The Tragedy of Religion
Chapter 1 - Introduction
The most divisive element/factor in betraying our evolution as caring, loving and empathetic human beings is and always has been "religion. At the heart of most religions is a belief in gods, goddesses and their offspring who will be our "savior" and bestow upon mankind all of the fruits of our labors, that is peace, health, and prosperity. I dare say that the hierarchies of religion are responsible for the present chaos that continues to plague our religions--it is their machinations of the teachings of our esteemed prophets of the past and present that continually undermine these teachings of the past.
I have purposely used the term machinations because I believe that this term is at the very heart of the more human agendas of these hierarchies of religion - machinations - plotting or intrigue - a secret, cunning, or complicated plan or scheme" - Encarta Dictionary. And it all began with the Nicaea Creed of AD 325-345. And not entirely Christianity, but those religions that have become the mosaic of our present day, mainstream "religions".
Our religions betray the magnificence of the human spirit. For what reason? Control of the masses (the you and me) and in doing so our religions have made all of us easy prey to the whims and human, earthly agendas of those hierarchies of religion. And it is not the "prophets" who brought the words of a myriad of "gods" to the masses who are to be held accountable for this travesty of religion, it is you and me. We have allowed ourselves to be led astray from the truth of these messages, the Universe, the Unified Field, "the data base of consciousness", the One Mind, which remains undiluted by priests, elders, another Inman, et al.
So, what else is there? Metaphysics and an entirely new approach to how we might interact with one another that does not involve a god/goddess, or some supposedly infallible purveyor of religion as we know it today. At the source of metaphysics will be the "Universe" (as I so often refer to the "source" of our creation in perfection), the Unified Field - Joseph S. Dillon and Lynne McTaggart, "the data base of consciousness" - Power vs Force, that has been with mankind from the very beginning of ‘time’ for those that have the eyes to see and the ears to hear the real truth of what ‘connects’ us all, and it is not religion.
Chapter 2 - Review of Literature
Waking Times (www.wakingtimes.com) is an online magazine founded by Dylan Charles and Anna Hunt. With articles on topics as diverse as politics, science, environmental concerns, culture and ‘awakenings’, the magazine invites readers to seize on the “transformational power of information to trigger personal change and influence humanity’s evolution.”
The founders state:
"Our goal is to help you make your life better. To make that happen, we present ideas that will help you; Understand your place in this world. Understand the forces that are controlling your reality. Reclaim your power over reality from outside forces. Heal your psyche, as well as maintain a healthy body."
Personal change begins with awakening from contemporary consciousness. To jump start this process, we provide perspectives that will evolve your understanding of the world beyond what's presented by the mainstream narrative. Our original content will introduce you to new ways to look at life, outside the current paradigm. (www.wakingtimes.com/about-waking-times)
At last count, Waking Times website featured 17 independent, contributing writers.
Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior - David R. Hawkins, MD, PhD. Copyright 1995, 1998, 2002 by David R. Hawkins. Published by Hay House, Inc., Carlsbad California, USA.
The book begins with a comment from Dr. Wayne Dyer, author of “10 Steps for Success and Inner Peace". He calls Power vs. Force “perhaps the most important and significant book I've read in the past ten years.”
There is too much of substance in Power vs. Force to be able to condense it into a few chosen words from that book, so bear with me; I have had this book since it was published by Dr. Hawkins and it has been my book to go to regarding any aspect of my studies in our metaphysical Universe.
Dr. Hawkins, over a 20-year period, clinically tested the theory that a database of consciousness "can be accessed with a simple test through the science of kinesiology" (Hawkins 2 and 41). Kinesiology exposes the intimate connection between mind and body, revealing that the mind thinks with the body itself (41); "the database of consciousness is after all, an infinite source" (228). "Is the human brain, at some primal level, a wondrous computer linked with a Universal field (see also "The field" by Lynn McTaggart), that knows far more than it knows it knows" (6). In essence, a question must be worded so that it can only be answered with a "yes" or "no".
The Map of Consciousness (68-69) has established a scale of 20 (representing shame to 700-1,000 which is the level of enlightenment and pure consciousness. Energy level 200 represents courage. "Obstacles that defeat people whose consciousness is below 200, act as stimulants to those who have evolved into the first level of true power" (84). "The collective level of consciousness of mankind remained at 190 for many centuries and curiously, only jumped to its current level of 207 (the level of courage) within the last decade" (85). The decade he refers to is 1985 – 1995. In 2019, using the same calculation method employed by Dr. Hawkins, I arrived at a figure of 187 as to "our collective consciousness of mankind" which is obviously appropriate given our present state of our governing systems and, yes, including religion.
Conversations with God - Book One. Neale Donald Walsch. Copyright 1995 by Neale Donald Walsch. First published in Great Britain in 1997 by Hodder and Stoughton, a division of Hodder Headline PLC.
I was asked many decades ago now to describe our God, but I could not for "that would be impossible for I have no form or shape you understand" (Walsch 9). "You have projected the role of "parent" onto God and have thus come up with a God who judges and rewards or punishes, based on how good He (my note; interesting "He" ?)…. But this is a simplistic view of God, based on your mythology. It has nothing to do with Who I Am" (17-18).
"So (these religions say) you'd better do something about all of this—and fast—or you'll go straight to hell. This, in the end, may do nothing to mollify a weird, vindictive, angry God, but it does give life to weird, vindictive, angry religions. Thus do religions perpetuate themselves. Thus does power remain concentrated in the hands of the few, rather than experienced through the hands of the many" (120). As well: "Of course you choose constantly the lesser thought, the smaller idea, the tiniest concept of yourself and your power, to say nothing of Me and Mine. You've been taught to…." (120).
Choose Life the Biblical Call to Revolt; copyright 1952 by Eric Gutkind; manufactured in the United States of America by H. Wolff, New York.
When Freud wrote his frightening little book on "the Future of an Illusion he meant religion" (Gutkind 7). "The trouble with the word pagan is that the churches of various denominations use it, in particular, Catholic dogma tics. They claim to be anti-pagan. And are they? Hardly. The structure of Church dogmatics is based on ingrained pagan philosophies, chiefly Greek paganism" (40).
This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.
Lies We Believe about God Wm. Paul Young. - Atria - An imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, Copyright 2017 by William Paul Young.
"It is God the Father who requires perfect performance and moral behavior… we will be ultimately be rewarded at the Grand Christmas party in Heaven. If not, and you were bad well… it was a lot worse than not getting presents" (Young, 176).
On seeing this book at my favorite book store, I had an "aha" moment, thinking that this book might shed some light on this thing called "God". Alas not so, Mr. Young certainly makes his case for the truth of the bible AND that Jesus only "He himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins….” (248). "A Catena" (214-248) sums up his astonishing conclusions in "Lies We Believe about God".
"I dare say, and I will, that Mr. Young has perpetuated the myth of this thing called God and ‘its’ "savior of mankind and the world" (248). He continues with this idea writing that humankind is not any closer to understanding "god" his "son" and the chaos that this religion.
The end of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason (Sam Harris, 2005)
Sam Harris is a graduate in philosophy from Stanford University. He has studied both Eastern and Western religious traditions, along with a variety of spiritual disciplines, for twenty years. This is Mr. Harris's first book.
There is so much in this book to contemplate, in essence, our very future in the face of all the faces of "religion" as we know it today.
"Harris's tour de force demonstrates how faith: blind, deaf and dumb unreason threaten our very existence. The End of Faith shows how prefect tyranny of religious and secular totalitarianism demonizes imperfect democracies such as the United States and Israel. A must read for all rational people. Alan Dershowitz, author of the Genesis of Justice and America on Trial writes: "We live in an age in which most people believe that mere words—“Jesus” , "Allah", "Ram"—can mean the difference between eternal torment and bliss everlasting" (Dershowitz35).
"Contest between our religions is zero-sum. religious violence is still with us because our religions are intrinsically hostile to one another…. It is time we acknowledge that no real foundation exists within the canons of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or any of our other faiths for religious tolerance and religious diversity" (Harris 225); "No personal God need be worshipped for us to live in awe at the beauty and immensity of creation…. The days of our religious identities are clearly numbered. Whether the days of civilization itself are numbered would seem to depend, rather too much, on how soon we realize this" (227).
Life on Earth: Understanding Who We Are, How We Got Here, and What May Lie Ahead. Mike Doley. Carlsbad: Hay House, Inc., 2016
Mike Dooley is also the author of the New York Times best-selling book Infinite Possibilities.
On the inside of the first leaf of Life on Earth: "Everyone has time for this. The Upside is insane: Dominion over all Things"
"Life on Earth" is an interesting book to say the least, but I must say at the outset it is much like the "Conversations with God" by Neale Donald Walsch. And I hasten to add that we, humankind, are no closer to being one with another, that Oneness, that is at the heart of the Universe, or god if you wish, regardless of these "conversations" with "a" god? The book, Life on Earth, does answer the question posed on the cover of the book, Understanding Who we are, How we got here and What may lie ahead? And Mr. Dooley's god did not answer the question who is God? and Where did "It" come from?
From the introduction on page xix: "It's fair to observe that all cultures, religions, and beliefs offer noble attempts to understand life and for their practitioners to live well. Yet given the aforementioned, unyielding truths and the hijacking that takes place atop many religions by self-
serving and confused leaders, it's quite common that, in hasty pursuit of their original high aims, they drew assumptions and made conclusions that were in need of "self-correction" on to more direct "roads."
"While religion was your first foray into spirituality, metaphysics was your first foray into science. In the beginning of every quest for truth, religion and science typically start out holding hand, asking ‘Who am I and how did I get here’ Yet both religion and science remove humanity from the equation, as if humans were irrelevant, afterthoughts secondary to life itself” (Dooley 16).
Firstly, "the Universe", of course, is a widely accepted metaphor for a spiritual, non religious God. Pretty cool. After all, religion needs spirituality, spirituality does not need religion. "The Universe" is seen as a no-strings attached, loving essence who dotes on and approves of all "its" children. Not only does this Universe seemingly refrain from any and all forms of negative judgment, but believers imagine it works feverishly on everyone's behalf - calculating, scheming, aligning, even dreaming for you exactly what you have been dreaming of for yourself (73-74).
The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe. Lynne, McTaggart. San Francisco: HarperCollins e-books, 2009.
Lynne McTaggart is an international bestselling author and a dynamic, inspirational speaker, who is consistently voted one of the world’s top 100 spiritual leaders for her ground-breaking work involving consciousness and the power of intention.
She is chiefly known for the quality of her writing and in-depth research, and her books The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, are all international sensations available in 30 languages, and are now considered seminal classics of the New Science.
‘You never were alone. You were always part of a greater whole.’
In this ground-breaking classic, Lynne reveals a radical new paradigm – that the human mind and body are not separate from their environment, but a pocket of pulsating power constantly interacting with this vast energy sea, and that consciousness may be central in shaping our world. Considered the seminal work of the New Age, The Field provides a scientific explanation for so-called ‘paranormal’ phenomena, from ESP and spiritual healing to the collective unconscious.
The Field is a highly readable scientific detective story presenting a stunning picture of an interconnected universe and a new scientific theory that makes sense of supernatural phenomena.
From the Prologue of The Coming Revolution:
"We are poised on the brink of a revolution—a revolution as daring and profound as Einstein’s discovery of relativity, and what they have discovered is nothing less than astonishing. At our most elemental, we are not a chemical reaction, but an energetic charge. Human beings and all living things are a coalescence of energy in a field of energy connected toevery other thing in the world. This pulsating energy field is the central engine of our being and our consciousness, the alpha and the omega of our existence" (McTaggart, Prologue VII). "We are attached and engaged, indivisible from our world, and our only fundamental truth is our relationship with it. ‘The field,’ as Einstein once succinctly put it, ‘is the only reality" (Prologue VII/VIII).
“The Field represents one of the first attempts to synthesize this disparate research into a cohesive whole. In the process, it also provides a scientific validation of areas which have largely been the domain of religion, mysticism, alternative medicine or New Age speculation” (McTaggart Prologue XIII).
"Every now and then a person taps into the zeitgeist of an age, the evolutionary edge of human consciousness and understanding. The Field and The Intention Experiment are seminal. - "Barbara Marx Hubbard, President, Foundation for Conscious Evolution
“We need to take measures more radical than individual instances of benign capitalism or civic recovery. We require nothing less than a revolution in our thinking.”
"The third of this trilogy, The Bond is a brilliant new blueprint for living a more harmonious, prosperous and connected life – based on the findings of the new science. If we are not separate, how do we live? What’s the new way to be? We are currently in crisis because we live a lie. We
believe life is all about I win-you lose – survival of the fittest. But in fact, we flourish only when we work together as part of a greater whole, as her profound and life-altering book proves". McTaggart.
Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet. Matthew Fox. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, a member of Penguin Putnam, Inc., 2002.
Mathew Fox has devoted his career to unleashing the suppressed mystical and life-affirming traditions with Christianity and other faiths. His theology of Creation Spirituality—the belief that we are born in "original blessing"—earned him the headline-making censure of the Vatican, which officially "silenced" Fox in 1989 and precipitated his dismissal by the Dominican Order in 1995. Now an Episcopal priest, Fox is the author of more than twenty books. Fox lives in California, USA" from back overleaf.
"There has been much "truth decay" in the church's imperial (Constantinian) ambitions that gave birth to agendas on original sin and redemption and "the only Son of God" all of which wandered far from the message of the historical Jesus. To say nothing of the church's often loud silence about our powers of creativity and imagination and its condemnation of the same" (Fox 7).
Constantinianism refers to those policies said to be enacted, encouraged, or personally favored by Constantine the Great, a 4th-century Roman Emperor, as defined by Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In particular, it may refer to any of the following: one them being the identification of the Church with the Roman Empire and the Church's willingness to use the state's coercive power structures to assist in the Church's mission.
The Unified Field: Modern Theoretical Physics Meets Ancient Metaphysics by Joseph S. Dillon; prepared for the University of Metaphysical Sciences, Arcata, California, USA.
Joseph S. Dillon, Ph.D., earned his Doctoral, Master and Bachelor degrees in Metaphysical Sciences from the University of Metaphysical Sciences. Previously, he earned Bachelor and Master of Business Administration degrees from highly ranked US universities. Joe is also an ordained minister and a certified Reiki Master-Healer-Teacher.
"Although this 'field' has been referred to by different names, by many cultures over thousands of year's time, the description of the nature and essence of this field by these apparently disparate civilizations is amazingly similar. A constant in the description of this field is that connection with it is highly desirable and potentially available to everyone and everything. In fact, it is believed that not only can we achieve a connection to and utilize the field, but we are a part of it. It is clear in the course of history that when important discoveries are not, or no longer, suppressed by religious, scientific or other powerful groups, that humankind experiences a quantum leap in progress. Perhaps if humankind broadly embraces and utilizes the Unified Field, this will be one such quantum leap in our existence."
Description of the Unified Field from a Modern Physicist's Viewpoint - "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing there is a field. I'll meet you there - Rumi 1207-1273
"It is a concentrated field of intelligence, in that is the source of all of nature's laws all of nature's orderliness, that it is a very dynamic field of intelligence, it is self-aware, self-interaction field of the universe. We are really talking about a field of dynamic self-aware intelligence, and that's consciousness" (Dillon 5).
When I studied this course and read the above, I penciled in the margin "god." Little did I know that it would come to play in my Master's thesis and be the (my) answer to this "form" of god that we so causally banter about.
"Put simply, the unified field theory now appears to tell us that we are the Universe and the universe is us and that our thoughts create our reality" (Dillon 6).
The Quest for the Overself. Paul Brunton. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co, 1938.
Paul Brunton's remarkable life (1898-1981) was in service to wisdom. He was born in the cultural center of London and his introspective and mystical sensitivity soon led him east, first to India and Egypt, then around the world to explore spiritual traditions and meet with teachers.
I have read "The Wisdom of the Overself", a true classic in determining "What is God", but rather than my feeble attempt at putting some emphasis on such a classic and relevant idea, I will acknowledge the commentaries of the Board Member, Jeff Cox, in highlighting just a few of the ideas behind the quest to find the truth of this thing called god:
"We must differentiate between the invented God of religion and the imagined God of mysticism, on the one hand, and the real God of philosophical truth, on the other. The creator-God of religion is a more erroneous conception than the immanent God of mysticism, but both are alien to truth. Both have failed to fathom the Unconditioned, Nondual, and Illimitable God” (What Is God? Discerning the Real through the Writings of Paul Brunton. Jeff Cox, Board Member, Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation.
"There is a universal principle of Eternal Intelligence behind all existence. If the follies of superstition and the bigotries of religion caricature—that is a "comic exaggeration" it, the verities - that is the "truth/something true"—of philosophy and the insights of wisdom restore a true picture"; and, “The World-Idea contains the pattern, intention, direction, and purpose of the cosmos in a single unified thought of the World-Mind. Human understanding is too cramped and too finite to comprehend how this miraculous simultaneity is possible.” (The Notebooks of Paul Brunton 26.1.87)
“There is a godlike thing within us which theology calls the spirit and which, because it is also a portion of the higher power within the universe, I call the Overself. He is wise indeed who
Another interesting quote: “We may think of the World-Idea as a kind of computer which has been fed with all possible information and therefore contains all possible potentialities (strikingly similar to "the data base of consciousness" by Dr. Hawkins, see Power vs Force). Just as its progenitor the World-Mind is all-powerful, all-present, and all-knowing, it is also possible to think of the World-Idea as being this all-knowing, omniscient aspect of the World-Mind.” (26:2:92)
The Washington Post:
70 years later, survivors recall the horrors of India-Pakistan partition
By Vidhi Doshi and Nisar Mehdi
August 14, 2017
NEW DELHI — The massacres began soon after the British announced partition: Neighbors slaughtered neighbors; childhood friends became sworn enemies.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the partition of India, an event that triggered one of bloodiest upheavals in human history.
About 14 million people are thought to have abandoned their homes in the summer and fall of 1947, when colonial British administrators began dismantling the empire in southern Asia. Estimates of the number of people killed in those months range between 200,000 and 2 million.
But after the partition was announced, the subcontinent descended quickly into riots and bloodshed.
Bungalows and mansions were burned and looted, women were raped, children were killed in front of their siblings. Trains carrying refugees between the two new nations arrived full of corpses; their passengers had been killed by mobs en route. These were called “blood trains”: “All too often they crossed the border in funereal silence, blood seeping from under their carriage doors,” Hajari wrote in his book.
Even the fruit on the trees tasted of blood, recalls Sudershana Kumari, who fled from her home town in Pakistan to India. “When you broke a branch, red would come out,” she said, painting an image of how much blood had soaked the soil in India.
Many who lived through those times describe madness taking hold. “Some people say they had temporarily gone crazy,” Hajari said.
And it was all about this thing we call "religion" and we again followed these so-called apostles of their religions like so many sheep to our slaughter.
Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad was an Indian religious leader and the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam (For details, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirza_Ghulam_Ahmad.)
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, peace be on him, was born on Friday February 13, 1835 at dawn in Qadian. He was born after a twin sister Janat, who died a few days later. A tutor was assigned in 1842 for his early education. He learnt the Holy Quran and a few elementary Persian books from this tutor. Later on, he was coached in Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Philosophy, and Logic by two other tutors.
The distinguishing feature of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is their belief in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the Promised Messiah and Mahdi—literally “the guided one"—as prophesied by the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Summarising his claim, Ahmad writes:
"The task for which God has appointed me is that I should remove the malaise that afflicts the relationship between God and His creatures and restore the relationship of love and sincerity between them. Through the proclamation of truth and by putting an end to religious conflicts, I should bring about peace and manifest the Divine verities that have become hidden from the eyes of the world".
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that God sent Ahmad(as), like Jesus(as), to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the leading Islamic organization to categorically reject terrorism in any form. Over a century ago, Ahmad(as) emphatically declared that an aggressive “jihad by the sword” has no place in Islam.
Similarly, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Islamic organization to endorse a separation of mosque and state. Over a century ago, Ahmad(as) taught his followers to protect the sanctity of both religion and government by becoming righteous souls as well as loyal citizens. He cautioned against irrational interpretations of Quran pronouncements and misapplications of Islamic law. He continually voiced his concerns over protecting the rights of God’s creatures. Today, it continues to be an advocate for universal human rights and protections for religious and other minorities. It champions the empowerment and education of women. Its members are among the most law-abiding, educated, and engaged Muslims in the world.
Of course, the Islam of today, is a far cry from what Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had envisioned. And again, we the masses are no longer any the wiser as to this thing called religion. Because of religion, as we know it today, we are not any closer to becoming one with the other, in Spirit, in love and caring, compassionate human beings.
The next entry, Kalki Mafa Avatar, should be as a much of an eye-opener as this on Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
From the internet website KALKI MAHA AVATAR, Statement Of Son Of God Arun:
"I will give you the news of happiness, knowing which you will attain supreme bliss. In Gita it is prophesied “I shall speak to you at length about that which out to be known, and knowing which one attains supreme Bliss. (Gita 13:12)” Lord told “I shall give you showers of blessing.” Bible, Ezekiel 34:26 prophesied “God will make then and the places round about His hill a blessing and He will cause the shower to come down in His season, there shall be showers of blessing.”
Lord has to come on Indian soil with the name of Kalki, in village Shambhal Gram and people will call Him with many different community names. In August Sanghita, Agust Rishi called Him with 1000 different names. Varah Puran, Chapter 48, Page No 94 called with 7 (seven) different names, Mahabharat, Van Parv called Him with the name of Kalki Vishnu Yasha and Shrimad Bhagawatam Maha Puran has also called Him with different name i. e. secret. Since He is King of Kings, God of gods and Universal thus He cannot be for one particular religion. He is for Hindu, He is for Islamic people, He is for Christian and at the same time He is for Shikh also. There is no god except Him. One is He, no partner hath He. Exalted is He alone, and praise be to Lord Kalki only, and there is no deity except Lord Kalki, and Lord Kalki is the Greatest. And there is no might nor power except in Lord Kalki, the Most High, the Most Great. He gives life and causes death, and He is Living, who will not die, never. He of Majesty and Munificence. Within His Hand is (all) good. And He is, upon everything, Able (to exert His Will).
Many Holy Scriptures in all religions have prophesied for the arrival of Kalki Maha Avatar. Those who does not fulfill these prophecies cannot take a position of Kalki Maha Avatar (Avatar: - "incarnation of Hindu deity - an incarnation of a Hindu deity in human or animal form, especially one of the incarnations of Vishnu such as Rama and Krisna, Encarta Dictionary).
Truth is not always obvious.
Chapter 3 - Cognitive Dissonance
I feel it is incumbent upon me to introduce the subject of cognitive dissonance before I introduce the remainder of this thesis as this particular subject, religion, will warrant a much more open mind to the possibility that truth is not always obvious. May I suggest too that the present religious fervor (Fervor: intensity, ardent or extremely passionate enthusiasm" Encarta Dictionary) is as a result of our outright refusal to accept what other people's opinions are regarding our place in the greater scheme of worldly affairs. I would also suggest that it is time we all question the truth of our political masters, but that is another subject for another time.
Cognitive dissonance, as described in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. This discomfort is triggered by a situation in which a person’s belief clashes with new evidence perceived by the person. When confronted with facts that contradict beliefs, ideals, and values, people will find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their discomfort.
In A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (1957), Leon Festinger proposed that human beings strive for internal psychological consistency to function optimally in the real world. A person who experiences internal inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable and is motivated to reduce the cognitive dissonance by making changes to justify the stressful behavior, either by adding new parts to the cognition causing the psychological dissonance, or by avoiding circumstances and contradictory information likely to increase the magnitude of the cognitive dissonance".
“It is a lot simpler to ferret out the truth when you are sitting on the fence, rather than having both feet stubbornly planted on one side or the other. It is a much better view from the field up here. There is a lot to be said for an open mind and a wait-and-see attitude. Of course, if you are too invested in one version or another, it is hell and almost impossible to climb back up to a neutral position—or heaven forbid--over to the opposite side" (Paideusis, Volume 18 (2009), No. 1, pp. 5-16, 2009).
The author, William Hare, is Professor Emeritus at Mount Saint Vincent University. His books include Open-mindedness and Education (1979), In Defense of Open-mindedness (1985), and What Makes A Good Teacher:
"Introduction: To have arrived at a dogmatic and unyielding position is to be seriously incapacitated and constrained. We are liable to reject contrary arguments out of hand, fail to examine alternative proposals and suggestions in an unbiased manner, and adhere blindly to a given position. Our outlook amounts to a closed-minded attitude which dismisses further inquiry, reflection, and discussion as pointless, thereby reaching a stubbornly inflexible position in which beliefs are viewed as fixed and final beyond all possibility of critical and open-minded review. With minds closed, we cannot in the end even entertain the thought that there might be a different and perhaps better way of thinking about a certain matter. Unable to conceive of the possibility that there might be an alternative view worthy of serious consideration, evidence is ignored, explained away, and sometimes suppressed, allowing one’s present views to remain sheltered from any kind of critical scrutiny. A sincere concern for truth is replaced by a determination to protect whatever one now takes to be true."
Chapter 4 - Religion and its Relevance to my Soul Journey and Yours
Being a member of a religion has impacted my journey and the members of the Shymkowich (my birth surname) clan in many negative ways over the past 50 years. To this day, there is a clear divide in the Shymkowich clan between those who are Jehovah's Witnesses and those who are not.
It was this very short incursion into the cult known as Jehovah's Witness that left an indelible effect on this Soul journey of mine. For one, I will never know my granddaughter and my great grandson as a result of a decision (unknown to me at the time) made by my Jehovah’s Witness first wife. As well, there are the ramifications of withdrawing from the religion also known as being dis-fellowshipped. When I was dis-fellowshipped, I was shunned by some people. I was made aware of their disdain for me as a human being. The message was that I was not worthy of being "resurrected" into "their" heaven on Earth.
My latest incursion into religion (Unitarianism), left me bewildered again and angry again that adherents to any faith (religion) could be so callous at times towards another fellow human being. And it is not that these hardhearted acts of callousness towards one another is of minor consequence to one's journey, or that they happen so infrequently. In truth, they are very prevalent in our societies and families—the damages to one's psyche are immeasurable.
I no longer adhere to any religion after my latest incursion into religion, which left me again bewildered and pondering the question: Why do we need religion as we know it today? Now I conclude that we do not.
There is more to be written on this topic of religion; I believe we have a choice as to where we will take the next step in our evolution as caring, loving, and as empathetic human beings.
Above, I share my experiences with incursions into religion, but the media is constantly reminding us of the dangers of religion as we know it today. Consider this example from Dawn, an online news source:
"What are the allegations against Aasia BiBi and when was she convicted? Aasia BiBi, a Christian mother of five, was on death row since 2010. She was accused of committing blasphemy in 2009. A trial court had found her guilty of the crime and awarded her the death sentence. Aasia BiBi was convicted for blasphemy under section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code for allegedly defaming Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The offence carries mandatory death penalty under Pakistani law. The allegations against Aasia Bibi are that she made three "defamatory and sarcastic" statements while the four women were picking fruit in a field. The SC on Oct 31 acquitted Assia Bibi, after accepting her 2015 appeal against her sentence" (Dawn.com).
Of course, Pakistan’s Crown Prosecutor is appealing this reversal.
My debacle with religion is of little consequence compared to that of Aasia Bibi, a Christian mother of five sitting on death row for eight years for "blasphemy".
I have purposely added to my resource list a short commentary on the book "Midnight's Furies", which examines the partition of India into two nations: India and Pakistan, and the resulting blood bath between neighbors and family friends. While there were some political motivations behind the partition, it was also very much about religion. The bloodshed in Pakistan and India is just one in a long list in our human history. Wikipedia, provides a “list of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll.”
Under the heading of “Genocides, ethnic cleansing, and mass ethnic and/or religious persecution”, there are numerous listings. In the case of the partition of India, the “geometric mean estimate” is 632,456 deaths as a result of riots and a “retributive genocide” between 1947 and 1957.
Religiously-motived conflicts are numerous. Raphael Lemkin, a Polish lawyer credited with coining the term "genocide", referred to the Albigensian Crusade as "one of the most conclusive cases of genocide in religious history". (“Albigensian Crusade.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albigensian_Crusade.)
The Albigensian Crusade or the Cathar Crusade (1209–1229; French: Croisade des albigeois, Occitan: Crosada dels albigeses) was a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc, in southern France. The geometric mean estimate of deaths this conflict is 447,214.
"The abbot, like the others, was afraid that many, in fear of death, would pretend to be Catholics, and after their departure, would return to their heresy, and is said to have replied Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius – Kill them all for the Lord knoweth them that are His” (Sibly 127-128).
I would not suggest reading these lists of wars and anthropogenic disasters as a form of casual reading, since it might turn one’s stomach (as it does mine) to see the horrors we have inflicted on one another since the beginning of recorded history.
Having said that, this information is, of course, relevant to my choice of religion as the subject of this thesis. Religion, and religiously-motived conflicts are prevalent in human history and the knowledge of past bloodshed does not seem to help us avert more catastrophes, nor has it brought about an end to those religions. Unless… yes, here is an unless.
One last thought, the caretakers, the apostles of most religions are men. When asked why not women, the answer is invariably "when the time is right," or "when we are being informed otherwise," or that it is not in the "scriptures" of their holy book. "The early fathers of faith (they made sure that there would be no mothers) were living in a time of abysmal ignorance and fear” (Hitchens 63). Women the missing link in our religions to the great determent of women and our planet Earth.
I emphatically theorize that the time is NOW.
I now know there is “something” that can and will bring us all together as ONE people. No, it is not another religion—it is simply an approach, an acknowledgement of the ’real’ Source of the all creation including homeo-sapiens.
Chapter 5 - Findings
"Religion is the opium of the people” is one of the most frequently paraphrased statement of German philosopher and economist Karl Marx and “ike opium, religion may be a source of hope, a way of curing an illness, a sign for a better world; but is also a result of world out of kilter and may even be a source of harm in its own right” (Boer).
"Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call upon them, that is mankind, to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions” (The Guardian).
To counter the effect of the "source of harm in its own right” (Boer), that which is religions, is quite simply to bring mankind into a beneficial relationship with one another regardless of all that religion(s) has separated the you from me. It is my intention in this thesis to expose religion for it really is: the opium of the masses. Furthermore, I propose to lay claim to the real source of our beginnings as members of a primordial evolutionary process that began with the beginning of "time" and no, it is not the work of some God or Goddesses contrary to the popular belief of the masses.
There must be a new beginning:
Religion has defined who we are, that is Christian, Islam, Mormons, Baha'i et.al. and what we should believe about our relationship with their gods of religion(s) and their "apostles"; it is now obvious that religion has betrayed the very spiritual essence of mankind and propelled mankind and our beloved planet Earth into a state of a complete breakdown. In some instances, a disregard for the planet is entrenched in the scriptures. For example, consider this passage from Genesis: “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (King James Bible, Genesis 1:26-28).
Imagine how differently Christianity would have evolved and how differently millions of people would have interacted with life on Earth over the past two thousand years, if, instead of “dominion”, the authors had written “caretakers of a wonderous creation.” Today, our systems of government, religion(s) and our survival as a species and the survival of planet Earth is now very much in jeopardy.
There is a danger in anyone claiming that their cultural religion is the only "true" religion and that those who disagree are "unbelievers" and "infidels" who are to be either converted, subjugated, or eliminated. I refer to "cultural" religions as those religions that originated in particular countries, or areas of the world. For example, Zoroastrianism (Persia), Judaism (Israel), Islam (Arabia), Shintoism (Japan), Buddhism (China), Hinduism (India) and Christianity (Israel and Roman Empire) are "cultural" religions. Some of these religions, through missionary efforts, have spread outside of their countries of origin (such as the spread of Christianity to north, central and south America, and the spread of Islam in non-Arab countries).
The Nicene Creed of AD 325-345 symbolized a new day for Christianity. The persecuted followers of the "Savior" who dressed in linen had become the respected advisers of emperors robed in purple. The once-despised religion was on its way to becoming the state religion—the spiritual cement of a single society in which public and private life were united under the control of Christian doctrine.
Our very survival as a species depends on each one of us taking a stand against the machinations ("plotting or intrigue - the devising of secret, cunning or complicated plans and schemes" Encarta Dictionary) of the hierarchies of religion and those psychopaths, who use the pretense of a "religion" to further a much more human agenda.
And there is no doubt that the Nicene Creed of AD325-345 began the first of distortions of the truth of our relation to some god. Who is this god? Who is the triune god? The "son" of God et al?
There must be a new beginning in how we see our religions for what they are: the opium of mankind. From the beginning of time, religion has created a separate you and me, me and you, and instilled the fear of one another under the guise of some god, gods and goddesses.
Behind these "religions" are the hierarchies of religion (mainly comprised of men)that continue to perpetuate the outright lies and distortion, that is "to alter shape -to bend, twist, stretch, or force something out of its usual shape, or made to this give inaccurate report of something - to describe or report something in an inaccurate or misleading way" (Encarta Dictionary) of the truth of our relationship with our gods. Because our salvation supposedly depends entirely on a someone or something outside of ourselves; these manmade religions have over millennium instilled the element of fear" in our collective psyche ("human soul, human mind Encarta Dictionary).
There you have it, mass indoctrination and control of the masses to do their will regardless of the cost to our planet and its inhabitants.
I dare say, and I will, it is as simple as that—we each one of us have created our Soul journeys based on a holy book of some religion, or some prophet and there have been many and most them men, who supposedly have been given an infallible message from god.”
(Infallible: not erring, incapable of failing, unerring in doctrine - incapable of being mistaken in matters of doctrine or dogma (Encarta Dictionary). Our religions have and continue to create a separate you and me by their creeds and dogma, eternal damnation being a significant one of them. Even the clothing/accoutrements of religious ritual that we wear separates the you from me.
So where did we go wrong in our innate desire to live life to the fullest without the fear of one another? May I suggest that the real truth is that we are first and foremost "Spiritual" beings rather than the sheep of so many of our religions. This Spiritual reality forever became of no consequence to their religion(s) and was consecrated at the Nicaea conference of AD 325-345. The Nicene Creed set in motion a race for all other "religions" to cement what they believe to be their "religious" truth in the minds and consciousness of their congregations.
The greatest lie, in my humble opinion, that came out of the Nicaea conference was the concept of original sin, sin and judgement. These concepts permeate religious discourse to this day. On a popular website, All About Religion, it states: “We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment…. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve (All About Religion).” The website entreats readers to declare "Jesus is Lord" in order to be “saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.” Does this, their god not sound like a god that is "everlasting", that has some form that is constantly an arbitrator in the affairs of mankind let alone our universes our galaxy's? I think not! As we shall find out shortly, there is more to this "God" then we have been led to believe in and it certainly it is not a god that passes judgment on those who have sinned.
The greatest lie that came out of that conference was that “we have all sinned”, which is quite contrary to a Universe, the Unified Field, data base of consciousness, where '"creation" is created in perfection right down to the last grain of sand. And if everything around us was not created in "perfection" then there would be total chaos throughout our Universe and the untold galaxies. The men of "cloth" (i.e., the leaders or ministers of any religion) continue to perpetuate the greatest lie of the Nicaea creed of AD 325-245 and continue to yoke mankind to a god that is tyrannical—ruling with absolute power over a population that is kept cruelly submissive and fearful.
Chapter 6 - Discussion
Until just recently, I hadn’t given much thought to this name of "God" that was bandied about, for example, "OMG" short for "Oh My god", "God willing", "or god's sake"; that is tossed about with little recognition of the source of this "God". I found myself navigating through over the span of some 50 years (yes that long). Does this tell you something about me? Of course, it does, specifically that I was not satisfied with what I was “hearing and seeing” in the forests of this thing called “religion.” My research for this thesis more than less confirmed ‘my’ own theory that we sheep have continually been led astray by the machinations of the religions of today, with few exceptions.
I never, ever wondered what did this God look like? Have you? I was given the challenge some years ago to describe God, but after several minutes I gave up attempting to offer a description despite being told in no uncertain terms by religion that God did exist. As another of the sheep, I blindly accepted what was spouted by the practitioners of religion; but then as I began my search to give some form to this God. Through this process of thinking outside the box of religion, I began to see my place in this Universe and the meaning of this journey. I came to understand from a metaphysical viewpoint this thing called "God". I came to realize that this God of ours with all the fallacies imposed on this form (by mere mortals), was much, much more than a God that had a finite, fixed and limited form.
I progressed through this new way of thinking, I began to refer to God as the Source and I believe the Source is truly our source. Dr. Brunton has written brilliant books on the topic of reframing traditional ideas about God. “One Mind” and (from Dr. Brunton’s brilliant books on this subject of God) and now the Universe. How can IT be anything but the Universe itself and the data base of consciousness @@- and - (Encarte Dictionary – infinite -“Same as God”, hmmm, yes even this dictionary among others I am sure, implies there is a form to our God(s) Encarta Dictionary), that is infinite, that IT creates everything in perfection as only an infinite Universe must do! @@From Power versus Force, by David Hawkins, Ph.D.
Religions in our present societal systems are fostering an ideology (a “system of social beliefs – a closely organized system of beliefs, values, and ideas forming the basis of a social, economic, or political philosophy or programme” Encarta Dictionary) that is threatening the very basis for co-operation, caring and understanding amongst all peoples of planet Earth. I suggest it is an ideology that promotes fear and hate and vengeance on others for supposed wrongs of the past.
Using key findings from Dr. David Hawkins as described in his book Power vs Force, I will show how a number of religions have diverged greatly from the original teachings of their ‘prophets’ and, in my humble opinion, betrayed the original teachings of these prophets and, as a consequence, have wrought havoc amongst the people of planet Earth and its inhabitants. A key idea put forward by Dr. Hawkins is that the human mind is like a computer terminal connected to a giant database. Using kinesiological testing, he has made a logarithmic scale ranking of different levels of consciousness, from shame (20) to courage (200) to enlightenment (700 - 1,000). The basis of his work was that "truth" was and is deemed to be the number 1000and everything below that level indicated a lesser degree of "integrity."
Christianity - the level of truth originally expounded by Jesus Christ calibrates at 1,000… at the beginning of the 11th century, it had fallen to its current level of 498/1000" (Hawkins 272). On the other hand, "extreme fundamentalist groups with explicit reactionary political agendas can calibrate as low as 125” (Hawkins 273).
Buddhism - was originally set at 1,000; by the sixth century A.D., the level of truth in practice had dropped to an average of 900/1000 (Hawkins 273);
Hinduism - the teachings of Lord Krishna calibrated at 1,000 . . . the truth of the current practice calibrates at 850/1000" (Hawkins 273)
Judaism - The teachings of Abraham calibrated at 985; Modern Judaism calibrates at 499/1000” (Hawkins 273, 274);
Islam -The level of consciousness of Mohammed was 740/1000 and the Koran calibrates at 720/1000... At the present, the level of truth of the teachings of militant Islamic fundamentalism is 130/1000” (Hawkins 274).
I believe that with the decline in the integrity of our two major religions, that is Christianity and Islam, the collective consciousness of mankind has declined to a level below that of "courage" level 200/1000 to that of 187/1000 (2019 my calculation). "The collective level of consciousness of mankind remained at 190 for many centuries and, curiously, only jumped to its current level of 207 within the last decade (Hawkins 85). He writes that at "energy level 200 - courage - this is the zone of exploration, accomplishment, fortitude, and determination. At the lower levels (below 200), the world is seen as hopeless, sad frightening or frustrating” (Hawkins 84).
Even though this interpretation of the levels of consciousness of our religions seemed to be too abstract, they do provide a veritable means of determining at what level of "truth" they are espousing from their pulpits. And I say to you that those religions calibrating at less than 500 lack the very essence of "love" bearing these qualities - "God view - loving"; "Life-View -benign"; "Level - Love"; "Emotion - Reverence", and "Process -Revelation" - Hawkins, 68,69.
With tongue in cheek, I give you an anecdote from Power vs Force to put the above information in context: "Koko—the famous simian resident of the Primate Research Institute…. developed a sophisticated sign language vocabulary - is truthful, affectionate…. her integrity calibrates at 250. Thus, one is safer with Koko, a gorilla, than with 85 percent of humans on the planet” (Hawkins 28) who are below the level of integrity that is 200. With my calculations of the integrity of the human race at a dismal 187/1000, is it any wonder?
In conclusion to this chapter, that is my/these findings, it is enough to close with Christopher Hitchens book "god IS NOT Great" (actual front cover print) "The #1 New York Times Bestseller" and "how Religion Poisons Everything" - Hitchens spares no religion from his exposure of the "poison" within man made religions, to this very day.
Chapter 7 - Conclusions
"Religion poisons everything" - Knowing this yet we continue to perpetuate this religious poison within our present religious systems, be it the Christian God, Jehovah, Allah or the multitudes of lesser and or greater gods and those that claim to be God in a present human form (yes there is One at the moment). We continue to allow the men, men for the most part, of these hierarchies of religion to install the fear of their gods and the myriad of Prophets and lesser prophets (too numerous to count) to foster hate among the masses of mankind. And we follow these charlatans of all religions without so much a whimper as to their ignorance of the truth of our connection to one and another, regardless of our color, race, culture, and or our ethnicity; and our true connection to that "concentrated field of intelligence". From their pulpits they spew the same old poison these hierarchies of religion have built up over the past millenniums.
Our planets people and planet Earth itself under the guise of religion in its present form is no longer sustainable. I believe it was said by Albert Einstein that "one cannot keep doing what they have always done and expect a different result". A different result is not only desirable but absolutely necessary to ensure the future of mankind and Planet Earth, so we must look at another alternative that is available and where that might come from.
I believe there is the "metaphysical" concept of what might be the answer to our dilemma as to the understanding of the "god" and the myriad of P(p)rophets of our forefathers, but allow me to first to set the stage for this uncovering of the truth of our "god".
Carl Edward Sagan, November 9,1934 - December 20, 1996 - "A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by conventional faith. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge".
Larry King of his nightly show in the USA:
"Do you believe in God?"
Stephen Hawking: "Yes, if by God is meant the embodiment of the laws of the Universe."
Stephen Hawking (( CH,CBE,FRS, FRSA) until his decease , was an author and Director of Research at the Centro for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge).
Baruch Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher born November 24, 1632 Amsterdam, Died: February 21 1677 - Spinoza "is best known for his Ethics, a monumental work that represent an ethical vision unfolding out of a monistic metaphysics in which God and Nature are identified. God is no longer the transcendent creator of the universe who rules it via providence, but Nature itself, understood as an infinite, necessary, and fully deterministic system of which humans are a part. Humans find happiness only through a rational understanding of this system and their place within it".
Albert Einstein was a German - born theoretical physicist - born March 14, 1879, Died April 18,1955, Princeton, New Jersey, United States - "It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropomorphic (the attribution of a human form - deities in mythology) concept which I cannot take seriously".
Then there is Dr. John Hagelin a PhD in physics from Harvard describes this "Unified Field" as " concentrated field of intelligence, it is self aware, self-interacting field of intelligence, that through its own dynamical self-interacting sequentially brings forth the diversified structure of the Universe". On reading this in the "Unified Field; Modern Physics Meets Ancient Metaphysics" prepared by Joseph S. Dillon for the University of Metaphysical Sciences, Arcata, CA., USA - I wrote in the right hand margin - Eureka "god" - little did I know at that time my life time search for some "form" to this elusive god would be played out on these pages of this thesis. Furthermore, this was not new to me, this too was my sense of what our god should/could be - too - "the data base of consciousness" (was my very first introduction to one of the truths of that primordial source) , rather than some finite "form" that has been manipulated by the hierarchies of all religions to keep the masses "dumbed down" from the truth of who we really are, magnificent Souls beings in human form. We are the creators of our lives and not some outside finite source, a source (god) created by man over eons of time to the determent I might add, to the determent of our evolution as a peaceful, caring human beings.
From the University of Metaphysics (UMS) n Arcata California and their course on World religions there is this suggestion in the introduction by Christine Breese, D.D., PhD, (the founder of UMS) that Metaphysics could very well be the "religion" of the future. Given the past miss-takes of all religions and the chaos they have created, I dare say I agree.
Metaphysicians believe that religion is elementary to the true knowledge that all beings, from the smallest particle in an atom to the largest celestial body in the Universe and "everything" (my italics) in between are god. Metaphysics of course is one of the more profound aspects in our tendency towards all inclusiveness of all other religions. I believe metaphysics is the response to a "need" for spiritual change as the world and humanity changes. And we certainly need a dramatic change in our view of this Planet Earth its people and our relationship to the Universe to prevent the extinction of another species on this beloved Planet Earth, mankind.
Discussion board, 13 Dec. 2018. All About Religion. www.allaboutreligion.org/
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“What you need to know about Aasia Bibi's trial.” Dawn.com, 13, Oct. 2016, www.dawn.com/news/1289700.
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