comfort and hope

What are the classical religions? Are they very old and compelling traditions based on beliefs and promises passed on by the living to the next generation? Memes.

What is religion’s purpose? Is it to capture (save) large numbers of humans by giving them comfort and hope based on the promise of having a wonderful and never ending existence after death? Who can’t see the opportunity in that?

Organized religion is one of the greatest tools for herding humans. Nothing is wrong with this unless the power is abused by leaders. History is full of horrific examples of organized religion being used to abuse human beings.

Religion is the territory of belief and faith which makes for an interesting game of comfort and hope. But…

The odds are very high there is no afterlife, and if true, evildoers will not get their promised eternity of suffering, and the odds are exactly the same for believers to not receive their eternal rewards.

Is living not being able to know for sure what’s going to happen in the future the best way to live? Is it because the odds of an omnipotent, warlike, and vengeful god calling all the shots are so small, the god might as well be nonexistent.

Did the idea of a god existing come about to explain good and bad events as many have suggested and then did leaders pounce on the power of belief?

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truth doesn’t care

Why do we use our biases quickly, and without a lot of conscious thinking, and use only parts of the information which harmonize with our beliefs, and then use it to establish or decide what is right and wrong?

Once we have an opinion or belief, it’s our nature to want to hang on to it because it feels so good to be without a doubt, right, correct, in the know and on the way.

We add new information when it comes along if it compliments what we already think or believe. And it’s rejected if it conflicts with what we already think or believe. We are all guilty and can change this by becoming more aware.

Science calls this confirmation bias, and confirmation bias gives us reasons to form alliances with like minded folks.

Is it that truth doesn’t care
if it’s recognized
or not?

In the entire universe
can only life
care?

the body

The human body may be and probably is the most capable thing in our Milky-Way neighborhood.

And, as we know, the body does almost everything except formal choices and figuring. Our bodies perform vast amounts of chemical operations every second and also sends whatever is needed to the areas in need in order to maintain a balanced system: not too much or too little of necessary things.

We claim the talent but the body has all the talents, all of the senses and the ability to learn and store information and recall it. We identities are the names, the formal choosers, the users of the body’s talents for transportation, experimenting, inventing, cooking, driving, etc. and, for the holding of beliefs. For some folks, beliefs can change, but for others, not so much.

Our job as our body’s representative is to get better and better at dealing with society and ourselves.

the genius has appeared

In Alan Watts’ 1966 book The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, he details the world-wide disruptive force of organized religions on humans and religion’s use of our fear of the unknown to trap gullible children and adults with with the promise of a joyous eternal life after death and by using the same beliefs be able to escape a life of eternal torture. And then almost all religions say, you must choose our beliefs to make it happen. In this way religion divides humanity.

After covering the above, he states:

“It might seem, then, that our need is for some genius to invent a new religion, a philosophy of life, and a view of the world that is plausible and generally acceptable for the late twentieth century, and through which every individual can feel that the world as a whole and his life in particular have meaning.”

“our need is for some genius” The genius has appeared!

His name is Sam Harris. He’s already known world-wide via his many books, essays and articles in which he uses reason to assist others and uses it too to work against folks who divide up humanity by spouting magical stories and promising “happiness ever after.”

Now comes his tour de force:

Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

If interested, the above link will take you to the book on amazon.com so you can get a taste for yourself.

In a century or two the book could have billions and billions sold and may have the title The Message because that’s what it is.

a wonderful house

Do we all live in a wonderful house made of words?

Is it that as we become hooked on the power of language, actual reality starts to become harder and harder to sense? Do we not remember much about the change possibly because we were so very young?

It’s apparent we become trapped in and addicted to language as a normal part of being modern humans.

But we don’t feel trapped in language because we can’t remember it being any other way. Language is our most powerful tool. Why would one want to cast it aside even for a little while?

Language is a deed and so what are the consequences? By constantly using language we naturally feel like separate entities, and this is reinforced by our individual names which are also a part of language. And…

We become captains of an amazing creature. And we don’t want our position as captain threatened in any way. And the thought of stopping the flow of language scares us identities because we are not comfortable with silence. What to do? The experts say, feel the fear and give it all of your attention, then meditate anyway. Learn to be patient with your own self while you’re learning how best to connect with your ride.

——Why use the term “ride”? How did we come into existence? The only non magical way is that we (the identities) were created after our birth by our own bodies interacting with family and society. Could this mean our bodies are our souls if there is such a thing as a soul?——

Moving on, the sages say the word “moon” is not the moon; it’s no more than “a finger pointing.” In other words “The word is not the thing.” So, we inhabit the very interesting and powerful world of fingers pointing.

Without words there can be no believing. Stopping the flow of language takes courage and patience. The drawback with not having a religious belief in a god or gods is there’s no one to complain to or pray to or to blame.

And for us seekers, our opportunity is a privilege which brings a constant type of pleasure by facing the world straight on with no after-death promises and living with awareness all the while not knowing for sure about a lot of things. For me, it’s the taste of freedom.

Is all we can do is to go with what seems the most reliable? So, will it be magic or science? What are the odds of magical places like heaven and hell existing? It’s hardly a fair fight.

Are there other choices? Believing in both? Science keeps changing it’s mind to match what is real, and religion’s mind is frozen in place and rarely thaws. When it does thaw, it brings about a new religion which freezes in place. We can see the results: all twenty thousand plus of them.

Is the greatest secret there’s nothing to know?
Is the greatest fact there’s nothing but being?

God’s will

Do religions hang on to their magical traditions because for the members the magic is truth to its deepest level, even in the remotest of possibilities? How? Everything that happens can be explained as God’s will.

And do magical ideas like this also serve as a way to avoid the actual truth by rarely thinking of the billions of others in the world believing sincerely many very different versions of religious truth? Most folks sincerely believe in the realness and trueness of their own beliefs and are just as sincere as others who worship a different god and have different beliefs. Can they all be right? Hardly, and no one can win the sincereness competition because sincereness is total or it totally disappears. Is it you’re sincere or you’re not?

Our history shows us as curious creatures and easily controlled by magical spells, and we are still susceptible to magic’s ancient pull. Are we born believers? Is it that we had to be believers to survive? 

So how can one survive death? Religion? It’s one of the best rackets. First, invent the human soul which will have the characteristic of existing forever. Now it’s open season on humans everyday of the year because you don’t have to be in a king’s family to have power. All you need is a good story with a place where the soul can live on after death. And if your story isn’t all that good, you can swallow the best religious stories around and make them part of yours.

Believing we have an eternal soul and the existence of an afterlife, we would strain to hitch our imaginary soul to some type of heavenly place and live happily ever after. This would involve magical thinking. Does real magic exist or is there a real explanation (known or unknown) that is not magical. An example: We normally think it’s impossible for a single object to be in two separate places at the same time, but this happens as a normal occurrence in the quantum expression of the universe.

A promised happy afterlife for the soul is the big draw and the biggest muscle of the classical religions (except Buddhism).

If a person believes there’s no afterlife, would he or she be more likely to stop and smell the roses? It’s true, atheism is a belief criminals and good folks both share.

And traditional religious folks don’t like atheistic or agnostic ideas because these two bring attention to the magical nature of religious beliefs and can and do cause doubting which is part of waking up.

Is it that we all snore and that snoring is our wonderful language. Is it that it’s not religion but the habit of language which keeps us in the corral, unable to merge with the all.

new shakes

If I don’t think of myself
as a victim,
am I?

I could
start to think
I know something and
find myself automatically making
it a belief
thinking nothing
will ever stand up against it.

And I’m back to the stopping blocks
again trying to shed this
new grouping
of words.

Is it that the new shakes awake the old?