Nearly all the sacred books of the world can be traced in anatomical analogy. This is most evident in their creation myths.
Proceeding from this assumption of the first theologians that man is actually fashioned in the image of God, the initiated minds of past ages erected the stupendous structure of theology on the foundation of the human body. The religious world of today is almost totally ignorant of the fact that the science of biology is the fountainhead of its doctrines and tenants. Many of the codes and laws believed by modern divines to have been direct revelations from Divinity are in reality the fruitage of ages of patient delving into the intricacies of the human constitution and the infinite wonder is revealed by such a study.
Christianity itself may be cited as an example.
The entire New Testament is in fact an ingenuously concealed exposition of the secret processes of human regeneration. The characters so long considered as historical men and women are really the personification of certain processes which take place in the human body when man begins the task of consciously liberating himself from the bondage of ignorance and death.Manly P. Hall
The sanctum sanctorum of Freemasonry is ornamented with the gnostic jewels of a thousand ages; its rituals ring with the divinely inspired words of seers and sages. A hundred religions have brought their gifts of wisdom to its altar; arts and sciences unnumbered have contributed to its symbolism. Freemasonry is a world-wide university, teaching the liberal arts and sciences of of the soul to all who will hearken to its words. It’s chairs are seats of learning and its pillars uphold an arch of universal education.
The philosophic power of Freemasonry lies in its symbols – it’s priceless heritage from the Mystery schools of antiquity. In a letter to Robert Freke Gould, Albert Pike writes:
“In it’s symbolism, which and it’s spirit of brotherhood are its essence, Freemasonry is more ancient than any of the world’s living religions. …”
Though Zoroaster, Hermes, Pythagoras, Plato. and Aristotle are now but dim memories in a world once rocked by the transcendency of their intellectual genius, still in the mystic temple of Freemasonry these god-men live again in their words and symbols; and the candidate, passing through the initiations, feels himself face-to-face with these illumined heirphants of days long past.Manly P. Hall
This is summary of a comment Jordan Peterson made in regards to “atheistic type people”, in so far as they have a type. He thinks that they don’t approach the Bible with enough respect. (And I’d argue most don’t even approach the Bible at all).
My approach to the Bible is the same as his, and he stated that he approaches it with the presupposition that “there’s probably more to this than I know”, and tries to understand the Bible from that perspective. Rather than to think that this is just a collection of superstitions we’ve outgrown – which isn’t a deep enough analysis.
That thinking has some truth but it doesn’t take into account the fact that the propositions in the Bible still stand at the foundation of our culture. It doesn’t take into account Nietzsche’s central concern, that if you blow out the notion of God, the entire structure crumbles. The “atheist types” haven’t wrestled with the real issues.
Watching Son(s) of Sam on Netflix got me thinking about the human desire of wanting to be a part of a group, something bigger than yourself. This seems to be neurophysiological condition hard wired into us.
The problem being, not knowing if a group, organization, religion, cult, policy or the like, is dangerous or worthy of your time/sacrifice. There is one concrete and guaranteed principle you can use as a rule to determine if any said group is dangerous and should be avoided. That is: the group should never require you to sacrifice your individuality for the group.
Any group, society, organization, etc. that requires you to sacrifice your individuality for the “greater good” of the group is doomed to fail. This is a tenet that has been potrayed in the oldest myths – from the ancient Summerian’s to the Egyptian’s all the way through the East to the West including Christianity.
The “group/society” will stagnate and die without renewal from the heroic individual. That’s what these myths are essentially saying, that we need to embody and act out being the redemptive hero to revivify the stagnated state.
The most glaring examples of groups doomed to failure, from sacrificing the individual for the group being Communism and Fascism. This is how our laws are set up in every successful civilization – that there is something redemptive and divine in every individual, as a human being. This includes murderers, rapists, or any criminal – we acknowledge that there is something divine, worthy and capable of redemption in each individual. Whether you know this and/or believe this explicitly or not, this is what we all act out.
This is how I know Freemasonry, as a fraternal organization, is founded on safe and solid principles. They explicitly state that your first priority as a Brother Mason is your “vocation”, not just meaning your work, but meaning working on yourself, as an individual, is priority #1 – then comes your brothers and the lodge (the group).
So this applies to any group (ie. LGBTQ, cars, environmental, etc.), government, organization religion, etc., etc.. While this isn’t the only criteria, it is the first and foremost, one that CANNOT be infringed upon. If they want you to sacrifice yourself for the group (whether explicitly stated or not – typically it’s not and cleverly veiled) GET OUT! It will be doomed to fail and could be dangerous.
Nietzsche has said that in order to be free you first have to become a slave. What he means by that is you just don’t grow up from being a (free) child to the same (free) generalized individuality as an adult, without first dedicating yourself to some sort of discipline (ie. religion, sports, the Scouts, school, etc.), to become something specific – a voluntary slavery if you will – and that sets the foundation for developing your individuality as an adult.
The discipline sets you free to becoming an individual as an adult. I see this as a necessary step, one that cannot be dismissed or avoided.
If you don’t have the discipline to voluntarily commit yourself to becoming something specific, other than just being “yourself”, you will not develop an individuality as an adult. You’ll be a nobody, nihilistically wandering through life, constantly reacting, never in control, a slave to life’s burdens and suffering – never being able to “find” who you are.
This is the nihilism I’m seeing so much of today with my generation and the one’s under me coming up. You HAVE to have the discipline to dedicate yourself to becoming something other than what you are, or you’ll always be a nobody, just a slave to the harshest parts of this reality. In order to be free, you first have to become a slave, it’s better to choose something constructive to be a slave to.
Since Neitzche, many people have agreed with the notion that God, in recent generations, is dead. Meaning we aren’t religious anymore (ie. praying, living up to a higher power, engaging in ritual, etc.) and don’t believe in “God”.
While I agree that God is dead or dying in that sense, I believe, even in this current age, that God isn’t dead, God cannot die. To the ancients God(s) existed in the sky, in the forest, rivers, oceans, in our institutions, in our hearts and in our concious minds. God is majoraly a projection of our imagination into the objective realm to help make sense of the world. This doesn’t make God any less real than if he were to actually exist as a literal being – how human behavior manifest, the cause and effects of physical reality and the end results are the same, no matter how you think of God. This is one of those metaphorical truths. Just like it will increase the well-being of an individual acting as if a gun is cocked and loaded, acting as if God was real will increase the well-being of humanity.
This quote is what provoked this post and is relevant here:
“Debord also draws an equivalence between the role of mass media marketing in the present and the role of religions in the past.The spread of commodity-images by the mass media, produces “waves of enthusiasm for a given product” resulting in “moments of fervent exaltation similar to the ecstasies of the convulsions and miracles of the old religious fetishism”.”
God hasn’t died we are just worshipping new idols – God is now the new iPhone, drugs, vanity, or any unhealthy obsession/addiction. God exists in a very real – biologically concrete – way in our minds (it’s how our minds and imagination works), we cannot destroy Him so it would be wise to learn to worship Him in a healthy and constructive way, and to work towards cultivating our highest human faculties. So God isn’t dead/dying, we are only killing ourselves.
Materialism is a comparatively modern invention of the human mind. Materialism not only ignores but actually denies the metaphysical factor in thought and action.
Man has exiled himself from the empire of Space and is satisfied to live without wisdom and die without hope. One of the primary functions of metaphysics is to incline the human reason towards an intelligent consideration of man’s place in divine plan. Metaphysics seeks to establish a closer harmony between divine will and human action.
Metaphysics does not infer blind faith, or the unquestioned worship of unknown gods, but rather seeks to establish a rational sympathy between heaven and earth, a conscious and intelligent cooperation between man and the laws that govern him.
A philosophical definition of heaven, as distinct from the modern theology’s concept, may result in a better understanding of spiritual factors. Theologies, blinded by their jot and title creeds, have come to regard heaven as a place, distant and formal, populated by a spiritual genus, and ruled over by a capricious anthropomorphic deity. This celestial despotism exists nowhere except in the imagination of the unenlightened.
The heaven of the wise is Space itself – an immeasurable empire extending throughout the uttermost extremities of Being. It is the empire of universal life, established upon the immovable foundations of existence. It is populated by a myriad of principals – luminous energies, as the ancient called them; gods, as it were known to the pagans.
Heaven is the empire of truth and fact. He who abides and truth and according to fact, abides in the celestial world. He who lives in his opinions and conceits, is exiled to the outer darkness.
Hermes said the law of analogy was the priceless key to divine mysteries. With the aid of this law the ancient philosophers explored the heavenly world, creating a divine science which they preserved in their temples, imparting its elements only to those whom they regarded as worthy of so noble a learning.Manly P. Hall
I want you to look upon philosophy not as an abstract and difficult word, suggesting arduous labor, but as a simple and friendly term standing for all that is good and all that is real in knowledge.
I want you to make philosophy the great work of your life.
I want you to think of it as the greatest building power in society.
The mastery of philosophy is the supreme accomplishment of which man is capable and the living of philosophy is the most noble of all arts.
In the process of perfecting its disciples, philosophy make use of every known form of knowledge and he who perfects himself in its principles becomes truly divine.
As religion, philosophy leads to the knowledge of God.
As philosophy it leads to the knowledge of self.
And as science it leads to the knowledge and mastery of nature.
In this present age theology leads to confusion. Science, to a hopeless unbelief. Only Philosophy can bring us to “the Golden Time we look for.” Only from philosophy can we derive that enlightened courage with which to face the day. Those who have light within themselves will pass triumphantly through the difficult years which lie ahead.Manly P. Hall
I’m reading this because I feel that a better understanding of language will help me connect dots in my research. What exactly? As of yet I do not know.
One insight so far is knowing that language/words and thought/thinking is not the same. The foundational framework of human thought is not rooted in words. Humans have a universal mentalese utilizing representations and symbols – in essence we do not think in English, Chinese, Apache, etc.
This distinction really brings in to focus why the great ancient civilizations put such an emphasis on the universal language of symbolism. Saying that “symbolism is the universal language” is not just some esoteric occult nonsense, this is rooted in a deep transcendent reality modern science is just beginning to understand.
I think it’s fruitful to consider language as an evolutionary adaption, like the eye, it’s major parts designed to carry out important functions. And Chomsky’s arguments about the nature of the language faculty are based on technical analysis of word and sentence structure, often couched in abstruse formalisms. His discussions of flesh and blood speakers are perfunctory and highly idealized. Though I do happen to agree with many of his arguments, I think that a conclusion about the mind is convincing only if many kinds of evidence can converge on it. So the story in this book is highly eclectic, ranging from how DNA builds brains to the pontifications of newspaper language columnists. The best place to begin is to ask why anyone should believe that human language is part of human biology – an instinct – at all.Steven Pinker
Reasoning aside, we know that people often acquire their beliefs about the world for reasons that are more emotional and social than strictly cognitive. Wishful thinking, self-serving bias, in-group loyalty, and frank self-deception can lead to monsters departures from the norms of rationality. Most beliefs are evaluated against a background of other beliefs and often in the context of an ideology that a person shares with others. Consequently, people are rarely aa open to revising their views as reason would seem to dictate.
There are some things that we are just naturally bad at. And a mistake people tend to make across a wide range of reasoning tasks are not mere errors; they are systematic errors that are strongly associated both within and across tasks. As one might expect, many of these errors decrease as cognitive ability increases. We also know that training, using both examples and former rules, mitigate many of these problems and can improve a person’s thinking.
On this front, the internet has simultaneously enabled two opposing influences on belief: on the one hand, it has reduced intellectual isolation by making it more difficult for people to remain ignorant of the diversity of opinion on any given subject. But it has also allowed bad ideas to flourish – as anyone with a computer and too much time on his hands can broadcast his point of view and, often enough, find an audience. So while knowledge is increasingly open source, ignorance is, too.Sam Harris