Those who don’t believe have made this world a hell on Earth
3rd December 2010
Phishna’s recent piece
“Christians are Jew Whores” split me right down the middle.
Everything he said was absolutely true — the passive beliefs of
Christians prevent them from properly perceiving and neutralizing
their secret Jewish overlords — yet it pained me to know all those
good people I love who, acting on their cherished beliefs, have
genuinely worked for a better world, and would definitely be hurt by
this, offended that the deepest wishes of their good hearts were
ridiculed in such a contemptuous manner.
Phishna gets people to look at what they believe, and that’s half the
battle. That people would rather turn away from logic and stick with
the familiar comfort of half-understood ancient legends has been
deliberately molded into a worldwide, chemically induced lethargy that
is a screen for all sorts of criminal activity. Throughout history,
religions have all been scams with an ulterior motive — a general
anesthesia of the populations of the world in the interests of order,
safety, and, above all, profit.
This is their rule in all cases: You will believe this or we will burn
you at the stake and take all your possessions (which is what it was
really about — and still is).
We’re cattle in a pen, baby. If we keep believing all these same myths
that have taken us to this point in time, we’re headed for the big
hammer in the slaughterhouse (which seems to many to be our inevitable
future, anyway). How the hell did we wind up here? you are no doubt
tempted to ask. Well, I’ll tell you.
When you build an entire history of a species on a lie, you should not
be surprised that it eventually collapses. Besides, all civilizations
die, no matter what they do. There is one truth. No organism lives
forever. But when that lie becomes the cornerstone of the foundation
of a civilization, that society, as events attest, will not be stable.
And this is where the lie resides. They took the finest, most sublime
experiences a human can have, wrapped it up in one basic mythology,
and then sold it to the biggest multinational corporation ever, which
has always specialized in mass murder for hire.
This need we have to, in spite of all the evidence, believe that we
live forever, or reincarnate time after time, has poisoned all human
endeavor since the dawn of the species, not so much from its original
purpose to alleviate fear, but, as Thomas Jefferson pointed out, from
the embellishments of priests who added so much objectionable material
to the original myths, which are among the most valuable stories
mankind has ever invented.
Fear of death is not only a legitimate fear, but in actuality is so
ubiquitous and overwhelming that we invented an entire civilization to
keep us from thinking about it, anything, but to speculate on that
time that we always know is coming and which, due to the awesome
sweetness of life, we dread.
The cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker theorized that if we do not
anesthetize this overarching fear, we cannot properly function,
because we are always worried. Then comes the sports, beer, sex,
drugs, whatever. We hide ourselves in our jobs, seldom sufficiently
appreciate all those special moments with our families and friends,
and hide our basic ontological terror beneath layers of hobbies,
studies, goals, projects and activities that lead us toward some goal
we really want that definitely will keep us from thinking about that
one great fear that civilization was founded upon to keep us from
thinking about that one great fear . . .
The tradeoff humans made when they created the twin escape-death
concepts of heaven and reincarnation was that they gave up being able
to think clearly about the concept of their own very temporal lives,
and consequently were unable to ask the key question in the
development of human civilization: “What does it mean that my life is
only a certain length, and that after that, I will never be heard from
The answers to that question are far different from the question
humans have typically asked: “What do I have to do to get into
heaven?” which has produced this grotesque parade of graven images and
witless ceremonies over time. Sucking up to God is what I call it,
totally worthless when compared to feeding a homeless person.
In a show of supreme evasion and cowardice, humanity chose to lapse
into fantasy, invent gods that are by definition projections of the
human mind, and pretend that we never die, but are instead either
transported into the Seven Heavens of Enoch or the Bardo to grapple
with the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities before we return to this life
to try and improve our performance.
Neither of those choices ever achieved the common sense necessary to
create a world without crime, all because we were never able to
overcome our fear of death, and kept telling lies about it, each one
more extravagant than the next, until those lies manifested in the
real world, spread like a plague throughout every aspect of life, and
fatally poisoned the very people who invented them, because they kept
killing each other, thinking that by doing so they were killing their
own deaths. And all the while, as we do now, missing the most
important point of life.
Think about this for a minute. Think of all time spent carving idols,
building altars, temples, pyramids, cathedrals, symphonies, liturgies
and paeans of praise to the biggest Kahuna of them all — and for what?
Who was saved from starvation by this? What war was stopped by this?
Not a one. Not a one.
Then think about how many people you know, especially young ones, who
are totally intent on “getting over” on people to prove their worth in
the world. How mature do you have to be to realize that making people
feel good in some significant way gives much greater kicks than
penalizing them for a stupidity that we all share?
Even today, not one of you reading this can imagine that you are not
here, that you have no input in anything, and that no one is ever
going to call you on the telephone again. This image is way too
jarring to be considered for very long. That’s why we have all the
anesthesia you would ever need, from every nook and cranny of history
and every projected corner of a future universe.
But we have never truly admitted that all our planning has been based
on a lie, a fantasy of supernatural stupefaction, and as a consequence
the world is a predatorial shambles, where you’re expected to find
someone to love in a world where they teach you there is no one to
The No. 1 human occupation, across time and down through history, is
hoodwinking other people. As much damage as we’ve done to the other
animal populations of the world, it’s nothing compared to the damage
we’ve done to ourselves. We’ve built a society based on harming
others, when the reality of our situation is that the real purpose of
life is to help others, because that’s where we derive all the good
things that happen to us in this lifetime.
Yet the world is filled with the misery of people trying to
assassinate each other across time and space. And this is not just a
case of fighting for resources — except as the moneymen vie for
financial supremacy. This is more a case of wanting to defeat death by
killing others. If this system wasn’t invented by priests, it surely
was expropriated by them, as they created system after supernatural
system defining the parameters of reality, and labeling the way the
world talked and thought.
Our present system is based on all these false suppositions. And as
you know, the bloody trail of robberies disguised as wars have always
been blessed by the preachers of eternal life.
So all of Phishna’s observations should strike a resonant chord with
all you believers out there as he challenges you to troubleshoot what
it is you actually believe. What so few people understand is that it
takes a real believer to write like him and confront the issues that
I believe that if you believe in the afterlife you’re more likely to
kill someone for a bogus reason, you can be more easily deceived
because you have voluntarily decided not to think empirically, and
that’s always a bad idea — pollutes your data base big time.
On the other hand, as we surely know from every manufactured story we
are fed, those who don’t believe have made this world a hell on Earth.
So which is it? Believers believing in a self-projected fantasy in
which they take the lie they have chosen and try to inflict it on
everybody else to at least prove to themselves it is correct? Or
nonbelievers who discard the finer and higher values of life and tie
everything to the bottom line, declaring “to hell with everyone else”?
Which group is responsible for the way the world is? Think it over.
I love talking to religious people. For one thing, you know almost
automatically that a religious person won’t kill you on the spot,
because implicit in any meeting between two religious people is the
idea that they owe their very natures to the same boss, and
consequently are automatically working together. This is exactly how
religion finally became popular in the first place, after centuries of
brutal coercion. It’s a great way to avert conflict, at least
initially. And simple fellowship is the best part of it.
I love talking to religious people because they paint their tableaux
right across the sky. They tell you what they believe, and how happy
it makes them. They all communicate a very detailed knowledge of what
is happening to the world, each version colored by the spiritual
tradition through which their empirical knowledge is filtered. But in
the process of evangelizing, they all evince a shaky uncertainty that
they must convince you of their rightness of their world view as if
their total mental health depended on it.
They’re all talking about a spiritual verification of their existences
that allows no doubt that any other way could possibly be better, and
often they add how sorry they are for me that I don’t share in their
rewarding certainty about how things really are.
How unfortunate for me, I nod sympathetically, that I would pass up
something so foolproof, so sensible, and so beneficial. All I have to
do is utter the magic word, take the red pill, and all will be well,
they tell me.
At that point I like to ask: Where exactly IS heaven? Is it now, or is
it later? And perhaps more to the point, what do we do when we think
we’ve lost all hope of it?
The Chinese sages constantly pointed out that heaven was all around
us, and that all we really got throughout infinity were these images
of the things that were all around us all the time. But really
understand what it was we were seeing. That was the goal of life.
Yet heaven retains its most common meaning today as some repository of
bliss we get to go to if we’re good in this life, which, looking at
any religion that has ever existed, has been the goal of all of them.
Existential anesthesia. Something to take away the worry that is
always lurking over our shoulder (the left one) that colorizes all our
human actions, even though we spend our lives pretending it doesn’t.
Have you ever asked yourself why all these churches have been created,
or how much of civilization has been built on the mystical premise
that heaven was the place we wanted to be?
A place of safety, immune to misery, pain and heartache. At least,
this is how we explain it to our children when someone they know dies
before their eyes. Isn’t that who the stories are for? They take eight
days in Tibet to escort the deceased into the afterworld. Who are
these rituals for? Does the soul of a corpse really need directions
from the living about what to do? Billions of folks think they do, and
who am I to argue with them? (But for myself I believe that all these
ceremonies are for the living, to convince themselves of something
they know isn’t true.)
Heaven, then, as a concept, is the quintessence of life, something we
all strive for automatically, maximum reward, optimum conditions.
Despite this professed human attribute, why, then, don’t we have it?
Why is all we see around us so reminiscent of a raging, vicious, out
of control hell on Earth, apparently perpetrated by evildoers whose
only goal in life is to plunder, collect, and burp?
We know what is wrong with the world. All crime derives from childhood
injury. It should be a simple matter to fix this problem, ridiculously
simple that could be effected in a matter of days. But instead we have
those who profit from this awful situation, and want to keep things
the way they are. Only you know which path you are on, and you may not
even know that.
My own attitude is to say let’s dispense with all this disgustingly
pious rigamarole and just do the work, because it is the work that
determines the answers to all those questions we ask in our prayers.
But really, I only know two things.
The only thing you really get to keep in this life is what you give away.
And, delusional or not, the fact of the matter remains: Those who
don’t believe in heaven have turned this world into a living hell.
“ . . . such are the fragments remaining as to show a master workman,
and that his system of morality was the most benevolent and sublime
probably that has been ever taught, and consequently more perfect than
those of any of the ancient philosophers. His character and doctrines
have received still greater injury from those who pretend to be his
special disciples, and who have disfigured and sophisticated his
actions and precepts, from views of personal interest, so as to induce
the unthinking part of mankind to throw off the whole system in
disgust, and to pass sentence as an impostor on the most innocent, the
most benevolent, the most eloquent and sublime character that ever has
been exhibited to man.”
— fragment of a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Joseph Priestley,
Washington, April 9, 1803.
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