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‘FREEDOM’—Chapter 8  The Greatest, Most Heroic Story Ever Told

Chapter 8:15 The last 11,000 years and the rise of Imposed Discipline, Religion and other forms of Pseudo Idealism

 

902

As explained in par. 750, Resignation to a life of finding escapist relief from the agony of the human condition through winning power, fame, fortune and glory became an almost universal phenomenon amongst adult humans around 11,000 years ago following the advent of agriculture and the domestication of animals. What now needs to be explained is how the domestication of plants and animals accelerated the development of upset and the adoption of the resigned positionand what transpired when this extremely competitive and selfish, and now universal, resigned way of living became unbearably destructive.

903

Clearly, when the level of upset in the human race as a whole reached this final ‘Hollowman’ stage, humanity entered end play or end game in the race between self-discovery and self-destruction. The levels of upset within humans had become stupendousbut what could we do? We were stranded between two increasingly flawed options: adopting, or in some cases returning to, the extremely irresponsible treacherous and fraudulent and thus dangerous born-again, pseudo idealistic, ‘do good to feel good’ way of living; or persevering with the ever more brutal, destructive and corrupting power-fame-fortune-and-glory-seeking, egocentric, knowledge-finding, resigned competitive existence. In fact, our lives, both individually and collectively as societies, for all of the last 11,000 years have been marked by the oscillation between these two extremely flawed strategies of coping with the human condition, strategies that were eventually refined into what we now know as the ‘left-wing’ and ‘right-wing’ in politics.

 

904

Of these two strategies, we’ll look first at the impact that upset reaching this crescendo had on the increasingly brutal and destructive power-fame-fortune-and-glory-seeking, egocentric, knowledge-finding, resigned competitive strategythe approach that became known as ‘right-wing’.

905

The overall significance of the agricultural revolution that took place some 11,000 years ago was that it led to such a rapid increase in upset that, on the graph charting the intensification of our upset, it meant humanity was fast approaching rock-bottomwe were hurtling towards the cynical, bitter and vengeful, burnt-out, out-of-control, all-restraints-thrown-out, rampaging, warring level of upset. This was because the domestication of plants and animals allowed people to live a more sedentary, less nomadic existence, in closer proximity and in greater numbers, the effect of which was to greatly increase the spread and growth of upset in humans. As explained in par. 848 when describing the effect the ice ages had on our species, living closely under the strain of the human condition dramatically accentuated the difficulties encountered by humans who were living with upset. So it follows that the closer humans lived during humanity’s adolescence and/​or the more difficult the living conditions, the greater the spread of and increase in upset, and that isolation from such encounters with the battle of the human condition served to minimise the spread of upset or soul-exhaustion. In short, if we were each left alone with our personal level of exhaustion, we would not be criticised by fresher souls or corrupted by those more battle-hardened. The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre succinctly summed up just how difficult it is for upset, alienated people of all degrees to coexist when he wrote, ‘Hell is other people’ (Closed Doors, 1944). We only need to look at the extreme situation to see the principle in actionas mentioned, innocence isn’t going to survive long in New York’s Times Square where criminals and beggars work the streets. Of course, while living in closer proximity in more organised societies did greatly increase the spread and accumulation of upset, it also assisted the spread and accumulation of knowledge. In terms then of the race between self-discovery and self-destruction, there was at this time a speeding up in the development of both aspects.

906

This explanation of how the advent of agriculture and the domestication of animals led to a rapid increase in upset allows us to understand why, in Moses’ Genesis story of Cain and Abel, Cain became more upset than his brother, Abel: ‘Abel kept flocks [he lived the nomadic life of a shepherd, staying close to nature and innocence], and Cain worked the soil [he cultivated crops and domesticated animals and as a result was able to become settled and through greater interaction with other humans became increasingly upset]…​Cain was [became] very angry, and his face was downcast [he became depressed about his upset state and so]…​Cain attacked his [relatively innocent and thus unwittingly exposing, confronting and condemning] brother Abel and killed him’ (4:2, 5, 8). Moses again describes the conflict between the more and less upset in his story of Jacob and Esau. Jacob was sensitive and innocent‘a quiet man’ (25:27) who was ‘loved’ (25:28) by his mother, and looked after animals, while Esau was a more competitive and aggressive hunter. So great is the conflict between innocence and upset that Moses describes how, even within the womb, ‘The babies jostled each other’ (25:22), and how later ‘Esau held a grudge against Jacob…​He said to himself “…​I will kill my brother Jacob”’ (27:41). As with his stories of Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark, Moses, in his denial-free soundness, was able to recognise, admit and then, through simple narrative, summarise the essential features of humanity’s entire journey from innocence to upset. And, as was mentioned earlier and will be referred to again shortly, being able to confront the truth about the extent and nature of humans’ corrupted condition, Moses was in a position to clearly see that something needed to be done about it, which led him to formulate a set of rules, the Ten Commandments, for humanity to live by to contain their out-of-control upset. What a phenomenally great denial-free, effective-thinking prophet Moses was! Early in the Old Testament of the Bible it says, ‘no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face’ (Deut. 34:10). Moses was certainly someone who was able to ‘delight in the fear of the Lord’ (Bible, Isa. 11:3); he was someone who, unlike most people, was able to confront the truth of Integrative Meaning that God is the personification of. Moses himself described how ‘The Lord spoke to you [the Israelite nation] face to face out of the fire [as explained in par. 332, fire is a metaphor for the searing truth of Integrative Meaning] on the mountain. [This was only possible because] At that time I stood between the Lord and you to declare to you the word of the Lord, because you were afraid of the fire’ (Deut. 5:4-5). Moses had an exceptional ability to mediate between the truth and all the denial that humans practise. (The aforementioned Jacob was another unresigned prophet able to confront the truth of Integrative Meaning and the resulting dilemma of the human condition and survive, saying, ‘I have seen God face to face and yet I am still alive’ (Gen. 32:30).) In my book Freedom Expanded (see <www.humancondition.com/​freedom-expanded-Abraham-Moses-Plato-Christ>), I present an in-depth description and explanation of not only Moses’ critical contribution to the human journey, but the critical contributions made by whom I consider to be the three other outstanding prophets in human history: Abraham, Plato and Christ.

907

So, from around 11,000 years ago, those involved in the agricultural revolution (represented by Cain who ‘worked the soil’) began to live sedentary lives and as a result became extremely upset (‘very angry’ with ‘face’ ‘downcast’), which caused them to ‘attack’, ‘kill’ and replace the more innocent, confronting and unwittingly condemning people who were still living more naturally as either hunter-foragers or nomadic herders (represented by Abel who ‘kept flocks’). Anthropology now evidences this progression in upset, with the more innocent Neanderthals, Denisovans, Flores man and Red Deer Cave people being replaced around this time by more upset modern humans. We can tell that these archaic people were more innocent because the skulls of the modern humans who replaced them were far more neotenous, and, as explained in pars 787 and 802, neoteny is by now associated with increased upset. Archaeologists maintain that ‘organised conflict between groups [of people is]…​typically associated with agriculture [because] people settled into land and used it for growing crops, so they became very defensive about it’ (Rainer Grün, quoted in The Australian, 21 Jan. 2016), but this defence-of-resources explanation is just another of the excuses denial-complying scientists have employed to avoid the real, psychological interpretation of human development, which Moses was able to truthfully recognise. In his 1955 book The Inheritors, the Nobel Prize-winning author Sir William Golding gave an honest depiction of a meeting between modern man and a band of Neanderthals; in reviewing the book, Penelope Lively wrote that ‘their [modern man’s] objective was extermination’, and ‘the terrible ending, when Lok [the Neanderthal] is alone, the last of his kind, and dies of grief, is the death of innocence’ (‘O unlucky man’, The Guardian, 11 Jan. 2003).

908

By some 4,000 years ago, the development of villages, the movement by people into specialised occupations, the beginnings of trade and industry, and the close personal interaction that each development inevitably brought, resulted in humans becoming so upset that some could no longer contain their upset and had to live that upset out; as the stories of Cain and Abel and Jacob and Esau describe, they had to allow some expression of their upset if they were to find any relief from the pressure of being so hurt. Men especially began to feel the periodic urge to go on a rampage of raping and pillaging. Tragic examples abound of what eventually developed from this ever-escalating conflict between peoples. There is, for example, the thirteenth century Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan; he was certainly someone who lived out his upset to the full, every day satisfying his anger with bloodletting, his egocentricity through the domination of others, and his mind or spirit by blocking out any feelings of guilt or remorse coming from the moral instincts within himself. As Genghis Khan is reputed to have said, ‘Happiness lies in conquering one’s enemies, in driving them in front of oneself, in taking their property, in savouring their despair, in outraging their wives and daughters.’

909

To understand how warlords like Genghis Khan came into being we need to examine more closely the development of conflict between groups of people, and the extremely compounding effect it had on the development of upset. It was inevitable that the need to go on the rampage and express, indeed purge, unbearable levels of upset prompted endless rounds of payback warfare, where warriors from one tribe or village would raid another tribe in retribution for earlier attacks on their material goods and maidens, which in turn would provoke counter raids, and so on and so on, in wave after wave of ever-increasing ferocity and brutality. But if we consider the nature of these early raids and counter-raidswhich, incidentally, were still taking place until very recently in isolated places like New Guineawhat was happening was that despite the raids everyone was basically still trusting in the fundamental goodness of humans to get along; the pillaging, plundering and maiden-snatching was like a sport, a little valving off of upset on the side of the main agenda of everyone behaving cooperatively and getting on with their lives and with each other. Essentially, our species’ original instinctive self or soul’s capacity for unconditionally selfless love and cooperation was still in ascendancythe levels of upset anger and aggression hadn’t yet completely broken free from those natural restraints. By this stage in the human journey, people were, of course, certainly extremely upset and mostly resigned to living in denial of their soul, but they were still being influenced by their soul’s inclination to behave lovingly and cooperatively, which meant that upset was still able to be kept in check; civilised. However, as upset inevitably increased, it is obvious that this situation was going to flipat a certain point the amount of upset anger and aggression was going to become greater than our soul’s capacity to contain it, at which point an ‘arms race’ was going to break out in which the focus became locked upon who could be the strongest and the most aggressive the fastest. Once you could no longer trust in the basic goodness of othersin the certainty that they would treat you properlythen you’d better forget trying to be good yourself and just go all out to make sure you were not going to lose in the race that had now emerged to see who could be the toughest! And that is what happened: at a certain point in the escalating conflict between groups of people, some groups realised earlier than others that, as the saying goes, ‘It was on for young and old’that if they didn’t get their act together and toughen up and train themselves for battle and develop the best defences and weaponry and means for waging war, others would at their expense!

910

When the escaped horses of the Spanish Conquistadors spread up into the Great Plains of North America in the 1500s, the Sioux Indians, who were initially just a small tribe living at the edge of the Great Plains, showed great presence of mind to grasp the opportunity that the mobility of horses offered to become winners in the ‘arms race’ that had developed in their region: ‘They [the Sioux] developed a culture of pride and superiorityand arrogance, if you willthat overcame all opposition by tribes that claimed these hunting grounds initially. And so they simply rolled over them, one tribe after another, until they were the most powerful, most numerous tribe on the northern plains’ (historian Robert M. Utley, Crazy Horse: The Last Warrior, A&E Television Networks, 1993). In Central America, the Aztecs similarly had the presence of mind to develop and refine what was originally a small tribe in northern Mexico into a winning warrior culture that between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries ruthlessly conquered and dominated all the peoples in southern Mexico.

911

Of course, such presence of mind depended on having become sufficiently upset to no longer be naive enough to believe that ‘right’ was stronger than ‘might’, and from there be willing to carry out any measures necessary to ensure you were going to be among the surviving ‘mighty’. And as to which group was going to be the most upset first and thus the first to abandon trusting in ‘right’, that depended on who became the first to domesticate plants and animals and establish large sedentary communities because, as has been explained, it was this closer living environment that greatly accelerated the increase in upset. However, while a degree of upset was necessary for this ‘arms race’ to get underway, once underway it very rapidly produced more upset anger and aggression in humansso we can expect that while those at the beginning of the arms race would have been bold, energetic and adventurous 20-to-30-year-old equivalent varieties of ‘Hollow Adolescentman’, it wouldn’t have taken long for that degree of innocence to be bled dry and evolve into the immensely upset 50-year-old equivalent varieties of ‘Hollow Adolescentman’, warlords like Genghis Khan.

912

This development can clearly be seen in what took place on the biggest battlefield of all, that of the Eurasian landmass. Here history tells us there were two groups of people who were the first to set out to be the mightiest: the Indo-European language speakers and the Semitic language speakers. Living in the grasslands of the Western Eurasian Steppes, north of the Caucasus Mountains, the Indo-European speakers were apparently the first in northern and north-western Eurasia to develop agriculture and the practice of herding animals, especially horses, which allowed them to live in large settled groups and become sufficiently upset to realise they should develop a warrior culture to ensure they would be frontrunners in the coming arms race. These Indo-Europeans have been referred to as ‘Caucasians’ because of their origin north of the Caucasus’, however, ‘They called themselves Aryas [hence ‘Aryans’], which meant “noble of birth and race”. These [were] proud, tall, fair-skinned people, with…great herds of lowing cattle and high-spirited chestnut horses, their flocks of sheeps and goats’ (Barbarian Tides: Time-Life History of the World 1500 to 600 BC, 1989, p.127 of 176). While I don’t know of any evidence for this, it seems quite possible that they deliberately selected for their fair skin as a way of distinguishing themselves. They may have even selected for height and strength by killing any offspring deemed weak, as the Spartans of Greece reputedly did later to produce their warrior eliteas this account indicates: if ‘some of the elders of the [Spartan] tribe…​[whose] business it was carefully to view the infant…​found it puny and ill-shaped, [they] ordered it to be taken…[to] a sort of chasm’ and thrown to its death (Plutarch’s Lives Volume 1, c. 100 AD; tr. John Dryden, 1683, p.67 of 784). (There are records of the Vikings ruthlessly carrying out similar selection for toughness.) In the case of the Semitic speakers, we know little of their origins, only that they came from somewhere in Arabia or North Africa.

913

The following then is a description from the book Barbarian Tides of the horrific arms race and resulting rapid increase in upset and soul-destroyed toughness that developed in Eurasia between these opposing forces: ‘On the great Eurasian landmass…​[from] the beginning of the third millennium BC…​two major groups of peoples were on the move…​[the] Indo-European speakers…​from the Eurasian Steppes, and the…​Semitic speakers…​from somewhere in…​Arabia…​[or] North Africa. Both possessed the means of mobility…​horses for the Indo-Europeans, asses and camels for the Semitic peoples…​and from about 1500 to 600 BC, few civilized parts of the world failed to feel the tremors that resulted ​[from their movements. In the case of]…​the migrations of the peoples from the Steppes…​[the] Indo-Europeans who would come to be known as the Mycenaeans moved into Greece and created a dazzling Aegean civilization…​To the north and west, Indo-European peoples – Celts and Germans, Balts and Slavs among them – were to penetrate almost every inhabitable area of the European continent and to cross the waters to Britain and other offshore lands. Some who settled on the Italian peninsula, most notably a people called the Latins, would eventually eclipse the Etruscans – whose civilization was one of the crowning glories of this age – by building an even greater civilization for a later era: Rome. Other Indo-Europeans…​called the Hittites, came from the Steppes to Anatolia [present day Turkey, where they]…​would found a mighty empire. Others went from the Steppes to the Iranian plateau, and from here some groups trekked east over the Hindu Kush mountains to north India. These people, the Aryans, would bestow their social institutions on the Indian subcontinent and spawn a unique spiritual culture, Hinduism. But for all those sweeping large-scale shifts of people…​nowhere were the effects…​more visible – or more violent – than in the relatively small region that encompassed the Middle Eastern birthplace of civilization, Mesopotamia, and the adjacent lands along the Mediterranean’s eastern shore, later known as Syria and Palestine. In this area resided tribes and nations that had been fighting territorial battles for centuries. Here, too, were cities large and rich enough to lure ravening armies from afar…​And here, finally, was where Indo-Europeans pushing down from the north collided not only with settled populations but also with Semitic peoples thrusting in from the south and west. Most of the established inhabitants of the region were Semitic, among them the Assyrians…​[and later] Chaldeans, Aramaeans, Phoenicians and Hebrews…​The result was a furnace roaring hotly’ (Barbarian Tides: Time-Life History of the World 1500 to 600 BC, 1989, pp.9-11 of 176).

914

This account describes the ‘roaring hot’ arms race that then ensued: ‘By about 1700 BC, the ambitious…​Hittites had…​settled in Anatolia. There, over the course of the next three centuries, they gradually imposed their rule as a warrior elite…​Their culture was notable for its energy and adaptability…​they were pioneers in the craft of diplomacy…​Within the velvet glove, however, was a heavy fist, strengthened by fiercely valiant Hittite warriors and by a mechanical innovation: the Hittite battle chariot…​By 1353 BC, the Hittite empire was rivalled in size and power only by Egypt…​[In] 1285 BC…​Ramses II, Egypt’s aggressive young pharaoh, marched the four divisions of his 20,000-man army…​[north against the Hittites, but] the Hittite army…​savagely attacked the…​Egyptians who shortly headed for home…​[But then] the empire was helpless before the onslaught of a new wave of invaders, seafarers who appeared in the eastern Mediterranean in the late 13th century BC – the Sea Peoples…​an alliance…​including Phrygians – Indo-Europeans from the west coast of the Black Sea…​the attackers obliterated the Hittite world…​slaughtering much of the population and driving the rest into exile. And so, in 1200 BC, the Hittite empire vanished, creating a power vacuum…​that…​was filled by…​the Assyrians [who] were the descendants of the Semites who had settled along the middle Tigris [river]…​fierce warriors…​[who created] an empire that in terms of military might would stand second to none…​it featured deliberate terror and atrocity as instruments of foreign policy…​[where, for example, they] carried 14,000 defeated enemy soldiers off to Assyria as slaves – after first securing their docility by blinding them…​Their immense armies, sometimes numbering as many as 200,000 troops…​could march 50 kilometres a day along roads, some paved with stone, that had been constructed throughout the empire…​From the tribes they had subjugated, the victorious Assyrians exacted an enormous annual tribute consisting of 12,000 horses and 2,000 cattle…​During this time, too, the fires of conflict…​burnt particularly hot as aggressive peoples such as the Philistines, the Aramaeans, the Hebrews and the Canaanites pushed and shoved one another for position…​Once in battle, the Assyrians asked for and gave no quarter; they rejoiced in butchery…​By the start of the ninth century BC…​the Assyrians…​waged a campaign that would eclipse…​[their earlier] dread deeds…​[They] took their [enemies’] warriors prisoner and impaled them on stakes before their cities…​stacked the corpses like firewood outside the gate, then flayed the nobles…​and spread their skins out on the piles…​[and had] captives…​burnt in a fire…​by deliberate design [they] practised and proclaimed mutilations, flayings, impalements and other atrocities for the purpose of spreading terror and thereby encouraging submission’ (ibid. pp.11-24).

915

These few passages give some indication of just how absolutely gruesome the development of the great arms race of ‘might over right’ was! In terms of the upset-increasing, soul-destroying toughening that occurred, there was progression from the Hittites’ more soulful ‘energy and adaptability’ in 1700 BC to the immensely upset, blood-thirsty Genghis Khan-like Assyrians who ‘rejoiced in butchery’ by the ‘ninth century BCand there is still some 3,000 years of soul-destroying and toughening bloodshed that has since occurred in the Middle East! Later in chapter 8:16E I talk about how quickly the relative innocence of humans was bled dry after this tipping point in the development of the arms race, which began around 3,000 BC. It will be described there how only in the most remote parts of Eurasia, namely on the islands and fjords of the north-western fringe of Europe, did any of the original relatively innocent 20-to-30-year-old equivalent adventurous Indo-European speakers from the Steppes remain.

 

Copy of a diagram and quote that appeared in the 2011 BBC documentary ‘Fry’s Planet Word’

Diagram of the branches of the Indo-European language,
copied from the 2011 BBC documentary Fry’s Planet Word

 

916

So, to return to the main discussion, from the perspective of the right-wing power, fame, fortune and glory-seeking strategy, it was clear that self discipline could no longer be relied upon to contain or civilise the now completely out of control upset anger and aggression. A new means to restrain upset simply had to be invented; a further form of restraint for those participating in humanity’s upsetting heroic search for knowledge had to be developedand the solution that emerged was IMPOSED DISCIPLINE, the implementation of an agreed upon set of rules and laws that enforced social (integrative) behaviour through threat of punishment. Once developed, this new form of restraint proved significantly effective. For example, as briefly mentioned earlier, by the time Europeans arrived in north-eastern North America a grand league of American Indian tribes, known as the Iroquois Confederacy, had been established by two unresigned, denial-free, effective thinkers who had emerged from within their ranks. Recognised and described by their people as ‘prophets’, these two American Indiansknown as ‘The Great Peacemaker’ and Hiawathawith all their soulful sensitive feeling and denial-free clarity of thought, were able to realise that the warfare between the tribes could only be prevented by everyone agreeing to certain restraining rules that were enforced through punishment. The resulting discipline proved highly effective, as this quote illustrates: ‘The Iroquois Confederacy was established before European contact, complete with a constitution known as the…​“Great Law of Peace”…​The two prophets, Ayonwentah [Hiawatha]…​and Dekanawidah, The Great Peacemaker, brought a message of peace to squabbling tribes…​Once they ceased infighting, they rapidly became one of the strongest forces in seventeenth and eighteenth century north eastern North America’ (‘The Iroquois Confederacy and the Founding Fathers’; see <www.wtmsources.com/113>).

917

Exactly the same scenario had played out some 3,000 years prior, when, in approximately 1,500 BC, Moses, the very great denial-free, effective thinking prophet from the Hebrew tribeone of the groups of people who had ‘pushed and shoved…​for position’ in the ‘roaring hot’ ‘furnace’ of horrific upset in the Middle Eastbrought order to the Israelite Nation (and eventually to much of the world) through the Ten Commandments he had etched on stone tablets. Yes, the moral code contained in those commandments became the basis of the constitutions, laws and rules that continue to govern much of modern society and proved vital in helping rein in the upset unleashed by the extremely upset ‘Hollow Adolescentman’.

 

918

We now need to consider how the corrupting effects of the last 11,000 years affected the other strategy for coping with the human condition, which involved seeking out an idealistic cause to support to make yourself feel better about your, by now, immensely upset statethe approach that became known as ‘left-wing’.

919

Yes, just as the resigned competitive practitioners developed a strategy for coping with their problem of excessive upset, which was Imposed Discipline, so born-again, pseudo idealistic practitioners developed a strategy for coping with the problems associated with their approach to coping with the human condition, which was that in abandoning the all-important search for knowledge they were, in effect, siding against humanity’s great battle and being excessively dishonest, and that solution was the adoption of RELIGION as it is practised in most cultures today.

920

To truly appreciate just how significantly humanity has benefited from religion we first need to look deeper into the very serious problems associated with the born-again, pseudo idealistic strategy.

921

In addition to the already emphasised seriousness of siding against humanity’s great battle to champion the ego over the ignorance of our instinctive self, the other very sinister effect of the born-again, pseudo idealistic, ‘do good to feel good’ strategy was that in behaving in a supposedly good, ideal way you were effectively asserting that you actually were a good, selfless, cooperative, gentle, loving, guilt-and-human-condition-free, ideal person. This was unlike the resigned competitive strategy where, firstly, you were still participating in humanity’s heroic battle to find knowledge, and secondly, while you were using denial and lies to defend your upset state (asserting that there was no integrative purpose to existence, only random change, and that you were aggressive and selfish because humans had selfish instincts, and, therefore, there was no psychological dilemma of the human condition to have to explain), you were not deluding yourself you were a cooperative, loving, selfless, gentle, thoroughly good person free of upset. The born-again, pseudo idealist both abandoned the battle and took lying and delusion to a whole new level.

922

It is worth mentioning that maintaining such extreme delusion was greatly assisted by the fact that we had already been practising total denial of the issue of our corrupted, human-condition-afflicted state since resigning in our early adolescent years. So, in adopting a born-again, pseudo idealist strategy, all that its advocates were doing was adding another layer of delusion to the one that was already well entrenched. As mentioned in par. 749, while Resignation was a form of autism, of block-out/​dissociation/​denial, pseudo idealism was an even more extreme form of it; it was an even more extreme way of making yourself ‘invulnerabl[e]’ by establishing ‘a complex mental structure insuring against recurrence of the conditions of the unthinkable anxiety’.

923

Yes, the born-again, pseudo idealistic strategy was both treacherous and extremely dishonesttraits that totally undermined humanity’s search for knowledgebecause in campaigning against the battle to find knowledge you were leading humanity towards an extreme state of denial/​alienation/​separation from the truth/​knowledge, when, in fact, humanity had to continue the battle to try to get closer to and ultimately reach the ultimate truth/​knowledge/​understanding of the human condition. Indeed, as we will see, when the born-again, pseudo idealistic state became fully developed in the form of ‘postmodernism’ even the existence of truth itself was denied! The fundamental objective of the human journey was to find the truth about ourselves, so adopting extreme denial of the truth, especially extreme denial of the truth about the human condition, was to undermine millennia of human progress and lead humanity away from its objective; it was to misguide humanity onto the path to oblivion, to total darkness in terms of enlightening ourselves about ourselveswhich is why, as will be further explained shortly in ch. 8:16, pseudo idealism came to be described as ‘the abomination that causes desolation’.

924

We can see then that since dishonesty was so dangerous, and pseudo idealism was the most dishonest strategy ever developed for coping with the human condition, there was a very great need to find a form of pseudo idealism that somehow minimised or countered this extreme dishonestya conundrum that eventually led to the development of the contemporary forms of Religion (the earlier ones being nature and ancestor worship).

925

Religion is a form of pseudo idealism because it involved being ‘born again’ to the cooperative ideal state; instead of living through yourself, with all the associated overly upset angers, egocentricities and denials, religion required that you defer to someone exceptionally free of upsetnamely one of the unresigned, denial-free-thinking, integrative-ideals-or-God-acknowledging, soulful, sound, innocent prophets around whom the great faiths were founded. Because you had become overly upset you decided to end your participation in humanity’s heroic yet upsetting battle to find knowledge and instead put your faith in and lived through supporting the soundness and truth of a prophet’s life and words. Rather than adhering to what your now overly upset self wanted to do and say, you adhered to the unresigned soundness and truth of the prophet’s life and wordswhich was an enormous personal relief; as it says about Christianity in the Bible, ‘if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’ (2 Cor. 5:17). You were reborn from your corrupted condition. But, in terms of humanity’s heroic search for knowledge and the need for honesty in that search, the immense benefit of deferring to religion is that while it allowed you to be born-again to a form of idealism and thus contain your upset and feel good about yourself, you were minimising the dishonesty normally involved in the born-again, pseudo idealistic strategy, because you were acknowledging the soundness of the prophet and, by inference, your own lack of soundness. By recognising, indeed worshipping, the integrity of the prophet, and his representation of another true, denial-free, integrative, soulful, sound state, you were indirectly being honest about or admitting your own immensely corrupted existenceyour separation from the integrative, true, sound, soulful state. On this note, the concept of ‘repentance’ in religion recognises the fundamental need in religion to be honestself-reproachfulabout your corrupted condition. It is an acknowledgment of your need to stop lying and start being truthful by supporting the unresigned, sound, honest words and life of the prophet around whom the religion is founded. As it says in the New Testament of the Bible, ‘to fulfil what was said through the prophet Isaiah:…​“[that] the people living in darkness…​those living in the land of the shadow of death [living in an extremely exhausted, upset, resigned, blocked-out-from-the-truth, alienated condition] a light has dawned [an unresigned, sound, truthful, non-alienated, soulful person has emerged].” From that time on Jesus [that sound person] began to preach, “Repent” [be honest about your corrupted condition and come and live through support of my truthful, sound world](Matt. 4:14-17).

926

Religions also countered an aspect of dishonesty involved in the other strategy for copingthe resigned, competitive, right wing way of livingbecause most religions acknowledge the existence of a God who, as has been explained, is the personification of Integrative Meaning. Also, by acknowledging the soulful soundness of the prophet, you were recognising the existence of a cooperative, unconditionally selfless, all-loving, moral soul in humans. The circular glow of light or ‘halo’ often drawn around the heads of religious prophets was used to indicate their soulful purity, innocence, soundness and holiness; indeed, the word ‘holy’, so often used to describe these great prophets, has the same origins as the Saxon word ‘whole’, which means ‘well, entire, intact’, and is thus a recognition of the prophets’ wholeness or soundness or lack of separation or alienation from our species’ sound, innocent, all-loving and all-sensitive original natural state. The religious concept of being able to be ‘born again’ from your corrupted condition back to a sound, soulful state similarly recognises humans’ present alienation from an original, natural, happy, loving, innocent state.

927

Another very important benefit of religion was that, on an individual level, it also helped assuage the guilt felt by pseudo idealists who were struggling with the fact that they were siding against humanity in its great battle. This is because in supporting your religion you were also indirectly supporting humanity’s heroic search for knowledge, because the truthful words of the prophet that are recorded in your religion’s scriptures, which you were showing reverence for and deferring to, have represented the very font of knowledge; they have been the most denial-free expression of knowledge the human race has known. Indeed, religious scripture has been the custodian of almost all the important truths about the nature of our world and of the human condition, albeit with all those truths safely represented in sufficiently abstract terms and parables to avoid directly confronting upset humans with the actual truth that they contain. In the case of the Bible, not only does it recognise the truth of Integrative Meaning in the concept of God, and the existence of our unconditionally selfless moral soul by the acknowledgment of the uncorrupted, soulful soundness of prophets, it also recognises the truth that sex is an attack on innocence by attributing Christ’s innocence to his mother being ‘virgin’-like. Other insights contained in the Bible include how the concept of ‘judgment day’ recognised that one day reconciling understanding of the human condition would be found and all the dishonest denial and delusion humans are practising would be exposedand how Moses recognised the whole consciousness-induced, psychologically corrupted state of upset in humans in his parable of Adam and Eve, the soul-destroying process of Resignation in his parable of Noah’s Ark, and how, after the advent of agriculture, the horrible ‘arms race’ developed in his parable of Cain and Abel, etc, etc. Christianity was remarkably aligning to the truth and thus supportive of our search for knowledgewhich Carl Jung credited when he wrote that [in Christianity] the voice of God [truth] can still be heard’ (W.B. Clift, Jung and Christianity, 1982, p.114), and that ‘The Christian symbol is a living thing that carries in itself the seeds of further development’ (Carl Jung, The Undiscovered Self, 1957, p.61 of 128). (Incidentally, given how precious all the denial-free truth in the Bible has been for the human raceas mentioned in par. 751, Martin Luther rated the significance of other ‘fine’ books, written by the likes of Homer and Virgil, as being ‘nought to the Bible’the Hebrews/​Israelites/​Jews who produced it deserve our deepest gratitude. It is amazing that while extremely dishonest, denial-complying intellectualism holds sway everywhere in rational thought and debate today, with the proponents of such thinking celebritised, the ancient Hebrews collected only the words of their prophets. Humanity doesn’t have any records of the great authors or poets or playwrights or composers or artists or singers or astronomers or academics or legal minds or politicians from the 4,000-year-history of the Israelites; instead what we have is the collection of the words of the few unresigned, honest, denial-free-thinking prophets who appeared amongst them during those millennia. That fabulously precious and incredible collection is the Bible’s Old Testament.)

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In summary, religions offered humans a way to abandon living out their upsets and be born-again to a more soulful state of ideality, but in the least dangerously dishonest and most human-journey-sympathetic way. They enabled humans to indirectly continue to participate in humanity’s heroic yet upsetting search for knowledge, and they provided a way for humans to significantly avoid being dishonest, because by deferring to a prophet you were able to indirectly admit the truth of your own corrupted state and the existence of another integrative, true, sound, soulful state. Religions provided a way for humans to be (to a degree) honest about their corrupted, false condition without having to openly admit and, therefore, nakedly confront it. In doing so, they helped minimise the truth-destroying levels of delusion and denial involved in the born-again, pseudo idealistic lifestyle. As such, religion has been a pseudo idealistic, ‘do good in order to feel you are good’, ‘give up your overly upset life and be born again to a cooperative ideal life’ way of living that allowed you to live in safe denial of your corrupted condition, but at the same time be honest about italbeit indirectly.

929

In the case of Christianity, the Bible actually referred to being ‘born again’ (John 3:3), to having ‘crossed over from death to life’ (John 5:24)to, as mentioned, having become ‘a new creation’ where ‘the old has gone, the new has come!’ As Christ authoritatively said, ‘I and the Father are one [I am not a soul-devastated, resigned, alienated person having to live in denial of Integrative Meaning](John 10:30); ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father [into alignment with the integrated state] except through me’ (John 14:6); ‘if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father [I think truthfully, effectively and confidently in a holistic, inductive way because I don’t live in a resigned, insecure, afraid, uncertain state of denial of such fundamental truths as Integrative Meaninghence Christ ‘taught as one who had authority and not as their [mechanistic, deductive] teachers of the law’ (Matt. 8:29), and was able to ‘get such learning without having studied’ (John 7:15), indeed, able to ‘explain everything’ (John 4:25)](John 8:16); ‘By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me [I am not a resigned, insecure, egocentric person, rather someone who follows what his Integrative-Meaning-acknowledging, truthful mind says is right](John 5:30); ‘You are of this world; I am not of this world [I am not resigned and living in denial of truth](John 8:23); ‘I came into the world, to testify to the truth [to counter all the dishonest denial](John 18:37); ‘I have spoken openly to the world…I said nothing in secret [I haven’t been intimidated by all the dishonest denial that owns the world](John 18:20); ‘The world…​hates me because I testify that what it does is evil [I tell the truth about the human condition](John 7:7); ‘You are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word [unresigned truth](John 8:37); ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness [in complete denial of the truth], but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12); ‘I am the resurrection and the life [through me, your ideal, soulful true self can live again](John 11:25); and, ‘I have overcome the world [I have stood firmly by the truth and defied the world of denial](John 16:33). Christ wasn’t a pseudo idealistic false prophet pretending to be a soft, sensitive and loving person, as pseudo idealists like to portray Christ as being in order to identify with him, rather he was a sound, strong person whose central talent was to fiercely defy all the dishonest denial in the worlda point the prophet Kahlil Gibran was making when he wrote, ‘Humanity looks upon Jesus the Nazarene as a poor-born who suffered misery and humiliation with all of the weak. And He is pitied, for Humanity believes He was crucified painfully…​And all that Humanity offers to Him is crying and wailing and lamentation. For centuries Humanity has been worshipping weakness in the person of the saviour. The Nazarene was not weak! He was strong and is strong! But the people refuse to heed the true meaning of strength. Jesus never lived a life of fear, nor did He die suffering or complaining…​He lived as a leader; He was crucified as a crusader; He died with a heroism that frightened His killers and tormentors. Jesus was not a bird with broken wings; He was a raging tempest who broke all crooked wings. He feared not His persecutors nor His enemies. He suffered not before His killers. Free and brave and daring He was. He defied all despots and oppressors. He saw the contagious pustules and amputated them…​He muted evil and He crushed Falsehood and He choked Treachery’ (‘The Crucified’, The Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran, 1951, pp.231-232 of 902).

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As was explained in par. 877, Christ, like Moses, was sound and secure enough in himself to fully confront and see the extent of the upset in the human race and therefore the extreme need for something to be done about it, which, in Christ’s case, led him to realise that he had to create a religion around his soundness; he had to suggest to people that through supporting and living through his soundness they could be ‘resurrect[ed]’ ‘from death to life’. It was a vision and act of extreme clarity of thought and extraordinary strength of character, especially since there was no science in his day, no first-principle-based insights into the workings of our world, that would have allowed him to find reconciling explanations for all the truths about the human condition that he could see, which meant that all he could do was offer his soundness as a place for upset humans to align themselves with and by so doing derive some relief from the human condition. It was also a vision of extraordinary strength of character because there were so many deluded false prophet charlatans misleading people and discrediting what he had to proclaim about himself for the sake of ensuring a future for the human race. Crucifixion was the price he had to pay for standing up so straight in a forest of bent and twisted timber. He literally had to offer his life so that corrupted humans would have a refuge where they could relieve their suffering. No wonder his message of salvation rose up after his death, which his resurrection from the grave (see, for example, Luke 24, ‘The Resurrection’) was actually the metaphorical or symbolic recognition of. What a phenomenal, almost beyond comprehension prophet Christ was. Imagine the magnitude of what he was undertaking and then imagine how alone he must have felt not being able to share the weight of his task with those consumed with life in the everyday, messed up, self-preoccupied world around himas he lamented, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man [a sound expression of the integrated state that humans once lived in and could again align themselves with if he completed his mission] has no place to lay his head’ (Matt. 8:20). It is no wonder that, as was mentioned in par. 615, most of the world dates its existence around his life, and he is regarded as ‘the most famous man in the world’. This essay captures the marvel of Christ: ‘Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never set foot inside a big city. He never travelled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. While still a young man, the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him; another betrayed Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earthHis coat. When He was dead, He was placed in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is the central figure of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within my mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever sailed, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of Man upon this earth as powerfully as has the One Solitary Life!’ (‘One Solitary Life’, an essay adapted from a sermon by Dr James Allan Francis titled ‘Arise Sir Knight’, The Real Jesus and Other Sermons, 1926, pp.123-124). (More is said about Christianity in chapter 8:16I, and, as mentioned earlier, more can be read about the life of Christ at <www.humancondition.com/​freedom-expanded-Abraham-Moses-Plato-Christ>.)

931

So the criticism that could be levelled at someone extremely upset, like Genghis Khan or Adolf Hitler, is that they didn’t take up religionor, if they did claim to be religious, they weren’t being genuinely religious. Indeed, for the exceptionally upset, the aspect of religion that made it so superior to the strategy of Imposed Discipline, which the Ten Commandments represented, is precisely that it allowed you to delude yourself that you were being ‘born again’, ‘resurrect[ed] from your corrupted state. Rather than having good behaviour forced upon you through fear of punishment, as was the case with Imposed Discipline, religion allowed you to feel that not only were you actively participating in goodness, you had actually become a good, selfless, loving, ideal personthat you were ‘righteous’which provided immense relief from the guilt of being overly upset. The apostle St Paul gave what was possibly the best sales pitch for born-again religious life when he wrote, ‘Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone [Moses’ Ten Commandments that were enforced by the threat of punishment], came with glory [because they brought society back from the brink of destruction]…fading though it was [there was no sustaining positive in having discipline imposed on you], will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!’ (Bible, 2 Cor. 3:7-11).

932

Thus, in coping with the now raging levels of upset in humans, the first ‘glorious’ improvement on destructively living out that ferocious upset was Imposed Discipline, which was enforced through fear and punishment. But since discipline provided little in the way of joy or inspiration for the mind or ‘spirit’ it was hard to maintain, it didn’t ‘last’, it was ‘fading’, especially in comparison to the immensely guilt-relieving, ‘righteous’, ‘do good in order to make yourself feel good’ way of living offered by that next ‘surpassing glory’ of religion.

933

In this transition it is obvious that the ‘do good in order to delude yourself that you actually are a kind, loving, selfless, good person and not horrifically corrupted’ aspect of religion was very important, which means that only being indirectly honest about being extremely corrupted when you became religious was key to the effectiveness of religionbecause if you had to be directly honest about being horribly corrupted you couldn’t possibly delude yourself you were actually a kind, loving, selfless, good, not-horribly-corrupted person. This ability to not just feel good (because you were now behaving in a good way and not in the incredibly destructive way you had been), but to use this fact to delude yourself you were actually a loving, kind, selfless, good, upset-free, ideal, guilt-free, human-condition-solved, ‘righteous’ person depended on this aspect of only indirectly acknowledging your corrupted state. So although in taking up religion you were being indirectly honest about being corrupted, you were still relying on being able to delude yourself that you weren’t corrupted. In short, religions allowed people to admit to being horribly corrupted without having to suffer the confronting consequences of making such an admission. So just as humans could not directly acknowledge their corrupted state (because without the explanation of the human condition they couldn’t defend and thus cope with that truth), religions similarly depended on not directly acknowledging/​recognising the soundness of the prophet around whom the religion was founded, even though acknowledging/​recognising his soundness was an intrinsic part of the honesty that made religions so special and effective. Religions depended on not recognisingat least consciously, explicitly recognisingthat prophets were simply a sound variety of ordinary people, because that truth would directly confront their followers with the unbearable truth of their own lack of soundness. Instead, at least at the surface level of their conscious awareness, religious adherents viewed their prophets as being supernatural, divine, heavenly, from-another-world beings, because that way they could avoid any comparison with themselves. In fact, as will be described later in chapter 8:16I, the more upset and insecure the religious person, the more fundamentalist/​literal/​superficial they had to be in their interpretations of religious scripture and the prophet himselfbecause too much honesty was impossibly confronting.

934

A good example of how religions depended on not directly acknowledging the soundness of the prophet it was founded around, because it would be unbearably confronting of the truth of the adherents’ lack of soundness, is that Christ was said to have performed supernatural feats or ‘miracles’, such as his supposed ability to miraculously heal people. But with the human condition now understood, we can actually safely explain and demystify such ‘miracles’. While the uncorrupted soundness of Christ and the denial-free, unresigned words he spoke could be extremely confronting, it could also centre people and make them whole and wellit could release them from their psychosis, from their crippled state of living in disconnected denial of their soul. And, as physicians are increasingly recognising, many, if not most, physical ailments are psychosomatic or soul-distressed in originrecall the reference in par. 180 to Hesiod’s description of humans before the psychologically upset state of the human condition emerged as being ‘Strangers to ill’; and, in par. 218, Buddhist scripture’s anticipation that the arrival of understanding of the human condition ‘removes all ill’, that ‘Human beings are then without any blemishes’; and the Bible’s anticipation that when understanding of the human condition arrives and ‘the book of life’ is ‘opened’ that ‘There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain’. Yes, now that we can safely admit that humans’ original instinctive state was one of living in a psychologically secure, happy and loving state, we can understand exactly what Christ meant when he said, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…​for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’ (Bible, Matt. 11:28-30). Having obviously experienced a childhood that was extraordinarily sheltered from the upset in the worldso that he wasn’t ‘weary and burdened’ by the human condition and his ‘yoke’ was ‘easy’ and his ‘burden’ ‘light’Christ was still able to fully access all the love and security of our original instinctive soul’s world, which meant he and his words were immensely realigning and reassuring for soul-damaged, human-condition-afflicted, soul-repressed-and-soul-disconnected resigned humans. Further, Christ’s unevasiveness allowed him to see through people’s denials and think truthfully and effectively about their situationlike the woman who had spoken to Christ at a well and later said to her townspeople, ‘Come see a man who told me everything I ever did’ (John 4:29). Christ could see into the human condition, and his ability to do so meant he could see where and why people were ‘lost’ or alienated. He could ‘understand’ them, not in terms of a first principle-based explanation of their conditionbecause in Christ’s time there was no first principle scientific knowledge with which to explain the human conditionbut in terms of being able to see into their situation, and this ‘understanding’ or appreciation represented true or pure love or compassion. To quote a reference to the work of psychoanalyst Carl Jung: ‘Jung’s statement that the schizophrenic ceases to be schizophrenic when he meets someone by whom he feels understood. When this happens most of the bizarrerie which is taken as the “signs” of the “disease” simply evaporates’ (R.D. Laing, The Divided Self, 1960, p.165 of 218). In par. 926 it was mentioned that the word ‘holy’ that has been used to describe the great prophets is derived from the word ‘whole’. Well dictionaries inform us that the word ‘healing’ is also derived from the word ‘whole’. Yes, the wholeness or soundness or lack of alienation of prophets is why prophets were considered holy and it is also why they were able to heal. So labelling Christ’s ability to realign people with the true world as a ‘miracle’ protected humans from having to admit to Christ’s soundness or innocence and, by inference, their lack of soundness or innocence.

935

Not surprisingly then, instances of other supposed ‘miracles’ aboundconsider, for example, the ‘feeding the multitude with loaves and fishes’ and ‘walking on water’ supernatural feats that supposedly took place when Christ spoke to a large gathering of people. Being unresigned, the penetrating truthfulness of what Christ had to say would have astonished the resigned minds of those listening. Christ was able to venture out into what the resigned mind knew as a terrifyingly dangerous minefield and, as it were, do somersaults and run and skip around out theregrapple with the human condition with impunity. As such, it would have been such a mesmerising experience listening to Christ that even though the resigned mind would have soon afterwards begun to block out all the truths that were being brought to the surface as it realised their confronting implications, the listeners would have been so astonished and enthralled that their hunger after such a long talk would have been satisfied with the distribution of what little pooled food there was available. Later, however, after the event, and unable to acknowledge the astonishing truth about what had really taken place, the resigned mind would have had to have found an evasive way of recognising the extraordinary nature of the occasionwhich, in this instance, was achieved by saying, ‘I remember a miracle where a few fish and some loaves of bread fed a mass of people.’ Similarly, so overwhelmed would the audience have been by having so much truth emanate from someone, that, years later, some would evasively recall the impact of what happened by saying that, when Christ finally departed at dusk and walked out through the shallows of the lake to his disciples who were waiting in a boat to transport him back across the lake, he had ‘walked on water’! The comedian Spike Milligan spoke the truth about Christ’s miracles when he said: ‘They made him do miracles…​“Loaves and fishes, loaves and fishes, just like that!” This isn’t indicative of the man. What he said and preached was enough. Why did he have to raise the dead? Did that make him holier? These are post-Jesus Christ PR stunts, raising the dead, walking on water. I find it an insult to the dignity of the man. I’ve written to The Catholic Herald about this. The outraged letters I’ve got! I said the Turin Shroud was a load of shit, I’ve said it for 15 years. Jesus Christ didn’t need to do tricks’ (Bulletin mag. 26 Dec. 1989).

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Yes, under the duress of the human condition, the effectiveness of religion depended on not directly recognising the soundness of the prophet around whom your specific religion was founded, because that would make the truth of your lack of soundness unbearably confronting, and obviously make it impossible to delude yourself that you had become a kind, loving, selfless, ‘righteous’, good, not-horribly-corrupted personeven though the recognition you were giving to the prophet was in itself an indirect acknowledgment of your corrupted condition. So religion involved maintaining a very delicate balance of delusion and honesty, for while it offered a way of only being implicitly honest about the corrupted state, its very existence depended on its adherents making at least a subconsciously relieving, honest acknowledgment of their own corrupted state, and on observers making at least, on a similarly subconscious level, a relieving, truthful recognition of that corruption; it was this honesty that made religions so special and effective. On the surface of conscious awareness, however, each individual adherent also depended on being able to maintain their facade and delusions about being an upset-free, ‘righteous’ person, which meant there was still a great deal of dishonesty involved in religion.

937

The cartoon series The Simpsons provides a wonderful illustration of the subtleties involved in religion. In the series, Ned Flanders is the born-again religious character who is typically portrayed as having a self-satisfied, ‘I-occupy-the-moral-high-ground’ attitude over the still-human-condition-embroiled Homer Simpson. Ned’s smug posturing drives Homer crazy with frustration because Homer intuitively knows Ned is deluding himself in thinking his Christianity gives him the moral high groundthat he is the more ‘together’, sound, better person and is on the right trackbut Homer can’t explain why Ned is so extremely deluded and totally dishonest in his view of himself. Homer can’t explain and thus reveal the truth that real idealism and the truly on-track, moral high ground lay with continuing the upsetting battle to find knowledge, and that Ned had become so upset, so un-sound, that he had to abandon that all-important battle and leave it to others to continue to fight, including Homer. Worse, in abandoning the battle and, for example, deludedly maintaining that doing so was the solution to the world’s problems, Ned has effectively sided against those still trying to win the battle, adding substantially to the opposition they had to overcome. But even Ned is intuitively aware that he is practising delusion and so has to work hard at maintaining it. As explained in par. 886, maintaining a delusion meant constantly persuading yourself, and others, that you are right. Stridency and fanaticism characterised the behaviour of those maintaining a delusion, especially when, in becoming religious for instance, you were practically admitting that you were being deluded about being a sound, together, on track person yourself by having had to defer to a sound prophet.

938

In summary, the benefit of Imposed Discipline for the resigned, competitive way of living over the born-again, pseudo idealistic way of living was that it did not undermine a person’s participation in humanity’s great battleit simply provided a means to manage the upset associated with that battle. However, since the religious born-again strategy both minimised the irresponsibility of abandoning the battle, and (despite the degree of delusion it still allowed) minimised the extreme denial involved in becoming born-again, it provided a marvellous way of coping with the by now extremely destructive and unbearable levels of upset and associated guilt that affected nearly the entire human race, and which Imposed Discipline could no longer contain. In fact, because of its degree of honesty and indirect support of the search for knowledge, religion has been by far the most special, the most wonderful form of pseudo idealism to ever be developed. Indeed, it was religion that saved humanity from destruction through the most difficult final stages of its journey. (It should be pointed out that now that we can explain the incredibly important role religions have played in the human journey, we can see how obscenely arrogant and wrong religion/​truth-haters have been, when, for instance, people like Oxford University’s Professor of Public Understanding of Science, Richard Dawkins, have said that ‘“Faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus, but harder to eradicate. The whole subject of God is a bore”…​those who teach religion to small children are guilty of “child abuse”’ (‘The Final Blow to God’, The Spectator, 20 Feb. 1999); and when E.O. Wilson, that quintessential exponent of dishonest, human-condition-avoiding mechanistic science, said that ‘What’s dragging us down is religious faith…​I would say that for the sake of human progress, the best thing we could possibly do would be to diminish, to the point of eliminating, religious faith’ (‘Don’t let Earth’s tapestry unravel’, New Scientist, 24 Jan. 2015).)

 

939

However, while religion did save the human race, at the very end of our species’ journey through ignorance other forms of pseudo idealism evolved that have very nearly destroyed humanity. This final development will now be described and explained.