How to solve the problem of endless cycles of “eye for eye” tribal violence- deal with root contributing factors

We embrace beliefs to inspire, guide, and validate our behavior. It’s the ancient human practise of “basing behavior on related belief”. This primal practise is the outcome of our primary impulse for meaning. The question then is- Are our beliefs fully humane? What criteria help us evaluate this?

Bob Brinsmead, “We become just like the God that we believe in”.

This site is pursuing a liberation at the depths of human consciousness/subconscious, liberation from the inherited ‘archetypes’ that have deformed human narratives and consciousness from the beginning. Meaning the primitive mythical themes that have always incited, guided, and validated the worst of our inherited animal drives to tribalism, domination, and destruction of differing others (i.e. the “evil triad” as a summary of the animal inheritance inside us).

As psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo argues in “Cruel God, Kind God”, bad religious ideas, notably those defining religious Gods as tribal, dominating, and violently destructive, have always deformed human personality with fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, despair, depression, fatalism, nihilism, and violence. God theories have, from the earliest mythology to world religions of the present, functioned as humanity’s highest ideals and authorities.

This site offers new narrative themes informed and shaped by the best insights from across human history, giving us better ideas to guide and validate our responses and behavior, liberating us from our animal inheritance and thereby enabling us to “tower in stature as maturely human”, energizing us to become the heroes of our personal hero’s quest.

Check to see if the bad ideas listed below (18 “Old Narrative Themes, New Story Alternatives”) are present in your personal worldview or narrative. Then (here’s a New Years project) replace them with the better alternatives.

As Bob Brinsmead states in a section below, playing on Bill Clinton’s comment on the economy, “It’s the narrative, stupid”.

And be fully aware of the self-delusion (or cognitive dissonance) of holding “secular/ideological” versions of these same bad religious ideas, using terms that on the surface appear different from the religious versions but express the same core themes of (1) a better past world, (2) bad people ruining paradise (“Fall of man and original sin” mythology), (3) life declining toward something worse, toward apocalyptic ending, (4) demand for sacrifice/payment for sin, punishment, (5) demand to purge some threatening thing (“coercive purification to attain instantaneous transformation”, Arthur Mendel), and then (6) the promise of salvation/utopia.

Its always the same old, same old destructive themes whether in the earliest Sumerian mythology, later world religions, 19th Century Declinism (primitive myth transformed into ideology for the modern era), Marxism and Nazism, or today’s “profoundly religious” climate alarmism movement.

We don’t have to continue suffering such themes deforming our narratives, darkening our consciousness, and enslaving our psyches. We have better alternatives to liberate us from that psycho-pathology. This is a ‘Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy’ approach- changing our thinking to then transform our emotions, motivations, and responses/behavior. Finding the more humane ideals to inspire, guide, and validate more humane treatment of differing others. Learning to properly fulfill that precept to “love your enemies” as the supreme reach of our highest human ideal- love.

“Attack”? Or just skeptical questioning, rethinking, reforming, Wendell Krossa

The comment on this site is not an “attack” on religion but urges a discernment project along the line suggested by Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy- to be aware “the diamonds are buried in dung” (a reference to the wisdom sayings of Historical Jesus that were buried in the larger context of the Christ myth of Paul that dominates the New Testament).

There are good insights in religious holy books and traditions, but the better insights are often distorted, even buried entirely, by the inhumane material that dominates the larger context and defines all else in such contexts. Inhumane as in advocating discriminatory tribalism (i.e. favored and “saved” insiders versus excluded unbelievers), domination (deities as Lords, Kings, Rulers that validate human relationships of domination and subservience), and punitive destruction of differing others (“justice” as retribution and punishment for unbelievers- i.e. apocalypse, hell).

Insert on Harold Ellens’ “The Destructive Power of Religion: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam”.

Amazon blurb on Ellens book:

“Whether they fly airplanes into the World Trade Center or Pentagon; blow up ships, ports, and federal buildings, kill doctors and nurses at abortion clinics, exterminate contemporary Palestinians, or kill Israeli soldiers with suicide bombs, destructive religionists are all shaped by the same unconscious apocalyptic metaphors, and by the divine example and imperative to violence. In this condensed edition of a multivolume set covering how Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all incorporate core metaphors that can spur violence, experts explain religious notions that fuel terrorism and other horrific actions.

“The contributors warn that until destructive metaphors are removed from the Western psyche, an end to religious violence will not be possible. Hailed in reviews as unsettling but thought-provoking, compelling, and critical coverage, the set from which these chapters were drawn has a core theme that demonstrates the three major religions share the ancient notion that history and the human soul are caught in a cosmic conflict between good and evil, or God and devil, which cannot be resolved without violence, a cataclysmic final solution such as the extermination of nations, the execution of humans, or even the death of God’s own son. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote, ‘This is a groundbreaking work with tremendous insight’.”

Look at our own Western Christian history- Christians burning heretics alive on stakes, murdering women with unimaginably horrific machines of torture, chopping up Muslim men, women, and children in Jerusalem during the Crusades, and so on across the last two millennia. Christians also sang praises to God and prayed as they slaughtered innocent others. We all have revolting past histories. Why then do we refuse to abandon the beliefs in our traditions that incite such inhumanity even today?

“It’s the basic themes, stupid”, Wendell Krossa (a play on “It’s the narrative, stupid”)

The ideas that incite, guide, and validate Hamas madness are the same basic themes that have long been embraced in the narratives of all world religions. These ideas also shape “secular” movements like climate alarmism. Hamas has just taken those ideas to extreme expression in the savagery of the Oct.7 attack on Israel. But its all the same “lost paradise, apocalyptic, redemption” mythology that incites and validates the worst of human impulses to tribalism, domination, and punitive destruction of enemies (whether expressed as temporal or eternal destruction). These impulses and their validating ideas are found all through the main world religions and the ideologies of the modern world.

So don’t dismiss Hamas as some rare outlier distortion of what is everywhere present in human narratives. Too many made the error of dismissing Nazism as just the product of a few madmen, not recognizing that the core themes that drove Nazism were the “apocalyptic millennial” beliefs of Christianity. As historian Richard Landes warns, if we do not learn the lessons from such past eruptions of madness, then we will only repeat them.

Today many good people (just as many good Germans did during the Weimar years) are once again falling for a similarly destructive salvationism crusade in decarbonization, another in an ongoing historical line of destructive outcomes of apocalyptic millennial crusades. Climate alarmism is energized by the same core themes that incited, motivated, guided, and validated mass-death movements like Nazism.

This repost of my previous comment on Richard Landes’ chapter on Nazis:

“The Nazi case shows how “beliefs travel from the disreputable margins of a culture to the center” (Landes). This happened as Germans suffered the horrors of the Weimar years following WW1. The disastrous collapse of the German economy and society led many to feel that they were facing an apocalyptic catastrophe. Germans desperately longed for a savior and a formerly discredited nutcase on the fringes- Hitler- then looked more palatable to the wider population in desperate need of some salvation from the disastrous situation their country had descended into (i.e. hit especially hard by the Great Depression).

“Landes presents a detailed account of the Nazi mess, the contributing factors, especially the religious beliefs and how Hitler played those… (brace yourselves)… Christian ideas to sway a fundamentally Christian nation. Richard Landes ends his Hitler chapter with this warning- “(Hitler) is not so much the measure of the unthinkably, the impossibly evil, as he is the measure of how, with modern technology and an only partially developed civil polity, a nation, a people, seized by, ridden by a millennial passion, can become one of the great dealers of death in human history”.” (end)

My point is- Be fully aware of the themes in our narratives that incite harmful outcomes. Be aware of the base impulses that are incited by the varied ideas/beliefs in human narratives. Whether the outcomes are on the mild end of the spectrum or toward the extreme of more severe damage. Note, in this regard, the accumulating reports that decarbonization is causing more and more harm to our societies. Decarbonization is the salvation response (“save the world”) to the apocalyptic theme in the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” narrative of climate alarmism.

Psychologists/theologians like Harold Ellens and Zenon Lotufo have detailed how threat theology (“Cruel God” theology), as the cohering center of “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” mythology…. how this psychopathology provokes fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, despair/depression, fatalism/resignation, nihilism, and violence. Bad religious ideas deform human consciousness and personality whether in milder forms of interpersonal and social impacts or toward the genocidal extremism of Nazi and Hamas-like madness. Its all on the same spectrum of damaging outcomes from the same bad ideas.

Note again re decarbonization- The many excess deaths that have resulted from vulnerable people suffering fuel poverty and dying from cold mortality due to Net Zero madness in places like Britain, Germany, the US, and elsewhere. (Source: See, for example, the “Net Zero Watch” newsletter of Global Warming Policy Forum)

Evaluate your own personal worldview for the presence of the themes of “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption”. These same ideas excite the climate alarmism crusade at scale with its destructive impacts on human well-being from decarbonization.

Be aware of how bad ideas inflame your own sense of tribalism, and the accompanying felt obligation to eliminate a threatening enemy, granting you the self-righteous feeling that you are on the good side of a battle against some great existential evil that has to be censored, silenced, banned, criminalized as “disinformation, misinformation”, and even exterminated as a “threat to democracy and life”.

The same bad ideas have always produced the same bad outcomes. Hamas just took these ideas to their severest expression in their crusade to eliminate what they view as the Israeli threat to their existence that had to be destroyed in order to save their world.

Too many young people today, evidence a profound ignorance of the history of human thought and narratives. They self-identify as “secular… materialist… even atheist” yet continue to mouth the same primitive themes of the Assyrian priests of 5000 years ago- i.e. themes of “lost paradise… looming apocalyptic threat (Sumerian Flood myth)… bad humanity deserving to be punished for ruining a better past (waterworks god Enlil pissed at too many people making too much noise)… demand for sacrifice/suffering… obligation to purge some threatening ‘evil’, etc.”. Contemporary apocalyptic prophet Al Gore once stood in a flooded area of Florida and prophesied the coming great climate flood. He has stated that we are currently living through the apocalypse of Revelation.

The “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” mythology was then carried down to Zoroaster’s version of lost paradise, violent purging in an apocalypse, and redemption theology. His theology subsequently shaped Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and then, in secularized versions like Declinism, “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” mythology infected the ideologies of our contemporary world.

(Insert: Some comment on how Zoroastrianism shaped Western narratives,

Its all the same old themes that incite the human survival impulse and the felt need to save the world by purging some purported threat. We saw these ideas shaping the salvation schemes of Marxism and Nazism to the mass-death outcome of 100 million people last century. Having learned nothing, we are now watching the same destructive outcome in environmental alarmism and its hysterical offspring- climate alarmism.

We know better today the true story of our world and life. And we have better alternative ideas to shape our minds and lives. There is no excuse to continue embracing these primitive psychopathologies that perpetuate such destructiveness. It is irresponsible and irrational to continue pushing such narratives when we have better themes for entirely new narratives to help take us to a better future.

History’s most profound statement of mature humanity (i.e. authentic love): Or- “How to solve the problem of endless cycles of ‘eye for eye’ retaliation and tribal violence”

The central statement/message of Historical Jesus- the wisdom sage and someone entirely opposite to Christian “Jesus Christ”. The “diamonds/pearls” of Jesus were buried by Paul’s Christ myth- Jefferson and Tolstoy (see essay on “The Christian Contradiction” below). Jesus offered insights on how to tower in stature as maturely human, how to become the hero of your story or quest. His central themes explained what it meant to be human, what was the meaning and purpose of human life.

The Jesus insight is also the single most profound insight on deity or ultimate reality, an insight that overturns entirely all religious versions of deity. It presents the supreme definition of love, our highest ideal, that which answers the question of- What does it mean to be human? The Jesus message also provides the most potent liberation from our animal past and its dehumanizing impulses… and so much more.

Many try to downplay or discredit this “hard saying” message of Historical Jesus. They dismiss it as too impractical. But recognize that its not a call to dogmatic pacifism in the face of evil. It speaks to a more general attitude toward human imperfection and offenders/opponents and how to maintain our humanity in the face of evil. It is not a prescription for economics or business.

My paraphrase of Luke 6:32-36, or Matthew 5:38-48:

“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Everyone finds it easy to love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Everyone can do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Most people will lend to others, expecting to be repaid in full.

“Do something more heroic, more humane. (Live on a higher plane of human experience). Do not retaliate against your offenders/enemies with ‘eye for eye’ justice. Instead, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will be just like God because God does not retaliate against God’s enemies. God does not mete out eye for eye justice. Instead, God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Be unconditionally loving, just as your God is unconditionally loving”.

The above can be summarized in “Love your enemy because God does”. This changes everything, profoundly so. Put it at the center of your worldview, your personal narrative.

A New Years reposting of the four most important essays on this site:

First essay, “From Retaliation To Unconditional Love: The Narrative of Human Exodus from Animal Existence”, Wendell Krossa (Our human story- the meaning and purpose of human life on this planet)

See full essay at… (may be further down in the section that is linked to)

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

The foundational story of humanity is the story of liberation from our animal past. This is more than just the narrative of our physical/geographical exodus out of Africa (modern humans leaving Africa in waves from roughly 200-50,000 years ago). Our defining story is our exodus out of our past animal existence and toward becoming more human or humane beings.

This is an intensely inner journey or quest of the human spirit, what Alexander Solzhenitsyn described when he stated that the real battle of good against evil was not an outer battle against physical “enemies” but rather an inner battle that “runs down the center of every human heart”. The human struggle to make an exodus from animal existence is a personal adventure (psychological, social, spiritual/philosophical) that each of us engages against our greatest enemy and monster- our own inherited animal drives. This quest has set us on a uniquely different trajectory from animal behavior and life.

Our exodus from the animal and toward a more human mode of living is fueled by the primal impulse to find something better. Our impulse for something better drives humanity’s overall trajectory of progress. We find the meaning and purpose of human life- what it means to be human- in the grand endeavor to improve life in all aspects.

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

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

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

Fortunately, we are not our brains (Jeffrey Schwartz’s title to his book).

And then…

Second essay, Preface to “Humanity’s Worst Ideas, Better Alternatives” (long version of “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives”) Wendell Krossa

See full essay at… (the essay is further down at the link)

The belief/behavior relationship, or theology/ethics relationship, emerged with early conscious humanity. People, motivated by their primary impulse for meaning, then began to model their lives and societies according to some greater ideal or authority, most commonly according to their views of the divine realm or deity. Gods became the higher ideal to inspire, guide, and validate human life.

Plato embraced the belief/behavior pattern with his argument that the ideal life and society should be molded according to the invisible Forms or perfect Ideals. The Hebrews followed this pattern in the Old Testament, shaping all aspects of their lives and society according to what they believed was the law, word, and will of their God. Anthropologist Clifford Geertz noted this practice among the Balinese of Indonesia who patterned their villages and homes according to what they believed was the divine model.

The fundamental role of belief in shaping human behavior and society (inspiring, guiding, validating human behavior) makes it critically important that our guiding ideals/authorities are fully humane, in line with humanity’s ever-advancing understanding of the authentically humane in all areas of life. The subhuman features that our ancestors projected onto deity ought to concern all of us because of the correlated inhumane treatment of others across history in the name of deity (i.e. horrific outcomes as in religious violence). Note again those Hamas terrorists screaming “Allahu Akbar” as they raped, burned, and murdered innocent Israelis.

The 18-plus “Old story themes” in the link above focus on some of the most dominant and influential ideas from across history. Ideas that have shaped human consciousness via mythical and religious traditions. They continue to shape the worldviews of most moderns today in “secular” or ideological versions, even “scientific” versions.

The consequences of shaping narratives with subhuman ideas have always been significantly damaging, both personally and across wider societies. Evidence? For impacts on the personal level see psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo’s “Cruel God, Kind God”. “Cruel God” theology include the pathological features of deity as (1) tribally exclusive (favoring true believers, antagonistic, discriminating toward unbelievers/outsiders), (2) retaliatory (divine payback), (3) dominating (deity as Lord, King- validating domination of others), (4) punitive (deity as harsh judge, justice as punitive), and deity as (5) a destroying reality (apocalypse, hell).

These themes have deformed human consciousness and lives with unnecessary fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, depression, despair, nihilism, and violence. And the consequences in human behavior have been horrific because people “become just like the God that they believe in”. As Bob Brinsmead added, “Men never do greater evil than when they do it in the name of God”.

See also the Millennial Studies historians noted in sections below- Arthur Herman, Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, and David Redles. They have detailed how the ‘apocalyptic millennial’ complex of ideas contributed to the mass-death movements of the past century, notably Marxism, Nazism, and environmental alarmism. Mendel (Vision and Violence) concluded that “apocalyptic has been the most violent and destructive idea in history”.

The project to embrace better alternatives is about the full transformation and liberation of consciousness, and more humane outcomes in human life. The old ideas of humanity’s past meta-narratives are no longer credible for defining or explaining reality and life. Further, they have always been too dangerous to inspire and guide human thought and behavior. Again, just look at the history of humanity.


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

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

The mythical ideas that Campbell referred to are still among the central beliefs of the world religions. They are also now embraced in “secular” ideological belief systems like “Declinism” a contemporary version of apocalyptic mythology. Declinism is the fallacy that life is becoming worse and declining toward catastrophe and apocalyptic ending, as propagated in the ideology of Environmental alarmism/climate alarmism. These ideas have even found expression in “scientific” versions such as the theory of the Second Law dominating the cosmos and causing the ultimate heat death of the universe (even Stephen Hawking waffled on this as noted by Julian Simon in Ultimate Resource). But at core they are the same old primitive pathologies as ever before.

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

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

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

Example: The “lost paradise” myth incites a sense of loss, wrong done, grievance, and the felt need to engage a righteous battle to make things right again- i.e. the urge to engage ‘justice’ as the punitive treatment of an enemy’s purported failure. The enemy is blamed for ruining something originally pure and good and threatening the end of the world. Punishing and destroying that enemy is necessary in order to make things “right” again, to “save the world”.

The actual trajectory of life reveals there was never any original paradise that has been ruined by humanity but, rather, evidence on the long-term trajectory of life reveals an ongoing rise from a worse past toward a better future. This trajectory of progress encourages hope to continue investing effort toward improving the world because, so far, we have done well in making life ever-better (Julian Simon, Ultimate Resource).

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

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

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

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

And further…

Third essay, “The Christ myth- separating ‘diamonds from dung’” (the Jefferson/Tolstoy approach) Wendell Krossa

The great Christian Contradiction- History’s single most profound insight from Historical Jesus was buried under Paul’s Christ myth.

See full essay at…

Paul’s Christ myth has been the most influential myth in history. It is primarily responsible for perpetuating the psychopathology of apocalyptic in Western consciousness. And yes, there is an “anti-Christ” in Christianity but its not who you think it is. Its someone dear and familiar.

What’s at stake in challenging the Christ myth? Uncovering and recovering history’s single most profound insight- i.e. that God is a stunning “no conditions” reality. That insight has been buried for two millennia under Paul’s highly conditional Christ myth. Paul rejected the stunning new theology of Jesus and retreated to re-affirm the primitive psychopathology of angry, punitive deity demanding blood sacrifice for appeasement. See his Romans and other letters for detail.

The Christ myth- separating diamonds from dung, Wendell Krossa

The fundamental problem with Paul’s Christ myth was outlined by Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy. They stated that the Christ of Paul “buried the diamonds/pearls” of Historical Jesus (“Historical Jesus” is the title used to distinguish the actual historical person from the Christian version known commonly as “Jesus Christ”). The message of Historical Jesus emphasized the themes of unlimited forgiveness, inclusion of all (sun and rain given to both good and bad), unconditional love (no payment or sacrifice demanded before forgiving- e.g. the Prodigal Father), and non-retaliatory justice (no “eye for eye” retaliation).

Paul’s Christ buried these diamond themes of unconditional love in the “dung” (Jefferson’s term) of highly conditional salvation mythology. The main features of conditional salvation include (1) the appeasement of angry deity with the condition of a blood sacrifice as required payment (see Romans, Hebrews- no forgiveness without the shedding of blood); (2) the tribal exclusion of unbelievers (Paul taught in Romans and elsewhere the condition of faith in his Christ myth as necessary for inclusion in salvation); and (3) ultimate retaliation/punishment through apocalypse or hell (see the Thessalonian letters and the Revelation of John). The highly conditional religious mythology of Paul and other New Testament writers buried the unconditional message of Jesus.

Preface to “The Christian Contradiction” (Jesus versus Christ) Wendell Krossa

Across history people have appealed to deity, as humanity’s highest ideal and authority, to validate their behavior and their treatment of others, notably, to validate justice as the punishment of others for wrongs done. This is the ‘behavior based on similar belief’ relationship. People have long appealed to, for example, the features of retaliation and punishment in God as the ultimate validation for their exercise of punitive, payback justice toward offending others. Punitive theology undergirds punitive justice.

Historical Jesus reframed entirely the behavior based on belief model when he rejected retaliation as a divinely validated ethic. He stated that, contrary to Old Testament teaching, God did not retaliate (“no more eye for eye”). He argued that, instead, God generously forgave, included, and loved all people whether good or bad. Note the essential point of his Matthew 5 and Luke 6 statements: “Love your enemies… because God does. Be like God who generously and freely gives sun and rain to both righteous and unrighteous”.

Conclusion? You violate the central message of Historical Jesus if you try to appeal to him or his theology to validate retaliatory, punitive justice. Paul’s Christ is another matter altogether. The mythical Christ, a reality entirely opposite to Historical Jesus, validates ultimate divine retaliation.

In the Matthew 5 and Luke 6 statements Historical Jesus overturned previous millennia of all-pervasive threat theology- i.e. myths of angry gods threatening judgment, punishment, and destruction. Unfortunately, Historical Jesus is almost entirely buried under Christ mythology in the New Testament books.

As repeated often here- the unconditional theme of Historical Jesus is not an affirmation of pacifism in the face of evil (i.e. turn the other cheek). The unconditional God of Jesus exists in a realm of oneness and grants all- good and bad- ultimate unconditional treatment. The dualism of this material world (good versus evil) demands the priority responsibility of love to protect the innocent and restrain violence (incarceration of repeated violent offenders, just war).

Insert point: Ultimate reality as unconditional helps us to understand and endure suffering here. That is our safe home that we return to eventually where all are safe in the end. It helps us endure the horrors of life here, knowing this life is temporary, in a realm where we fulfill our roles as “actors on God’s stage” (Campbell).

More on third essay- “The great Christian Contradiction” (Historical Jesus versus Paul’s Christ myth): Wendell Krossa

The argument here? The feature of ‘unconditional’ should be central to an authentically humane theology (i.e. God theory or Ultimate Reality theory). In this essay, I appeal to elements of the Jesus tradition to establish this point. But my argument is not dependent on first establishing the actual message of the original Jesus. I do not view Jesus as an ‘authority figure’ and I do not need his actual words (the “original message”) to affirm my point regarding an unconditional theology. I simply refer to varied useful comments in the Jesus material (e.g. “love your enemy”) to illustrate his central theme of unconditional love, something that stands on its own as authoritative.

Unconditional love is the best of being human and it possesses authority in itself as ultimate goodness without the need for validation by some religious authority. Unconditional love is “self-validating” as good or true. Unconditional love does not need validation from Jesus, but I do not mind touching base with such a widely respected icon/symbol for illustrative purposes.

Unconditional love is not a religious insight or discovery. To the contrary, religious traditions across history have communicated the exact opposite in that they have all been essentially conditional traditions- promoting religious demands for right beliefs, correct rituals, required religious lifestyles as identity markers of true believers and to please religious deities, and the necessary conditions for religious salvation (i.e. sacrifices, payments to appease offended religious gods). Religion, as an essentially conditional institution, has never communicated the stunning unconditional nature of deity to humanity. By its very nature as a conditional reality, religion cannot represent/communicate unconditional reality. Religion only distorts and buries that truth.

I would establish the authority of unconditional love as supreme goodness by appealing to its discovery and practice by ordinary people all through our societies- i.e. parents, spouses, friends. It is the best behavior that we can engage and hence it should be the basis of any authentic theory of Ultimate Good or Ultimate Love. This is to say- we should do theology based on the best in humanity and then project the ‘best of being human’ out to define deity, not the other way around as religious traditions have long done. Religions begin with some holy text as authoritative ‘revealed truth’ that defines deity and is therefore the top-down authority for human ethics/behavior.

Better, we should first establish the best of being human, and then project that out to define deity, but recognize deity as something transcendently better (Ultimate Good or Love). We should try to understand deity by first understanding the best of humanity. Another way of stating this- i.e. doing theology by noting the best of humanity and projecting that onto deity- would be to quote Alexander Pope, “Cease from God to scan… The proper study of mankind is man”.

This is all to say- I am not a Biblicist (i.e. dependent on the texts of religious holy books for authoritative validation of ideas or ethics). My location of ultimate authority is in common humanity and the best of common human goodness, whether exhibited by a non-religious person, an atheist, or by a religious person. I view all such common love as the expression of the God spirit, or god-likeness that is present in ordinary people (meaning- humaneness). We are all experts on basic human goodness and do not need affirmation from outside authorities, certainly not religious authorities.

And yes, I am affirming that all people are equally incarnated with the God spirit that is inseparable and indistinguishable from what we call the human spirit. There has been no “special incarnation of deity” only in religious heroes like Christian Jesus. To the contrary, I would affirm that there has been an equal incarnation of God in all people and that presents a new metaphysical basis for human equality.

What about bad behavior? Unfortunately, we all have experience with ignoring or denying our core human spirit and freely choosing to exhibit the baser features of our inherited animal brain (and its base impulses) that still resides in all of us. The choice to engage bad behavior is the risk that comes with authentic freedom.

Conclusion: I do not base my understanding of ultimate reality on traditional religious sources- i.e. holy books- that claim to be “revealed truth” or “supreme authorities for thought and practice”. Those traditional sources of validation should be subject to the same evaluating criteria as all other areas of life- i.e. is the content good or bad, humane or inhumane? Modern sensibilities demand a radical overhaul and updating of such traditional sources of authority.

And yes, I get it that an unconditional theology will spell the end of all religion. If God is freely accessible to all alike- not a dominating authority, not demanding salvation conditions (sacrifice/payment), not requiring a religious lifestyle or ritual, not making tribal distinctions between believer/unbeliever, not threatening future judgment/punishment/destruction… well then, who needs religion with its endless myth-based conditions? An unconditional God means that we are all free to create our own unique life stories. And your story is a valuable or good as anyone else’s. Religious or not. You possess in your human spirit the same ability to know and define God as anyone else does.

And finally…

Fourth essay, “Speculating with Joseph Campbell’s framework for understanding human life and experience”– what it means to be human. The basic features of human stories, lives.

The hero’s quest is about the real battle of life that takes place inside us against the real enemy/monster in life- our inheritance of animal drives. The basic features of the quest include- (1) going out into life to engage the struggle to overcome the animal, (2) being wounded during our struggle, (3) encountering a wise person who gives us the weapon to defeat our monster, (4) learning insights from our struggle to benefit others, and then having conquered the monster/enemy inside us, we (5) “tower in stature as maturely human”. We become the hero of our story or adventure.

See full essay at…

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

Going right to the point on the big question- What is the greater goal or meaning of human life? Above all else that we might accomplish in life, I would suggest that we are here to learn what love is and how to love. Love is the fundamental reason/purpose for the cosmos, our world, and conscious human life. It is the one feature that defines us most singularly as human persons. Our struggle with love- learning how to love- as against indulging our animal inheritance, is the great battle of life.

Campbell affirmed love as the overall meaning of life in his comment that we become mature persons when we embrace “universal love”. Then we become the heroes of our story. I would use the broader term “unconditional” or “no conditions” to hone the definition of love. This boundary-breaking adjective takes love to a whole new level of courage and achievement. It is unconditional love that enables us to “tower in stature” as fully and maturely human.

Arguments for unconditional as the highest and most authentic form of love

Unconditional, or no conditions love, includes universal and more. Unconditional is about an unlimited generosity that demands absolutely no conditions of others before loving them. It is a large-heartedness that loves freely regardless of the response of the other person.

Note here the “hard sayings” of Jesus to “love enemies… to give expecting nothing in return”. (Insert note: Again, I am referring to the Historical Jesus not the Christian Jesus Christ). Historical Jesus noted that it is comparably easy to love and give if you expect an equal return:

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful”.

Jesus’ point was that authentic mature love will not set any conditions before loving others. It is not conditionally dependent on similar response. And it is not limited to like-minded ingroup members. It will also love enemies. It is not tribally oriented or limited.

Unconditional love is the highest form of love that humanity has discovered and the ideal that takes us safely in the direction of a more humane existence. It guides us toward actions that cause the least harm to others. It provides the safest ethical standard to help us navigate the tests of life. How so? Unconditional urges us to be non-discriminatory, non-retaliatory, non-dominating, and non-punitive. There is nothing safer than these responses for assuring that the least harm is shown to others, and the most good is done to others.

Further qualifiers…

Unconditional is how we conquer our personal monster, our real enemy in life, the inherited animal impulses embedded deeply inside each of us, impulses that orient us to tribal exclusion and division (small band mentality), to domination of others (alpha male/female), and to treat other’s failures with punitive justice (to destroy the offending/competing other).

Unconditional persuades us to counter and overcome these inherited tendencies and thereby to “tower in stature” as a heroic conqueror of the “animal passions”.

Unconditional is about embracing traits like the unlimited forgiveness of the failures of others, forgiveness that is manifested in restorative justice approaches toward offenders (non-retaliatory, non-punitive justice). Unconditional is about embracing universal inclusion of all as equals (non-dominating, non-controlling forms of relating to all others- i.e. relating horizontally not vertically).

Unconditional takes us to the height of what it means to live as authentically human. It is the singularly most humane ideal that we have discovered to shape our goals, our mission/purpose in life. It shows us how we can become the hero of our unique story, and how we can mature as human persons. Unconditional, as our highest human ideal, gives meaning to everything else. It answers the great questions of meaning and purpose: “Why existence?”; “Why this cosmos and this world?”; and “Why conscious human life?”

Another insert qualifier:

Approaching life with an unconditional orientation does not mean pacifist inaction in the face of injustice, violence, or evil (i.e. “turn the other cheek”). In discussion groups you sometimes get participants who respond to the suggestion of embracing unconditional as an ideal with this distorting dismissal, “Oh, you’re saying that we should let all the psychopaths go free”. No. In advocating for an unconditional mindset, no one is suggesting anything so thoughtlessly irresponsible and extremist. Embracing an unconditional ideal to guide life does not entail the abandonment of common sense in an imperfect world.

An unconditional approach to human failure will hold all responsible for their behavior, and this will require the restraint and imprisonment of people who are not able or not willing to self-control their worst impulses. Unconditional will even regretfully engage war to stop aggression against the innocent. But it will do so with the non-aggressive and non-triumphalist attitude such as that advocated by the Chinese sage Laozi, that does not gloat over the defeat of an opponent.

Unconditional love is not primarily about feeling, as the horrific inhumanity of some offenders rightly evokes rage and disgust. Unconditional is an embrace of love that intends to treat all offenders humanely, despite their offenses. Much like our human rights codes that obligate us to treat prisoners of war humanely. Illustrations of unconditional love of enemies are presented in movies like “The Forgiven”, “The Railway Man”, “Invictus”, “To End All Wars”, “Ben Hur”, etc.

As to the practicality of an unconditional approach at society-scale- Note Mandela’s unconditional approach in South Africa compared to the eye for eye approach in Serbia and Rwanda around the same time in the 90s.

(End of Campbell framework)

And then my ‘short version’ list of the worst ideas that we have inherited that still shape our narratives and consciousness whether in religious or “secular/ideological” versions. Including the better alternatives for new narratives.

This is about the most profound transformation of human consciousness and utmost in liberation at the deepest levels of human spirit. Liberation from bad ideas that have long incited and validated our worst impulses thereby darkening and deforming human consciousness and personality. Its about new humane ideals to shape narratives and offer the best goals for ethics, life.

People have always based their behavior on similar beliefs. They have always wanted to know that they were fulfilling the purpose for which they existed on this planet. Creating beliefs to inspire, guide, and validate behavior has always been about fulfilling the primal impulse for meaning.

This list is my contribution to answering our most important question- What does it mean to be authentically human? What is the point/purpose of human life and story?

A reposting of fundamental ideas/themes for a new narrative (short version), Wendell Krossa

Many dismiss or downplay the influence of religious ideas in the contemporary secularized world, despite the fact that fully 85% of humanity still affiliate with a main world religion and most of the remaining 15% “unaffiliated” hold to the status of “spiritual but not religious” (believing in gods like “Gaia, Planet, Mother Earth, Universe, karma, Self-Organizing Principle, Natural Selection Is The Source Of All Enlightenment” etc.)

Consequent to the above fact, primitive ideas from the ancient past remain in the background as archetypal (in human subconscious) and continue to exert a powerful influence on human lives and societies. These “bad ideas” are even given endless new forms of expression with “secular ideological” terminology, but they remain the same old themes, always the same old. This is not to deny the presence of good ideas also in the religious mix. However, the problem remains that good ideas are deformed by a larger context of bad ideas, thus weakening the potency of the good material.

Note, particularly, the ideas that affirm and promote the “evil triad” complex of (1) tribalism (based on myths of cosmic dualism) and tribalism’s exclusion of differing others (insiders opposing outsiders), (2) domination of weaker others, and (3) the destruction of differing/offending others (punitive forms of justice).

Changing our narratives, as in changing the main themes that our narratives are comprised of, is about changing how we think. The transformation of our minds (a form of cognitive therapy) then changes how we feel, what motivates us, and how we respond or act. This is what Bob Brinsmead meant when he stated, “We all become just like the God that we believe in”. Or- “As I think, so I am”. This is true of all the ideals that we hold, whether they are obviously religious beliefs or framed as “secular/materialist” beliefs. What is critical to consider is not the latest terms used but the essential theme behind any given expression of an idea.

Summary list of bad ideas and better alternatives. The bad ideas are presented first and followed with the better alternative idea/theme/insight.

This is not an exhaustive list of bad ideas but includes some of the more prominent and damaging ideas that we have inherited from the primitive past, ideas that are still widely embraced as true in some manner and hence they continue to exert their damaging impact in deforming human consciousness and ultimately producing harm in human societies.

Evaluate your own personal narrative/worldview for the presence of these themes.

1.The inherited myth: The idea of deity, or ultimate reality, as a judging, punishing, and destroying reality. Contemporary “secular” versions of judging, punishing deity include “Vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth, punitive Universe, and payback karma”.

An alternative: The new theology of deity as a stunningly “no conditions” reality (no conditions love). There is no threat from an unconditional God, no judgment, no exclusion of anyone, and no ultimate punishment or destruction. All are safe- in the end.

2. The inherited myth: The idea of a perfect beginning or better past world (i.e. Dilmun, Eden) and a God obsessed with perfection, enraged at the loss of perfection, demanding punishment of imperfection, and atonement (sacrifice/payment) to remedy imperfection and restore an imagined lost perfection or paradise.

Alternative: The world was purposefully created as originally imperfect in order to serve as an arena for human struggle, learning, and development. Deity has no problem with imperfection and does not demand atonement or payment.

So why this imperfect world from the beginning? Some have argued that there can be no such reality as good without its opposite- i.e. evil/imperfection. Good cannot exist alone or be known and experienced without a contrasting reality.

Again, this is not to excuse, diminish, or defend evil. We are rightly enraged at imperfection and evil in this world and we are obligated to fight it in all its forms. But we are also responsible to maintain our own humanity as we engage righteous battles against evil. As Joseph Campbell argued, we must not forget that even our “enemies” are still our family (the underlying oneness of all things).

And in this life, as Campbell suggested, we are all just “actors on God’s stage” engaging oppositional roles in a temporary dualistic realm in order to provide one another with contrasting life experiences. Yes, this is metaphysical speculation. But what might be a better alternative to explain evil? The inherited mythical/religious speculations of the ultimate tribal division of humanity? Eternal cosmic dualism? (i.e. the divide between true believers/unbelievers existing forever, in eternal heaven and hell?).

Or the better alternative of an ultimate return to our original “oneness” after experiencing a human story in this temporal realm of material dualism? Experiencing both good and evil as critical to human development.

3. The inherited myth: Humanity began as a more perfect species (the myth of primitive people as pure, strong, and noble hunter gatherers, “Adam/Eve”). But those early people then became corrupted/sinful (i.e. the myth of the “Fall of mankind”). This myth has led to persistent anti-humanism- i.e. blaming humanity for the imperfections and suffering in the world.

Alternative: Humanity emerged from the brutality of animal reality to gradually become more humane across history (a long-term trajectory of humanity rising/improving, not falling into a trajectory of degeneration/decline). Rather than focus, as Declinism narratives do, on what is still wrong in life and humanity, we ought to focus more on how far humanity has risen from our primitive past and celebrate how well humanity has done in making things better. (Note, for example, the amazing decline in human violence across history- see James Payne’s “The History of Force”, Stephen Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature”)

4. The inherited myth: The world began as an original paradise (again, the myth of a better past) but after the “Fall” the overall trajectory of life has been declining, degenerating toward something worse.

Alternative: The long-term trajectory of life does not decline toward something worse but overall rises/improves toward something ever better (i.e. more complex, organized, advanced, more suited to improved human well-being).

5. Inherited myth: The belief that natural disasters, disease, accident, human cruelty, and death are expressions of divine punishment, and that humanity deserves punishment from a retaliatory deity who also ensures there will be ultimate justice as payback of some form (judgment and hell).

Alternative: While there are natural consequences all through life, there is no punitive, destroying deity behind the imperfections of life. The natural consequences throughout life are just that- natural and not expressions of divine intent to harm or punish.

6. Inherited Myth: The belief that humanity has been rejected by the Creator and we must be reconciled via blood sacrifice/suffering. The deity who is offended by human imperfection demands payment/punishment for all wrong.

Alternative: No one has ever been rejected by the unconditional Love at the core of reality. No one has ever been separated from God. Ultimate Love does not demand appeasement/payment/atonement, or suffering, as punishment for sin. See the “Prodigal Father” story for an illustration of deity not demanding sacrifice/atonement before forgiving, accepting, and loving.

7. Inherited myth: The idea of a cosmic dualism between Good and Evil (i.e. God versus Satan) that finds expression in human dualisms (tribes of good people versus their enemies- the “evil” people). The dualism of Ultimate Good versus Evil is used to validate our inherited animal impulse to tribalism- to view ourselves as righteous in opposition to differing or disagreeing others that we view as evil. This is not to deny there is actual evil to be opposed, but to challenge the tendency to view differing others as irredeemable “enemies”, when they are members of the same one human family.

This feature of dualism promotes ideas of God as a tribal deity who discriminates between people, excluding unbelievers and favoring accepting, and saving only his true believers.

Alternative: There is a fundamental Oneness at the core of all and we all share that oneness and return to that oneness in the end. We all belong equally to the one human family and equally share the ultimate eternal Oneness that is God. Note that quantum mechanics also points to a fundamental oneness (i.e. the “Woo-woo” factor that offends quantum purists and dogmatists).

We also affirm the oneness of humanity as per the “Mitochondrial Eve” that is the mother of all humans on Earth today.

Jesus countered this view of a cosmic dualism- i.e. a tribal and discriminatory deity- by stating that God sent sun and rain on all alike, both good and bad. God treated all people unconditionally.

Further: Our real enemy, the real monster in life, and the real evil, is not other people but is something inside each of us- i.e. our inheritance of animal drives, the drives to tribal division and exclusion, to domination of others, and to punitively destroy differing others. Solzhenitsyn again- the real battle between good and evil runs down the center of every human heart. The real dualism in this world is the inner dualism between the human spirit and the impulses of the animal brain.

8. Inherited myth: The belief in a looming apocalypse as the final judgment, the ultimate punishment of wrong, and the final destruction of all things.

Alternative: There are problems all through the world but there is no looming threat of final divine destruction and ending of the world. Apocalypse is a great fraud and lie. There will be no apocalypse as in the Zoroastrian religious version of divine intervention to punish humanity and destroy the world (i.e. as illustrated, for example, in the New Testament book of Revelation).

9. Inherited myth: The always “imminent” element in apocalyptic mythology demands urgent action to save something, even the use of coercive violence to effect “instantaneous transformation”. (Arthur Mendel, in “Vision and Violence”, details the difference between the approaches of totalitarian “instantaneous transformation” by “coercive purification” of some “evil” threat, as opposed to democratic “gradualism”.)

Alternative: While unexpected catastrophes could still happen, there is no “imminent end of days” on the horizon, inciting the urgency to “save the world”, right now. Rather, life improves through gradual democratic processes as creative humanity cooperatively solves problems.

10. Inherited myth: The demand for a salvation plan, a required sacrifice or atonement (debt payment, punishment). The cosmic principle that all wrongs must be righted/corrected, all debts must be paid somewhere, somehow, sometime. God cannot just forgive freely, as that father in the Prodigal Son parable did without demanding restitution.

Alternative: Unconditional deity does not demand sacrifice, atonement, payment, or punishment as required for appeasement- as prerequisite for divine acceptance, forgiveness, and love. Deity freely forgives, universally includes all, loves unconditionally. Just as we are told to do- to “keep no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13), to not expect repayment of debt (Luke 6), to love even enemies (Matthew 5). To forgive without limit.

Additionally, this comment from Bob Brinsmead (“Understand the root themes of the environmental religion”):

“The area often touched on superficially and skirted around like a root out of the dry ground is the matter of the anti-sacrificial movement launched by John the Baptist and brought to a head by the very issue that led directly to the death of Jesus. This is the matter of the real nature of Jesus’ temple protest. This was always destined to become the central issue of all Jesus research. No one disputes that Jesus died. If the temple event is seen as Jesus carrying forward the anti-sacrifice mission of his cousin John, then Jesus has to be seen as utterly against the whole religious idea that a sacrifice, an act of violent blood-letting to make an atonement for sin, should ever be required for reconciliation with God or with one another.

“This would mean that the Christian religion was founded on a false interpretation of the meaning of the death of Jesus, and it was out of this grave misunderstanding, that the whole edifice of its Christology arose– the Christology of a divine, virgin born and absolutely sinless man by whom God supposedly defeats evil by an act of apocalyptic violence, first in the Christ event and finally in a holocaust at the end of the world.

“Or to put it more simply, Jesus died protesting at the temple, the place where sacrifices were offered, affirming that God requires no sacrifice (no blood-letting violence) to put us right with God; yet the Christian religion turned the death of Jesus into God’s supreme sacrifice to put us right with God.” Bob Brinsmead

11. Inherited myth: The belief that retribution, retaliation, or payback is true “justice” (i.e. eye for eye, hurt for hurt, humiliation for humiliation, punishment for punishment).

Alternative: Unconditional love keeps no record of wrongs, forgives freely and without limit. And yes, there are natural/social consequences to bad behavior in this world, but all justice should be humanely restorative/rehabilitative in response to human failure.

Note the points, in the above link, on recidivism rates, and also the comment of a US prison official (in another Netflix documentary on criminal justice) that, yes, victim’s feelings matter. But they, as prison officials, are primarily responsible to ensure public safety by lowering recidivism rates and preventing future victims. Most criminals will be released at some point. Will they be resentful and vengeful from suffering under a punitive justice system, or rehabilitated? Also, see Karl Menninger’s criminal justice classic “The Crime of Punishment”.

Prison guard’s comment: “If we treat inmates like animals, they will respond like animals. If we treat them like humans, they will respond like humans”. Not all, but most.

And of course, in these points on criminal justice, we recognize pathologies like psychopathy and the inability to rehabilitate some people, hence the need for permanent incarceration of repeat offenders to protect the public, as the primary responsibility of criminal justice. We never abandon common sense in our struggle to “love the enemy”.

Consider again Campbell’s point- i.e. that how we treat others is vital to maintaining our own humanity as we engage “righteous battles against evil”.

12. Inherited myth: The belief in after-life judgment, exclusion, punishment, and destruction (i.e. hell). This pathology of after-life harm adds unnecessary sting to the natural human fear of death.

Alternative: Unconditional love does not threaten ultimate judgment, exclusion, punishment, or destruction.

13. Inherited myth: The idea of a “hero” messiah who will use superior force and violence to overthrow enemies, purge the world of wrong (“coercive purification”), and install a promised utopia. The belief that superior violence (as in the New Testament book of Revelation) is the model for solving problems, for correcting all that is wrong in the world.

Alternative: A God of authentic love does not intervene with overwhelming force that overrides human freedom and choice. It is up to maturing humanity to make the world a better place through long-term gradualism processes that respect the freedom of others who differ (i.e. persuasion, not coercion).

Again, see Zenon Lotufo and Harold Ellen’s comments above on how images of deity solving problems with violence then incite/validate in humanity the same use of violence to solve problems.

14. Inherited myth: The fallacy of biblicism- the belief that religious holy books are more special and authoritative than ordinary human literature, and the related fallacy that people are obligated to live according to the holy book as the revealed will, law, or specially inspired word of God.

Alternative: We evaluate all human writing according to basic criteria of right and wrong, good and bad, humane or inhumane. Holy books, written by fallible people like ourselves, are not exempted from this basic process of discernment/evaluation.

15. Inherited myth: The idea of God as King, Ruler, Lord, or Judge. This myth promotes the idea that God relates to humanity in domination/submission forms of relating. This is based on the primitive idea that humans were “created to serve the gods”. Such ideas have long been used to validate human forms of domination over others (i.e. the “divine right of kings, priesthoods, public leaders”. See Paul’s anti-democratic affirmation of citizen submission to state authorities in Romans 13).

Alternative: There is no domination/subservience relationship of humanity to God. True greatness is to relate horizontally to all as equals. The “greatness” of God is to relate to all as free equals, not to “lord over” others. Similar human greatness is exhibited in respecting the full equality and free self-determination of others, not controlling others. Note the statement of Jesus in Matthew 20:25-28 that true greatness is not expressed in domination of others, but in service to others.

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their ‘great ones’ exercise authority over them. It should not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as I came not to be served but to serve others”.

Added note: Classic Liberal principles and institutions are the best that we have discovered for affirming and protecting the freedom and rights of all individuals to self-determination.

16. Inherited myth: The idea that humanity is obligated to know, serve, or have a relationship with an invisible reality (deity), that we are to give primary loyalty to something separate from and above people. (So “heavenly minded as to be of no earthly good”.)

Alternative: Our primary loyalty is to love and serve real people around us. Their needs, here and now, take priority in life. Loyalty to realities placed above people (laws, institutions, or higher authorities) has always resulted in the neglect or abuse of people. Our only obligation is to live here and now in this world, offering our unique contribution to making life better.

17. Inherited myth: The perception that God is silent or absent during the horrors of life (i.e. Where was God during the Holocaust?). This myth of absent deity is based on the primitive belief that God is a sky deity (dwelling in heaven above, separate from humanity), a deity that descends occasionally to intervene in life and change circumstances, to override natural law in order to save or protect people.

Alternative: There has never been a Sky God up above in some heaven. The reality we call “God” has always been incarnated equally in all humanity. God has always been immediately present in all human suffering and is intimately present in all human raging and struggle against evil. God is inseparable from the human spirit in all of us and is expressed in all human action to prevent evil, to solve problems, and to improve life. We are the embodiments/incarnations of God in this world, and nothing saves us except our choices and actions to oppose wrong and to help one another, to make life better in this world.

Added note: The mystery of Jung’s “synchronicity” (inexplicable co-incidences throughout life) caution us to remain open to divine involvement in life. There so much that we don’t know about reality and life.

18. Inherited myth: The fallacy of “limited good” and the belief that too many people are consuming too much of Earth’s resources, and hence world resources are being exhausted. This relates to the ancient religious belief in the moral superiority of the simple, low-consumption lifestyle. The belief that denial of comfort- i.e. separation from “worldly things”, and rejection of material possessions, is a more “spiritual” and holy route to take. Add here the belief in suffering as somehow redemptive. Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist fell for this while Jesus took an opposite stance of “eating and drinking” and enjoying all that life had to offer.

Alternative: More people on Earth means more creative minds to solve problems. More consumption means more wealth to solve problems and enable us to make life better- i.e. enables us to improve the human condition and protect the natural world at the same time. Evidence affirms that human improvement and environmental improvement has been the outcome of more people on Earth enjoying the good life. See “Population Bombed” by Desrochers and Szurmak, “Ultimate Resource” by Julian Simon, “”, and related research.

Further, we are not exhausting Earth’s resources. With the emergence of some apparent resource scarcity, humanity through improving technology then works to discover more reserves of those scarce resources or makes the shift to alternative resources. There is a superabundance of resources in our world. Note also the “dematerialization” trend in modern advanced societies (i.e. the ongoing trend of less material inputs per person, economies of scale with increasing urbanization, etc.)

Exchange this idea of stinginess as superior, for a theology of an extravagantly generous God (scandalously generous love) who has given us an Earth of ‘superabundance’ to enjoy.

This is my list. Add your own themes/ideas and alternatives.

And one more…

One of the more common responses from religious people to the idea of God as no conditions love is to argue that God is also holy and just and therefore must punish all wrong. God’s honor is tarnished by the wrongdoing of people so God must be just (exhibit strict eye for eye retaliation) and punish all sin. God cannot just freely forgive and love. Holiness in deity (offense at wrong and obligation to punish) must take precedence over generous love. Divine love must be conditioned by the obligations of “justice” as some form of demanded payback, of restoring balance in life by punishing wrong and rewarding good.

But this divine holiness myth is primitivism at its worst. How so? It is the very same reasoning that is behind practices like “honor killing”. People in varied cultures today still reason, for example, that a daughter embracing modern habits has dishonored her family and their traditional culture with something impure. So the dishonored males are obligated by the demands of “purity” to punish the “evil” daughter in order to restore their tarnished honor.

Holiness theology is embracing this very same primitive reasoning that wrongs must be punished thoroughly, or justice and honor are not restored properly (justice is not rebalanced in the cosmos).

I would counter that unconditional forgiveness and love is the true glory of God, the highest reach of goodness and love. Authentic goodness and love will just forgive without demanding payment or righting of wrongs first. No cosmic rebalancing demanded.

The holiness feature in theology affirms the myth of a God that is obsessed with perfection and punishing imperfection, hence the creation of a supporting complex of myths- i.e. original paradise/Eden (perfect creation), Fall of humanity and ruin of paradise (loss of perfection), and the subsequent need for an atonement (sacrifice/payment/punishment) in order to restore the lost perfection.

Too much similar psychopathology has been projected onto deity from the beginning and has long been defended and validated by religious traditions that refuse to acknowledge the real nature of such pathology. And humanity continues to suffer the harmful outcomes of such themes in our meta-narratives. Again, note the arguments of psychologists Harold Ellens and Zenon Lotufo in books like “Cruel God, Kind God”, the four-volume series “The Destructive Power of Religion” (editor Harold Ellens), or Alex Garcia in “Alpha God”.

Add the point that we fallible humans are expected to just forgive and love without demanding prior “justice” in some form as atonement/payment for wrong, as payment of debt. See, for example, the Jesus statement on such unconditional forgiveness, love, and generosity in Luke 6: 27-36. Or the statement of Paul on authentic love as “keeping no record of wrongs”.

Now logically and reasonably, we must then ask why would God, as ultimate goodness and love, be held to a lower standard of forgiveness and love than we are held to?

Why would a “God is love” keep detailed records of all human wrongs and threaten punishment of such wrongs? That, according to Paul, is not authentic love. Why would God not just forgive and love freely as the Father in the Prodigal story does to his wasteful scoundrel of a son? Just as we are expected to do- unconditionally. Are we to be better than God, more humane?

Another point:

Hamas illustrates the danger of placing your loyalty in something above people and their needs. When we give primary loyalty to some ideology, religion, nation state, ethnic/racial group, or other, and especially when we give our primary loyalty to God up above humanity, then the result is too often neglect or harm of real people in the name of the higher loyalty. Much like Calvin putting fellow Christian theologian Servetus to a slow death by fire because Calvin gave his primary loyalty to the Christ myth that Servetus defined differently. Calvin would not tolerate such difference of views, and feeling obligated to “restore the honor” of the Christ, he put a fellow Christian to death.

Our primary loyalty ought to be to the people around us, and our highest obligation is to love one another, to love our enemies.

Further comment on the giving holiness primacy over love and thereby validating divine retaliation: Wendell Krossa

For millennia people have unquestioningly accepted the deity theories handed down from previous generations, and no feature of deity has been held in higher esteem by religious people than “the holiness of God”. Divine holiness takes precedence over love in religions like Christianity and Islam.

The religious argument for a God that is holy, reasons that God, as the ultimate Judge, must restore and uphold justice. God must make all wrongs right again (rebalance justice in the cosmos). But this thinking is on the same dehumanizing spectrum as “honor killing” logic which argues that if a man has been offended in some manner, then he must take action to punish the offense as necessary to fulfill and restore justice or honor. Offended honor is an unacceptable situation that must be corrected by restoring the offended honor through punishment of some offender.

This holiness feature in deity has long validated human systems of punitive or retributive justice as “true justice”.

The holiness argument for restoring offended honor has nothing to do with authentic love. Authentic unconditional love just forgives and loves without demanding any prerequisite condition be fulfilled first. Look at the father of the Prodigal that supposedly illustrates what “God is love” actually means. He exhibited unconditional love toward the offending son.

The father made no demand to restore his offended honor first. He simply responded with no conditions love, inclusion, forgiveness, acceptance, and celebration. Why wouldn’t God exhibit the same unconditional love that we are urged to show?

Additionally, some have stated that if love is not unconditional then it is not authentic love.

The core themes of “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” mythology that dominate world religions, and also dominate contemporary “secular/ideological” systems of belief like Declinism (the most dominant and influential theme today). These core themes now shape offspring movements like climate alarmism. Wendell Krossa

A ‘quickie’ summary for visitors on the run.

The core themes of the “lost paradise/redemption” complex of myths are evident in the earliest human writing (i.e. scattered in the Sumerian mythologies, later more formalized in Zoroastrian theology). These themes have subsequently dominated human narratives across history in varied religious traditions and are now found in the modern world in “secular/ideological” versions.

The core themes of human narratives vary little across history. We repeatedly get the “same old, same old”, world without end. Young moderns self-identifying as “materialist”, even atheist, also mouth these very same themes, notably in “profoundly religious” movements like climate alarmism.

The lost paradise/redemption complex of ideas encompass the basic themes of apocalyptic Declinism, the “most influential and dominant theme in the modern world” (i.e. life declining toward something worse, toward collapse and ending). Note: Try to find a contemporary public story (i.e. Hollywood movie) that does not affirm some form of apocalypse as true and inevitable.

And get this point that in contemporary versions, primitive myths have been given new “secular/ideological” expression for the modern era. The terms may change but the core ideas/themes remain the same. Joseph Campbell nailed it in stating that “all people have believed the same primitive mythical themes all across history and across all the cultures of the world”.

This speaks to the issue of deeply embedded “archetypes”, subconscious things that keep re-emerging in meta-narratives generation after generation. It helps understand why people keep falling for the same old scams again and again, despite the horrifically destructive outcomes.

Many people simply respond to narratives like climate alarmism at an intuitive, emotional level as unquestioningly “true”. Apocalyptic declinism narratives just “feel right and true”. That is how subconscious archetypes work on human minds, emotions, motivations, and responses. This also explains the widespread tendency to “confirmation bias”- the tendency to select data that affirms our personal beliefs and to ignore or discredit contrary data. We have a hard time letting go of beliefs that meet deeply felt needs. Such is the “post-truth” era that we live in with its re-embrace of mythical thinking.

(Insert: As Arthur Herman notes in regard to Declinism- “The Idea of Decline In Western History”- as the modern era emerged and developed, many people resisted the emergence of modern rational science, believing that rational thinking was resulting in the emerging human disconnect from primitive tribal thinking and society (i.e. noble savage myth) that they believed was more connected to nature. Many today still long for a return to that primitive mythical way of viewing nature and life- i.e. a return to nature worship, to Mother Earth mythology that is viewed as more connected to nature.)


(Archetype- “model, ideal, original, pilot, prototype, pattern, standard, classic exemplar, classic, representative, forerunner, epitome, prime example, etc.”)

Insert on the comment above re “The deeply felt needs”. These are the inherited animal impulses of our brains. Our ancestors created ideas/myths to validate these impulses, thereby forming the earliest archetypes of our subconscious.

But the archetypes are not permanent eternals in the human psyche. The whole mess can be changed, and humanity has been renovating this inheritance of archetypes and impulses over past millennia. Evidence? Note how we have become less violent as the millennia and centuries progress. And we create new ideas to validate our emerging and developing humanity. We have become less tribal and dominating as we create societies that value inclusivity and protect the rights of all individuals, and equally so. So also we are experimenting more with restorative justice to counter our past impulses to punitive destruction of differing others and offenders.

Re-evaluate your personal worldview to discern if it is really as “secular or ideological” as you may have assumed. Perhaps your worldview contains more primitive mythological themes than you might like to admit. The “lost paradise/redemption” or “apocalyptic millennial” complexes provide a baseline of comparative ideas against which to evaluate your own views.

Also worthwhile is the project to try to understand why we hold certain themes in our personal narratives. What “emotional” needs do our beliefs meet? What fears are we responding to, and what incites those fears? What sense of guilt are we trying to assuage, and what is that guilt actually based on? Much contemporary human shame/guilt is based on the long-ago embedded fallacies of (1) a human fall from original purity into sinfulness/corruption, (2) human guilt for ruining an original paradise and sending life into decline toward something worse, and (3) consequent human responsibility to make some sacrifice, to endure some form of suffering as redemptive, in order to “save the world” and restore an imagined lost paradise. The myths that have long incited such deeply embedded guilt are entirely false.

Here is more of the “lost paradise/redemption” complex that is further detailed below. This is about cognitive therapy at the deepest levels of human consciousness/subconscious.

Brief summary of the main themes of the complex:

There was a better past (i.e. original wilderness paradise world), but early people “sinned” (“fell” or degenerated into something worse) and ruined paradise. Life- subsequently cursed by God- then began to decline toward something worse, toward collapse and ending, even toward the ultimate catastrophe of apocalypse. That threat of collapse and ending is the ultimate punishment for human sins. A sacrifice was then demanded to pay for sin, and suffering had to be embraced as part of the “redemptive” process. Self-punitive suffering today will involve giving up the good life for a return to the “morally superior” simple life, a return to primitivism (“de-development”). This general felt need to embrace self-punishment as payment for personal failure is more common than many imagine.

There must also be a violent purging of some purported evil threat to life (i.e. CO2 has been demonized as a “pollutant/poison” that threatens life today). Overall, industrial civilization has been demonized as the “evil” that destroys the paradise wilderness world (CO2 is the identity marker of this larger evil threat). Further, affirming the myth of cosmic dualism, people must heroically engage a righteous battle against some evil threat or enemy. With atonement and purging accomplished, people are then offered the hope of salvation in the restoration of the lost paradise, or the installation of a new utopia/millennium (i.e. a “fossil fuel-free” world).

The above points are not my thinking and research alone. Good historians have traced these themes in past apocalyptic movements like Marxism and Nazism, and these themes are also evident now in environmental alarmism (see, for example, Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline in Western History”, Richard Landes’ “Heaven On Earth”, Arthur Mendel’s “Vision and Violence”, and David Redles’ “Hitler’s Millennial Reich”, among others).

One book alone overturns entirely the above complex of apocalyptic declinism themes- i.e. Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource”. Many others now offer the same evidence. Add also the one central insight of Historical Jesus on non-retaliatory, unconditional deity (anti-sacrifice) that potently overturns the Christian version of the above “lost paradise/redemption” complex. The Jesus insights overturn Paul’s Christ myth, entirely.

We know today that there was no original paradise and life is not declining toward something worse. To the contrary, due to the creative input from human minds, life has been rising toward something ever better than before. So also, no sacrifice is necessary to appease some imagined metaphysical threat. And no violent purging is required to save life, but rather, our “salvation” is to be found in contributing to the long-term “gradualism” of improving life (Arthur Mendel on gradualism in “Vision and Violence”). That is the only “salvation” that we need to embrace. We will never attain utopia, but we can continue to make life ever better over the long term, just as we have successfully done over past centuries.

The impulses and ideas that dominate human consciousness and life (a revised, updated reposting of the longer version of the “Lost paradise/redemption” complex of myths). Wendell Krossa

Subtitles: How to understand human thinking, feeling, motivation, response, and behavior today. The dominant themes of our narratives/worldviews and how they influence us.

(Once again… Useful definitions of Archetype include: model, ideal, original, pilot, prototype, pattern, standard, classic exemplar, classic, representative, forerunner, epitome, prime example, etc. I would suggest that archetype has to do with our inherited animal impulses and the ideas/myths that our ancestors created to explain and validate these primitive impulses, notably the impulses to tribalism, to domination of others, and to predatory destruction of others. The ancients created the lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption complex to explain and validate some of our worst impulses. They tried their best to deal with the world that they lived in and the state of their consciousness at that primitive time. But it is inexcusable for us to continue to still embrace such primitive and irrational mythology. We know better now. We have more humane and rational alternatives.)

A prominent example to illustrate where I am going with this…

Climate alarmism is a “profoundly religious movement” with a consequent salvation crusade that is proving highly destructive of Western societies (i.e. Net Zero decarbonization). The “save the world” crusade of climate alarmism is being dogmatically and zealously pushed by elites (politicians, scientists, celebrities, others)- the people who control public narratives and use state coercion to push policy applications that impact all of us, policies that consequently harm the most vulnerable people the most. And that is the cognitive dissonance feature of alarmist narratives. Alarmists self-identify as righteously concerned for oppressed people but then embrace policies that harm the most vulnerable people the most. Go figure, eh.

In the Tubi series “Architects of Darkness” Season 1, Episode 2, the narrator tries to explain what drove Hitler’s associates to engage mass-death madness. He notes that they let themselves become possessed by an ideology that placed the state’s vision above the needs of real people. Their loyalty to their state ideology then enabled them to inflict evil on others, for a supposed greater good. Their ideology placed the goals of a regime above the lives of actual human beings.

Bob Brinsmead has often spoken of how dangerous people become when they place their loyalty in something above people- in some law, religion, political ideology, nation state, “righteous salvation crusade”, or whatever. Loyalty to that thing that is placed above or before real people, then results in the neglect or harm of real people.

As the Tubi narrator says, “Government enchanted by its own vision of what the future should look like turned the present into an unimaginable hell for countless victims”.

The narrator concludes on how loyalty to some ideology incites evil in our hearts by quoting Solzhenitsyn, “The line between good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties, but right through every human heart and through all human hearts”.

“Enlightened elites” have always believed that they have been called to heroically engage righteous battles against evil, and that they know what is best for all others. And consequent to their unquestioning belief in the urgency of their cause (i.e. saving their world from an imagined “imminent” apocalypse) they will justify the need for violent crushing of any dissent or opposition to their crusades. Dissent from their orthodoxy is labelled “dangerous and life threatening”.

The outcomes of such arrogant self-righteousness (today’s “virtue signalling”) have cost hundreds of millions of people their lives. Remember the 100 million who died last century due to the forced collectivization of societies under the enlightened guidance of Socialist elites in China and Russia, and elsewhere (Cambodia, etc.). The same outcomes are becoming distressingly evident again today with the resurgence of the coercive collectivism that is being exhibited through the environmental movement and its attacks on industrial civilization, and the undermining of individual freedoms and rights (i.e. abandoning and overturning the principles and practises of Classic Liberalism).

Back to the “impulses and ideas” theme of this article…

All mythological/religious movements have embraced a similar complex of ideas/themes and this is evident in the earliest human writing. Very little changes across human history as these themes have become hardwired in human subconscious as “archetypes”. And today, the most primitive of past ideas have now been given expression, not just in the world religions, but also in the dominant secular/ideological systems of our world, notably in Declinism and its offspring- environmental alarmism/climate alarmism. (Source: Arthur Herman- “The Idea of Decline in Western History”)

The line of historical descent of ideas runs from primitive mythology to world religions to ideological belief systems, and even to the “scientific” belief systems of the modern world. Its always the same old, same old. As Joseph Campbell stated, the same primitive myths have been embraced all across history and across all the cultures of the world.

I repeatedly post lists of these themes on this site because they are most fundamental to what is wrong in our world today. And we have good alternatives now to take human consciousness and life in a better direction, toward a more rational and humane future. We do not have to continue suffering under the old mythologies that have contributed to so much misery across history in unnecessary additional fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, resignation, fatalism, despair, depression, nihilism, and violence. We now have the opportunity to embrace the ultimate human liberation- i.e. freedom from ideas that have long distorted reality and life and that have long incited our worst impulses. We have alternatives to inspire the better angels of our nature, alternatives that inspire our better impulses to live as authentically human.

The ideas in the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption”, or “apocalyptic millennialism” complex, set us up to believe that something is wrong, that something is threatening our very existence. That naturally incites our primal survival impulse. The gatekeepers of these mythical complexes then claim to know who is to blame, what actions must be taken to correct what they imagine is wrong, how we should counter their purported threat to life, how to save ourselves, save our world, and how to make things right again.

These complexes of bad ideas have long motivated and validated human beings to harm one another, and even destroy entire societies, all the while believing that they were doing good, their consciences approving them and their actions, affirming their belief that they had God and good on their side, that they were fighting righteous battles against intolerable enemies who had to be stopped even if with coercive violence.

Consider these most basic ideas and their outcomes, whether at the individual level or at larger societal scale:

The core themes (mental pathologies) that have dominated human consciousness across history… the “lost paradise/redemption” narrative: Wendell Krossa

(1) The myth that a perfection-obsessed deity created a better past or original paradise (i.e. Sumerian Dilmun or Jewish Eden). This is the baseline bad myth. It sets the stage for all the rest. If the past was better, and the present is so obviously worse (imperfect), then logically- What went wrong? The history-long obsession with blaming humanity (i.e. the anti-humanism of “fallen/sinful” humanity) arises out of this original error of a better past.

(2) The initial mistake of early people was to blame themselves for committing some original sin and thereby ruining an imagined primeval paradise. Contrary to this long-affirmed “original sin” myth (humanity ruining paradise), the original human mistake was actually their wrong assumption that the past was a paradise world and that early humans had committed a primordial sin and thereby ruined that original perfection.

That wrong initial assumption cemented the baseline idea for a complex of related pathological ideas, notably, myths that have subsequently blamed humanity for all that was wrong in life. That original bad myth then “logically” (logical to myth-oriented minds) led to the demand for punishment and sacrifice to pay for the initial sin, and further, the requirement that to make things better again you had to violently purge some evil threat to life. And thus emerged all the rest of the lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption complex of bad myths.

Response to the original pathology? We need a complete re-orientation of consciousness to fundamentally different themes in a new narrative of reality and life.

Start with the alternatives to the baseline bad myth.

There was never any better past or original paradise, and the overall trajectory of life has never declined from a previous “golden age” toward a worsening future. Any history of our world will show the horrifically brutal conditions of early Earth. And, since that early uninhabitable world, there has been a long-term trajectory of improvement toward a more habitable planet for life- e.g. the emergence and development of an atmosphere suitable for life, along with many other factors. The history of our world shows long-term improvement in features like the increasing complexity of multi-cellular life, increasing organization/complexity in ecosystems, an increasing trend toward more diversity in life, and an overall world more conducive to life, not the decline of life toward something worse.

Biologists like E. O. Wilson and Charles Darwin both affirmed the overall, long-term “improving” trajectory of life toward more complexity, more organization, toward more “perfection”, according to Darwin. Life is a story of “from bad to better”.

Conclusion from such evidence? There was never an original paradise that humans ruined. Hence, reject that foundational myth that was the basis for blaming humanity. There was no “original sin” or fault. We never “fell” or degenerated from something better to become something worse. We did not become corrupted in our past.

An alternative narrative (including metaphysical or “spiritual” speculations) would suggest that deity created the cosmos and world as originally “imperfect” and there is some good reason for that. So, with philosophers and theologians, explore this “theodicy” possibility- that, for example, an imperfect world exists as in an arena for human experience, struggle, learning, and development. And that we only learn the better things in life when they are contrasted with the worst elements of life.

Also, that problems, and consequent suffering, inspire our struggle to make life better, and bring out the best in people. For example, through suffering we learn compassion with suffering others (i.e. empathy as fundamental to being human). Much human creativity has also arisen out of compassion for suffering others. Julian Simon added that our problems bring out the best in us- i.e. creative endeavor to solve problems and find solutions that benefit ourselves and others.

The myth of a better past dominates the Declinism ideology of today as in the environmental Declinism that states the past wilderness world was paradise but humanity in civilization, notably in industrial capitalist society, has ruined that paradise and life is now heading toward collapse and catastrophe. CO2 has been demonized as the latest primary indicator of the evil of too many people consuming too much of Earth’s “limited” resources and thereby destroying the world. This primitive apocalyptic millennial nonsense, that distorts entirely the true story of life, still dominates the thinking of many people today.

(2) (Related to number 1) The myth that the earliest humans committed an original fault/error and subsequently “fell” or become “sinful/corrupted” beings who then ruined the original paradise. Again, this “original sin” myth is the primal root of all “blame humanity”, all anti-humanism. The Sumerians gave us the first examples of this pathology in the Sumerian Flood myth (Gilgamesh epic) with fuller versions coming later in subsequent Babylonian mythology. In the Sumerian Flood myth, Enlil, the waterworks god, was pissed that too many humans were making too much noise- the original human “sin” of that era and place. Imagine: People just being sociable and having fun was considered an original sin. That is as petty as Adam bringing the curse of “inherited sinfulness” on all humanity for just enjoying a taste of good fruit and curious to learn something new (wanting to access the tree of the “knowledge of good and evil’). Sheesh, eh.

To get some sense of the petty nature of these primitive mythologies, with their ideas of pathetic deities that are obsessed with human imperfection and mistakes, note the Biblical lists of sins that incite God’s wrath and consequent intention to torture people in an eternal lake of fire. The lists include “sins” like “boasting, gossiping, coveting, sensuality, impurity, fits of anger, rivalry, dissension, drunkenness, greed, gluttony, slander, lying, pride, foolishness, loving money, disobedient to parents, loving oneself, loving pleasure (watch out you wankers), ungrateful, and reckless (i.e. adrenaline junkies in extreme sports), etc., etc.” Talk about punishment not fitting the crime, eh. Ah, it illustrates the obsessive moralizing pettiness of people that they then projected onto deity, reducing the reality of God to something perversely petty.

(3) The vengeful deity of primitive imaginations, thoroughly pissed at human imperfection, then cursed the world and life began declining toward something worse, eventually toward complete corruption, collapse, and final ending via apocalypse. This apocalyptic decline myth has long incited survival fear and desperation to find some form of salvation/survival.

(4) The great creating Force/Spirit behind life, still obsessed with lost perfection, and obsessed with punishing imperfection, then demanded a sacrifice to pay for the sins of corrupted humanity, to restore his offended honor and rebalance justice in the cosmos. (Note: Offended holiness in Judea-Christian theology is on the same spectrum as Islamic “honor killing” to restore the offended male sense of righteousness/purity).

(5) The upset deity also demanded suffering as further punishment- “suffering as redemptive”. Humanity has long embraced this pathology in self-flagellation or varied forms of self-punishment to assuage guilt/shame over being bad. Today, one form of self-inflicted punishment involves giving up the good life for a return to the “morally superior” simple life (i.e. “de-development”). This is a retreat to the primitive status of original “noble savages”- i.e. early people who were believed to have been stronger and more pure humans living in tune with nature, living low-consumption lifestyles (i.e. hunter gatherers) before the “fall of humanity in civilization…the degeneration of humanity in the abundance of industrial civilization”. Such is the “degeneration” theory of Declinism ideology (humanity degenerating in civilization) as set forth by Arthur Herman in “The Idea of Decline in Western History”.

The “lost paradise/redemption” narrative has been beaten into humanity for multiple-millennia now and the outcome is a deeply-rooted guilt and shame over being imperfectly human. Most people across history have subsequently felt the desperate need for absolution from their sin. They long to be told how to make atonement, and in response, priesthoods across history have offered people the solution of blood sacrifice, or other forms of sacrifice/payment/punishment to assuage the guilt that has been exacerbated by the original sin, Declinism, and apocalyptic destruction mythologies.

(6) The punitive Force/Spirit behind life also demands “the violent purging” of some great threat to life, some threatening “enemy”. This involves the embrace of the hero’s quest, to heroically engage “a righteous battle against evil”, to engage the quest to conquer an enemy, to slay a monster. These ideas are validated by the myth of cosmic dualism- i.e. that there exists a great cosmic battle of a good Spirit against some evil Force or Spirit. That “cosmic-level” dualism (as ultimate ideal and authority) has been endlessly replicated in “this-world” dualisms among people. Cosmic dualism myths have long validated human tribalisms- i.e. tribalism based on race/ethnicity, nationality, religion, ideology, etc.

Think of the historical outcomes of this myth alone- i.e. cosmic dualism (ultimate Good against ultimate Evil). Note how much horrific damage has been caused across history by inciting the impulse to view the differing other as an “enemy”, accompanied by the felt need to engage a righteous battle against such enemies, to conquer and destroy them as threats to one’s own tribe. Tribalism based on dualism is among the most damaging of all primitive ideas. And tribalism intensifies its impulse to harm by giving true believers the sense that God is on their side, that God approves their righteous battles against intolerably evil enemies who must be destroyed.

It is critical to understand these primitive archetypes and how they continue to influence human consciousness, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior. We need to recognize the dangerous outcomes of these ideas over history, outcomes still occurring repetitively today. And we ought to recognize that we have much better alternatives today that work to counter our baser impulses and to inspire our better human impulses. Notably, the recognition of the fundamental oneness of humanity that inspires us to view others as family and to embrace restorative justice toward human failure.

Note again in this regard Campbell’s comments on embracing “universal love” and viewing enemies as family and thereby maintaining our humanity:

“For love is exactly as strong as life. And when life produces what the intellect names evil, we may enter into righteous battle, contending ‘from loyalty of heart’: however, if the principle of love (Christ’s “Love your enemies”) is lost thereby, our humanity too will be lost. ‘Man’, in the words of the American novelist Hawthorne, ‘must not disclaim his brotherhood even with the guiltiest’” (Myths To Live By).

Further, religious mythologies teach that the ultimate violent purging takes place in the apocalyptic punishment and destruction of the present “corrupted world”, a necessary destruction in order to make way for the new world (see the New Testament book of Revelation for detail on such myth). “Violent purging of evil” myths also validated the revolutionary purging that was central to Marxism and Nazism (again, Arthur Herman in “The Idea of Decline In Western History”).

(7) With atonement and purging accomplished, the threatening deity then promises salvation for true believers, salvation in the restoration of the lost paradise, or salvation in the installation of a new exclusive utopia/millennial kingdom for the saved true believers.

(Sources for above myths: Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, and Zoroastrian mythologies. Also, Jewish-Christian history and belief systems. Add further, similar mythical themes in Eastern religious belief systems, such as Hinduism.)

Such is the complex of psychopathology known as the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” myths. Note the intense anti-human orientation of these primitive myths. They intensify the fallacy that humanity has “fallen” or degenerated from an imagined original perfection. That distortion buries the entirely opposite truth that the real story of humanity is how amazingly we have improved over history, compared to our original barbaric animal-like existence.

Other sources: James Payne in “History of Force” and Stephen Pinker in “The Better Angels of Our Nature” both detail the long-term historical trajectory of improving humanity, though I don’t think Pinker’s “evolutionary biology/psychology” fully explains all the causal factors behind the ongoing improvement. While our animal past goes some way to explaining our present makeup, the human spirit and human consciousness are something uniquely new in life and cannot be fully explained in terms of the animal. I side more with neuroscientist John Eccles on such things.

These “lost paradise/redemption” myths constitute the “mythical/spiritual” substrate of archetypes that undergird most human belief systems or narratives, whether religious or “secular/ideological” narratives, and even scientific versions. These themes are deeply embedded in human consciousness/subconscious- hardwired in human minds from millennia of tight interaction with some of our most basic impulses (ideas/myths created to affirm and validate inherited impulses). This complex of primitive themes continues to dominate human narratives today.

Another on the Democratic demonization of opposition (and yes, “bothsideism” applies here, but one side now dominates this practise today):

When you demonize the disagreeing other side as so horrifically evil, as an existential threat framed as the same nature and scale as Hitler, and related tyrants, and therefore posing a threat to end democracy, to end life itself (i.e. bringing on a climate apocalypse), then you feel justly and righteously obligated to stop that threat to all that is good, to stop the monster that will kill all and end all life, if you don’t act to stop it.

The hysterical demonization of differing others is what the Nazis also did, and deluded themselves into believing that the Jews posed an existential threat to German society. Hence, they sincerely believed that they were fighting a righteous battle against an intolerable evil in order to save their world. Ordinarily good people succumbing to deforming ideas that incited them to do horrifically bad things to others. The exaggerated demonization of differing others leads to such delusional narratives and destructive actions to save something, even to calls for extermination of your enemies. Hamas terrorists today remind us of the deformity that results from demonizing differing others as evil enemies.

Stop the endless affirmation of alarmism over CO2 as some kind of threat to life. Wendell Krossa

Politicians on the right have generally advocated for slowing the pace of decarbonization as it has been too ruinously rushed. But then they usually end with an affirmation of the alarmist narrative on climate. Why? What science demands decarbonization? Seriously.

Basic unanswered questions remain. We do not know that humanity is mainly responsible for the rising levels of atmospheric CO2 over the past century or so. The carbon cycle on Earth is huge with varied natural sources contributing 96%, or more, of the CO2 in the atmosphere.

And CO2 levels are still far too low compared to paleoclimate levels that were in the multiple thousands of ppm. During such periods of much higher CO2, life flourished and there was no “climate emergency”. No “boiling oceans”, no “world on fire”. All to conclude that CO2 is not currently a threat that must be curtailed. It is not a pollutant.

Further, CO2 is not the main cause of climate change as many other natural factors have stronger correlations to the climate change that we are experiencing. Climate change is not an emergency as we have had only a mild 1 degree C of warming in a still too cold world. We are still in the coldest period of our Holocene interglacial and 10 times more people still die every year from cold than die from warming.

Then there are the significant benefits of more CO2, the basic food of all life. Plants have benefitted with a 15% increase in green vegetation across the world since 1980. More food for animals and increased crop production for humanity.

So stop affirming the alarmist narrative. That is bad mythology and is based on discredited computer models, not real-world observed climate.

Sources:,, etc.

Disintegration/re-integration in Joseph Campbell’s work, Wendell Krossa

Fundamental to the hero’s quest or journey, and more so to the shaman’s transformation, is the element of disintegration of something old, followed by reintegration around something new. A sort of “the seed must die in order for new life to be born and sprout”.

I view this element in Campbell’s framework of human story as dying to something old and reforming ourselves and our lives around something new. Dying, for example, to the animal inheritance and responses (i.e. the impulses to tribalism, domination of others, punitively destroying offending others). And then reshaping life around new human impulses validated by new humane ideas/themes. Or- Perhaps the letting go of an old narrative shaped by past subhuman traditions and recreating a new narrative of reality and life.

Letting go of an old worldview can be traumatizing because our beliefs are deeply embedded in our psyches, even at the subconscious level, and dogmatically held. Most of us create our identities around our beliefs and worldviews. So exchanging one’s worldview for a new one is a death to self, a death to one’s former identity, in order to be reborn anew, sometimes fundamentally and radically new.

And often in this disintegration/re-integration process we may not even know where we are going when we abandon the old for something new. We may find ourselves wandering into an open and free future and that can be frightening, while also exhilarating. Having no real home anywhere, like the growing number of people choosing “independent” status in relation to areas like politics, economics, religious beliefs, and so on. No longer “affiliated” with traditional systems of thought.


Someone responded to the growing trend of people to move into “independent” status in regard to political ideologies, stating that there was no such thing as a truly independent person. I would counter argue that there is indeed a true position of independence.

It is the choice to refuse to pledge dogmatic loyalty to any system of thought or belief, and to refuse to dogmatically place one’s identity in such systems. Associated with such choice is the intention to remain open to change and new ideas and positions.

This is what Louis Zurcher argued in “The Mutable Self: A Self-concept for Social Change”. That we should remain as “selves in process”, open to changing our minds, open to ongoing development and growth. As someone said in an ancient religious tradition, like foxes with nowhere to lay our heads, true wanderers and free spirits exploring an open future. Like the butterfly, alighting to enjoy nectar, then moving on.

Interesting research on ideological obsession

“The socio-cognitive processes of ideological obsession: review and policy implications” by Jocelyn J. Belanger, posted on National Institute of Health’s “National Library of Medicine” site, Feb. 22, 2021.


“Understanding what motivates people to join violent ideological groups and engage in acts of cruelty against others is of great social and societal importance. In this paper, I posit that one necessary element is ‘ideological obsession’—an ideological commitment fueled by unmet psychological needs and regulated by inhibitory and ego-defensive mechanisms. Drawing from evidence collected across cultures and ideologies, I describe four processes through which ideological obsession puts individuals on a path towards violence.

“First, ideological obsession deactivates moral self-regulatory processes, allowing unethical behaviours to be carried out without self-recrimination. Second, ideologically obsessed individuals are easily threatened by information that criticises their ideology, which in turn leads to hatred and violent retaliation. Third, ideological obsession changes people’s social interactions by making them gravitate towards like-minded individuals who support ideological violence. As these social networks become more interconnected, they amplify one’s adherence to violent extremism.

“Finally, ideologically obsessed individuals are prone to psychological reactance, making them immune to communication strategies intended to dissuade them from using violence. In fact, messages espousing non-violence can have the opposite effect by reinforcing their violence-supporting ideology. I conclude by presenting evidence-based strategies to prevent radicalisation leading to violence for individuals in pre-criminal spaces.

“This article is part of the theme issue ‘The political brain: neurocognitive and computational mechanisms’.”

The above research was also summarized here: “Ideological Obsession: Unraveling the psychological roots of radicalization” by PsyPost.


“New research has found a significant relationship between obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms, obsessive passion for ideological beliefs, and radical intentions. The study…. Suggests that the intensity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms could be a key factor in understanding why some individuals develop extreme, often violent, ideological beliefs.”

Read this article below by Sabrina Maddeaux and feel something of the horror those women experienced. We follow such accounts and wonder how people who look like human beings (i.e. Hamas terrorists) can do that to others. What goes so profoundly wrong in a human mind and spirit to take a person into such a dark place as to commit such monstrosity toward other human beings? It defies comprehension.

I have read books on “the mystery of evil” and I try to understand pathologies like psychopathy in the mix of things that greases the slide of some people into barbarity. But then I also come back to something that many of us do not want to confront and admit- the deforming power of bad religious ideas. Remember, those Hamas deformities of humanity were screaming “Allahu Akbar” as they committed the savagery detailed below.

See, for example, Harold Ellens’ “The Destructive Power of Religion: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam”.

Amazon blurb on Ellens book:

“Whether they fly airplanes into the World Trade Center or Pentagon; blow up ships, ports, and federal buildings, kill doctors and nurses at abortion clinics, exterminate contemporary Palestinians, or kill Israeli soldiers with suicide bombs, destructive religionists are all shaped by the same unconscious apocalyptic metaphors, and by the divine example and imperative to violence. In this condensed edition of a multivolume set covering how Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all incorporate core metaphors that can spur violence, experts explain religious notions that fuel terrorism and other horrific actions.

“The contributors warn that until destructive metaphors are removed from the Western psyche, an end to religious violence will not be possible. Hailed in reviews as unsettling but thought-provoking, compelling, and critical coverage, the set from which these chapters were drawn has a core theme that demonstrates the three major religions share the ancient notion that history and the human soul are caught in a cosmic conflict between good and evil, or God and devil, which cannot be resolved without violence, a cataclysmic final solution such as the extermination of nations, the execution of humans, or even the death of God’s own son. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote, ‘This is a groundbreaking work with tremendous insight’.”

Look at our own Western Christian history- Christians burning heretics alive on stakes, murdering women with unimaginably horrific machines of torture, chopping up Muslim men, women, and children in Jerusalem during the Crusades, and so on across the last two millennia. Christians also sang praises to God and prayed as they slaughtered innocent others. We all have revolting past histories.

Anyway, here is this account of the sickening horror that Israeli women endured Oct.7.

“Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack wasn’t only an antisemitic slaughter, it was a mass femicide: Torturing women to death while raping them is not resistance, nor a political statement. It is evil you can’t negotiate with”, Sabrina Maddeaux, Dec. 29, 2023


“Eyewitness accounts of other rapes, mutilations and murders shared with The New York Times are nothing short of nauseating.

“Bloodied and badly injured women passed down a line of Hamas terrorists like party favours.

“A woman bent over, raped and stabbed in the back by a Hamas terrorist each time she flinched.

“Another whose breast was cut off with a box cutter, then played with by terrorists, as she was raped and further mutilated.

“Terrorists carrying decapitated women’s heads as others were raped and killed nearby….

“The Times also viewed photos and video that appeared to show young women “shot directly in their vaginas,” and another woman with “dozens of nails driven into her thighs and groin.”

“There should be no question that Oct. 7 wasn’t only an antisemitic attack, but a mass femicide and systematic use of rape as a tool of subjugation and terror that should horrify the world.”

“The international community must take advantage of the photos, videos and eye-witness accounts that do exist to prosecute Hamas terrorists for their war crimes against women. Political leaders must also make clear these crimes did happen, are unacceptable in all contexts and will not go unpunished.

“They must acknowledge this is why there can be no lasting peace with Hamas, an organization that says it will recommit Oct. 7 over and over again — more systematic rapes, more mutilation, more torture.”

See also…

Who said, “Men never do worse evil than when they do it in the name of God”? And no, this is not a call to embrace the absurdity of nihilist atheism. It’s a challenge to rethink what we have projected onto our highest ideals and authorities (i.e. deities) across the millennia.

A good summary of the Israeli/Hamas situation– “Gaza’s path to peace will be difficult, but there is a way: It’s up to Palestinians to reject their leader’s hatred for Israel and the poor quality of life that comes with”, Harry Rakowski, Dec.31, 2023.

In the insanity that is war there are no good options or outcomes for any involved. You do the best that you can, try to maintain your own humanity in the face of evil, and Israel sets a unique standard in terms of humane response- i.e. being careful to minimize civilian casualties and helping with refugee needs. But when dealing with threats that cannot be negotiated with because they are committed to exterminating you, you have no other choice. Preferably, if possible, we want to restrain and arrest offenders but if that is not safe for the defenders then you have no other option but to shoot to kill, to bomb and obliterate the threat. Such is the “insanity of war”.

Quotes from article:

“Let’s put the war into historical perspective….

“Hitler wanted to exterminate all Jews in the 1930s and 1940s, as does Hamas now with its supporters. In Hitler’s war against the world, six million Jews were rounded up and murdered. The need to defeat Hitler’s visions of world domination led to immense numbers of civilian and military deaths. This included about 24 million Russians, about eight million Germans, three million Japanese and more than 400,000 soldiers from each of the United States and the United Kingdom. Canada also suffered about 45,000 military deaths. Much of Europe was in rubble after the destruction that resulted, yet an enduring peace finally came, and Germany and Japan eventually thrived.

“In Gaza, there have been upwards of 20,000 deaths. Many of those killed have been Hamas terrorists. The bombing is not simply indiscriminate. It targets areas of Hamas rocket sites and bases of operation, as well as the network of tunnels whose sole purpose is to support terrorist activity. It tragically kills and wounds civilians purposely put in harm’s way. If a person’s house is used to launch rockets, why should they expect to not have their house targeted? As in all wars, there is also unintended collateral damage despite best efforts to limit it….

“The war against the evil that is Hamas is no exception. The group’s brutality was evident as it slaughtered 1,200 Israelis, raped women, butchered babies and confirmed its commitment to destroy Israel “from the river to the sea.” No peace can come until Hamas is neutralized and ceases to be an existential threat to Israel.

“Terrorist leaders prosper by keeping their people in poverty and misery to blame an external enemy. The acceptance of Israel as a scapegoat is likely why the majority of Gazans are reported to support Hamas, despite the harm the group has done to Palestinians. Hamas’s leaders live in opulent luxury, while their siphoning-off of aid leaves their supporters in dire poverty.

“When Israel goes after those who would destroy it, there is furious condemnation. When Turkey murders Kurds, China kills Uyghurs, Iran and Russia murder dissenters, there is polite and limited disapproval. When the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s resulted in more than one million deaths as Arabs killed each other, did we see protests and marches in North American streets? Where were the demonstrations at Harvard? Where were the protests in 1971, when King Hussein of Jordan cracked down on Palestinian extremists in Jordan, killing about 3,000 and expelling 20,000?…

“Gazans will have to choose whether their long-term quality of life will be degraded by ongoing hate, or improved by the acceptance of Israel and the rewards of peace.

“Germany and Japan, members of the axis of evil in the Second World War, chose peace and thrived….

“Long-lasting peace will not come until the poison of hate against Jews is replaced by a savouring for the fruits of peace.”

This from David Bercuson on civilian casualties in war, “’Are we beasts?’: There is only one way to avoid civilian casualties by aerial bombardment- don’t start a war in the first place”. Jan.2, 2024.

“Are we beasts?” – Winston Churchill, 1943, commenting on the bombing of civilians in Hamburg and Dresden during WW2.

“Union Maj.-Gen. William T. Sherman….

“’You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices today than any of you to secure peace. But you cannot have peace and a division of our country….’

“From the early 1950s, after the 1946 publication of Hiroshima by American writer John Hersey — a book that followed the story of some of the victims of the atomic bombing — public opinion began to change in the West, toward efforts to avoid mass civilian casualties in bombing campaigns. In Korea (1950-1953) and Vietnam (1965-1975) the U.S. sought to avoid mass slaughter of civilians (despite Communist propaganda to the contrary), although tens of thousands of civilians were killed anyway — collateral damage. That was also true in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan. In these cases, Sherman’s warning came true — it is war and war is horrible and can only be described in harsh terms.

“Any country that attempted strategic bombing of purely military targets in this century — including the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Israel — also killed “innocent” civilians. There is no getting around it….

“We have precision-guided munitions today, guided by lasers or GPS signals, but innocent people still get killed. There is no bomb invented that can distinguish between a Hamas terrorist and a civilian medical worker….

“There is really only one way to avoid civilian casualties by aerial bombardment — don’t start a war in the first place. Either Hamas could not figure that out, or they didn’t care.

“Special to National Post

“David Bercuson is a Senior Fellow at the Aristotle Foundation and Director Emeritus of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.”

My post to a discussion group: Not getting the real danger- i.e. the ideas driving a movement, Wendell Krossa

“Here’s a brief one from Tom Shillue, panel host (stand-in for Greg Gutfeld), who quotes notable liberals now waking to the damage from Wokeism and speaking out…. e.g. Bill Maher, Bari Weiss, and others. As Shillue notes, some liberals have now recognized that US liberalism has become about very illiberal things- i.e. censorship, Woke racism, discriminatory exclusion, etc. But Shillue’s main point is that these liberals, including Joe Rogan, continue to look to Barack Obama as the best of liberalism, not recognizing that it was Obama’s policies that took America into the mess that it is now in. Interesting points by Shillue.

“As one guest says (an education expert), every bad idea plaguing America today has filtered out through the college system. He says that education is not about education anymore. It’s about virtue signaling, emotions, etc.

“Also, good points on how people respond to “charismatic” politicians like Obama, Gavin Newsom, no matter that they are ruining societies like California.”

More on the Shillue panel:

As Shillue argues, liberals now waking up to the dangers from their side still don’t quite get the real Woke danger- i.e. the ideas and policies driving Woke Progressivism.

And, jumping off from that, I would add that Conservatives don’t really get the real danger in regard to the climate debate. Many still don’t get the core issues of the climate debate, notably the bad science at the center of the climate crusade- i.e. the denial of the physics of CO2.

That science, as presented by the atmospheric physicists like Richard Lindzen, William Happer and others, confirms that CO2 is not a threat. To the contrary, CO2 is a huge benefit to life and we need much more of it. CO2 levels are still far too low compared to paleoclimate history when this trace gas- the basic food of all life- was in the multiple-thousands of ppm and all life flourished.

I would urge politicians to stop giving the knee to the climate alarmism narrative. Go to sites like “” or “”. Do some homework at those sites and know that the warming effect of CO2 is now “saturated” (a physics term) and more atmospheric CO2 will not add much more to any possible future warming trend. We don’t even know if any warming will continue as the 1975-95 warming spell has now ‘paused’ for about two decades, with exceptions of a few warm years here and there, notably strong El Ninos (1998, 2015-16).

And the warming that we have had over the past century has been very mild (roughly 1 degree C) and has not caused climate-related events to become worse (i.e. no increase in frequency or strength of hurricanes, floods, droughts, tornadoes, wildfires, and other climate related elements). Our world is still too cold and that remains a far greater threat than any warming (i.e. the 10 times more people who die every year from cold mortality than die from warming). Note also, as Lindzen states, there is no one climate on Earth but, rather, there are regional differences and almost as many regions that are experiencing cooling as are experiencing warming.

All to say once again- There is no good scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies. So, stop giving the knee to climate alarmism.

This from and regular contributor Eric Worrall, re climate alarmist James Hansen arguing for a global authoritarian revolution: “James Hansen: 2023 Exposed Government Climate Action is Futile”.

“2023 will be looked back on as the year the wild exaggerations of climate alarmists were exposed, the year people realised they should just go about their daily lives, do what is right for their families, buy a rugged automobile which can handle our poorly maintained roads, vote for politicians who get the basics right, like road maintenance, and ignore the perennially wrong climate prophets of doom.”

So also, on the “global authoritarian revolution” being pushed today by climate alarmists, Justin Trudeau, when asked which country he admired most, stated that he admired China’s dictatorship because “they knew how to get things done”. Sheesh, eh. They claim to be fighting to save democracy by using anti-democratic means. ‘Alice in Wonderland’ cognitive dissonance, anyone?

More on the inside threat to Western democracies

Many of us on all sides of our social divides are adjusting to the recognition that numerous of our fellow citizens who have identified as “liberal” appear to not comprehend, or have abandoned, any common-sense understanding of the true liberal spirit. They have now come out of some closet facade, exposing a callously dictatorial spirit toward any who disagree with them.

An authentic liberal-minded person will embrace the full inclusion of all people as equals. A true liberal will tolerate and even celebrate difference, not censoring, banning, silencing, canceling, criminalizing, and eliminating differing other opinions and speech but protecting even repugnant opinions and speech as basic to free speech. A genuine liberal will respect freedom and self-determination and will not try to coerce and control differing others. And legitimate liberalism will see the best in others, not demonizing difference as evil, condemning others for minor verbal slipups or jokes, and seeking to punitively harm, even destroy differing others.

What we see today among many former liberals has no relationship to Classic liberalism but is the ugliest of the anti-democratic, totalitarian spirit that refuses to acknowledge its own failures, projects its own faults onto its opponents, seeks to dominate others, excludes the different as “enemies”, and tries to punitively destroy differing others. Like all totalitarianisms, today’s illiberalism uses the tool of fear to coerce and control others (especially so in the climate alarmism crusade).

And more on the real threat to democracy today….

Federal Government Operatives And Soros Money Behind Plot To Keep Trump Off Ballot: The public-private model used for censorship is now being used to undermine democracy”, Alex Gutentag, Dec.29, 2023


“Maine’s top election official removed Trump from the state’s 2024 primary ballot on Thursday, joining the Colorado Supreme Court in disqualifying Trump from running for president. Maine’s Secretary of State Shenna Bellows determined that Trump was ineligible to run under the 14th Amendment due to his alleged role in the January 6 Capitol riot…

“But the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the storming of the Capitol was a security failure, not a coup attempt, and that undercover law enforcement informants or officers may have allowed, or even encouraged, it to happen. January 6 prosecutors have failed to prove a clear link between the rioters and Trump or his associates. And the fact that the Department of Justice declined to indict Trump for inciting an insurrection is a tacit recognition that Trump’s words leading up to the riot were legal speech….

The real threat to democracy today comes from those trying to deny the American people their right to vote for the candidate of their choosing….

“Anti-Trump organizations like CREW claim that they are independent and do not act on behalf of the Biden Administration or government bureaucrats….

“These private groups may appear to be operating independently, but they are part of a coordinated effort backed by Soros, the intelligence community, and a network of long-term government bureaucrats sometimes called the “deep state.” Through this effort, government officials and well-funded NGOs are attacking democracy in the name of saving it….

“The FBI’s treatment of Trump supporters as an enemy population is part of the same pattern of counter-populist and anti-democratic activity….

“The conversion of deep state security agencies and their non-government allies into weapons of domestic censorship and control appears to have occurred in the UK as well….

““The military has been turned inwards — absurdly dangerous,” Silkie Carlo, Director of BBW, wrote….

“Why have government officials and NGOs weaponized foreign policy tools against the domestic population?

“From The War on Terror To The Revolt Of The Elites

“Endless wars allowed a small cadre of ideologues to chip away at democratic ideals and Constitutional protections through abuses like the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques and the NSA’s warrantless domestic surveillance….

“Trump’s election, and the populist anti-globalist anger he channeled, presented a major problem for government bureaucrats and their liberal NGO allies. Voters had rejected the technocratic approach of anointed experts in government and had no appetite for further endless wars. The War on Terror complex and the deep state bureaucracy, facing an existential crisis, opted to turn military-grade tools and techniques against their internal enemies….

““The movement of information has gone from the public affairs world to the psychological operations world,” a senior defense official told the LA Times….

“This blurred line between public relations and psychological operations would come to characterize future government and military messaging, along with blurred lines between foreign and domestic information spheres….

“These policy changes dismantled many long-standing distinctions between foreign and domestic speech….

“Soros and OSF have been an instrumental international arm of this endeavor. OSF took its name from Karl Popper’s vision of an “open society,” a philosophy of liberal democracy, rationality, and individual rights. Yet at almost every opportunity OSF has betrayed this vision by supporting totalitarian and anti-democratic initiatives.

“Historian and social critic Christopher Lasch predicted the liberal turn against democracy in his 1994 book The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy. Liberal elites, Lasch argued, had developed disdain for those who rejected their technocratic solutions and moral initiatives. “When confronted with resistance to these initiatives, they betray the venomous hatred that lies not far beneath the smiling face of upper-middle-class benevolence,” wrote Lasch. “Opposition makes humanitarians forget the liberal virtues they claim to uphold. They become petulant, self-righteous, intolerant.…”

“When too many elites are produced to fill a fixed number of power positions, societies face instability and often fall into crisis, which is what appears to be happening now.

“Dark Side Of The Deep State

“In 2008, New Yorker journalist Jane Mayer wrote The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals….

“Today it’s evident that this battle went much further than Mayer may have expected, and that she and virtually all of her liberal media colleagues actually condoned and encouraged the deployment of security state powers against Trump and his supporters….

“While Mayer was able to strongly criticize human rights abuses during the War on Terror, she went on to provide narrative and ideological backing for Democrats’ deceptions and weaponization of government. As Lasch predicted, anti-democratic elites like Mayer and her colleagues became divorced from reality and unable to accept that in a democracy, the masses have a say….

“Ultimately, elites’ conspiracy to undermine democracy, while largely successful, has failed in some ways. The Twitter Files and other investigations have exposed government-backed censorship and narrative control efforts. Censors rely on an ability to present their work as organic and non-governmental, so documenting government involvement has, in many ways, discredited these ventures.

“Another sign of failure is the discontent that elites’ anti-democratic conspiracy has created. Biden is ending the year with a 39% approval rating, the lowest of recent presidents at the same point in their presidencies. And the mainstream media, which has failed abysmally to report on some of the most important stories of our time, is rapidly losing readership….

“(It) may be necessary to stop the highly partisan civil service’s attack on democracy from within….

“That accountability can start with showing how government officials are spreading disinformation when they claim to be defending democracy by undermining it.” (end of Gutentag article)

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