Humanity’s exodus from animal existence to become fully human- our foundational story

This from Gregory Whitestone, Executive Director of the CO2 Coalition

“There is no climate crisis. There is no climate emergency. What we see and what I’ve seen from scientists who I work with at the CO2 Coalition — some of the top scientists in the world working on this — we see an earth and its eco systems that are thriving and prospering. The (growth of new) vegetation is greening the earth. Humanity and the human condition is improving by almost every metric you look at. Life in our ecosystems is getting better, not spiraling into some apocalyptic scenario.”

Pay close daily attention to sites like “Wattsupwiththat.com”, “co2coalition.org”, “Net Zero Watch” (regular newsletter of the Global Warming Policy Forum), and others that are warning us of the growing disaster developing across the world as a consequence of the “climate crisis” crusade and related irrational decarbonization policies (Net Zero). This crusade against CO2/fossil fuels has become a “madness of crowds” episode that has become more delusionally irresponsible than any other apocalyptic crusade before in history. It affirms Arthur Mendel’s statement that apocalyptic is the most destructive idea in history (“Vision and Violence”).

Historian Richard Landes was right, in his conclusion regarding the destruction from apocalyptic millennialism during the Nazi movement, that “(Hitler) is not so much the measure of the unthinkably, the impossibly evil, as he is the measure of how, with modern technology and an only partially developed civil polity, a nation, a people, seized by, ridden by (an apocalyptic) millennial passion, can become one of the great dealers of death in human history” (p.388, “Heaven On Earth”).

Landes and other apocalyptic millennial scholars/historians- Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline in Western History), Arthur Mendel (Vision and Violence), David Redles (Hitler’s Millennial Reich)- all note the influence of primitive apocalyptic millennial ideas on the mass-death movements of Marxism, Nazism, and environmental alarmism.

Decarbonization is shaping up to outstrip Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” in its destructive impact on our world. See sources noted above and the following links…

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-west-mimics-mao-takes-a-green-leap-forward-clean-energy-china-communism-farming-industrialization-quota-11663767101

WSJ: President Biden’s Green Great Leap Forward

More on the madness of decarbonization and its destructive outcomes in the world…

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/gwyn-morgan-net-zero-has-been-a-boon-to-dictators

The Holocene Optimum of some 10,000 to 6,000 years ago was up to 3 degrees C warmer than today…

https://co2coalition.org/?s=holocene+optimum+warmer+than+today

We are in the coolest of the four warming periods of our interglacial and still emerging out of the coldest part of our interglacial- the Little Ice Age of 1645-1715. During the Holocene Optimum, agriculture emerged and flourished and also the early great civilizations emerged and flourished. And alarmists are panic-mongering us about a possible further 1-2 degrees C of warming??? What kind of irrational hysteria is that?

We have been on a long-term cooling trend since the end of the Holocene Optimum some 6,000 years ago and we ought to welcome any further multiple-degrees of warming that we might get. Varied climate scientists warn that we may be entering a cooling trend over the next few decades. See the “Sun-climate effect” reports in sections below.

Climate notes: 50 reasons why there is no “climate crisis”.

50 Reasons to Re-Think Climate Policy

Good one on celebrating CO2 from environmental scientist Indur Goklany, author of “The Improving State of the World”

Fossil Fuels Are the Greenest of Energy Sources

Here are quotes from the Goklany article on the current amazing greening of Earth thanks to humanity helping to put more plant food in the atmosphere. We are still in a “CO2 starvation era” with historically (in paleoclimate terms) low levels of CO2. Over the 500 million year history of life, CO2 has often been in the multiple-thousands of ppm compared to today’s 400-plus ppm. And plant life thrived during such eras with such high levels of CO2 and there was no “global warming crisis”. Plants prefer CO2 in the 1000-1500 ppm level.

Indur Goklany…

“Contrary to the claims of proponents of the Green New Deal and Net Zero, fossil fuels are the greenest fuels.

“First, uniquely among energy sources, fossil fuel use emits CO2, which is the ultimate source of the elemental building block, carbon, found in all carbon-based life, i.e., virtually all life on Earth.

“The increased amplitude of the seasonal cycle in atmospheric CO2 and satellite-borne instrumentation to measure solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence from plants provide direct evidence that global photosynthetic activity (or Gross Primary Production, GPP, a measure of the change in global biomass) has increased over the past several decades (Frankenberg et al. 2011; Graven et al. 2013).

“Observed variations (Campbell et al. 2017) of atmospheric CO2 over the past two centuries are consistent with increasing primary productivity. Other satellite studies also show that the earth has been greening continually in recent decades (Zhu et al. 2016; Piao et al. 2020). “Second, fossil fuel dependent technologies have increased agricultural yields directly or indirectly by at least 167% (Goklany 2020). This increase in agricultural productivity is due to the use of fossil-fuel-dependent technologies, specifically, nitrogen fertilizers, pesticides and carbon dioxide fertilization resulting from fossil fuel emissions. This has enabled human beings to meet their demands for food using less cropland, which then spares land for the rest of nature. Thus, in the absence of fossil fuels, at least 167% more land would have to be cultivated to maintain global food production at current levels. That would be equivalent to increasing current cropland from 12.2% of global land area (GLA) (FAO 2019) to 32.7%. But diversion of habitat (land) to agriculture is already deemed to be the greatest threat to global biodiversity. Fossil fuels have, therefore, not only increased productivity of already-converted habitat, they have forestalled conversion of at least an additional 20.4% of GLA.

“Consequently, the world sustains 10 times more people today (7.97 billion) than at the start of the Industrial Revolution (786 million in 1750), while supporting more biomass…

“Based on satellite data, Zhu et al. (2016) found that from 1982–2009, 25–50% of global vegetated area had become greener while 4% had become browner. They attributed 70% of the greening to CO2 fertilization from emissions from fossil fuel combustion (which increases photosynthesis and water use efficiency, WUE, of most vegetation), 9% to nitrogen deposition (also from the use of fossil-fuel-derived fertilizers), 8% to climate change, and 4% to land use change. The first three, responsible cumulatively for 87% of the greening, are related to the use of fossil fuels…

“Chen et al. (2019) report that global leaf area increased by 5.4 million km2 over 2000–2017, equivalent to the area of the Amazon rainforest (Piao et al. 2020)…

“Song et al. (2018) found that, contrary to prevailing wisdom, global tree cover increased by 2.24 million km2 (+7.1%) from 1982–2016…

“Reforestation was probably enabled by increased productivity of agricultural lands substantially due to the use of fossil-fuel-derived fertilizers and pesticides, and increases in CO2 fertilization (indirectly from using fossil fuels). Together, they rendered land surplus to agricultural needs…

“Using data from 1982-2011, Cheng et al. (2017) found that global gross primary productivity (GPP) increased, mainly due to increased WUE of vegetation, an expected, but underemphasized, consequence of increasing CO2 concentrations…

“Vegetation models suggest that CO2 fertilization is the main driver of greening on the global scale, with other factors being notable at the regional scale.”…

“The increased productivity from higher photosynthetic rates and WUE due to higher CO2 concentrations implies the biosphere produces more plant matter, i.e., more food for all carbon-based organisms even under water-stressed conditions, which further enables earth to sustain higher biomass, that is, more organisms and/or a larger variety of species while also increasing its resiliency to drought, a chronic condition detrimental to most life forms (but which may favor drought-tolerant species)…

“Habitat Saved by Fossil Fuel Usage from Conversion to Human Use

“Use of fossil fuel technologies has enabled human beings to spare 20.4% of GLA for the rest of nature…

“The increased agricultural productivity allowed cropland in many areas to revert to forest or other non-agricultural use. For example, between 1990 and 2020 forestland in the USA and Western Europe increased 2.4% and 10.1% despite population increases of 30% and 11%, respectively (FAOSTAT 2022)…

“Conclusion

“Fossil fuel combustion has increased the amount of carbon dioxide available to green the earth. This has contributed the major share of the approximately 34% increase in the earth’s GPP that has occurred since 1900 that has literally greened the earth. Second, by enhancing agricultural productivity, fossil fuel-dependent technologies have forestalled the conversion of at least 20.4% of global land area to agricultural uses. This is 25% larger than the entire area of North America. Remarkably, this exceeds the total amount of land currently set aside globally for both cropland (12.2%) and conservation worldwide (14.6%). Third, relative to renewable energy sources, fossil fuels have smaller physical footprints and lower demand for metals and other minerals. The latter substantially limits mining and other land disturbance. Such disturbance would inevitably result in “browning” of the land. Hence, fossil fuels are indeed the greenest energy sources.”

Further intro comment to “From Retaliation to Unconditional”

While appreciating the contributions of evolutionary biology and psychology, I have a quibble with such disciplines in that they try to explain the human too much in terms of our animal past and inheritance. Example- reducing human love too much to just the animal survival impulse- i.e. “species altruism”. Yes, an element of that is in the mix, but human consciousness and love is something far more unique and wondrous than the comparable features in our animal relatives. We are far more than just the 98% genetic relationship with chimps. That other 2% points to a vast gulf of uniqueness and difference.

Neuroscientist and Nobel laureate John Eccles, for example, details the difference between human and ape/chimp consciousness in his books, hence, the titles of some of his books- “The Wonder of Being Human” or “The Human Mystery”. We are something stunningly unique in the animal world. Our consciousness is something entirely distinctive and wondrous. We are much more than just our animal brain to paraphrase Jeffrey Schwartz’s “You Are Not Your Brain”.

I affirm Eccles’ conclusion that we are led to believe that the human self is “a supernatural, spiritual creation”. Something far more wondrous than just another species of animal. Hence, our life trajectory in human civilization toward something uniquely different from animal existence. What we are, counters entirely the dominant anti-humanism of today’s nihilist apocalyptic narratives. Note how Julian Simon, in his own individual way, highlighted the wonder of being human in our ongoing improvement of life on this planet (“Ultimate Resource”).

Retaliation to Unconditional

As part of the project to counter destructive apocalyptic narratives like today’s “climate emergency” myth, this site probes the deep historical roots of human mythology/religion and the core ideas/themes that still affirm primitive ideas in contemporary human consciousness and narratives, whether in religious narratives or so-called “secular/ideological/scientific” narratives. As Joseph Campbell said, the same myths have been embraced by people across all history and across all the cultures of the world.

Our dominant “narratives of despair” today originate ultimately with the mythical themes of humanity’s ancient past- notably the apocalypse mythology of Sumerian (“Great Flood”) and Egyptian (“Return to Chaos, Destruction of Mankind”) traditions. Those primitive mythical themes were eventually embraced by the great world religions, both Western and Eastern, and were then passed down and transformed into the “secular” Declinism ideology that dominates our modern era (“the world is becoming worse”), and were even presented in contemporary “scientific” terms (the climate alarmism claim to be following “consensus science”).

If we are to properly and thoroughly counter the destructive fallacy of apocalypse for the long-term future, then we need to go to root ideas/themes and expose the primitive nature of such mythology and offer better alternatives to liberate human consciousness. See, for example, “Old Narrative Themes, Better Alternatives” or “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives” in sections below.

From Retaliation To Unconditional Love: The Narrative of Human Exodus from Animal Existence, Wendell Krossa
(Revised May 23, 2013, and again Sept. 24, 2022)

(Note: This essay is the outcome of several decades of interaction with a valued friend, a great human spirit, and probably the finest theological mind to have ever graced this planet, Bob Brinsmead, notably with material of his such as “The Scandal of Joshua Ben Adam”.)

The foundational story of humanity is the story of liberation from our animal past. This is more than just the narrative of our physical/geographical exodus out of Africa (modern humans leaving Africa from roughly 200-50,000 years ago). Our defining story is our exodus out of our past animal existence and toward becoming more human or humane beings. This is an intensely inner journey or quest of the human spirit, like what Solzhenitsyn described when he stated that the real battle of good against evil is not an outer battle against physical “enemies’ but rather an inner battle that “runs down the center of every human heart”. The human struggle to make an exodus from animal existence is a personal adventure (psychological, social, spiritual/philosophical) that each of us engages against our personal experience with inherited animal drives. This quest has set us on a uniquely different trajectory from animal behavior and life.

Our exodus toward a more human mode of living is the engine that drives humanity’s overall trajectory of progress toward a better future- a progress that is fueled by the primal impulse to find something better. This story reveals the meaning and purpose of human existence in our endeavor to humanize all life. It is a story that responds to those profound human questions of Why we exist? or What purpose are we here to engage or fulfill?. It explains the millennia-long quest of people to understand what it means to be human and to live as human.

Our story begins in an animal past shaped by the drives of domination (alpha male/female), small band or tribal exclusion, and destructive retaliation. This triad of prominent animal drives illustrates the worst of animal reality and existence. It is the dark past that provides the greater background context against which the wonder of our becoming more fully human appears all the brighter as humanity emerged and developed gradually over multiple-millennia.

Joseph Campbell (“Myths To Live By”) has similarly noted the exodus of humanity leaving the animal past for human existence in stating that human story is about learning to conquer the “animal passions” in order to live as human (see also “The Power of Myth”, pages xiii, 104, 144, 191, 201, 218-19, 223, 235). The struggle to overcome our animal past and its base features is engaged on the individual level as well as by humanity as a whole. Campbell also framed human story as going out on a great adventure or quest, confronting and conquering monsters, learning lessons and gaining insights, and then returning with insights to benefit others.

In our personal stories, the element of struggle to overcome arises from the fact that the animal past continues into our human existence in the form of a residual animal brain with its animal-like impulses that continue to influence our thinking, emotions, responses, and behavior. We see this in the fact that people continue to act like animals when they exclude one another, dominate others, or retaliate against others. And these base animal features have even been embedded in our belief systems where we employ ideas/themes to maintain and validate animal impulses to the detriment of our efforts to be more human.

Retaliation, in particular, is the one notable feature that brings the worst of animal existence into human life. Musonius Rufus (Roman philosopher, circa 30-100 AD) expressed the animal nature of retaliation well, “For to scheme to bite back the biter and to return evil for evil is the act not of a human being but of a wild beast” (http://unsafeharbour.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/ancient-quotations-returning-evil-with-good/). Retaliation is humanity behaving at its animal worst. Establishing retaliation as a feature of our animal past helps expose its bestial nature, its essential inhumanity.

Think of dogs snarling and snapping angrily at one another on a street.

One of the more damaging mistakes that early people made was to project this destructive feature of animal existence- retaliation- onto early views of gods. They created the perception in their early gods of a greater reality that was threatening, malicious, and destructively punitive. Deity as something that would retaliate violently against human failure or sin. In doing that they created super monsters for people to fear. Something that would harm you in this life and in the after-life. Over time the feature of retaliation in divinity was refined with emerging legal categories as righteous justice, proper punishment of evil, or just retribution. Retaliation would further be developed into systems of human justice as payback, or what we know as eye for eye justice. So retaliation makes a line down through history to become the legal reality today of justice as punishment.

Other refinements were created over history to reinforce the idea of divine retaliation as something good- such as the development of the idea of holiness in gods. In fact, this would become the prominent feature of the Jewish and Christian God. It would be argued that because God was holy he was therefore obligated to punish all “sin” (sin as often defined by offenses against religious precepts or laws). Holiness became part of a complex of ideas that supported the demand for payback or punishment, including ideas of a holy God offended by human imperfection or “sinfulness”. As religious believers would subsequently argue, because God is holy he cannot ignore sin. He cannot just forgive sin without first punishing it (demanding full payment, sacrifice, restitution). But despite the sacralising of retaliation in divinity with such concepts as holiness, at core it was all still essentially very much about animal-like retaliation, revenge, or payback.

The concept of holiness has to do with ideas of purity, exclusion, and separation from things considered unclean or defiled. Holiness is a priestly invention that supports the role of priests as mediators between impure people and their gods. Holiness is a concept that intensifies human imperfection, making natural human imperfection appear all the worse, as something that religious traditions call “sinfulness”. Human sinfulness then promotes the view of human imperfection as something that must be punished, something that deserves divine retaliation. Such thinking has long promoted excessive guilt, shame, and fear over being imperfectly human.

We would do better to view human imperfection in terms of the fact that we started out in animal reality but have gradually become something that has improved remarkably over time (see for instance, Stephen Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature”, or James Payne’s “The History of Force”). This gradual process of growth, development, and advancement over history is not something that deserves condemnation and punishment. As Bob Brinsmead reminds us, the real story of humanity is not how far we have fallen, but how amazingly we have progressed since our early beginning in animal existence.

(Insert: None of this comment is to excuse or downplay the personal failure to live as human and the consequences of bad behavior. As free beings we are responsible for our behavior that has both natural and social consequences. I would break the issues down like this- victims are responsible to “love your enemies”, meaning- not “love” as feeling gushy, warm, or fuzzy toward offenders and their horrific offenses but holding the intention to treat offenders humanely and not respond with eye for eye punitive retaliation. By holding such intention, we maintain our own humanity in the face of evil, despite how we feel about offenders. Outrage/anger at evil is a healthy, fully human response.

And offenders are responsible to stop harming others, to basically “grow the fuck up” and join the human family as contributing members, taking full responsibility for all behavior and the consequences of bad behavior that include making full restitution to victims.

Add here that incarceration is necessary where offenders will not or cannot control their worst impulses- violence, abuse of minors, etc. But even while incarcerating them, we are responsible to treat offenders humanely as in the Danish restorative justice prison programs. And further, force is often necessary to stop offenders that cannot be reasoned with- whether terrorists, or violent criminal offenders. Love never abandons common sense in an imperfect world and love is always responsible to protect the innocent, first and foremost.)

Continuing…

Another validation for the belief that the gods were retaliatory was the early perception that because the gods were behind the forces of nature, and as those forces were often destructive (i.e. natural disasters, disease, predation), early logic then concluded that the gods must be angry and were punishing people for their sins via the destructive forces and events of the natural world.

The theme of retaliation is found in the earliest human writing (circa 2500-2000 BCE), notably in the accounts of storm gods (e.g. Enlil) threatening to annihilate early people with a great flood (see the “Sumerian Flood” myth- Wikipedia). It is evident in other early myths of a chaos monster threatening the order of creation (“Cosmos, Chaos, and the World to Come”, Norman Cohn, or Egyptian myths of the “Return to Chaos”, or “Destruction of Mankind”). These myths were eventually developed into the grand myth of a final apocalypse, that a retributive God would destroy the defiled world and purge all life in a grand world-ending punishment (see the Zoroastrian beliefs that shaped the Western religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The feature of retaliation would then reach an epitome expression in the perverse and vicious myth of eternal Hell, the final and ultimate divine retaliation against imperfect humanity.

Another related idea created by the ancients was that any sickness or misfortune in a person’s life was understood to be due to the gods punishing sin or broken taboos. This is found all through early mythology in accounts of gods afflicting people with sickness (e.g. Epic of Gilgamesh, or the myth of Dilmun where Enki is punished for eating the 8 original plants). This idea has cursed people with immense additional guilt and fear, people already suffering excessively from physical ailments. Look, for example, at the Old Testament account of Job’s ‘comforters’ berating him with this theme- that his misfortune and illness was punishment from God because he had sinned. Paul burdened the Corinthians with the same argument- that their illnesses and deaths were punishment from God for their sins.

In all such mythology retaliation was being sacralised, made something sacred or divine (“hidden under the canopy of the sacred”). Retaliation was being made a core feature of deity. In doing this, early people were creating monsters, far above the ordinary monsters of life, to frighten one another. Such fear would become a potent weapon for subjecting people to priestly authority and control.

(Note: John Pfeiffer in “Explosion: An inquiry into the origins of art and religion” speculates that early shaman took people deep into the darkness of caves to view anamorphic art- cave paintings that appear to move in flickering candlelight. That was apparently about disorienting and frightening people to then believe the shaman’s claims to know the secrets of the invisible realm of spirits- i.e. what taboos people had broken and what sacrifices were then required to appease the angered spirits. It was very much about terror regarding the invisible realm and shamanic/priestly control.)

The central theme of retaliation or payback lodged in gods has subsequently validated endless violence between people, clans, and nations. Retaliating deities inspire retaliation among their followers. We all become just like the gods that we believe in. Part of the reason for this is that people have long appealed to the divine to approve their own lives. People try to replicate in their own lives and societies what they believe to be the divine model or reality. This is known as the “behavior based on belief” relationship or the “ethic based on theology” relationship. The creation of threatening, punishing gods has long validated people retaliating and punishing one another. Therefore, if you want to get to an important root validation for violence among people, then start with these core beliefs that have long affirmed human retaliation or payback (see James Carrol’s book “Constantine’s Sword” for some historical illustration of how the influence of religious views has inspired mistreatment of others).

(Notable examples of societies using the divine to validate human behavior and life- Plato’s appeal to the invisible Forms/Ideas/Ideals that should shape the ideal human society, the Hebrew’s appeal to the law/word/will of God to shape all aspects of their Old Testament society down to details about where to locate the 12 tribes, the details of building the Temple, and more.)

When you embed retaliation in the sacred or divine, it then becomes untouchable, a sacred ideal not open to challenge or questioning. The things that we protect in God, we are notably afraid to subsequently challenge because of our natural respect for or fear of deity. Such things are then immensely damaging to us because we believe that they originate with God and are therefore ultimately true and immutable. They are realities that must be believed and loyally adhered to. Such appeal to the divine has always been a powerful concept and a potent means to manipulate and control others.

By exposing the primitive origins of a feature such as retaliation we may help to break its grip on human consciousness.

The Salvation/Sacrifice Industry (the Appeasement Industry)

What has been the most damaging outcome of projecting the animal feature of retaliation onto God? It evokes in people the natural response of necessary appeasement or placation (placating the Alpha threat- see Hector Garcia’s “Alpha God”). The human fear of death plays a central role here. This is the felt need to appease the angry, threatening gods/God in order to avoid punishment, whether sickness, other misfortune, or outright death. Retaliatory gods have long aroused the primal human fear of death and the related survival impulse. The appeasement response then leads to one of history’s most oppressive outcomes- the enslavement to wasteful priestly systems of sacrifice and related salvation schemes.

Myths of a God angry at human imperfection and failure have also produced the corollary idea of separation from God, a separation that supposedly happened at the time of the “Fall” when humans lived in an original paradise called Dilmun or Eden. Since that Fall, or human ruin of paradise, God has apparently abandoned humanity, breaking off a former close relationship, according to religions like Christianity. If you think abandonment by parents is traumatizing then add this myth of abandonment by the Creator and Source of all, and note the impact this can have on human psyches (see, for example, psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo’s “Cruel God, Kind God”). These primitive perceptions further intensify the fear of divinity and death, and stir the felt need to atone.

And so the natural psychology of appeasement is stirred and this leads to endeavors to engage some salvation plan, to offer some sacrifice to placate the angered deity.

It is not clear when all this Salvationism started but we can speculate that it was long ago in prehistory. Some innovative person, probably an early shaman, came up with the idea of blood sacrifice to placate threatening gods. This may have been based on the perception that because life was in the blood then a life could be offered in place of another life. Researchers studying the origin of sacrifice suggest that sacrifices were made for varied reasons- to secure favor from the gods, to feed the gods- but another prominent reason was to appease the gods, to atone for sin (see for instance, http://www.istor.org/stable/3155070 notably p. 605, or http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-israel/ritual-sacrifice-in-ancient-israel/ , also see Sacrifice at Wikipedia). I am focusing on this element of appeasement of angry gods because it arises at the very beginning and it has had such a damaging impact on human psyches and societies.

No matter what the ancient reasons were for sacrifice, “It is all inhumane and sadistic and stupid” (Bob Brinsmead, personal email, Feb.2013). “As for suggesting that God loved the smell of a burning animal as the OT says…then this god has not yet been humanized” (Ibid). But here we have it today- Salvationism which argues that some payment must be made- we must pay the debt, pay for the offense, and make amends. A cruel, violent blood sacrifice must be offered. And again, the belief in human sinfulness is integral to this perspective. Human imperfection was developed into the mythical belief in human fallenness or sinfulness as a means to explain why the gods were angry and wanted to retaliate against humanity. As noted earlier, this was further developed into the theological logic that human sinfulness was an offense against a holy God and hence atonement must be made.

And the earliest sins were beyond silly which revealed the petty nature of the gods that early people had created. The earliest epics of punishing people’s sin told of gods that were upset because people had multiplied too much and become too noisy. One god- Enlil- could not sleep because of the noise people made so he planned to annihilate them all via a great flood (http://history-world.org/sumerian_and_akkadian_myths.htm ). The gods hated human self-expression, freedom, and curiosity for knowledge as in the biblical Adam’s case.

Hence, because of human sinfulness atonement had to be made. So the burdensome and destructive salvation industry has continued all through human history, feeding off of human fear and misery. And it maintains a priesthood that lives well off this human misery, employing salvation myths to manipulate and control people. Priests claim that the great cosmic separation of humanity from the divine must be healed, the broken relationship must be restored and only they know how to mediate the demanded atonement and restoration. But there is not a shred of evidence anywhere in history that any such abandonment ever occurred except in the minds of power-seeking shamans and priests. It is all a massive system of human enslavement of the worst kind- mental, emotional, and spiritual slavery to inhumane mythology.

The salvation industry continues to reinforce in consciousness the fallacious idea of something threatening and punitive that must be appeased. It is an industry that has resulted in an incalculable waste of human time, resources, and creative potential. You see this as people under fear and felt obligation everywhere trudge off to temples and churches with their offerings, engaging often esoteric religious ritual, believing that if they don’t fulfill those obligations then they will suffer some misfortune. They are wasting time and resources that could be better spent developing themselves in other more beneficial ways. This waste was evident in a documentary I watched recently on the Quechua Indians of South America spending their meager resources on offerings made to saints. Entire days are spent in such activity.

I also saw it firsthand among the Manobo tribal groups of Mindanao. People offering scarce chickens and pigs to placate angry spirits instead of seeking proper medical help. And when those resources were exhausted then often there was nothing left for a trip to a lowland hospital to save life.

All such salvation/sacrifice activity is engaged to solve a non-existent problem, a mythical problem that does not exist and has never existed- i.e. the need to appease some angry reality that will punish you for your imperfections.

These primitive ideas of a threatening and retaliatory super monster persist and continue to cause damage even today. They persist because they resonate with deeply imprinted beliefs and emotions such as the feeling that we somehow deserve punishment because we have screwed up. Today, just as in the earliest mythology, it is claimed that vengeful Gaia (or angry planet/Mother Earth, punitive Universe, payback karma) is angry because people have again multiplied too much and have become too creative, expressive, and successful in technological society (see, for instance, http://www.green-agenda.com/gaia.html and note the reference to Lovelock’s book “The Revenge of GAIA”; see also http://reason.com/archives/2010/04/21/sinners-in-the-hands-of-an-ang ; and http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2008/06/17/202790/lessons-from-an-angry-planet/?mobile=nc noting this comment, “the tornados and floods battering the country (US) with almost unimaginable severity are the early tantrums of an angry planet”). Nancy Pelosi added to this irrational nonsense when she claimed several years back that wildfires in the Western US were evidence that “Mother Earth is angry”.

People trying to better their lives are now commonly condemned for exhibiting the sin of “greed” and thereby destroying nature by using natural resources. We then see the appeasement response in those who feel obligated to obstruct and halt human economic development and growth (make a sacrifice by returning to the “morally superior” primitive or simple lifestyle) in order to placate the angry Gaia or angry planet. Just as in the ancient past, this sacrificial obstruction of human progress is done out of the felt need to appease some angered and punitive reality. Many people advocating these views, and considering themselves modern secularists, are holding to the core themes of primitive mythology at its worst.

Let me summarize this fear/appeasement/salvation process again as it has significantly undermined human freedom. It is a pattern that is repeated endlessly through history. Someone first scares people with some threatening scenario (i.e. imminent apocalypse, natural world punishment from the gods such as today’s claimed threat of global warming destroying life). This touches the most basic thing in human psychology- the fear of disaster and death (see Ernst Becker’s “Denial of Death”). The fear-mongers then propose a salvation scheme such as some sacrifice (e.g. in our day, abandon the “evil” of too much energy use) in order to placate the angry and threatening monster that has been presented to people. And scared people will then support the looniest and most damaging salvation schemes and willingly give up their freedom in order to find relief from whatever has scared them. Stirring fear in such a manner is a direct assault on human freedom.

(H. L. Mencken, “In Defense of Women”: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary”.)

Non-retaliation or Unconditional Emerges

Among the earliest human writing in Sumeria (2500-2000 BCE) we see another line of insight that was entirely opposite to the theme of retaliation or payback. In those early minds shaped by animal-like features, with their monstrous threatening and punishing gods, the wonder of human consciousness, or conscious human selves, was making a significant new advance. With their maturing consciousness, and its human impulses, those early people were struggling against their past and discovering in new ways what it meant to be human and to live as human. They were becoming more aware of themselves as human persons and were experiencing new human emotions that inspired them to seek liberation from debasing animal drives and perceptions. That was a stunning new surge in the grand narrative of humanity learning to conquer the animal in order to live as human.

People were awakening more to the inhumanity of retaliation response or payback and how that reduced the remarkable status of being human to pettiness with its promotion of cycles of endless violence and death. They were becoming aware of new human ideals and human ways of responding and relating to one another. They realized that they did not have to retaliate and destroy one another. They were feeling and experiencing the humanizing emotions of compassion, mercy, and kindness. And that developing sense of humane response led to such new practices as forgiveness which was a supremely human response that broke destructive cycles of revenge and violence. The unconditional treatment of imperfect others was a radically new insight and discovery that challenged the heretofore dominant culture of animal-like retaliation.

That was a unique new phase in the liberation of humanity from an enslaving animal past with its destructive drives. There is no worse enslavement than to the drives to retaliate and punish or destroy others. These instincts have darkened human minds with hate and revenge all through history. They have ruined relationships, communities, and significantly disrupted human progress. Look, for example, at the destruction to national infrastructure from war. That has set entire nations back for decades.

Finding freedom from our animal drives is the great exodus out from animal existence toward a truly human existence. It is the grandest liberation movement that humanity has ever conceived. It is the real exodus to a promised land. The potential offered by unconditional relating to others, is the potential for liberation to an entirely new and higher plane of human existence. This new human mode of relating argues that no matter how badly people treat us, we can turn human life toward something higher and better by treating them more humanely in our responses.

Non-retaliation is one element of what is more generally known as unconditional love. This refers to the practice of unlimited forgiveness without first demanding that requirements be met or amends be made. It refers to the expression of unlimited mercy and generosity toward those who are undeserving. And it refers to the unconditional inclusion of all persons whether classified as good or bad people. Unconditional clarifies in a striking new way the real meaning of human ideals and practices. It elevates as never before the true meaning of the supreme human ideal of love.

Note: Unconditional exposes the petty nature of much tribally defined love- i.e. love limited to family, friends, or one’s ingroup whether ethnic, religious, political/ideological, national, or other social. Note this statement from Historical Jesus on the nature of non-tribal love:

“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Everyone finds it easy to love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Everyone can do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Most will lend to others, expecting to be repaid in full. But do something more heroic, more humane. (Live on a higher plane of human experience). Do not retaliate against your offenders/enemies with ‘eye for eye’ justice. Instead, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will be just like God, because God does not retaliate against God’s enemies. God does not mete out eye for eye justice. Instead, God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Be unconditionally loving, just as your God is unconditionally loving”. (My paraphrase of Luke 6:32-36 or Matthew 5:38-48.)

The emerging human response of unconditional treatment of others also gets to the very core of human meaning and purpose. It answers all those great questions such as “Why something?”, “Why does this universe exist?”, and “What is the point/purpose of conscious human existence?”. It is simply the greatest insight in all history as to what it really means to be human. In the discovery and developing awareness of unconditional treatment of others, people were getting to the very essence of being truly human.

The developing response of non-retaliation also proved critical to such things as the development and growth of commerce. Early people chose to stop destroying one another and instead to cooperate in trade and that lifted societies toward a better existence (e.g. Paul Seabright, “In the Company of Strangers”, Lawrence Keeley, “War Before Civilization: The myth of the Peaceful savage”,). This is known as “the moralizing influence of gentle commerce”. Other forms of good in human society flowed from this. Non-retaliation became central to human success and progress.

The response of non-retaliation and unconditional treatment of others is the ongoing trajectory and future for humanity to explore. It is at the core of what it means to be truly human, and at the core of the ongoing endeavor to humanize all of life. It liberates people to entirely new heights of being human. It offers a fundamental solution to the major problem plaguing human existence- the endless cycles of violence and war. It gets to the very root of the worst of human afflictions.

The Origins of Non-retaliation

We find one of the earliest statements of this maturing consciousness of what it means to be human in an early bit of Akkadian literature- the “Advice of an Akkadian Father to his son” (circa 2000 BCE). He says, “Do not return evil to your adversary; requite with kindness the one who does evil to you, maintain justice for your enemy, be friendly to your enemy” (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/2200akkad-father.asp). We also remember here that what we find in the earliest writing we may also assume represents what was believed in the pre-literature era.

A similar insight emerged around 1500-1300 BCE in the Egyptian Instructions of Anii. This states, “Conquer malice in yourself…Do not speak rudely to a brawler…When you are attacked, hold yourself back…when your relations are friendly… the aggressor will desist…” (http://www.perankhgroup.com/ani_wisdom.htm).

The Notable Hebrew Breakthroughs

This same non-retaliation insight then emerges in other traditions across the world. For example, the Hebrew prophets (800-600 BCE) began to advocate an entirely new view of justice not as punishment (retaliation, revenge) but as liberation of the oppressed and mercy toward all. Bob Brinsmead says that in Latin/Western thinking, justice became associated with penalty, price, punishment, atonement, or payback. His study of the Old Testament word for justice- sadak- found that it meant, instead, fidelity to a relationship and had a restorative meaning related to liberation and mercy (personal email, Feb.9/13).

The Hebrew prophets also began to offer an entirely new view of divinity that was not interested in sacrifice or payback atonement. They claimed that God did not want sacrifice but instead desired mercy (e.g. Hosea 6:6, Micah 6:7-8, Amos 5:21-24). There are other statements noted by Brinsmead: “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart…” (Psalm 51: 11-17). “When I brought your forefathers out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices” (Jeremiah 7:21, 22). “I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats” (Isaiah 1:11). Brinsmead concludes, “So Paul’s message about the propitiation of God’s wrath by the blood sacrifice of Jesus as a payment for human sin is not the fulfillment of the message of the Old Testament prophets, but completely contrary to it” (personal email, Feb.18/2013).

In these striking claims the Old Testament prophets were confronting and challenging the greatest monster ever created in history- the threatening, retaliatory God, the punishing God. They were stating that past perceptions of deity were all wrong. Now if the story of humanity is about conquering monsters, as Campbell suggests, then the mythology of retaliating, punishing deity is the biggest monster of all for people to conquer and overcome.

The Egyptians were also making similar discoveries regarding humanizing deity and attributing kindness and mercy to their pharaoh gods: “at the high period of the Pyramid age a new comparatively humane, benevolent, fatherly quality began to be apparent in the character and behavior of the pharaohs…even the gods had become kind” (Joseph Campbell, “Oriental Mythology”, p.95). This is how the process of humanizing gods works: People discover new more humane features about themselves and then begin to attribute these to their concepts of deity, they project human qualities onto deities. They perceive ultimate reality in terms of how they perceive authentic humanity. An understanding of divinity begins with humanity (Campbell, Myths to Live By, p.93, 243-249). Good theology begins with understanding the best in humanity.

Brinsmead also argues that the Hebrew prophets said absolutely nothing about the Jewish Day of Atonement. The justice that they advocated for was freedom from all oppression, to break every yoke, and to let the oppressed go free. It was the Israelite priesthood that promoted the sacrificial system and Salvationism with its bondage to mediators that oppressed people with the dark theology of looming punishment and the demand to atone. The prophets, to the contrary, were offering an entirely new view of deity as unconditionally forgiving and loving.

It is difficult to state how radical a break this was with the past dominant views of gods as threatening, punitive monsters seeking retribution against imperfect and fallible people. That had been the overwhelmingly prominent perspective through previous history. Retaliatory, punishing gods had terrorized people from the beginning. A reviewer in The American Journal of Theology, vol.13, No.4, Oct. 1909, p.605, “The Origin of Sacrifice”, states regarding a book titled ‘Semitic Magic, Its Origins and Development’ by R. Campbell Thompson, “The author appears to maintain that religious institutions have been molded by belief in evil spirits rather than by faith in good divinities. He directly asserts it of the rite which he calls atoning sacrifice”. He continues, noting the central religious belief that sickness was caused by sin; it was the result of people breaking taboos which offended the gods who then punished those people, hence, the need for atoning sacrifice to appease.

But contrary to payback punishment beliefs and responses, people were beginning to discover this new human ideal of non-retaliation or unconditional response toward others. As noted earlier, this new human response included the following elements: Unconditional inclusion of all people as intimate family (no more tribal exclusion of outsiders or “enemies”), unconditional forgiveness of all offenses or wrongs, and unconditional generosity toward all. Non-retaliation or unconditional response means absolutely no conditions in our relationships with others; no pre-requisites are to be demanded, and no payment exacted for failures or mistakes. As dictionaries define the word unconditional- i.e. not subject to any conditions, absolutely no conditions. None.

Other traditions offered similar insights on the new non-retaliatory response. In Buddhist literature we find the following statements: “Hatreds never cease through hatred in this world: through non-hatred alone they cease…Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth…Let us live happily, not hating those who hate us. Let us therefore overcome anger by kindness, evil by good, falsehood by truth…Nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred…” (Dhammapada 3-5, 223-234, 197, Majjhima Nikaya 129, written about 250 BCE, though dating to the time of the Buddha around 500 BCE, see for instance such sources as http://www.unification.net/ws/theme144.htm ).

Confucius taught his followers to propose justice and not revenge or anger (Analects 14.36, ca. 450-250 BCE). The Taoists advocated being kind to the unkind (Tao Te Ching 49, 300 BCE). In Jainism it was said, “Man should subvert anger by forgiveness, subdue pride by modesty, overcome hypocrisy with simplicity” (Samanasuttam 136). Hindus taught that a superior person “does not render evil for evil…but will ever exercise compassion even towards those who enjoy injuring others or those of cruel deeds” (Ramaya, Yuddha Kanda 115, around 500-400 BCE). Socrates (470-400 BCE) urged, “We ought not to retaliate or render evil to anyone, whatever evil we may have suffered from him”. And so on.

Interestingly, Hinduism began when the people of North India, around the time of the Buddha (roughly 500 BCE), grew disillusioned with the sacrificial system that they viewed as wasteful and cruel (Karen Armstrong, “Buddha”, p.23). They no longer believed that salvation was through animal blood sacrifice and began to seek answers in a new tradition that focused on human potential (p.25). As people continued to understand more humane ways of responding and relating, they then rejected sacrifice, payback, and appeasement thinking and practices.

The Hindus also rejected the priestly elites, according to Armstrong. They believed that they could discover God for themselves without a system of sacrifice or a mediating priesthood (p.26).

The Historical Jesus Tradition

This movement of liberation from animal retaliation or payback broke through to a new level of coherence and clarity in the teaching of the historical Jesus who is someone entirely different from the Christian “Jesus Christ”. I refer readers to the research of the Jesus Seminar for some basic principles on how to detect what the historical person actually taught as contrasted with the many statements in the New Testament gospels that are attributed to Jesus but which present contradictory teaching to the core message of Jesus. For instance, in Matthew 5 Jesus is presented as teaching that we are to “love our enemies”. Then a few chapters later (Matthew 11) we find Matthew claiming that Jesus damned people to hell for not accepting his miracles, for not agreeing with his message. This is an irreconcilable contradiction in basic teaching and must be rejected as not authentic teaching from the historical person who clearly taught love of enemies. Unfortunately, blind devotion to the sacred prohibits people from seeing such contradictions in their holy books.

Using Jesus Seminar principles of interpretation, and more notably “Q Wisdom Sayings” gospel teaching, nothing in Jesus’ teaching comprises a more consistent core set of ideas than this theme of unconditional treatment of others. This is the new “kingdom of God” that Jesus spoke about; the new mode of truly human existence.

The historical Jesus presented the wonder of unconditional thinking and existence in a coherent set of sayings and stories. For instance, in Matthew 5:38 he set a context first by summing up the old payback view of justice as “eye for eye” response or justice. This sums up past views of retaliatory or retributive response as taught in the Old Testament and all through primitive mythology- reward for good, punishment for wrong. Tit for tat. Getting even in relation to a strict standard of payback.

He then countered that old view entirely by arguing that we should not retaliate against offenders, we should not respond in kind or in like manner, returning evil for evil. If we are mistreated or offended we should respond instead with over-the-top goodness, kindness, and generosity. We should not engage in the old payback response of only loving friends and hating enemies, but we should love enemies also.

Once again, my paraphrase of the central message of Jesus:

“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Everyone finds it easy to love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Everyone can do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Most will lend to others, expecting to be repaid in full. But do something more heroic, more humane. (Live on a higher plane of human experience). Do not retaliate against your offenders/enemies with ‘eye for eye’ justice. Instead, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will be just like God, because God does not retaliate against God’s enemies. God does not mete out eye for eye justice. Instead, God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Be unconditionally loving, just as your God is unconditionally loving”. (My paraphrase of Luke 6:32-36 or Matthew 5:38-48.)

There is nothing authentically human in just loving those who love us. That is limited tribal love. Even animals do that. Genuine human response goes further and loves enemies also. It is absolutely non-discriminatory, authentically inclusive, and unconditional in its treatment of all people.

If we do this- not retaliating, not engaging in payback response- then Jesus says that we will be like God who is good and generous to all alike. Take a minute and let the radical, history-overturning nature of this comment sink in. God, according to Jesus, gives good things (sun and rain) to both good and evil. God does not engage in the old payback response of eye for eye treatment of people (rewarding only the good and punishing the evil). God does not exclude the bad. God has no favorites, and there are no insiders/outsiders with God. There is no threat and no punishment with a God that is Unconditional Love. Like the Hebrew prophets before him, Jesus was presenting a stunning, entirely new view of deity that countered the previous historical understanding of gods as threatening, punitive entities. This was a major historical shift or transformation of human perspective.

This statement of Jesus- if you do this then you will be like God- also plays on the ancient impulse in people to replicate in their lives and societies what they believe to be the divine model; to fulfill in their lives what they believe to be the divine purpose for their lives. The behavior based on belief relationship, or ethic based on similar theological ideal.

There are other statements by the historical Jesus that affirm there is only unconditional goodness behind life and no threat or punitive reality. Note, for instance, his statements that God clothes the grass and feeds the worthless birds that no one pays any attention to. Limitless generosity shown to all life alike, no matter how insignificant.

Researchers argue that some of the other accounts in the gospels did not originate with the historical Jesus. But whoever recounted them, they are of the same tenor as the core teaching of Jesus on non-retaliatory response toward others. For instance, there is the story of the man born blind in John 9. The writer contradicts conventional perspectives by stating that this sickness was not a punishment for sin. As noted earlier, primitive thought understood that any sickness or deformity was a punishment from the gods for sin. This belief has caused endless misery to unfortunate people afflicted by disease and deformity. It adds an unnecessary psychic burden of guilt and shame to already unbearable physical suffering. It is one of the cruelest perceptions ever concocted- that a punishing deity gets even with human imperfection and failure by sending sickness and misfortune. Note the persistence of this belief in that following the tsunami of 2011, a woman in Japan said, “Is God punishing us because we are enjoying life too much?”. Again, this belief promotes a sense of sinfulness and obligation to appease or atone, to submit to salvation/sacrifice schemes and mediating priesthoods. It is oppressive slavery and wasteful to boot. But Jesus taught very clearly that there was no punitive reality that demanded appeasement. He took on the ancient perception of a threatening punishing reality behind life and denied that any such monster existed. He taught the very opposite, and this was considered blasphemy by his contemporaries.

We find this same core theme of unconditional treatment of others in Jesus’ short stories or parables. He spoke, for instance, of a prodigal or wasteful son (Luke 15) who was welcomed home, forgiven, and treated generously by his father who refused the son’s offer of repentance or atonement. The father just wanted to celebrate without any requirement to make amends or demanding payback first for the wrong done by the son.

It is important to note that these stories also include other characters who represent conventional payback attitudes. These other characters express the resistant stance of many good people toward this radical new teaching on unconditional response toward offenders. Note in this regard that the older brother in the prodigal parable is indignant that the father is too generous and unconditional toward the wasteful son. He believes in conventional justice where good is rewarded and wrong is punished. He represents most good, moral religious people who demand that justice be upheld and fulfilled. There should be some form of retaliation, some form of exact response according to the deed done, whether good or bad.

But the generous, unconditionally forgiving father would have none of it. He believes in justice as liberation, and scandalous generosity toward all, whether good or bad. He illustrates the new human response of unconditional treatment of all persons no matter what they have done. The older brother exhibits the harsh and petty nature of payback thinking and response. His sense of righteous morality and payback justice is offended, but his morality is in reality the pettiness and cruelty of primitive payback thinking. It is more animal-like than truly human. And this story shows how deeply ingrained such thinking is in many people. Unconditional generosity and mercy offends good moral people seeking conventional justice.

The story of the vineyard owner and workers makes a similar point (Matthew 20). At the end of the day all the workers are given the same payment regardless of hours worked. The workers who started at the beginning of the day are not cheated. They received the wages that they agreed to. But the late starters who get there at the end of the day, for whatever reason, also have families to feed. And the owner gives them the same as the early starters who then find such generosity offensive and complain to the owner. The owner is not acting according to conventional views of just or “fair” treatment of people. He is too generous and unconditional, according to the early starters. And his generosity pisses them off. They live by conventional fairness as strict reward or punishment according to actions done. They are good, moral people with a strong sense of justice as payback. They do not get this new unconditional treatment of undeserving people.

The story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10) also speaks to unconditional treatment of others. The Samaritan assists a wounded enemy, showing no sense of tribal exclusion or socially required payback but only concern for the wounded man’s welfare as a fellow member of the human family.

In this new body of teaching by the historical Jesus we are seeing millennia of primitive thought being completely overturned. Jesus is arguing for an entirely new type of authentic human response. And he states very clearly that, contrary to all past historical teaching on deity, this is what God is actually like. Let me state his teaching as plainly as possible in theological terms. God is not threatening or punitive. God does not retaliate against human failure or wrongdoing. God does not punish anyone. God does not engage payback response toward anyone. And God does not exclude anyone. Most previous human perspective on Ultimate Reality was wrong, according to the historical Jesus.

This is such an entirely new understanding of Deity or God that it is hard for us to get the full impact that his teaching had on the people of his day. The greatest monster in history- the threatening, punishing God- was being confronted directly and overthrown as a great lie. That monster was being decapitated and conquered. The great payback God of religion, the greatest bogeyman ever created with all the added features to terrify- i.e. holiness, wrath, judgment, hell, blood sacrifice to appease- that was all being discounted entirely as false mythology and thrown out as unworthy of truly human thinking and existence.

God was being revealed as unconditional love. At the very core of reality, the creating and sustaining Consciousness was being presented as an inexpressibly wondrous unconditional goodness, generosity, and mercy. The implications of this were stunning. It meant the end and abolishment of all sacrifice and all salvation thinking and practice, and the consequence of this meant the end of all priest-craft, priesthoods, and religion. It lifted a great burden off of humanity with all the associated guilt, shame, despair, and fear that has always accompanied ideas of human sinfulness and myths of gods punishing that sin.

Follow the obvious conclusions for yourself. Since the beginning, most religion and Salvationism had been built on the inhuman myths of a punishing, retaliating deities. That mythology of monster gods, according to Jesus, did not exist and had never existed. So all the subsequent salvation theology and practice was a response to a problem that had never existed in the first place- i.e. meeting atonement conditions to placate angry gods in order to be forgiven. God had never been angry with people for their animal beginnings and their imperfection and their gradual historical development toward something more human. And God had never abandoned humanity at some mythical fall after a lost paradise. There had never been any separation that needed to be healed or restored. God had never threatened to punish anyone. It was all just bad mythology to scare people, and shaman/priests had from the very beginning used that mythology to manipulate and dominate populations by fear (again, see John Pfeiffer’s “Explosion: An Inquiry Into the Origins of Art and Religion” on the origin of religion as an institution to terrorize and control people).

So we need to radically revise our perceptions of deity or ultimate reality. The ultimate reality behind all was revealed by Jesus as unconditional love. That had always been the true nature and character of God. And now simply stated, because there is no threatening, punitive God, then there is no need for salvation or any form of sacrifice. This means the end and abolition of religion as we have known it for millennia.

Christianity Reverts To Payback Conditions

The followers of Jesus, with a stunning lack of insight, dismissed his core theme of unconditional and reverted back to the old payback thinking of past religious belief. And they thus created the payback theology and system of belief called Pauline Christianity. In the development of this Christianity the historical battle between retaliation and non-retaliation reached a new climax of profound contrast and opposition. In direct contradiction to Jesus’ teaching, Paul’s Christianity was developed as a religion of supreme conditions. Christianity then became history’s grandest embodiment of the themes of punishment, threat, payback, or retaliation.

In this regard Christianity has been like all religion which makes divine forgiveness and love conditional. But none moreso than Christianity which created a theology of the greatest condition ever conceived- that of the need for an infinite and universal payment via a cosmic Savior for all humanity. Previous religions had insisted on varied animal sacrifices to appease offended gods, including human and even child sacrifices. But Christianity took this thinking to new heights by arguing that as the sin of humanity was an infinite offense against an infinitely holy God so the payment must be equally infinite and universal. According to Brinsmead, church theologians then created the theology of not just human sacrifice but of the sacrifice of a “God-man” (a member of the Godhead or Trinity). Only an infinitely valuable sacrifice could meet the infinite demand for making amends to an infinitely offended Deity. This took conditional payback or retaliatory thinking to new unheard-of heights.

Paul’s Christianity came down decidedly against the new liberation that Jesus was trying to promote, the liberation into unconditional living or the new kingdom of God as truly human belief, relating, and existence. Christianity retreated, instead, into the old enslavement to retaliation thinking and existence. So the historical struggle between retaliation and non-retaliation came to a unique climax in the Jesus/Christianity contradiction. In the historical Jesus we found a new summit reached in the understanding and expression of what truly human existence could be- unconditional response and relating. His message clearly established an existence of no conditions, no requirements to be met in order to receive full forgiveness, unconditional inclusion, and unlimited generosity.

In pronounced contrast, with Christianity we got a system of supreme condition, a return to the old God of anger and punishment and demands for sacrifice/payment. Unfortunately for Western societies, Christian payback thinking has reinforced the felt need for payback justice in society as well. Note in this regard the Christian support for the death penalty in the US, and record-breaking imprisonment for all offenders, even non-violent ones.

How did this happen? How did Christianity get it all so wrong? Because the man whose thinking and theology became Christianity- i.e. the apostle Paul- did not pay attention to what Jesus actually said or taught. Paul ignored entirely the unconditional teaching of Jesus and created instead a new theology about Jesus (not the message of the man but a message about the man) that was shaped through and through by the primitive payback perspective. Paul got Jesus backwards, upside down, and absolutely opposite from what he had actually taught.

Paul, and the other followers of Jesus, were just like the older brother in the Prodigal parable. With their strong sense of righteousness, morality, and justice as full payback they could not just ignore wrong with the free forgiveness that Jesus had advocated. No. All wrong first had to be punished before forgiveness and salvation could be offered. Amends had to be made. Debt had to be paid as a prerequisite condition. Holiness demanded that all such conditions be met first.

Paul argued that humanity had wilfully fallen from original perfection and that all people had become sinful and therefore all deserved punishment and damnation. So a great sacrifice/payment had to be made to atone for what was believed to be wilful human sinfulness. A sacrifice of a God-man was necessary to placate an offended God that intended to enact retribution on all humanity.

Note some summaries of the retaliation theme in Paul’s letters, starting with his central book on Christian belief or doctrine, Romans: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men (Rom.1:18)…you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God will give to each person according to what he has done….to those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress” (2:5-8).

He then presents the solution to avoid this damnation from an angry God, “the redemption that came by Jesus Christ. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood” (3:25). The condition for escaping the wrath of God is “faith in the blood sacrifice of Jesus”. This condition for escaping wrath is repeated elsewhere throughout Romans. “If you confess with your mouth…and believe in your heart…you will be saved” (10:9).

Other statements affirm this payback theology, “God is just: he will pay back trouble to those who trouble you…He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel…They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord” (2Thessalonians 1:7-9).

The book of Hebrews continues this theme of retaliation and the condition of atonement by blood sacrifice. “Every violation and disobedience received its just punishment…” (2:2). For those who do not believe, “I declared on oath in my anger, they shall never enter my rest..” (3:11). “It is mine to avenge. I will repay” (10:30). The condition to avoid this anger, “He sacrificed for their sins…when he offered himself…” (7:27).

This theme of blood sacrifice to appease a threatening God continues throughout the New Testament and reaches a terrorizing culmination in the book of Revelation. After noting again the condition of violent, bloody sacrifice to appease angry deity (“He has freed us from our sins by his blood”, 1:5) the writer of Revelation then threatens those who refuse this blood sacrifice with an endless roasting on the big barbie down under. And he means burning in the “lake of fire”, forever (20:11-15). Ultimate and eternal payback, punishment, or retaliation. In Revelation the peaceful, forgive-without-limit, cheek-turning, love-your-enemies Jesus is presented as the angry, sword-sticking-out-of-mouth, unforgiving, fiery eyes, hate-your-enemies Christ. A true Christian monster.

So where Jesus had taught that no payment needed to be made before forgiveness was offered, Paul and other New Testament writers claimed that all debt must be paid in full before God would forgive. Paul denied completely what Jesus had taught. He went against Jesus’ message entirely. He missed the most humanizing insight in all history, the discovery of the greatest human ideal ever conceived. He then successfully aborted the grandest human liberation movement of all; one that Jesus had sought to take even further, to new heights of humane relating and existence. And yet, confoundingly, Christianity claims to be the religion of Jesus. Well, where then is Jesus’ central message of unconditional treatment of others? Christianity opted instead for the message of Paul about supreme conditions.

It has been established that Paul was a domineering man who tolerated no opposition and jealously fought to have his theology established as the only true Christian theology (see, for example, Charles Freeman’s “The Closing of the Western Mind”, p.109-114). James Tabor (“Paul and Jesus”) has summed this up well in stating that Paul wrote most of the New Testament and other books support his viewpoint (e.g. the gospels and Acts). Christianity is therefore Paul’s Christianity. Paul’s view of Jesus is the one that the world has received. And there is nothing of true unconditional in Paul or his Christianity.

Yet the diamond of unconditional teaching is still here and there in the New Testament even though it has been almost buried by the dunghill of payback myth and theology of the New Testament. This leads some of us to conclude that the greatest threat to Christianity is not found among its many outside opponents, whether from atheism or other religions. The greatest threat to Christianity is the historical Jesus, and taking his unconditional message seriously.

Deity Meeting A Lower Standard

Varied Christians today facilely use the term unconditional love to describe their God and what they believe they are obligated to fulfill in their lives. But this is an oxymoronic and irreconcilable mixing of entirely opposite things. Consequently, they come up with some fantastical and contorted explanations when presenting what they call “God’s unconditional love through the sacrifice of Jesus”, seemingly unaware of the contradictory nature of what they are stating (see for example, http://www.biblicaltheology.com/rom/rom_12_13.html noting the comment, “because love without hypocrisy loves as God loves: unconditionally… By so doing we leave the judgment and vengeance entirely up to the Lord”; also http://www.commontruth.com/UnconditionalLove.html. Others just give up entirely on unconditional- http://withchrist.org/unconditional.htm or http://preservedwords.com/uncond-pv.htm ).

And yes, admittedly, some Christians are at least embracing and wrestling with this theme of unconditional. They sense the spirit of this ideal in what Jesus taught but they present it thus- we must forgive unconditionally just as Jesus taught, so we must then let God repay as payback is a divine responsibility. In this manner they are trying to maintain both the theme of unconditional, which cannot be denied in Jesus’ teaching, and yet also maintain the old payback views in their overall theology which is the supporting background of their belief system (that God will exact revenge). This is an irreconcilable and profound merging of contradictory things, but it is the best that they can come up with given the starkly opposing realities that they are trying to hold in tension. This contradictory Christian mish-mash is the result of holding a felt obligation to the immutable sacred that they have inherited (a holy God that must punish sin) and then trying to read the unconditional Jesus through this payback lens. The outcome is that it only distorts the humane ideal that Jesus was advocating. The larger payback context that they are maintaining woefully distorts the actual meaning of unconditional.

So when pressed on this issue of genuine unconditional response, Christian believers will argue that God cannot just forgive sin. God is holy, they claim, and must first punish all sin before he can forgive. Holiness takes precedence over unconditional love. Therefore, a holy God demands that any debt be first paid in full before he will forgive or include anyone. A sacrifice must first be made before mercy can be shown (in direct contradiction to the Jewish prophet’s claims that God wanted no sacrifice but only mercy). Consequently, unconditional (absolutely no conditions) is distorted beyond recognition.

In response, we need to challenge that old theology by asking a simple question- why cannot God just exercise authentic forgiveness as Jesus taught and be merciful and generous without first demanding payment? We imperfect people are urged to act like this- to love and forgive with no pre-conditions being met first. We are told to just forgive others for their offenses. Why is the God of Christianity held to a lower standard of behavior than we are? Is not God supposed to be something better, something more humane than we are? Why then are we held to a higher standard of human response and relating than God is? As Brinsmead says, a God who demands full payment before he forgives is a God who knows nothing of genuine forgiveness. Where the debt is paid in full, then no authentic forgiveness is required.

And what about the teaching in such places as 1 Corinthians 13? It states that authentic love “keeps no record of wrongs”. That sounds like the unconditional of Jesus. And is not God love? Why then hold the contradiction of claiming that God must keep record of all wrongs and punish all sin? The entire salvation and sacrifice industry is built on noting the faults of imperfect people and demanding atonement for them. Again, if ordinary people are held to a new humane standard of unconditional love then it is valid to ask why a supposedly supremely humane God is not held to the same standard? Edward Schillebeeckx has correctly stated, “God is more human (more humane) than any human being” (“The Praxis of the Reign of God”, Mary Hilkert, p.56). Why then these silly myths of a God maintaining a lower standard of distinctly subhuman behavior? God is either Unconditional Love (absolutely no conditions), or not. If god is not authentically unconditional love, then you cannot define that conditional reality with the term unconditional.

Watch The Context

Payback thinking has missed entirely the real meaning of ideals such as forgiveness. As noted above, when you try to embed human ideals in a payback context (e.g. unconditional love in a Christian theological context) you distort the real meaning of these human ideals. They are no longer authentically unconditional. This is the problem with all religion which is essentially conditional at core. Note in this regard that many religious believers have tried to humanize their gods over history, recognizing that the barbaric gods of the past are too primitive for modern minds. So they have added new more humane features to their gods such as love and mercy. But they also feel obligated to maintain the old features that have to do with retaliation and punishment. For instance, as noted above, many religious people will claim that holiness demands punishment. Holiness in deity takes precedence over mercy or love. Forgiveness and love are then dependent on first making some payment or sacrifice. Well, forgiveness is then rendered meaningless. When human ideals are couched in a payback context (an inhuman context) they are then rendered something entirely different from the unconditional that should define them.

Ignoring the core message of Jesus, Christianity has continued to sacralise archaic payback thinking. And the Christian God has become an even more intense version of the payback perspective, with his dominant qualities such as infinite holiness demanding infinite payment. The Christian God has become an even greater retaliating monster than other historical payback deities. And Hell in Christian theology has become the ultimate statement or expression of the hateful, inhuman response of retaliation toward human imperfection. Again, all to frighten people into the vast salvation/sacrifice industry that saps human time and resources, and hinders human progress.

The sum of the matter is that Christianity got Jesus all wrong and it got God all wrong. God is indeed unconditional love just as Jesus taught. And unconditional love to incomprehensible and inexpressible levels beyond all human imagination (better than the best that we can imagine). In a God that is love, no conditions love, there is no threat, no condemnation or judgment, no punishment, no conditions to meet for acceptance, absolutely nothing to fear. Let me state as plainly as possible the central point that the historical Jesus was trying to make. Every human being is fully and equally included; all are fully forgiven, and all receive the full generosity of God. All are safe no matter what they believe or don’t believe. There is no threatening monster behind life to fear or dread. There is only Unconditional Love at the very core of all reality and life. There are no conditions to meet to be included in the love and generosity of this Ultimate Reality. No one has ever been separated in any manner from this Unconditional Love.

And while you are conquering this monster-the old punishing God- set your sight also on bringing down the second greatest monster of all- death. Over human history, death has been made an even worse terror to people because it has been defined and explained in terms of religious belief and myth. Shaman and priests have long told people that death was a punishment from God for sin, and more punishment would follow after death. Cheer up, they said, the worst is yet to come. Such mythology intensifies natural human fear of death. Death then becomes a terrifying monster for humanity to face and resolve. I know a lady who was reduced to despair and crying when a relative of hers died, refusing to meet the Christian condition of “accepting Jesus” in order to “be saved”. The lady subsequently believed that her relative had gone to hell. That cruel nonsense adds further psychic misery to already unacceptable human suffering. The realization that there is only unconditional love at the heart of all reality dispels the enslaving fear of death or life after death. Unconditional does indeed take the sting out of death. Death can then be seen as the toothless monster that it really is. We should not hesitate to laugh in the face of such a grotesquely exaggerated monster.

Unconditional offers liberation like nothing else in all history, and especially liberating is the realization that there is no threatening, punishing reality behind life. This gets to the deepest roots of long held human fears, anxieties, concerns, despair, and depression. In this regard, unconditional is utterly limitless in its liberating potential for human minds. It goes to the root of darkness in human consciousness, darkness long promoted by religion and its myth of coming divine payback.

Unconditional love at the very core of all reality breaks the grip of religious fear by overturning all those past perceptions of some looming retaliation and the need to placate that with sacrifice. Real liberation is not just social but more essentially liberation of mind, thought, perception, feeling, and spirit. We can be physically free but still enslaved to the worst ideas held from a primitive past. Unconditional thinking therefore takes freedom to the very heart of what really enslaves humanity and this positively impacts human creative potential in profound ways. It liberates mind and emotions and spirit from a long history of guilt and shame over being imperfectly human, and still gradually developing toward something better and more humane.

And it points us toward the ultimate meaning and purpose of the universe and life. As others have suggested, the main point of human existence is to learn something about love. Well, this new definition of love as unconditional, takes that formerly high human ideal to new heights of clarity and humanity.

This new insight into unconditional love as the supreme human ideal and the true nature of ultimate reality offers profound potential to reshape human behavioral response and society. It liberates as nothing else can ever do from all the debasing and dehumanizing features of animal existence with its conditional exclusion (small band, tribal loyalty), domination, and retaliation, and the destructive consequences of these behaviors in human society.

Living An Unconditional Life

Naturally, questions arise as to how to express the unconditional ideal in daily life. I once brought up this idea of unconditional treatment of others in a discussion group and someone countered, “Oh, you’re saying that we should let psychopaths go free?” Well, no. Absolutely not. No such thing is being suggested. Any common sense understanding of love will recognize the fundamental responsibility to protect innocent people from harm. This means that people who cannot or will not control their worst impulses to harm others need to be restrained (locked up and in some cases- i.e. psychopathy- the key thrown away). It may even mean pro-active endeavor to prevent such things as terrorism. We remember the common sense expressed by the pacifist preacher who said, “If someone attacks me and my family, I will beat him over the head with a 2by4 and when he is lying on the ground unconscious then I will sit down and discuss my pacifist principles with him”.

But, more seriously, any such protective restraint should be done “with a loving heart and with the other person’s welfare in mind” (http:www.unification.net/ws/theme144.htm). This is a call for conventional views of justice to be continually re-evaluated and reformulated in terms of necessary restraint but also in terms of the ongoing need for strengthening restorative justice ideals as desirable human ideals and practises. And we ought to be careful that when presenting these common sense qualifiers above (i.e. forcible restraint of violent people) that we do not diminish the full impact of the ideal of unconditional treatment of all others.

Further, how do we judge and assign culpability in any human life? For example, decades ago a teenage boy in the US was condemned to death for a brutal rape and murder of a woman. But during his trial it came to light that he had been brutalized from before birth. His father, suspicious that his mother may have cheated, had beat her pregnant stomach. After the boy was born, he was thrown against walls for crying, and beaten repeatedly. He knew only hate and violence all through his young life. And if the condition of psychopathy is involved in such cases, researchers suggest there may even be a genetic factor. These people may be born with defective brains. They still need ongoing restraint and imprisonment in order to protect others, but surely they should also be shown mercy for things that have happened to them that were beyond their control. So the argument is not about setting people free that cannot control their own base impulses but for treating humanely and showing mercy to even the worst offenders (e.g. abolishing the death penalty).

Further, some studies have shown that exacting revenge through our payback justice systems brings no ultimate or final closure to victims (e.g. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/06/revenge.aspx ). We also remember that forgiveness does not mean that victims are responsible to personally like offenders in order to properly forgive them. Others argue that forgiveness is more about personal liberation from negative emotions regardless of any contact or relationships with offenders. And by way of caution here- normal human sensitivity will respect the overwhelming trauma caused to victims by the unrestrained and intentionally cruel violence of some offenders. Sensitivity will understand that each person approaches these human ideals in different ways, from differing experiences, and at their own chosen pace. Any severely traumatized human being deserves the utmost respect in regard to how they may wrestle with these human ideals, or choose not to engage them. So while we can argue that unconditional treatment of all others is a profoundly liberating approach, different people will embrace such things as they feel able. The trauma of some people, however, does not mean that unconditional treatment of others should be dismissed as unrealistic, impractical, or unworkable. Such dismissal would miss the liberating potential of this ideal.

Others argue that if there is no threat of punishment in society then there is nothing to restrain people from wrong behavior. Anarchy and chaos will break out. But the discipline of psychology has shown that most people respond better to positive affirmation than to threat and fear. The Australian Psychological Society has a paper entitled “Punishment and Behavior Change” (http://www.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/punishment_position_paper.pdf) which argues “that recent trends towards increased reliance on punishment as a primary response to crime” do not work as expected. For example, punitive parenting approaches have been linked to higher levels of aggression in children, the paper claims. And these punitive approaches do not rehabilitate and deter criminal offenders. They don’t teach “alternative acceptable behaviors”. The paper recommends approaches that do such things as explain other people’s perspectives and feelings, promoting empathy and other more positive alternatives.

Also, we obviously teach children the natural consequences to all sorts of actions. One man suggested there was value in the driver’s point system for curtailing his daughter’s more aggressive approach to getting to destinations. She was “inspired” by her mounting points to slow down and follow traffic speed limits.

Others have noted the obligation of love to care for others. We affirm this in the responsibility to improve our own situations in order to properly care for our families. And if someone runs a business operation then they are not just responsible to care for their own family but also to ensure their business continues to operate so that employees may also care for their families. In such situations debts owed to the business must be paid and we have a legal system to ensure that debts are paid. We do not abandon common sense in the pursuit of human ideals like unconditional.

And unconditional is not an argument against restitution. That is a common sense and entirely humane responsibility of any offender. It is up to the victim to freely choose to engage unconditional response toward offenders, or not.

Contemporary psychology (and theology) further offers another insight that is important to consider in regard to our struggle to overcome our animal past and live as human. It states that we are not our inherited animal brain (e.g. Jeffrey Schwartz, “You Are Not Your Brain”). Though we still struggle against the residual influence of the animal brain, we are in reality a conscious self that is essentially love (see for instance, Albert Nolan’s “Jesus Today”). Some suggest that this true human self as love is the God of love that is incarnated equally in all humanity as the common “human spirit”.

Note again that the ideal of unconditional treatment of others faces stiff resistance from varied sectors of the human family. It is an ideal that is particularly offensive to good moral people, and notably to religious folk like Christians (some examples- http://withchrist.org/unconditional.htm , and http://www.acts17-11.com/cows_unlove.html ). We saw this earlier in the stories of Jesus where some people were included as a contrast to other characters expressing unconditional generosity, such as the older brother who was offended at the generous father who refused to punish or demand repayment first. The father did not act according to conventional payback justice (reward the good, punish the wrong).

We could respond to such constricted and stingy righteousness by recognizing that all of us intuitively feel that we should be treated unconditionally and our failures forgiven freely, but we are then often less generous with the failures of others that we view as worse than ourselves (further over toward bad on the continuums of good and evil that we hold). So we set conditions for others that are harsher than what we apply to ourselves. This type of thinking leaves us all insecure in the end. Who is really forgiven and included and safe if some are to be excluded from full unconditional treatment? Once we make it conditional and uncertain for some then it becomes conditional and uncertain for all of us.

I would add that to apply the ideal of unconditional only to response to major traumatizing events (e.g. serious crimes) is to miss an important application. Lifting a population or society is more about all members practicing unconditional in the little details of daily mundane human interaction. This is where we experience unconditional as a “hard saying” but as the purest form of liberation and enlightenment and the best way to lift all life toward something better.

Human ideals develop over history and sometimes spread gradually through populations. They are first felt and imagined by the courageous few who will begin to experiment with them in real life situations. They are often exhibited against conventional social practices that may dominate societies in a contrary manner. So there is often resistance to the new ideal. But if the new ideal is something authentically human, then it will grow and spread via a learning process. Hence, the advice of the early Akkadian father to his son was surely not something notably believed or practiced in his time but it has become more widely accepted in our age.

Also, with new ideals you will often get extremist applications as part of the social learning process. For instance, some have taken compassion to what is considered a pacifist extreme (i.e. “turn the other cheek” in all situations of violence, or a dogmatic non-resistance toward all evil). But also integral to any form of love is the element of healthy anger at evil and the refusal to yield to such, and consequent endeavor to prevent further evil in order to protect the innocent.

We might say that while Ultimate Reality or deity is absolutely no conditions love, and that serves as a noble ideal for life here, the messy reality of imperfect life requires all sorts of compromises.

There is also an important theological component to social change for many people. They come to understand that ultimate reality is unconditional love and this provides a sense of security and safety. It has a liberating impact on their consciousness and enables them to embrace life more fully as this realization frees from anxiety, fear, depression, and despair. This can then lead to a wider liberation of public consciousness in significant ways and the outcomes of this may reverberate throughout societies.

Love Beyond Comprehension

When considering this relatively new discovery of unconditional love at the core of all reality, we ought to remember the true nature of things transcendent or having to do with divinity. Such reality is beyond all imagining in terms of its real perfection and beauty. It is beyond our understanding or ability to express. As Campbell notes, categories, words, names, or statements only distort and diminish the truly incomprehensible. What Ultimate Reality actually is, is so much better than we can ever conceive or express. The reality of a God that is unconditional love is something infinitely better than the best that can be imagined. When “Near-Death Experiencers” return, after encountering the unconditional love of the great Light in surrounding realms, they cannot find words to express it. So, as Ken Ring says, they stammer hyperbole about that love. It is something better felt than understood or explained.

In light of this, anything less than or contrary to unconditional love could be evaluated as not fully human or humane. Unconditional becomes a new touchstone or centering ideal for truth and meaning in human narratives. It becomes the new baseline for perception of reality, for meaning, for human purpose, for authentically humane feeling, response, behavior, for overall authentic human existence. Comparatively, anything less may be considered not authentically human, or subhuman. This historically new ideal answers the profound human desire to know and experience what it means to be truly and fully human. Unconditional is the critical guidepost as to what to look for in order to find that better future or existence that all humanity intuitively longs for.

At the core of the universe is this pulsating Energy, Life, Power, Mind, and Consciousness that is defined most importantly by Unconditional Love. It is the greatest discovery ever made, the greatest insight ever conceived. It gets to the ultimate meaning of the universe and life, to the purpose of all. And it gets to the essential nature of what creates and sustains all things, and why all has been brought to exist- i.e. for the purpose of learning, living, and experiencing something of real love, of love that is unconditional. Unconditional takes the ideal of love to new heights of humane experience and expression. Unconditional is the grand liberation that we continue to reach for.

There is a major revolution occurring in the historical development of human perception and outlook. Humanity continues to explore and discover what it means to be truly human and what is the real nature of humane reality. But we have further work to do in order to fully root out this perverse perception that there is some horrific monster behind life that is going to retaliate and punish humanity. This is a residual perception that still hinders modern consciousness from a full liberation into a more humane future.

The grand narrative of humanity is about this liberation into that more human future. Counter movements like Christianity have tried to derail and abort this liberation but it goes on, driven by dreamers like the Akkadian father, the Hebrew prophets, the historical Jesus, and many others who have also felt something of the wonder of being truly human. We are just beginning to play around the edges of something so profoundly wondrous and liberating that we are hardly able to understand or begin to express it. It pulls us forward to make life something ever better.

Unconditional love is about liberating consciousness from all that limits humanity, from all those dark ideas that devalue the wonder of being human and depress human creative potential. Unconditional offers a genuine purging, cleansing, and transformation of the conscious and subconscious.

Wendell Krossa

Appendice A:

Some argue that any speculation about unknowable realities is a waste of time (Like the frustrated atheist who blurted, “Lets get rid of all this metaphysical bullshit”). But because a lot of distorting speculation has already occurred over history (the basest features have long been projected onto ultimate reality) and such speculation has long shaped human thought and behavior, often in damaging ways causing much harm, then it is important to correct that speculation and offer better alternatives. To point toward a better direction for human perception. Hence, my foregoing theological speculation on new ways of perceiving ultimate reality or deity as unconditional love.

Appendice B:

When we state that at the core of all reality there is Unconditional Love, we are not referring to some distant-from-humanity reality, out there somewhere, or up above somewhere in the “heavens” (i.e. the primitive mythology of sky gods). The Unconditional Love that creates all and sustains all in existence every moment is at the very core of our own consciousness, closer than our own breath or our own atoms. In fact, it is probably not even correct to perceive of human consciousness, or the human spirit, as something separate from the greater creating Consciousness. What matters most in the cosmos and world is right here inside us, at the center of our personhood. We, each one of us, are at the very center of what is most vital in the cosmos. There is no circumference, only Center, and each of us is that Center (to borrow and paraphrase some comments from Joseph Campbell).

This is also to counter the commonly made argument of how small and insignificant humans are in the universe. We need to question this argument that sometimes appears to devalue humanity, as the dimensions of this spatial realm may not mean much in terms of the value and role of consciousness. Conscious human experience appears to be the most real thing of all in the cosmos. It may be the only ‘real’ thing in the cosmos. It may be that which gives reality to all else (see for instance, “Quantum Enigma” by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner).

Appendice C:

If humanity can no longer blame punishing gods, how then do we explain human misfortune and suffering? We can no longer explain it (as people have done all through past history) in terms of gods retaliating against sin, or disciplining failing people, or teaching people lessons. And anyway, what monster would harm or kill people just to teach others lessons, as is the argument of Job’s comforters?

We have better alternatives to help in understanding the mystery of suffering. For instance, we now recognize there is an element of freedom in nature and in human existence (freedom of choice and action).

Freedom is a concept essential to any authentic perception of love. Any contemporary understanding of deity must accept the fact of non-intervention (non-coercion) as central to genuine love. Love does not over-rule human freedom and choice. This leaves open the possibility for poor choice and hence, abuse and suffering caused to others. But such freedom also permits genuine moral good to be expressed which, according to theologians, is valued highly by a God of love.

For more detail on these issues that have perplexed people for millennia see, for instance, “The Triumph of God Over Evil” by William Hasker. He offers a thorough coverage of the issues related to human suffering and attempts to understand and explain this mystery as much as it is possible.

Appendice D: More background to Retaliation and Conditional

Let me rehearse here in summary some of the more prominent themes from early mythology that have continued to shape human belief systems through history, most notably with a punishment orientation. I am focusing on the origins of the two themes developed in this essay.

First, to clarify, the human fear of death is the fundamental impetus to mythmaking (Campbell- “The recognition of mortality and the requirement to transcend it is the first great impulse to mythology” Myths to Live By, p.22). Early people with their developing human consciousness became aware of life, of existence, and of beauty, love, suffering and all that comes with conscious human experience of life. But it was their awareness of death that impacted them the most. Their experience of life and love would end in the rot of death. That realization of finiteness and mortality became a terror to people.

Coupled with their death awareness and death fear they also felt the fundamental impulse of consciousness for meaning and purpose (Victor Frankl). This primal/primary impulse for meaning drove the human desire to understand it all and to explain life and death. This led to early attempts at mythmaking, at creating systems of meaning or explanation.

While fear of death pushed early people to create mythical explanations, there were associated ideas that shaped the nature of the explanations that they came up with. Prominent among such ideas was the perception that there were spiritual forces or spirits/gods behind all the elements and forces of nature. We see that in early accounts of water and wind gods (storm gods), gods of lightning and thunder, sun gods, moon gods, and other related gods.

Early people, using the best logic available to them, concluded that the spirits/gods were angry because the forces of nature were often destructive and harmful to people.

Further, people emerging from an animal past understood life in terms of animal drives and impulses such as small band or tribal mentality, domination of others (alpha male/female), and retaliation (destruction of competitors/enemies). It is important to note that retaliation begins with the animal world. We continue to embody our animal past in our physical body and in our genes (i.e. the 98% similarity with chimpanzees), and we also share the same dark and brutal impulses that animals manifest without guilt or shame.

These dark animal impulses are mediated to humanity via a core animal brain. This is the dark side in humanity, what religious people call “original sin or human sinfulness”. Viewing human imperfection and failure as sinfulness is to view humanity too harshly as possessing something that rightly provokes the gods to retaliate. Human imperfection is then viewed as something deserving punishment and damnation. Early myths also added the element of willfulness to human failure. The ancients claimed that early people intentionally chose evil (a more serious fault- first degree or intentional choice) and they thereby ruined the original paradise and destroyed life (the Fall of man or original sin myth). Later people would project onto their gods the feature of holiness which further sharpens the sense of human imperfection and affirms the felt need to punish humanity. Theological retaliation logic then argues that holy, pure gods are obligated to punish sin.

But to call our animal background and inheritance “sin” is to unnecessarily demonize humanity and to intensify the felt righteous urge to punish. Our animal background is our inheritance and it remains with us in the form of this inherited animal core brain (formerly the “tri-partite brain” in evolutionary biology terms- i.e. the reptilian core, the limbic system, and then the later cortex that mediates the more advanced human impulses). Humanity should not be condemned for emerging out of an animal past and struggling to gradually progress toward a more human future. Surely patience and assistance is a more appropriate response to our endeavor to become more human.

Unfortunately, with our animal background and its residual animal drives still experienced in human life, the brutal features of animal existence were then projected by early people onto their gods. Those gods were shaped as predatory, punitive, tribal, dominating, and retaliatory deities. They punished and destroyed people. For example, note the Sumerian Flood myth (Wikipedia) where an early council of gods decided to annihilate humanity with a flood.

Further in relation to these myths, people developed the belief that any human sickness was evidence of punishment from the gods. It was understood that the gods had sent any sickness because people had broken taboos and consequently deserved retribution.

The ultimate expression of the gods retaliating against human imperfection was the idea of final apocalypse, a grand annihilation of all humanity and all life; the ending of the world. This was the ultimate expression of retaliating gods punishing humanity.

But later mythmakers would take retaliation and punishment even further in the perverse myth of hell. After the apocalyptic ending of the world, imperfect humanity would then be destroyed and punished forever in a fiery and tormenting hell. This is the dark and perverse drive to retaliate and punish taken to a traumatizing extreme.

The culmination of developing these themes in early mythmaking is the perception that there is something threatening and punitive behind life, some great retaliating monster; a super predator. This has been the most damaging perception ever created by human minds. It has reverberated all down through history in human consciousness causing incalculable terror, misery, and despair.

As noted in the essay, this perception of something threatening and punitive, or retaliatory, then sparked the appeasement response in early people. This is the fear of death and survival impulse being aroused to extremes. Early people, afraid of the angered spirits/gods, naturally sought a way to escape punishment and death. They wanted to find some way to appease the angry gods and find salvation from their threats.

Therefore, the early shaman/priests devised salvation schemes. Notable here was the offering of sacrifices or blood to appease angry spirits. The salvation/sacrifice movement was developed into a massive endeavor across human history. It was revised and refined in many diverse ways in the varied religions that people have created but it has always expressed essentially the same desire to appease some angered and retaliatory entity behind life.

Christianity developed the above myths into their most intense expression and that Christian body of myths has arguably shaped Western consciousness and society more than any other complex of ideas, and the Christian civilization of the West has subsequently influenced much of the rest of the world.

So we have this line of descent from base animal characteristics and existence down to early animal-like myths and gods, and further down to more refined expressions of such themes in religions like Christianity. But in contrast to this line of descent, we also see in history the emergence of human consciousness in early humanity. That is something new and uniquely human or humane. As John Eccles says, it is something entirely outside of the evolutionary process- “A supernatural, spiritual creation… no other explanation is plausible”. And human consciousness with its new and unique human impulses takes humanity in an entirely new direction from animal behavior and existence. This is the exodus into freedom (freedom from animal drives and existence). It is the beginning of the humanization of all life in the wonder of civilization.

Evolutionary biology or psychology often does not get the human element right with its endeavor to understand human experience and life in terms of our animal past and inheritance. These disciplines have distorted and degraded the uniquely human by trying to explain it solely in terms of animal drives and existence. There are more helpful explanations coming from the disciplines of theology and psychology that properly honor the unique wonder of being human (see the books of John Eccles).

With the emergence and maturing of human consciousness there has been an ongoing struggle between the human and the animal. Religious traditions try to explain this as a struggle with original sin, but see, for example, Lyall Watson’s “Dark Nature” for alternative approaches to understanding human imperfection. Despite the ongoing influence of that animal inheritance, our human consciousness has sparked an overall trajectory in history that improves irreversibly toward something better over time. Note, for instance, Stephen Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature” and James Payne’s “History of Force” for evidence of this long-term improvement, rise, and advance of humanity and human civilization. We become something more humane over time and we also humanize the rest of life.

To sum up, the long historical record of the development and refinement of retaliation (payback, punishment, revenge) has to do with our animal past and inheritance, and the early projection of this onto ideas of God. The long historical record of the development of the unconditional treatment of others (i.e. non-retaliation, compassion, mercy, and other human traits) has to do with human consciousness emerging and maturing in humanity over the long-term. As some argue, this is divinity incarnated in humanity and inspiring humanity through the wonder of consciousness to become something better over time. To become what we are- truly and fully human.

To further clarify again, let me add that researchers like Karen Armstrong (“Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life”) and Jeffrey Schwartz (“You Are Not Your Brain”) are also wrestling with this issue of dualism, or dual natures, in humanity. They argue that as human persons or human selves we are not our animal inheritance. We are more essentially human and defined by the core human feature of love. This is our essential nature as human persons, as supernatural, spiritual creations. Our consciousness that is oriented to love defines us most essentially, not our animal past or inheritance.

Thus a new dualism is emerging. Note also the “Near-Death Experience” research in this regard. Monism or materialism never dealt properly with the fundamental human impulse for meaning or purpose. It never understood fully the wonder of human consciousness or the wonder of being human as a distinct and unique new reality in life.

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Bjorn Lomborg’s evidence-based optimism regarding climate change

Contact: wkrossa@shaw.ca

“Lomborg is right that the Earth is not hurtling towards apocalypse due to climate change, rather, the data shows quite the opposite is true: things are getting better.” (see links to Lomborg articles and data below)

This from the New York Post: ‘Biden’s freeze on oil, gas leases threatens to bring Europe’s energy nightmare to America’

“Climate change simply isn’t the world-ending catastrophe the Left pretends. Alas, Biden is following Europe’s path- freezing leases, blocking infrastructure projects like the Keystone pipeline, and generally warring against fossil-fuel production. That is, he’s heading this country toward the same horrors Europe’s suffering now”.

More from Lomborg: “Supressing good news is scaring our kids witless: You might be hearing nothing but bad news but you aren’t hearing the full story”, Sept. 15, 2022, Financial Post

https://financialpost.com/opinion/bjorn-lomborg-suppressing-good-news-is-scaring-our-kids-witless

See “Three articles from Net Zero Watch newsletter” just below, presenting evidence that “there is no climate crisis”…

What an apocalyptic movement does to human societies

The relationship of decarbonization to the rapidly worsening situation in advanced societies.

Decarbonization policies include freezing leases, blocking oil/gas infrastructure projects like pipelines, and government discouraging new investment in oil-gas production with threats that such investment will become “stranded assets” in the near future. These policies are all part of a general war on fossil fuels that has resulted in limited supplies of what would naturally be an abundant and cheap resource with low energy prices for all.

The consequences of limiting fossil fuel energy supplies is rising energy/electricity costs and the related rise of fuel poverty among the poorest people who have been forced to make difficult choices between eating and staying warm. The further related increases in deaths from cold in developed countries is criminal.

Rising energy costs, as noted in the articles below, means rising costs in everything else. This is the self-inflicted suicide crusade that we are observing in some of the most highly developed societies today- i.e. Germany, Britain, California. Decarbonization has become a “madness of crowds” movement that is outdoing- in its destructive outcomes- all other similar madness episodes across history.

And some updates on “the most destructive idea in history”- apocalyptic (Arthur Mendel’s conclusion in “Vision and Violence”). Below are some articles on the outcomes in Western countries that are embracing the climate apocalypse narrative and its irrational salvation scheme of decarbonization… see the full New York Post article- quoted above- further below.

Farmers warn of winter food shortages in Europe, Financial Times, Sept. 9, 2022

https://www.ft.com/content/8016d3a2-a8b4-4f43-820f-678d5f2aea22

“Price rises across wide range of products predicted as output is cut over surging energy costs

“Farmers and food producers in Europe have warned of seasonal shortages and significant price increases across a wide range of everyday products this winter, as they called for government support to offset surging energy costs….

“Energy is used throughout food production from fertiliser to harvesting to refrigeration. The dairy and bakery industries were particularly affected by rising prices, Pesonen explained, because pasteurisation and the process of creating milk powder were energy intensive.”

See full article at link above. And…

Europe pays and pays for Net Zero, The Wall Street Journal, Sept.9, 2022

https://www.wsj.com/articles/europe-pays-and-pays-for-net-zero-liz-truss-europe-u-k-energy-price-subsidies-climate-11662667826

“Prices and subsidies are both soaring thanks to foolish climate policy.

“New British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Thursday rolled out an energy-price subsidy plan that could cost £150 billion. Throw that on the pile with the tens upon tens of billions of dollars’ worth of subsidies other European governments are offering to take the sting out of energy prices this winter. It adds up to a stunning cost for Europe’s climate-change ambitions.

“The contours of Europe’s crisis are well-known by now. Governments across the Continent for decades concocted increasingly aggressive plans to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions in the name of arresting climate change. The effort is to meet a pledge to achieve “net-zero” emissions in the 2040s or 2050s.

“As a result, Europe has become ever more dependent on wind and solar—which are too unreliable to power advanced industrial economies—while perversely eschewing nuclear power. They burned natural gas, until Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine war sent prices haywire and deprived Europe of Russian gas.

“Now the cost of that folly is coming due, and it’s predictably enormous.”

See full article at link above. Also, the Global Warming Policy Forum posts many such articles daily in their Net Zero Watch newsletter that is free.

Three articles from Net Zero Watch newsletter… Evidence affirms there is no climate crisis

This from The Daily Skeptic, Sept. 14, 2022

Climate Emergency Not Supported by Data, Say Four Leading Italian Scientists

“Climate emergency not supported by data, say four leading Italian scientists” (see full article at link)
Quotes from the article…

“Four leading Italian scientists have undertaken a major review of historical climate trends and concluded that declaring a ‘climate emergency’ is not supported by the data.

“Reviewing data from a wide range of weather phenomena, they say a ‘climate crisis’ of the kind people are becoming alarmed about “is not evident yet”.

“The scientists suggest that rather than burdening our children with anxiety about climate change, we should encourage them to think about issues like energy, food and health, and the challenges in each area, with a more “objective and constructive spirit” and not waste limited resources on “costly and ineffective solutions”.

“During the course of their work, the scientists found that rainfall intensity and frequency is stationary in many parts of the world. Tropical hurricanes and cyclones show little change over the long term, and the same is true of U.S. tornadoes. Other meteorological categories including natural disasters, floods, droughts and ecosystem productivity show no “clear positive trend of extreme events”. Regarding ecosystems, the scientists note a considerable “greening” of global plant biomass in recent decades caused by higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Satellite data show “greening” trends over most of the planet, increasing food yields and pushing back deserts.

“The four scientists are all highly qualified and include physics adjunct professor Gianluca Alimonti, agrometeorologist Luigi Mariani and physics professors Franco Prodi and Renato Angelo Ricci. The last two are signatories to the rapidly growing ‘World Climate Declaration’. This petition states that there is no climate emergency and calls for climate science to be more scientific. It also calls for liberation from the “naïve belief in immature climate models”. In future, it says, “climate research must give significantly more emphasis to empirical science”.

“‘Extreme’ weather events attributed by climate models – somehow – to anthropogenic global warming are now the main staple of the climate alarmist industry. As the Daily Sceptic reported on Monday, Sir David Attenborough used a U.K. Met Office model forecast in the first episode of Frozen Planet II to claim that summer Arctic sea ice could be gone within 12 years. But the likelihood of hardy swimming galas over the North Pole by 2035 seems somewhat remote, not least because Arctic sea ice has been growing in many summers since 2012. According to a recent report from the U.S.-based National Snow and Ice Data Center, at the end of August “sea ice extent is likely to remain higher than in recent years”.

“Hurricane and cyclones are favourite subjects for green alarmists… On May 27th, the Met Office predicted that the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June to November, would “most likely” be above average, with a “likelihood” of 18 named tropical storms including nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes. In fact, the current Atlantic hurricane season has had its slowest start for 30 years. At the end of August there have been no hurricanes, and only three named storms, none of which produced winds of 74mph or higher.

“There is plenty of evidence that hurricane and cyclone frequency and intensity has changed little over the recent historical record. “To date, global observations do not show any significant trends in both the number and the energy accumulated by hurricanes,” note the Italian scientists. The two graphs below demonstrate this…

“The scientists accept that there has been a recent increase in heatwaves, which they attribute to the 1°C rise in global temperatures, although they note global heatwave intensity trends “are not significant”. They also point out that only a limited number of weather stations have observed an increase in global rainfall.

“Corresponding evidence for increases in flooding remains elusive, they say, “and a long list of studies shows little or no evidence of increased flood magnitudes, with some studies finding more evidence of decreases than increases”. So far as drought is concerned, the scientists note the AR5 finding of the IPCC that “conclusions regarding global drought trends increasing since the 1970s are no longer supported”. Several studies are said to show no increase in the main indices regarding global droughts.

“In fact, a slightly warmer and wetter planet and a little extra CO2 seem to have done wonders for global crop yields. For the period 1961-2019, maize, rice, soyabean and wheat global average yields are reported to have grown every year by 3.3%, 2.4%, 2.6% and 3.8% respectively.

“Well-researched, fact-driven, credible scientific papers such as this are crucial in the battle to stop green activists and rentiers having a free run to catastrophise every bad weather event in the interest of promoting a command-and-control Net Zero agenda. Attempting to attribute single weather events to humans burning fossil fuels is the product of feverish imaginations and ‘garbage in, garbage out’ climate models. Rational, evidence-based science should be promoted at every opportunity.”

And this from Ars Technica, Sept. 11, 2022

https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/09/this-should-be-the-absolute-peak-of-hurricane-season-but-its-dead-quiet-out-there/?mc_cid=211f36602d&mc_eid=bbd9cad85f

“Seasonal (hurricane) activity is running 50 percent below normal levels.”

And this from “The European Physical Journal Plus”, Sept. 2022

https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1140/epjp/s13360-021-02243-9.pdf?mc_cid=211f36602d&mc_eid=bbd9cad85f

“The most robust global changes in climate extremes are found in yearly values of heatwaves (number of days, maximum duration and cumulated heat), while global trends in heatwave intensity are not significant. Daily precipitation intensity and extreme precipitation frequency are stationary in the main part of the weather stations. Trend analysis of the time series of tropical cyclones show a substantial temporal invariance and the same is true for tornadoes in the USA. At the same time, the impact of warming on surface wind speed remains unclear. The analysis is then extended to some global response indicators of extreme meteorological events, namely natural disasters, floods, droughts, ecosystem productivity and yields of the four main crops (maize, rice, soybean and wheat). None of these response indicators show a clear positive trend of extreme events. In conclusion on the basis of observational data, the climate crisis that, according to many sources, we are experiencing today, is not evident yet…

“How the climate of the twenty-first century will play out is a topic of deep uncertainty. We need to increase our resiliency to whatever the future climate will present us.”

A bit further below… “Christianity got Jesus all wrong (on the most important features of his message and life)”. This is important research from Bob Brinsmead because the Christ myth of Paul has been mainly responsible for keeping the destructive fallacy of apocalypse alive in Western consciousness in both religious and “secular” versions, notably in the ideology of Declinism that dominates environmental/climate alarmism. Also below, comment on the fact that most people live by story or narrative, not so much by scientific fact. Hence, the ongoing dominance of “confirmation bias” in climate alarmism that ignores or dismisses evidence that is contrary to one’s beliefs, notably belief in the myth of climate apocalypse.

The comment below is a response that is motivated by the too-often cautious affirmation that many grant to the main assumptions of climate alarmism. Even Bjorn Lomborg (good as he is on most issues), along with many politicians on both sides of the ideological divide, has sometimes done this- affirming the basic assumption of climate alarmism that there is a “global warming crisis” and something must be done. Really?? Where is this “crisis”? Do you mean the mild one degree of warming over the past century in a still too cold world of “severe icehouse conditions” that is still emerging out of the bitter cold of the Little Ice Age of 1645-1715? (Note: In more recent comment Lomborg appears to back away from his earlier affirmations.)

My comment is intended to directly counter the distorting misinformation of “climate emergencey” with clear evidence to the contrary from good sources on paleoclimate and the physics of CO2, etc.

Note especially the counter point regarding the “3-6 degree C” claim, an exaggerated prediction of the looming amount of warming from continued human emissions of CO2, a prediction derived from the discredited climate models, a prediction that has become a prominent claim in the climate apocalypse narrative. I would counter that… No- that number (3-6 C), if climate were ever to warm that much (highly unlikely), would not be disastrous but would be a return to “normal/optimal” for all life, as that was the range of average world temperatures throughout most of paleoclimate history when life emerged, developed, and flourished. Even much less credible are the threats that a further 1.5-2.0 degrees C of warming will be “a tipping point to climate catastrophe”.

Any such warming does not mean that already warm areas will be getting hotter as the tropics have remained relatively stable throughout the history of life. Further warming would be more the warming of cold areas (i.e. polar regions) as climate gradients evened out across the earth, and that would be a return to the normal state of Earth for most of the history of life (80% of that history)- i.e. an ice-free world with expanded habitats for life, and now with the added bonus of expanded agricultural areas for humanity. All life flourishes in a warmer world.

Additionally, this information points to the “equable climate” issue that alarmist narratives ignore (the stability of tropical temperatures and overall climate across life- i.e. no evidence of tipping points into disaster because of much higher CO2 levels or much warmer climate).

Due to the above evidence, I find the endless panic-mongering over melting polar ice or melting glaciers to be irrational hysteria over something natural and beneficial to all life.

An entirely ice-free world with much warmer polar regions would be a more natural, normal, and optimal world for all life. Some species might suffer but many more would benefit. “Might” suffer. Yes, do not discount the ability of cold region species to adapt just as polar bears have adapted to ice-free conditions during past much warmer interglacials like the Eemian of 130-115,000 years ago (3-5 degrees C warmer than our current Holocene interglacial). Nature/life is not fragile but is incredibly resilient, durable, and adaptable.

Lets be real clear (overturning the false narrative that drives climate alarmism madness)

Let me make this evidence-based point real clear (see the quotes just below from the six-part report series on the sun-climate relationship). 3-6 degrees C more warming would be a return to the normal and optimal climate of most of the past history of life (i.e. the 17-20 degree C average world temperatures of most of the 540 million years of the “Phanerozoic Eon”). Climate alarmists are creating panic over such warming and that just shows how out of touch they are with real world climate evidence (apocalyptic narrative trumping fact). Politicians, celebrities, many scientists, mainstream media, and others are mindlessly affirming the irrational “climate crisis” narrative without doing basic homework on climate science and history.

Add here the basic facts on the history of CO2 that show our current atmospheric levels of CO2 are still at “starvation levels” compared to the past eons of life when CO2 was often in the multiple-thousands of ppm and there was no “climate warming crisis”. Further, CO2 has already reached “saturation” in physics terms, meaning that its warming influence has declined logarithmically and further rises in CO2 will not contribute to much more warming, perhaps only a degree more and that would be beneficial in a still too cold world (the 14.5 degree C average temperature of Earth today) where up to 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150520193831.htm

We need to stop kowtowing- i.e. cautiously tiptoeing around the discredited assumptions of the alarmist narrative that ignore the larger paleoclimate context of life and thereby distort the true state of things (e.g. the endless claims of “hottest on record”, meaning often just the past few decades or century). We get to the true state of something by putting all evidence in the full larger context and longest-term trends.

(Note: The alarmist narrative of “climate emergency” is based on the discredited climate models that wrongly focused on CO2 as the “dominant influence driving climate change”- the “control knob theory”. The models ignored other natural factors that showed stronger correlations to climate change, such as the sun-climate relationship. The models have been exposed as “running too hot” when compared to the actual mild warming that has occurred. But alarmists continue to base their climate apocalypse predictions on the false assumptions of their models, proving that narrative/ideology trumps scientific fact.)

See updates on recent climate science reports at bottom of this section… “Are fossil fuels good or bad?” (benefits of CO2); Latest research on the Sun-climate effect as the dominant effect on climate change (links to 6-part series posted on Wattsupwiththat.com); Climate dogma versus skeptical science; Creating fear over naturally warm summer days (the alarmist “heat wave” narrative).

All to affirm on the best scientific/climate evidence- There is no “climate emergency or crisis”. There is no sound scientific basis for taxing carbon or decarbonizing our societies- a ruinous “profoundly religious” crusade that is devastating some of the most highly developed countries today with soaring energy costs and consequent fuel poverty and suffering for millions of the most vulnerable people (e.g. Germany, Britain). See the regular reports at “Net Zero Watch”, the newsletter of the Global Warming Policy Forum.

This from Financial Post by Henry Geraedts: “Our climate warriors forsake desperate Europe- Reality is a merciless mistress: remove hydrocarbons and net-zero energy magic vanishes” Sept. 8, 2022

https://financialpost.com/opinion/opinion-our-climate-warriors-forsake-desperate-europe

Quotes from above link. See full article at the link…

“Europe’s structural dependence on inexpensive hydrocarbon energy from its now-hostile Russian neighbour has had two crucial outcomes. It has amplified and accelerated destabilizing dynamics already in play, bringing about a transformation of the international energy landscape. And it has starkly exposed the spectacular failure of Europe’s 30-year, market-distorting climate policies, in particular its delusions about a renewables-based net-zero energy transition….

“In a complex, advanced economy, energy costs ultimately affect all downstream socio-economic activity. That unavoidable reality and the outcomes of deeply misguided climate policies are now staring Europeans in the face — whether as households no longer able to afford their energy bills, as actors in key economic sectors facing structural impairment or as politicians aghast at civil disobedience and growing rebellion….

“Post-Brexit Britons are alone this year, facing a cumulative 400 per cent increase in their energy bills. In the Netherlands, energy costs are soaring as high as $1,300/month, while in Germany households face electricity prices of $1.00/KWh, compared to nine cents in Vancouver. That’s simply not sustainable: it effectively means that upwards of 40 of European households are being pushed into energy poverty, spending more than 10 per cent of their take-home pay on it. Even a 10 per cent increase in winter deaths, which few observers consider impossible, would mean 250,000 people.

“As the collapse of Europe’s energy structure begins to unfold it’s important to understand that its impact across the socio-economic landscape isn’t yet anywhere near full force….

“The true and overarching danger to Europe, however, is the accelerating threat to its industrial base and small businesses. Europe’s natural gas crisis is morphing into a genuine power emergency — a vicious circle in which the skyrocketing cost of natural gas steadily drives up industrial power costs, which in turn spurs a renewed surge in overall energy prices….

“The net result of all this is surging power prices and the prospect of small businesses from restaurants to retailers facing bankruptcy…

“Under normal circumstances, Europe’s crisis would serve as a sharp warning of the growing socio-economic threat to Canadians from the Liberals’ destructive climate and energy policies. In no other advanced economy has an ideologically blinded government so systematically undermined an indispensable hydrocarbon energy sector — most recently by adding agriculture as a new target of its obsessive climate crusade.

“For the prime minister of the world’s fourth largest gas exporter to say there is no business case for Canada’s LNG, as Justin Trudeau recently did with an exasperated German Chancellor Scholz looking on, was both preposterous and unconscionable — the incantations of someone perilously out of touch with reality.

“The Trudeau government ignores the European debacle and above all its underlying net-zero causes at the risk of rending Canada’s social and economic fabric. It was last winter’s groundswell of anti-government protests across Canada that showed Dutch farmers and other protesters throughout Europe how to escalate. Imagining the fury could not blow back across the ocean is dangerous wishful thinking.”

The six reports below on the sun-climate relationship with their detailed sources of evidence, argue that “Meridional Transport”, not CO2, is the main driver of climate change. Meridional Transport is part of the sun-climate relationship.

Quotes from the reports:

“Nearly all the energy that powers the climate system and life on Earth comes from the sun… the temperature of the Earth is always changing and the planet is never in energy balance… Earth’s average surface temperature is 14.5 C (severe icehouse conditions), but during the year it warms and cools by 3.8 C….

“Most energy enters the climate system in the tropics… Energy is moved from latitudes where there is a net gain of energy (energy source- tropics) to latitudes where there is net loss of energy (energy sink to space- poles) along the latitude temperature gradient by meridional transport… Meridional transport moves energy, among other things, from regions with an energy surplus to regions with an energy deficit along the gradient in temperature… Meridional transport moves a lot more energy towards the winter pole…

Scotese defines the present (21st century) latitude temperature gradient and global temperature as “severe icehouse conditions” as demonstrated by the massive permanent ice sheets over Antarctica and Greenland…

“Tropical temperatures have not changed much over the course of the past 540 million years despite huge changes in average temperatures of the planet (9-30 C)… Currently the Earth is in a severe icehouse climate with a steep latitude temperature gradient…. Such cold or colder conditions as of today have been relative rare during the past 540 million years (less than 10% of the time). The early Eocene Earth had an average temperature estimated at 23.8 C… with temperatures at the North Pole above freezing all year round, as attested by the presence of frost-intolerant biota. These hothouse conditions have been even rarer. Over 80% of the Phanerozoic Eon the Earth had an average temperature of 17-20 C…

(Note: The Phanerozoic Eon covers the past 540 million years when plant and animal life emerged and flourished. And it flourished, without “climate catastrophe/crisis” when average temperatures were 3-6 C warmer than today.)

The authors note that modern climate theory cannot explain why for most of the history of life a much warmer climate has been “equable… (that is) compatible with complex life”.

“The atmosphere has the outstanding capacity of moving a great amount of energy, fast and efficiently, over the entire face of the Earth… Meridional transport is carried out mainly by the atmosphere…

“There is no evidence for the existence of such thresholds and tipping points… the general climate stability that has been life-compatible for the past 450 million years indicates that it is a system dominated by negative feedbacks…

“Meridional Transport is the true climate control knob and… it can explain the climate changes that have taken place on the planet from the early Eocene hothouse, 52 million years ago, to the present severe icehouse…

This good report by Linea Lueken on Bjorn Lomborg’s evidence-based optimism re climate change

Yes, New York Post, Life is Improving Amid Climate Change!

Quotes from article

“Contrary to alarmists’ claims regularly parroted by the corporate media, data demonstrates that life on Earth has become progressively easier for mankind amid modest warming.

“Bjorn Lomborg, Ph.D, president of the think tank Copenhagen Consensus Center, authored the New York Post article, “Climate gains are ‘inconvenient truth’- it’s not all bad news about the environment.” In the article Lomborg explains that wildfires are declining globally and neither heat waves nor storms are worsening, despite what the media often reports.

“We are incessantly told about disasters, whether it is the latest heatwave, flood, wildfire or storm,” writes Lomborg. “Yet the data overwhelmingly shows that over the past century, people have become much, much safer from all these weather events.”

“This is true. As Climate Realism discusses on a daily basis, the corporate media often treats isolated weather events, short-term weather patterns, and natural disasters, as if they were due to climate change. As explained… weather is not climate.

“… each of the falsely claimed climate disasters Lomborg discusses has been covered thoroughly in numerous individual Climate Realism posts, for example: wildfires; weather disasters; Great Barrier Reef health; the population and health of polar bears; improvements in human life expectancy; air pollution; and the substantial number of cold deaths compared to relatively few deaths from extreme heat. Lomborg correctly shows each of these claimed climate disaster stories are actually climate success stories. Practically across the board, conditions have never been better for human flourishing.

“To take one specific example from Lomborg’s article, he points out heat waves are far less of a problem than mainstream media coverage would lead one to believe. By comparison, the threat to human health and lives from cold temperatures are a much bigger issue, but the media hardly covers it. Lomborg writes that “almost everywhere, the cold quietly kills many more.” He goes on to say that cold deaths may actually rise due to “our incessant focus on climate change,” because “politicians have introduced green laws that make energy more expensive, meaning fewer people can afford to keep warm.”

“It is a fact that deaths due to suboptimal cold temperatures dramatically outnumber deaths due to suboptimal heat, as reported by Climate Realism,… for instance. A study in The Lancet found that cold weather kills almost ten times more people than heat does.…

“It is also a fact, as Lomborg says, that public policies attempting to ban or greatly limit fossil fuel use are destructive. They necessarily make energy costs skyrocket, endangering the health and lives of the poor and middle class—those who can least afford to pay more for energy, by making it unaffordable for them to heat their homes in the winter. This is true in the US and even more so in Europe, as their attempts to replace fossil fuels with renewables has failed, and led to rolling blackouts even before the current energy crisis.

“Lomborg is right that the Earth is not hurtling towards apocalypse due to climate change, rather, the data shows quite the opposite is true: things are getting better.”

Note on the sun-climate relationship- the most dominant influence on climate change:

The sun-climate relationship has undergone a history of contributing important information to our understanding of climate change, to being discredited, to finally being acknowledged as an important natural factor in climate change, the dominant influence on climate change. However, climate alarmists and their discredited models continue to ignore this important subfield of climate research.

These reports give some sense of how complex the climate system is and how much we still do not know. We should be very careful about making predictions of what will happen in the future when we know so little about the many natural factors that dominate the climate system. CO2 is just a “bit player” in this complexity and it has already reached “saturation” in physics terms in regard to its warming influence. It will contribute very little to any further warming and that warming will be beneficial.

Report number one

The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (I). The search for a solar signal

Report number two

The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (II). Solar activity unexplained/ignored effects on climate

Report number three

The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (III). Meridional transport

Report number four

The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (IV). The unexplained/ignored climate shift of 1997

Report number five

The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (V). A role for the sun in climate change

Report number six

The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (VI). Meridional transport is the main climate change driver

Narrative themes and scientific facts

When observing a modern crusade like climate alarmism and its decarbonization policies, keep in mind the basic set of ideas that drive such crusades, and the better alternatives to such ideas. Bob Brinsmead is right that most people live by narrative or story. Wendell Krossa

At the most fundamental level the climate alarm crusade is driven by a narrative that is as old as humanity. The basic themes of the narrative can be found in the earliest human writings (Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian). Those “mythical” themes were passed down to the great world religions, and then were passed into the modern world through 19th century Declinism ideology (Arthur Herman, “The Idea of Decline in Western History”). In Declinism, primitive mythology became ideology for our contemporary era. Those primitive themes/ideas were even given affirmation from modern science.

Again, here is a brief outline of the basic narrative themes:

We have to tackle these ideas because scientific fact convinces very few people to abandon “profoundly religious” apocalyptic movements like climate change alarmism.

The past was better (an original paradise world, Eden). “Bad” people (“original sin” mythology) ruined paradise with their greed and sin. Now life is declining toward something worse, toward some prophesied collapse and ending (apocalypse). Bad people deserve such destruction, as punishment for their sins.

But apocalyptics offer the hope of salvation if people make some sacrifice/payment for their sins (to appease the angry deities). Threatened people must also purge the world of the corrupting thing that threatens life (the monster, the enemy). The “good people” in the “true religion” or crusade must fight the righteous battle against evil that will purge the threat to life, the monster or enemy. Then they can restore the lost paradise or install and a new millennial kingdom.

(Note: The base human tribal impulse finds expression in such “righteous battles against evil enemies”, just as these battles fulfill the hero’s impulse to gain salvation by conquering monsters.)

The climate crusade (as with Declinism in general) claims the original paradise was an earlier more wilderness world. Humanity in civilization, notably in modern industrial society, has ruined the past paradise of the wilderness world. And now apocalyptic alarmists have framed CO2 (the fossil fuels that support modern societies) as the modern-day monster to slay, the enemy in the righteous battle against the “evil” of capitalist/industrial society.

And climate science facts:

Good climate science (notably the physics of CO2) does not support the demonization of CO2, the basic food of all life. For the past millions of years, we have been in an ice-age era of dangerously low CO2 levels and cold temperatures. The modern-era rise in CO2 has benefitted life immensely with a massive greening of our planet. Over just the past 40 years, with more basic plant food- atmospheric CO2- Earth has added 15% more green vegetation (15% more biomass). That has meant more food for animal life and increased crop production for humanity.

And the modern warming of about 1 degree C over the past century has helped us recover from the bitter cold of the Little Ice Age of 1645-1715 that devasted large areas of Earth. But our planet is still too cold with 10 times more people dying every year from cold than die from warmth. News media obsessively harp on “heat waves” to buttress their commitment to the climate apocalypse narrative and ignore almost entirely the far greater threat from cold.

For 80% of the history of life over the past 540 million years, average temperatures on Earth have been around 17-20 degrees C, far above the subnormal “severe ice age” 14.5 degrees C of today’s world. And there was no “climate crisis” with such warm average temperatures. We could use another 3-6 degrees C of warming and all life would benefit.

More warmth does not mean that already warm areas become hotter as more heat energy is distributed by Earth’s great ocean and atmospheric convection currents to the colder regions like the poles, evening out temperatures across the globe. The warming of polar regions means extended habitats for much more diverse plants and animals and extended farmlands for humanity. All net beneficial. So please cease the hysterical panic-mongering over melting glaciers and polar ice. An ice-free world is normal in paleoclimate terms, more optimal and healthy for all life.

Christianity got Jesus all wrong (on the most important features of his message and life) Wendell Krossa

There is a growing awareness, recognition, and acceptance today, within even the Christian movement, that Christianity has gotten some fundamental things about Jesus wrong, entirely wrong in some cases. Like, for instance, his revolutionary new theology of a non-retaliatory God.

Jesus had said, “Do not engage eye for eye retaliatory justice against your offenders. But instead love your enemies because God does. God does not retaliate against God’s enemies but instead forgives, loves, and includes all equally. How so? God gives the good gifts of life- sun and rain- to both the righteous and unrighteous alike.” (See both Matthew 5:38-48 and Luke 6:27-36)

Jesus’ original message was a message of no conditions love and entirely free forgiveness of sin. See a further illustration of this unconditional message in the parable of the Prodigal and the Father’s free acceptance of the wasteful son without condition of prepayment or recompense of any kind.

Paul, the founder of the Christianity that we have inherited today rejected that non-retaliatory theology for a re-enforcement of the primitive theology of a retaliatory God who would mete out punitive, destructive justice (the Wrath of God) on faithless unbelievers. Paul stated his theology with an Old Testament quote: “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord”, (Romans 12:17-20).

The only escape from the punitive wrath of God was based on the condition of faith in the Christ myth of Paul (see Paul’s Romans letter), a Christ that had met the ultimate condition of dying to pay for the sin of the world. Additionally, people desiring salvation had to embrace a complex of related conditions exhibiting that one had real faith in the Christ- i.e. embracing the correct beliefs about the Christ, undergoing baptism and membership in a true Christian community, fulfilling Christian rituals, and embracing the Christian lifestyle- all necessary conditional “proofs” that one’s faith was legitimate. Paul’s gospel was, contrary to Jesus’ gospel, highly conditional.

(Insert note: What Christianity got right was to include the core Jesus material in its gospels though this material faced the “diamonds in dung” problem that Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy pointed to- i.e. the larger New Testament context of Paul’s Christ myth that distorted and buried the meaning of Jesus’ original message.)

Another critical reversal of the teaching of the original Historical Jesus is Paul’s denial of Jesus’ anti-sacrifice message for a portrayal of him as a Savior who came to Earth to become the ultimate cosmic blood sacrifice that fulfilled the Old Testament prophesies of a Messiah that would offer himself to suffer and die and thereby pay for the sins of the world. That message of demanded blood sacrifice to pay for sin has been the essence of the Christian gospel for two millennia now.

Paul’s atonement theology turned a Jewish wisdom sage that died for his protest against the sacrifice of animals (i.e. the overturning of tables in the Temple) as necessary to pay for sin and achieve forgiveness, into a Christ that would represent the message of ultimate blood sacrifice to required to pay for sin and thereby gain forgiveness.

This is a stunning overturning of the message of a historical person to portray him as presenting an entirely opposite message (a shift from an anti-sacrifice gospel to an ultimate cosmic sacrifice gospel).

Bob Brinsmead has compiled a list of sources that uncover this stunning rejection and distortion, by early Gentile Christianity, of the original message of Jesus for the opposite gospel of Paul’s Christ. Some subtitles below are borrowed from Bob and all the quotes from sources are from Bob’s compilation. Bob’s one-sentence statements are summaries of what the quoted scholar says, and are not necessarily Bob’s views on the topics. Hopefully, readers will access the full compilation for a more complete picture of historical Jesus and the Christian distortion of his original message. (I will post the site of Bob Brinsmead when he puts his full version up)

This is the incredible story of how an ordinary, imperfect man, born of Jewish parents and who became a Jewish wisdom sage, was transformed into the cosmic Christ of Paul’s religion. That transformation was a stunning rejection and overturning of the original message of Jesus. As Maurice Casey says, an ordinary man, a Jewish prophet, was transformed into a Gentile, Hellenistic God that denied the actual message of the original man.

The search for the original message of Historical Jesus is a project that involves going to root ideas/themes, icons or archetypes, to clean out the primitive pagan and replace that with the fully humane, just as Jesus originally tried to do.

It is critical to engage this project of understanding the Christian distortion of Jesus, because the early Christian retreat to embrace Paul’s apocalyptic Christ gospel led to the ongoing influence of the Christ myth across two millennia. James Tabor said that Paul has been the most influential person in all history and that makes his Christ myth the most influential myth in all history. And the darker features of the Christ myth, such as the portrayal of a God using violence to destroy his enemies and the world in an apocalypse, have distorted and buried the profoundly human features of Jesus’ message. The Christ of Paul is largely responsible for the continuing dominance of such pagan themes as apocalyptic mythology in modern narratives and consciousness, including in “secular” versions of apocalypse such as environmental apocalypse.

Some critical points: (From sources below)

There were several significant movements in early Christianity, notably the Jewish Christian movement and Paul’s later Gentile Christian movement that would declare Jewish Christianity to be heretical.

James was the actual leader of the Jewish Christian movement, not Peter as portrayed in the New Testament gospels. Paul opposed the authority of James and that led to the eventual demise of Jewish Christianity. The authors of the gospels and other New Testament books all supported Paul’s views on the Christ myth. They were the only books included in the NT in support of Paul. They ignore and dismiss the role of James in leading the Jewish Christian branch of early Christianity.

Other traditions aside from the New Testament books affirm the role and message of James (i.e. the lost Gospel to the Hebrews, the Gospel of Thomas, Eusebius, that show that Jesus appointed his brother James to be the leader in his place).

When the rest of the NT was written much later James was marginalized or ignored. But other sources give some sense of what James was about and hence insight into what Jesus was really like and what he actually taught. “(James) is the key to the Historical Jesus… Who and whatever James was, so was Jesus”, Robert Eisenman, “James the Brother of Jesus”, p. 8, 963.

The Jewish Christians became known variously as Nazarites or Ebionites, among other titles. They viewed Jesus as a prophet who came to reform the law of Moses. They believed in following the Jewish law, they were vegetarian, and they rejected animal sacrifice. “The Ebionites are the best and most important representatives of early Jewish Christianity”, Keith Akers, “The Lost Religion of Jesus”, p.29-30.

Most critical: “The Ebionites unequivocally condemned one of the central aspects of Judaism, namely the practise of animal sacrifice”, p.33. They rejected Old Testament teaching on sacrifice as false material. “The Ebionites… claimed that the written tradition (Jewish scriptures) had been corrupted by false texts”, p.77-8. “The distinctive origin of Jewish Christianity lies to a large degree in its opposition to animal sacrifice”, p.101.

“It was the Jewish Christian Ebionites, and not the Gentile Christians, who most faithfully preserved the traditions handed down to them by Jesus”, p.33. Many scholars today agree that “the elaborate sacrificial cult was added to the law centuries after Moses”, p.34.

“John the Baptist offered water baptism to replace blood sacrifice” (Bob Brinsmead). “Baptism was an alternative to animal sacrifice”, Akers, p.43.

Further, “The original Ebionites rejected the idea of the virgin birth and thought that Jesus was the human offspring of Joseph and Mary”, p.48.

“The temple protest of Jesus was all about his opposition to the cult of sacrifice” (Brinsmead).

“Jesus’ ultimate concern in his temple protest was that forgiveness of sin is always freely available and needs no atoning sacrifice”, Bob Brinsmead (editorial insert).

“The priests want Jesus killed… they want to destroy his followers… Jesus’ objection to the practice of animal sacrifice itself, and that his actions during the volatile Passover week were the immediate and most important cause of his death”, Akers, p.119.

“If one tried to draw a true line of “apostolic succession” from Jesus to James and his successors, this line goes directly to the Ebionites… The Jewish Christians/Ebionites read the OT critically, rejecting ‘false texts’. They neither accepted the violent images of God in the Scripture, nor the texts which supported animal sacrifices”, p.178-80, 195-7.

The next source, Jeffrey Butz, “The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity”, notes that James was the most influential leader in the early church but the New Testament authors have all marginalized him. He then goes on to note the conflict between James and Paul. He then adds the most common characteristics of Jewish Christianity:

“Faithful adherence to the Law of Moses.

“The exaltation of James and denigration of Paul.

“A Christology of adoptionism- believing that Jesus was the natural born son of Joseph and Mary and was ‘adopted’ by God as his son by baptism,” p.131.

On the conflict between Paul and James and the Jerusalem church (the Jewish Christians):

“It could be said that the purpose of almost all of Paul’s letters was to counteract the authority, beliefs, and practices of James and the Jerusalem church… the (Jewish Christians) did not regard the death of Jesus as atoning for their sins”, p.149, 150.

“Paul’s teachings are being seen by a rapidly growing number of modern scholars and writers as a distortion of what Jesus taught, and the development of the Christian church as a travesty of the original Jewish beliefs and teachings of Jesus”, p.172.

Next- Barry Wilson, “How Jesus Became Christian”

“The Jesus movement was not the same as the Christ movement”, Bob Brinsmead.

“This Christ movement (the Hellenizers and Paul) came to cover up the original teachings of Jesus… the original message of Jesus and the Jesus Movement, Jesus’ earliest followers in Jerusalem became switched for a different religion… The Christ movement replaced the original Jesus movement… there was an important shift away from the teachings of Jesus to those about the Christ. That is, beliefs about the person of Jesus conceived of as a Christ came to obscure what he said and did. Thus, the religion of Jesus, the one Jesus taught and practiced, became transformed into a cult about the Christ…”

“Paul’s religion was not the religion of Jesus… the divine Gentile Christ was switched for the human Jewish Jesus. A religion about the Christ substituted for the teachings of Jesus… It was a huge switch- the Christ for Jesus, Paul’s religion for Jesus’, and the Christ movement for the Jesus movement, … simply put, Jesus got upstaged by Paul”, Wilson, p.2-6.

“As James, so Jesus… The best indication of what Jesus… actually taught is likely to be James. His brother, James, knew the man and what he stood for… James is the best clue we have today concerning the beliefs and practices of the Jesus of history”, p.98. (Note, James was well known as a righteous Jew, adhering faithfully to Jewish law).

“Christology replaced the teaching of Jesus (The cult of the person of Jesus as the Christ developed after his death)”, Bob Brinsmead.

“The image of Jesus changed dramatically over the course of about 100 years. Jesus became to be seen as a divine being holding cosmic importance… The image of Jesus changed radically, while his roots within Judaism were forgotten. By the mid-second century, Christian leaders were touting Jesus as an incarnate Savior who redeemed humanity by his death and resurrection… This represents a remarkable shift in emphasis- away from the religion of Jesus and toward a religion about Christ”, Wilson p.103-4.

“In reading Paul’s letters, it is surprising how little is made of anything the comes from the Jesus of history… (Paul) did not ground his own message in the teachings, observances, or sayings that come from the religion of Jesus. There are no parables, no Lord’s prayer, or no Sermon on the Mount…. There is just what Paul says he got mystically from the Christ whom he claims reveals himself to him. Devoid of linkage to the Jesus movement and to Judaism generally, Paul’s Christ movement would have appeared suspiciously like a Hellenistic mystery religion”, p.146.

“In linking the Christ movement to the Jesus movement, what the writer of Acts has succeeded in doing is fusing together two separate religions”, p.138.

“The Christ of Paul, revealed in private visions, replaced the historical Jesus”, Bob Brinsmead.

“The religion of Jesus and his earliest followers became upstaged as an imaginative and startlingly new religion entered the arena- Paul’s Christ movement. Shunning the Jesus movement leaders, he crafted his own cult. He took as his source of inspiration mythical communiques from the Christ- not the teachings of the Jesus of history or the practices of Jesus’ earliest followers in Jerusalem. He thought he enjoyed a separate and special pipeline to the divine, receiving different information and insights than others of his time. The mystical Christ, however, a dying and rising savior, shared many of the same characteristics as other figures well known withing the Roman world through the cults of Dionysus, Isis, and Mithras. Paul’s group was not a form of Judaism but a separate Hellenized religion that paid no attention to the teaching of Torah or Jesus”, Wilson, p.238.

“Paul built his view of Christ on models found outside Judaism, in the mystery religions of the time. The Christ is like Dionysus or Mithrus or many other figures- heroes who die and rise again to save humanity and whose followers can achieve salvation through participation in the hero’s life and death”, p247.

“The transformation brought about by the Christification process was so successful that the religion of the historical Jesus was replaced by the cult of the Christ. In so doing, the early church ‘killed off’ the historical Jesus, focusing instead, on the worship of the Christ. The myth of the Christ was so effective that it is very difficult now to reconstruct the contours of the authentic teachings, sayings, and doing of the historical Jesus”, p.248.

“What we have today in Christianity is largely Paulinity, a religion about the Gentile Christ that covers over the message of the Jewish Jesus of history… we need to recover the humanity and Jewishness of Jesus… we should endeavor to focus again on the message, not the messenger”, p.256.

“The gospels themselves were written after Paul… they too show evidence of Christification, especially the gospel of John. The Christification layering process is to be found within the pages of the New Testament itself, with Paul’s Christ superimposed on the Jesus of history… early Christian texts tended to cover over the involvement of Jesus’ family in his mission. This was due to the desire of the Christifiers to downplay the role of James and the Jesus movement in favor of Paul’s religion; James would have none of the Christ cult beliefs and practices… A human Jesus. This is not a modern invention. It is the original Jesus. That was precisely how his earliest followers- including his brother- understood him. It is only Paul, the Christifiers, and their successors who thought otherwise”, p.260-1.

James Tabor, “Paul and Jesus: How the apostle transformed Christianity”

“The source of Paul’s gospel was his independent visionary episodes”, Bob Brinsmead.

“The entire New Testament canon is largely a… pro-Paul production”, Tabor, p.18-19.

“Christianity is Paul and Paul is Christianity… the bulk of the New Testament is dominated by his theological vision”, p. 24.

“James association with the historical Jesus is superior to Paul’s Christ of visionary experience”, Bob Brinsmead.

“Although James has been all but written out of our New Testament records he nonetheless remains our best and most direct link to the historical Jesus… it is nonetheless a fact that what Paul preached was wholly based upon his own visionary experiences, whereas James and the original apostles had spent extensive time with Jesus during his lifetime… the difficulty… is that Paul’s influence within our New Testament is permeating and all pervasive”, Tabor, p.39.

“None of the gospels is an eyewitness account… None of them is writing history but all four can rightly be called theologians… (they) reveal a process of mythmaking that went on within decades of Jesus’ death”, p.71.

“Paul never quotes directly a single teaching of Jesus…”, p.132.

“Despite their diversity there seem to be four general ideas that Jewish-Christian groups agreed upon: the eternal validity of the Torah of Moses, the acceptance of only the gospel of Matthew in Hebrew (in which there was no virgin birth), the complete rejection of Paul as a heretic and apostate from the Torah, and the belief that Jesus was a human being, born of a mother and a father, chose by God but not divine. The best known group, the one that drew most fire from orthodox Pauline circles, were the Ebionites. They most likely got their names from the Q teaching of Jesus- ‘Blessed are you poor ones’”, p.234.

“Paul is sharply censored as one who put his own testimony based on visions over the certainty of the direct teachings that the original apostles had from Jesus”, p.234.

Patricia Williams, “Where Christianity Went Wrong”

“Paul evinces no interest in Jesus’ life, neither his deeds nor his sayings. This is because Paul believes he has his own, private revelations directly from the resurrected Jesus…”, p.42-3.

“John announces forgiveness of sins outside the Temple system, without requiring sacrifice”, p.46.

“If Jesus thinks sacrifice for sin unnecessary, Christianity has been arrogant to contradict him. This is another place where Christianity has gone wrong”, p.68.

“Jesus’ behavior angers and frightens the Temple authorities. They may well have already been angry because Jesus, like John the Baptist, proclaims forgiveness outside the Temple system”, p.111-12.

“Jesus does not anticipate his sacrificial death at the final supper. He does not die as a sacrifice for sins. He believes God has forgiven our sins already, without sacrifice”, p.115.

Williams says that Christianity goes wrong when after Jesus’ death his disciples equate him with the Messiah figure of David, and Gentile believers equate him as the true emperor who has ascended to the gods, equated with God. “When these concepts are attached to Jesus, they invert his message. They turn Jesus into the savior of the world and a sacrifice for sin. In stark contrast, Jesus’ message is that people do not need a savior, and salvation does not require a sacrifice”, p.147.

“Jesus famously overturns the tables of the moneychangers whose work made Temple sacrifice possible”, p.184-8.

Hans-Joachim Schoeps, “Jewish Christianity”

“Ebionites was the name given to Jewish Christians”, Bob Brinsmead.

“They acknowledged neither the divine sonship nor a pre-existence nor a virgin birth”, Schoeps, p.8.

“It is not Peter… but James the brother of Jesus who appears as head of the community. He is made bishop of Jerusalem by Jesus himself”, p.39-40.

“Jewish Christianity clearly knows as little of a supernatural birth as of soteriological interpretation of Jesus’ death on the cross, such as the view which regarded Jesus as a vicarious atoning sacrifice. Since they rejected bloody sacrifices altogether as crass paganism… the sinlessness of Jesus was not accepted by them, since their gospel allowed Jesus himself to admit unwilling sins or sins of ignorance”, p.62.

“Of primary importance to the Ebionites is the bloody animal sacrifice, abolished by Jesus… the real point of Jesus’ mission is the annulling of the sacrificial law… Animal sacrifice… Jesus abolished it and replaced the blood of sacrificial animals with the water of baptism… the Ebionites were actually orthodox pupils of Jesus who rejected the sacrificial cult so emphatically because their master had already done so… the Ebionites were bound to reject emphatically the Pauline soteriology, which conceived of Jesus’ death as a bloody, atoning sacrifice”, p.82-3.

“The Ebionites required abstinence from meat and this was apparently related to their rejection of the bloodshed involved in animal sacrifice”, p.99.

Maurice Casey, “From Jewish Prophet to Gentile God”

“Jesus does not apply the term ‘messiah’ (Christ) to himself… the early church applied it to him”, p.41-3.

“It took some 50 or 60 years to turn a Jewish prophet into a Gentile God… The deity of Jesus is a belief which could have developed only in a predominantly Gentile church”, p.169.

Geza Vermes, “The Authentic Gospel of Jesus”

“The Old Testament did not play an important role in the preaching of Jesus; he did not argue his doctrine from the Bible”, p.212.

“Bearing in mind that the crucifixion of Jesus was perhaps the greatest difficulty which the early church had to overcome in proclaiming him as the Messiah promised to the Jews, the absence of detailed biblical proof concerning this essential doctrine is astonishing”, p.215.

“The Synoptic Gospels in their present form consist of an adjusted, supplemented, and corrected version, a thoroughly revised edition of the original message of Jesus. The words, idioms, and images which a first century AD Galilean master addressed to his compatriots and co-religionists were rephrased in the Gospels to suit a totally different public, imbued with Hellenistic thought in the Greek-speaking part of the Roman empire. To cater for the requirements of this new audience and readership, ideas foreign to Jesus were introduced into the gospels. Consequently, it is up to us now to differentiate between the genuine and the accrued message”, p.372.

Geza Vermes, “The Changing Faces of Jesus”

“The fact that Jesus was admired, or suspected, as a potential Messiah started a complex process of theological speculation, which in the course of three centuries culminated in the elevation of the carpenter from Nazareth to the rank of the second person of the triune Godhead, the Holy Trinity”, p.257.

Geza Vermes, “The Religion of Jesus the Jew”

“The letters of Paul with their drama of a death, atonement, and resurrection… The Christ of Paul and John, on the way towards deification, overshadows and obscures the man of Galilee”, p.210.

Geza Vermes, “Jesus and the World of Judaism”

“Another historical consideration remains, involving the question of why the Judaeo-Christians, the first Jesus followers, withdrew so relatively fast from the main body of the church. Rarely confronted, this problem is nevertheless of methodological importance because the most likely reason was that the Ebionites became convinced that they were witnessing in the Hellenistic communities (Paul’s Gentile Christian movement) a fatal misrepresentation of Jesus, a betrayal of his ideals, and their replacement by alien concepts and aspirations”, p.26.

Other sources note that Jesus was not an apocalyptic prophet. He did not believe that God would engage ultimate violence to destroy the world and punish sinners. To the contrary, Christianity embraced the primitive apocalyptic mythology of its parent religions- Judaism and Zoroastrianism.

I would add my own point, affirming that Jesus was not apocalyptic because he clearly stated that he rejected the idea of a retaliatory God in his Math.5 and Luke 6 comments (same message just given different settings by different authors). Jesus rejected eye for eye retaliatory justice based on his view of a God that did not retaliate against offenders but instead loved enemies.

Summary of Mathew.5:38-48 and Luke 6: 27-36…

“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Everyone finds it easy to love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Everyone can do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Most will lend to others, expecting to be repaid in full. But do something more heroic, more humane. (Live on a higher plane of human experience). Do not retaliate against your offenders/enemies with ‘eye for eye’ justice. Instead, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will be just like God, because God does not retaliate against God’s enemies. God does not mete out eye for eye justice. Instead, God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Be unconditionally loving, just as your God is unconditionally loving”. (My paraphrase of Luke 6:32-36.)

In this central part of his message, Jesus presents nothing that would lead us to conclude that he believed in a retaliatory God using violence to destroy the world and punish enemies (i.e. apocalyptic destruction).

If, as Jesus claims, God did not retaliate against enemies but instead loved God’s enemies then God was not apocalyptic because apocalyptic is the ultimate act of retaliation against enemies, the supreme and final destruction and punishment of enemies.

Paul took the opposite stance to Jesus in embracing a retaliatory God. Paul states his retaliatory theology in Romans 12, quoting an Old Testament statement, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord”. His embrace of an apocalyptic deity is also expressed in his retaliatory Christ myth presented in his Thessalonian letters. He states that “Lord Jesus will return in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus”.

“Who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus”? He means his “Christ myth” gospel, not the message of the Historical Jesus.

Other posts…

Like many others I hold a fundamental ‘truth’ as my baseline belief, the insight that I use to orient my consciousness and emotions when enduring the too often harsh experiences that life presents. Wendell Krossa

My baseline insight/belief is that love is the ultimate core reality behind all other reality. And not just the familial or friendship love that most of us are familiar with, but the inclusive, universal love (love of even enemies) that we attribute to deity. A stunningly inexpressible love that the Near-Death Experience people tell us they experienced during their forays into other realms beyond the material.

I hold to that most foundational reality and then I am obligated to understand and explain the dark horrors that so many experience in their lives, the “hell” that life has brought to many people across history.

Horrors? Yes, whether from the apparent randomness of natural disasters that destroy the lives of both good and bad people alike or the unfathomable cruelty that some people have unleashed on their fellow human beings over history.

And what does the horror of human misery and suffering all mean? Is it about learning something from suffering? Some, for example, have suggested that we only know and experience love in contrast with its opposite- hate. The horrific opposites to good are necessary to experience and know the good. Good would not exist without its opposite, the argument goes.

We need the opposite to struggle against, and in that struggle we gain insights and develop goodness in contrast with the wrong we struggle against.

But there appear to be so many exceptions to the argument that human suffering leads to learning or development. Like the young lady in Somalia who was gang-raped by local men as she walked along a rural trail to visit her grandmother. After the attack, she went to the local authorities to protest. But they turned on her, accusing her of adultery, and then called some 30 local men to bring her to a local stadium where she was buried up to her neck and then stoned to death. What could she possibly have learned during those last terrifying hours of her life? Just the experience of horror?

Others suggest that divine love cannot prevent evil because love and freedom are inseparable realities. Divine love will not override the freedom of others because freedom of choice is essential to good being authentic good, that is, arising from a free choice. Coerced good is not authentic good.

And this explanation counters the common belief that deity intervenes in life to protect the righteous and punish the unrighteous. When deity does not intervene, as during the Holocaust, then many are led to conclude that God is absent or does not care about human suffering. The Jewish people developed “protest theology” from their experience of the Holocaust- that in the future they would hold God in judgment for his apparent failure to prevent that devastating period.

Others counter- No. God is present and incarnate in every human person during their suffering. And God is therefore evident in all human rage against evil, all human action to prevent evil, to make life better. Each on of us is an embodiment of God and we express the present God through our feelings and actions. God is present not in coercive overriding of free choice but in silent persuasion, urges, feelings, that arouse our rage at wrong and inspire us to take action for good.

We are the embodiments of invisible deity and therefore we alone are responsible for fighting evil and promoting good in life.

These are all efforts at “theodicy”- the endeavor to defend the belief that ultimately there is love at the core of reality despite the horrors that life on this planet present to many people. See more in the section below on Campbell’s outline of the hero’s quest.

There are thousands of books (one author’s estimate) written over the past century or so offering explanations for the presence of disaster, evil, and consequent suffering in life. No single approach will satisfy everyone and each of us must find the answers/explanations that work best for us.

“Near-Death Experience” (NDE) movement- A new “spiritual” tradition Wendell Krossa

Across history the human impulse for meaning has produced an endless succession of human endeavors to understand and explain reality, life, human existence. First in the earliest mythology and then later in more organized religious traditions, and the great world religions.

I view the NDE movement as one of the latest such endeavors of humanity to reveal what greater or Ultimate Reality is about. A complaint would be that these experiences are unprovable, in the scientific sense, personal experiences. Yes. Just as all the great religious traditions were based on the personal spiritual experiences of the founders- Sumerian characters, Zoroaster’s experiences, Buddha’s tree revelation, Moses’ mountain top experience (Hebrew religion), Paul’s Damascus Road and other revelations (Christian religion), Mohammad’s cave revelations (Islam), and so on. Personal experience is the foundation of most religious understanding and explanation of reality.

The scientific movement of the modern era has largely relegated subjective personal experience to the unprovable, irrational, and hence of no value in understanding or explaining reality and its meaning.

But conscious human experience continues to dominate all human endeavor even in science with the inseparable relation between observed reality and observers. With scientists still uncertain as to what material reality is in its essence and scientists themselves constantly crossing the philosophy/science boundary to explain reality with speculations and assumptions that are unprovable (i.e. multi-verse theory, String theory). The impulse for meaning, for ultimate understanding, continues to take us beyond just the proven material to speculation on greater issues of what is most critical and fundamental.

This is not to question physical science in the realm that it is designed to understand and explain and its great successes there. But that is a limited project and does not even answer the questions of so-called material reality- i.e. What is reality? What is the essential nature of material reality? And- What is consciousness and the role of consciousness? Human consciousness remains the most real thing that we know and is perhaps the most foundational reality of all.

And then those even greater questions- What does it all mean? What is the point of it all? Physical science, especially in its dogmatic materialist versions, has no way of beginning to understand and explain/answer such things.

So all to say, I take human experience seriously as it is the most real thing that we know and perhaps the most real and fundamental reality of all in the cosmos.

I approach the NDE movement with this view, as well as other criteria for evaluating those experiences.

Notable in the NDE movement is the discovery of unconditional love as the essence of divinity. And this makes the NDE movement quite unlike all mythical and religious traditions that are all highly conditional. Highly conditional with their conditions of right belief, correct rituals, demanded sacrifices/payments for wrong, and religious lifestyle for membership/acceptance in a tradition. The NDE movement when taking unconditional love seriously, is entirely non-religious. A truly “spiritual but not religious” tradition.

And as the NDE movement has discovered love, a stunningly inexpressible form of love, at the core of all, well, that resonates as “true” and real. Love is the absolute highest and best thing that we have discovered over our history. It defines us as human as nothing else can.

Approach the NDE movement with an open mind for some surprises. Good books have been written on the movement. While most of us may never experience what the NDE people have experienced, we can still benefit from their experiences in helping to alleviate our own fear of death.

I touch base with insights from NDEs because they remind us of what is most real, most important- i.e. love. And the highest and best form of love that we know- unconditional.

Added note:

A persistent complaint re science is that while it has been wildly successful in telling us how the natural world works (i.e. natural law), there is the dogmatic tendency of the “philosophical materialism” that dominates science to deny other ways of knowing (i.e. the “spiritual”), to deny the primal impulses to purpose and meaning that are so critical to most people. Yet, with cognitive dissonance, hard-core materialist scientists themselves consistently cross the “science/philosophy” boundary to speculate on ultimate meaning/purpose issues that have no observed basis in any reality (see for example Sabine Hossenfelder’s “Lost in Math”, or Jim Baggott’s “Farewell to Reality” and “Mass”).

Science has also rightly reframed human significance in some important ways (i.e. common descendance with the animal world, across vast eras of geological time- billions of years), but has over-stepped its limited mandate in dismissing/downplaying other critical factors in the mix that profoundly affirm human significance- i.e. the reality of conscious human selves as perhaps the most real thing we know, perhaps the only “real” thing in the cosmos, and with consciousness, most fundamental to all other reality.

Further note: My own position in regard to the mind/brain and consciousness debates is somewhat similar to John Eccles “dualist interactionism”- that a conscious human self interacts with or uses the material brain for its life experience in this material realm. There is not a shred of sound evidence that the meat in our heads produces the wonder of mind or the conscious human self (see the humorous take in this “They-re made of meat” available online). So in response to Susan Blackmore- No, dualism is not “dead”. The human self does not die with the death of the material brain.

Andy May, “Are fossil-fuel CO2 emissions good or bad?”

From https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/08/30/are-fossil-fuel-co2-emissions-good-or-bad/

First, May offers a quote from climate physicist William Happer…

“There is no scientific evidence that global greenhouse gas emissions will have a harmful effect on climate. Quite the contrary, there is very good evidence that the modest increase in atmospheric CO2 since the start of the Industrial age has already been good for the Earth and that more will be better.”

Then May continues with some important “paleoclimate” facts (the ‘big picture’ perspective that shows how distorting alarmist claims of “worst on record” have been)…

“So, it appears likely that Northern Hemisphere temperatures of the Holocene Climatic Optimum (roughly 9000BC to 4200BC) were more than three degrees warmer than those in the pre-industrial period, also known as the Little Ice Age…

“If we add 1.5 degrees to today’s temperature, we reach 9.2°C, this is roughly the same temperature in the Indonesian Throughflow, that was seen during the Roman Warm Period, labeled as RWP, or the temperature when Plato lived and taught. It is well over one-degree cooler than during the Holocene Climatic Optimum when human civilization and human agriculture were invented. We see no evidence in this reconstruction that 1.5, or even 2°C of warming were a problem in the past….”

After detailing the devastating impacts of cold climate during the pre-industrial era (Little Ice Age), May then concludes…

“In summary, currently we have observed no negative effects from rising CO2 or global warming. In fact, if anything, the world is better now than during the pre-industrial period. We have fewer weather and climate related problems, agricultural productivity is higher, and there are credible models that ascribe these improvements to rising levels of CO2 and warmer weather…

“Current realistic projections say we might see 2.5 to 3°C of warming in 2100. What is the fuss? More than 6000 years ago, temperatures were at least three degrees warmer than today in the Northern Hemisphere when civilization began.”

Update on climate science research, noting the solar-climate effect…

The sun-climate relationship has undergone a history of contributing important information to our understanding of climate change, to being discredited, to finally being acknowledged as an important natural factor in climate change. However, climate alarmists and their models continue to ignore this important subfield of climate research.

Report number one:

The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (I). The search for a solar signal

Report number two:

The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (II). Solar activity unexplained/ignored effects on climate

Report number three:

The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (III). Meridional transport

Report number four:

The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (IV). The unexplained/ignored climate shift of 1997

Report number five:

The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (V). A role for the sun in climate change

Report number six

The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (VI). Meridional transport is the main climate change driver

And a review of a supposed “fact-check” that tries to dismiss the “World climate declaration” facts.

Bizarre ‘Fact Check’ of World Climate Declaration Claims No Natural Climate Change For Almost 200 Years

“How the West’s “Green Agenda” incentivized and empowered Putin’s attack on Ukraine
Kyiv Post, 28 August 2022

By Jaroslw Martyniuk

“Climate orthodoxy vs. climate skeptics…

“For a generation, we have been told that the science regarding global warming has been “settled” and that it is anthropogenic, i.e., manmade. The mainstream media and environmental activists alleged that to save the planet, we must take drastic measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions, because we are on the brink of extinction and have only until 2030 to do something about it. Short of that, it would make our planet uninhabitable.

“Fighting climate change, therefore, had become an obsession; moreover, a threat to national security overriding geopolitical threats posed by Russia and other bad actors.

“The alarmist nature of Green movements in the U.S. and Europe has taken on the religious fervor of an apocalyptic cult. Its core belief has been that man’s activities, notably the burning of fossil fuels and, more recently, the release of bovine methane, are causing global warming.

“To counter this view, a spate of books and scientific papers have challenged the climate change orthodoxy and the assumption that warming temperatures are the result of man. They argue that the adverse effects of global warming have been vastly exaggerated and, importantly, that other non-human factors, over which we have no control, may be at play.

“One of the most influential works questioning the conventional wisdom on climate change has been written by Stephen Koonin, the former Chief Scientist in the Obama Administration and a singularly credible source. In “Unsettled” (2021), Koonin notes that climate alarmism has come to dominate U.S. politics and has become increasingly divorced from science.

“Earlier this year, Bjorn Lomborg published “False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions.” Like Koonin, Lomborg states, “the rhetoric on climate change has become ever more extreme and irrational and less moored to the actual science.” The establishment scientists, media, and politicians with an agenda have fanned a panic beyond what can be explained by good sense. Lomborg notes that while “climate change may be real, it is not apocalyptic.” Media headlines such as “Climate Change Could End Human Civilization by 2050” are outrageously over the top and contribute to the panic.

“Both scientists, in effect, accuse the establishment of creating a hoax. In the same vein, Bruce Bunker’s “The Mythology of Climate Change” (2019) noted that we don’t have reliable data to claim with any degree of certainty that there is a climate crisis. These scientists argue that climate is a cyclical phenomenon that has been changing for millennia. More significantly, other factors beyond our control may be contributing to global warming.

“Earlier this year the Global Climate Intelligence Group (Clintel), composed of 1,100 scientists and professionals from 25 counties, issued a declaration entitled “There is no Climate Emergency,” essentially substantiating the arguments of authors cited above.” They maintain that:

Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause planetary warming and that it’s happening far slower than predicted;

“Climate models have serious shortcomings that cast doubt on their reliability;

“Global warming has not increased natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and droughts;

“Climate policies must respect scientific and economic policies.

“Climate change politics and the war in Ukraine

“Although the link may not appear obvious at first, it is clear that the pursuit of net zero policies (and similar) have had the unintended consequence of weakening the West’s hand to counter Russian aggression. It has been “a self-inflicted disaster years in the making,” opined the Wall Street Journal in Oct. 2021. The editorial concluded that Europe’s willingness to harm itself in the name of unachievable climate goals was one of the greatest acts of self-sabotage in history.

“The pledge of net zero gas emissions by 2050 had led to the closing of coal power plants while at the same time pouring billions into dubious solar and wind projects, renewable sources of energy that would meet only a small fraction of Europe’s energy needs. Erratic cloud cover, unpredictable wind conditions, and the intractable problem of storing the energy they produce, pose insurmountable obstacles that make these projects of marginal value. Others put it bluntly: the belief that renewables will replace fossil fuels is wishful thinking verging on insanity.

“Is global warming anthropogenic?

“On this issue, experts are divided. One side maintains that global warming is due entirely to human activity, and anyone challenging that belief is labeled a “climate denier,” a stigma comparable to a “Holocaust denier.”

“Questioning such orthodoxy has become as dangerous as Galileo maintaining that the Earth revolved around the sun, for which he was tried, forced to repent, and spent the last eight years of his life under house arrest. A latter-day Galileo, Michael Griffin, former head of NASA, merely stated “global warming may be a long-term problem” and “not one we must wrestle with today.” For that he was forced to resign.

“Another group of scientists maintain that global climate is a connected system of sun, earth and oceans; wind, rain and snow; forests, deserts and savannas; and everything people do. They conclude that that CO2 emissions at most contribute marginally to global warming.

“It is beyond the scope of this article to fully elaborate on the natural non-human factors that impact on global warming. They are numerous and complex, but ignoring them, Kooney writes, casts severe doubts on the science of climate change. However, to appreciate their significance they need to be mentioned, if only briefly:

“Changes in the sun’s intensity linked to sunspot activity have correlated closely with heating and cooling periods since 1900;

“The energy produced by the sun is not constant.

“Currently, the Earth is experiencing the high-temperature end of the latest Ice Age cycle associated with long-term solar cycles;

“Periodic changes in Earth’s orbit and the tilt of its axis influence how much sunlight the Earth’s poles receive from the sun and how it is distributed;

“Variations in Earth’s magnetic field can cause shifts in Earth’s north and south poles, while even a slight tilt in Earth’s axis will cause huge changes in our weather;

“The position of Earth’s magnetic north pole, first located in 1831, has drifted by more than 600 miles (1000 kilometers) to the northwest;

“El Niño oscillations have an inordinate effect on global changes in temperature and rainfall. El Niños, however, have been around since Incas observed them, if not longer.

“Hardly any of the climate models reflect these factors in their calculations. Thus, even if emissions of greenhouse gases exact a warming influence on the planet, it is practically impossible to disentangle them from other parts of the climate system.

“Worse, governments in pursuit of “green energy” and “net zero” emissions policies are doubling down on their war on fossil fuels as if the real world did not exist. In mid-August, the U.S. Congress passed the grotesquely misnamed $740 billion Inflation Reduction package, $370 billion of which is dedicated to green energy programs.

“The cost of green energy policies can now be counted in the trillions.”

See full article at https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/op-ed/how-wests-green-agenda-incentivized-and-empowered-putins-attack-on-ukraine.html?mc_cid=f77079d1aa&mc_eid=bbd9cad85f

“Jaroslaw Martyniuk is a former energy and environmental economist with the International Energy Agency (IEA)/Organization for Economic Cooperation and Developed Countries (OECD) in Paris. He is also a retired researcher associated with Radio Liberty in Munich and Washington D.C., and the author of “Monte Rosa: Memoir of an Accidental Spy.”

Beating climate alarmism into public consciousness– Creating hysteria over warm summer days…

Germany’s DWD Weather Service Redefines “Heat Wave”: Now 3 Consecutive Days Of Warm Weather!

“Germany’s DWD Weather Service Redefines “Heat Wave”: Now 3 Days of Warm Weather!

By P. Gosselin Aug.29, 2022

“Like the WHO changed the definition of a “pandemic”, the DWD has changed the definition of a “heat wave”…all to falsely generate the sense of a crisis?

“Repeat a lie often enough, and in no time the masses start believing it’s true. Probably few institutions know this better than Germany’s DWD national weather service.

“In order to get people to believe more in runaway warming, they have to be led to believe that “heat waves” are occurring ever more often. Even though it’s been not an unusually hot summer here in Germany (yes, it’s been hot at times), all we hear on the media are news about heat wave after heat wave.

“To allow this, it seems the DWD changed it’s definition of “heat wave” so that now any brief period of warm temperatures qualifies as one. What used to be defined as a period of 5 consecutive days with highs over 30°C, has been changed to a period of just three(!) consecutive days – with a high of 28°C or more. That’s all it takes, folks! It’s truly baffling that Florida could be so popular among retirees.”

See full article at link above.

Further on hysteria over warm summer days...

The Summer of 2022

The Summer of 2022

This from Bjorn Lomborg on the disastrous outcomes, and looming chaos, from the elite obsession with climate change alarmism…

https://financialpost.com/opinion/bjorn-lomborg-elite-disconnects-on-climate-and-prices-could-lead-to-chaos

The material just below goes to the historical roots of one of history’s most damaging mythologies- apocalyptic millennialism. Apocalyptic millennialism includes the beliefs that life began in a paradisal state but human sinfulness then ruined paradise (Enki in Dilmun, Adam/Eve in Eden), and life is now declining toward a worse future and will end in a great apocalyptic destruction of the world.

Apocalyptic millennialism adds the themes of a divine demand for a sacrifice/payment to appease a deity that threatens to violently destroy humanity and the world, a salvation plan that will purge the imagined evil threat from life (i.e. corrupt, greedy humanity), and that violent purging will then permit the restoration of the lost paradise or the installation of a new millennial paradise. (“Appease a deity”?- Yes, both religious deities and “secular” versions like vengeful Gaia, angry Mother Earth or Planet, punitive Universe, or payback karma.)

This pagan mythology that began with the earliest recorded mythologies (Sumerian apocalyptic Flood myth), was later embraced by Zoroastrian apocalyptic that then shaped the Western traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Christianity in particular embraced Paul’s apocalyptic Christ myth (see Thessalonian letters for example) that has most powerfully shaped Western thinking and “secular” mythologies like environmental apocalyptic/climate apocalyptic.

If we are to thoroughly free human consciousness from such primitive and damaging mythologies then we have to go to the root influences that keep such myths alive in modern consciousness.

Arthur Mendel (Vision and Violence) concluded that apocalyptic has been “the most violent and destructive idea in history”. Destructive? How so? Watch the “profoundly religious” apocalyptic movement of climate alarmism. Its embrace of the salvation scheme of decarbonization (Net Zero) is severely damaging societies, notably in Europe (Germany, Britain). Other societies like the US, Australia, and Canada are also embracing the same madness. So yes, “most destructive idea in history”.

Apocalyptic, with its fallacy of life declining toward something worse, toward some great catastrophe, is so entirely opposite to the actual long-term trajectory of life that shows ongoing improvement. The overall improvement of life across the millennia, and especially over recent centuries, affirms hope in the basic goodness and creative ability of humanity to make life better (see, for example, sources like “Humanprogress.org”). Apocalyptic is a great fraud and lie that has burdened and deformed human consciousness far too long.

See the detailed treatment of apocalyptic millennialism, and its destructive impacts on societies, in the research of historians Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline in Western History), Richard Landes (Heaven on Earth), Arthur Mendel (Vision and Violence), and David Redles (Hitler’s Millennial Reich). They point also to environmental alarmism’s embrace of this destructive mythology. As they note, apocalyptic millennial themes, derived from Christianity, had previously shaped Marxism and Nazism and their horrifically destructive outcomes over the twentieth century (Stalin’s 20 million deaths, Mao’s 70 million deaths, Hitler’s 50 million deaths, along with others).

A quote from Landes’ “Heaven On Earth”:

“The study of Nazism’s appeal, of Hitler’s charisma, belong to the field of millennial studies… Only then can we identify the key problems… (Hitler) is not so much the measure of the unthinkably, the impossibly evil, as he is the measure of how, with modern technology and an only partially developed civil polity, a nation, a people, seized by, ridden by a millennial passion, can become one of the great dealers of death in human history” (p. 388, Genocidal Millennialism: Millennial hopes, apocalyptic time, and Hitler’s success).

The climate apocalyptic movement (Yes, you heard me right- it is a “profoundly religious” apocalyptic movement), like all other similar apocalyptic movements across history, the contemporary one is inevitably a movement of self-destruction. It is driven by profoundly damaging religious themes, again similar to all past movements. It is not a scientific movement even though it repeatedly claims to “follow the science”.

As skeptical scientists rightly bemoan (i.e. skeptical of the alarmist exaggeration of “crisis”), it appears that scientific fact is not changing many minds about the prophesied looming “climate catastrophe”. A looming catastrophe (“existential threat”) that actual observation of the natural world shows does not exist. The crisis has been manufactured from discredited climate models that have been fed alarmist assumptions that produce results that are “running too hot”, way too hot. Again, contrary to actual observed climate evidence.

The manufactured hysteria over climate crisis continues to fuel the “madness of crowds” response where populations are now supporting the irrational salvation scheme of decarbonization that is already ruining advanced societies like Germany and Britain. Leaders there continue their “blind faith” that unreliable intermittent renewables will save them, against all contrary evidence that warns them on a daily basis to stop the mad pursuit of Net Zero. They refuse the warnings of collapse all around as they blindly pursue their irrational salvation scheme.

“Self-destruction”? “(Apocalyptics with their) active cataclysmic apocalyptic vision… seek to ‘save the world by destroying it’”, Richard Landes, p.59, Heaven on Earth.

Landes notes the self-destruction that Germany engaged under the Nazis as the German population embraced apocalyptic millennial ideas during the Weimar years. Landes also recounts that self-destruction in South Africa under another apocalyptic millennial movement (the “Xhosa cattle slaying” of 1856-7). I personally observed such self-destruction among Manobo tribal groups in Mindanao (1970s, 80s), possessed with similar apocalyptic millennial themes. Leaving crops to rot, consuming all domestic animals (if the “end is nigh” then to hell with survival needs today), and then the disillusioned return to sanity as the movement failed just as all such apocalyptic movements fail- that 100% failure rate across history.

Comment on this and that

Across human history the great mythologies and religions of our ancestors have stirred our imagination and spirits with narrative themes of gods and heroes going forth in great ventures to fight monsters and enemies, to engage righteous battles of good versus evil, ventures of conquest and victory, and achieving heroic salvation.

Such narratives were buttressed by myths of a greater reality of cosmic dualism- a Good God versus a Satanic spirit, and of ultimate judgment and damnation in hell for deniers of some “true religion”.

Today we can continue to hold to many of the above themes of great ventures in righteous battles against evil, of fighting monsters and enemies, but with an entirely new background affirmation that there is no ultimate cosmic dualism (no ultimate Satanic opposition behind life). We can affirm that there is only ultimate light and love behind reality, a stunningly inexpressible love. Meaning: No matter what route one’s story takes here through life, all are safe in the end- there is no ultimate judgment, no ultimate exclusion of anyone, or threat of after-life harm. The sense of ultimate safety changes everything in our experience here. It sustains hope through the worst elements of life.

And now our monsters and enemies are within us, not without in the form of other people. Yes, we do fight others in necessary battles of right against wrong in this life, but the others involved in such battles are not ultimate “enemies” but intimate human family. Just taking opposing roles as “actors on God’s stage”.

The righteous battle of good against evil is more the battle of our human spirit against the animal inheritance in each of us (i.e. the animal impulses to tribal exclusion and enmity, to domination of weaker others, to destruction of competing others). We begin the struggle against evil in life, within ourselves, conquering the monster/enemy within, before fighting the battles without.

“They call me a dreamer but I’m not the only one”, John Lennon

I ground/base my “dreaming” re a better world/future on the best evidence that I can find regarding the “true state of life” on Earth. Evidence such as that marshalled by researchers like Julian Simon, Bjorn Lomborg, and many similar projects that tackled the true state of life by looking at the best sources on the main indicators of life- i.e. data on the indicators of forests, soils, ocean fisheries, species, climate, the human condition, and more.

My dreaming is then vented in my personal project to alleviate unnecessary fear, the false fears incited by exaggerated apocalyptic narratives such as climate alarmism. My personal quest is to promote hope regarding the overall state of life in this world based on sound evidence on the main indicators of the true state of life. I have repeatedly presented those data sources here- Julian Simon (Ultimate Resource), Greg Easterbrook (A Moment On The Earth), Bjorn Lomborg (Skeptical Environmentalist, also False Alarm), Matt Ridley (Rational Optimist), Indur Goklany (The Improving State of the World), Ronald Bailey (The End of Doom), Marian Tupy and Ronald Bailey (Ten Global Trends), Stephen Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature, James Payne (The History of Force), Hans Rosling (Factfulness), and many others. Read this evidence and discover liberation from the prevailing gloom today about life. Discover a revival of hope based on good evidence.

A project this site repeatedly engages is to promote evidence-based hope because hope is vital to encouraging a spirit of generosity and love in populations. Panic-mongering on the other hand, as in the climate apocalypse narrative, incites a spirit of despair, tribal stinginess, and even self-destructive nihilism as in the irrational salvation scheme of decarbonization (to “save the world”) that is causing immense harm to societies like Britain and Germany (related- a similar decarbonization of Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector devasted that country recently). California is following the same self-destructive path.

One evidence-based boost to hope is the recent release of Marian Tupy and Gale Pooley’s book “Superabundance: The story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Bountiful Planet”. I do not affirm Tupy’s agreement that there is a “climate crisis” that needs some sort of mitigation response (adaptation- yes). But most of the other material that his Humanprogress.org site presents is among the best of good evidence on the human success in improving life (See, for example, his book 10 Global Trends).

Everything on this site comes from an intention to alleviate unnecessary fear and promote hope. All the material here is to say- Don’t fear life or the future. We will adapt to whatever life presents us, just as we have successfully decreased the human deaths from climate/weather related disasters some 99% over the past century. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/01/02/inconvenient-truth-climate-related-death-risk-down-99-6-over-100-years/

It is futile to try to “mitigate” climate by trying to turn a “CO2 knob” because the human contribution to Earth’s carbon cycle is far too small. Human emissions are a “bit player” in the mix of natural factors that influence climate. And CO2 in general (from human and natural sources) has already reached “saturation” in physics terms, meaning that its warming influence will contribute very little to any further warming and that further warming will continue to be net beneficial to all life.

The free speech project of humanity

The great moral project of humanity can be framed as diminishing/eliminating hatred and promoting the alternative of love in all its diverse expressions in unique individual human stories. I tie this directly to the great ongoing battle against tyranny and for freedom that is reaching a new crescendo in our era in regard to free speech and related issues.

Why freedom? Because where there is no freedom there is no love. Freedom and love are sides of the same one coin. Inseparable twins. Intrusive, coercive control that violates the self-determination and free choice of others is not love. Such intrusion is tyranny on whatever level it occurs, whether personal interaction or in more broad public arenas. Such tyranny denies basic respect for the self-determination and free choices of other individuals, and that respect (protection of individual rights and freedoms) is the basis of equality in society (not material or monetary outcomes but, again, protection of individual rights and freedoms).

This project is critical because we face a relentless assault from the totalitarian impulse under the guise of someone’s “righteous battle against evil”- the term “evil” now commonly used to define those who disagree with the one believing they are on the “righteous” side of things (“evil” along with similar demonizing terms- “threats to democracy… dangerous… fascists… terrorists”).

All over today, the new would-be totalitarians are demanding state coercion (bills, laws) to determine and control what all others can say. These new totalitarians are misconstruing the free expression of other’s speech as “hatred” and “threats of violence” against them when it is not. It is often just differing speech, the free speech of others. Such freedom of speech reflects healthy diversity and difference of opinion on varied issues and that is critical to a healthy, diverse, and inclusive society.

Let me add that today’s radical leftists (i.e. Woke Progressives) pushing the new totalitarianism are not bad people. They are just giving way to a bad impulse, a dangerous impulse to control and coerce others, denying them their individual freedom. They are pushing a new collectivism, a centralizing of power in today’s “enlightened elites” who claim to know what is best for all others and will coerce all others to submit to the “vanguard’s” control. It is the same old failed Leftism/Collectivism of the last century.

Missing Jordan’s point

Jordan Peterson decided to oppose a parliamentary bill (Bill C-16) that tried to criminalize certain speech. His intention arose out of a much wider concern- i.e. his study of past totalitarian movements (Nazism, Marxism) and how they emerged and developed by criminalizing differing opinions and speech, opinions and speech that differed from that of the totalitarians.

Peterson, taking this to a more local issue at his university, did not want to be coerced to speak about trans people using the pronouns that they stated they wanted all others to use (this was related to the parliamentary bill he opposed). He stated this as a free speech issue. They claimed, distorting his point, that he was “anti-trans, transphobic, and promoting hate speech”. They missed his point entirely that the real issue was about freedom of expression, freedom to differ in opinion and speech.

They claimed, again intentionally distorting his points, that he was denying their existence, which he did not deny. This sort of refusal to listen and understand the real issue that someone is presenting does nothing to further progress in mutual understanding and peaceful existence in a diverse society.

His radical left opponents endlessly try to discredit him with today’s go-to smears- “Alt-right… pandering to white supremacists… Nazi…” and so on.

See the documentary “The Rise of Jordan Peterson” on Prime Video.

“Life is suffering… but love is the desire to see unnecessary suffering ameliorated… Truth is the handmaiden of love… Dialogue is the pathway to truth so speech must be untrammelled, so dialogue can take place, so that we can all humbly learn, so that truth can serve love, so that suffering can be ameliorated, so that we can all stumble forward towards the kingdom of God”, Jordan Peterson.

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Listen to good climate science (i.e. the physics of CO2)- There is no “climate emergency/crisis”

Topics below: Anti-fossil fuel crusade is devastating societies like Britain and Germany; “World Climate Declaration” (There is no climate emergency); The benefits of higher CO2 levels; Irrational panic over ice melting and “Arctic greening”; CO2 is not causing a “climate crisis”; Discussing the physics of CO2 with old friends (discussion group posts); and more…

Exaggerated panic-mongering, as with the climate crisis narrative, incites the survival impulse in populations rendering people susceptible to irrational salvation schemes. We are watching this unfold in the widespread embrace of decarbonization to “save the world” from the “end of days”. And like all apocalyptic movements, climate alarmism has become a self-destructive movement that harms the most vulnerable people the most.

The irrational embrace of self-destruction stems in part from the deeply embedded human feeling that we are bad to the bone, we have ruined an original paradise, and we now deserve punishment and must make some sacrifice or payment for our sins (i.e. the abandonment of the good life for a return to a “morally superior” simple lifestyle).

Apocalyptic prophets tell people that if they embrace the full complex of apocalyptic millennial themes and practices, then they may be able to restore the lost paradise or initiate a new millennial paradise. This is pagan mythology at its primitive worst now unfolding in climate alarmism.

We have been given the warnings for years now that Green anti-fossil fuel policies (i.e. decarbonization) will devastate our societies. We have watched countries like Germany and Britain rushing to wean themselves off fossil fuels in a panic over the discredited climate alarmism narrative (i.e. good climate science shows that there is no “climate emergency”). A series of ongoing reports by agencies like the Global Warming Policy Forum have detailed the massive harm this fear-based policy of decarbonization has wrought on these societies. Pay close attention to the unfolding catastrophe in those countries…

This from the Wall Street Journal…

https://www.wsj.com/articles/net-zero-bankrupts-britain-household-energy-bills-climate-11661523856?mc_cid=8d425871c8&mc_eid=bbd9cad85f

Quotes from above link:

“If you think this couldn’t happen in America, think again. The underlying cause of Britain’s energy misery is its fixation with climate goals, especially the ambition to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. To meet that goal Britain has grown hostile to domestic energy exploration, banning shale-gas fracking and slapping windfall-profits taxes on North Sea oil and gas producers that will deter investment. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has hurt, but the U.K.’s policies made its citizens vulnerable to such a global shock…

“This isn’t all that different from the energy policies the Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress, California and New York are imposing via the Inflation Reduction Act and myriad regulatory assaults on fossil fuels and favors for renewables. Britain’s inane innovation is a price cap that causes disastrous price increases to happen twice a year rather than continuously.

“To adapt Hemingway, net zero drives you bankrupt gradually, then suddenly. Britain’s sudden energy agony is a five-alarm warning if the climate progressives continue to have their way.”

See also

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/uk-energy-bills-gas-electricity-price-cap-b2153549.html?mc_cid=8d425871c8&mc_eid=bbd9cad85f

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/26/how-governments-cult-net-zero-wrecked-energy-market/?mc_cid=8d425871c8&mc_eid=bbd9cad85f

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-the-energy-transition-will-fail-11661547051?mc_cid=8d425871c8&mc_eid=bbd9cad85f

Aussie Senator Malcolm Roberts Slams False Net Zero Inflation Claims

Update on “The World Climate Declaration”

‘There is No Climate Emergency’ (1,107 Signatories and Counting)

Main points affirmed by over 1,100 signatories:

“There is no climate emergency.

“Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming. Read the rest of the opening comment here

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Listen to good climate science (i.e. the physics of CO2)- There is no “climate emergency/crisis”

“I made a mistake… (climate alarmism) is a religion”, James Lovelock (creator of Gaia hypothesis, leading environmentalist)

Note: Some older but still good material on the “dualistic interaction” versus materialism issue can be found in neuroscientist and Nobel laureate John Eccles’ books- “The Wonder of Being Human”, “The Human Mystery”, “The Self and its Brain”, “Evolution of the Brain”.

A “spiritual” thought...

Our invisible conscious self is the most real thing about us, not our physical body. And consciousness may be the most real and fundamental thing in the entire cosmos, with an Ultimate Consciousness giving rise to and sustaining all material reality. Quantum mechanics tells us that we still have no idea what material reality is (see, for example, “Mass: The quest to understand matter from Greek atoms to quantum fields” by Jim Baggott). Mind is fundamental. Matter arises from mind. Philosophical Materialism has this all backwards.

“The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter… we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter”, quantum theorist James Jeans.

Another…

I accept Consciousness as the most fundamental reality, giving rise to all physical reality. But I do not view the creating/sustaining Consciousness as something neutral, such as the laws of nature. I affirm, along with others across history, that the Consciousness that gives rise to and sustains this material cosmos is most fundamentally love, and a form of love that is inexpressibly more wondrous than anything that we experience during our life journeys through this material realm. It is a stunningly transcendent “no conditions love” (non-retaliatory, non-judging, universally inclusive, not punitive or destructive). I find good expressions of this in the attempts of many in the Near-Death Experience movement (a contemporary “spiritual” movement) to tell us of the love and light that they experienced.

Example: “The very atoms of God were unconditional love; the very substance of God was unconditional love”. My conclusion from this NDE insight- If the Ultimate Reality that many call God is the most fundamental reality, the creator and sustainer of all other reality, then that makes no conditions love the most fundamental reality of all realities.

Others from past history have given us the same insight that “God is love” but often their insights were buried and distorted in religious traditions with all their endless conditions- i.e. conditions of correct belief, required sacrifice/payment, obligatory membership in the religion, proper rituals of the religion, and righteous lifestyle identifying one as a member of the given religion.

While I affirm the valued insights and help that religious traditions have given many people, no religion has ever communicated to humanity this insight that God is absolutely no conditions love. Religious traditions have buried and distorted this insight with endless conditions.

A practical outcome of this insight? “We become just like the god that we believe in”. Most people try to model in their lives what they hold as ultimate ideals and authorities.

Note: Pardon me but I have been recuperating from prostate cancer surgery and slow to put new material up.

Note on exaggeration, distortion, inciting panic in populations that leads to irrational response to problems…

From Aug. 4, 2022 Net Zero Watch newsletter (Global Warming Policy Forum):

“London, 4 August — Official data released today reveals that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is in excellent health, with coral cover reaching record levels for the second consecutive year.

“The increase will be surprising to members of the public, who are regularly hit with scare stories about coral bleaching and false tales about a reef in long-term decline.

“A new note, published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, explains that the data shows clearly how a handful of coral bleaching events that have affected the reef since 2016 have had very limited impact on overall coral cover. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Liberation into no conditions love

The list below contains some of the most important information/insight that I would pass on to a new generation. The new themes point to the most profound liberation of all- the liberation of human consciousness at the deepest levels thought, emotion, and motivation… liberation of the human spirit from the most primal fears that have burdened humanity across the millennia.

Wendell Krossa wkrossa@shaw.ca

Intro to the short version of “Old Narrative Themes, Better Alternatives” (long-form version available just below this short-form list)

Joseph Campbell noted that a prominent set of primitive myths has been repeated all across human history and across all the cultures of the world. People embracing these mythical themes in their personal worldviews are subjected to a profoundly distorted perception of reality.

The same mythical themes that have dominated human narratives across history continue to dominate human narratives and distort public consciousness today. They continue to deform human perception of reality, distorting our understanding of the true state of our world.

The mythical ideas that Campbell referred to have long been the central beliefs of the world religions. They are now also embraced in “secular” ideological belief systems like “Declinism” a contemporary version of apocalyptic mythology, the fallacy that life is becoming worse and declining toward catastrophe and ending, as propagated in the ideology of Environmental alarmism/climate alarmism. These ideas have even found expression in “scientific” versions. But at core they are the same old primitive pathologies as ever before.

Note, for curiosity’s sake, that many young moderns today claim self-identities as “secular/materialist… even atheist” and yet continue to mouth the very same themes of the primitive mythologies of previous millennia, no different in substance from Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Zoroastrian, and other ancient belief systems.

You then get this cognitive dissonance outcome: People, thinking that they have freed themselves from mythical/religious ideas and have embraced more secular, materialist, even atheist belief systems, are living in self-delusion because a close examination of the worldviews of such people reveals that the core themes they hold are often the very same old mythical themes as those held across history by fundamentalist religious people.

Psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo states that bad mythical ideas are seriously damaging to human life in terms of unnecessary fear, anxiety, shame/guilt, depression, despair/nihilism, and violence (i.e. his point that Cruel God theories deform human personality- see his book “Cruel God, Kind God”).

Example: The “loss of paradise” myth incites a sense of loss, wrong done, grievance, and the felt need to engage a righteous battle to make things right again (i.e. the urge to engage justice as punitive treatment of an enemy’s failure- the enemy blamed for ruining something pure and good- in order to make things “right” again). The actual trajectory of life reveals there was never any original paradise that has been ruined by humanity but, rather, the long-term trajectory of life shows an ongoing rise from a worse past toward a better future. This trajectory of evolutionary progress encourages hope to continue investing in improving the world because, so far, we have done well in making life ever-better (Julian Simon, Ultimate Resource).

Another (related to Lotufo’s points): If we believe that some deity will judge, punish, exclude and destroy our enemies (i.e. send them to Hell) then we will inevitably end up treating our opponents in the same manner (judging, condemning, excluding, punishing). We become just like the God that we believe in. This “behavior based on belief” relationship operates in both religious and “secular” environments.

The alternative ideas offered, taken from human insight across history, speak to the profound liberation that is possible- i.e. liberation of mind, consciousness, and spirit at the deepest levels, a liberation initiated by radically changing the core ideas/themes that have long been embedded in back of human minds, hardwired even in human subconscious. Such ideas shape how people perceive and understand the world, how they feel about things, and influence their motivations to respond/behave in life.

The liberation of human mind by reshaping consciousness with entirely new themes then ripples out to impact all of life and society because we become just like the ultimate ideals/themes that we believe in, the themes that we embrace to shape our worldviews. The alternatives listed below point us in the direction of authentically humane existence. They show us how to become the heroes of our stories, how to “tower in stature as maturely human” (Joseph Campbell).

Insert note: Climate alarmism, with its apocalyptic scenarios and salvation schemes, is a contemporary example of a profoundly religious movement fraudulently presented as secular ideology, even science. Climate alarmism embraces the worst of bad ideas/themes from mythical traditions.

Note to our atheist friends regarding the varied themes below that deal with deity features- Suck it up. You are never going to rid humanity of the impulse to God speculation, to create God theories, so rather than deny this primal human impulse, learn to work with it. One option- Purge deity theories of all the primitive mythical/religious features and reshape God theory entirely with scientific, psychological advances, and insights from contemporary “spiritual” movements like the NDE movement with its primary discovery that the “Light” is unconditional love of a stunningly inexpressible nature. That overturns all religious mythology in one stroke. All religions are systems of conditions- i.e. conditions of correct belief, demanded sacrifice, membership in the “true” religion, and required religious lifestyle that evidences membership in the true religion.

Whether defined as God, Light, Universe, Gaia, Universal Mind, Ultimate Consciousness, Mother Earth, karma, or other, most people continue to embrace some version of Ultimate Reality or creating Intelligence (see again the PEW Research Center’s “Global Religious Landscape” survey). God theories continue to contribute some of the most basic features to human meta-narratives and personal worldviews (both in religious and “secular/materialist” versions).

Old narrative themes, better alternatives (short version), Wendell Krossa

1. Old story myth: The idea of deity as a judging, punishing, and destroying reality. Contemporary “secular” versions of judging, punishing deity include “Vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth, retributive Universe, and payback karma”. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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“There is no climate emergency… There is no cause for panic”

The “climate crisis” movement is a “profoundly religious” crusade, impervious to contrary scientific fact on climate. And that is the true “denialism” in this climate issue. So please end the projection of one’s faults on to others. Detail in sections below.

The critical core issue in the climate debate?- The physics of CO2 and its warming influence (i.e. its logarithmically declining influence on climate warming with rising levels in the atmosphere, and the evidence that CO2 is just a “bit player” among a complex of other natural factors that more dominantly influence the natural climate change that we have experienced over past decades and centuries). See especially the research of climate physicists Richard Lindzen and William Happer, among others below.

This worth a repeat, from…

https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/there-is-no-climate-emergency-say-500-experts-in-letter-to-the-united-nations/

“There Is No Climate Emergency, Say 500 Experts in Letter to the United Nations.

“A global network of more than 500 knowledgeable and experienced scientists and professionals in climate and related fields have the honor to address Your Excellencies and attached European Climate Declaration, for which the signatories to this letter are the national ambassadors. The general-circulation models of climate on which international policy is at present founded are unfit for their purpose.

“Therefore, it is cruel as well as imprudent to advocate the squandering of trillions of dollars on the basis of results from such immature models. Current climate policies pointlessly and grievously undermine the economic system, putting lives at risk in countries denied access to affordable, reliable electrical energy. We urge you to follow a climate policy based on sound science, realistic economics, and genuine concern for those harmed by costly but unnecessary attempts at mitigation.”

Points made by the climate experts:

“1. Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming.

“2. Warming is far slower than predicted.

“3. Climate policy relies on inadequate models.

“4. CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a plant food that is essential to all life on Earth. Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth: additional CO2 in the atmosphere has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yields of crops worldwide.

“5. Global warming has not increased natural disasters.

“6. Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities.

“7. There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic.” Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Understand the root themes of the environmental religion

Section topics further below:
Green policies ruining societies,
The real “righteous battle” of life takes place inside each of us,
Endless eruptions of hysterical outrage,
YouTube discussion- Jordan Peterson with Africa Brooke,
All human beings are imperfect- forgiveness in our stories,
Metaphysical basis of equality?,
Posts to old friends on climate facts,
One post on some features of the dying process (personal story),
The SEC disclosure rule and the Lindzen/Happer (climate physicists) exposure of the unscientific basis of the rule,
True egalitarianism,
Study: Cold in China kills 45 times as many people as heat,
Pushback against ESG undemocratic infiltration of the business world,
Joseph Campbell’s insights on human development,
Bjorn Lomborg on cold killing far more people than heat,
Defining themes of profoundly religious crusades like climate alarmism,
Scientist Lennart Bengtsson: “There is no climate crisis”.

Green policies ruining societies with the decarbonization crusade, Wendell Krossa

An apocalyptic/millennial narrative, a doom story, has possessed our world. The story of “climate crisis”. And despite claims of climate alarmists that their story is scientific, it is actually thoroughly anti-science, a quite profoundly religious story, no different from myriad similar apocalyptic stories across human history that also led societies to self-inflicted ruin (see, for example, Richard Landes’ “Heaven On Earth” for detail). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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“We (humanity) are more creators than destroyers”, Julian Simon

Section topics below:

The insanity of endless apocalyptic alarmism;

Father of modern environmentalism, James Lovelock’s late-in-life apology and rejection of climate alarmism;

The cost of opposing and restricting US fossil fuel resources;

Climate alarmism: A profoundly religious crusade based on unscientific/mythical assumptions;

Site splainin: Explaining my persistent focus on the single greatest breakthrough insight of humanity re unconditional reality (the cohering center of a new meta-narrative);

Project: Basic themes of a new meta-narrative;

ESG ideology dominating financial institutions and ruining economies;

Encourage empathy: The irresponsible panic-mongering over natural climate change is traumatizing and destroying the lives of children (loss of hope, nothing to live for, no future), so think about and try to feel what you are doing to children with exaggerated climate alarmism;

Origins of apocalypse myth (Notes on Pfeiffer’s “Explosion: Inquiry into the Origins of Art and Religion”);

Media obsession with affirming the climate apocalypse narrative;

The true state of climate;

Some of the 6,000 essential products based on crude oil derivatives, many essential to human well-being;

Great Replacement Theory;

My Jefferson/Tolstoy view of the New Testament (only for those not afraid of a blunt assessment of Christianity);

The liberating potency of love in alleviating fear;

Affirming love in human life (the great discovery of unconditional);

End the panic-mongering- free people from fear; and more…

Endless exaggerated alarmism distorts the true state of life on Earth. Alarmists frame even manageable problems with exaggerated extremist terms like “catastrophe, existential crisis, looming disaster” and this distorts our understanding of the real nature of those problems. Note this in regard to the mild warming that we have experienced over the past century- roughly 1 degree C warming in a still too cold world where 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth. As for extreme weather events- heat waves, droughts, storms, floods- they have not become more frequent or severe and even the IPCC admits this. Yet this normal, natural climate change has been seized upon by apocalyptic prophets as portending the end of the world.

Alarmism has become a shrill note in the background of daily life, bleating mainly through news media, and dangerously inciting the survival impulse in populations. That aroused fear opens people to irrationality in response to life’s problems, making them susceptible to irrational salvation schemes like decarbonization. Alarmed people readily fall for scam saviors that promise to lead them out of purported danger and into a restored “lost original paradise” or some millennial utopia.

We counter the endlessly erupting alarmism of our current age by seeking good data sources on the main indicators of the world- i.e. soils, forests, land species, ocean species, the atmosphere, etc.- indicators that inform us about the true state of life. Julian Simon gave us the template on how to do this in his brilliant Ultimate Resource. Others followed- Greg Easterbrook in A Moment On Earth, Bjorn Lomborg in Skeptical Environmentalist, Indur Goklany in The Improving State of the World, Desrochers and Szurmak in Population Bombed, and varied others like the folks at Humanprogress.org. They provide good evidence that, while problems remain, we (humanity) have done well in tackling the problems and maintaining life on an improving trajectory toward a better future over the long term. As Julian Simon said, we have done well. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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There are better ways of viewing life… the liberation from fear

Section topics: Patterns in alarmism movements; State of Climate 2021, “A systematic review of climate trends and observational data by an eminent climate scientist has found no evidence to support the claim of a climate crisis”; Notes on the panic over giving everyone freedom of speech; John McWhorter on Woke Racism (Third-wave anti-racism is not Martin Luther King’s anti-racism and is harmful to blacks); The problem with mythical and religious explanations of greater or ultimate Reality (a defense of the “spiritual” as critical to the human search for meaning); Doug Murray on War on the West, and more…

More on ‘The big picture perspective’ of this site, Wendell Krossa

Mythical and religious narrative themes have dominated human consciousness across history and shaped all other thinking in societies, even purportedly non-religious thinking. And this influence of mythical/religious thinking has continued unabated into the present world. Note, just for one example, Einstein’s repeated religious responses to Niels Bohr in their back-and-forth discussion of quantum mechanics (source: “Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the great debate about the nature of reality” by Manjit Kumar). None of us is as “secular, materialist, scientific” as we like to imagine we are. (Note particularly Einstein’s traditionally religious ideas as per his comments that “God does not play dice with the universe… God does not use telepathy…” etc.)

Mythical/religious thinking has profoundly shaped the ideology of Declinism, the most dominant worldview in the modern world- i.e. the belief that life is becoming worse, a notable theme in environmental alarmism, climate alarmism, Woke Progressivism in general, etc. (See Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline in Western History”). Declinism is an essential element in the primitive mythology of apocalyptic.

This site offers some liberating responses to the inherited mythical/religious themes that have too long dominated human worldviews/narratives and consciousness. See “An adventure/quest for ultimate freedom” (“Humanity’s worst ideas, better alternatives”) in a section below.

The alternatives offered, from human insight across history, point to a radical reshaping of humanity’s dominant mythical/religious/secular narratives. The point of such fundamental alteration of narrative themes is the liberation of human consciousness and emotion at the most profound levels of perception, including the level of subconscious ‘archetypes’ (i.e. primal impulses and related validating ideas). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Valuing the Western contribution to humanity

(Fourth in a series)

The Two Main Approaches to Organizing Human Societies across history- Collectivism versus the free individual Wendell Krossa

Intro

The comment below comes from a “fiercely Independent” viewpoint. Kinda like Goldilocks- not too far Left, not too far Right. Sort of Libertarianish, or better- Classic Liberalism. Floating like a butterfly, free to alight wherever, enjoy the nectar and then move on. A self that is free in an open process and not fixed too rigidly on any “object” (i.e. not finding cemented identity in some immutable ideology, religion, nationality, race/ethnicity, or other objects of human identity). Open and free like ‘The Mutable Self’ of Louis Zurcher.

Independent because while both sides have commendable features and concerns, neither side gets it all right (and this is not “bothsideism”). David Boaz, for example, said regarding the US situation that Republicans needed to embrace more freedom in the social realm and Democrats needed to embrace more freedom in the economic realm. Neither side held a monopoly on good. My ‘Free Floating’ stance also keeps me from the dogmatic tribalism that locks into loyalty to one side only and views the other side as an enemy to be conquered or cancelled.

Interesting note: While some claim that the US Democratic party has previously been more centrist, many on both the Conservative and Liberal sides of the US situation now note that US Democrats/Liberals are being pulled further toward Leftist collectivist ideologies (“Woke Progressivism”). US Republicans continue also to be pulled toward coercive state intervention on social issues (i.e. women’s rights, choices, and freedoms).

The foundations of modern freedom and equality trace back centuries to developing principles that advocated that all people in a society should be treated equally under law (i.e. Magna Carta and earlier documents/practises). Contemporary views on freedom and equality are grounded in beliefs that every person deserves the same rights and protections as all others.

These beliefs include a foundational plank in modern freedom- i.e. protected property rights. That is the principle that you can create or improve something, and if you invest effort/resources in that something, then the resulting outcome of your investment is protected. You will reap the reward of your investment. Elites/powerholders, whether monarchy, lords, or government officials, cannot confiscate the outcome of your creativity and work. The protection of personal property under law is absolutely basic to equality and freedom. Protected property rights unleashed the modern burst of human creativity and progress with outcomes in an immensely improved human condition that we all value.

Balancing both sides and what works best:

(1) The primary orientation to the collective, or (2) a primary orientation to the individual. We never get all that we want on either side of these political divides hence, both sides are obligated out of common decency (“peace and love”) to make some compromise with, basically, what is often the other half of our societies. And there are enough major issues that both sides can agree to cooperate on (e.g. basic health care for all, criminal-justice reform, public safety priority, growing economies/jobs and good income for all, etc.).

The Left/Right or Liberal/Conservative dualism in our societies often becomes infected with the residual tribal impulse that we have inherited from our animal past. The tribal impulse continues to erupt in today’s societies, along with a dose of hardening dogmatism, to the detriment of the necessary cooperation to maintain peace. Fortunately, surveys show that most people on both sides identify with the more moderate/centrist positions on most social issues.

Is there some healthy balance between the free individual approach and the collectivist approach? Our societies continue the multiple-millennia back and forth tug between these two approaches to organizing human societies (see Arthur Herman’s “The Cave and The Light” for the long-term history of this tug-of-war, traced from the Greeks on down through subsequent millennia). It appears that most people will continue to embrace some mixed version of these two approaches that encompasses the concerns of both sides. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Speculating on the meaning of human life

Third in a series...

I am reposting updated versions of previous essays (i.e. “Humanity’s worst ideas, better alternatives”, “The Christian contradiction”, “Campbell on the meaning of human life”, “Two main approaches to organizing human societies”) because they go to the root themes that incite and validate our baser inherited impulses (i.e. impulses to tribalism, exclusion of differing others, domination/control of others, and punitive destruction of failing others). These primitive mythical themes have persisted across history in religious traditions and now also dominate the “secular” ideological narratives of our modern era (i.e. Declinism being a prominent example. See “The Idea of Decline in Western History” by Arthur Herman).

The alternative ideas offered, from human insight across history, speak to the profound liberation possible- i.e. liberation of mind, consciousness, and spirit at the deepest levels (i.e. subconscious). This liberation then reverberates out to impact all of life and society because we become just like the ultimate ideals/themes that we believe in, the ideals that we embrace to shape our worldviews. The alternatives point us in the direction of authentically humane existence. They show us how to “tower in stature as maturely human” (Joseph Campbell).

The project here is to probe resolutions to problems by dealing with the full complex of root contributing factors behind recurring social issues, notably, the recurrence of irrational apocalyptic themes in destructive movements like climate alarmism.

Speculating with Campbell on the meaning of human life and experience Wendell Krossa

Or: How to tower in stature as maturely human, how to become the hero of your story or quest.

Joseph Campbell said that we all live a “hero’s quest or adventure”. Our lives and life experiences can be understood in terms of “the hero’s journey”. We all live heroic stories of adventure, struggle, suffering, conquest of monsters/problems, disintegration/re-integration, transformation, discovery and gaining insights that benefit others. I have added to Campbell’s basic framework, revising, paraphrasing, and changing some things.

Going right to the point on the big question- What is the greater goal or meaning of human life? Above all else that we might accomplish in life, I would suggest that we are here to learn what love is and how to love. Love is the fundamental reason/purpose for the cosmos, our world, and conscious human life. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Bad mythology still dominates human consciousness

“The same mythical themes are repeated across all history and across all the cultures (and ideologies/worldviews/belief systems) of the world” (my paraphrase of Joseph Campbell).

What “most” people believe, Wendell Krossa

The point here- It is not just religious people who believe the ideas/themes listed below but also many/most of those who self-identify as “secular… materialist… scientific… even atheist”. Listen to what most people actually say when they explain how they view life on Earth. Their own statements reveal their core belief system.

Most have embraced highly religious worldviews that are shaped by primitive mythical themes (terms change but core themes remain the same old). Because climate alarmism has embraced such themes, it is a profoundly religious crusade. And because this movement views life through a mythological lens, it profoundly distorts the true state of life on Earth. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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