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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Religion Is Government Is Religion

Nobody will believe me when I say this, but there is no such thing as good and evil.Human beings supposedly have free-will, because we are “special.” And by special, we mean having ‘round the clock access to evil. The other, less fortunate animals know nothing about evil. They move through life with no regret, no fear of abandonment, no fear of death, no need for money, nice stuff, or relationships, because they are not as loved as we are. We are God’s children.

If that sounded sarcastic, it was. One more time, free-will is the product of our mental evolution. If you read any philosopher/physicist who ever spoke on this topic, you would see that it has to do with this directly, but for the time being, just think that our brain is evolved to a point where our memory is so enhanced that we can perceive time. A lower, less conscious species, like a beetle, has no idea what day it is or that it is going to die.

When we reached that point in the evolution of our mind, we began to feel fear as emotions, based on expectations and the fear of loss. That is where good and evil came in to play! What hurts me is bad; what brings pleasure is good. Love is good. Pain is bad. Pain is our perception of things, and we are trained to know what is good and bad. We KNOW for a fact that sex out of wedlock is bad, the same way we know that the sky is blue. We learned!

Animals don’t sin. They don’t commit murder, (although chimpanzees have been known to actually kill for no reason. They are at a pretty high level of consciousness, though. They may be just around the corner from us.) Animals only kill for survival. We kill for survival as well, and there is nothing “evil” about it, unless emotions get involved. A tiger does not feel regret for killing a hyena, and we are not opposed to killing cows, for example. 

They also don’t steal from each other for the sake of having stuff. Animals don't become attached to things, like we do. They aren't possessive. Therefore, to steal, or "covet," is not something animals do. They have no need for relationships the way humans do, because they have no ego.The ego is always looking to things (and people) to define itself.

It is only when our expectations and social conditioning set in, that we start forming our opinions of good and evil. If it weren’t for greed and our need to identify ourselves, not one of those Ten Commandments would be necessary. In fact, the Buddhist "guidelines" and all other spiritual, metaphysical, philosophical, and scientific laws and theorems are in place to help us come to a realization that we don't need them.

The Ten Commandments do not lead us to salvation, they protect us from loss, while controlling the collective conscience of the masses. The Ten Commandments are saying, "Don't hurt me by doing this." The Buddhist Noble Truths, for example, are saying, "Do this and you can never be hurt." Which one sounds more like God? Which one sounds like an insecure, mortal politician? 

Religion Is Government Is Religion

Ok, let’s see if you can stomach this, and before you write it off as some Internet nonsense, remember that I’m laying my eternal soul directly in harm’s way by even thinking this, much less writing about it. To help you clarify that, think about your fear of God and multiply it by a million. That’s what is ingrained in a Catholic school kid’s mind.

Now, this is a theory. Of course, I can’t be sure, the same way NOBODY can be sure, even “Hebrew scholars.” I’m just going by the facts, as collected by those who have dedicated their lives to finding artifacts and studying them using scientific methods. When you plug it in, though, I see no holes, which is WAY more than I could say about religion.

Stop me if I’m making too much sense.

We know civilization began in Mesopotamia, around the fertile crescent. From there it spread out concentrically through Eur-Asia, forming tribes that eventually led to "nations," like Israel; Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, and later Romans, formed empires that controlled large areas of land and ruled over many of the smaller nations. The Babylonian Empire was the first united rule of the land. 

You may remember Hammurabi. He was the Babylonian King  famous for his “eye for an eye” code. You see, he knew that he needed a set of strict rules to govern a large area. Hammurabi's Code is the rough draft for the Ten Commandments, only it was secular, so it lacked the "ultimate authority." Regardless of how strict or how mean, they were only enforced by men.

These early empires, more than usual, were plagued with revolt and assassinations. To combat this, they needed to grant their rulers that ultimate authority. The Persians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks, and later Romans were all pagans, and so they often told of the rulers being the son of a god (and a mortal, of course. Except, there was nothing immaculate about those gods. The ancient Greeks loved sex. I'm not sure what happened with the Israelites). Regardless, that supreme power gave them a little punch.
*The Persians also became united under a dualistic religion, Zarathustra, which became the basis of Cyrus the Great's legendary rule, about 500 years later.  

While the great empires clashed, the small tribes were constantly being attacked, so they united, using the "ultimate authority" government, and formed the nation of Israel. Israel was a country, a union of states, a completely theocratic
government. They were a player in the game. Their king, personally appointed by the Lord, was David and, surprise, like every king throughout the ancient world, he is touched by God; David was a direct descendant of Abraham, who has a deed to the land signed by Yaweh (God).  

(Incidentally, David is also the ancestor of Joseph, Jesus’ step-father, a thousand years later. ??)

So, at this point, after the early Babylonians and others learned that they must inject Divine power into their rulers, using collective fear to avoid being overthrown and to maintain order, we have the first empires of the world all ruled by people who claim to be connected, in some way, to God, or gods. So, is it any shock to you that this would be the case in Israel? 
(By the way, do you think fear is still used by government today?)

*King David is a descendant of Abraham, who made a pact with God, just like Zeus bore kings with mortal women throughout Ancient Greece and Jupiter in Rome. (THAT IS, BEFORE A ROMAN EMPEROR JOINED THE CHRISTIANITY PARTY, A POLITICAL SECT THAT WAS GAINING TRACTION, STARTED BY POLITICAL RADICAL, SAUL, WHO WAS FORMALLY WITH THE PARTY KNOWN AS THE PHARISEES.)
**I must say that Israel actually toned it down. Besides the Arc and the parting of the Red Sea, their stories aren’t near as elaborate as the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.

For a thousand years, the kingdom of Israel played the nations' game, with their Bible-based government
being run by scholars and aristocrats who formed political parties, like the Pharisees. They were constantly invaded and conquered by empires, from the Egyptians (who Moses dealt with) to the Romans (at Jesus' time). Keep in mind, being conquered means that they got to keep their government in tact, but the final rule (and the taxes) belongs to the empire. 

The battle cry for the nation of Israel was the fact that the ONE and only “God” was on their side and that one day, he will deliver the land back to them. Every group, school, team, country needs to feel special and keep up morale. It's actually brilliant to say, "Yeah, they're big and bad, but we have God on our side. He parts the Red Sea for us. Wait and See. He's coming." I actually would expect nothing less from a smaller nation at that time in that place. It’s not unlike the Gods smiling on Greece or “God Bless America.” It not unlike what they do know.

Israel was a government, and the Ten Commandments was their constitution. They had three political parties, the Pharisees, which were the strongest, the Sadduces, elitists, and some other one, a third party who was sick of the first two. Typical government. At Jesus’ time, they were under Roman rule, still using the Commandments and the fear of God tactic. It had calmed down, though; there hadn’t even been a prophet for 500 years, since Ezekial. The political parties were mainly in control, Pharisees like Herod Paul the apostle.

Enter the Messiah. Now, this could go a few ways, but I think it’s irrelevant to the point. 

The first theory would be that Jesus was a highly enlightened human being, and therefore, the son of God, as we all are (and this is the way I lean). He was not unlike the Buddha and many others. He chose to give everything up and just teach, as we see throughout the years is the only choice for an enlightened individual. People began to follow him, and if you believe, as I and all Buddhist monks do, that a higher level of consciousness allows for “miracles” of sort, then his stories may be valid. Of course they are embellished. I believe this theory because of the meaning in his words and alleged actions. I DO feel he may have touched enough people to keep his story alive.
However, if we don’t want to go that far, we can say that he was a radical or that he never even existed. At any rate, it fits. The New Testament often mentions beef between Jesus and the Pharisees, particularly around John the Baptist. Still, whether he was enlightened, a political hack, or a fabrication, the Pharisees didn’t like him and the Romans didn’t like problems, so they killed him. Whether he actually rose from the dead, his spirit spoke to someone, or that part was thrown in after the fact doesn’t matter.

A few years later, maybe ten, a Pharisee named Saul (again, a Pharisee, a political activist) is said to have seen a blinding light on the road to Demascus, where he saw a vision of Jesus. It is from this man's account that Christianity was based (and we went over how absurdly inaccurate the New testament must have been if this is the main source.)  

I would say Saul either heard the story about some charismatic guy, whichever story it was, or he completely fabricated it. Regardless, that light he saw was the formation of a new political party, the Christians. That’s EXACTLY what they were! Saul, who became St. Paul the apostle, sent out his famous "epistles" and rallied up support for the new coup. Surprisingly for a radical, political activist, Paul spent his last days in federal prison.

If you think about it, Paul did EXACTLY what Joseph Smith tried to do, (with pretty decent results, I might add), with the Mormans. They both claimed to have been told the law by Jesus. Incredible. A guy named Muhammad also pulled it off pretty well. Islam is Christianity part II. Exactly! You can see this, right?)

The Christians conflicted directly with the Jews after that, and unfortunately for the latter, the Roman empire adopted the Christian model of government when Constantine converted to the new political party in the 4th century A.D. He altered things slightly, like adding some cool pagan holidays. The Christian party, now called the Roman Catholics, was solidly in control of the Empire for over a thousand years. They became so strong, the model was adopted by their enemies, the Arabs.

The Arabs were a group of tribes in the same area centering in Mesopotamia, but expanding out east to the Middle-East. They were similar to the Jews before they united under Israel. The problem for the Arabs was their land; it was very arid and volcanic. The tribes were nomadic because they constantly had to travel to find water. There were only a few areas that were fertile, Medina and Mecca are two, Israel (Jerusalem) is another. These lands were seized by the strongest. This is why the conflict over Israeli soil has raged on.

In the In the 7th century AD, a politician named Muhammad started his own party to conquer the world, saying HE was summoned by God (who apparently changed his name to Allah, the main god of many worshiped by the Arab tribes). As a great prophet/messenger of the Lord, he rallied the Arabs in Medina to conquer Mecca. A new political party was formed, called Islam!

The Bible came here with the first ship
Islam was the basis of a new powerhouse empire, the Ottomans. The Muslims, as they were called, were  fierce rivals to the Christian Romans for centuries and overwhelming them for sometime through the Dark Ages, until they came back strong during the Renaissance and Christianity spread west throughout Europe (and eventually in the U.S. of A).

It was around this time that the great oxymoron, "Holy War" was accepted. Also, during all this time of clashing between the Muslims and Christians, the pesky Jews, the originators of it all, hung around claiming that land. The Muslims oppose the Jews because they have that rich land right in the middle of their region. Although the Christians inherently hate the Jews, due to their history and the fact that they killed Jesus, they support the Jews politically because, well, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

The three have been slaughtering each other, under the authority of God himself for centuries, with no end in sight.  

Please notice that NOWHERE in here do I say that Jesus Christ is NOT the son of God. In fact, if he did exist, I would say he definitely was, because we all are. What I am whole-heartedly denouncing is religion. Whichever of the three versions you choose, know that you are only picking a political affiliation.


Let’s take a look at The Commandments
along with the Purple Print of Sarcastic Truth

1. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;
Do not have any other gods before me.
In other words, “We are your government. Have no other king/emperor besides me.”

2. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
More issues of respect for authority.

3.Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
Don’t get me started. Why the hell aren’t they talking about this? It’s the one thing they said right!

4.Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
Remember there was much assassination going on, usually by a king’s heir.
And from here we have our definition of evil based on our fear of loss:
5. You shall not murder. (loss of relationship with others)
14 You shall not commit adultery. (loss of relationship trust)
15 You shall not steal. (loss of stuff)
16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (loss of relationship trust)
17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
(loss of relationship trust) and (loss of stuff)

Buddha In Comparison

Here are what's known as the Four Noble Truths. You could say it is the rulebook of Buddhism, except they don't treat it like that. Rather than a law, that is punished by God with eternal suffering, it is a guideline to enlightenment (happiness). It is also meant to keep you from eternal suffering by telling you what causes suffering. That is how the Buddhists view it. Life is suffering inherently, if you are not awake. This is the Hell they speak of. It isn’t a form of government. It is a principle of life.

1. The Nature of Suffering: This is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.

*          The five aggregates subject to clinging are:
          - form or matter , which is external and internal matter. External is the physical world. Internal includes the material body and the physical sense organs
          - sensation or feeling sensing an object as either pleasant or unpleasant or neutral.
          - perception, conception, cognition or discrimination registers whether an object is recognized or not (for instance, the sound of a bell or the shape of a tree).
          - mental formations, impulses, or volition mental habits, thoughts, ideas, opinions, prejudices, compulsions, and decisions triggered by an object.
          - consciousness or discernment
2. Suffering's Origin - This is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving which leads to renewed existence, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there, that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for existence, craving for extermination.     

         *OR COVETING THY NEIGHBORS WIFE. Buddhas says you will suffer if you do this....suffer in your mind. You will feel pain. The Christians like to punish and make rules. Sounds like a government doesn't it? It is.

3. Suffering's Cessation - This is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering: it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, non-reliance on it.

           * Sounds like "avoiding temptation." Doesn't it? This is meant to help you end suffering. Now, imagine if one wanted to take these teachings and use it to control the masses.

4.The Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering: This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering: it is the Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

          * This is your way to Heaven, they call it Nirvana. It is the full realization of what the fuck is really going on. If you do these things, they are saying, you will be totally free and enlightened and happy. If you don't, you won't be burned alive by the devil. You will miserable. People are miserable everyday. They try to mask it with money and worldly possessions, but it doesn't end the suffering.

Buddha goes on to outline all of life. No politics.

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Thanks for reading that. Please add some comments, give an opinion, ask questions, disagree. I would love a healthy discussion on this, not to find a winner in this debate, but to find the truth.

- Professor Plume

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