Campbell’s outline on human story. Embrace unconditional and “tower in stature” as maturely human, like Mandela. Unconditional respect for all makes us the hero of our own story.

A critical issue in regard to justice, and the “just” response to human brutality, is to maintain our own humanity in the face of inhumanity/evil. Maintaining our humanity is about rising above the response of animal retaliation, and taking life somewhere better, like a Mandela, a Railway Man, a Gandhi, or a Martin Luther King. Maintaining our humanity is about unconditional respect for all people (i.e. restorative justice), that includes the responsibility to restrain violent people in order to protect others (e.g. “just” war, or the prison system for criminal offenders).

In the effort to maintain our humanity, it is important how we view the other human person despite their failure to live as human. Do we believe that they are still part of the human family? Can we do as the Chinese sage Laotzi did after defeating his attackers (i.e. not humiliating or rejecting them, but seeking their restoration as fellow humans).

Can we do as General Grant did to General Lee at the end of the Civil War, and welcome the badly behaving other person/people back into the human family, with restorative justice? Can we do what McArthur did with the Japanese after the brutalities of WW2? Can we do what the Allies did in Germany after the war, and seek the restoration of offenders back into the human family? This is about long-term outcomes that are humane.

Maintaining an unconditional respect for all humanity, despite the failures of others, is not to diminish in any way the horror of human brutality and the suffering that brutality causes others.

Intro notes on human story- the animal/sacred relationship

I embrace a basic dualism in humanity. We have an inherited animal brain with its base drives. But our human consciousness is something uniquely different, with humane impulses that take us in a new direction from animal existence. Our human consciousness constitutes the true human self or person and its core impulse is to love unconditionally. Unconditional love is, then, the defining feature of the human self or person. Unconditional love is our true core nature, the authentic “us”. We discover this truth over our life-time and learn to express it- that we are most essentially beings of love.

The fundamental animal impulses from our inherited animal brain would include small band or “tribal” thinking and behavior- us versus some “other”, alpha domination of others, and the exclusion and destruction of the competing other.

The foundational themes and behaviors of religion include the tribal dualism of “us versus them”- the division of humanity between true believers and unbelievers, domination/submission forms of relating with humanity subservient to the Alpha God (see Alex Garcia’s “Alpha God”), and the exclusion and destruction of the unbelievers.

These features are central to the animal/sacred relationship, the belief/behavior relationship. From the beginning people have created beliefs, notably religious beliefs, to validate their behavior, even bad behavior. We want to model our lives according to greater realities. As meaning-seeking beings we like to know that we are fulfilling some greater purpose for our existence. So we project features out onto our gods and then, in turn, we take meaning and purpose from those ultimate ideals and authorities, from the “spiritual” realities that we have created.

(Note: I accept that God exists but not a deity that is defined by religious features. Features, as noted above, that have more often been projections of animal existence, and not human.)

Bob Brinsmead: “You become just like the God that you believe in”.

“There are no bad people, just bad ideas that incite bad behavior”.

Heroic human story- conquering the inherited animal

You will encounter the term “unconditional love” frequently on this site. The critical word being “unconditional”. Meaning absolutely no conditions. None.

Joseph Campbell’s outline of human story provides a framework for understanding the transforming role of unconditional love. Campbell says that we all come into life to live a hero’s story. And we face a monster, some problem. It could be physical in nature, or religious, or mental/emotional, social, ethnic, political, economic, or other. In our struggle to conquer our monster we learn lessons, we gain insights, that we can then offer as a “boon” or blessing to help others. See Campbell’s Myths To Live By.

Somewhat similarly, Julian Simon says that we face problems in life, and in our struggle to solve problems we find solutions that can then benefit others.

(Note: If we do not suffer something in life, then we are not much use for understanding and helping others that suffer. Compassion and empathy are developed out of suffering.)

Campbell also says that “a wise man” gives us a sword to slay our monster. And Campbell adds that we achieve human maturity when we orient our lives to universal love. Then we “tower in stature” as maturely human. Like a Nelson Mandela who set aside his desire for vengeance and worked for an inclusive South Africa (i.e. to include former enemies).

And where Campbell said that “universal love” was the feature that lifted us out of base animal existence and into human maturity (becoming a hero), I would use the broader and more inclusive term “unconditional love”.

I would also suggest that the one great monster that all of us face is that of our inherited animal drives (i.e. the impulses of our core animal brain to tribal dualism and opposition, to domination of others, and to the exclusion and destruction of the differing other). Unconditional is the sword of the wise man that helps us to slay this monster of our inherited animal. Unconditional orients us to universal love- to embrace and include all people as members of one human family, to engage all equally, to forgive all, and to treat everyone restoratively, despite any failures to live as human.

Unconditional orients us away from infantile animal thinking and behavior that is characterized by retaliation, tribal exclusion of others, or domination and destruction of some other. Unconditional takes us toward human maturity. It enables us to become mature heroes, to tower in stature as authentically humane, and thereby bring a boon to others.

Unconditional is simply the most liberating and humanizing insight/ideal that we have discovered. It liberates us from our animal inheritance. It humanizes us fully. With unconditional there is no tribal thinking (us versus others), no domination of some “lesser” other, and no exclusion or destruction of another. These infantile animal impulses, and supporting ideas, have always blocked human understanding and expression of unconditional.

Unconditional takes us to the height of authentic humanity, to the authentically humane, and to authentic love. To repeat- it is the insight that enables us to tower in stature as maturely human. It brings forth our true human self, our real nature as beings of love.

So orient yourself to unconditional and be the hero that you should be. Conquer your real enemy and monster, your inherited animal brain and impulses. Your enemy is not some other person/people but your own tendencies to retaliation, domination, exclusion, and harm of some other member of the one human family. Be the person that you really are- i.e. most essentially love at your core. Discover your true self, the hero that is unconditional love. Remind yourself that you are not your animal brain. You are something much better.

Summary: The real enemy that we face in life is inside us. Our real enemy has to do with the animal drives emoted by our old brain, and the bad religious ideas (or secular versions of the same ideas) that we embrace to validate our animal inheritance.

Orienting ourselves to unconditional love would also include the orientation to deity as the ultimate embodiment of such love. An unconditionally loving God is about the complete liberation from all bad religious ideas- i.e. pathological religious myths of God angry at human imperfection, and threatening to judge, condemn, exclude, punish, and destroy imperfect people (see Top Ten Bad Religious Ideas below).

Further on this point that unconditional blows away entirely all bad religious ideas. Include the bad religious ideas of blood sacrifice to appease angry deity, along with the divine demand for correct belief and religious lifestyle, the requirement to fulfill religious ritual, and more. These bad ideas on divine conditions have long been embedded as foundational to religious traditions. Religion has always been most essentially a conditional institution (i.e. how to appease and please alpha gods). Religion cannot therefore reveal unconditional love to humanity. Religion, by its very nature, has long buried the unconditional insight.

Insert on NDE insights on human story:

For those who can handle it- The Near-Death Experience accounts offer some interesting insight into human story. They suggest that the primary reason that we come to the planet is to learn about love. To discover what love is, and how to experience it, both receiving and giving love. Love, notably unconditional love, is the fundamental meaning and purpose of human existence.

Some NDE accounts, like that of Natalie Sudman (The Application of Impossible Things), suggest that we may even choose the life story that we live, including the detailed experiences of our life, both good and bad (i.e. experiences that involve suffering).

Added note:

The single most primitive idea ever concocted by the ancients- the original bad religious idea- was the belief that the gods punished people through natural disasters, disease, and accidents. This idea has spawned endless human misery- whether unnecessary fear, anxiety, depression or despair.

This worst of all bad ideas- that angry deity was pissed at human imperfection and would punish imperfection- was the idea that sparked the foundation of religion as the human response to appease and please the angry gods. That led to the sacrifice industry and the long history of Salvationism- the search for endless religious ways to find salvation from the threat of divine punishment and destruction.

This belief in punitive deity still forms the heart of our world religions and has even found expression in secular versions (i.e. “revenge of Gaia… angry planet… karma”). The sense of great threat, and the consequent felt need to engage some salvation scheme, continues in contemporary systems of thought.

This mythical pathology misses entirely the true nature of Ultimate reality as unconditional Love (i.e. God is love). Religion as Salvationism (salvation conditions) has long darkened and enslaved human consciousness and prevented human understanding of deity as essentially no conditions love.

Further notes on apocalyptic from ‘War in Heaven, Heaven on Earth’:

“The West has produced and exported a number of secular, indeed atheistic forms of millennialism… movements that share the simple combination of a millennial vision of the world transformed, and an apocalyptic belief in the transformation’s imminence… thus we find especially strong tendencies towards both social perfectionism and human agency…”

(That early Christians, when ascendant in society, turned equally violent as their previous persecutors): “Large numbers of demotic millennial movements that turn into totalitarian adventures… reflect precisely the kind of reversal that so many critics anticipate from the proponents of equality; they speak of fairness when they are weak, and with power- in millennial cases, absolute power- such discourse rapidly turns to coercive purity…”

(On the spectrum from active to passive varieties of apocalyptic millennialism): “Active apocalypticism… tends to prefer cataclysmic variants since they promise more readily tangible results to an impatient enthusiast. With the advent of serious technological empowerment (i.e. nuclear weapons), they have become the most likely scenario of this next millennium…” Al Qaeda was an example of this version.

“Here… we find the origins of totalitarianism, that uncontrollable urge to hide one’s shame by coercing purity, even at the cost of huge numbers of lives. Here the apocalyptic imagination is quite capable of contemplating with enthusiasm the death of over five billion people…”

Post from discussion group: “On the repeated episodes of mass-violence that are the outcomes of apocalyptic millennial eruptions in societies- As Arthur Mendel says, ‘Apocalyptic millennialism has been the most violent and destructive force in history’. Apocalyptic millennialism leads people to feel that they must act now, without delay, in order to ‘save’ something under immediate threat. This may involve the trampling of other’s freedom…”

One more…

“Love your enemy” is the single most humane statement in all history and literature. It points to the ultimate definition of “humane”, of being truly human, of true goodness or true love. It is liberation from the animal into human maturity, to being a hero.

Topics below: Jesus versus Christ, or “the message of Ultimate Non-Retaliation” versus “the icon of Ultimate Retaliation” (two foundational and contrasting influences on Western consciousness and society). Defining justice- retaliatory or restorative (related issue- maintaining our own humanity in the face of inhumanity). Then: What defines the authentically humane? Also, Gradualistic versus Cataclysmic- the democratic approach to life versus the coercive apocalyptic approach to life (“coercive purification”, Richard Landes) ; Top Ten Bad Religious Ideas; and “The end of the world is always 10 years away”- Saltzman essay.

Note: Paul’s Christ myth is an expression of apocalyptic retaliation (see his first letters to the Thessalonians). This myth has shaped Western consciousness significantly (see Tabor and other quotes below). Apocalyptic (i.e. divine retaliation/punishment) contradicts entirely the core non-retaliation message of Historical Jesus.

This site connects some obvious dots (correlations between things). Christianity is an apocalyptic religion. Christian apocalyptic themes shaped 19th Century Declinism- the most influential ideology of the modern era (Arthur Herman in The Idea of Decline). Declinism has since shaped environmental alarmism and other apocalyptic-oriented “secular” ideologies. Apocalyptic is anti-human and the outcomes of this primitive mythology have been devastating to humanity and the progress of civilization.

See also varied comments on justice issues below- i.e. the social/natural consequences of behavior (responsibility, accountability), and restorative justice approaches (unconditional respect for all despite the need to restrain bad behavior). Embracing unconditional love is about maintaining our own humanity in the face of offense and brutality from others.

Correlations of interest: Some scholars suggest that apocalyptic is a spent force, a dying mythology. But note the continuing worldwide influence of climate alarmists (a “secular” expression of apocalyptic). With the support of the majority of world governments, they continue to hinder and slow the use of fossil fuels that drive industrial civilization, and that has had a costly impact on human well-being. The poorest people have suffered the most (e.g. the bio-fuels fiasco). Remember also the apocalyptic narrative of Rachel Carson and the outcome that resulted in the unnecessary deaths of tens of millions of people following the ban on DDT. Even Stephen Hawking has become caught up in the endless Chicken Little alarmism of “the end is nigh”. Apocalyptic, now often secularized, is still a potent and damaging force.

People must be held accountable for alarm-mongering in public and the outcomes of alarmist exaggeration on populations. Remember James Hansen (father of the climate warming alarm) telling us in 2008, “It’s all over in five years”.

Why go after bad ideas? Hint: It’s all about the belief/behavior relationship, and the 85% of humanity that belong to the great world religions. And many of the remaining 15% are “unaffiliated”, that is to say- “still spiritual but not religious”.

This site probes the following points: Ideas, especially ideas projected onto deity- humanity’s highest ideal and authority- profoundly influence how people think, feel, and act. And “bad ideas” projected onto deity from the beginning have a long history of horrific outcomes- i.e. crusades, torture and murder of heretics (inquisitions), and the war-scale slaughter of unbelievers/enemies. Bad religious ideas- notably apocalyptic millennialism- played a significant inciting/validating role in the mass-death movements of the 20th Century (Marxism, Nazism, environmentalism).

Lesser “bad outcomes” would include religious judgmentalism, intolerance, exclusion of the unbeliever, condemnation of the different, and religiously-engendered shame, guilt, despair/depression, and unnecessary fear (e.g. the Japanese lady after the tsunami asking, “Are we being punished?”). It is about the overall darkening and enslaving influence of bad ideas.

More than this, bad religious ideas have long blocked the profound liberation that flows from the insight that deity has always been a stunning “no conditions Love”.

The list of bad ideas projected onto deity includes- tribal dualism (believers versus unbelievers); exclusion and domination of the bad people, or the unbelievers; and retaliation, punishment, and destruction of the unbelievers. The driving core here is the worst of all bad ideas- “angry deity punishing bad people”. See the full list of bad ideas below- “Top Ten Bad Religious Ideas”. These are subhuman themes, inhuman, simply bad.

These ideas, that have been responsible for much violence, destruction and misery across history, have never been purged from our great religious traditions, notably Christianity and Islam. They are still embedded at the core of these religions in the foundational reality of deity. And in the modern era, bad religious ideas have been given “secular” expression in the dominant ideologies of our world (i.e. 19th Century Declinism and it’s offspring, environmental alarmism). Consequently, people continue to become just like the God that they believe in. Belief influences behavior.

We know better now. We have the alternative that fully humanizes religious gods, that makes our highest ideals and authorities fully humane. We know that unconditional love does this. It takes us to the supreme height of the authentically humane. Unconditional defines Ultimate Goodness. It inspires the best of the human spirit. Again, belief shapes behavior.

An unconditional core Reality (God) tells us there is no ultimate judgment, no exclusion of anyone, no ultimate punishment or destruction of anyone. There is only Love behind all. All are safe in the end. This insight overturns all bad religious ideas. Let your mind toy with this scandalous insight. There is a Love that is infinitely beyond human comprehension.

It is irresponsible to allow subhuman features to continue to define our highest ideals and authorities and to continue to incite, inspire, guide, and validate bad behavior. Most religious reformism, while helpful in moderating religion, has only been peripheral tinkering at the edges, while letting the core ideas remain subhuman, inhuman, bad.

If we are ever to see clearly that “God is love”, then we have to get rid of all the “dung, garbage, muck” (Jefferson and Tolstoy) that buries this ultimate truth. Unconditional should become our highest ideal and authority.

The basic template of bad ideas is still foundational in the great world religions and now in dominant world ideologies (i.e. Declinism, environmental alarmism). These ideas provide continuing inspiration and validation for our worst impulses to tribal dualism, domination of others, and the exclusion and even destruction of differing others.

More on “Why go after bad ideas?”

Some bad behavior can be explained at the level of careless stupidity, people engaging life at the level of unchecked animal impulse- whether exhibiting tribal mentality with its dualism of “us versus some enemy” (i.e. separation, exclusion), or base retaliation against offense, or Alpha domination/predation, or the destruction of the differing/competing other. We see these things in individual stories of bad behavior. Behavior that can be understood in terms of the inherited animal brain that emotes base impulses, subhuman or inhuman impulses.

But because of the primary human longing for meaning (Victor Frankl), there are many that prefer to validate their behavior, including bad behavior, as modelling greater realities or meaning. They seek inspiration, guidance, and validation from greater ideals/ideas and authorities. This is why people have always looked to deity/God for validation (i.e. some divine law, word, will, model/pattern).

We saw this appeal to greater ideal/authority to validate bad behavior in the notable mass-death movements of the past century. Hitler was a striking example of this with his repeated appeals to “Providence” and more generally to “apocalyptic millennial”, or messiah mythology. Those themes resonated with the historical German Christian worldview. Richard Landes treats this in detail in Heaven On Earth.

This is “disorienting” stuff for the religious mind to engage. That esteemed ideas in one’s religious tradition can also be used to validate the destruction that we saw in Marxism, Nazism, and continue to see in environmental alarmism.

Apocalyptic millennialism continues to dominate the great world religions of Christianity and Islam. It has also been given new expression in the “secular” versions of Marxism and environmentalism. The terms have changed but the core themes remain the same.

This site explores these deeply rooted bad ideas- i.e. great punitive forces or spirits threatening ultimate destruction. These bad ideas continue to dominate our master stories, our grand narratives and worldviews (i.e. vengeful Gaia, angry planet, karma). They are themes that have long shaped the deepest levels of human consciousness, even the subconscious. These themes influence our thinking, our feeling, and our behaving. Change at the level of foundational narrative themes is critical if we are to solve bad behavior for the long-term future. It is about the liberation to be fully human. Liberation from bad ideas is the most profound liberation at the deepest levels of mind, spirit, and emotion.

This site is then a project to untangle and solve the sacred/animal relationship. To put it most bluntly in order to be clear- people have long sought to validate their worst impulses, their animal impulses to tribal dualism, retaliation, domination, and destruction of differing others, by projecting similar features onto their gods, thus creating ultimate ideals and authorities that provide divine inspiration and validation for their own bad behavior. We then become just like the God that we believe in. Note for example that in apocalyptic millennial movements, people believing in a punitive destroying God will often feel that they must be the agents of that God to carry out his will and destroy his enemies. They must eliminate the “evil” that pollutes and threatens God’s world or God’s people.

Related: This site is also probing the deepest levels of human fear and anxiety, such as the primal fear of Ultimate Harm, of after-life harm- whether a punishing God, angry nature, or karma (see Michael Grosso material below). This is about liberation from unnecessary psychic fears (i.e. the Japanese lady asking after the tsunami, “Are we being punished?”).

Further, fear and hate/rage/retaliation are all mingled emotions. So also note the relationship of fear and the consequences of anxiety/depression/addiction. Background things (i.e. endless environmental alarmism and associated news media exaggeration and alarmism) impact people’s consciousness. Just sayin.

Note: Contrary to the dominant Declinist ideology today (i.e. the apocalyptic alarmism that claims that life is declining toward disaster and ending), evidence on the true state of the world and the overall trajectory of life, shows improvement over the long-term, gradual improvement toward something better. This is a sound basis for hope. And hope has a self-fulfilling effect, it breeds more of the same, inspiring more effort to improve life. Whereas fear has an opposite effect, also of the self-fulfilling type. It can push people toward fatalism and resignation.

Note on breaking payback cycles (taking a few points from Joseph Campbell on human story)

I embrace the “spiritual” insight that we come here to engage a human experience (a life story) in order to learn how to love. To know what love is, to engage the struggle to love, and to help love spread. Love is the central meaning and point of human life. We suffer tragedy, heartbreak, disaster, accident, and cruelty, all the worst situations of life, as opportunities where we can learn to choose something better. That is where true heroism emerges and finds expression. That is where love shines brightest, when chosen against the experience of something worse.

Life’s worst situations offer opportunities to exhibit heroic courage, to take life somewhere better. To exhibit the initiating courage, for example, to break a potential retaliatory cycle (getting even with an offender), and going somewhere better, toward forgiveness, inclusion, generosity, and restoration of offenders. Like a Mandela, or Railway Man, or General Grant seeking the restoration of General Lee after the Civil War.

Qualifying note: Maintaining our humanity in the face of inhumanity:

Any comment on the ideal of non-retaliation requires immediate qualification. The issue is how we maintain our own humanity in the face of bad behavior from others. An unconditional attitude does not mean embracing dogmatic pacifism. Love is always responsible to protect the innocent and restrain violent people. That may involve permanent imprisonment in the case of the repeatedly violent offender or the psychopathic criminal. It may involve eliminating some extremely violent people where other forms of restraint are not possible (i.e. the irrational, religiously-driven violence of ISIS).

Maintaining an unconditional respect for all is about how we prevent ourselves from falling into old tribal dualisms (i.e. “us versus our enemy”) and “eye for eye” cycles of vengeance and punitive payback. We are morally obligated to maintain our own humanity and to seek better long-term outcomes that lessen violence and brutality. That will involve the use of defensive force but always with ultimate restorative intent. Just as the Chinese sage, Laotzi, argued for the careful, minimal use of force to stop attacking armies. But he then urged the triumphant soldiers to not humiliate their attackers after they had defeated them. So McArthur sought to rehabilitate the Japanese after the Second World War. And Mandela sought to include all in the new South Africa, and to turn former enemies into friends.

Related issue: Defining justice as retaliatory or restorative. See discussions in sections below.

Comment from below: The dominant inciting/validating factor in the Western tradition

The term “Jesus Christ” is a statement of profound oxymoron that tries to merge non-retaliation with supreme retaliation. This Christian title has long held together two profoundly opposite messages in an unworkable and disjointed harmonization. The outcome from maintaining the feature of violent retaliation in humanity’s ultimate ideal and authority- deity- has been horrific abuse of people (i.e. Crusades, Inquisitions- torture and murder of heretics, exclusion of unbelievers).

Historical Jesus was history’s greatest Non-Retaliator. His core theme was “no more eye for eye but love your enemy”, (see Matthew 5, and Luke 6). And he based this unconditional ethic on “a stunning new theology” (James Robinson) of a non-retaliating God that loved his enemies, a God that exhibited unconditional mercy and generosity toward all- “God sends sun and rain on all alike, both good and bad”.

Paul, to the contrary, rejected the unconditional God of Jesus and re-affirmed belief in divine retaliation by creating history’s supreme Retaliator- i.e. his apocalyptic Christ. Paul’s own words from his Romans and Thessalonians letters- “Vengeance is mine, I will repay… The Lord will punish… he will pay back… in blazing fire… punish with everlasting destruction….”. There is a lot more in these and other New Testament letters. And see Revelation for the most graphic portrayal of the violent, blood-soaked Christ destroying billions of his enemies. What do you think such imagery does to human consciousness?

Paul’s views dominate the New Testament and Christianity, and thereby Western consciousness in general (see Tabor quotes below). Consequently, Jesus’ core theme of non-retaliation has been largely distorted, undermined, and even buried, while Paul’s message of supreme retaliation has shaped Western thought and behavior with repeated violent outcomes (i.e. the Crusades, the torture and killing of heretics, and harsh retributive justice systems).

Historical Jesus offered the way to solve bad behavior/violence at the most fundamental level. He fully humanized (i.e. made fully humane) our highest ideal and authority- deity. He radically transformed humanity’s ultimate inciting and validating reality- God- by re-orienting human understanding of God away from retaliation and toward non-retaliation, or unconditional love. His central theme was expressed as “God does not retaliate against enemies but gives sun and rain to all alike, both good and bad”. All were to be treated as family, despite their failure to live as human.

This is fundamental to solving the problem of people using bad ideas to incite or validate bad behavior. Do as Jesus did- make your highest validating ideas/ideals (i.e. God) fully humane. Only unconditional can accomplish this.

Paul outright rejected the project of Jesus. He rejected Jesus’ “stunning new non-retaliatory theology” and retreated to the same old primitive understanding of deity as all about supreme “eye for eye” retaliation, notably in the great payback and punishment of apocalypse and Hell.

The point? We become just like the God that we believe in. Bad ideas incite and validate bad behavior. As Bob Brinsmead says, “The view of what God is like does determine to a large extent how a person lives and how he relates to others. Harsh views of God lead to harsh treatment of others”.

A possible response to this? Embrace the approach of Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy- take the “diamonds/pearls” of Jesus and throw Paul’s gospel out. It is the “product of an inferior mind”, according to Jefferson. Jefferson and Tolstoy used much more offensive terms to describe the rest of the New Testament, but I am trying to be nice.

Note on the secularization of primitive apocalyptic millennial mythology: “The West has produced and exported a number of secular, indeed atheistic forms of millennialism… movements that share the simple combination of a millennial vision of the world transformed, and an apocalyptic belief in the transformation’s imminence… thus we find especially strong tendencies towards both social perfectionism and human agency…” (Preface to War in Heaven, Heaven on Earth).

The ultimate in Western religious blasphemy

Oxford Dictionary defines blasphemy this way: “To speak irreverently about God or sacred things”. But note, the ‘benefits of blasphemy’ include liberation from bad ideas, and that is the most profound liberation at the depths of human consciousness, spirit, and emotion. So “Let me make myself vile just this one more time”.

There is no greater blasphemy to the Christian mind than to tackle, challenge, and diminish the Christ myth. “If anyone denies that Jesus is the Christ… he is the antichrist” (1 John). And did I say Christ “myth”? Yes, all apocalyptic is myth, fraudulent myth, pathological myth. Paul’s Christ is the epitome expression of apocalyptic mythology.

See also the comment below that gives a new twist to the conventional Christian view on the “antichrist”. If you take “Q Wisdom Sayings” research seriously, then Historical Jesus was the antichrist. His core message of non-retaliation was against Christ or messiah mythology (i.e. the supreme retaliation of Paul’s Christ in a great apocalypse- again, note Paul’s Thessalonians statements, just above).

Also, see the qualifiers below on the better features that are also embraced by Paul’s Christ. But that merger of good ideas with bad ideas creates the contradiction that this site treats thoroughly (i.e. the ultimate oxymoron of non-retaliation/retaliation that engenders cognitive dissonance in Christianity).

Site project:

This site traces the historical lines of descent from ancient bad ideas and down into contemporary versions of those same bad ideas. This site notes the correlations between historical systems of thought- from mythology to religion to “secular” ideology. What drives this project? Bad ideas incite people to bad behavior. Always have. Always will.

To properly solve violence and other bad behavior (i.e. the mass-violence eruptions of the past century) we must confront and deal with all the contributing factors, no matter how disorienting that may be.

Focusing the subject:

When you trace contemporary Western bad ideas and behavior back to their historical roots, you arrive unavoidably at Paul’s Christ. That prominent Christian icon brought destructive “apocalyptic millennialism” into Western consciousness and societies. Christian apocalyptic millennialism was then a critical contributing factor behind the alarmist and mass-death movements of the twentieth century. The death tolls were astounding (i.e. an estimated 200 million from just three notable apocalyptic millennial movements- Marxism, Nazism, and environmental alarmism). See the research of Arthur Herman, Richard Landes, and Arthur Mendel noted below.

“(Apocalyptic millennialism has been) the most violent and destructive force in history”, (Landes in Preface to Vision and Violence).

The bad ideas that contributed to Paul’s Christ myth have even deeper historical roots traceable back to Jewish messiah mythology, Greek hero mythology, Gnostic savior myths, and then further back to Zoroastrian dualism and apocalyptic destruction, and finally back to Sumerian mythology where we find the original pathological myth of “angry gods punishing and destroying bad people” in a great flood apocalypse.

Qualifier: No one denies that much good has also been associated with Paul’s Christ- i.e. the ideals of forgiveness, mercy, deliverance, and so on, that are also present in the myth. But do not neglect the fundamental features of the Christ that express tribal dualism (good people/true believers versus bad people/unbelievers), exclusion and rejection of the unbeliever (small band mentality), alpha domination (Lord Christ ruling all with an iron fist), and ultimate violent destruction of one’s enemies in apocalypse and hell. These darker features tend to limit, undermine, and distort the better features.

If we are ever to solve violence and bad behavior properly and for the long-term future then it is critical that we face this central originating source of bad ideas in our Western tradition.

The nastier features of the Christ have incited and validated the same nasty impulses in people, the impulses emoted by our inherited animal brain. It is an age-old practice of people to appeal to sacred ideas to validate their basest impulses. Fortunately, we are not our brains. We are something much better. But we need better ideas to inspire and affirm our better impulses. We need a fully humanized God, and authentically humane religious icons that are purged of all subhuman features.

In general, this site is oriented to understanding the deeply embedded ideas that shape our thinking and behavior for good and bad. This site probes questions like- What makes us truly human and what dehumanizes us? This site explores the very foundational things that contribute to real and lasting change. This site goes after the real monster in life, the real enemy of humanity- not other people, but bad ideas.

Note: Too much religious reformism has been just peripheral tinkering at the edges. It does not go to the core features of religion, those foundational ideas that define the highest ideal and authority of all- God. To paraphrase Bill Clinton- “It’s the theology, silly”.

More on the source of bad ideas in the Western tradition

In our Western tradition, the endless declinist/alarmist nonsense that has plagued consciousness and life all began with Paul and his apocalyptic Christ myth.

This is the great contradiction in Western consciousness and society- the contrast between the competing influences of Historical Jesus and Paul/Christianity. These two are foundational to understanding Western society- i.e. what influences good and bad in our ethics, what humanizes or dehumanizes justice systems, what has incited alarmist movements and mass-death eruptions and outcomes (notably in the past century), and more.

My argument: Two people have shaped our Western consciousness and societies more than anyone or anything else. Note for example, that Paul’s apocalyptic religion- i.e. Christianity- was given “secular” expression in ideologies like 19th Century Declinism- “The single most dominant and influential theme in culture and politics in the twentieth century” (Arthur Herman, Introduction, The Idea of Decline). Declinism then shaped contemporary environmental alarmism- “Environmentalism is one of the dominant ideologies of our day… the most widespread of convictions and giving it the potential to become the dominant ideology of the new millennium” (Jeffrey Foss, p.51, Beyond Environmentalism). Paul is most responsible for this.

And in our Western tradition, even Stephen Hawking has recently (2016-17) succumbed to Paul’s apocalyptic ideas and thinking. He has now prophesied the end of days occurring in 100 years. More Chicken Little outcomes from Paul.

This site traces in detail the historical links and the descent of primitive apocalyptic mythology (the original bad religious idea) into subsequent religious versions of apocalyptic (Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, Islamic), and then down into contemporary “secular” versions of ideological/scientific apocalyptic. Father of the climate warming alarm, scientist James Hansen, illustrated this with his 2008 statement, “It’s all over in five years”. More “the end is nigh” again, and again, and again…

Here are the key points of contrast between Jesus and Paul. This great Christian contradiction can be summarized in the contrasting core themes, or messages, of these two men:

1. Non-retaliation was the core theme of Jesus (“no more eye for eye, but love your enemy”). In contrast, a supreme retaliation was central to Paul’s gospel- i.e. his Christ retaliating in an apocalypse (“He will pay back… in blazing fire… destruction”, see his Thessalonian letters).

2. Unconditional love for everyone was the central message of Jesus, based on the reality of a God of unconditional mercy and generosity (“sun and rain given to all, both good and bad”). Paul’s central message was the demand for a supreme condition to be met before forgiveness would be expressed to anyone (i.e. sacrifice, atonement, payment by a god-man, as in his Romans letter).

These contrasting themes or messages present foundational issues for all of us: What defines good and bad? What defines human and inhuman? What defines us as authentically human? What is the meaning and purpose of conscious human existence? What is the point of the cosmos and life?

Historical Jesus introduced “a stunning new theology of a non-retaliating God” (James Robinson). His entire orientation was to non-retaliation, or unconditional love toward all people, both good and bad. We see the non-retaliatory orientation of Jesus in his Wisdom Sayings gospel (basically Matthew 5-7 and a few other passages, but without Matthew’s added comments that weaken and distort the message of Jesus).

Jesus central theme or message was to not retaliate against those that offend or hurt us. Instead, we should embrace our offenders as friends, treating them generously as family, giving “sun and rain to all alike”. (Note: Unconditional love to all does not advocate for pacifism in an imperfect world. See the qualifiers below on the responsibility of love to restrain violence- i.e. just war, and imprisonment of repeatedly violent offenders, but with restorative intent in all situations.)

Jesus was the great non-Retaliator, where to the contrary, Paul’s Christ was the great Retaliator. You cannot combine Jesus and Christ in one coherent term or title. That is oxymoronic in the extreme. A contradiction. And it produces cognitive dissonance (see Zenon Lotufo’s Cruel God, Kind God).

See more detail on the Jesus/Paul contradiction in the next section below “So you think you are secular, and scientific?” That sets forth the proper chronology of the New Testament and illustrates the heart of the contradiction. Note especially the comment in “Confronting the Christ myth” and “The Jesus/Paul contradiction goes to the heart of the human problem”, along with other material.

Get the chronology right. It shows the contradiction.

The core message of Jesus is found in Matthew 5:38-48 and Luke 6:27-36 and was taught around 27-36 CE. He stated, “There must be no more eye for eye retaliation against your offenders, but instead love your enemies because God does. God, with unlimited mercy and generosity, sends sun and rain on all alike, both good and bad”. God does not retaliate. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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So you think you are “secular”, and scientific.

This site explores the history of “bad religious ideas” and the stunning contrary theology of unconditional. It traces the descent of apocalyptic in the Western tradition- from the apocalyptic Christ of Paul to environmental alarmism. Paul’s Christ myth (“the most influential myth in history”) has shaped all of us, profoundly.

Most of us feel that we exist as conscious persons somewhere just behind our eyeballs. And we feel that we are reacting to stimuli around us in daily life. We are often unaware of the themes, ideas- and associated impulses/emotions- that influence us from the back of our skulls (i.e. the subconscious). There are deeply embedded things in the background of our belief systems, our worldviews, primitive things that powerfully shape our lives (i.e. our perception, our feelings, and our responses/actions).

This site traces the line of descent of primitive apocalyptic myth down from Sumerian/Egyptian religion, to Paul’s apocalyptic Christ, to 19th Century Declinism, and then to the environmental alarmism of today. Ancient myth has become “secular” ideology.

Watch how this deeply embedded stuff works. For example, we heard “secular scientist” James Hansen, state in 2008- “It’s all over in five years”. Now ask yourself: How was that really different from the primitive Sumerian priest that alarmed his ancient population with the claim of a looming great Flood that would destroy humanity and life?

And what about Stephen Hawking today prophesying that the end is nigh? He has switched from prophesying in 2016 that the end of days would be in 1000-plus years to now prophesying in 2017 that the end of days will happen in just 100 years. How is Hawking any different from Pastor Harold Camping who prophesied the end in 2013? The same primitive themes continue to find new expression in both religious and secular versions.

Hence, the interesting spectacle today of many self-proclaimed secularists, even atheists, mouthing the same old, same old themes of primitive apocalyptic. The terms used to express apocalyptic change over time but the core themes remain the same.

Environmental alarmism, as the latest apocalyptic movement, exaggerates the many problems in life to apocalyptic scale thereby distorting the true state of things and frightening populations to embrace devastatingly harmful salvation schemes. Remember Rachel Carson’s apocalyptic narrative (Silent Spring) and endeavor to save the world that resulted in the unnecessary deaths of tens of millions of vulnerable people, many children, due to the consequent ban on DDT.

Apocalyptic alarmism is not just irresponsible (e.g. like shouting “Fire” in a crowded theater). It is highly immoral. We are all responsible for the themes, and their outcomes, that we put out into public consciousness.

A qualifier: My challenge to the fraud of apocalyptic is not a denial of the potential for catastrophe in life, whether natural or human-caused (i.e. war). Going after apocalyptic is about rejecting the added and unnecessary psychic burden of the fraudulent belief that people are being punished by deity through natural disaster or human cruelty. Rejecting apocalyptic is also about countering the inciting role that apocalyptic has played in pushing alarmed people into wasteful salvation schemes (e.g. the anti-fossil fuel, anti-industrial society lunacy of today). And it is about ending the inciting role that apocalyptic millennialism has played in promoting mass-death movements (see Landes and Mendel research below).

Topics below: The contradiction between the message of Historical Jesus and the Christ of Paul- the stunning new non-retaliatory God of Jesus versus Paul’s retaliating deity, the core theme of all past mythology/religion. The retaliating God of Paul is at the heart of his Christ myth. The core features of Paul’s Christ have shaped Western consciousness more than any other set of ideas.

Then: Exploring unconditional as the ultimate expression of the human ideal of love. Unconditional takes love to the supreme height of the authentically humane.

Further: Apocalyptic- the most violent and destructive force in history. And: Why probe theology? Bad theological ideas have a long historical record of inciting bad behavior. Psychotherapists Zenon Lotufo and Harold Ellens detail the damaging influence of punitive God theology on human consciousness and behavior.

Also, Joseph Campbell on human story, conquering monsters, and maturing into universal love. Further, “The origin of bad ideas”, and “Humanity created to serve the gods?” Then: Rethinking theology as authentic no conditions love.

At the bottom- Child’s play: Trump and media locked in eye for eye cycles- adult “counter-punching” or infantile “getting even”?

One more: New comment from discussion group on Arthur Mendel’s book “Vision and Violence”- how apocalyptic became “the most violent force in history”. Detail on how bad religious ideas have been given “secular” expression in the alarmist ideologies of the modern era (e.g. environmental alarmism). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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What “threat theology” does to human consciousness, spirit, and emotion. Explore a humane alternative. Love- the foundational reality behind all, the ultimate reality, and the essential nature of the human spirit.

Contact: wkrossa@shaw.ca

How theology impacts human consciousness and life:

“Sick Gods make for sick people… Sick Gods provide sick models which produce sick persons and sick communities… Any God is a monster if he cannot behave at least as well as the average human behaves in his or her better moments. Monster gods make monster people”, psychotherapist J. Harold Ellens.

“Religion that is built around the assumption… that God is cruel or even sadistic… from this resulted wars, religious oppression, the Crusades, and the Holy Inquisition. In the psychological domain, its consequences are fear, guilt, shame, and impoverished personalities. All these things are fully coherent with and dependent on a cruel and vengeful God image… an angry God, who cannot forgive unless appeased by a bloody sacrifice, has been right at the center of the Master Story of the Western world for the last 2000 years… The suffering of the sacrificed victim is seen as something that gratifies God, something that calms anger… emotional gratification is obtained by inflicting suffering on others, from the execution of revenge… this is sadism… these ideas permeate Western culture and inevitably influence those who live in the interior of this culture”, Zenon Lotufo in Cruel God, Kind God, with quotes from J. Harold Ellens.

“You become just like the God that you believe in”, Bob Brinsmead.

“It’s the theology, stupid”, (paraphrase of Bill Clinton).

The fundamental human impulse for meaning (Victor Frankl) inspired early people to get busy creating myths to explain greater realities- the gods. But they made a consciousness-deforming error regarding ultimate reality. They created the single worst idea ever- that “angry, vengeful gods punished bad people”. And that idea was then embedded at the core of human worldviews (mythologies, religions, ideologies). It has not been purged since. It has been the single most dominant and damaging idea across history.

The myth of angry gods punishing bad people became the core of the apocalyptic template of ideas with its threat of a great final punishment and destruction of the world (see Top Ten Bad Religious Ideas below). The myth of threatening apocalyptic deity has aroused endless unnecessary fear in humanity and incited far too much bad behavior, whether the religious violence of groups like ISIS, or the devastatingly harmful salvation schemes of environmental alarmism (see comment on the mass-death outcome of Rachel Carsons’ apocalyptic alarmism, below). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The theology in religious violence. Anti-humanism and “the wonder of being human”. More on the Jesus/Paul contradiction.

Coming topics: Engage the real battle in life, against bad ideas that incite and validate bad behavior. Using Joseph Campbell’s story outline I would argue that bad ideas are the real enemy of humanity, the real monster that we face in life and must conquer.

And what exactly are these bad ideas? There has been no more damaging set of ideas across history than the apocalyptic template of ideas with its central theme of a retaliatory, punishing God that threatens a great final destruction in an apocalypse. That deity also demands that a supreme salvation condition must be met- there must be a sacrifice to appease the angry deity, in order to escape the coming horror. This template of bad ideas has dominated the Western tradition for millennia- from Zoroastrianism to Judaism to Christianity and Islam, and even into contemporary ideology (i.e. 19th Century Declinism and environmental alarmism with the themes of vengeful Gaia, angry planet, and karma).

The myth of some great threat incites fear and pushes scared people to embrace what have been endlessly harmful salvation schemes. The outcomes of Threat theology and its Salvationism have been devastating to humanity (detail below- e.g. the consequences of Rachel Carson’s alarmism). Historians Richard Landes (Heaven on Earth) and Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline) have detailed the influence of ‘apocalyptic millennialism’ on the mass-death movements of Marxism, Nazism, and environmental alarmism. Include here the influence of apocalyptic mythology on violent religious movements like ISIS (see David Cook’s Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic Literature). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Ultimate liberation of mind and spirit. The curse of environmental alarmism and its mass-death outcomes. Foundational issues behind human fear of the natural world. The profound contradiction between Historical Jesus and Paul/Christianity illustrates the history of alarmist beliefs.

Topics below: Why go after apocalyptic? (responding to “religious fear”); Mythical pathology and mass-death outcomes; Bad theology incites bad behavior; more on ‘The destructive outcomes of apocalyptic’; More on the Jesus/Paul contradiction; Discussion group posts; Float like a butterfly- Independent or Classic Liberalism; More discussion posts; Environmentalism, environmental concern; Climate debate- alarmists versus skeptics/deniers; The anti-humanism at the heart of environmentalism; In problem-solving go after the real monster; Human story and monsters- Joseph Campbell’s story outline; Primitive religious themes in contemporary environmental alarmism; Point form summary.

Further topics: Links/relationships/historical lines of descent- apocalyptic continues to dominate contemporary “secular” minds; A new take on the offensive “hard saying” of historical Jesus- the scandal of an unconditional God; Collectivism versus individual freedom- what really advances the greater good; Summarized template of apocalyptic ideas; Top Ten Bad Religious Ideas; Religion and God- the pairing of profound opposites; Historical descent of bad ideas- from mythology to religion to ideology and even to science.

More on the profound contradiction between Jesus and Paul/Christianity. The God of Jesus (his “stunning new theology”) rejected apocalyptic mythology (“no more eye for eye… instead, love your enemy”). And to the contrary, Paul’s entirely opposite God affirmed primitive apocalyptic mythology (“vengeance is mine, I will repay”). Paul’s God became the God of Christianity which has shaped Western consciousness, including Islam, Marxism, Nazism, and Environmentalism. Historical sources listed in comment below.

The scandal in this contradiction is that one of the greatest discoveries ever was buried in Christianity (Jefferson and Tolstoy’s point). Christianity was created as another conditional religion that made it impossible to see the true nature of deity as absolutely no conditions Love. The central discovery of Historical Jesus (“his most important contribution to the history of ideas”- Robinson)- that God was no conditions reality- was buried by Paul and other New Testament writers. Consequently, the greatest potential liberation ever- that of mind and spirit- was short-circuited before it could get started.

This site traces the relationships between belief systems across human history- noting that common themes continue from mythology, to religion, to contemporary ideology and philosophy. I note, in particular, the persistence of “bad ideas” and their harmful outcomes, especially the apocalyptic template of ideas with its core theme of a threatening, punishing God. I probe the most effective responses to these bad ideas. This is where the Jesus/Paul contradiction is useful because it illustrates the core themes on the opposite sides of this contradiction. Where Jesus advocated non-retaliation and no apocalypse, Paul advocated retaliation and apocalypse. Fundamentally, this is about the larger human story of leaving our animal past to become truly human. It is about what belief system we will use to define ourselves as truly human.

Does the above theology really matter? Bob Brinsmead: “You become just like the God that you believe in”. Bad ideas incite and validate bad behavior. Theology is critical to understanding the history of religious violence and the devastating outcomes of apocalyptic alarmism, notably from the environmental alarmism of today. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The myth of Ultimate Threat or Ultimate Harm (i.e. angry, retaliating, punishing deity) has been the single most damaging idea in the history of human thought and belief systems. The discovery of an absolutely no conditions Love at the core of reality is the potent response to the pathology of Ultimate Threat.

New topics: Summary of site themes; Pulling back to the big overall picture (Facebook discussion); Up from the basement; Love as TOE; Humanity’s greatest fear- Ultimate Harm; More on the “hard saying”; Post from discussion group (fallen humanity); Michael Hart quotes- environmental alarmism as apocalyptic religion; Imagination in the search for truth; Depression and Declinism; Commerce as social healer; Facebook note on Grosso; Post from discussion group; Extensive Facebook postings from discussion on environmental alarmism.

New Year’s Project: Major pathologies in thought and potent alternatives. Foundational themes for new narratives, for authentically humane worldviews.

Ultimate Harm and consequent Alarm:
The myth of Ultimate Threat has always incited alarmism across history. People have endlessly feared that the problems encountered all through life- i.e. natural disasters, extreme events or changes in nature, accident and disease- that these were expressions of angry gods punishing bad people. The fear of punishment from greater Forces or Spirits has continued into our modern “secular” age in myths of “the revenge of Gaia”, angry nature, and contemporary versions of karma.

Alarmism has persistently exaggerated problems to apocalyptic scale (the end is nigh, again and again and again…) and thereby distorted the problems of life, not presenting carefully the actual state of things. It has then incited frightened people to embrace damaging Salvationism schemes that have harmed humanity and life even more. I have traced this history of Ultimate Harm and consequent Alarm down through history, via mythology, religion, ideology (i.e. 19th Century Declinism), and even into science (e.g. climate science). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The ancient curse of alarmism (i.e. Threat theology); its destructive impact on human consciousness and society; countering this pathology with the breakthrough insight in the ‘hard saying’.

New Comment topics:

Alarmism: a curse on the human spirit (the deeply rooted mythology behind alarmism); Thoughts on the anti-human element in environmental alarmism; Climate alarmism as social control; Declinism Defined- the dominant worldview today.

Michael Grosso on the human fear of death (materialism misses the point); Clear away the garbage (Leo Tolstoy- Christianity buries the great discovery of Jesus); Religion and God- the pairing of entire opposites; Love your enemy- the “hard saying” that points to the greatest discovery ever and to the true nature of love.

Neglected Narrative: What really caused the 2008 financial crisis? Ronald Bailey- Federal regulations have made you 75 percent poorer; Rupert Murdoch links regulations, climate alarmism, to global financial turmoil; Investor’s Business Daily- How Reds became Greens.

Ebionism: the link from Jewish religion to Christianity to Islam; The Center- Joseph Campbell on presence; Change your story- we got the old one all wrong (Threat theology, apocalyptic, a new core ideal).

“Alarmist News Media” (comment on Trump hysteria) is at bottom of this section. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The ultimate liberation of consciousness- rejecting threat mythology and embracing an infinite ‘no conditions Love’ at the core of reality and life. See Top Ten Bad Religious Ideas below.

Site project and themes- Combating alarmism (i.e. exaggerated threat, metaphysical monsters, and resulting unnecessary fear). Purging the monster of threat mythology/theology, in all its variations, from human narratives- i.e. violent, punishing religious gods, revenge of Gaia, karma, or angry planet. Threat theology has long been the central theme of conditional Salvationism religion with its burdensome demands for required sacrifices, obligated beliefs, rituals, and a religious lifestyle to appease and please the divine threat.

Threat theology has also been central to religious violence, and is evident in supposedly more “secular” ideologies like 19th Century Declinism and its offspring- environmental alarmism. There is enough to fear in life without the added psychic burden of some great Threat behind life. Remember the Japanese lady after the tsunami, saying, “Are we being punished?” Threat theology has generated far too much unnecessary fear, anxiety (i.e. “eco-anxiety”), despair, and depression.

This site explores the single most profound and liberating shift in human consciousness- to abandon the idea of some great Threat and to embrace the discovery of a “no conditions Love” at the core of reality. No conditions love presents an authentically humane definition of ultimate reality for the foundation of a new human narrative. Explore this ultimate liberation movement with us.

Contact: wkrossa@shaw.ca

See new summary “The Science of Climate” (basic climate facts) further below in this opening section. Also at the bottom of this section, “The Ultimate Battle for Freedom (it takes place in our heads)”. And up from the basement- Joseph Campbell on human story (placing unconditional in Campbell’s story framework). “Love is all” is at the bottom of this section. See also material on religious violence in sections further below. The real battle of ideas takes place in the arena of theology, not just ideology. Julia Tyack also sparked some thoughts on what it might mean to practice unconditional in an imperfect world. Further, see new comment on “Making God Horizontal” (vertical/horizontal forms of relating).

Campbell offers the central discovery that enables the transition to mature adulthood- the centering of life on love. I reframe his story framework with “unconditional” in order to focus and clarify his point more. He uses “universal” and “unlimited” love.

The two most basic things… Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Top 10 Bad Religious Ideas; The descent of bad ideas over history; Embracing imperfection- we won’t be punished; Racial facts- we are all African; Islamic terror and God; Paul blew it.

Qualifier: Confronting bad ideas is not to “attack” or “trash” religion in general. It is about careful distinction between religious ideas that encourage human goodness and subhuman ideas that have a history of promoting inhumanity.

Section Content:
Bad religious ideas and the harm they have caused humanity. The descent of bad ideas over history- from mythology to religion to ideology (i.e. mythology given “secular” expression, see comment on 19th Century “Declinism”).
Understanding imperfection: God is not pissed at imperfection. Threat theology got it all wrong. Exploring alternative narratives: There is no ultimate punishment, no angry God, no revenge of Gaia, no karma.
Racial facts- countering race as tribalism. We all identify as African.
Islamic terrorism and God- its not just a fight with ideology but with theology. That is where the real battle of ideas takes place.
Paul’s big fails- The mistakes made by the founder of Christianity. He buried Jesus with his Christ myth. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Solving religious violence: Confronting the critical theological element; Humanizing our highest ideal and authority- deity.

Contact: wkrossa@shaw.ca (site is copyrighted material)

Section content: Why they Hate us (Fareed Zakaria documentary); Nowhere left to hide; What we are trying to do; Rethinking justice as unconditional; Tolstoy and Jefferson on the contradiction between Jesus and the gospels; Attack? Nah; Changing our thinking; Religion and violence; Sam Harris on bad religious ideas; The Jesus/Paul contradiction; Complaint re conditional religion; Pathology of Alarmism; Wealth creation enables environmental improvement; Sanders on climate hoax; Chronology argument for Christian contradiction; New comment from Bob Brinsmead; Notes on love (Can we find a better term than unconditional?); Large Hadron Collider documentary.

(Note: This site affirms all endeavor to reform religion, to make religious traditions more moderate. And when I point out the harmful elements in religious beliefs, I also recognize that it is important to re-assure religious people of the good features in their traditions. But my argument is that too much religious reform does not get to the root of the problem and slay the real monster. It does not eliminate the Master Terrorist. This is where humanity’s greatest battle takes place- conquering the metaphysical monsters that are humanity’s highest ideals and authorities. It is a battle in the depths of human consciousness with bad ideas that powerfully influence human perception, feeling, and response.)

“You become just like the God that you believe in”, Bob Brinsmead.

Much religious reform continues to protect “bad religious ideas” (Sam Harris’ term) at the core of religion. The humanizing project (making more humane) that has impacted much of the rest of thought and life must be taken to the very heart of religion- to deity. Religious gods must be fully humanized if we are to properly solve violence for the long term future. Anything inhumane or subhuman must be purged from humanity’s highest ideal and authority- deity. Pathological views of God have long been used as the ultimate validation for pathological human behavior- to incite, inspire, guide, and validate such behavior. See comment on the belief/behavior relationship below. People have always tried to model their lives and societies according to some greater reality or ideal.

This site is a project to combat alarmism in all its perverse forms- religious or secular. Alarmism generates fear and fear plays a central role inciting aggression and even violence (i.e. defense against perceived “threat”). Note carefully the role that theology- threatening, fear-inciting gods- has historically played in religious violence. This is one critical element to explore when trying to resolve the problem of religious violence.

Quote from below: “A central project on this page is to fully humanize theology (as in human perception of greater ideals and authorities); to purge deity of subhuman features such as animal-like vengeance, tribal exclusion and opposition, payback punishment, or violent destruction of outsiders. We already have the stunning discovery that points us in the right direction- the radical redefinition of deity with the ideal of absolutely no conditions love. A discovery that liberates entirely from the pathology of so much past mythology and religion.”

See Top Ten Bad Religious Ideas in next section just below, “Site Project: Conquering metaphysical monsters”. Immediately following this, note how these bad ideas descend down through history in “The Big Picture: Historical descent of mythical/religious pathology”. This helps to understand the never-ending eruption of religious violence across history. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Site Project: Conquering metaphysical monsters… Finding ultimate liberation in absolutely no conditions reality and existence.

List of contents for this section: Getting to the point; Fighting Monsters; Bad Religious Ideas; The Big Picture (Historical descent of mythical/religious pathology); Defending unconditional; Islamic violence; Introduction; Herman on Declinism; The Christian Contradiction (brief version); Page Content Lists; Terror in Mumbai; Ancient Alarmism; Calming religious concerns; It Stands on Its Own (Who needs Jesus?); Muhammad affirms Jewish/Christian influence; The real battle against terror, and more.

Contact: wkrossa@shaw.ca Copyright @ Wendell Krossa

It is the single most profound shift in human consciousness- to reject the myth of some ultimate Threat behind life (i.e. the punishing gods of mythology and religion, the core retribution of Greek thought, or contemporary “secular” Threat mythologies- the revenge of Gaia, angry planet, or payback Karma), and to embrace the view that there is only an “absolutely no conditions Love” behind all. Unconditional takes our supreme ideal of love to its highest expression. It is the ultimate definition of authentic humanity.

Getting to the point… a project to counter alarmism of all forms, religious and secular. Alarm/fear is often at the root of “defensive” aggression and violence. Add this to your understanding of movements like ISIS. Bad ideas incite, inspire, guide, and validate bad behavior.

Explanatory note… This site assumes the following basic relationship between belief and behavior: that people look to ultimate ideals and authorities- i.e. gods- for inspiration, guidance, and validation of their actions and lives. They have done this since the beginning. Unfortunately, over history some of the most inhumane features have been projected onto our gods- things like tribal exclusion (the “us versus them” of tribal thinking- opposition toward outsiders, enemies), hatred and vengeance toward outsiders, the condemnation and punishment of human imperfection, and the destruction of the enemy.

The outcome of projecting these base features onto our highest ideals and authorities is the creation of ultimate Monsters that validate the same inhuman features and behavior in people. We see this in religious violence across history, and still today. Violent, vengeful gods validating violence toward others. Therefore, you have to bring down the core metaphysical Monster in order to properly bring down the brood of related features that are validated by the core Ideal- religiously inspired hatred, tribal exclusion of unbelievers, vengeance, and the punishing spirit. In more positive terms- its not just “bringing down” something, but more about the full “humanization” of our highest ideals and authorities.

This site goes to the foundation of much alarmism over history- the myth of some ultimate Threat.

I’ll get right to the point…

There has never been some great metaphysical Threat behind life. There have never been angry, punishing gods, and there is no vengeful Gaia, angry planet, or payback Karma- some greater metaphysical intention behind the common natural consequences of life. The idea of some great retributive force or punitive spirit behind life has been the greatest fraud ever beaten into human consciousness. The accidents, disease, and other forms of imperfection and suffering in life, are not punishment from some greater force or spirit.

The result of this threat pathology has been millennia of wasted human endeavor on Salvationism, whether religious or secular. Think of the blood that has been shed in the sacrifice industry starting in prehistory, and the endless time wasted in religious ritual to appease threatening gods. Also include modern anti-development appeasement efforts and the trillions that this has cost humanity in hindered, blocked, or abandoned development projects- i.e. Earth goddess or Gaia appeasement. Add the emotional distress and despair from this mental pathology, and more. Salvationist responses have wasted immense amounts of human time, effort, thought, emotion, and resources that could have been better spent on improving the human condition from the healthy standpoint of “rational optimism”. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The Christian Contradiction…and its chronology.

Note especially the comment in the next section below- “Irresponsible environmental alarmism”, and “Climate deniers”.

Content in this section: The Chronology (unconditional was first, Paul rejected it); The Christian Contradiction- arguably history’s greatest religious scandal; Bob Brinsmead comment from discussion group.

I’ve brought this comment up from the basement because it may be the most important material on this site. If you can get the central insight of Historical Jesus clear, in contrast to the entirely contradictory message of Paul/Christianity, then you have gained some real ground on understanding the greater human story, what went wrong and how it can be made right.

The Christian contradiction (Jesus versus Paul) intensely focuses the struggle between the unconditional treatment of all people (i.e. “love your enemies”) and the traditional payback justice approach toward others (justice as getting even, or punishment). The Christian contradiction illustrates how these two approaches have struggled to shape human ethics over history.

Our treatment of others is very much based on how we view others. Do we embrace the tribal dualism view of humanity as divided into opposing groups of good versus bad. Or do we hold the view that all people are equal members of one human family, all “magnificent beings”, despite our differing imperfections (see “What are we, really?” in next section below). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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