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Religion placates the masses

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posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 12:10 PM
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originally posted by: XxRagingxPandaxX
a reply to: BO XIAN
Authentic Christianity is subservance to god and I spoke of neither atheism or nihilism in my OP. I did not speak of the charitable deeds that organized religion does or does not do. I speak of the underlying premise. The underlying premise that everything in the world is exactly how it should be; that it is in accordance with a divine and unchangable order. All slavery is contingent on this notion, it is the essence of the slave and slave master relationship. Why seek to squelch the fire of social injustice when you have a conviction that it cannot be squelched?



Authentic Christianity is not subservance to God. It's union with God.

You have your ideas about the underlying premise of world religion and myth, and you are entitled to them. But your ideas don't seem to include an understanding of non-dualism. So, your ideas are incomplete. WIth all due respect.

You ARE God, in your deepest identity. You are the universe, the divine order, the slave, and the master. YOU are the social injustice. Religion is merely a vehicle to carry you to that experience of union.

It takes many lifetimes to get that far. But eventually, one goes from an 'active' to a 'contemplative'. The 'active' is stuck in dualism, pairs of opposites, and a very small notion of identity - the ego-self.


But certain people, for whatever reason, are led to suspect that there is more to human experience than this. In fact, many of them are led to suspect this by religion—by the claims of people like the Buddha or Jesus or some other celebrated religious figures. And such a person may begin to practice various disciplines of attention—often called “meditation” or “contemplation”—as a means of examining his moment to moment experience closely enough to see if a deeper basis of well-being is there to be found.

Such a person might even hole himself up in a cave, or in a monastery, for months or years at a time to facilitate this process. Why would somebody do this? Well, it amounts to a very simple experiment. Here’s the logic of it: if there is a form of psychological well-being that isn’t contingent upon merely repeating one’s pleasures, then this happiness should be available even when all the obvious sources of pleasure and satisfaction have been removed. If it exists at all, this happiness should be available to a person who has renounced all her material possessions, and declined to marry her high school sweetheart, and gone off to a cave or to some other spot that would seem profoundly uncongenial to the satisfaction of ordinary desires and aspirations.

One clue as to how daunting most people would find such a project is the fact that solitary confinement—which is essentially what we are talking about—is considered a punishment even inside a prison. Even when cooped up with homicidal maniacs and rapists, most people still prefer the company of others to spending any significant amount of time alone in a box.

And yet, for thousands of years, contemplatives have claimed to find extraordinary depths of psychological well-being while spending vast stretches of time in total isolation. It seems to me that, as rational people, whether we call ourselves “atheists” or not, we have a choice to make in how we view this whole enterprise. Either the contemplative literature is a mere catalogue of religious delusion, deliberate fraud, and psychopathology, or people have been having interesting and even normative experiences under the name of “spirituality” and “mysticism” for millennia.

Now let me just assert, on the basis of my own study and experience, that there is no question in my mind that people have improved their emotional lives, and their self-understanding, and their ethical intuitions, and have even had important insights about the nature of subjectivity itself through a variety of traditional practices like meditation.

Leaving aside all the metaphysics and mythology and mumbo jumbo, what contemplatives and mystics over the millennia claim to have discovered is that there is an alternative to merely living at the mercy of the next neurotic thought that comes careening into consciousness. There is an alternative to being continuously spellbound by the conversation we are having with ourselves.

Most us think that if a person is walking down the street talking to himself—that is, not able to censor himself in front of other people—he’s probably mentally ill. But if we talk to ourselves all day long silently—thinking, thinking, thinking, rehearsing prior conversations, thinking about what we said, what we didn’t say, what we should have said, jabbering on to ourselves about what we hope is going to happen, what just happened, what almost happened, what should have happened, what may yet happen—but we just know enough to just keep this conversation private, this is perfectly normal. This is perfectly compatible with sanity. Well, this is not what the experience of millions of contemplatives suggests.

Of course, I am by no means denying the importance of thinking. There is no question that linguistic thought is indispensable for us. It is, in large part, what makes us human. It is the fabric of almost all culture and every social relationship. Needless to say, it is the basis of all science. And it is surely responsible for much rudimentary cognition—for integrating beliefs, planning, explicit learning, moral reasoning, and many other mental capacities. Even talking to oneself out loud may occasionally serve a useful function.

From the point of view of our contemplative traditions, however—to boil them all down to a cartoon version, that ignores the rather esoteric disputes among them—our habitual identification with discursive thought, our failure moment to moment to recognize thoughts as thoughts, is a primary source of human suffering. And when a person breaks this spell, an extraordinary kind of relief is available.

But the problem with a contemplative claim of this sort is that you can’t borrow someone else’s contemplative tools to test it. The problem is that to test such a claim—indeed, to even appreciate how distracted we tend to be in the first place, we have to build our own contemplative tools. Imagine where astronomy would be if everyone had to build his own telescope before he could even begin to see if astronomy was a legitimate enterprise. It wouldn’t make the sky any less worthy of investigation, but it would make it immensely more difficult for us to establish astronomy as a science.

To judge the empirical claims of contemplatives, you have to build your own telescope. Judging their metaphysical claims is another matter: many of these can be dismissed as bad science or bad philosophy by merely thinking about them. But to judge whether certain experiences are possible—and if possible, desirable—we have to be able to use our attention in the requisite ways. We have to be able to break our identification with discursive thought, if only for a few moments. This can take a tremendous amount of work.

And it is not work that our culture knows much about. -Sam Harris


How much do YOU know about that work, OP?








edit on 759MondayuAmerica/ChicagoJunuMondayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 12:12 PM
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a reply to: TrueBrit
I speak of all organized religion, not just Christianity. And it would depend on the branch of Christianity in which you place your faith. In Catholicism truth is hierarchical and passed down from the pope. The two can be inseparable, depending on your chosen path.

edit on 23-6-2014 by XxRagingxPandaxX because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 12:17 PM
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a reply to: XxRagingxPandaxX

I am not a Catholic. I have no idea how one classifies a belief which occurs outside of an organised system, but what ever that is, that's what I am!

I see no need to codify my manner of belief, because naming a thing does not improve it in my estimation.



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 12:22 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule
Authentic Christianity is not subservance to God. It's union with God.

Absolute truth.

Frankly I'm shocked BlueMule because I had no idea you believed that.

I have read so many posts by you encouraging others to study comparative religion that I had stopped reading your posts altogether.

I consider religion to be nothing but lies basically which is why I was so surprised to here you say that Christianity is union with God.

Religion says just the opposite.

Perhaps I should start reading your posts...



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 12:22 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule
Authentic Christianity is unity with god via complete and utter subservience. You are not god in Christianity, you worship him.

Yin and Yang create a harmonious dichotomy; not because yin and yang are the same thing, but because yin and yang are exact opposites. In Christianity's case it is the slave and slave master relationship.

edit on 23-6-2014 by XxRagingxPandaxX because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 12:28 PM
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If anything, religion is the enemy of the modern state. And the more profound the religous adherence, the more the state hates it.

The reason is that religion is a source of authority which the state cannot control. Religion was, until the Vietnam war, the primary reason that draftees refused to serve in the military. Until Madelyn Murray O'Hare, it was religious non-conformists who refused to say the pledge of allegiance in schools.

And today, it is 'religious zealots' who grieve the Obama administration about abortificients they are compelled to purchase on behalf of their employees by the affordable care act. And then there's the ongoing war between the Native American Church's use of Peyote v. the DEA rulings that their religious belief doesn't allow them to break the law. And then there's the state of New York compelling a synagogue to issue a religious divorce to a member who'd already gotten a civil divorce....

Nope, human governments work hard to remove religion from the public forum, and the public mind. Religion is a competing authority, that claims its eternal pronouncements trump whatever executive order the tyrant chooses to impose this week.

Think about it from the government's point of view. A materialist is a person who will naturally move toward pleasure, and move away from whatever causes him or her to experience pain. But religious fanatics are truly dangerous to the state because the ones who are "true believers" cannot be tortures or blackmailed into their silence. Whether its Lutheran ministers the Nazis had to send to the gas chambers, or Christians that the Romans had to sew up in sheep skins to get the lions to eat them, people who are driven by ideals are the true threat to the state. Idealists include atheists who are philosophers and poets; but it often includes very working-class religionists who otherwise have no innate abilities as leaders or propagandists.



And not tyrant can put up with that.



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: tovenar
A clash with religion against the United States government is a clash between religious ideals (nothing new in history) it is not a clash between the secular and the non-secular. Obama and Biden are Christians, congress has a government sponsored Chaplin and the Supreme Court is composed of six Catholics and three Jews. Make no mistake. The separation between church and state in the United States is an illusion and always has been.


edit on 23-6-2014 by XxRagingxPandaxX because: (no reason given)

edit on 23-6-2014 by XxRagingxPandaxX because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 01:12 PM
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originally posted by: XxRagingxPandaxX
a reply to: BlueMule
Authentic Christianity is unity with god via complete and utter subservience. You are not god in Christianity, you worship him.


No it isn't. That is exoteric (outer) Christianity you are talking about. It is a starting point. Kind of like how baby food is a starting point for babies. Eventually, they move on to adult food - authentic (esoteric) Christianity. Transpersonal union with God.


Yin and Yang create a harmonious dichotomy; not because yin and yang are the same thing, but because yin and yang are exact opposites. In Christianity's case it is the slave and slave master relationship.


Yin and yang are complementary opposites united by a larger reality - the Tao. In each is a bit of the other, and eventually they each become their opposite. Eventually, yin becomes so yin that it changes to yang, and vice-versa.

The complementary opposites which form the thrust of your argument - slave and master - are also united by a larger reality. God. Eventually, the slave becomes the master. The first shall be last.

People are identifying with one or the other, with yin or yang, and fighting against their complementary opposite. That's all well and good, but eventually people realize that their deepest identity transcends all pairs of opposites when they experience non-dualism.


edit on 809MondayuAmerica/ChicagoJunuMondayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 01:24 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule
Do you disagree that organized religion placates the masses?



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 01:27 PM
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originally posted by: XxRagingxPandaxX
Obama and Biden are Christians...

If Obama was a Christian, he would be dead.

FYI, JFK became a Christian, he was killed a few days later.

I get the impression that your definition of "Christian" may be out of touch with God's definition of the word.



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 01:28 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN

Do a research on the "Dark Ages"



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 01:31 PM
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originally posted by: XxRagingxPandaxX
a reply to: BlueMule
Do you disagree that organized religion placates the masses?



It's not quite as simple as that. In order for organized religion to placate the masses (yin), there must be an agitated elite with no organized religion (yang). Are the elite agitated? Do the elite have their own brand of organized religion? What if the organized religion of the elite is one that you are unable to recognize as such, because you aren't a scholar of religious studies? These are questions that must be answered.


edit on 818MondayuAmerica/ChicagoJunuMondayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 02:03 PM
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Yes, yes. And the new modern religions are probably the most mind numbing and most effective. Evolution, rockefeller modern medicine, celebrity and sports star worship, tv, a reply to: XxRagingxPandaxX



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 02:06 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule
It is that simple. Organized religion keeps the elite on top and placates the masses by propagating that It can be no other way. The evidence is ample.



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 02:10 PM
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a reply to: Murgatroid
Do you think organized religion placates the masses?


edit on 23-6-2014 by XxRagingxPandaxX because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 02:56 PM
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originally posted by: XxRagingxPandaxX
a reply to: BlueMule
It is that simple. Organized religion keeps the elite on top and placates the masses by propagating that It can be no other way. The evidence is ample.



Organized religion is on both sides of the equation, so it must be factored out. The elite aren't a bunch of religionless taskmasters running around inventing various religions and giving them to the masses to keep them in line.

I can see where you are coming from. I can sympathize with your perspective. But you're wrong.



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 03:04 PM
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originally posted by: Murgatroid

originally posted by: XxRagingxPandaxX
Obama and Biden are Christians...

FYI, JFK became a Christian, he was killed a few days later.


You just made that up. JFK was the only catholic president ever and there was QUITE a controversy when he was elected because of it. So unless you don't count catholicism as christian then you are just wrong.

John F. Kennedy and Religion


Anti-Catholic prejudice was still very much in the mainstream of American life when JFK decided to seek the presidency in 1960.


John F. Kennedy


To date, Kennedy has been the only Roman Catholic president and the only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize.[4]

edit on 23-6-2014 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 03:26 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule
It is on both sides of the equation. It empowers one demographic by keeping them on top and it disempowers the other demographic by keeping them down. Just because both are religious doesn't negate the fact that is placates the poor and empowers the rich.



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 03:33 PM
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a reply to: XxRagingxPandaxX

Religion has no volition or any sort of power to inflict placation, pacification, etc. They are unable to tell us anything, simply because they don't have that sort of ability.

In other words, all of this is self-inflicted and self-induced by no other power than the individual who confronts the doctrines.



posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 03:37 PM
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originally posted by: XxRagingxPandaxX
a reply to: BlueMule
It is on both sides of the equation. It empowers one demographic by keeping them on top and it disempowers the other demographic by keeping them down. Just because both are religious doesn't negate the fact that is placates the poor and empowers the rich.


Take one poor person and one rich person. Both share the same modern space-age religion which has gripped much of our space-age culture - the sci-fi/comic book genre. As dysfunctional as that religion may be, an in-depth comparativist analysis shows it for what it really is on a 'genetic' level.

The "denomination" of that religion that the poor person and the rich person share is Star Trek. Both are self-identified as "Trekkies". Both like sci-fi and comics in general, but it's Star Trek conventions that bring both of them together under the same roof.

Now please explain to me how being a Trekkie has placated the poor person and empowered the rich person.


edit on 921Monday000000America/ChicagoJun000000MondayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



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