It is noteworthy that the top five most populous global religions incorporate a philosophical aspect focused on guiding individuals or humanity as a whole towards a better state, away from a circumstance of blame, punishment, or disenfranchisement with God. Importantly, all these religions attribute the responsibility for this undesirable state primarily to its adherent and/or humanity itself. Meanwhile, our most ancient historical mythologies portray a different story.
As men grow in their spiritual thirst and understanding, religious institutions which exploit fear of the unknown continue to crumble, along with the dark empire they serve to occult.
They say that history is written by the victors. Religion, as an interpretive form of history, is written by the most manipulative among the victors as well. We’ve all had the spiritual fairy tale forced upon us, likely over a thousand times, with its relater operating under the delusion that you’ve never heard its pamphleteering drone before. The universe, currently in its nascent state, exists as a local and awe-inspiring essence. This enchanting realm, akin to a celestial garden, is believed to have been meticulously crafted solely for humanity by the divine hand of God. His love for us transcends the boundaries of our comprehension. Yet, it is ‘we’ who have marred this perfection, becoming the architects of our own suffering. Both collectively and individually, mankind has realized the wages of such rebellion – myriad consequences past, present, and impending yet again – a direct result of our (unforeseeable) innate corruption and transgression(s). Although God possesses the power to intercede in our relief, He upholds our autonomy and respects our free will.
The all-too-common notions comprised by this state of spiritual gridlock merely serve to perpetuate mankind’s ‘justified’ state of physical suffering, psychological terror, and most importantly, spiritual ignorance. Indeed, suffering, terror, and ignorance form the foundational ingredients of a dark spiritual ambrosia, empowering those entities which choose to partake in its intoxicating and addictive allure. An essence drawn typically from the lifeblood of an unblemished, vulnerable, and innocent youngling. This all spun as constituting aspects of God’s ‘mysterious ways’.
Perhaps these ways are not so mysterious after all, but rather constitute a ploy which exhibits a very familiar diabolical shtick instead. Ways which make complete sense, once one comprehends the inversion spell at play inside the mind of man. The monotheist sky-fairy taught by our major religions is very good at assigning and recompensing blame (especially over trivial and inconsistent doctrines), but is not nearly so skilled at alleviating, nay even comprehending, the human plight. Perhaps this should stand as a hint.
Ignorance in contrast, he has formed into an art. As an objective, ignorance is the most critical element inside this religious play-act. That is why the Library at Alexandria (and all works from its forebears) had to be destroyed by Christianity and Islam, while several caches of critical documents therein were smuggled out and preserved inside clay jars in the deserts of Egypt and the Levant. Aside from the 1940’s discoveries of the Qumran Caves Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Codices, I suspect that many more troves of such wisdom have yet to be upturned. The ancient institutions which housed such documents (texts such as I Enoch, The Atrahasis Epic, On the Origins of the World, The Hypostasis of the Archons, Matthew 4:1-11, The Book of Giants, Sumerian documentation of the selfish and diabolical works of the Elohim gods, or even ancient Magi teachings) offered up far too much of the backstory behind this spiritual farce to be allowed to remain in existence. After all, it is difficult to maintain an informed victim in a state of perpetuated slavery.
As an example from mythology, The Hypostasis of the Archons, part of the Nag Hammadi set of codices, cites a science fiction or Star Wars like tale recounting that a sister world of ours, called Sabaoth, both comprehended the play in which they were captive inside an evil empire, and was able to attain emancipation from their captor as well. This successful escape enraged their former abductor, Yaldabaoth (Samyaza or Ha-Satan), who was defeated along with 200 of his ‘watcher angels’ (the Elohim) and fled to Earth during the ensuing conflict – taking out their resulting wrath upon his remaining and much-despised slave race, mankind.1
An essential spiritual principle revolves around the notion that an entity’s true character should not be defined solely by its expressed words, posed virtues, or visible actions, but rather by those ideas and actions it chooses to prohibit, destroy, or embargo. It is not your virtue nor ‘light upon a hill’ which will win converts to your cause, but rather your objectivity in quest, tolerance of and skill in adjudicating novel ideas, and ability to draw significance in others’ lives inside realms where few have ventured before. This is what genuine persons look for, and not necessarily one’s good works.
Call ye nothing good. For in the moment you do, evil will crucify it and wear its skin as a costume.
After all, a religion in contrast is not actually defined by its doctrines, but rather those things it forbids to be known or said. Particularly if the religious perpetrator can establish guilt and fear of punishment (even that which is solely self-inflicted) inside the gestalt of their victim. This is why the debunker can be seen as nothing more than a religious acolyte, falsely coercing an embargo of specific ideas all in the name of skepticism and science – relegating you to their hell of ‘conspiracy theory’, at the first mere hint of dissent. Victims learn to distrust such exploitation by agency, and whether by debunker or cleric, cynic or true believer – it is all the same dishonest shtick.
Through application of such strategy, the deceptive entity is able to keep the victim reeling on their heels, perpetually in a reactive mode and underdeveloped state. Afraid, ashamed, and guilty, the kidnapped and abused child in such circumstance will be defenseless against their abductor. A principal weapon of which the exorcist is keenly aware. And whether conscious or not of its cast dark shadow, hylic mankind is collectively possessed by this very spell.
The Signature Gimmicks of Spiritual Abuse (Guilt, Blame, and Shame)
The Mayo Clinic cites several key indicators as being essential signals of child abuse. These lies and abuses on the part of the captor apply to spirituality as well, and are adapted as follows.2 The astute reader might even be able to discern the demonic gimmicks outlined herein:
- Isolation of child from potential friends or usual social activities (By means of creation or abiogenesis, it does not matter what you choose – as long as you understand that you are all alone)
- Instilling guilt, a loss of self-confidence, or low self-esteem in the child (You are worthless and sinful)
- Exploiting the child’s resulting desperate need for affection (I am the Lord thy God, you shall have no other Gods before me)
- Maintenance and exploitation of the child’s ignorance (understanding in lieu of comprehension) or poor development (Man’s spiritual devolution inside a state of technological peril)
- Excessive health and weight fluctuations, medical complications, and self-abuses that are not being adequately addressed (Self loathing, anomie, lack of ability to alleviate global suffering)
- A parent who is massively self-absorbed, addicted, and/or shows little actual concern for the child (Abandoned to its own resources, lack of actual power to help is spun as allowing ‘free will’)
- Expects the child to provide attention and worship to the parent and seems jealous of others getting attention from the child (I am a jealous God; bring the sacrifice before me)
- Shaming the child under the burden of inappropriate demands or unattainable levels of performance (Be holy, for I am holy)
- Reinforces the shaming notion that no one exists who cares for the child, save for the abuser themself (Debunking, cults, nihilism/monotheism, hyperbole regarding the reach and conclusions of science)
- The demand of blood sacrifice and/or power of sexual rape/incest/corruption (The sons of god saw that the daughters of men were comely…)
- Offers conflicting, fantastical, or unconvincing explanations for a child’s injuries or suffering (Mysterious ways, His actions transcend the boundaries of our comprehension, our state originated from ‘nothing’ by means of creation/abiogenesis)
- Child exhibits withdrawal, depression, and behavioral disorders – which are then ironically then spun ex post facto as the justification or rationale for the child abuse itself (‘begs the question’ of original and ongoing sin used as blame)
- Employs harsh physical discipline as a first and/or sole means of control; continually exploiting the fear of such punishment (Genesis Curses/Bowls of wrath/Judgment)
and finally, the pièce de résistance,
- Blaming the victim (child) themself for their state of being and suffering (sin and original sin – you have ‘free will’, but if you do even the slightest thing I don’t like, I am going to cast you out, kill you, curse you and a lot of innocents as well, punish you over 30 times again, and then kill you again, and then make you suffer forever – but you have free will, and I am merciful)
This last bullet point in the series is all important. Because, in order to enforce such a play in captive-abuse, the ever-present and awesome insistence of blame and impending just desserts is vital (see The Riddle of Sin). It does not matter how many times the child has been punished for the same offense, rather that the punishment be awesome, ultimate, repetitive, forever impending, and eternal if the child does not straighten up their act and join the club.3
The ‘Big Five’ Religions – One Ring to Rule Them All
Before assembling this article, out of curiosity I asked ChatGPT 3.5 to provide a listing of the top five world religions. I then asked ChatGPT to refine that listing to exclude both secular and spiritism philosophies, since those can constitute merely methods/intellectual pursuits and not necessarily religious beliefs. ChatGPT produced the following result. I found it indeed curious that the final tally comprised a list of blame and/or punishment-based (even if the punishment is a mere false ‘perception of self’) spiritual quests along a spectrum of severity or agency in the forms of entailed blame, or even worse, eternal punishments.4 The reader should bear in mind that together, these five religious sects compose 93% of the world’s population.5
See why both atheism and traditional religious beliefs are in decline. The public is rejecting dark nihilist and blame-based ontologies. Whether one worships a bearded grandfather icon, an empty set, or the spectrum of irrationality in between, an abusive captor could care less. Just as long as you are not aware of your actual circumstance.
- Christianity/Mithraism – (the complicated) belief that one must accept that Christ (Mithras) is the Heir (Son) of Earth’s wrathful and schizophrenic head (Enlil/Yahweh/Jehovah/Sol) of the Triune God (Sol/Luna/Mithras) itself, and that Christ (Mithras) died to redeem man from his corruption, sin, and impending eternal damnation – or be condemned by that very same Ruler (Archon) of Eden-Earth to damnation themself (under original sin – a second punishment for an event under which you have already been punished before).6
- Islam – belief that one must both become a believer and repent of sin before being committed to the eternal torment of hell by a wrathful Allah.
- Hinduism – belief in the continuing cycle of negative entanglement in passive self-punishments (the resulting birth, life, death, and rebirth in this form of hell), Karma (action, intent, and consequences), moksha (liberation from attachment/suffering).
- Buddhism – belief in the path (mārga) to liberation from negative entanglement in passive self-punishments (the resulting birth, life, death, and rebirth in this form of hell), Karma (action, intent, and consequences). “The nature of life is suffering.” Once that is realized, there is a path to reduce the suffering… one of compassion and non-judgement. Non-judgement does not imply a lack of observation or discernment, nor a lack of necessary action, but more an abstention from hate and loathing.7
- Chinese traditional Confucianism/Taoism – belief that the order coming from Heaven preserves the world from suffering, and has to be followed by humanity finding a ‘middle way’ between yin and yang forces.
Personal Shortfall Employed as Both Red Herring and Weapon
It is noteworthy that all five of these religious beliefs incorporate a philosophical aspect focused on guiding individuals or humanity as a whole towards a better state, away from a state of suffering, punishment, or disenfranchisement with God. Importantly, these religions attribute the responsibility for this undesirable state primarily to the human or humanity itself. In general, as we move from Western and into Eastern philosophies, visceral or violent condemnation gives way to various forms of ‘blame-shame lite’. Fewer calories, same great taste.
Wicker Man – a religion, doctrine, or philosophy of which, no matter what description is offered, such description will be specially plead as constituting a straw man. Wicker Man refers to a belief system, ideology, or philosophy that consistently evades accountability for its negative consequences by distorting or dismissing any critique against it as a straw man argument. It operates as a form of abuse by avoiding responsibility for the harm it causes.
One ramification of this principle I call the ‘wicker man’, is that a religion can be best defined by what it forbids to be known or discussed – and not by what it ostensibly promotes. The idea that man is captive, and that the first order of business is the amelioration of that captor/captive state is a principle cited among mankind’s most ancient religious texts (listed in the third paragraph of this article), a principle which runs anathema to the teachings of today’s most populous religious philosophies (the Big Five cited above).
Of course, emphasis upon personal responsibility, self-accountability, forgiveness, agape love, ethics, etc. always bears applicability. Such virtues in development are universally important, regardless of one’s level of progression or status. These principles should always be followed and should not be employed as a form of institutional tu quoque argument – or worse be wielded as a weapon by power hungry religious institutions. Just as the church does not actually own the right to administer ‘marriage’ as a human institution, in the same way neither does it own nor commission these spiritual principles. Moreover, while personal responsibility is essential, its leverage should not be used as a means to belittle, divert attention from, or discourage the investigation of an ongoing crime.8
It does not benefit a kidnapped child in any way shape or form to compel or coerce them to ‘stop procrastinating and do their homework’. The kidnapping itself is the first and only critical path argument at play (salience). To focus on such issues of personal responsibility, blame, guilt, or even spiritual advancement inside the wrong context, is a form of virtue signaling (crucifying ‘good’ and wearing its skin as a costume) on the part of our Big Five religions – an insincere display of moral superiority rather than a genuine attempt to address effectively the situation at hand.
The Secret of the Magi
The reality of Mankind’s captivity is an idea which has the most ancient of roots, yet has been expunged from all libraries, religious texts, and theological deliberation. A religion is not distinguished by what it teaches, but rather by what it embargoes. In that regard, all of the world’s top religions (to include secularism) constitute indeed the same species of manipulation, red herring, and tu quoque cult thinking.
If we are to believe the world’s oldest religious texts, which have nearly been exterminated for this very reason, the captor of humanity shows no concern over a person’s intellectual beliefs or how they may choose to interpret disparate religious doctrines or pathways to self development. His acolyte does not even have to believe in God or gods at all. The captor only requires that one suffer the accompanying guilt, terror of mortality, blame, shame, and ultimately, ignorance. Sweet ambrosia, the intoxicating blood of the unblemished youngling. Inside this, it remains critical that few perceive or ponder the bifurcated notion that we reside in an abnormal, captive, and abusive circumstance.
When you impart a conception of God to children, one that starkly contradicts their later observations as adults, this engenders an inherent existential strain – an unfortunate loosh craved by those who exploit such distress. Whether one doubles-down on fanatic theism or reacts to the opposite by means of atheism, no respite is offered in either extreme.
In that realm where innocence resides,
We caution young hearts of life unknown,
A fable of God, upon faith abides,
Yet reality authors a contrasting tome.
Exploiters revel in the soul’s unrest,
Feeding on pain, their dark delight,
A harvest of innocence, suffering pressed,
As spirits shatter in the desperate night.
This is the answer to the riddle as to why a ‘God of truth’ would blithely tolerate so much suffering amidst so many disparate, confusing, and conflicting religious philosophies. In the end, what anyone positively believes does not matter. You are free to worship the flying spaghetti monster. In reality, there is actually only one protected global religion – one Ring to rule them all – and it is based upon the obfuscation and embargo of this single specific idea of man’s captivity
I believe that this may well explain why the prayer commonly referred to as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ can be most readily interpreted as a prayer of sedition, as it seeks not personal salvation from sin – which is conspicuously absent from the quintessential prayer, given salvation’s supposed priority in the scheme of man’s relationship with God – but rather the dethroning of a costumed, desperate, and crumbling hierarchy, intoxicated through its unlawful rule over the existentially terrified, confused, and suffering affairs of Adamu Man.
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”~ Matthew 4:8-9, NIV
This was the secret teaching of the Magi, the world’s oldest esoteric, which was passed generation to generation from those ancient Vohu Manah (ethical skeptic) astrologers to Antoichus I of Commagene, whose priestly title was ‘Theos Epiphanes’ – the ruling keeper of the ancient wisdom of the Magicians (Persian, Babylonian and Macedonian tradition ‘Magi’). A gift of birthright which infuriates the siblings of envious darkness – which does not depend upon such insignificant criteria as one’s intellect, allegiance, memorized writ, professed doctrine, observances, practices, foods you eat when, meetings you may miss or attend, pride, fake humility, how you choose to have sex or spend money, nor even terrified insincere repentance of same. Mankind’s emancipation from this empire of the dead and dying, along with its demonic prison of blame, which are to be displaced by thy Kingdom of Heaven come of the Messiah, The Son of Man.
The Ethical Skeptic, “The Blame-Based Model of Spirituality”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 13 May 2023; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=72552
- My transliteration of the Angel Eleleth speaking to Norea, the daughter of Adam and Eve:
“As it came about, Ha-Satan set himself up as Ruler over a number of heavens (habitable star systems). He decided to plant populations on seven of those worlds (aka ‘forces’ or ‘seven heavens’), descended from his and their mixed DNA stock. Finally, he made it clear that they were to subjugate their rule under and worship him alone.
But the Ethical Law which Protects Life, as given by Pistis Sophia, forbade such actions. As a result, the Law has sentenced under its Authority this creature Ha-Satan or Samael, who is also called Sakla, ShemYaza, Samyaza, or Yaltabaoth in your various cultures. This Law carries a stiff penalty for such cruel actions on the part of a celestial being. He has therefore been sentenced to banishment into Tartaros, that realm which is below even the abyss itself. Your first book called Enoch cites where his appeal of this sentence to the Celestial Court was denied to both him and his watcher angels (demons). He is fleeing and evading this sentence even now by every desperate means.
Now when one of his planetary systems, named Sabaoth (aka ‘the seventh heaven’), found out that their progenitor had been sentenced to Tartaros, they renounced their allegiance to the realm of Ha-Satan and appealed before the Sovereign Court for forgiveness. They pledged their fealty to the Sovereign Governance and the Ethical Law which Protects Life from such horrid abuse. At that time, it was appointed by the Sovereign Court that Sabaoth would thereafter rule the Seven Heavens formerly under Ha-Satan. Sabaoth therefore as a result, serves as a kind of administrator (force) under the Sovereign Authority for this region of the Galaxy.
Since then, Sabaoth has assembled many high powered and multi-functional craft, along with a large military-service force. They operate myriads of various powerful devices with astounding capabilities. The Sovereign Authority even granted Sabaoth a large set of advanced technologies from their realm above the Seven Star Systems, and further then worked alongside the citizens therein to teach them how to use them. Some of them even powerful weapons of war. Since then, Sabaoth has become the local power and representative of our Sovereign Authority. That which opposes him is regarded as lawless. This all happened long before mankind was even around.
Now when Yaltabaoth saw what good fortune had happened with his former property Sabaoth, the great splendor of its society and the heights of its new technologies, he grew envious of Sabaoth. That envy grew heartless and became the origin of all guile, hate, greed, hungering lust, revenge and desire for control which is now inflicted upon you as Mankind. This became what we now know as evil. Death became both its outcome and very real prison – those dead and therefore as a result, now force-bound inside of it here. This organization of death captured its own star systems and created its own sovereign realm. The Galaxy is now infected with this dark multitude of the dead and dying.”
The Nag Hammadi Library, ‘The Reality of the Rulers (The Hypostasis of the Archons), Extrapolated, with archaic idiom converted, from the Bentley Layton translation; http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/hypostas.html
- Mayo Clinic: Child Abuse, Symptoms and Causes; https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/child-abuse/symptoms-causes/syc-20370864
- The Ethical Skeptic, “The Awesome Insistence of Cataclysmic Mirage Theory (CMT)”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 14 Aug 2021; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=52689
- OpenAI. “GPT-3.5 Language Model.” ChatGPT. Accessed on 13 May 2023.
- Wikipedia: List of religious populations; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_populations
- King, M.L.; “A Study of Mithraism”; Stanford; Nov 1949; https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/study-mithraism
- This contrast with Hindi teachings and the Wikipedia definition provided by TES’s Buddhist readers.
- Such presents a keen example as to why the ethical skeptic must comprehend the true definition of disinformation, as not ‘lying with intent’, but rather lying with facts and partial truths.
Thanks for sharing. This essay and the ones linked to this (specifically the astrological confluence) have been very intriguing and make me want to learn more. Who, or what, is being considered the captor of humanity? Is the captivity the lack of being able to live life outside of the realm of the “one global religion”? How does the astrological confluence curiosity contribute to the potential freedom of mankind? My read of this is that it alludes to birth of Jesus perhaps, but it’s not totally clear. Is it then to be understood that Jesus’ modern teaching as delivered by… Read more »
Yes, to all conjectures. I prefer the concept of other-worldly powers. We have been an asset in someone’s planetary inventory for quite a while. The myth that ‘aliens’ arrived here in 1947 because we set off nuclear warheads, and now they are probing our anal cavity and sex organs to conduct scientific research – is rather dimwitted – given all shenanigans of the past in mythology and neolithic homo sapiens’ sapeins sudden appearance. However, I hold direct observational information which most people do not. That helps my perspective. We certainly have far more heterogeneous observations than was held in past… Read more »
The discussion responses are the best part of this article (and I thoroughly enjoyed the article). I grew up Southern Baptist. Oddly enough, I had a youth minister that taught us to read the biblical verses yet we openly discussed what that meant to us. We were not dictated the verse or chapter’s meaning. We were taught to think for ourselves, interestingly enough. This has played well for my life. The one area missing was the ability, and responsibility, to identify and take long term actions to reverse any action I found unjust. The religious part that stuck with me… Read more »
Yes, and thanks AF,
The article should not be taken as in any way dismissive of personal and in-life responsibility. We all fare so much better when individuals take responsibility, and oppose oppression when needed. The trick being played on us pertains to my post The Eagle, the Ape, the Horse, and the Lion
I wonder if you have perused The Urantia Book, aka “The NASA Bible”. The tale of norea in/after the garden reminds me of it somehow. I think Doglas Adams (Dr. Who, Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy) red it. You might see if chapter 42 approximates “the answer to life, the universe and everything”, which “Deep Mind” spat out as “42”.
“Norea”, “Douglas Adams”, poor old keypad..
1) The Tripartite Tractate, from the Nag Hamadi earthen pot discovery. This is a series of teachings attributed to St. Valentine. It has a lot of negations in it. Orientals like lots of negations, but there is more there. Slow and thoughtful reading. http://gnosis.org/naghamm/tripart.htm 2) I think you are being kind of hard on #s 2-5. I was raised in Protestantism, and studied earnestly, but could never accept that those who never heard of Jesus went to Hell forever. It was inconsistent with God-is-Love. I sought out more teachings of Jesus, but eventualy considered that not much was written during… Read more »
I revised the 4 paragraphs and highlighted statement after the list of Big Five religions. Hopefully it sheds light on the elements and semantics of the argument at hand – and distinguishes it from the typical East-West approach to personal development.
All good input, btw… Modified that bullet point…
Thank You, Sir.
I read that Nag Hamadi story about Norea. I like Norea.
These 7 worlds… archetypal, disturbing, incomplete struggle between good & evil, darkness and light…
I always feel like all of the ancient writings have relevance for me. Narcissistic or something, I guess.
“negative entanglement in passive punishments” I’ve been a serious student of Buddhism for 30 years and this is a flawed, but common, understanding of karma. It is incorrect. Karma is NOT a punishment for bad actions. It is considered a naturalistic flow of cause and effect. For example, if you are violent in this life, it habituates the mind to violence, creating a casual and even enjoyable association with violence. In the next birth, (or later in this one), the mind will seek out greater violent interactions habitually. Thus non-violent will avoid this being, naturally and they find themselves in… Read more »
So, there is no impetus to change, since there is no negative to doing nothing.
To me, the example you gave fits exactly with ‘passive punishment’.
Every religion has its apologetics and wicker man special pleadings. If you object to A, then suddenly it is B, if B, then it is A, or C entirely. Eventually, they must all be held to account for something they contend, even if it is encoded in semantics…
properly understood, karma is forward-looking. it’s absolutely not punishment. it’s a very positive concept. it’s as KM says. karma is the flow of your ‘mind-stream’ which is entirely your responsibility. the impetus to change lies in understanding what constitutes wisdom. all Buddhist practice can be categorized into one or more of the following ‘three trainings’. morality/ethics, concentration/samadhi, and wisdom. you are making a very basic and common mistake by grafting your sense of what a religion is onto Buddhism. you would do better to understand it as a philosophy, which many consider it to be. Buddhism is similar to stoicism… Read more »
A very good analogy with the vaccine equivalence, but I think you are giving short shrift to the notion of negative reinforcement, promoted over our duty to sense a state of captivity and abuse. The issue is our overt focus on god or self-created suffering, rather than detecting a state of human rights crime. None of the Big Five address this priority and instead place the onus on the victim. That is the core point of the article, not semantics. Avoidance of the word punishment, by means of semantics, is akin to a person saying they are not racist, but… Read more »
The simplest description of Buddhist practice is: “Don’t do bad. Do good always. Purify your mind. These are the teachings of all Buddhas.” Good and bad are ethical or moral behaviors. Purifying the mind means removing from the mind error, misunderstanding, delusion. Buddhism can be understood as a subjective science. By removing error/delusion we remove the cause of life’s “unsatisfactoriness.” The word unsatisfactoriness is a more accurate translation of dukkha, which is often translated as “suffering” and sometimes “stress.” A good example of dukkha is the enormous unsatisfactoriness of the US covid response, which is based on error, misunderstanding, delusion,… Read more »
Tom, I understand By removing error/delusion we remove the cause of life’s “unsatisfactoriness.” The word unsatisfactoriness is a more accurate translation of dukkha, which is often translated as “suffering” and sometimes “stress.” This fits my definition of ‘punishment’, in the context of this article. There are penalties for a human, as the human individual is the source of all unsatisfactoriness. This is the very principle to which I contrast a state of captivity. Personal responsibility, ethics, etc. always apply – even to the highest developed entity. That will always be the challenge. However, it should never be used to hide… Read more »
I revised the 4 paragraphs and highlighted statement after the list of Big Five religions. Hopefully it sheds light on the elements and semantics of the argument at hand – and distinguishes it from the typical East-West approach to personal development.
1) So, was the process of acquiring the analytical skills you have punishment? How can anyone become a better person without making some effort to improve themselves? Is conscious, deliberate self-improvement punishment?
2) Who is punishing you when you work out, as I believe you do?
3) Is your professional work punishment?
4) What is your idea of a world without punishment?
These are not requirements of a religion, nor are they ontological judgments (blame) placed upon one’s self. The revision of the article addresses this clarification. Rape and sex are two different things, even though they may appear exactly alike.
I am a major fan of your work and am making constructive criticisms about something I know a lot about. You are profoundly mistaken about Buddhism. I think some of the reasons this has happened with you and many others are: 1) The Buddha framed the goal of Buddhist practice in the negative. He never said exactly what the goal is to prevent people reifying it, worshiping it, and not doing the training to achieve it. 2) He also asked that images of him not be made, that his words not be written down, and that they definitely never be… Read more »
Understood, and I respect your portrayal of Buddhism here.
1. I am using the Wikipedia definition, for wrong or for right. I am more than happy to adjust that definition based upon a more thorough knowledge of the discipline, as I believe that you hold. Note, I just modified that bullet based upon John Day’s input as well. :-)
But before that exercise is undertaken,
2. What is the argument I am making? (Granted that I had to reword it in my most recent revision, which hopefully is helpful).
Your argument compares Buddhism to child abuse and includes: The child is blamed, abused, punished, a sinner, has original sin, made to feel guilty, isolated, emotionally exploited, maintained in ignorance, physically abused While the parent/god/buddha is self-absorbed, has no concern for child, demands to be worshiped, is jealous, shames the child, makes inappropriate demands, claims to be the only one who cares for the child, blood sacrifices, sexual abuse, lies about abuse of child, causes withdrawal, depression, behavioral disorders which are used to justify the abuse, physical punishment Most importantly: “Blaming the victim (child) themself for their state of being… Read more »
You failed to grasp the logical structure of the argument. There is an agency, which is the child abuser, who uses traditional religion (innocent third parties in many cases) as a red herring to obfuscate and confuse over their activity. 1. I did not say that Buddha claimed godship. 2. I did not say that Buddhism is akin to child abuse, rather the ‘tolerator’ of religion is a child abuser 3. I did not make any commentary on Buddha himself. 4. I did not say that the Buddha is worshipped. 5. I did not say that the Buddha is the… Read more »