June 12, 2008

Transcending the Matrix

Here's a curious observation about the psychology of belief. Atheists look at religionists and conclude that their belief in a hereafter is the cause of their readiness to kill and be killed for the expected reward. Religionists look at atheists and conclude that their lack of belief in any life beyond the present makes them all too ready to resort to any means to achieve their temporary ends. Where does that leave us?

I raise that issue to illustrate a point-- that we all have a point of view that we regard as eminently reasonable and obviously superior to that of other persons, especially those who disagree with us. Objectively (to the extent that anyone can achieve such a state), it must be clear that most beliefs are almost entirely subjective. We believe our favorite beliefs because... (you can finish the sentence as your beliefs dictate!). We are convinced that our outlook is logically, or spiritually, unassailable. And yet... how reasonable is it that diametrically opposite views can be held by demonstrably intelligent people? Since they can't both be true, then either they are both wrong, or one of them is correct. In the latter case, the problem for the disinterested observer is: which one?

The first, most important, task that every seeker of truth must tackle straight on, with total courage, is to de-program yourself. And to do that, you must first disabuse yourself of the naive notion that you are not programmed. Of course, we are all programmed from birth by a myriad of factors: our family, our culture, our church, our school, our society, our media (radio, TV, movies, newspapers, magazines), our government. There is no organizational component of our life that does not contribute to our mental landscape, to our perception of the world. Sure, many of those components exert their influence in an unconscious manner, but they shape your beliefs nonetheless. Whether you react and reject the ideas of the different social forces, or else simply absorb them with little critical examination, as is the natural course with most of us-- the result is that your world view at any given moment is the integrated sum of all the sensory inputs that have reached your brain since birth.

Some may protest 'that's not programming, that's just culture,' or something along those lines. It doesn't matter. No culture is devoid of its biases, its sacred cows, its glib assumptions about life, and so on. The problem today is that the unconscious influences are no longer the primary ones that mold our world-view, our paradigm. No; in the last century or more-- since the dawn of mass media-- our perceptions have been deliberately shaped and focused in a predetermined direction. Example: we in the Western world simply take it as self-evident that the only viable economic system for any country is 'free enterprise capitalism,' and the most virtuous political system is democracy (however we may think of that term). But-- think of it-- have you ever read or heard about any other economic system? Did you ever really study alternatives to democracy? Yes, we 'know' that 'communism' was defeated in the global arena, and therefore, we are told that the matter is settled for all of history. In one fleeting moment, at the collapse of the USSR, both the economic and political questions were settled and we can carry on in blissful autonomic ignorance.

Another common example: among the educated middle class masses, it is now an article of faith that all life on this planet 'evolved' from primitive, mono-cellular organisms that sprang from a primordial, inanimate 'soup.' The mechanism for this progress from primitive to complex life (ie. humans) is called Evolution, and is 'obvious.' You see-- you atheistic readers-- as soon as you read those words, you IMMEDIATELY got irate, and groaned some epithet about this idiotic writer trying once again to flog the religious view of creation, etc. etc. etc. Is that not correct? That's the point! You got as far as the words that implied criticism of your cherished paradigm, and that was 'it.' You simply got on the defensive and perhaps stopped reading at that point. (I hope you're still with me; after all, I've taken my readers thru many challenges). All I'm saying is that IF you want to be truly honest and objective about your belief system, you've got to admit that there's nothing sacred about the Theory of Evolution. It may sound very credible to you and to a majority; but that does not make it correct! The fact is, we just don't know. All we have is the sparse fossil record, and our vivid imaginations. At least be honest enough to admit that much. (Darwin himself realized that his theory was riddled with holes.) Why can't both science and religion admit that neither camp can properly and unequivocally explain 'genesis?'

Another example, again from science (since it appears that science has an affinity for becoming highly attached to the fancies of its speculations): sometime in the early 20th century, physicists decided that the force of gravity must account for all celestial mechanics. Accordingly, every observed phenomenon must be made to conform to this model, never mind the evidence for alternative explanations. And so, for instance, we are informed that comets behave as they do because they are composed of gravel and ice (the 'dirty snowball' model) regardless of the fact they behave as electrically charged bodies. Similarly, the formation of the solar system is attributed to 'accretion' of condensing gases as the swirling disk of the primordial cloud of matter cooled as it sped away from the center of the Big Bang. It sounds like a slam-dunk. Well, yes, as long as you ignore all the anomalies that are inconsistent with planetary accretion! And so it goes. Rather than simply admit that there are fundamental questions that we cannot answer at present, scientists abhor a theoretical vacuum, so they insist that the current dogma is sacrosanct and must not be threatened with alternative ideas or nay-saying.

My aim is not to pick on science; the point can equally apply to any other area of human knowledge. There is a contemporary doctrine in every discipline that is held as unassailable, except at peril of one's career, or well-being, or sometimes, his/her life. The writer/researcher Lloyd Pye has a book entitled 'Everything You Know Is Wrong.' It sounds like typical modern hyperbole; yet in the broad sense, he's right. Most of what we 'know' as our background assumptions about the universe are, indeed, wrong, or at the least, very doubtful. What the mature seeker of truth must do is admit this fact and then set about freeing his mind of pre-conceived models to which everything new must be made to conform.

The atheist has to face the fact that we can't necessarily prove the existence of 'God' via materialistic methods. By definition, God transcends the material, therefore is transparent to physical analysis. Semantic sleight of hand, you protest. Not really; you have to recognize the limitations of physical existence, including the possibility of 'dimensions of reality' beyond the sensate plane. I know some people are incapable of 'going there' because they can only grasp what their senses detect. The fact that human imagination can envision realms beyond our own is not sufficient for them to admit of the possibility that those realms could exist. For those individuals, marooned in the physical plane, I can only say 'Sorry for you, but your imagination fails you.' There are plenty of atheists who can at least imagine realms beyond the sensual world, and to those, I say why would we have those faculties of mind if not for a purpose?

There is much more to this phenomenon of belief than science versus religion. You see, I hinted above that much of our modern perceptions are deliberately shaped. Why would they be? And who is molding reality for us? Is this just silly paranoia? I almost wish it were merely baseless, modern traumatic stress syndrome; but it's not. Those of us living in the most economically and militarily powerful nations are being conditioned and programmed to casually accept certain policies and actions promulgated by those who manage and direct our societies. Now, you have to understand that when I write of 'society' and other such collective terms, I'm talking about the great majority, the masses who define the statistical norms; not the minority who may dissent on one or another matter, but who certainly don't congeal around any single issue or view. The exalted few who pull the levers of political and economic power direct their efforts at the norm, the large majority who can be generally counted on to behave or think in a predictable fashion. Most democracies operate in a 'majority rule' manner, where 50% plus one carries the win, although there may be variations on this theme. You can see that as long as a 'majority' can be determined to endorse a proposed plan, then that plan moves forward. The US elections of 2000 and 2004 provided text-book illustrations of how an ostensibly democratic process can be hijacked by opportunists in order to install a candidate who was, at best, marginal in his appeal to voters (or perhaps I should say, to those eligible to vote, given the low turn-out at American elections).

The shadowy powers that be, behind the scenes and in plain view, desire that a majority of people in the Western world believes a whole set of precepts that define the universe that they want to rule. Evolution, far from merely explaining 'genesis,' supplies the PTB with an essential tool in their geo-political agenda. You see, the inherent mechanism for the process of evolution of species is 'natural selection' which postulates a struggle for existence based on 'survival of the fittest.' This struggle for survival was originally applied only to explain why the features of the most well-adapted individuals in a given population were carried on, while the others failed (died out). Later, it was adopted by the socio-political sphere to provide a handy justification for any kind of immoral, exploitive policies and actions, generally by the wealthy elite against the poor.

Atheism, the almost inevitable off-spring of the Theory of Evolution, is an obvious, useful weapon in the progress towards a unified, totalitarian world. Without the notion of God in the way, Mankind becomes his own judge, his own determinant of morality and limits. And it should be clear by now, that with Man in the driver's seat, there are no limits on his depravity. We're not talking about humanistic materialism here; those who aspire to that camp are easily brushed aside by the authoritarian pragmatists, using their perverted propaganda and arguing that mankind is just another animal species.

Another corollary of Evolution is the comforting doctrine of uniformitarianism-- the idea that everything in the universe pretty well carries on doing what it's always done, forever. See, in this dream-land, there is little chance for unexpected 'disruptions' to the regular order of things. We can drift carelessly along, with little concern that the world could encounter catastrophes of one kind or another. Some of us are starting to suspect that the world may be much more prone to environmental collapse, or collision with an asteroid or comet, or even more exotic events like an outburst of cosmic rays or an aberrant coronal discharge from our sun. We can no longer assume that global disasters are rare events on the basis that, after all, evolution proceeded uniformly for countless eons. Yet, that is what the PTB want the majority to believe.

There is much more to the Western mythos that has been stealthily created, honed, promoted and inculcated into the popular consciousness to suit the agenda. With the demise of the USSR, the West (mainly the USA) quickly manufactured the next big threat to our security, thus requiring the continued expenditure of vast sums of public money on 'defense' and armaments. So, lo and behold, appeared the bogey man of Osama bin Laden and his mysterious, terrorist organization, 'Al Qeda', both of whom seemed to blossom on the international stage at just the right time. In case we lotus-eaters in the West failed to 'get' the magnitude of this new threat, management staged a spectacle that would be burned in our collective consciousness as the icon of evil, the touchstone of power for the adepts who knew the reality behind the theater. Using the code '911', the PTB can push our fear buttons, enlist patriotism, and enact legislation taking away long-held, hard-won, protections of civil liberties. Incanting 911, the US administration was able to invade and destroy a sovereign nation, Iraq, and invade and occupy another, Afghanistan, and to threaten every other nation on earth.

N.B.:

Both atheists and religionists have been slumbering and complacent, and hence, complicit in this mess. The majority of materialistic consumers have been content to let political evolution take its ugly course, to go along with the charade of 'bi-partisan politics' in the USA, and to simply hope that nature and the constitution (what's left of it) will replace an incompetent administration with a somewhat improved version. A sizable and scary contingent of self-described Evangelical Christians quite apparently have no clue what their religion teaches, and under the spell of opportunistic preachers, have given open or tacit approval for atrocious actions taken by their hero, the 'Christian President.' All these are under the diabolical spell cast by the hidden masters, those who control our perceptions of reality thru their captive, co-operative mass communications media. Every citizen has to somehow break this spell of the magicians who control the media and, hence, our understanding of the world. If we fail, this freight train will continue barreling down the track towards the 'new world order' of rule by the bankster elite over a mass of people who are impoverished physically, mentally, and spiritually. This is the critical moment, historically, to wake from our slumber, wipe the illusions from our glazed eyes, and see the ugly reality facing us. If the masses are already too brain-numbed to recognize the evil before us, and too hooked on the narcotic of consumerism to transcend the NWO matrix, then, God help us, there is no alternative but to proceed into the maelstrom... and endure it to the bitter end.

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