A Species In Denial
Page 375 of
Print Edition The Demystification Of Religion
In the earlier essays in this book, it was explained that humanity has, for good reason, been a species in denial and that as a consequence of that denial humans have, to varying degrees, been alienated from their original instinctive self or soul and its world. With acknowledgment of the overall extent of alienation within the human race (and therefore of the immense gulf between humanity’s resigned, false, effectively dead world and the unresigned, true, all-sensitive world), and an appreciation of the immense differences in alienation from one individual to the next, it now becomes possible to explain and demystify all manner of mystery, superstition and abstract metaphysics—especially many previously impenetrable religious concepts.
This essay will explain, from a basis of first principle biology, such religious concepts as ‘soul’, ‘conscience’, humans’ ‘fall from grace’ or ‘original sin’, ‘evil’, ‘heaven and hell’, the ‘Garden of Eden’, the ‘golden age’, the story of ‘Adam and Eve’, ‘God’, ‘holy’, ‘the trinity’, ‘prophets’, the ‘messiah’, Christ (‘the man that nobody knows’), the ‘saviour’, ‘the resurrection’, Christ’s miracles, ‘the Virgin Mother’, ‘Noah’s Ark’, the story of ‘Cain and Abel’, ‘David and Goliath’, ‘saints’, ‘false prophets’, ‘the abomination that causes desolation’, ‘the Antichrist’, ‘the four horsemen’ of ‘the apocalypse’, ‘the Battle of Armageddon’, ‘afterlife’, religious texts, ‘faith’, religions themselves and the different roles of traditional and contemporary prophets and ‘atheism’. Other previously unexplained concepts such as ‘love’, ‘falling in love’, ‘sex’ as humans practice it, ‘humour’, ‘sexism’, ‘racism’ and ‘human personalities’ will also be explained.
Page 376 of
Print Edition (All scripture citations in this work are taken from the New International Version of the Bible.)
Understanding the human condition makes it possible to acknowledge the immense differences in alienation between humans
In the preceding essays it has been explained that generation after generation of young adolescents have learnt they had no responsible choice but to deny and evade the issue of the human condition; and the degree to which they implemented this denial varied according to the amount of nurturing they received in childhood. This means that adults today are variously alienated from their true selves and the true world. In fact, there is a wide spectrum of alienation in the world that until now has largely been denied because acknowledgment of it would have hurtfully confronted and unjustly condemned those more alienated.
With the human condition explained and humans’ necessarily corrupted state at last understood, the immense variation in the levels of alienation in the world can at last be safely and openly acknowledged. With that acknowledgment, many religious concepts can be demystified.
It is necessary to begin with a brief summary of how humans became corrupted and as a result variously alienated.
Early in the Plato essay it was explained that in our primate ancestry nurturing overcame genetic refinement’s limitation to developing order, which was that it could not normally develop unconditional selflessness or ‘love’ in a species. Nurturing overcame this impasse and developed the utterly ordered, integrated, cooperative, selfless, loving, ‘heavenly’ state that humans once lived in, the instinctive memory of which is our ‘soul’, and the instinctive expectation within us of behaving as we did in that time, utterly cooperatively, is our ‘conscience’. Nurturing was the main influence in the maturation of our species.
This utterly cooperative way of living became corrupted some 2 million years ago with the emergence of consciousness. Unlike the established gene-based learning system, which cannot develop insight and has only been capable of adapting or orientating species to situations, Page 377 of
Print Edition the emerging nerve-based learning system was insightful and had to understand the world. The already established, cooperatively behaving instinctive self, the product of the gene-based learning system, was in effect ignorant of the conscious self or intellect’s need to master understanding and effectively criticised the necessary mistakes the intellect made as it attempted to gain understanding. The instinctive self left the intellect feeling it was bad or ‘evil’ for carrying out experiments in understanding. Lacking the biological understanding with which to refute this implicit and unjust criticism, all the intellect could do was retaliate against it (ie the intellect became angry), try to prove itself good and not bad (ie it became egocentric), and block the criticism out from its mind (ie it became alienated). From their ‘heavenly’, innocent, ‘Garden of Eden’, ‘golden’ state, humans’ corrupted, ‘fallen’, ‘sinful’, ‘hellish’ state emerged. Angry, egocentric, alienated ‘human nature’ came into being.
Understanding that ‘God’ is the metaphysical religious term for the integrative, cooperative ideals of life (as was explained early in the Plato essay), we can understand the statement in Christian scripture that humans were once ‘in the image of God [cooperatively orientated]’ (Genesis 1:27) as referring to this period when humans had become fully orientated by the genetic learning system to cooperative behaviour and were living perfectly cooperatively. Christ was referring to this cooperative period when he talked of a time when God ‘loved me [humans when they were like innocent Christ] before the creation of the [corrupt] world’ (John 17:24), the time of ‘the glory…before the [corrupt] world began’ (John 17:5). Humans were once innocent but with the emergence of consciousness a battle broke out between their newly emerged conscious self and their already established instinctive self. As it says in the Bible, ‘God made mankind upright [uncorrupted], but men have gone in search of many schemes [understandings]’ (Eccl. 7:29).
For 2 million years the task of conscious humans has been to stand up to, fight, and ultimately defeat with understanding, the inference that, because they were angry, egocentric and alienated (aggressively, competitively and selfishly behaved), humans were bad or ‘evil’ beings.
Tragically, this necessary battle against the ignorant inference that humans were fundamentally bad forced nurturing into the ‘back seat’. The critically important search for knowledge by the conscious thinking self or ego (the definition of ‘ego’ is ‘conscious thinking self’) Page 378 of
Print Edition took precedence over nurturing. Since males were the group protectors and this threat of ignorance constituted a threat to the group, the responsibility of championing the ego over ignorance fell to men, and humanity changed from being a matriarchal, soulcentric, nurturing society to a patriarchal, egocentric, embattled society.
The effect of nurturing in our heritage was that every new generation coming into the world expected to receive an extraordinary amount of unconditional love. However, the reality for children entering this extremely embattled situation was that these instinctive expectations of encountering a loving, gentle world were brutally violated. Tragically, ever since the overwhelmingly difficult battle to champion the intellect over instinct imposed itself on human life, no mother has been able to nurture her offspring as much as all mothers were able to do before the battle emerged—and further, all fathers have been dysfunctionally egocentric and unable to reinforce their children with unconditional love. Further still, a society composed of such deficient parents could not collectively nurture its children as well as all groups did before the battle emerged.
As a result of this lack of love and reinforcement, children’s pure (cooperation or integration orientated) instinctive selves were hurt and damaged in various ways and children were left variously mentally troubled. This was how the ‘upset’, the angers, egocentricities and alienations that resulted from the battle of the human condition were passed on to subsequent generations. As it says in the Bible, ‘he [God] punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation’ (see Exod. 34:7, 20:5; Deut. 5:9). The ‘sin of the fathers’ originated with the battle of the human condition.
In the Resignation essay it was explained that when children reached early adolescence they tried to confront the issue of the human condition, tried to understand the corruption in the world around them and within them. Lacking the explanation of the human condition their efforts only led to suicidal depression, and at about 15 years of age they realised they had no choice but to resign themselves to a life of denying the whole depressing issue of the human condition.
While virtually all adults are resigned to living in denial of the issue of the human condition and the many truths that brings this issue into focus, the truth is there are vastly different degrees of childhood hurt and as a result there is a broad spectrum of alienation within humanity.