scholars of Christianity were Christians themselves, and modern secular scholars lean heavily on the groundwork that they laid in collecting, preserving, and analyzing ancient texts. Even today most secular scholars come out of a religious background, and many operate by default under historical presumptions of their former faith.

Fitzgerald is an atheist speaker and writer, popular with secular students and community groups. The internet phenom, Zeitgeist the Movie introduced millions to some of the mythic roots of Christianity. But Zeitgeist and similar works contain known errors and oversimplifications that undermine their credibility. Fitzgerald seeks to correct that by giving young people interesting, accessible information that is grounded in accountable scholarship.

More academic arguments in support of the Jesus Myth theory can be found in the writings of Richard Carrier and Robert Price. Carrier, who has a Ph.D. in ancient history uses the tools of his trade to show, among other things, how Christianity might have gotten off the ground without a miracle. Price, by contrast, writes from the perspective of a theologian whose biblical scholarship ultimately formed the basis for his skepticism. It is interesting to note that some of the harshest debunkers of fringe Jesus myth theories like those from Zeitgeist or Joseph Atwill (who tries to argue that the Romans invented Jesus) are from serious Mythicists like Fitzgerald, Carrier and Price.

The arguments on both sides of this question—mythologized history or historicized mythology—fill volumes, and if anything the debate seems to be heating up rather than resolving. A growing number of scholars are openly questioning or actively arguing against Jesus’ historicity. Since many people, both Christian and not, find it surprising that this debate even exists—that credible scholars might think Jesus never existed—here are some of the key points that keep the doubts alive:

1. No first century secular evidence whatsoever exists to support the actuality of Yeshua ben Yosef.

In the words of Bart Ehrman:

“What sorts of things do pagan authors from the time of Jesus have to say about him? Nothing. As odd as it may seem, there is no mention of Jesus at all by any of his pagan contemporaries. There are no birth records, no trial transcripts, no death certificates; there are no expressions of interest, no heated slanders, no passing references – nothing. In fact, if we broaden our field of concern to the years after his death – even if we include the entire first century of the Common Era – there is not so much as a solitary reference to Jesus in any non-Christian, non-Jewish source of any kind. I should stress that we do have a large number of documents from the time – the writings of poets, philosophers, historians, scientists, and government officials, for example, not to mention the large collection of surviving inscriptions on stone and private letters and legal documents on papyrus. In none of this vast array of surviving writings is Jesus’ name ever so much as mentioned.” (How Jesus Became God pp. 56-57)

2. The earliest New Testament writers seem ignorant of the details of Jesus’ life, which become more crystalized in later texts.

Paul seems unaware of any virgin birth, for example. No wise men, no star in the east, no miracles. Historians have long puzzled over the “Silence of Paul” on the most basic biographical facts and teachings of Jesus. Paul fails to cite Jesus’ authority precisely when it would make his case. What’s more, he never calls the twelve apostles Jesus’ disciples; in fact, he never says Jesus HAD disciples –or a ministry, or did miracles, or gave teachings. He virtually refuses to disclose any other biographical detail, and the few cryptic hints he offers aren’t just vague, but contradict the gospels. The leaders of the early Christian movement in Jerusalem like Peter and James are supposedly Jesus’ own followers and family; but Paul dismisses them as nobodies and repeatedly opposes them for not being true Christians!

Liberal theologian Marcus Borg suggests that people read the books of the New Testament in chronological order to see how early Christianity unfolded. “Placing the Gospels after Paul makes it clear that as written documents they are not the source of early Christianity but its product. The Gospel — the good news — of and about Jesus existed before the Gospels. They are the products of early Christian communities several decades after Jesus’ historical life and tell us how those communities saw his significance in their historical context.”

3. Even the New Testament stories don’t claim to be first-hand accounts.

We now know that the four gospels were assigned the names of the apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, not written by them. To make matter sketchier, the name designations happened sometime in second century, around 100 years or more after Christianity supposedly began. For a variety of reasons, the practice of pseudonymous writing was common at the time and many contemporary documents are “signed” by famous figures. The same is true of the New Testament epistles except for a handful of letters from Paul (6 out of 13) which are broadly thought to be genuine.  But even the gospel stories don’t actually say, “I was there.” Rather, they claim the existence of other witnesses, a phenomenon familiar to anyone who has heard the phrase, my aunt knew someone who . . . .

4. The gospels, our only accounts of a historical Jesus, contradict each other.

If you think you know the Jesus story pretty well, I suggest that you pause at this point to test yourself with the 20 question quiz at ExChristian.net.

The gospel of Mark is thought to be the earliest existing “life of Jesus,” and linguistic analysis suggests that Luke and Matthew both simply reworked Mark and added their own corrections and new material. But they contradict each other and, to an even greater degree contradict the much later gospel of John, because they were written with different objectives for different audiences. The incompatible Easter stories offer one example of how much the stories disagree.

5. Modern scholars who claim to have uncovered the real historical Jesus depict wildly different persons.

They include a cynic philosopher, charismatic Hasid, liberal Pharisee, conservative rabbi, Zealot revolutionary, nonviolent pacifist to borrow from a much longer list assembled by Price. In his words (pp. 15-16), “The historical Jesus (if there was one) might well have been a messianic king, or a progressive Pharisee, or a Galilean shaman, or a magus, or a Hellenistic sage.  But he cannot very well have been all of them at the same time.” John Dominic Crossan of the Jesus Seminar grumbles that “the stunning diversity is an academic embarrassment.”

For David Fitzgerald, these issues and more lead to a conclusion that he finds inescapable:

Jesus appears to be an effect, not a cause, of Christianity. Paul and the rest of the first generation of Christians searched the Septuagint translation of Hebrew scriptures to create a Mystery Faith for the Jews, complete with pagan rituals like a Lord’s Supper, Gnostic terms in his letters, and a personal savior god to rival those in their neighbors’ longstanding Egyptian, Persian, Hellenistic and Roman traditions.

In a soon-to-be-released follow up to Nailed, entitled Jesus: Mything in ActionFitzgerald argues that the many competing versions proposed by secular scholars are just as problematic as any “Jesus of Faith:” Even if one accepts that there was a real Jesus of Nazareth, the question has little practical meaning: Regardless of whether or not a first century rabbi called Yeshua ben Yosef lived, the “historical Jesus” figures so patiently excavated and re-assembled by secular scholars are themselves fictions.

We may never know for certain what put Christian history in motion. Only time (or perhaps time travel) will tell.

About the Author

Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington and the founder of Wisdom Commons. She is the author of “Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light” and “Deas and Other Imaginings.” Her articles can be found at Awaypoint.Wordpress.com.

The Seven Pillars of the Matrix

Seven-Pillars-non-esoteric
“No one is more of a slave than he who thinks himself free without being so.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Contemporary baptized, corporatized and sanitized man rarely has the occasion to question his identity, and when he does a typical response might be, “I am product manager for a large retail chain, married to Betty, father of Johnny, a Democrat, Steelers fan and a Lutheran.”

His answers imply not only his beliefs but the many responsibilities, rules and restrictions he is subjected to. Few if any of these were ever negotiated- they were imposed on him yet he still considers himself free.

But is free the right adjective for him, or would modern domesticated simian be more apt? He has been told what to do, believe, think and feel since he can remember. A very clever rancher has bred billions of these creatures around the globe and created the most profitable livestock imaginable. They work for him, fight for him, die for him, believe his wildest tales, laugh at his jokes and rarely get out of line. When domesticated man does break one of the rules there are armies, jailers, psychiatrists and bureaucrats prepared to kill, incarcerate, drug or hound the transgressor into submission.

One of the most fascinating aspects of domesticated man’s predicament is that he never looks at the cattle, sheep and pigs who wind up on his plate and make the very simple deduction that he is just a talking version of them, corralled and shepherded through his entire life. How is this accomplished? Only animals that live in hierarchical groups can be dominated by man. The trick is to fool the animal into believing that the leader of the pack or herd is the person who is domesticating them. Once this is accomplished the animal is under full control of its homo sapien master. The domesticated man is no different, originally organized in groups with a clear hierarchy and maximum size of 150- it was easy to replace the leader of these smaller groups with one overarching figure such as God, King, President, CEO etc.

The methodology for creating this exceptionally loyal and obedient modern breed, homo domesticus, can be described as having seven pillars from which an immense matrix captures the talking simians and their conscious minds and hooks them into a complex mesh from which few ever escape. The system is so advanced that those who do untangle themselves and cut their way out of the net are immediately branded as mentally ill, anti-social, or simply losers who can’t accept the ‘complexity of modern life’, i.e. conspiracy nuts.

DELUSION DWELLERS, Laurie Lipton, 2010

Plato described this brilliantly in his Allegory of the Cave, where people only see man made shadows of objects, institutions, Gods and ideas:

“–Behold! human beings living in an underground cave…here they have been from their childhood…necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance…the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets… and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall…”

It began with the word, which forever changed the ability of men to manipulate each other. Before language, every sensation was directly felt through the senses without the filter of words. But somewhere around 50,000 years ago language began to replace reality and the first pieces of code were put in place for the creation of the Matrix. As soon as the words began to flow the world was split, and from that fracturing was born man’s angst and slavery. The words separated us from who we really were, creating the first screen onto which the images from Plato’s cave were cast. Gurdjieff said it well, “Identifying is the chief obstacle to self-remembering. A man who identifies with anything is unable to remember himself.”

It’s no accident that in Hesiod’s ages of man the Golden Age knew no agriculture, which appeared in the Silver age, and by the time we reach the Bronze age the dominant theme is toil and strife. The two key elements to the enslavement of man were clearly language and agriculture. In the hunter gatherer society, taking out the boss was no more complicated than landing a well placed fastball to the head. Only since the advent of farming was the possibility of creating full time enforcers and propagandists made possible, and hence enslavement inevitable.

The search for enlightenment rarely if ever bears fruits in those temples of words, our schools and universities. Almost all traditions point to isolation and silence as the only paths to awakening; they are the true antidotes to modern slavery. As Aristotle wrote, “Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.”

So from the institution from which we are mercilessly bombarded with words and enslaved to time, we begin our descent through the seven layers of the Matrix.

1981004006Education

There are things we are born able to do like eating, laughing and crying and others we pick up without much of an effort such as walking, speaking and fighting, but without strict institutional education there is no way that we can ever become a functioning member of the Matrix. We must be indoctrinated, sent to Matrix boot camp, which of course is school. How else could you take a hunter and turn him into a corporate slave, submissive to clocks, countless bosses, monotony and uniformity?

Children naturally know who they are, they have no existential angst, but schools immediately begin driving home the point of schedules, rules, lists and grades which inevitably lead the students to the concept of who they aren’t. We drill the little ones until they learn to count money, tell time, measure progress, stand in line, keep silent and endure submission. They learn they aren’t free and they are separated from everyone else and the world itself by a myriad of divides, names and languages.

It can’t be stressed enough how much education is simply inculcating people with the clock and the idea of a forced identity. What child when she first goes to school isn’t taken back to hear herself referred to by her full name?

It’s not as if language itself isn’t sufficiently abstract- nothing must be left without a category. Suzy can’t just be Suzy- she is a citizen of a country and a state, a member of a religion and a product of a civilization, many of which have flags, mascots, armies, uniforms, currencies and languages. Once all the mascots, tag lines and corporate creeds are learned, then history can begin to be taught. The great epic myths invented and conveniently woven into the archetypes which have come down through the ages cement this matrix into the child’s mind.

Even the language that she speaks without effort must be deconstructed for her. An apple will never again be just an apple- it will become a noun, a subject, or an object. Nothing will be left untouched, all must be ripped apart and explained back to the child in Matrixese.

We are taught almost nothing useful during the twelve or so years that we are institutionalized and conditioned for slavery- not how to cook, farm, hunt, build, gather, laugh or play. We are only taught how to live by a clock and conform to institutionalized behaviors that make for solid careers as slaveocrats.

ObamaGovernment

In the countries that claim to be democratic the concept of a government created to serve the people is often espoused. Government, and the laws they create and enforce are institutionalized social control for the benefit of those who have seized power. This has always been the case and always will be. In the pre-democratic era it was much clearer to recognize who had power, but the genius of massive democratic states are the layers upon layers of corporatocracy and special interests which so brilliantly conceal the identify of those who really manage the massive apparatus of control.

The functions of the state are so well esconded in dogmatic versions of history taught in schools that almost no one questions why we need anything beyond the bare essentials of government to maintain order in the post-industrial age. The history classes never point the finger at the governments themselves as the propagators and instigators of war, genocide, starvation and corruption. In Hollywood’s version of history, the one most people absorb, ‘good’ governments are always portrayed as fighting ‘bad’ ones. We have yet to see a film where all the people on both sides simply disengage from their governments and ignore the calls to violence.

The state apparatus is based on law, which is a contract between the people and an organism created to administer common necessities- an exchange of sovereignty between the people and the state. This sounds reasonable, but when one looks at the mass slaughters of the 20th century, almost without exception, the perpetrators are the states themselves.

The loss of human freedom is the only birthright offered to the citizens of the modern nation. There is never a choice. It is spun as a freedom and a privilege when it is in fact indentured servitude to the state apparatus and the corporatocracy that controls it.

patriotism-flag-respect-devotionPatriotism

Patriotism is pure abstraction, a completely artificial mechanism of social control. People are taught to value their compatriots above and beyond those of their own ethnic background, race or religion. The organic bonds are to be shed in favor of the great corporate state. From infancy children are indoctrinated like Pavlov’s dogs to worship the paraphernalia of the state and see it as a mystical demigod.

What is a country? Using the United States as example, what actually is this entity? Is it the USPS, the FDA, or the CIA? Does loving one’s country mean one should love the IRS and the NSA? Should we feel differently about someone if they are from Vancouver instead of Seattle? Loving a state is the same as loving a corporation, except with the corporations there is still no stigma attached to not showing overt sentimental devotion to their brands and fortunately, at least for the moment, we are not obligated at birth to pay them for a lifetime of services, most of which we neither need nor want.

Flags, the Hollywood version of history and presidential worship are drilled into us to maintain the illusion of the ‘other’ and force the ‘foreigner/terrorist/extremist’ to wear the stigma of our projections. The archaic tribal energy that united small bands and helped them to fend off wild beasts and hungry hoards has been converted into a magic wand for the masters of the matrix. Flags are waved, and we respond like hungry Labradors jumping at a juicy prime rib swinging before our noses. Sentimental statist propaganda is simply the mouthguard used to soften the jolt of our collective electroshock therapy.

PopeReligion

As powerful as the patriotic sects are, there has always been a need for something higher. Religion comes from the Latin ‘re-ligare’ and it means to reconnect. But reconnect to what? The question before all religions is, what have we been disconnected from? The indoctrination and alienation of becoming a card carrying slave has a cost; the level of abstraction and the disconnect from any semblance of humanity converts people into nihilistic robots. No amount of patriotic fervor can replace having a soul. The flags and history lessons can only give a momentary reprieve to the emptiness of the Matrix and that’s why the priests are needed.

The original spiritual connection man had with the universe began to dissolve into duality with the onset of language, and by the time cities and standing armies arrived he was in need of a reconnection, and thus we get our faith based religions. Faith in the religious experiences of sages, or as William James put it, faith in someone else’s ability to connect. Of course the liturgies of our mainstream religions offer some solace and connection, but in general they simply provide the glue for the Matrix. A brief perusal of the news will clearly show that their ‘God’ seems most comfortable amidst the killing fields.

If we focus on the Abrahamic religions, we have a god much like the state, one who needs to be loved. He is also jealous of the other supposedly non-existent gods and is as sociopathic as the governments who adore him. He wipes out his enemies with floods and angels of death just as the governments who pander to him annihilate us with cultural revolutions, atom bombs, television and napalm. Their anthem is, “Love your country, it’s flag, its history, and the God who created it all”- an ethos force fed to each new generation.

The Most Fanatic Supporters In The WorldCircus

The sad thing about circus is that it’s generally not even entertaining. The slaves are told it’s time for some fun and they move in hordes to fill stadiums, clubs, cinemas or simply to stare into their electrical devices believing that they are are being entertained by vulgar propaganda.

As long as homo domesticus goes into the appropriate corral, jumps when she is told to and agrees wholeheartedly that she is having fun, than she is a good slave worthy of her two days off a week and fifteen days vacation at the designated farm where she is milked of any excess gold she might have accumulated during the year. Once she is too old to work and put to pasture, holes are strategically placed in her vicinity so she and her husband can spend their last few dollars trying to get a small white ball into them.

On a daily basis, after the caffeinated maximum effort has been squeezed out of her, she is placed in front of a screen, given the Matrix approved beverage (alcohol), and re-indoctrinated for several hours before starting the whole cycle over again. God forbid anyone ever took a hallucinogen and had an original thought. We are, thankfully, protected from any substances that might actually wake us up and are encouraged stick to the booze. The matrix loves coffee in the morning, alcohol in the evening and never an authentic thought in between.

On a more primal level we are entranced with the contours of the perfect body and dream of ‘perfect love’, where our days will be filled with soft caresses, sweet words and Hollywood drama. This is maybe the most sublime of the Matrix’s snares, as Venus’s charms can be so convincing one willingly abandons all for her devious promise. Romantic love is dangled like bait, selling us down the path of sentimentally coated lies and mindless consumerism.

MoneyMoney

Money is their most brilliant accomplishment. Billions of people spend most of their waking lives either acquiring it or spending it without ever understanding what it actually is. In this hologram of a world, the only thing one can do without money is breath. For almost every other human activity they want currency, from eating and drinking to clothing oneself and finding a partner. Religion came from innate spirituality and patriotism from the tribe, but money they invented themselves- the most fantastic and effective of all their tools of domestication.

They have convinced the slaves that money actually has some intrinsic value, since at some point in the past it actually did. Once they were finally able to disconnect money completely from anything other than their computers, they finally took complete control, locked the last gate and electrified all the fences. They ingeniously print it up out of the nothing and loan it with interest in order for 18-year-olds to spend four years drinking and memorizing propaganda as they begin a financial indebtedness that will most likely never end.

By the time the typical American is thirty the debt is mounted so high that they abandon any hope of ever being free of it and embrace their mortgages, credit cards, student loans and car loans as gifts from a sugar daddy. What they rarely asks themselves is why they must work to make money while banks can simply create it with a few key strokes. If they printed out notes on their HP’s and loaned them with interest to their neighbors, they would wind up in a penitentiary, but not our friends on Wall Street- they do just that and wind up pulling the strings in the White House. The genius of the money scam is how obvious it is. When people are told that banks create money out of nothing and are paid interest for it the good folks are left incredulous. “It can’t be that simple!” And therein lies the rub- no one wants to believe that they have been enslaved so easily .

watch tvCulture

“Culture is the effort to hold back the mystery, and replace it with a mythology.”
Terence McKenna

As Terence loved to say, “Culture is not your friend.” It exists as a buffer to authentic experience. As they created larger and larger communities, they replaced the direct spiritual experience of the shaman with priestly religion. Drum beats and sweat were exchanged for digitized, corporatized noise. Local tales got replaced by Hollywood blockbusters, critical thinking with academic dogma.

If money is the shackles of the matrix, culture is its operating system. Filtered, centralized, incredibly manipulative, it glues all their myths together into one massive narrative of social control from which only the bravest of souls ever try to escape. It’s relatively simple to see the manipulation when one looks at patriotism, religion or money. But when taken as a whole, our culture seems as natural and timeless as the air we breathe, so intertwined with our self conception it is often hard to see where we individually finish and our culture begins.

download (1)Escaping the Grip of Control

Some might ask why this all-pervasive network of control isn’t talked about or discussed by our ‘great minds’. Pre-Socratic scholar Peter Kingsley explains it well:

“Everything becomes clear once we accept the fact that scholarship as a whole is not concerned with finding, or even looking for, the truth. That’s just a decorative appearance. It’s simply concerned with protecting us from truths that might endanger our security; and it does so by perpetuating our collective illusions on a much deeper level than individual scholars are aware of.”

Whoever discovered water, it certainly wasn’t a fish. To leave the ‘water’, or Plato’s cave takes courage and the knowledge that there is something beyond the web of control. Over 2,300 hundred years ago Plato described the process of leaving the Matrix in the Allegory of the Cave as a slow, excruciating process akin to walking out onto a sunny beach after spending years in a basement watching Kabuki.

How can this awakening be explained? How do you describe the feeling of swimming in the ocean at dusk to someone who as never even seen water? You can’t, but what you can do is crack open a window for them and if enough windows are opened, the illusion begins to lose its luster.

About the Author

Robert Bonomo is a blogger, novelist and esotericist. Download his latest novel, Your Love Incomplete, for free here.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

 

Spiritual Freedom in the West: Are We Drifting Into a Culture of Suppression?

suppressed

David Gardner, The Conscious Reporter

Increasingly in the West practitioners of alternative spirituality are subjected to discrimination and censorship. It’s sobering to look at the possible outcomes of living in a society where spiritual freedoms are heavily restricted. This article looks at the Chinese government’s oppression of spirituality as an example, to illustrate why we should not take our spiritual rights and freedoms for granted.

There is a dark agenda currently threatening spiritual freedom throughout the world, and it seems to be progressing at an alarming rate.

As recently exposed here on The Conscious Reporter:

In the mainstream media alternative spirituality is frequently illegitimately portrayed with a negative bias as our greatest fears are turned against us in order to manipulate our view of alternative spirituality as a whole.

Despite this, there are many people who feel that standing up for our right to access and practice the spirituality of our choosing is either not necessary or the wrong thing to do. It seems we have been convinced that to resist a problem means perpetuating it, and that external censorship is okay as we will simply evolve spiritually in order to circumvent it.

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A painted stone at Wenzhou’s “Anti-cult Theme Park” tells visitors to “Worship science”

The reality, though, is that it takes sustained effort in order to evolve spiritually, and if we do not have access to the tools and techniques required for internal transformation, there is no way we will evolve spiritually as a matter of course.

If we don’t stand up for our rights and for spirituality now, is there the possibility that we could lose the opportunity completely?

A closer look at the state regulation of spirituality in China, and the links and parallels to policies in Western countries,  paints a sobering picture of how things could end up if we take our spiritual freedom in the West for granted.

When State-sanctioned religion is the only type allowed

Living in the West it can be hard to imagine that people are routinely incarcerated, tortured and even murdered for their spiritual beliefs, and yet this is happening all around the world right now. In some countries religion is oppressed completely in favour of an atheistic state, and in others a State religion is propagated while other beliefs are persecuted.

One country with strong limitations on spiritual expression is China, whose government see spiritual minorities with the ability to mobilise their devotees in direct action (most recently in peaceful protests) as a threat to state control. This fear may stem from a history of “religious and spiritual uprisings that had catastrophic effects on the country.” Source

Often initially supported by the regime, groups which come to be seen as threatening are persecuted and regulated through law enforcement, media propaganda and a network of anti-cult associations.

There are over 1.3 billion people in China but only five religions approved by the Chinese government:

  • Buddhism
  • Taoism
  • Islam
  • Catholicism
  • Protestantism

However religious experience is not free from bias – all forms of religion are expected to be “patriotic government associations”.

In Tibetan Buddhism the Panchen Lama (second highest ranking Buddhist next to the Dalai Lama) was taken into “protective custody” by the Chinese Government at age six when he was named, and replaced by a Chinese-endorsed Panchen Lama.

For Chinese Christians there are two options: attend a government-approved church, where clergymen are trained in state-sponsored seminaries, or attend illegal underground churches which are often subject to crackdowns and persecution.

Those who find themselves the subject of persecution, may not find much support from their countrymen. Recently when a Chinese blogger took to social media about his Christian pastor friend being repeatedly arrested he found that many people supported the persecution, with one commenter even remarking, “The cops have done a beautiful job!”.

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The Chinese government employs an army of internet trolls to propagate and defend the party line Source

Whether this sentiment is genuine or not is hard to tell. The Chinese government employs millions of professional trolls to back government propaganda known as the 50 cent brigade (because they are paid 50 Chinese cents for each comment made on youtube, forums and blogs around the world that distorts or deflects opinion towards government propaganda).

The mainstream media in China is also a tool of governmental control and oppression of religious minorities.

Recently when a 28-year-old woman was tragically beaten to death in a McDonald’s restaurant, state TV blamed the act on members of an “evil cult”.

A few days later the government published its list of 20 active “cults.” From then on, events unfolded with a ruthless and familiar logic: Every TV channel and newspaper issued warnings about the dangers of “evil cults.” Community organizations, village authorities and schools got in on the act.The anti-cult campaign extended to more mainstream religious practices. The People’s Daily website and the Global Times, a government newspaper, opened a barrage of attacks on China’s underground Christian churches. An article in the Global Times said “underground churches and evil cults are spreading like mushrooms … the problem is very urgent.” source

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The destruction of Sanjiang church in Wenzhou Source

What does a crackdown on underground churches look like? In Wenzhou – known colloquially as the “Jerusalem of the East” for its concentration of churches – religious buildings are being destroyed supposedly because they exceed building standards. But practitioners feel this is a smokescreen for religious oppression, pointing as an example to the world trade tower in the same city that exceeds standards by 29,000 square metres but was able to retroactively be approved.

Other Christians are fearful of speaking openly about this:

“You must be careful whom you talk to,” cautioned two women from a Beijing-based religious publication in town to investigate the demolition. “There could be government spies among the people here.” source

Incidentally it appears that the use of spies by anti-cult establishments in the western world is also a regular occurrence.

China’s anti-cult movement

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A section of a mural from Wenzhou’s “Anti-cult Theme Park” depicting why and how so-called “cults” should be resisted – with deadly force? Source

Wenzhou is also the home of China’s first “Anti-cult Theme Park” (franchises coming soon to a city near you?).

Don’t expect rides and fairy floss – this a place of “exercise and indoctrination”, complete with a sign telling visitors to “worship science” and quotes such as “Cults are religious poison, they are the pollution of human society.” There is also a hand-painted mural explaining why “cults” should be resisted and how to go about it.

But state indoctrination does not stop there. In fact the Chinese government even has it’s own anti-cult office, the “Office of the State Council to Prevent and Handle Cult Issues”. The purpose of this office is a mystery to many, although they influence policy and strategy in both state and party spheres and are “believed to be in charge of developing targeted strategies for the party and government on preventing and dealing with incidents stemming from cult activities, including controlling education and issuing propaganda aimed at deterring and “reforming” [spiritual] enthusiasts”. source

There are also a myriad of anti-cult associations smattered throughout all levels of Chinese society. And it seems they’ve been hard at work.

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Anti-cult themed Opera in Huagu Source

Take for instance this Anti-cult themed Opera in Huagu found on a Chinese tourist website and organised by the Hunan Anti-Cult Association. The write-up says:

Cults are like poisonous weeds do harm to the society. It blows one’s money, and worse, ruins families. In order to raise people’s awareness and enrich their spiritual life as well, modern Huagu Opera Awakening organized by Hunan Anti-Cult Association was staged in Taoyuan County Theatre on Sept.17thwhich received high appreciation.The opera reveals the danger of cults through a typical case, assembling moving plots and skillful actors, and overall it represents local culture, meanwhile shows a strong impact of alarming people against cults. [emphasis added]

An exhibition marking the banning of Falun Gong titled “Oppose Evil Cults, Uphold Culture”, was visited by over 200,000 people in 10 days. The exhibition detailed gruesome images of Falun Gong practitioners and comparison of Falun Gong to Nazi Germany and carried a simple message: “Healthy, intelligent people who begin practicing Falun Gong go crazy and hurt themselves and their families.” Source

Visitors to the exhibit had the following to say:

“A very convincing and effective anti-cult show.” — Han Juyin from Chongqing.”I will bring the materials back home to enrich the contents of the anti-cult bulletin on our campus.” — Visitor Zhu Xiaoping from the No. 5 Middle School in Xiangfan, Hubei Province.”Falun Gong is not only the enemy of the Chinese people, but also a common enemy of those who love world peace and respect knowledge and science. It deserves vigilance and lashes from all righteous people,” wrote visitor Qiao Chunhong. Source

But a New York-based spokeswoman for Falun Gong said, “It’s all lies. It’s all propaganda. The reality is that this (Chinese government) is a totalitarian regime relentlessly persecuting millions of its own people.”

This point of view appears to be backed up by the initial response to the banning of Falun Gong, when the Chinese government began to see their growing number of practitioners as a threat to state control:

Falun Gong was outlawed as a threat to public safety. Tens of thousands of members were arrested and sent to labour camps without trial, and many were tortured. The Department of Propaganda launched an immediate media assault on Falun Gong. In the first month after the ban The People’s Daily ran over ten articles a day denouncing Falun Gong, and several TV stations ran marathons of special features 24 hours a day for days on end (Kutulowski, 2004; Yu, 2004). Newspapers, magazines and broadcasting stations published lurid stories of members dying from suicide, and cutting open their stomach to find their inner falun. The blood and guts footage was especially compelling because criminal acts and suicides are usually underreported in China. Source

But in the Western World, we live in a free society… right?

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Is this the general consensus towards alternative spirituality? Source

If you think that such a mentality toward spirituality would never make its way into the “free” western world it might be worth thinking again.

In the West, it is not uncommon for commercial web filters to target and block “alternative spirituality”, and even filter this material in the same “adult” category as subjects like drugs, gambling, weapons and pornography. Web filters are widely used in public schools and libraries in the USA where alternative beliefs are often blocked in a discriminatory way, while only a narrow list of religious beliefs can be accessed. In Australia, the Queensland State Government currently blocks Alternative Spirituality/Belief throughout its public schools using the Blue Coat web filter.

In the UK, web filters used on mobile phone networks and public WiFi providers have been found to block alternative beliefs.  Disturbingly, when David Cameron proposed placing network-level web filters on fixed-line ISPs in the UK to “protect the children” he praised TalkTalk which was using a filtering system controlled by Huawei, a company with close ties to the Chinese government, whose own web filtering system blocks among other things“superstitious” material and anything related to Falun Gong.

At an “anti-cult” conference in Australia a senator who has used parliamentary privilege to attack a new religious movement also spoke of his plans to raise the idea of “incorporating cult education into the new national curriculum“.

The Chinese Government itself uses examples from the Western anti-cult movement to support their own campaigns of spiritual oppression, and have hosted prominent Western anti-cult campaigners in China to speak in support of their cause.

Will enough people stand up for spirituality before it’s too late?

While Western governments are obviously not persecuting spiritual minorities to the same extent as governments like China, there are disturbing signs that we could be heading in that direction.

The question is, will enough people stand up for spirituality before it’s too late? Or through apathy will we risk a future similar to those experienced by spiritual seekers and aspirants in countries where spiritual freedom is heavily restricted?

About the Author

David has a deep interest in spiritual development, but has discovered there are many forces in the world working to keep people asleep. His recent interest has been researching the psychological tactics and techniques used to limit people’s spiritual potential, writing about his discoveries here at The Conscious Reporter. twitter.com/wakeupbefreenow

**Please visit ConsciousReporter.com where this article was originally published.**