Perceiving the church as an meaningless shell
This weekend I had the opportunity to enter a church in Florence which opens its doors only so and so many times for tourists. When I walked through the building, seeing the ornaments, the paintings and the area where the priest holds his sermon I could only see two things:
- The emptiness of the building, a meaningless shell where people perform rituals towards a fabricated entity that has no logical grounds in our reality and is desperately kept alive with packaged values, messages and rituals that are out of touch with the current times
- The incredible investments done in that building: to spread and preserve a lie
Looking at the art inside the church I could only see the waste of craft on meaningless images representing nothing of true value.
What if you lost your belief but have nowhere to go?
When my mother died, my father started to perceive the things spoken and broadcast by the church and his religion in a different light. I do not know the details as we tend not to speak about this. (I rejected the religion I grew up in when I was about 14 years old). I can therefore not speak for him why or what.
What I see is this:
Although he lost belief in what the (in his case) Catholic church preaches, he has no alternative system of belief to fall back on. People in his peer group either go to Church or are “those others” who are not part of his community. To reject his belief might place him in a very isolated position where he might become one of “those others”.
Although I think that part of him might want to reject the system of belief that he grew up in, another part can not make the move past the constructed web of lies that have shaped his view on reality (for instance, that the world is only 4000 years old – which was a shock for me living in what I took to be a civilized country with proper education even in his time).
It is a weird place to be and preserve if this is the case.
This article is a free flow on the theme of fabrication and preserving a lie. The first impulse for this article is described in”Perceiving the church as an empty shell”. Another one is my discontent with “The God delusion” which I touch on later.
What we think is not what happened
Let’s assume anything and everything we produce is a work of fiction. Whether it is a research paper, a book with facts, the image we have of other people or the reproduction of a situation based on what we saw and experienced.
What we think we heard or saw is not what happened.
Reconstruction and fabrication
I think that everything we produce and reproduce in words or images (whether to others or in our own mind) is the result of reconstruction and fabrication. What we percieve in our mind is a made-up fabrication of signals from our senses, with anything filtered out that we either do not care about emotionally or do not want to know. One example is the test where people are asked to watch a video and observe a specific item. In this test, a person in an gorilla suit walks through the scene one ore multiple times. When the subjects are asked if they saw a monkey or a person in a monkey suit, about 50% answers “no”.
We see what we think we see.
From an absolute point of view, we can not perceive reality. One reason is that our mind simply does not have the instruments to.
- It is too slow to process all the information.
- It does not have an absolute recording memory – regardless of what is
Fabrication and works of fiction
So let’s come back to the assumption: everything we produce is a work of fiction.
So let’s say my “investigation” “proofs” that “homosexuality” is “a mental disorder” (See this reference: “…as well as the emergence of new data from researchers such as Alfred Kinsey and Evelyn Hooker, the seventh printing of the DSM-II, in 1974, no longer listed homosexuality as a category of disorder”). Who is to say that I really investigated all options? Who is to say I was not biased and looking in one specific direction when I did my tests?
When I state something as “the truth” without really knowing whether it is true or not, I create a fabrication.
When preserving the lie becomes “important”
We – as humans – tend to take our ideas and fabrications very serious. Serious enough to mutilate, kill, exclude and hurt other people. Serious enough to invest large sums of money and effort to make sure “nobody finds out”. Even when the consequences of preserving that lie might become severe. (I like the 1979 movie “The China Syndrome” as a exercise in that field: it is more important to cover up the fraud by pretending nothing is wrong and it is justified to kill people who take desperate measures to prevent a disaster than stopping the nuclear reactor to prevent the reactor from a melt down.)
There are several possible reasons to make preserving the lie more important than overall well being:
- Power / relative power and manipulation. For instance – As long as I can make you believe what I say, I can make you do what I want you to do.
- Wealth and reduction of cost. For instance – As long as I can make you believe that your contribution for my organization or “your country” is for “the good of all”, I can use your body and your mind for a minimal wage to increase my wealth.
- Fear of exposure. For instance – The moment you find out I was lying all the time, you will expose me, leading to my downfall.
- Fear of exposure of personal inferiority or weakness. For instance – By pointing out that “B” is something of lower form I divert your attention away from anything that can expose me for what I fear to be exposed.
The investments you can do to preserve your lie
This is what you can do to preserve your lie:
- Bribe, blackmail, removal, exclude and kill anyone who is smart enough to expose your lie. The bribe can be any form: power, position, possession. When bribes do not work, you can move to the next stage: blackmail. Removal can be done by firing a person, forcing him of her to move or escape the country, blacklisting (leading to exclusion) forcing a person to leave the company or make a person “disappear”. As a last resort you can always kill the person. In dictatorships the first ones to disappear are the people with enough brains to grasp what is going on.
- Control the media whether that is the printed press, the internet, television or radio. If your message is the only one received (by the masses), your message becomes the truth (for those masses).
- Rewrite history by removing anything that does not suit your vision and opinion.
- Control education by controlling who educates and what is tought to whom.
- Cripple the instruments of your thinking by limiting your ways of (self)expression, promoting dogmatic principles and punishing free thinking.
- Control the rules of your environment by controlling social and cultural values (what is “right” and “wrong”) and defining the law. (See the next part: “programming reality via law”
The benefits of preserving the lie
When you control what is in peoples mind, you control their lives. When you control their lives, you create leverage to maintain and continue your own agenda.
If my system requires you to be blind for specific parts of my “truth” it benefits me to make sure you do not question me. Also, if my system is “threatened” by forces from the inside and outside, it benefits me when I can use you as an instrument of destruction to eliminate those external and internal factors. The better I control you, the less I have to invest myself. So summarizing:
- Preserving my status quo – When I preserve my lie, I preserve my status quo
- Using you as cannon fodder – When you believe in my lie, I can use you as a buffer (or cannon fodder) for anyone who wants to attack me and my system
- Using you to pay the price, to take all the risks – If I am smart enough, you will be the one to invest in making my lies getting more foothold.
- Using you to attack my enemy – If I can make you believe that my lie is important enough, I can use you to attack and conquer or obliterate my enemy. I myself can stay out of any harm. I myself do
Cultivated guilt is a useless emotion
If you believe that feeling guilty has any use, think again.
There are many justifications for guilt as a “useful” emotion. From the wikipedia entry about guilt:
- People without feelings of guilt have no moral / are more easily to harm and even kill others – which might lead you to assume that there is no other mechanism to prevent us from doing harm to others, like a natural and biologically programmed repulsion to do harm to others – including to animals and even to insects.
- Guilt and shame helped maintain beneficial relationships – which assumes that we have to feel first “bad” to do “good”, instead of assuming that our natural bias is to follow our compass of “what is good” first.
Apart from that:
- Guilt can make you a better person – as it forces you to rethink and correct your wrongdoings
I have done my share of guilt and it only did the following for me:
- Creating a distraction from the real issues by wasting a lot of CPU-time on the guilt-issue / keeping me from having any useful thought while being in a guilt-trip
- Keeping me where I was at that point as I kept on repeating the things “I did wrong”
- Not providing any solutions to change or better the situation
- Hiding stuff from other people “to not get caught on my wrong doing” – leading to two possible consequences:
- Lying (through my teeth) – hiding the truth and fabricating stories to cover my ass
- Making a bad situation worse – by keeping stuff for myself in a situation that was usually not my fault or responsibility. Due to that other people could not correct that situation in time
The benefits of cultivated guilt
- Creates a distraction from the real issues by wasting a lot of CPU-time on the guilt-issue so that you will not find solutions and as a consequence the situation that benefits by that situation maintains (see “Keeping you stupid”)
- Keeping you where you are – as you keep on repeating the things “you did wrong” you will very likely not find an alternative solution that resolves the entire issue. In brief: you will remain to be running around in circles.
- Does not provide any solutions to change or better the situation. Together with item #2 it creates a fourth benefit
- Makes you more dependent on other people to “find a solution” as the solution you are likely to find is: running around in circles.
- Makes you hide stuff from other people “to not get caught on your wrong doing” – leading to two possible consequences:
- Leading to lying (through your teeth) – so that you become more sensitive to (moral) blackmail
- Leading you to make a bad situation worse – so that your personal troubles increase and your dependency to an external source “to solve your problem” increases
Blaming yourself is useless
Like guilt, blaming yourself is a waste of time. Here is the process I know:
- Expecation – You have a specific expectation of a specific outcome
- Action – You perform the actions that will hopefully lead to that outcome
- Fuckup – You miss a deadline. Your alarm does not go off. You invested in the wrong person or product. And so on.
- Years of self blame – You spend years of your life blaming yourself for:
- Missing an oppertunity
- Being stupid
- Going left instead of right
- Not working hard enough
- Not asking for advice from So-And-So when you could have
Why we fuck up
Usually you fuck up because of the following reasons:
- Lack of experience – you never did this thing before. In most cases it is quite normal to fail.
- Lack of personal motivation – you THINK you want to do this, but actually you did this because you think other people expect you to do it. In other words, you convinced yourself it was important based on rationals but actually you don’t give a fuck.
- Being misguided by someone else – you met this person Bla-Bla-Bla and he or she showed you that when you do X, Y and Z you will be rich, famous, succesful, happy, fucking anyone you like or whatever golden horizon.
- Ignoring the signs – everyone around you is warning you, but for whatever reason you ignore them, believing you are right. See item #1 : Lack of experience and #3 : Being misguided by someone else.
Why repeating the past is a waste of your time
You might think that when you repeat what went wrong just enough times in your mind, viewing it from all different angles, you might find where you fucked up and what you could have done differently and then maybe restore the situation.
Here is the brief: You are wasting your time. The past is dead.
What the benefits are of repeating the past
You remain stupid.
Why we do not use our mind
Looking back on the past number of items in this article, they all show behavior we were tought at home and at school. When you did something wrong, you were corrected by stimulating you to feel stupid (blaming yourself) or feeling guilty (by having done something wrong or breaking some rule).
If it is important for me that you remain in my fabricated system of “truth” it is not to my benefit that you learn how to use your mind better. I rather stop you, by telling you “to behave” and “to listen” and convincing you that “you are a loose cannon” due to your disobedience to my rules than teaching you how to use your mind.
So instead of offering you tools to improve yourself and your thinking and problem-solving capacities I hold you back. The main reason is very likely that I do not care about the solutions you might find, as your solutions do not serve me. Rather I have you stay within the limits of my fabricated system and the “reality” I created for you by letting you waste your time on yet another piece of bullshit like: “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?“.
Programming reality using values and the law
We build. People build. What we build are systems, societies, cities, machines, modes of transportation, means of communication. We build systems of flow, like transportation, project organizations and monetary systems.
If you can control those systems, you can program reality.
Reprogramming society to stop you from making copies
Let’s look at the ACTA first. The goal is to: “establishing international standards on intellectual property rights enforcement”. When put into force as originally intended, copyright owners will have permission to:
- Invade your house
- Force you to pay preposterous amounts of money for something you “stole” by making a copy of something that does not exist in physical form
- To disconnect you from one of the most important means of communication in this age to “enforce intellectual property rights”.
If the ACTA is enforced the way it was proposed, reality as we know it becomes reprogrammed. We can no longer download movies, music or other content without the fear of being put to trial or lose our internet connection.
Reprogramming society to corrupt your personal view on- and enjoyment of sex
If everything would be OK, “sexual dysfunction” should be quite rare. According to this article, “about 40 percent of women and 30 percent of men [in the United States] experience sexual dysfunction”.
This means that:
- One out of 3 of your possible sexual partners will not be able to enjoy having sex with you (when you live in the USA).
- One out of three people (living in the USA) reading this article by default experience fucking their sexual partner(s) as something negative.
Human sexuality (in my experience) is a fun and happy thing. Briefly put: under normal circumstances I think we like / enjoy to fuck and be fucked very much. In what is normal for me, I would assume the following basic sexual actions would give a majority of people (like at least 85% or more) pleasure and satisfaction:
- Kissing (on the mouth, on different parts of the body)
- Caressing yourself and your sexual partner
- Cunnilingus or pussy licking
- Fellatio or blow job
- Masturbation (hand jobs on penis and/or pussy)
- Masturbating your sexual partner
But what the fuck happened that 30% to 40% of people (in the US) experience “sexual dysfunction”?
It is not you who is fucked up, it is your society
Here is the catch: if there is something “wrong” it is not you who is fucked up. It is your society. The fact that so many people experience “sexual dysfunction” has everything to do with the values and the instruments your society gives you to deal with your own sexuality. We as a whole have made everything related to sex very complicated and suspect. Most people think that you can not simply walk up to someone and say: “I like you. I think you are very attractive. I would love to fuck you.” Instead we think we need a very complex set of rules and behaviors for all the wrong kind of reasons. (By the way, when someone approaches you with the invite to fuck, you can always say “no”.)
One example of those complex set of rules is “The Rules” by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider.
Let’s look at what is “wrong” related to what I personally consider to be quite normal from our biological human heritage:
- You can not masturbate. Masturbation is wrong. If you masturbate, especially after a certain age, there is something wrong with you.
- You can not allow yourself to be sexually aroused in specific situations, like in relationship to colleagues or strangers. Sexual arousal – except in very specific situations like for your own sexual partners – is wrong.
- You can not feel sexually aroused by someone of your same sex. To want to fuck or be fucked by someone of your own sex is wrong.
- You can not feel sexually aroused by someone below a certain age. To want to fuck someone below a certain age is wrong.
The problem is that our society only hands us “what is wrong” without giving us any proper handles to deal with the situation.
The benefit of keeping you stupid
There is a huge benefit of keeping you stupid. If you do not know any better and when you have no alternative modes of thinking, there is no real way to get yourself out of that system.
I have been reading “The God Delusion” the past weeks. What strikes me is that Dawkins – even though doing a brave attempt to show how useless religion is – still very much stays within the box he is trying to break open. I compared this in a conversation yesterday as “stabbing a knife in a dead cow and cutting some meat, but lacking the precision of a butcher”.
The God Delusion does not cut it
“The God Delusion” could have been a book taking each and every claim religion takes on this world and its own reason of existence apart with the skills and knowledge of a butcher. To understand this, understand the work of a butcher.
Any animal is comprised of bones, muscles and organs. To produce the meat, you do not just cut the meat. Butchery is an art. To understand where to cut, you have to understand the animal and the way that animal is comprised of different parts that you can cut. To use every part of that animal and have almost zero waste, you have to understand what the function of each part of that animal was and how you can use the qualities and the result of that function to produce specific “meat by products”. For instance:
- Muscles are contained by a “sack” of thin tissue. If you cut between the “sacks” of two groups of muscles, you can easily cut the meat (see “muscle-boning” in this article)
- The intestines of any animal (including humans) are made of very thin and very strong “skin” that you can use as the “casing” to make sausages.
- When you cook the blood, you can use the result to make specific type of sausages.
- The brains are used to make what is called head cheese.
- The insides of the bones (the marow) is used to make stock.
At the end of the ride there is only a very limited amount of waste. Almost everything that was the cow or pig has been used to make food.
Deconstructing your old belief system
To take your own belief system apart is not easy for many of us. Primarily because the way we have been taught to understand and deconstruct our personal and group reality has not been constructed to do so.
Taking “The God Delusion“, Dawkins could have been much more to the point and in within the space 200 pages completely butchered religion with what took him over 400. (In my words):
- Religion is completely wasteful and has no added value from the perspective of evolution.
- The exclusive claims of religion regarding morality (that our sense of “good” and “bad” is contributed to- and can only exist through- religion) is bullshit
- The claim by religion that we “need” religion and religious experiences as part of our human biological programming is bullshit.
Another reason why deconstructing your old belief system can be very hard is that it can be very hard to find replacement-systems confirming you that you are following the “right path” – whatever that might be.
For whatever reason, Dawkins stayed on the safe side and produced what Prince produced with his latest album “20ten” : a rather tame story with a nice melody, not really ripping your mind to new levels of consciousness.
Getting out is hard
If you properly construct your system of belief and fabrication, it will be very hard for anyone to get out of that system. To do so, you will have to deal with the prospects of:
- Rejection and becoming an outcast – When you do not play the game, or do not accept the rules of that game, you are out.
- Indirectly rejecting the belief systems of the people around you – By rejecting a system, you indirectly give the message that everybody around you believing in this system of fabrication is “wrong”. Even when that is not your intention.
- Indirect assaults by your surroundings – Indirect assaults are the ones where people will try to convince or convert you to “move back” into the system they believe in.
- Direct assaults by your surrounding – Direct assaults are where other people will try and convince you that you are “wrong” and will label you “dangerous” or an “enemy”.
Many people stay because it is safe
Many people chose to stay where they are, even when they know or feel that is “wrong”. The main reason I think is because it is the easiest way. For instance, many Italians are Catholic in a system where many things are forbidden. The silent rejection is in bending the rules.
Think of this:
What hurts more? Staying where you are, feeling something is not right or stepping out of an existing system and risking exclusion and hostility and everything that comes with it?
Staying hurts less
Staying where you are usually hurts less, because at least you have:
- Your friends and your “friends”
- Your family
- An better and more secure opportunity to a job
- A better opportunity to get laid earlier (the nerds, geeks and outcasts usually have their first experience after their twenties as they are strange and perceive the world around them as strange to them)
- A higher probability of a secure and reasonably risk free life
My beef with religion is that it is so dominant in warping my way of thinking and feeling and so deeply rooted in the things that surrounded me. The bottom line of that background was: “do not ask questions or question my authority. What I say is true because it is written in this book”. It took me until last year to finally shake the last hooks of “but what if there is maybe some truth in..” off my system.
Killing the “what if?” of religion
Here is my personal point of view:
Religion in any form is a means of repression. It does not allow you to be free or become free. It will not bring you any closer to anything at all. It is a very complicated trap to gain power over you and your “soul”. If there is any deity at all and they knew where to find it, religion is the last one to bring you in contact with it.
Leaving Christianity (or whatever you believe in) and trading it for another system “to find a true god” is only trading a yellow shirt for a brown sweater. Without exception they are all selling you bullshit.
If you need religion as a replacement for something else or to escape reality you are doing the same as an alcoholic or a drug addict: selling out the responsibility over your own life.
The Church and religions in all their shapes and forms are not the only ones who fabricate a “truth” to “help you understand reality” and “help you move up” in your development as a human being and as a society at large.
Nazi Germany was founded on the belief that by purifying the human race, the human race at large would and could advance. It justified the murder and killing of millions of people including Jews, gay people, teachers and gypsies.
The elite knows what is best for you
Many “democratic” systems where you can vote to elect your representative are – in my eyes at least – nothing more than a re-cast of the elite-systems where only a small group of self-elected “nobles” with “blue blood” or “direct ascendants of kings and rulers” thought that they knew what was best for the population at large (mainly for that population to shut up, pro-create in not-all to large numbers and do their work).
It is not that different from Nazi Germany or what happened in Spain and Italy around that time, except that the lies spread are less extreme and the rulers are forced to work together with opposite parties.
Fabrication is what we do to “create” reality. Looking at where we are going as a society, the question is not – in my opinion – to find new ways to limit our access to information (one of the ways could be by filtering what we can access via internet) or how to create new fabrications to uphold and mend the creations which are falling apart.
I think it is in finding the tools to sort out what is real to us personally.