Archive for the ‘ Religion ’ Category

People are No Longer Able to Govern Themselves

I continue in my attempt to understand the people of my time and place – Americans in the 21st Century.

Democracy assumes that people are able to govern themselves – and no one else can do this better than they can – since they understand themselves better than anyone else. But recent history is showing us that in our time (a very strange time, to be sure) – this is no longer the case.

Everyone can see this – but, at the same time,  they cannot see this. Because they do not want to. The very principles their society was built on – no longer apply.

These were: that the world is governed by laws, such as those discovered by Newton. And similar laws apply to political behavior – people behave rationally, and in their own best interest.

But it is abundantly clear, that in some situations, people are not rational at all – and are perfectly capable of destructive behavior. They are governed by their passions – not by their minds.

And these passions are easily manipulated by dictators, assisted by the Media.

I will use an example from my own family – Mormonism. Which amounted to people following (without question) Joseph Smith – and after he was killed by an angry mob – his son Joseph Smith III.

Back then, in the 1820s, the Media was the Printing Press – and when Smith published his Book of Mormon – people could see he was a Prophet of God. A role that he adopted easily.

Since then the Media has been greatly amplified – by Radio, then Television, then the Computer.

People can see they are no longer in control – something else is, and they are willing (indeed, eager) to be governed by it. Whatever it is.

Trump has stepped into this vacuum, and proclaimed himself, as its embodiment. Not all Americans believe him – but enough do to keep him in power.

They Don’t Want to Understand, or Be Understood

Why on earth do I have to keep writing about my thoughts? Why do I want to be understood?

I have no answers, except “I just have to do it.” And I am shocked by the condition of most of the people I know – who are suffering from a multitude of emotional and social problems. But don’t want to know this.

The solution for all our problems, it seems to me, would be for us, all of us – to decide to be good to each other. Is this too much to ask? The answer, unfortunately – is yes!

Something else is more important – but we cannot say what that is. We just know it is – and is much more important than we are. And it doesn’t want for us to know what it is.

It is clearly some kind of deity, similar to the Old Testament God – to which, has been added some powerful new technologies. A strange mixture of the archaic and the modern, that is profoundly attractive to our unconscious minds – and has us in its thrall.

Its results, in operation, are all around us – and reported on the media constantly. But people cannot understand this – because they are afraid to. The Fear of God is in them – a God more powerful than anything before Him.

Does this sound familiar? It should, because warnings against this were very common in the 19th Century, and early 20th Century. It was preached from every pulpit, included in the Transcendentalist Philosophy, and in every popular novel.

But suddenly, in the middle of the 20th Century – these voices became silent. Other voices took over, and other images – that of the TV and the Smartphone. That we could not resist. They spoke to us with the voice (and image) of God!

This was not thought of, as a religion – but it was. The most powerful religion ever – even if it was secular. It had money behind it, and it had jobs! And it was turning its people into idiots.

The Woman Mark Twain Thought Was the ‘Most Interesting That Ever Lived’

The Daily Beast

I really try to limit my postings – but this one is too good to pass up. Consider this:

That uniformity, reinforced by zealous, and profitable institutions, infuriated Mark Twain. The satirist believed Eddy was fleecing the masses. While considering her “the most interesting woman that ever lived,” he also found her “[g]rasping, sordid, penurious, famishing for everything she sees—money, power, glory—vain, untruthful, jealous, despotic, arrogant, insolent, pitiless where thinkers and hypnotists are concerned, illiterate, shallow, incapable of reasoning outside of commercial lines, immeasurably selfish.” In short, Mary Baker Eddy was the kind of American Twain believed Americans loved to love and he loved to hate to show how much he loved them.

It’s an easy fifteen minute read. Enjoy it.

The Religious Basis for Everything

We sometimes think we live in a practical world, and have left the religious world behind us.

This is impossible, because our minds, and our brains – were organized to understand the world around us – and it looks for the forces behind everything. That were originally conceived of as spirits – including our own spirits, or souls.

These spirits are perfectly capable of engaging in warfare with each other – and this is where our literature originated. These stories related how we were involved in titanic struggles.This is where morality originated – if we got too far out of line, God (or his equivalent) punished us. If we did the right things, he rewarded us – copiously.

If we became obsessed with our own power, and tried to take it away from God – this might work for awhile – but in the long run, this was a disaster, and always resulted in our complete destruction.

This is happening, right now, in the Global Economy – it has made us powerful, but is leading us to a global collapse.

The latest difficulty in Cloud Computing, in Amazon’s S3 service, has generated a lot of talk of human error – as if that was something new in the world. In religious terms, this was simply Sin – and has been with us always.

I am taking an online course now, explaining how Microsoft’s Visual Studio, .NET framework and its Azure cloud – add up to something supernatural!

This overlooks how all this power can be used destructively – to make some people very rich, and some people very poor.

How Mormonism Developed

This is my own analysis – and reaches conclusions most Mormons will disagree with.

I might as well state how I view Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism – that should be called JosephSmithism. He was, in my opinion, a religious scoundrel.

As a young man, he was a diviner of buried treasure. People believed treasure was buried in their property. How widely this belief extended, I do not know, but it was common in parts of lower New York State.

They knew this buried treasure existed – but didn’t know where it was. They employed the services of young Joseph to find this treasure. He used a Seer Stone, to see where the treasure was buried. He put the Stone in his hat, and placed the hat over his head and eyes, With his eyes in the dark, his Stone revealed the location of the treasure. That was never found.

He had special abilities. These special abilities would occur again and again, in different contexts – in the story that follows.

However, his skills became illegal in some counties, and an inquest was held to see if he should be tried in a legal Court. It was determined that he was a Juggler, and should be tried. He quickly moved to other counties. I got this information from the book The Making of a Prophet – although I may have gotten some of the details wrong.

Young Joseph had to find new sources of income. And he decided to write a book, similar to another book, about how some of the tribes of Israel came to the New World. He acquired some Golden Plates, on which this history had been inscribed. His wife, Emma, kept them, covered with a cloth, so no one actually saw them, on the their living room table.

The room was divided with a blanket, into two parts – with Joseph, interpreting the writing on the Plates, and dictating what he saw – and a person on the other side, writing down what he said. This person was his wife, at first, but other people were also employed at this task went along. What eventually happened to the Golden Plates is not known.

Eventually, after some mishaps that will not be described here – a manuscript was taken to a printer – and the Book of Mormon resulted. Joseph considered this a business venture, and tried to sell it. He had attracted followers (he always did) and he received a revelation that a buyer would be found in Canada – and he sent his followers off to find him. But they returned empty-handed.

Meanwhile, missionaries had gone to England, carrying the Book with them. People there were very impressed with it, and thought it had a divine origin. How anyone could be impressed by it, I cannot imagine – but they were. They thought Joseph was a Prophet of God!

This was a new idea to Joseph, but he soon felt it fit him very well. And he organized his own church – the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – LDS, for short – in 1830.

The LDS Church moved frequently. First to Kirtland, Ohio, then to Independence, Missouri. Where Joseph led a military uprising against some Missouri forces, failed, and was jailed.

He was allowed to escape from jail, and formed a new town in Nauvoo, Illinois – that quickly grew to be the largest city in Illinois. Many converts were coming all the way from England, and then up the Mississippi River.

He was a contemporary of Abraham Lincoln, also from Illinois – but the two never met.

In 1844, he was killed by a mob.

The Miracle of the Computer

People have always been religious, and these religions have taken many forms. The most recent one being the Computer.

It certainly did not start out to be a religion – it was just a mechanical calculator. But with the addition of Software, that made it easy to modify, and to expand its behavior – it became a miracle!

I can now sit, in my pajamas, in front of my laptop computer, with a fast Internet connection – and write this blog, that will reside on the computer Cloud. Another miracle, composed entirely of cheap hardware, located all over the place, united by miraculous software.

I was part of this religion from 1980-2000, in high-tech California – when some religious wars took place. No one was killed – but blood flowed between the cubicles. And companies arose and died like mushrooms growing on manure. This was too crazy for me, I had to get out, and I now live in Costa Rica.

The worst kind of people were attracted to it – because this was where the money was! And a lot more people (like me) who only wanted a job. The Hardware World was ending and the Software World was taking over.

The few who were able to join this religion – able to become new persons, baptized in the blood of this new religion – were rewarded with positions of power.

Those who were left out in the cold – went crazy, and proceeded to wreck everything. Everyone can see this wrecking, with the election of Trump. But few are aware of the new religion that is destroying the previous religion.

Changes this fundamental always happen under the hood – where few can see them.

Understanding Power in our Time

This should be one of our primary obsessions – to understand how power works on us now. But we are not doing this – and seem to think, the less we think about this (or anything else) the better off we will be. Power is so powerful in our time – because no one wants to think about it – or know about it.

How did this happen? I think it happened, because things got out of control, and we did not want to admit this. That they were in control, and not us. This was revealed in the Panics in our Economy – over which we had no control. We could not control it – but it could control us!

The next step was crucial – we decided we were the problem, and we had to eliminate us – by deciding to not be, and getting us out of the picture. Once we were gone, things could work right again!

This is clearly insane – but like all insanity, it has its own strange logic, imbedded in that crucial step – where we decided against ourselves. It was such an easy solution, it had to be right! And those in power agreed with this solution – get people (with their human needs) out of the way, and let Power take over!

This fits in with our religious background, and our belief in God. Power was God! As He was revealing Himself in our time.

No one made this claim out loud – but they did’t have to. It was kept safely in our collective unconscious – where it could act, without our being aware of it.

And act, it most certainly did.