New comment below– Did Einstein’s actual TOE (Theory of Everything) posit love as the fundamental force or reality? A ‘purported’ letter to a daughter named “Lieserl”. Also more on the root problem of bad ideas inciting and validating bad behavior. Further, today’s eruption of tribalism and the potent counter to tribalism based on human oneness; NDEs affirming the central theme of Historical Jesus; and how to keep AI (Artificial Intelligence) free of tribal, partisan bias- program it with Classic Liberal principles. Comment on issues of our time and those fundamental human questions that arise from our primal impulse for meaning.
Re the debate over the purported letter of Einstein to his daughter Lieserl- It matters not who wrote that, much like Bob Brinsmead argues that it matters not who wrote some of the material attributed to Historical Jesus. That material (i.e. “love your enemy… love one another”) is self-validating as good, right, and true. It’s the content that matters, not who stated it. And an Akkadian father urged his son to “love his enemy” 2,000 years before Jesus did. Others also, no doubt, got this unconditional ethic right just by responding to the intuitions of their own human spirit and consciousness.
The Akkadian father’s statement to his son: “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. Give food to eat, beer to drink, grant what is requested, provide for and treat with honor. At this one’s god takes pleasure.”
(1) Becoming “woke” on climate, as in properly and fully informed, notably on the “physics of CO2” as presented by atmospheric physicists like Richard Lindzen, William Happer and others (co2coalition.org). Also, be informed on the complexity of climate, and the natural factors that are the main influence on climate change- i.e. not CO2 but factors like “meridional transport”- as detailed by Javier Vinos in his excellent reports on “Sun-Climate Effect: Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis” (at Wattsupwiththat.com). The basic physics of CO2 presents no rational, scientific need to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.
(2) The hardest saying of all- “Love your enemy”- but most liberating and transforming. It takes us to new heights of courageous mature humanity, to new reaches of true heroism in the real battle of good against evil that takes place in every human heart.
(3) Good balance of concerns from Michael Shellenberger and Co. on maintaining our humanity in the face of evil by affirming the humane treatment of all.
(4) Toying with “blasphemy” in order to achieve liberation from bad ideas. This relates to my project re the Christ myth of Paul that has buried the core insights of Historical Jesus that God was a non-retaliatory, unconditional deity. Paul’s Christ has buried those critical insights of Historical Jesus. “Buried”? Yes, as per the comments of Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy that the “diamonds/pearls” of Historical Jesus were buried by Paul’s Christology.
(5) More on the pathology of apocalyptic and its destructive outcomes in life. Apocalyptic has always been “the most violent and destructive idea in history” (Arthur Mendel, “Vision and Violence”). How so? Fear=control. Watch how this primitive and destructive mythology is playing out today in the latest eruption of apocalyptic- the “profoundly religious” climate alarmism crusade and its salvation scheme of decarbonization that is ruining societies.
(6) Theological points: The role of the Near-Death Experience movement in the long history of human “spirituality”. The main discovery of the NDE movement affirms the stunning theological insight of Jesus on God as non-retaliatory, inexpressibly transcendent unconditional love. This is about understanding the role of the ‘metaphysical’ in human meaning. An unconditional God poses the greatest threat to highly conditional religious traditions. No religion has ever presented this liberating insight on the true nature of deity to humanity.
Also- See the article by Michael Barone below– “The Tom and Daisy Buchanans North of Richmond”. It illustrates the research on the “psychopathology of Left-wing authoritarianism” where people present themselves as compassionate and caring toward some oppressed population but engage policies/practises that destroy the lives of the very people that they claim compassion toward. Barone notes the “vast carelessness” of those who arrogantly claim to know what is best for all others and will use state coercion to push their destructive policies on others, to control others. The outcomes, now evident across our societies, have been horrifically destructive. Such left-wing compassion has nothing to do with Classic Liberalism or liberal democracy. While often identifying as “liberal”, Woke Progressivism has become “highly illiberal”, even totalitarian.
And… Good comment from Elon Musk during his interview with Joe Rogan (episode 2054 of JRE on Spotify). Musk said that the left has gone so far left now on many issues that anyone to the right of that extremism is smeared as “right-wing” (dog whistle for “racist, fascist, white supremacist extremist, threat to democracy,…” etc.), even fellow leftists and moderates. Much like the black folks, and Asians, also Hispanics, who disagreed with Woke Progressivism and were smeared as “racist, the faces of white supremacy”.
As Rogan guest Edie Bravo said recently, commenting on the “censorship industrial complex” and related issues pushed by the Left, “What crazy world are we living in today?” Others, like Glen Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, and Michael Shellenberger, have noted the “Great Switcheroo” that took place over the past decade where Classic Liberalism has been abandoned by US liberals and is today being defended and promoted more by conservatives. But even more-so, says Greenwald, the more critical divide to be aware of is not between right and left, but between powerholding elites and average citizens.
One more… See posts to a member of a discussion group who was arguing for the materialist theory that the brain produces consciousness, that the meat in our heads produces mind and the wonder of the human self. Sheesh, eh.
Well, one more… Some comment on the Israel/Hamas situation (use of force in defense- legitimate distinctions that matter). Distinctions like lawful war vs war crimes, protecting vs attacking civilians, proportionality, etc. All critical to our primary responsibility to “maintain our humanity in the face of evil”. Also, a good one from Michael Shellenberger on why liberals have abandoned freedom of speech.
An affirmation of the essential goodness of being human, Wendell Krossa (Themes for a new narrative)
We are fundamentally good. We are not- as per environmental alarmism narratives- a “cancer on the planet, a virus”, an unwanted intruder in the natural world. We belong here. And we are not fundamentally corrupt or evil.
Contrary to religious traditions and belief, we do not possess “inherited sin or a sinful nature” as though something was fundamentally wrong at our core. The “bad” in us is the residual animal inheritance, and this inheritance from our animal past has resulted in an inner dualism in the human psyche (see neuroscientist and Nobel laureate John Eccles research on “dualist interaction”). But the bad element of animal impulses in our brain is not the real us. As Jeffrey Schwartz says, “You are not your brain”.
The core human self consists of our human spirit and consciousness, our human personhood. And this human self is most essentially love, and more specifically unconditional love- “the unconditional human spirit”. And this human spirit makes for the real battle of good against evil that takes place in every human heart, the human spirit heroically battling and overcoming the residual animal impulses (or if you prefer- “restraining and controlling them” for good). Our real enemy in life is not some other person(s) but the animal inside us.
The evidence of our fundamental goodness? It is seen in love emerging and developing in humanity across the millennia, notably in indicators such as the lessening of violence in humanity (e.g. “History of Force” by James Payne, and “Better Angels of Our Nature” by Stephen Pinker, also Manuel Eisner- https://www.vrc.crim.cam.ac.uk/system/files/documents/manuel-eisner-historical-trends-in-violence.pdf).
Overall, our fundamental goodness is evident in human compassion and creativity gradually improving life for everyone across the millennia (Julian Simon- “Ultimate Resource”, Humanprogress.org). This evidence affirms our essential goodness and is the basis of sound hope for a better future.
We all have to answer life’s most fundament question- What is a human? What does it mean to exist and live as human?
Further on my comment that our core real self is “unconditional love”: What is your evidence? Proof? I conclude this from some of the most important “spiritual” insights ever offered.
Start with Historical Jesus’ breakthrough insight on theology- i.e. that God was a stunning non-retaliatory deity, an unconditional God. That breakthrough insight is from the Matthew 5:38-48 passage, or the better version in Luke 6:27-36 (“Better”? Yes, because it concludes with “Be unconditionally merciful as your Father is unconditionally merciful”- my paraphrase). This insight on deity was “Jesus’ greatest contribution to the history of human ideas”- James Robinson.
OK, then “God is love” really means that God is “unconditional love”, a transcendent reach beyond ordinary love, a reach to the ultimate in love.
And then take the insights on “oneness” that continue to emerge in life. Human oneness based on “mitochondrial Eve” research on human origins. The fundamental oneness of all reality based on “quantum entanglement”. And the insights from the latest stage of human spirituality- the NDE movement- that we are all one with the Light/God. See accounts below. Meaning- God did not incarnate only in special “holy” people, but has incarnated in all humanity equally, as inseparable from the common human spirit. Meaning also that all have the same immediate and equal access to God. So who needs religion and religious authorities?
But this is an aside- Back to affirm my conclusion that our core self is love, no conditions love- the very same love that is God. That is what it means to be human. We, as human, are something profoundly special. Each a unique embodiment of deity. These “spiritual” insights ought to inspire our battle against the residual animal in us all, our real enemy.
Stay informed on climate:
Ah, Let’s stop the endless affirmation of the climate alarmism narrative that we are facing a “climate crisis” and “we must do something to fight human emissions of CO2”, we must end our use of fossil fuels (transition to renewables). No. The best evidence on climate science does not support the irrational and destructive “salvation” schemes of Net Zero decarbonization.
The physics of CO2- the fundamental element in the climate change issue- show that CO2 is not the main influence on climate change, that other natural factors are the main influences, notably “meridional transport” of heat energy from the tropics (see Javier Vinos reports at Wattsupwiththat.com- “Sun-Climate Effect: Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis”).
Atmospheric physicists Richard Lindzen and William Happer state that a doubling of CO2 from the current 400-plus ppm to 800 ppm would add very little to any future warming because the warming influence of CO2 has already become “saturated” (a physics term meaning that its operating range on the long-wave radiation spectrum is full and more CO2 in the atmosphere will not be able to absorb and instantaneously re-emit (Jim Steele) the radiation that contributes a small influence to warming climate).
And with only a mild 1 degree C of warming over the last century, our world is still too cold compared to most of the past history of life when average temperatures were 3-6 degrees C warmer than today (i.e. during the Eocene “mammalian paradise”) and all life flourished. There was no climate crisis even when average temperatures were 10 degrees C warmer than today. Meridional transport kept the tropical oceans from “boiling” and maintained tropical temperatures at an “equable climate” range and that fact speaks to strong negative feedbacks in the tropical regions.
Further, in today’s still too cold world, 10 times more people die from cold every year than die from warming. Where are panic-mongering media on this fact? And there is no looming threat of “catastrophic warming… existential crisis” if we pass the mild 1.5 degree C more of warming. We could benefit from many more degrees C of warming as evidence shows, regarding our response to climate-related disasters, that there has been a 96% decline in deaths from such climate-related disasters over the last century. Even with the mild warming of the last century, far more lives are being saved from cold mortality than are being lost to any increased warming mortality. Humanity has done well adapting to the endless fluctuations of nature.
Cold is a far greater threat to life than warming.
This science of CO2, and climate in general, leads to the conclusion that there is no rational reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies. There is no sound scientific-based obligation to transition to renewables, though such projects should be encouraged on private dime, not burdening the public and harming the poorest with such subsidized and unworkable crusades (increased energy costs, fuel poverty).
Sources: co2coalition.org, Wattsupwiththat.com.
The best response to carbon emissions? Do nothing. Because there is no “climate emergency”. But this requires informing oneself about the “physics of CO2” as presented by the best atmospheric physicists like Richard Lindzen, William Happer, and others. It requires, again, understanding climate science as presented by Javier Vinos in his series of reports on the “Sun-Climate Effect: Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis”, available at Wattsupwiththat.com.
The hardest saying of all- “Love your enemy”, Wendell Krossa
(Insert qualifier: As always on this site, the critical humanizing precept of “love your enemy”, meaning the humanely unconditional treatment of all as central to our fundamental obligation to maintain our humanity in the face of evil, this obligation is qualified with the primary responsibility of love to protect the innocent from those who cannot or will not control their worst impulses to violence and must be restrained/incarcerated, where possible. And where restraint is not possible, then violent offenders must be eliminated with force as in the Israeli war against the irrational hatred of Hamas that we are all observing. You cannot safely reason with minds that are incited to hatred and believing they are validated by humanity’s highest ideal and authority- deity.
This Israel/Hamas situation again brings to the fore the endless human problem of bad ideas, bad religious ideas that have always incited, guided, and validated the worst of savagery toward differing others. This “root of the problem” of bad religious ideas (i.e. “threat theology… Cruel God theology”) that still dominate human meta-narratives must be faced and addressed if such tribal savagery is to be resolved for the long-term future. This site is focused on this long-term project of confronting and correcting bad ideas with better, more humane alternatives that counter our worst impulses and inspire the better impulses of our human spirit.)
Why my fascination and ‘obsession’ with this ancient precept to love enemies? It first appears in the Akkadian Father’s advice to his son around 2000 BCE, two millennia before Jesus.
Rather than viewing it as a demanding obligation and onerous burden to avoid, as something just too impractical in the face of evil (i.e. “turn the other cheek”), and then discrediting and dismissing it, instead, take “love your enemy” as a challenge to experience the highest and best of being human, as an opportunity to be pushed beyond your “comfort zone” to new reaches of human experience, heroic conquest, and living as maturely human.
People have long tried to ascend new heights in “courageous expressions of the human spirit”, often in terms of physical achievements like climbing piles of rocks (i.e. mountains like Everest). We forget that the greatest of all achievements of the human spirit are in the ethical realm.
(Insert on the insight that “Only love lasts forever”- This interesting comment from a businessman who said about his Near-Death Experience that when engaging a life review, the Light/God ignored all the material achievements during his life that he thought were important and God focused only on his expressions of love toward others. All else was ignored and the concern of God in the afterlife was- Did you learn anything about love? Did you learn how to love? Affirming that “Only love lasts forever”.).
Love your enemy offers the greatest liberation possible for any person to experience- profound liberation at the depths of human consciousness, emotion, being… notably, liberation from the defiling influence of our worst inherited impulses to tribal exclusion, fear and hatred of the differing other, the offending other, and liberation from the defiling lust to punish and destroy the differing/offending other.
Love your enemy takes love to its highest, exhilarating reach as a universal, unconditional reality. You cannot put into words the feeling of attainment/achievement as you “tower in stature as maturely human” when you forgive, include, and restoratively embrace the offending other. The feeling of attaining mature and heroic humanity surfaces when you take the heroic initiative to break some eye for eye retaliatory cycle, choose to restrain your worst impulses to vengeance, and respond humanely to some enemy other and thereby spark an improving cycle of more humane relating toward offending others. Taking the initiative to forgive some offense and not retaliate in kind requires new reaches of courageous humanity.
As Nelson Mandela left prison in 1994, he said that he chose to “set aside my feelings of hate” and to forgive his oppressors and include them in the new South Africa following the end of the apartheid era. His reasoning- love of enemy “brings out the best in others” (not all, but most), and love of enemy “turns enemies into friends” (again, not all but most). To illustrate his unconditional love of enemies, he even employed his former prison guards as members of his security detail. That is a striking example of “towering in stature as maturely human”. And it is why most of us held such profound respect for this stellar example of truly human living. It was such a privilege to have him walk among us and exhibit heroic humanity.
Love in general responds to the human meaning impulse to answer why we exist. Love more than anything else points to the purpose of conscious human life. But then there are reaches of love that most of us will never attain to because we avoid the more heroic elements of the human life experience or quest. We settle for mediocrity and excuse-making, even defending retaliatory response to offenses as “justice”. Really? Punitive justice that incites further eye for eye cycles. And how does that work out?
The why and purpose of human life on this planet is best summarized in the highest human ideal of love, the feature that most singularly identifies us as human, as contrasted with animal. And the supreme reach of love is known and experienced in “love your enemy”, meaning unconditional, universal love. If we miss this lesson, this most fundamental of all purposes or goals in life, then nothing else that we do and consider as success means much because we have missed the basic point of our existence- to learn what love is and how to love. Love most profoundly answers the why and purpose of life.
Love your enemy takes us directly to the heart of the matter to the most fundamental meaning of love. Take the challenge to love enemy as a chance to experience something higher and better than most people ever do, to reach the absolute heights of human love. Embracing heroic forms of love doesn’t require exposure to some great public opportunity but just to engage the many opportunities in the daily mundane and ordinary, in our bumps and bruises when interacting with average folks like ourselves- i.e. like someone cutting you off in traffic.
As Bob Brinsmead notes, we all understand the retaliatory impulse when, for example, we feel that our spouse has cooled in expressing affection toward us. And so we react, even subconsciously, with similar cooling of affection. That is how the natural retaliation impulse emerges. It may just be such withdrawing of affection in response to the perceived cooling in a spouse or partner. But that “retaliation” is still on the same dehumanizing spectrum as more serious expressions of retaliatory response. It is another version of abandoning “love your enemy”. And of course, a spouse is not the “enemy”. This just illustrates the natural and harmful retaliatory response that we all battle.
Retaliation at any scale renders us all petty, subhuman and not the mature, heroic beings we should be. “To seek revenge and bite back is more characteristic of a beast or an animal, not a rational human”, Musonius Rufus, Roman philosopher.
The opportunities to become a hero are presented all throughout ordinary daily life. In today’s world, with its intensified tribalism, there are endless opportunities to love your enemies, to look beyond differences to find areas/issues to agree on and work together. And those who take the initiative to break retaliatory cycles with forgiveness and the reconciliatory responses of unconditional love are the most courageous humans among us. They exhibit the unconditional God incarnated in the human and present and walking among us. Just like Mandela and Jesus.
More on the destructive outcomes of apocalyptic crusades like climate alarmism:
In a great “injustice against humanity”, the leaders of the UN, EU, and the US are denying their stated goals to eradicate extreme poverty…
“The UN, US, and EU embrace policies to maintain and expand poverty by denying lending to eliminate poverty through affordable, reliable energy…” (i.e. the war against fossil fuels- Net Zero, decarbonization).
Much appreciation to Michael Shellenberger for his balanced approach to the Israeli/Hamas war, reminding us that we must refrain from overreaction that is fueled by a hunger for revenge. We are always responsible and obligated to maintain our humanity in response to savagery from others. And international law helps set the protective boundaries to restrain our impulses to vengeance that dehumanize us all.
This from Michael Shellenberger, Leighton Woodhouse, and Alex Gutentag, “Hunger For Revenge Behind Demands To Bomb Iran: We need to put facts over feelings”, Oct. 27, 2023.
“Over the last two weeks, we have written of the need to express our outrage and heartache over the horrific atrocities carried out by Hamas against Israelis on October 7 while not losing our heads and engaging in counterproductive behaviors, like demanding the censorship of legal free speech or condoning the violation of the Geneva Conventions.”
Shellenberger and Co. warn that the lust for vengeance that is now pushing for a widening of the scope of retaliatory response toward enemies (i.e. the current push to bomb Iran) will not result in long-term peace but will worsen an already bad situation. They caution that similar public outrage and lust for vengeance resulted in the post-9/11 invasion of Iraq under false pretense and the result was hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths. Have we not learned anything from that and related disastrous responses, committed in the heat of outrage at attacks?
And then note the comments of some of these captured Hamas terrorists as a sense of humanity resurfaces and they realize that they were deceived by their Hamas leaders with a distorting narrative. So also the students joining pro-Palestinian marches, that have strong antisemitic messages, may one day come to their senses and realize that they have been misled by narratives of hate.
Another note: You will see repeated references to the same sources here because these sources offer some of the best research for understanding the true state of our world, what is happening today, and how to solve problems by understanding the root casual/contributing elements of a problem. I refer to such books as Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource”, the single best book ever written in my estimation, and the many similar studies that followed Simon. Simon presents the approach that helps us see “the true state of life”, based on evidence from all the main indicators of life.
And then Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline in Western History” that helps us understand the continuing domination of doom narratives today despite amassed evidence showing that life has improved immensely and we are living in the best of all times in history.
And then the work of psychologists Harold Ellens and Zenon Lotufo on the deforming impact of bad theological ideas on human personality and society (“Cruel God, Kind God”, and “The Destructive Power of Religion”).
And so much more on varied issues that concern us all.
Toying with “blasphemy” to solve one of humanity’s great pathologies/problems. Comment on main site themes/projects- Wendell Krossa
This site takes the position that Jesus is the “anti-Christ”, as in presenting a message that is entirely against the Christology of Paul (Paul’s Christ myth). Why does it matter to point this out and possibly upset many true believers in the Christ? Because Paul’s Christ is at the root of one of humanity’s long-standing pathologies- the belief in apocalyptic, “the most violent and destructive idea in history” (Arthur Mendel in “Vision and Violence”).
You will read some upsetting things here, arguments and comments that are offensive to true believers, some triggering beyond triggering… even “blasphemous”. I recognize from my past in Evangelical Christianity that any challenge to the Christ is considered completely off-limits blasphemous. Paul even cursed fellow apostles Peter and James with damnation for challenging his Christ myth (Galatians 1:8-9).
But blasphemy is sometimes necessary to liberate oneself from ideas that deform and enslave human consciousness and life, notably bad religious ideas that have long been protected “under the canopy of the sacred”. So walk right past the “blasphemy” warning sign and try to understand a notable historical example at the root of the human thinking, feeling, behaving issue- the problem of bad ideas inciting and validating bad behavior, and specifically the role of Paul’s Christ myth in all this.
My larger point here? If we are unwilling to go to the actual root of problems, then we do not properly and thoroughly solve problems for the long-term future and life does not progress as it could or should. Critical in the mix of solving problems is to correct the core themes in human narratives that incite/inspire our spirits, that guide our lives, stir our emotions, motivate us, and shape our responses and behaviors. And there is nothing more “core” in any narrative than our ideas about deity/God (i.e. the metaphysical that is a dominant influence in both religious and “secular/ideological/scientific” belief systems).
Bad ideas have always incited and validated bad behavior. “As we think, so we are… or so we become”. Or- “We become just like the God that we believe in”, Bob Brinsmead.
Hamas terrorists shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“praise God”) as they raped, burned, and murdered innocent people is a glaringly traumatizing example of bad ideas inciting and validating bad behavior that was thrust into our consciousness recently. What kind of a monster God would validate such savagery?
And before reacting defensively with the charge of “Islamaphobia”, note that the very same violently punitive deity dominates the belief systems of Christianity, Judaism, and even Eastern religious traditions- e.g. Lord Shiva of Hinduism. See the comments below of psychologist Harold Ellens and psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo on how such monster God theories deform human personality with fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, despair, nihilism, and violence. And as they note, these monster gods have been at the center of our “master stories”, our “meta-narratives”, since the beginning. Don’t discount that still prominent influence on our minds and lives.
The recent eruption of Hamas savagery, incited and validated by their deity, is one of the worst of examples on a spectrum/sliding scale. Note the comments below on how many of us, just further down the same spectrum of harm, are oblivious to the fact that we are also supporting destructive crusades such as the decarbonization madness that has possessed Western societies. The same fundamental themes that incite and validate Hamas brutality also support the climate alarmism crusade (i.e. the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex of themes). In terms of core ideas/themes, climate alarmism themes are indistinguishable from those that influence varied other religious madness movements.
The ultimate ideal and authority- the God that is the “cohering center” of the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex- that ideal and authority has been embraced in both religious and “secular” versions (e.g. “secular/ideological” versions of angry, punitive deity as in “vengeful Gaia, retributive Universe, angry Planet/Mother Earth, payback karma”). No, there is nothing really new under the sun.
But back to my point re Paul’s Christ myth…
My comments on the Christ of Paul are based roughly on “Historical Jesus” research, notably on the “Q Wisdom Sayings gospel” research (John Kloppenborg, James Robinson, Stephen Patterson, etc.). The Q Wisdom Sayings gospel is the closest that we get to what Jesus actually taught. And there is nothing of Paul’s Christology (his Christ myth) in that teaching. Nothing about Jesus viewing himself as a cosmic Savior come to offer himself as a blood sacrifice for all human sin, as an atonement to appease a wrathful God intent on destroying humanity and the world in an apocalypse unless his demand for a violent human sacrifice is met.
Overall, I take the Jefferson/Tolstoy approach to the profound contradiction between Historical Jesus and Paul’s Christ- i.e. that the core teaching of Jesus is the “diamonds/pearls” that are buried in the “dung/slime and muck/garbage” of the rest of the New Testament, the “product of lesser minds”. Ouch. Such blunt terms from those two. But get the point- Historical Jesus has nothing to do with Paul’s Christ myth. Nothing. Jesus is as contrary to Paul’s Christ as diamonds are to dung.
Here are the notable themes that establish the fundamental contradiction between Jesus and Paul, between the messages of Historical Jesus and Paul’s Christ myth. This is important to grasp because the Christ of Paul has been the single most influential religious icon that has kept the destructive pathology of apocalyptic alive in Western narratives and consciousness. Jesus, to the contrary, was entirely anti-apocalyptic as evident in his “stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory God, his greatest contribution to the history of human ideas” (Robinson).
Note this passage from the central teaching in Jesus’ gospel:
“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”.
Conclusion from the above: A non-retaliatory God will not enact the ultimate exhibition of retaliation in the apocalyptic punishment and destruction of humanity and the world (nor enact the further retaliation of destruction in eternal Hell). Historically, apocalyptic has always been an act of divine retaliation to punish humanity for ruining an original paradise and sending life into decline toward something worse.
Paul, a generation after Jesus, subsequently rejected Jesus’ “stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory God”, his “greatest contribution to the history of human ideas”, and retreated to a retaliatory God and Christ that would destroy humanity and the world (see Romans 12:17-20, Thessalonian letters, etc.).
Other key differences between the gospel of Jesus and the Christ of Paul-
(1) Jesus was anti-violence where Paul advocated ultimate violence in his Christ (violent blood sacrifice as demanded payment for “sin”, violent destruction of the world via apocalypse, eternal violence in Hell).
(2) Jesus was anti-sacrifice in contrast to Paul’s Christ that presented Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice. https://bobbrinsmead.com/the-historical-jesus-what-the-scholars-are-saying/
(3) Jesus advocated an unconditional God and the unconditional treatment of all, versus the highly conditional Christ gospel of Paul (i.e. conditions of right belief, demand for full payment of debt, required Christian rituals and membership in the Christian church, adherence to the Christian lifestyle as the basic identity marker of loyalty to the religion and possessing “true saving faith”, etc.). No conditional religion has ever communicated to humanity the inexpressibly wondrous unconditional nature of God. Conditional religious traditions by their very nature, as institutions mediating conditions, cannot communicate this most fundamental truth.
(4) Jesus stood against domination of others (“true greatness is to serve, not to lord over others”) versus the ultimate domination of Paul’s Christ as “Lord, King, ultimate Ruler of all” (see Revelation). And so on.
You cannot reconcile the teaching of Jesus with Paul’s Christ gospel. The New Testament tries to do this and it results in oxymoronic cognitive dissonance unparalleled in history.
The Christ of Paul continues at the root of the pathology of apocalyptic in human societies, most especially in Western civilization. Further, scholars like James Tabor (“Paul and Jesus”) state that the Christ gospel of Paul has even had worldwide influence.
“Pathology of apocalyptic” as in the fact that apocalyptic-scale panic-mongering incites the survival impulse that then renders alarmed populations irrationally alarmed. Frightened people are then susceptible to embracing and supporting “salvation” schemes that have a proven historical record of destroying the world while claiming to save the world.
The disastrous outcome of decarbonizing agriculture in Sri Lanka is a recent example (2021) of the destructive outcomes of apocalyptic in human societies, similar to the apocalyptic madness of the Xhosa cattle slaughter of 1856-57. These examples highlight the destructive outcomes of decarbonization, the current apocalyptic crusade that is careening toward potential mass-murder on a scale unknown before in history (see links below).
To return to my earlier point: Go after the inciting/validating themes that fuel such “madness of crowds” eruptions, notably the influence of deeply embedded religious themes in human narratives, and none have been more influential than the Christ of Paul, if you seriously want to thoroughly solve this problem of apocalyptic for the long-term future.
The fuller set of ideas of the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex is detailed in my “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives” below.
The punitive, destroying God behind this complex of myths still reigns supreme in the main world religions and that ultimate embodiment of ideals has also been adopted by “secular/ideological” belief systems as in the climate alarm narrative. Pay attention to the core themes of these belief systems, and don’t be sidetracked by the endless creation of differing terms used as ever new versions of apocalyptic are created. Note the themes, the primitive mythology, behind the terms used.
As Joseph Campbell wisely noted- People have believed the same primitive myths all across history and across all the cultures of the world. Again, there is nothing new under the sun. We all possess a profound and primal impulse for meaning and subconsciously, often unquestioningly, we embrace inherited “archetypes” to inform our worldviews. Unfortunately, many of us still hesitate to challenge the bad ideas that we have inherited because of their long historical association with the “sacred”, with untouchable deity.
Apocalyptic distorts entirely the true state of life, the true long-term trajectory of life. Life is not declining from an original lost paradise toward some future collapse and ending. Masses of evidence affirm that life progresses gradually but irreversibly toward a better future. In fact, there has never been a better time to be alive on earth. Yet a majority of the world population still believe that “the world is becoming worse” and “humanity is doomed” (see, for example, the YouGov survey in the Intro to “Ten Global Trends” by Tupy and Bailey). Even Stephen Hawking fell for this apocalyptic lunacy over the last two years of his life. Apocalyptic mythology has always made fools of the brightest minds. Remember also Chicken Little in this regard.
Primitive apocalyptic mythology comes to us today embedded in the fraudulent but widely embraced narrative of Declinism, the “secular/ideological” embodiment of apocalyptic that dominates the contemporary world (Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline in Western History”). Declinism is the central theme of apocalyptic- i.e. that life is declining from something originally better (an original lost paradise) and now toward something worse. Mircea Eliade (History of Religious Ideas) described the decline of life as presented in apocalyptic mythology, “Each present moment is a degradation from all previous moments”.
The belief in decline toward catastrophe incites the human survival impulse and desperation to live, hence making frightened people susceptible to embrace the salvation schemes that apocalyptic prophets present, even if such schemes destroy the world “to save the world”, as in decarbonization.
Let the factual evidence on the improving trajectory of life encourage you to embrace true “wokeness” in healthy skepticism toward the endless doomsaying of apocalyptic prophets today.
This from Michael Higgins, Nov.2, 2023, “Hamas is very upfront about its genocidal intent. Why do some refuse to believe it?… While some in the West hail the ‘resistance’, Hamas openly states that if given the chance, the slaughter of Oct.7 will be repeated.”
“When Hamas says it is a murderous, barbaric, evil cult that’s pathologically committed to murdering all Jews, at every opportunity, now and in the future, why do so many in the West refuse to believe it?
“While many pro-Hamas supporters hail the glorious resistance, spokesmen for the terrorist organization openly state that if given the chance, the slaughter of Oct. 7 will be repeated over and over again.
“In an interview with a Lebanese TV station, Ghazi Hamad, a spokesman for Hamas, glorified the Oct. 7 attacks — called the “Al-Aqsa Flood” by Hamas — and said they should be repeated a million times over…
“This is the reality that Israelis face. How can they agree to a ceasefire when the people they are fighting have pledged — repeatedly — to destroy Israel and the Jews?…
“British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly tweeted, “How can there be peace when Hamas are committed to the eradication of Israel? This is an official from Hamas committing to repeat the atrocities from 07/10 again and again.””
Theological points: The role of the NDE movement in the long history of human “spirituality”. The main discovery of the NDE movement affirms the stunning theological insight of Jesus on God as non-retaliatory, unconditional love. This is about understanding the role of the metaphysical in human meaning. Wendell Krossa
Near-Death Experiences- The NDE movement is the latest stage in the history of human “spirituality”, and it is a stage that reaches far beyond the theological insights in any religious tradition. The central discoveries of the NDE are- (1) the fundamental nature of God is inexpressibly wondrous unconditional love, (2) there is no dualism beyond this world and life, but only a fundamental oneness behind all reality and that oneness is unconditional love, and (3) further, unconditional love is the essential nature of the human spirit/self, because we are one with God and all reality. Further, (4) we are actors here in a “stage play” that is shaped by the dualism of this “temporary” material realm. And (5) we are here mainly to learn what love is, to experience love, to express love, as a choice against hate. These insights from the NDE movement offer the opportunity to profoundly transform consciousness and life.
The NDE movement is the latest phase in the emergence and development of human “spirituality” across history and it takes human understanding significantly closer to “truth” than anything before because it gets the unconditional nature of deity right. Deity being the fundamental creating reality behind all else (the creating Consciousness, Mind, Intelligence, Self). The creating Source of all is critical to understanding the core nature of reality and its role in human meaning- i.e. providing an ultimate ideal and authority to shape human understanding, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior, thereby shaping human society/civilization. Deity has always played this central role in human narratives.
The discovery of deity as unconditional love is exactly what the Historical Jesus got right in his most fundamental breakthrough insight that God was a non-retaliatory, unconditional deity, a discovery that was later buried by Paul under his highly conditional and retaliatory Christ myth.
Here is my paraphrase of Jesus’ statement of his central insight (Matthew 5:38-48, Luke 6: 27-36):
“There must be no more eye for eye retaliation but instead love your enemy… because God does not retaliate but love God’s enemies. How so? God generously gives the most important gifts of life- sun and rain- to both good and bad people. Be like God.”
Paul’s rejection of Jesus’ non-retaliatory theology for a re-affirmation of retaliatory deity (Romans 12:17-20, Thessalonian letters- my paraphrase for clarity):
“Hold your lust for retaliation in abeyance and let God retaliate because God says, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay… (also) Lord Jesus will return in flaming fire to destroy all who do not believe my Christ myth.’”
And even if there had never been the wisdom sage Jesus, unconditional is still “self-validating” as the ultimate truth. Love in general is self-validating as true and right and real, the most defining thing about human consciousness and personhood (what defines truly human existence and life, the core of human meaning/purpose). Unconditional then takes love to its ultimate height, to transcendent, supernatural reaches. Unconditional, as the best of being human, is then rightly projected onto deity to define the ultimately humane reality that creates/generates all good in this material realm.
If we fallible humans can understand and conclude that unconditional is the best of goodness in this life, the highest reach of love, then how much more is the Ultimate Good that is God even more transcendently unconditional.
Theologians fearing unconditional deity
Mark Fox (“Religion, Spirituality and the Near-Death Experience”) was right that theologians and philosophers have ignored and dismissed the NDE movement. I would argue they do so because the central discovery of the NDE movement- that God is unconditional love- overturns completely the central nature and purpose of religion as a highly conditional mediating institution between God and humanity. Religion has always existed to mediate the conditions of highly conditional deities (i.e. gods demanding correct religious beliefs, demanding sacrifice/payment/atonement, obligating required rituals and lifestyle as identity markers of true believers in a religious tradition, etc.).
The NDE presents a stunning reach beyond all such religious conditions and offers a remarkable re-affirmation of the main insight of Historical Jesus that God was unconditional love, thereby overturning all conditional religion, rendering it unnecessary and even more egregious, exposing religion as a block to understanding the true nature of God. No religion has ever communicated the unconditional nature of God to humanity.
God as unconditional love liberates humanity from millennia of “threat theology” that has profoundly deformed and damaged human consciousness and life with unnecessary and myth-based fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, despair, nihilism, and violence. The NDE movement, as an affirmation of the Jesus breakthrough on theology, spells the end of religion, freedom from religion. That means unemployment for theologians, priests, pastors, gurus, and other mediators of conditional gods.
Unfortunately, our meta-narratives have been shaped by Paul’s shameful rejection of Jesus’ stunning new insight on God. We have inherited in our “Master stories” the retreat of Paul to affirming the pathology of a retaliatory, highly conditional deity who demands sacrifice/payment and requires belief in Paul’s Christ myth as necessary to avoid destruction and hell. Paul re-affirmed the primitive mythology of punitive, violent destruction (apocalypse, hell) in humanity’s highest ideal and authority- deity. See his Romans letter for examples of this- i.e. his repeated references to “the wrath of God… ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay’, says the Lord…” etc. Add here his affirmation of violent apocalyptic destruction in his Thessalonian letters and other places.
Paul reinstated retaliatory violence as an ultimate reality and ideal. Is it any wonder then that Christianity has unleased such violence across its history? I.e. violence erupting from the early councils, crusades, inquisitions, witch burnings, torture of heretics, etc.
Rejecting Paul and re-affirming the central Jesus insight-
Put unconditional deity at the core of your worldview, your narrative, and then let it radiate out to transform everything for the better, especially ethics or behavior. Unconditional offers a new ideal that liberates from the worst of human pathologies- i.e. from the evil triad of the inherited animal in all of us, the root of most human misery and suffering. Unconditional at the core then serves as a new ultimate ideal to point us toward truly human existence, where we can tower in stature as maturely human, heroically overcoming the monster/enemy inside us, winning the real battle of good against evil.
The profitability of reading/listening to NDEs–
Someone looked at the research on psychotherapy years ago and concluded that psychotherapy actually did statistically little, if anything at all, to help people. The results of research on psychotherapy outcomes showed that it was just as helpful to talk to friends or family as it was to spend time with a professional psychotherapist. Most research on outcomes of psychotherapy supported that conclusion according to the author whose name I can’t remember.
So also with spending decades studying philosophy, religion, or science. As valuable as those disciplines are in contributing to their varied areas of speciality, all the expenditure of time and energy will get you no closer to ultimate truth on the most important issues that most people have always pondered, the most fundamental questions that arise from our primal impulse to meaning.
I would suggest that listening to these NDE accounts will take us beyond the discoveries and insights of science, philosophy, and religion on metaphysical realities to the stunning discoveries of people who claim to have had actual experience of ultimate reality, ultimate truth. Listen to what these people consistently and repeatedly claim to discover, and the consequent lessons they learned that all of us can apply to our own lives. This is about answering the primal human impulse to meaning and purpose with the most fundamental insights ever offered regarding the true nature of deity- our creating Source.
(Again, its not primarily about whether these people actually left their bodies to enter other realms, but about the content of what they discovered. That is the point here. The content of what they are communicating, the points they are making.)
This is about the discovery that love is behind all, at the core of all reality, and it is a transcendent reach beyond love as we know it- to the inexpressibly wondrous unconditional love that is God. And that love is a Oneness that we are all part of. We are one with that. Meaning- that inexpressible unconditional love is also our true core nature.
Further, the NDErs claim that life here is just a stage for all of us as God’s actors, taking part in a grand play. As one man below stated, we are here to have fun playing our roles, learning to choose love over hate, love over fear. As he says, it is so simple and yet so profound.
I suggest that listening to these accounts is more profitable for learning what is the nature of ultimate reality and truth, what matters most in life, what is the meaning of life, the purpose of our lives… listening to these accounts is more profitable than reading thousands of learned books and articles on these issues (i.e. philosophy, religion, the metaphysical speculations of science, etc.).
(“Metaphysical speculations of science”? Yes, again see, for example, Sabine Hossenfelder’s “Lost in Math” on the common habit of scientists to cross the science/philosophy boundary to speculate on metaphysical realities. Such speculation on greater creating reality is necessary to explain our material reality- its nature, meaning, purpose. Jim Baggott notes the same crossing of the science/philosophy boundary in “Farewell to Reality”. My point in response to this persistent urge to speculation? The NDE movement does far better in getting us to the love that is most fundamental to defining the core of all reality. And of course, you have to weed among the NDE accounts to find the better ones. Some miss the more common insights of the majority of accounts.)
Some sample accounts (these summaries are from posts to a discussion group):
This first link offers a profound Near-Death Experience and its worth listening to the entire thing. Again, I would argue that listening to these experiences is far better than reading thousands of articles and books on theology/religious philosophy…. She presents all the basic features of most NDEs. Her conclusion- Love is all that matters and all that we take with us. Here in this life we are in a theater just acting out roles. Where before she was judgmental of others, now she sees beauty in everyone.
A short one on death as “perfection”, a transition to perfection. Death is natural and nothing to fear.
It is interesting that he notes that DMT provides the same experience as an NDE. Dr. Pim Van Lommel (“Consciousness Beyond Life”) also noted this- that DMT operates somehow to separate consciousness from the brain, as people taking DMT commonly state that they leave their bodies and go to other realms far more real than this material realm we exist within. Joe Rogan and guests have also talked about this- that DMT does something powerfully different from all other “psychedelics/drugs”.
A pioneer in the use of DMT (Terence McKenna- ayahuasca) states that DMT offers a new reach beyond all past human spirituality, religion, or metaphysics. It is more than just another “drug or psychedelic”. It is something quite different.
DMT users have stated that their experience was about being taken to the very root of their trauma and given insights to heal traumas that were beyond anything else, notably things related to depression and so on. Also, they note something about wisdom sages offering advice in the experience.
Another: This black activist’s analysis of his life, the narrative and identity perspective that he held (”race” was central to his struggles), and the subsequent hatred that destroyed his very body. He gives his analysis of this and how his NDE completely overturned his perspective and led him to view life so entirely differently… brilliant thinking through all this from his new perspective free from hate and his previous racial identity narrative. Fascinating that these experiences reveal a fundamental human oneness, and diverse human life stories and experiences all contribute to the ultimate oneness to become everyone’s experience and learning.
In this final link below, this man also discovers our oneness with the light and that this life is just play, so as the Light told him, lighten up, loosen up, have some fun. He says, there are 8 billion actors on the planet and they are all playing a role. We all come with the different costumes of different races, religions, sex, etc. but after the costumes come off and we are all back in the Light, we are then all one. Here we are dressed in different costumes to experience different things that we can’t experience in the light. He said that in the Light, he knew everything, all knowledge was his. All we experience here contributes to the whole.
He concludes that all that ever exists is in that Oneness. In the light there is no time, no judgment, no hierarchy, no separation. But existence in that oneness is not boring but ever evolving, ever exciting, presenting ever new experiences. He says his experience was inexpressibly exhilarating… the joy and ecstasy of being in the Light is inexpressible. He says the feelings he experienced so long ago are the same today, 70 years after that experience. He remembers and feels it the same today. He never spoke of it for 30 years because in 1955 there was no way to express such an experience.
He says that he is just trying to have joy now but can hardly wait to get back home, just putting in time, and has the return ticket in his back pocket. He is just having fun now, being silly, because he says the Light was a happy place of humor, filled with joy. He says the light is the greatest comic there is because it told him that he was here to experience joy. And we all exist to “be joy”, choosing to love rather than hate, choosing to smile over anger. Its all so simple, he says, just make others happy. Good on how hurting others is to hurt oneself, where to make another happy is to make oneself happy because we are all one in the light.
This discovery of a fundamental oneness comes through in so many of these NDE accounts.
I know people who have had NDEs and they all say, just as with most other NDE accounts, that they now have no fear of death. They know it is just a transition to perfect love, peace, and indescribable, inexpressible bliss. A liberation from all that is dark, depressing, imperfect, and limiting here.
This good commentary from Michael Barone, Aug.31, 2023, “The Tom and Daisy Buchanans North of Richmond”, Washington Examiner…
See also this on Left-wing authoritarianism as destructive psychopathology.
Quotes from Barone article on “vast carelessness”:
““Deep State” intrusiveness 20 years ago was intended to protect ordinary Americans against terrorists like those who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks. “Deep State” intrusiveness today is more often directed at protecting ordinary Americans by regulating their own behavior and habits.
“Directed by people who, as Oliver Anthony’s characterization of “rich men north of Richmond” suggests, see themselves as separate from and superior to the great mass of Americans whose lives they seek to monitor and control.
“The danger of course is that people who see themselves as Plato’s Guardians may turn out to be more like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tom and Daisy Buchanan, “careless people” who “smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness” and “let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
“Oliver Anthony’s degree of familiarity with The Great Gatsby is unclear, but his “rich men north of Richmond” these days have more than a touch of Tom and Daisy Buchanan about them.
“They like to think of themselves as caring for the great masses whose conditions in life they consider themselves responsible for alleviating. But their knowledge, despite their attempts at surveillance, remains woefully incomplete and their capacity for smashing up things is greater than they like to contemplate.
“One example is their array of policies which will supposedly result in “net zero” carbon emissions. They push regulations and state laws to phase out gas stoves, to eliminate microscopic emissions, after swearing on stacks of non-denominational texts they have no intention of doing so.
“They proudly block the construction of pipelines that are the safest means of transporting low-emissions natural gas and which produce well-paying jobs for blue-collar workers out far beyond the Beltway….
“The “vast carelessness” of “rich men north of Richmond” has been nowhere more apparent than in their COVID regimes. As Stanford epidemiologist Jay Bhattacharya has pointed out, the lockdowns and school closings jettisoned “a century of experience managing respiratory-virus pandemics,” imposed when initial reports vastly overestimated the deadliness and strain on medical facilities of the pandemic and kept in place by men (including Republicans as well as Democrats) north of Richmond….
“That represents billions of dollars of losses not just for rich developers but for widely dispersed individuals — and hundreds of billions less in property tax revenues for central cities and their phalanxes of unionized public employees. Sometimes careless people end up fouling their own nests.”
See full article at link above.
The singular example of “compassionate destruction” today is decarbonization, now becoming history’s most egregious eruption of the destructiveness of apocalyptic mythology as it has spread worldwide.
I have detailed in sections below the interaction of bad ideas, like apocalyptic, inciting and validating bad behavior, notably how many people continue to embrace the pathology of the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex of myths, whether in religious or in “secular/ideological” versions, and how that mythology deforms human consciousness.
Feeling under threat from some excessively demonized enemy (i.e. accepting exaggerated claims that disagreeing others pose the existential threat of “ending life, ending democracy”), alarmed people, overcome by their natural survival impulse, then embrace salvation schemes offered by the apocalyptic prophets. Salvation schemes that demand we embrace some heroic righteous battle against evil enemies, that we must purge that threat with totalitarian coercive force (democratic processes are too slow to confront the always “imminent apocalypse”), that we must make a sacrifice/payment for our sin of enjoying the good life too much (embrace “de-development, population reduction, decarbonization, etc.”). Then as true believers in the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” narrative we may be blessed with a restored paradise or new utopia.
Ah, the “vast carelessness” outcomes of such mythology.
Some posts to a member of a discussion group who was arguing for the materialist theory that the brain produces consciousness, that meat produces mind and the human self… Wendell Krossa
“____, that is Susan Blackmore’s hardcore materialism, her “poof” theory, a ‘god of gaps’ argument with not a shred of evidence just “poof”- out of all that brain complexity there appears mind, the self appears out of all that complexity of neuronal synapse. That is similar to Stuart Hameroff’s dogmatism about microtubules in the cell being responsible for producing consciousness. His colleague Roger Penrose exhibited more scientific rationality in his Rogan interview, stating repeatedly- “We don’t really know…. We are not sure…. We cannot say….”, etc.
“As one neuroscientist said (in Pim van Lommel’s “Consciousness Beyond Life”) its absurd nonsense to conclude that the brain produces mind.
“This affirmation of the materialist view on meat producing mind reminds me of leading evolutionary theorists like Lynn Margulis (“Acquiring Genomes”) and Harold Franklin (“The Way of the Cell”) noting that the Darwinian theory that we inherited re mutations accumulating on the genome is just a lot of mythmaking pushed with evangelical fervor, a dogma without proof. But it has become unassailable dogma widely believed as truth, with lots of “just so” stories. They are not questioning the basic Darwinian discovery of life developing over long time frames, with natural selection shaping populations under different environmental pressures. But as Margulis stated, no mutation has ever produced any animal feature or new species.
“____, just as you are showing persistence in pushing hardcore materialism, dogmatic materialism, show the same persistence in asking your authorities exactly how does meat produce mind. Ask for details, evidence, not just as Daniel Dennett does, making materialist ‘god of gaps’ claims that we know the brain down to the level of molecules and atoms… so its just a matter of time till we have a materialist answer to consciousness. No. Its not there anywhere. A lot of “Just so” stories, mythmaking. “Poof” theories. So, show that same persistence and skepticism toward that materialist belief system. Like Freeman Dyson, maybe entertain “I don’t think so”. With a smile as Dyson did.
“Read Pim Van Lommel’s chapters on consciousness and the brain, and the nonlocality principle in quantum physics, the ever-changing nature of material neurons while consciousness remains the same, and so many related good points. The man has thought through the issues and done his research.
“Some quotes from Consciousness Beyond Life- “The hypothesis that consciousness and memory are produce and stored exclusively in the brain remains unproven. For decades scientists have tried unsuccessfully to localize memory and consciousness in the brain. It is doubtful they will ever succeed…
“Then quoting neuroscientist Alva Noe, “All scientific theories rest on assumptions… I will try to convince the reader that this startling assumption of consciousness research that consciousness is a neuroscientific phenomenon and that it happens in the brain is badly mistaken… Contemporary research on consciousness in neuroscience rests on unquestioned but highly questionable foundations. “Consciousness does not happen in the brain… What determines and controls the character of conscious experience is not the associated neural activity. It is misguided to search for neural correlates of consciousness. There are no such neural structures… The idea that we are our brains is not something scientists have learned… It is rather a preconception. That consciousness arises in the brain goes unquestioned. It is an unargued-for starting assumption… it is just prejudice.
“We are not entitled to conclude that consciousness depends only on actions of the brain itself. And, in fact, we have every reason to reject it now… Experience and cognition are not bodily by-products. It is a hard conclusion, but one that is hard to avoid. Moreover, the mere absence of the normal behavioral markers of consciousness does not entail the absence of consciousness….”
“Van Lommel adds- “Mainstream philosophical and scientific discussions may remain strongly biased toward a materialist perspective, because one restricts one’s questions to the domain where materialism is unchallenged… For decades scientists have tried unsuccessfully to localize memory and consciousness in the brain and it seems doubtful they will ever succeed. So despite the fact that a majority of contemporary scientists specializing in consciousness research still espouse a materialist and reductionist explanation for consciousness, the hypothesis that consciousness and memory are produced and stored exclusively in the brain remains unproven.”
More on the Israel/Hamas situation (use of force in defense- legitimate distinctions that matter)…
This from Jesse Kline, Nov.7, 2023, “Footage of Hamas barbarism shows why ceasefire is not an option: Israelis take steps to avoid civilian casualties; Hamas revels in their slaughter”
While Israel must be cautioned about maintaining its humane approach to protecting civilians, as much as possible (i.e. warning people to evacuate before bombing), this explains why at the same time Israel must go after Hamas and eliminate them. They are committed to the destruction of Israel and all Jews.
Past ceasefires resulted in Hamas regrouping, diverting aid funds to its terrorists, and re-arming for the next attack on Israel. Common-sense defense to protect its civilians requires going after Hamas till it is eliminated as a threat.
And this from John Spencer, Nov.7, 2023, “Opinion: I’m an expert in urban warfare. Israel is upholding the laws of war”
“Nothing I have seen shows that the Israel Defense Forces are not following the laws of wars in Gaza, particularly when the charges that the IDF is committing war crimes so often come too quickly for there to have been an examination of the factors that determine whether an attack, and the resulting civilian casualties, are lawful….
“These IDF practices include calling everyone in a building to alert them of a pending air strike and giving them time to evacuate – a tactic I’ve never seen elsewhere in my decades of experience, as it also notifies the enemy of the attack – and sometimes even dropping small munitions on top of a building to provide additional warning. They have been conducting multiple weeks of requests that civilians evacuate certain parts of Gaza using multi-media broadcasts, texts, and flyer drops. They’ve also provided routes that will not be targeted so that civilians have paths to non-combat areas…
“Like all similar conflicts in modern times, a battle in Gaza will look like the entire city was purposely razed to the ground or indiscriminately carpet bombed – but it wasn’t. Israel possesses the military capacity to do so, and the fact that it doesn’t employ such means is further evidence that it is respecting the rules of war. It is also a sign that this is not revenge – a gross mischaracterization of Israeli aims – but instead a careful defensive campaign to ensure Israel’s survival.”
Good one from Michael Shellenberger, Nov.6,2023, “Trump Derangement Syndrome, Snobbery, and a Sophomoric View of the Truth Behind Demands for Censorship: A new book, ‘Liar in a Crowded Theater’, makes a case for free speech, and helps explain why liberals turned against free speech”.
Quotes from article:
“It wasn’t until I testified before Congress, with Matt Taibbi, on the Twitter Files, in March of this year that I knew that free speech was an issue I would need to work on for the rest of my life. Elected Democrats impugned our motives, demanded to know our sources, and said openly, without embarrassment, that the social media platforms should censor more, not less. I honestly couldn’t believe I was hearing the things that were coming out of the mouths of supposed liberal Democrats, the party of free speech….
“From Harvard to Stanford, academics are aggressively making the case, with philanthropic and government money, for more, not less, censorship of speech they don’t like but which they claim is “causing real-world harm,” including “undermining democracy.…”
“Pew reported that the share of Democrats who agree that the “US government should take steps to restrict false information online, even if it limits freedom of information” had risen from 40% in 2018 to an astonishing 70% in 2023…
“The reason all of this is so shocking is that liberals have not only been the leading opponents of censorship across many centuries, they have long prided themselves on being far better listeners, more tolerant, and less censorious than conservatives. Listening, tolerance, and free speech have been hallmarks of American liberalism from John Dewey to Cass Sunstein. Except now, even freedom-oriented liberal moderates like Sunstein are calling for government panels to decide what the truth is so they can censor their fellow citizens….
“But it wasn’t until Trump’s election that, in the eyes of educated elites, the white working class — which constitutes the majority of the American working class altogether — had progressed beyond proto-fascist to fascist. As far as the elites were concerned, Trump’s base, which skewed toward the non-college-educated, was a horde directed from afar by Vladimir Putin. The “insurrection” of January 6 following Trump’s defeat extinguished any lingering doubts about the dark nature of much of the American electorate…
“Liberals over the last half-decade abandoned their earlier views…
“The conclusion one draws from the liberals’ rejection of free speech in recent years is thus not that they don’t understand its role in America’s history. Their rejection appears to be much more primitive than that. They may understand why our constitution, culture, and legal system uphold free speech. They just feel so entitled and powerful that they don’t feel that they should have to listen to views with which they disagree. The liberal turn away from freedom and toward censorship, in the end, doesn’t rest on any particular philosophical idea but on unconstrained privilege and entitlement.”
And more on site project:
This may appear Don Quixote-ish, but I am here to slay a monster, humanity’s greatest monster and enemy ever, and to thereby make my contribution to saving humanity, to free humanity from enslavement to the worst monster of all monsters- the meta-monster of a threatening God that has long dominated human narratives. Join me in this great life quest. Its all about the real “righteous battle against evil” that takes place in every human heart, i.e. the battle against bad ideas that incite and validate bad human impulses and behavior (Solzhenitsyn).
We have the weapon to slay the monster- the insight that unconditional love is the true nature of deity.
It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out the stunning new theology that ought to define Ultimate Reality or deity. Just follow the more humane intuitions of our primal impulse for meaning and inform such intuition with affirming hints from people like Historical Jesus (based on the “Q Wisdom Sayings” gospel- “the closest that we can get to what Jesus actually taught”, and quite different from the Paul’s Christian gospel of Jesus Christ). Near-Death Experience accounts also make clear what form of love actually defines deity.
The revolutionary potential- for good- of an unconditional God is beyond imagining in terms of improving and benefitting life.
Some intro points to Einstein’s letter (yes, authenticity is questioned) on the fundamental reality that is love.
This site has long argued that the most fundamental reality of all realities, whether physical or metaphysical, is a stunningly inexpressible no conditions love.
Yes, it’s a speculative, metaphysical point but here below there appears to be some backing from a great scientific mind who affirms something very similar, i.e. that materialist Theories of Everything are missing the most powerful force or energy in reality- love. Meaning that love is the most fundamental reality at the core of everything. Its much more than just a nice human feature to warm the heart.
Historical Jesus made this same point that the creating deity was no conditions love. And if the creating and sustaining Reality is such love, then this love is the most fundamental of all realities, physical or metaphysical.
The NDE movement is also affirming this truth of God as, most specifically, inexpressibly transcendent “Unconditional Love”. This is the central discovery in most of the NDE accounts. As one NDE account stated so well- “God’s very atoms, if you will, God’s very substance was inexpressible unconditional love”. Again, if the creating reality, the sustaining reality, is such love then nothing is more fundamental to all reality than this love.
I would encourage readers to consider this “stunning new theology” because it profoundly and entirely transforms everything in human understanding and narratives. Again- It is not just love but inexpressible unconditional love that is the core reality of all realities. This highest reach of the human ideal of love transforms our ideals and our ethics and consequently our treatment of one another and that reverberates out to transform our societies. It points the way to a truly human or humane future.
Further, unconditional love liberates from our past as nothing else does. It liberates consciousness and mind from millennia of personality-deforming and society-deforming threat theology. It liberates us from the primitive theologies that were subsequently embraced by world religions and have dominated human consciousness and lives over past millennia, now even shaping “secular/ideological” systems of belief in the modern world.
An unconditional core reality liberates from the primitive bad ideas that our ancestors projected onto deity, bad ideas that were subsequently made archetypes in human subconscious and that have consequently damaged human consciousness and life with fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, fatalism, nihilism, and violence.
Most egregious, Christianity buried the stunning theological insight of Jesus, that God was unconditional love, under Paul’s highly conditional Christ myth that contradicts entirely the main themes of Jesus (Thomas Jefferson’s point on “diamonds buried in dung”).
Einstein appeared to use the more common and general term “love”. “Unconditional love” is a more specific and offensive term because it overturns conventional views of justice as punitive/retaliatory. Unconditional also overturns all conditional religion. That is threatening to minds long comforted by some religious tradition.
Interesting that late in his life Einstein became more fascinated with light as a fundamental reality. Was he responding to some intuitive whisper on reality, a whisper from his own impulse to meaning? The discovery of Light as the creating reality is central to NDEs, and more specifically such experiences point to the basic nature of that light as unconditional love.
Note: There is some controversy over this letter of Einstein to his daughter, that it may not actually be from Einstein but that someone appropriated his name to authenticate such a communication to his daughter. Nonetheless, appreciate the sentiments and speculations expressed in the letter.
While not taking any position on the letter’s authenticity, I suspect the dogmatism with which some try to deny it, affirming they know exactly how Einstein felt about such matters. There is a common-sense intuition to what the letter speaks to- i.e. the fundamental nature of a reality like love. And Einstein possessed common sense. I suspect he would have approved of the contents of the letter, even if not being the actual author.
A letter from Einstein on the fundamental reality that is love, Wendell Krossa
In his later years, Eistein apparently became more fascinated with understanding light as some form of fundamental reality. Here below (if the letter is authentic) he focuses on another even more fundamental reality- love. This affirms my own view that love is the most fundamental of all realities in the cosmos and life. Love, specifically inexpressible no conditions love, defines the creating Consciousness behind all- God. That Consciousness creates and sustains all other reality in existence.
“In the late 1980s, Lieserl, the daughter of the famous genius, donated 1,400 letters, written by Einstein, to the Hebrew University, with orders not to publish their contents until two decades after his death. This is one of them, for Lieserl Einstein:
“When I proposed the theory of relativity, very few understood me, and what I will reveal now to transmit to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world.
“I ask you to guard the letters as long as necessary, years, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.
“There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us.
“This universal force is LOVE.
“When scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe they forgot the most powerful unseen force.
“Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it.
“Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others.
“Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals.
“For love we live and die.
“Love is God and God is Love.
“This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.
“To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation.
“If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits.
“After the failure of humanity in the use and control of the other forces of the universe that have turned against us, it is urgent that we nourish ourselves with another kind of energy…
“If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer.
“Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.
“However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released.
“When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life.
“I deeply regret not having been able to express what is in my heart, which has quietly beaten for you all my life. Maybe it’s too late to apologize, but as time is relative, I need to tell you that I love you and thanks to you I have reached the ultimate answer! “.
“Your father Albert Einstein”
Hold the long-term in view on what is necessary to sustain the improving trajectory of life, Wendell Krossa
As noted often here regarding the need to go after inciting ideas/beliefs in order to solve tribal violence for the long-term future- Israel will eventually have to eliminate Hamas but that will not solve the problem for the future because the fundamental ideas that have always incited and validated the tribal hatred of groups like ISIS and Hamas, those ideas are still held by many people on all sides of such religious divides- whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, or others. Add also the incitement to tribal hatred, and the validation of such hatred, that people derive from divisions over ethnicity/race, ideology, nationality, etc.
As always before- This site argues that theological ideas/features, in particular, are the most influential themes in human narratives, shaping all else in human systems of meaning because deity has always been humanity’s highest exemplar and authority, the embodiment of our highest ideals. The human impulse to appeal to some ultimate ideal is also active among materialists/atheists, in the sense that whatever we hold as our highest ideal is our God and exerts powerful influence over our minds and lives.
My point? Make sure that your God is fully humane because we all become just like the God that we believe in. Evaluate carefully the features that you project onto your deity, or whatever you hold as ultimate reality, noting especially the outcomes of varied features in human lives and societies. God theories incite/inspire, guide, motivate, and validate human responses and actions toward others. The contemporary example of terrorists shouting “Allahu Akbar” as they murder, rape, and burn innocents is a traumatizing reminder of what Christians and others have also done across history. Until you change the core nature of human Gods, or better “God theories”, such monstrosity will continue to erupt across societies and destroy lives because, as has always been true, bad ideas incite and validate bad behavior.
(Insert note: Human theories about God, notably religious versions, have never communicated to humanity the stunningly inexpressible nature of God as unconditional love. Historical Jesus tried to introduce that entirely new theology, but his breakthrough theological insight was buried under Paul’s Christ myth a few decades later. And we inherited Paul’s “Christ-ianity” that buried the entirely contrary theology of “Jesus-ianity”.)
The human habit of modelling life and society, according to the nature of Gods, descends to us from the ancient human impulse to base behavior on belief, to seek inspiration, guidance, and validation from something higher than ourselves, to know that we are fulfilling the purpose for which we exist. This practise has always been fundamental to the human search for meaning. Note how the Greeks tried to create ideal societies based on Plato’s invisible “form, ideas”. So also, the Hebrews tried to base their lives and societies on what they claimed was the revealed “word, law, will” of their God. Christians, and others, similarly seek to model their lifestyles according to their belief systems.
This is the natural impulse to fulfill the reason for which we have been created. If such a reason exists then it only makes sense to understand and fulfill it, so as not to waste life. Hint- as with Einstein, love is fundamental to the reason why humanity exists.
Stay informed on climate: Wendell Krossa
The basic science on the physics of CO2 renders Net Zero decarbonization a futile and wasteful crusade. There is no need to reduce emissions of CO2. Yes, explore alternative energy sources, restart the nuclear contribution to energy supplies, but do not base your decarbonization crusade (transition to renewables) on the current hysteria over CO2 as “mainly responsible for climate change that is becoming a climate emergency”. Climate alarmism is an irrational and unscientific narrative.
The decarbonization crusade has been mainly based on the mythmaking from climate models that are “running too hot” and do not represent actual observed climate reality. The climate alarmism crusade is based more on apocalyptic mythology than observed scientific fact.
If what atmospheric physicists Richard Lindzen and William Happer are telling us about CO2 being “saturated” as to its warming effect, then why are we transitioning away from fossil fuels? I do not see any credible counter evidence to what they have presented. (See “co2coalition.org” for details in research reports.)
More on today’s eruption of tribalism, Wendell Krossa
Acts of violence toward “enemy” others have incited and intensified the tribal mentality and impulse again across our world. And we all watch horrified at how such raging tribalism destroys lives and societies.
The destructive tribal impulse, and the consciousness-deforming mythology that affirms tribalism have erupted in the savagery of, notably, the Oct.7 attack of Hamas against Israel. Tribalism feeds ongoing separation from differing others, exclusion of those differing others, the demonization of the differing others as intolerable threats, intense hatred of those threatening “enemies”, and the consequent response to save oneself and one’s tribe by conquering and eliminating those whom we view as threats to our wellbeing and existence.
The identity markers that we grasp to differentiate ourselves in fundamental ways from differing others are features that are peripheral on the human genome, for example, features like skin color that amount to nothing more than a sunburn, according to one scientist. Add to the mix of differentiating identity markers- ethnicity, religion, ideology, nationality, etc.
What we share as most fundamental with all other humans are the same human spirit, the same consciousness and mind, and the same human self or personhood. These fundamentally basic realities ought to be our fundamental identity markers because they establish the fact that we are all equal members of the one human family.
And all possessing the same human consciousness and spirit, we all really want the same basic things- safety and security, freedom to live our lives as we choose according to our diverse interests, likes, and belief systems, and so on.
The tribal impulse is a base animal impulse and the ideas that support it are subhuman, inhuman. Tribalism is humanity reverting to its worst, to acting like animals.
Do not discount the potency of insights on human oneness to counter the tribal impulse and the ideas/myths that affirm tribalism. And do not dismiss the sources that we can draw on to affirm human oneness- i.e. (1) the origin of all humans on Earth today from the same “Mitochondrial Eve”, (2) the discovery in quantum mechanics of a fundamental “quantum entanglement”, and (3) the “spiritual” insights of the NDE movement that we all belong to the same Oneness that is the core of all reality. All these sources point to the same fundamental oneness.
And the thing that most starkly contradicts tribalism, and the hatred that feeds the tribal impulse, is the insight that the ultimate Oneness is defined primarily by unconditional love. And then take this to its humanizing conclusion as a potent response to tribalism- we are all part of that oneness that is unconditional love. That love defines our real essence, our true human self. That oneness as love, and as our essential nature, is what primarily distinguishes us from animals.
And that Oneness is our true family and home. Meaning- Our even our enemies are also our family. And when we hurt the other, we are hurting ourselves.
Further, we intensify the pathology of tribalism by distorting otherwise important archetypical ideas to validate our base impulse to tribalism. How so? Critical to human story across history has been the desire of people to heroically engage some righteous battle against monsters/evil enemies that purportedly threaten their existence. But people have often ignored the fact that the greatest battle against evil enemies should be the one that takes place inside each of us, the battle against the enemy of us all- i.e. our inherited animal impulses such as the impulse to tribalism.
Instead, forgetting that we are all family, we mistakenly focus our fight on fellow humans whom we dehumanize and demonize as our “enemies”.
And convinced that our existence is threatened by those differing others, we then believe that we must eliminate that differing other entirely, we must purge the world of that threatening enemy in order to save ourselves. Add the imminence of looming apocalypse and we reason that we must act immediately, even with force and violence, in order to protect and save ourselves.
This is not to dismiss the real life need at times to protect ourselves from violent others who have also forgotten that we are family and incited by their own tribal hatred, are actually trying to eliminate us. But my point is more about the larger narrative themes that we embrace to inspire, guide, and validate our attitudes and behavior toward one another.
Responsible mature humanity will end this pettiness of affirming animal tribalism and begin to act as maturely human by embracing the fundamental oneness of all humans and start treating all others as equal members of one family. Yes, again, bad actors in the family will need to be restrained and incarcerated but then still treated humanely. It cannot be emphasized enough. We are all of the same one family. This critical fact must be given a prominent place in our meta-narratives.
More on NDEs, Wendell Krossa (metaphysical speculations and insights)
Who affirms the “diamonds/pearls” of Historical Jesus today?? (Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy’s terms for themes such as the “love your enemy” of Luke 6:27-36), Wendell Krossa
Only one “spiritual” movement today affirms the central theological breakthrough of Historical Jesus that God was a stunningly inexpressible unconditional love. The only spiritual movement doing so today is the Near-Death Experience (NDE) movement. That area of human spirituality alone gets his stunning theology right. Nowhere in Christianity, or any other religion, will you find a similar affirmation of the “stunning new theology” of Historical Jesus- i.e. God as non-retaliatory, non-tribal, all-inclusive, non-judging, non-punitive, non-dominating, non-violent, or summarized in the broadest term- unconditional love).
The NDE movement then further affirms the message of Jesus in spelling out the meaning and purpose of life with detailed personal accounts of insights that are related to the responsibility to exhibit unconditional love in human relating.
The NDE movement also affirms my arguments re Paul’s Christ myth. The insights from that movement overturn the main features of Paul’s Christology completely. Notably, they overturn the Christian tribalism of “saved true believers and excluded unbelievers”, they overturn the demand for “highly conditional sacrifice/payment”, and they overturn the myth of “divine judgment with consequent exclusion, punishment, and violent destruction of unbelievers” (i.e. apocalypse and hell myths).
Also important, the discoveries of the NDE movement overturn the myth of a cosmic dualism, of a Good God existing in opposition to an evil, Satanic force/spirit. To the contrary, God as unconditional reality exists in an ultimate Oneness that is unconditional love. That oneness in love defines life beyond this world. All of us return safely to that home in oneness and love.
These insights into unconditional theology don’t leave much for traditional conditional religions to hoist a flag on.
Don’t let some of the more fringe, loopy NDE accounts, with their “weird” personal details, derail you from getting a grasp on the central discovery of NDEs regarding God as unconditional reality that exists in a oneness of peace and inexpressible bliss. Weed out the accounts that you don’t find credible but don’t dismiss that consistent and common NDE discovery (in most of the accounts) regarding ultimate reality as stunningly inexpressible no conditions love. Even aside from NDEs, unconditional is self-validating as ultimate Goodness, providing a new central ideal for theodicy arguments.
And because it defines deity- the creating source of all- that no conditions love is then the core reality of all reality. Something profound to marinate our minds in.
The NDE movement also offers that the main purpose of life is learning something about love, how to exhibit love, and that only what is done in love lasts forever in the beyond.
As one lady said about her NDE- She went through a “life review” and was reminded of the time she attended a summer camp where a young special needs kid was throwing a tantrum and disturbing others. She went over and gave him a cup of water to calm him down. She said that she had completely forgotten that minor incident as her mind was on other things. But in her life review, that incident was reviewed and honored as an act that sparked a brilliant outburst of light that reverberated across the cosmos as something spectacular.
So also with the businessman who expected that his great business accomplishments would be honored in his life review but instead found that they were all ignored and only what he had done in love (in personal relationships) was remembered and focused on.
The “threat” of AI? (Artificial Intelligence), Wendell Krossa
In response to concerns over the impact of AI on our societies, I would respond by advocating that AI be programed at some fundamental level with the principles of Classic Liberalism/liberal democracy as in the protection of the basic rights and freedoms of all citizens, the equal treatment of all. That is true inclusivity and equality.
Joe Rogan and Elon Musk noted in a recent episode of JRE (# 2054) that the AI program- “ChatGPT”- is biased toward one side of the political divide in that when asked to write a poem praising the leadership of both sides, it would only praise someone on the left side, not the right.
I would respond to the concerns over this now evident AI bias by advocating for the embedding of the fundamental principles of Classic Liberalism in AI. Principles as outlined, for example, in Daniel Hannan’s “Inventing Freedom”. Under Classic Liberal principles…
(1) All are protected and treated equally under common law justice systems.
(2) Authentically representative government operates to protect individual rights and freedoms with powerholding politicians truly exhibiting that they are “serving” citizens, not dominating them.
(3) Societal institutions that divide powers with checks and balances.
(4) Add here, distributing/dispersing power among citizens is the best preventative against totalitarianism as in approaches that honor the primacy of individual rights over collectives run by powerholding elites (i.e. dispersed powers versus centralized powers as in the primacy of individual property rights, individual contracts, etc.), and so on.
(5) And of course the primacy of the freedom of individual speech, even repugnant speech, dissenting speech.
Who said that when fairness is abandoned in a society, that society is in serious trouble.
Anti-liberal, anti-freedom authoritarianism is equally pathological coming from either the right or left side of our societies. But today we are suffering through the dominance of left-wing authoritarianism in intelligence agencies, the Democratic party and government (similarly, the Liberal Party in Canada), higher education, social and news media, and much of the entertainment industry (i.e. Hollywood).
Authoritarianism? Yes, notably in the pro-censorship stance of left-wing authoritarians toward all who dissent from the dominantly leftist Woke Progressive narrative. Add to the anti-liberal authoritarianism of the Censorship Industrial Complex, not just censorship and silencing, but the full frontal cancelling and banning of dissenters, and even attempts to criminally prosecute. This eruption of authoritarianism from the left is the real threat to democracy today.