Site project: What does it mean to be human? What is the real nature of love?

“Where there is no authentic freedom there is no authentic love”, Bob Brinsmead.

The fundamental features of freedom and love are best expressed in Classic Liberal principles and institutions.

Section topics:

(1) Resurging tribalism and disarming the tribal impulse. Go right to the fundamental underpinnings of ideologies and belief systems. I would point to the Jesus insight on unconditional deity- his “stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory God” (James Robinson), his greatest contribution to the history of human ideas, an insight rejected 20 years later by Paul as he buried the message of Jesus under his Christ myth.

Jesus advocated unlimited, unconditional forgiveness, full and equal inclusion of all, and the end of tribally-limited love that favored friends over enemies, and true believers over unbelievers. His central message- “Love your enemy because God does”. Be like God. (This site embraces the general outlines of “The search for the Historical Jesus” as in Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy’s comments that “The diamonds/pearls of Jesus are buried under Paul’s Christology- his “Christian Jesus Christ”.)

(2) Basic features of Classic Liberalism as in things like the decentralization of power (dispersed among free individuals) to protect all against the centralizing of power in collectivism approaches to organizing human societies (i.e. elites controlling society’s resources and decision-making for the “greater or common good”, meaning in actual practise “the good of powerholding elites”). Abandoning the principle of government existing to serve the people.

Collectivism models (Owen’s communalism, Marx’s communism, socialism, and mixed socialism/democratic versions) for organizing human societies are fundamentally anti-freedom (anti-individual freedom- meaning anti-diversity, anti-inclusion, anti-equality), and therefore collectivism experiments have inevitably expressed as anti-human and anti-liberal. Collectivism exhibits a profound distrust of ordinary citizens. It expresses an elitist arrogance that believes that it alone knows what is best for all others and will force its elite vision and policies on all others via centralized state power.

(3) The war on agriculture as the next stage of climate alarmism and the populist pushback against that assault. Elites demonize populism as “right wing extremism” but it is a movement of liberals, independents, and conservatives to take back the freedom of all of us commoners who reject the WEF’s “’Great Reset’ where we will own nothing and be happy eating bugs”.

(4) The Climate movie. At last, the best climate science minds- Lindzen, Happer, Moore, Svensmark, and many more stating clearly that there is no climate crisis and CO2 is not a threat to life. And the mild warming of the last century is not a catastrophe but the best thing happening to life in an abnormally cold world where 10 times more people still die every year from cold than die from warmth.

(5) The responsibility for your ideas/beliefs and their outcomes.

(6) The unconditional treatment of all is not advocacy for pacifism. Love is always responsible, first and foremost, to protect the innocent. Meaning restraint and incarceration of violent people.

And more….

The resurging tribalism that we all fret over today, Wendell Krossa Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The Holocene Optimum of 10,000 to 6,000 years ago was 3-4 degrees C warmer than today.

See below Michael Shellenberger on “The end of the transgender craze”, and Canada’s former chair of the Human Rights Commission on the threat to free speech from Justin Trudeau’s “Online Harms” bill.

This site probes the critical issue of how we maintain our humanity in the face of evil, when enduring hell on earth. Wendell Krossa

There are two sides to this ongoing horror: What Hamas terrorists did Oct.7 and are committed to doing “again and again”- exterminate Israelis. And on the other side, the suffering that Gazans are now undergoing due to the obligation of the Israeli military to rid that area of any further threat from Hamas. That must be done. When people commit themselves to violently exterminate others and will not embrace peaceful solutions or surrender peacefully, then there is no option but to, unfortunately, use force to stop them.

Add that the Gazan population will need to engage some profound changes in their understanding and attitude toward their neighbors as far too many of them have been indoctrinated into supporting Hamas. And there is hope that even though the human spirit can be deformed and suppressed by bad ideas and indoctrination, people, when offered the opportunity, can change their minds and come to their senses again. Some of the young Hamas men captured Oct.7 and interrogated by Israeli military admitted that they “had become animals… doing things no human would do”. They realized that their Hamas leaders had seriously misled them. They evidenced some residual and re-emerging shreds of humanity.

https://matzav.com/captured-hamas-terrorist-admits-we-became-animals-as-he-details-sick-suicide-mission/

Quote from above link:

“The terrorist said, “We became animals. Things that humans do not do.”

“They were explicitly told to “step on the heads of civilians” to “behead them and do whatever they felt like”.” (Others said they were told to slaughter even babies. See for yourself the interviews of these terrorists on YouTube.)

Let’s not avert our eyes from the suffering on all sides. But due to the insane eruption of antisemitism across Western societies and accompanying denial of what happened Oct. 7, more needs to be said about the horrors that were inflicted on young Israeli woman on that day and since. Click the links below and look at these young women’s faces and into their eyes.

Many Jews, during the Holocaust, caught in that eruption of hell on earth, wailed their version of Protest theology- “Where is God?”

The Oct. 7 horror again reminds us of the destructive outcomes of the tribal mentality that denies the fact of human oneness, that all of us are equal members of the same one human family and obligated, most primarily, to love one another. These eruptions of savagery against one another ought to raise questions concerning the ideas that feed such hatred and incite brutality toward differing others, that render people more animal than human.

In the mix of resolving these issues for the long-term future we have to set aside the defensive blaming of “they started it” and begin to probe and understand the deeper roots of such hatred and lust for never-ending vengeance. This has to be done if we are to escape these historically endless cycles of “eye for eye” that blind everyone.

True heroism will arise in those willing to grapple with history’s hardest saying to “Love your enemy” and then courageously initiate breaks in the cycles of eye for eye retaliatory response in order to then take degenerating situations in new directions. That will require those who are willing to tower in stature as maturely human, just as Nelson Mandela exhibited for us recently. People who understand that the real enemy is inside each of us. And the real battle against evil takes place inside us, the war against our inherited animal drives to tribalism, domination, and punitive destruction of others. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Criteria for evaluating public alarmism narratives

A brief: Climate is changing. CO2 has a warming effect. No one denies these facts. But there is no “climate crisis/emergency”. We do not need to decarbonize our societies. The science on climate does not support that conclusion. Other natural factors show stronger correlations to the natural climate change that we have witnessed over past centuries and millennia and are observing today.

Environmental/climate alarmism is a “profoundly religious crusade”. That is also very true of Marxism and Nazism/Neo-Nazism as well, just as it was true of the many “apocalyptic millennial” crusades across history. This site explores, tries to understand better, and outlines repeatedly the core mythical themes that shape and drive such movements.

See “A Canuck sticking his schnozz in a neighbor’s business” further below in this opening section…

This site is devoted to fighting fear, irrational fear resulting from over-hyped, hysterical levels of alarmism based on narratives that distort the true state of life and coerce frightened people to embrace destructive salvation schemes that “destroy the world to save the world”. Yes, you know what I mean- that psychopathology of themes in the complex of myths known as “lost paradise, decline toward apocalypse, demand for sacrifice, and salvation as purging some ‘evil enemy'”, the very themes that dominate and shape alarmism movements like climate alarmism. (Again, see the good research of historians Arthur Herman, Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, David Redles, among others, detailed below)

It is profoundly irresponsible to push such irrational mythical nonsense onto new generations knowing the history of destructive outcomes in lives and societies. After 5 millennia of repetitive embracing of such primitivism have we learned nothing? And you wonder why our worst impulses to tribalism, domination of others, and punitive destruction of differing others, are endlessly revived and validated?

Understand the basic themes of history’s most dominant and influential complex of ideas (also most destructive)- the “lost paradise, decline toward apocalypse, promised redemption (millennial paradise)” complex of themes. This will provide you with more tools for evaluating the narratives that you hear in the public arena. Understanding the “apocalyptic millennial” complex will help you evaluate the basic narrative framework of environmental alarmism/climate alarmism, resurging Marxist collectivism, Neo-Nazism, and more. Add these tools to your personal criteria for evaluating anything you hear or read, to inform your own skepticism, questioning, and challenging of dominant narratives today. Wendell Krossa

Remember the totalitarian formula- “fear=control”. Panic-mongering is the totalitarian’s favorite tool.

“The silent majority are sick of this”, Piers Morgan on Chris Williamson podcast, Feb. 28, 2024

Here Piers Morgan and podcaster Chris Williamson are discussing the possibility that our societies appear to be passing “Peak Woke” as the silent majority are now sick of it and pushing back against the “tyranny of the minority”. Hope springs eternal. As they discuss- Majorities are sick of the Woke movement where everything people enjoy in life is being redefined as evil and corrupting… even to cancelling comedy in a new Puritanism where if you crack a joke at work, you must then be expunged from life. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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“The Apocalypse has changed nothing but its guise–from God to Reason (Enlightenment), to History (Marxism), and then to Nature (environmentalism)”

Section topics:

(1) Probing the roots, the bad behavior and buttressing ideas

(2) Endangerment finding? Huh? WTF? The food of all life, in historically short supply (“our current CO2 starvation era”), is now demonized as the ultimate evil- “pollutant, poison, threatening the end of life”.

(3) Celebrating the benefits of melting ice.

(4) Richard Landes’ quotes on the patterns and outcomes of apocalyptic millennial movements, notably in Marxism, Nazism, environmental alarmism… For example, Disappointment with failure in an apocalyptic/millennial movement, leads the movement’s prophets to turn to the “coercive purification” of totalitarian mega-death crusades. Interesting on the psychopathology of such movements- How claims and proclamations of compassion for the oppressed turn cruel and descend into mass death (the narcissism of authoritarianism).

(5) The military guy’s advice- To solve endless eruptions of violence like ISIS, go to the “ideology” behind such groups. Ideology? No- It’s the “bad religious ideas”, stupid, as in the narrative (a play on Clinton’s “It’s the economy, stupid”)

(6) That “most profound insight” again, and Paul’s rejection of that, his burying of Jesus under his Christ myth. In our Western tradition we inherited the religion of Paul, the entirely opposite Christ-ianity that buried Jesus-ianity.

(7) The Jesus discovery radically reframes Ultimate Reality and presents the potential to transform narratives and life. A new cohering center for human narratives. It offers the potential for a powerful new liberation movement in the depths of human consciousness/subconscious.

(10) Don’t look down your schnauzer (yes, “snout” in German) on those pre-WW2 Germans. We have all been conditioned to fall for the same “banality of evil”. Its those commonly embraced “bad religious ideas” like apocalyptic millennialism that repeatedly produce mega-death outcomes. And, like many “good people” before us, we stand by and watch the destructive outcomes unfold just as many today are doing with decarbonization ruining societies and lives.

And much more…

As we all observe the varied narratives and movements competing for space and attention in public today- whether DEI, ESG, Woke Progressivism, WEF Great Reset, Woke Racism, and more…. Try to get some sense of the overall bigger background narrative themes, what really lies behind all the varied fronts of contemporary movements. They all point to the core themes of a meta-narrative.

I trace things back from, for example, the climate alarmism movement, to its parent mythology in 19th Century Declinism, and from there to the main Western religions like Christianity that shaped the ideology of apocalyptic Declinism, and further back to the daddy of all Western apocalyptic in Zoroastrian mythology, and then to the earliest versions of the same themes in Sumerian/Egyptian mythologies. Its always the same old, same old descending down through history in an unbroken chain of continuation. Primitivism at its worst. And shame on us that we keep falling for this apocalyptic millennial nonsense… We have the better alternatives. We have had them for millennia. There is no excuse. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Harper gets close to nailing the root of the problem with bad actors…. push further Stephen…

Three things to structure human societies in order to deliver the most good for the most people- the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, the institutions outlined by William Bernstein in “Birth of Plenty”, and the Classic Liberal principles set forth by Daniel Hannan in “Inventing Freedom”.

Go after the real monster and enemy in life. Its not differing others in the human family: A re-enforcement of the proper orientation of the hero’s quest that shapes our individual human story, Wendell Krossa

A critically important point to getting human existence right- the real focus of human struggle, achievement, and hence, the real purpose of human life and story…. Its about the inner battle with our animal inheritance, understanding the real monster and enemy in life.

What constitutes our inner monster and enemy? It’s a two-faceted reality- i.e. the inherited animal drives and the mythical themes/ideas that were created by our ancestors to explain, guide, and validate these drives.

(1) The main impulses of the animal inheritance can be summarized as the “evil triad” of drives to (a) tribal separation from differing others, (b) domination of weaker others, and (c) punitive destruction of “enemy” others.

(2) The ideas created to incite, guide, and validate such drives are best summarized as the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex of myths. See a rehearsal of these just below…

The true battle in life was affirmed by Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s comment that “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either- but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts”.

I would refine that further to argue that the real battle of life is the inner battle against our inherited animal drives, against the monstrous ideas that incite and validate these animal drives.

Our inner battle is the essential substance of the hero’s quest. Here again are some of the fundamental elements of this quest: We go forth to confront and struggle with our personal monster/enemy. We gain insights from our struggle and learn lessons that we can pass on to help others in their struggles. We are also wounded in our struggle, but we get help from a wise person (a weapon to slay our monster/enemy). Through our struggle we learn how to achieve human maturity, we learn how to tower in stature and become what we are supposed to be as fully human. And we find true liberation in conquering our animal passions, and thereby achieve real success in life.

The outer battles and struggles of life provide the arena in which we do our learning, and test our ever-developing ability to conquer the darker angels of our nature, the inherited animal impulses.

This most important achievement of all in life- i.e. conquering the inner animal in order to live as authentically human- is a project that is accessible and attainable by everyone equally. Success in the hero’s quest is not something dependent on wealth, advanced education, high social status, and other factors that often limit varied forms of social success to a privileged few in our hierarchically structured societies. The inner struggle against the inherited animal, and success in this struggle, levels everyone to the same equal opportunity in the most important achievement of all- becoming truly human.

And then… related

It is critically important to engage the science, ideological positions, policies, and outcomes of climate alarmism with the best alternative science, ideology, and policy (i.e. Classic Liberalism). Similarly, we seek resolutions to all the factors involved in relation to terrorist groups and the problem of terrorist violence- whether economic, political, or social factors.

But what is really most influential in the mix of such factors? I would argue that deeply embedded background religious beliefs contribute a prominent influence for most people. Such beliefs tie people to deeply embedded archetypal realities, inherited impulses, profoundly felt emotional needs, and the desires related to those impulses and their validating ideas/archetypes.

Pay close attention to the belief systems behind the public statements and claims of any notable group or movement. Note, for example, what inciting and validating beliefs are behind those shouts of “Allahu Akbar” as Hamas terrorists murdered innocents and most certainly felt validated by their God in doing that. What beliefs were behind the “Praise/glory be to God” as Calvin and associates had fellow Christian Servetus burned at the stake? And similarly what beliefs were behind Nancy Pelosi’s claim that “Mother Earth is angry with us” as she scolded us over our use of fossil fuels? These are ultimate validations in the background of our narratives and minds. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The burying (and recovery) of humanity’s single most profound insight

Here is more probing of the background influences that incite alarmism crusades like climate alarmism, a “profoundly religious movement”. The very same mythical influences have incited, guided, and validated endless eruptions of religious violence across history, like the ISIS/Hamas crusades. The mass-death movements of Marxism, Nazism and general environmental alarmism have all been shaped by these same influences. Again, historians have detailed the influence of apocalyptic millennial ideas on Marxism, Nazism, Declinism, and environmental alarmism (see, for example, the research of Arthur Herman, Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, and David Redles, among others).

Aside from specific authors mentioned, this site draws on general “Historical Jesus/Jesus Seminar” research (with quibbles) and more specifically on “Q Wisdom Sayings” gospel research.

“Greatest coverup, retreat, betrayal, fraud, deception, disinformation,…. in history”, Wendell Krossa

This is an added note on the striking contrast between the theology of Jesus and Paul, detailed below in the essay “Separating Diamonds from Dung” (Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy’s blunt appraisal of the contradiction between Historical Jesus and Paul).

“Greatest” because of the profound outcomes in human society from the influence of these two starkly contrasting historical icons, and their messages, that are commonly used to inspire, guide, and validate human behavior. The outcomes can be contrasted as (1) one validates ongoing retaliatory cycles of “eye for eye” vengeance, and the other (2) urges liberation from such cycles that have produced endless violence and war, opting instead for the freedom to break such cycles and explore alternatives that encourage people to promote conflict resolution, peace, and cooperation with differing others/”enemies”.

The influence of these two historical icons arises from the fact that they have long functioned among the most prominent of authorities that people appeal to in shaping their thinking, emotions, motivations, and responses/behavior. That recognized influence affirms the critical importance of understanding the nature of the contradicting themes that these two promoted, and the outcomes of their different gospels.

Insert:

https://clas.charlotte.edu/paul-and-jesus-how-the-apostle-transformed-christianity/

Quote from above link: “The Apostle Paul is the single most influential figure in human history, suggests UNC Charlotte Religious Studies Professor James Tabor in his latest book “Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity”. Tabor argues that Paul has done more to shape all we think about almost everything than anyone else. In terms of influence, Paul trumps even the great “founders,” whether Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, or Mohammed.”

In probing the contrast between Jesus and Paul, I hope readers will get some sense of how we have been robbed of the full potency of a critical historical insight and ideal that, more than anything comparable, presents the potential to liberate us from our worst impulses. And fortunately, despite the larger distorting, burying context of the retaliatory Christ myth, many have lasered in on the Jesus insights anyway and found the offered liberation from retaliatory ethics/responses, a liberation to engage authentically mature humanity. Both Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy understood the issues involved, as many others also have. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Background influences: What is behind the dominant Declinism ideology of today?

See Richard Landes’ comments below on “prime divider” societies- the factors that validate the elite domination of commoners. He then notes “civil polity” as the democratic principles developed to counter prime divider organization of societies. The new material starts at “The dangerous reaction of Apocalyptic prophets to the inevitable failure of their apocalyptic millennium crusades (repeated patterns in alarmism movements)”.

More “sitesplainin”:

There’s a big background picture to our societies that I relate most things to. Prominent in that big picture is the “most dominant and influential” narrative today of Declinism- the mistaken yet widespread belief that things are getting worse, that life is declining toward collapse and ending- toward apocalypse (see YouGov survey, for example, in “Ten Global Trends”, and full historical detail in “The Idea of Decline in Western History”, by Arthur Herman).

Consequent to Declinism (arousing the survival impulse in populations), there is the equally widespread belief that we need to engage some project for “salvation” (to “save the world”). The salvation scheme common to all apocalyptic millennial crusades is the demand to purge some “evil” that is purportedly destroying the world (i.e. today the claimed evil threat to the world is industrial capitalist society). The purging of the evil prepares the way to instal the new utopian system that will be the salvation of humanity and the world. These beliefs have shaped Marxism, Nazism, and today shape environmentalism, notably climate alarmism.

The above themes then point to a deeper layer of beliefs that shaped the Declinism narrative, to ideas that are even more fundamentally influential in the big picture background- i.e. the religious beliefs that have long dominated human meta-narratives and still do today, whether in religious or “secular” versions. Declinism historian Arthur Herman details several such religious beliefs, notably the myth of a “lost paradise”, the necessity for a “violent purging” as in an apocalypse, and some form of redemption. These more primitive ideas have shaped the Declinism ideology that dominates world consciousness today.

The problem is that these ideas deform consciousness and personality (psychotherapist/theologian Zenon Lotufo in “Cruel God, Kind God”) and thereby harm societies in profoundly damaging ways. They incite, guide, and validate people’s base impulses to tribalism (engaging “righteous battles against evil enemies”), to domination of others, and to the punitive destruction of enemy others. The harmful outcomes of such ideas continues because people continue to base their behavior on their beliefs.

The French Farmer’s protests (see below). Populist revolts against Net Zero decarbonization. What is going on behind these public demonstrations? Add here the military guy who, during the ISIS outbreak of violence in Syria (2014), argued that you can tamp down these eruptions of insanity with military force, but then they will just continue to erupt. You also have to go after the beliefs/ideas behind such things. Wendell Krossa

“Let me take you down to where I’m going to…” (a paraphrase of the opening to “Strawberry Fields”, Beatles).

I look beyond the public presentation of these varied social eruptions to larger background issues that influence the protagonists and antagonists- notably, the meta-narrative themes that influence elites to undemocratically push destructive programs like Net Zero decarbonization that is destroying societies to “save the world”. The horrific damage from embracing apocalyptic narratives has now become undeniable. Look what just occurred in Sri Lanka (i.e. the collapse of agriculture in 2022- a contemporary repeat of the Xhosa cattle slaughter of 1856-57, also the outcome of embracing the apocalyptic millennial pathology). Note also the mounting damage in Britain, Germany, California, and elsewhere from decarbonization zealotry.

Fortunately for all of us, “populist” pushback is also emerging across the West. Many are refusing to cow to the elites pushing destructive policies on societies and are demanding the recovery of their freedom of choice.

My argument is that these alarmism crusades, and their destructive salvation schemes, are driven, ultimately, by primitive mythical themes, whether the crusade leaders acknowledge those deeper influences or not. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The best insights from across history to shape new narratives

See below: “Affirming the most profound insights presented across history to inform human narratives and consciousness.” It’s the Daddy thing, to allay fears and reassure that its going to be alright. The true state of life is good and getting better. The world is not getting worse and we are not all gonna die in some climate apocalypse.

Site perspective: Appearing a bit tough on one side… Wendell Krossa

Recent comment below focuses more on liberal/left side of our societies for its notable unleashing of the totalitarian impulse. The material below is just acknowledging Christine Brophy’s point on “the current dominance of progressive liberalism” all across our societies- in universities, news media, political parties, in the intelligence agencies and military, domination in regard to social issues, domination of Social media, and domination in public story-telling media (i.e. Hollywood), etc.

Both sides of our basic society divide- left and right- have their struggles with the totalitarian impulse. A good balancing point was made by David Boaz (Libertarianism: A Primer), as he commented on the US situation, stating that Republicans need to embrace more freedom with regard to social issues like women’s rights and choice, gay rights, etc. And Democrats need to embrace more freedom in regard to economic issues.

Dems, notably the far-left Woke Progressive types, need to stop promoting the enslavement of individuals to collectivist projects and policies. Stop using excessive state taxation and regulations to intervene in the lives of citizens and thereby control them. Trust and respect average people to know what is best for themselves. Protect their self-determination and individual rights and freedoms. Protect “live and let live”, but not to the “toleration of intolerance” as per some multi-cultural policies.

I try to maintain a fiercely independent status, Classic Liberal/Libertarianish, much like Louis Zurcher’s “The Mutable Self” living in open process, embracing ongoing change and development. And meaning- not placing primary identity in “objects” like nationality, race, ideology, religion, gender, or other. Our primary identity markers ought to be our equal status as members of the one human family, all descendants of the same “Mitochondrial Eve” in East Africa, and all possessing the main identity markers of a human self, human spirit, and human mind/consciousness.

Maintaining a focus on our more fundamental identity markers will help keep us from yielding too much influence to the more peripheral things (peripheral on the human genome) that many use to incite tribalism and divide populations.

And more than the totalitarian threat that is coming prominently from the left today, there is the far greater threat from the “evil triad” of animal impulses that are deeply embedded inside all of us- i.e. (1) the impulse to discriminating and excluding tribalism, (2) the impulse to subjugate and dominate others as enemies, and (3) the impulse to retaliate with punitive destruction of “enemy” others.

This is the real battle of good against evil in life. Its an intensely personal inner battle that each of us has to fight and win if we really aspire to succeed in life. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Liberation from the animal to become human.

Below: The human story is about the historical exodus of humanity from animal existence to become human. Each one of us lives a microcosm story of this meta-exodus to freedom. We do well to understand what it means to be animal and, in contrast, what it means to be human.

From Retaliation To Unconditional Love: The Narrative of Human Exodus from Animal Existence, Wendell Krossa (revised Jan. 2024)

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

The foundational story of humanity is the story of liberation from our animal past. This is more than just the narrative of our physical/geographical exodus out of Africa (modern humans leaving Africa over the period of roughly 200-50,000 years ago). Our defining story is about our exodus out of our past animal existence and our subsequent struggle to become more human or humane beings. Our subsequent history has very much been a quest to understand what it means to be human, what new human values and practises define and express authentic humanity.

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

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

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

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

In our personal stories, the element of “struggle to overcome” arises from the fact that the animal past continues into our human existence in the form of a residual animal brain with its animal-like impulses that continue to influence our thinking, emotions, responses, and behavior. We see this in the fact that people continue to act like animals when they exclude one another, dominate others, or punitively retaliate against others. And these base animal features have even been embedded in our belief systems where we employ ideas/themes to maintain and validate the animal impulses to the detriment of our efforts to be more human. Nothing has been more critical to maintaining the animal than the embedding of animal features in deity- the ultimate ideal and authority at the core of human narratives.

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

One of the more damaging mistakes that early people made was to project this destructive feature of animal existence- retaliation- onto early views of gods. They created the understanding of early gods as greater dominating realities that were threatening, maliciously retributive, and destructively punitive. Deity as something that would retaliate violently against human failure or sin. In doing that they created super monsters for people to fear. Something that would harm you in this life as well as in the after-life.

Over subsequent time the feature of retaliation in divinity was refined with further developed legal categories as “righteous justice”, proper and fair punishment of evil, or just retribution. Retaliation would further be developed into systems of human justice as deserved payback, or what we know as “eye for eye” justice. Consequently, retaliation makes a line down through history to become the legal reality today of justice as punitive retribution- the “just” consequence for bad behavior.

Note this example definition of punitive retribution: Read the rest of the opening comment here

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People behave according to what they believe. Even if those beliefs lead to their destruction.

Though its not his stated intention, Arthur Herman in “The Idea of Decline in Western History” shows how primitive mythology was secularized for the modern era in the ideology of Declinism. The idea of decline (i.e. life declining toward something worse, toward collapse and ending) has become the most dominant and influential theme in the modern world. Life declining is a central feature of apocalyptic.

This is among the most primitive, irrational, and distorting of mythology manufactured by ancient minds.

Richard Landes’ Preface to Arthur Mendel’s “Vision and Violence”.

Note- Landes uses the term “millennialism” but that term should be extended more comprehensively to “apocalyptic millennialism” as that better expresses the narrative that incites to mass-death outcomes with its mix of elements that play on both fear and hope. Or even better- “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” as the summary of the larger complex of primitive themes that have been so destructive to humanity across history. Hence, my little bracketed edits to Landes’ term.

Quotes:

“Historian Norman Cohn sought the origins of the two most devastating millennial movements of his day- Communism and Nazism- in the millennial impulse most medieval historians had generally ignored…

“(Apocalyptic millennialism) is not marginal, it is a widespread belief system shared by many people, especially in the monotheistic cultures, but also quite notable in Buddhism and Taosm (I would add it is also notable in Hinduism with its great cycles of rise and then decline to apocalyptic ending, WK)… episodically bursting forth in the characteristic dynamics of an apocalyptic episode…

“(Apocalyptic millennial) phenomena survive all forms of secularization… not only undiminished but intensified…

“(Apocalyptic millennial) movements play a far greater role in the dynamics of modernity than most historians have imagined…” (end of Landes’ Preface).

Then Mendel: “It was through Christianity that the Apocalypse became part of our culture”. He notes that apocalyptic has had a long and violent history. “The apocalypse is a self-fulfilling prophesy. It promotes the suffering it predicts”.

My conclusion: Apocalyptic is God executing a final destruction and extermination of God’s enemies. It is no wonder that across history, believers in this myth have tried to replicate the same exterminating violence against their enemies, validated by God’s own example of violence. See Harold Ellens/Zenon Lotufo quotes below on the long-term human practise of validating behavior with appeal to beliefs in divinity, basing ethics on theology. People trying to model their lives according to what they believe God is like. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Read Jordan Peterson below. He is pissed. Really, really pissed at the creeping totalitarianism in Canada and elsewhere. Go Jordan, go.

Michael Shellenberger and his colleagues have crafted this excellent statement defending freedom that is under attack from within our societies…

https://westminsterdeclaration.org/

This is why they put forth the Westminster Declaration on freedom of speech…

https://public.substack.com/p/this-is-the-most-terrifying-graph

Note also in relation to this what psychologists term “concept creep”, where the former category of “hate speech” has been extended further and further to now include the disagreeing opinions and speech of others, even comedy (note the Dave Chappelle episode), that makes some feel “uncomfortable… feeling threatened, upset…”. The minority of hyper-sensitive and easily-triggered people are trying to criminalize the disagreeing opinions and speech of majority others. Is this not totalitarianism?

More from freedom warrior Michael Shellenberger– “This video can stop totalitarianism”, Jan.15, 2024

https://public.substack.com/p/this-video-can-stop-totalitarianism

Quotes:

“Imagine for a moment that you wanted to seize control over the Internet and put in place a system of mass censorship worldwide. How would you do it?

“You wouldn’t advertise your intentions. You’d hide them. You’d claim there was a rise in hate speech and misinformation and that it was hurting vulnerable people.

“You wouldn’t take on powerful interests. You’d pick on individual citizens. You’d say that they were on the verge of committing real-world violence.

“And you wouldn’t start in a big nation. You’d find some small country to start. You’d get their politicians to go out on a limb for your agenda.

“That’s precisely what’s happening. Politicians in Ireland are, at this moment, attempting to ram through legislation that would allow the police to invade the homes of ordinary citizens, search their phones and computers, and throw them in prison for “hate speech.”

Intro note to comment below-

Note carefully the ideas in the reposted/revised articles below, and the impulses and patterns that they incite during alarmism outbreaks. Just be clear- these ideas that continue to dominate human narratives today, notably the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex of themes, are derivative from primitive mythologies, later embraced by world religions, and now embraced in the “secular ideological” versions of our contemporary world. They continue as the most dominant and influential ideas of today’s narratives, still inciting the worst of human impulses to tribalism, domination, and punitive destruction of differing others. We are seeing the same old outcomes that affirm Arthur Mendel’s point that apocalyptic is “the most violent and destructive idea in history”. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Terrify yourself with an apocalyptic scenario. Now, with survival impulse incited, engage a “righteous battle” to save the world. You are such a hero.

Triads. No, not the Chinese ones. Just as memory aids, Wendell Krossa

Repeated themes on this site:

Three bads (animal impulses)- tribal exclusion, domination of others, punitive destruction of others.

Three goods (human impulses)- full inclusion of all, equal freedom and rights of all, restorative treatment of failure.

Three major distortions of the true state of life- “lost original paradise, life declining toward apocalypse, redemption/salvation via instantaneous coercive purging of exaggerated threat…”

This site takes the primal meaning impulse of humanity seriously and is committed to responding with the best of insights from across history. Hence, the unapologetic embrace of the metaphysical element in human narratives (long dominant in human narratives as the embodiment of ultimate ideals, ultimate authority), along with a lot of physical evidence on the true state of life (rising, improving, not declining toward something worse). Inform narratives with insights from all areas of life.

A critical project for our time- Counter destructive myths like “apocalyptic millennialism” that endlessly re-erupt today, often in “secular ideological” versions, even scientific. Recognize the prominence of this mythology today in both religious and secular belief systems. Acknowledge the destructive outcomes of this mythology in salvation schemes like decarbonization. Then offer alternatives to shape entirely new narratives that affirm the better angels of our nature and promote better outcomes.

Create an exaggerated monster. Scare yourself silly. And then aflush with virtue, you can convince yourself that you must heroically engage a righteous war to “save the world”. Wendell Krossa

Michele Obama is “terrified”.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2024/01/08/michelle-obama-terrified-2024-election/72153207007/

So also other Democrats are similarly terrified. Why? Well, they have created a grotesquely exaggerated monster, so irredeemably evil that he threatens “the end of democracy”.

When you have insistently defined your chief opponent as “Hitler… Nazi…. Fascist tyrant…. Racist… will cause the end of democracy”, there is then no further worse extreme element of threat that you can appeal to. You have reached for the worst.

Progressives also claim that their opponents further threaten the end of life itself due to their advocacy for continued use of fossil fuels that alarmist Progressives claim will cause a climate catastrophe that will be the end of the world.

Having defined and smeared all those who disagree with you with such claims and terms, you now cannot back away to a more rational and sane perspective on your opponents. You have painted yourself into a corner with those horrifically exaggerated threats. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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