Category: Religion

What is religion really?

It is the desire to find a picture that, just by looking at it, makes us feel infinitely better.

It is the search for informational opium. A picture. A story. An idea or concept or principle.

It is a shortcut omnibus solution that works merely by being perceived.

Idiots talk...

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Joyce Carol Oates defines “religion”

Oates was raised Catholic but as of 2007 was an atheist. In an interview with Commonweal magazine, Oates stated, “I think of religion as a kind of psychological manifestation of deep powers, deep imaginative, mysterious powers which are always with us.”

God used to be ...

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The marriage of marketing and profound wisdom

Sometimes bad ad copy can create a metaphysics
Yoga principles: Yoga makes it possible for every human to discover the [1] real purpose of life and their [2] own true nature. Through Yoga we are able to awaken these inner power centres and make them accessible. 

Terrible English. Chonglish-like English. Also, what does “these” refer to? Nothi...

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All this intelligent design stuff has a good missed premise

All this intelligent design stuff has a good missed premise

It seems that bio form is independent or behind the atomic stuff that fills it in. These little bits (it seems) are like iron filings—that is, they are being arranged not as the cumulative effect of simple laws on atomic s...

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Theology is magick rebuffed

Magick pervades theology. It has to. The institution of sacrifice. Our habit is to look at sacrifice from the needs of the god. The god demands sacrifice. Of course, this is a human projection. What’s really happening is that we expect Sky Alpha to work the same way as ordinary a...

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What we believe about Satan

I’m living through the waves!

In the 70s, he was real. A real physical person that can enter the world. Popular options: by birth (The Omen, Rosemary’s Baby), and by force (The Exorcist).

In the 80s he was after our children. His priests had organized baby sex organizations. They were in ...

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Christianity on other planets

One way to capture the essence of the happy Christian story (concrete proof of love by Creator Alpha in some extreme or dramatic way) would to write a short story that shows the development of “Christianity” on other planets …

Amoeba planet

Amoeba planet. In rich people’s offices there is a statu...

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Spinoza: Ipsissimus

Of all the religious thinkers in European history, whom would we identify as an Ipsissimus if not Spinoza? Of all visions (metaphors) of reality, Spinoza’s is the only one that lives up to physicalism and mysticism both.

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The Antinomies of religious custom

The stupidest customs are also the most brilliant


In India, they bring the divine into the the murti by paining its eyes. Thereafter, God is “in” the statue, or present “at” the place of the statue, or concretized “as” the statue, or “looks out from” the statue. Once this investment has occurred, once God is present in/at/as the statue, the...

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The biggest problem with Anselm’s argument is the quality problem—i.e., how do we define greatness? And guess what it ends up being, thereby proving Nietzsche (and Schopenhauer) right? The urge at our centers, the Urgrund that, being drive, cannot be peered under, is nothing but the interest in power. Every dri...

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All that is religious melts into self-help

How ceremonial magic became self-help after a brief stint as ultimate evil

All that is religious melts into self-help. Everything that used to be the property of the religious has melted into self-help. The death of God has produced more than just cultural malaise. It also led to syncretism in hopes of discovering a generic universal religious system. But what is really...

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Today’s American shaman

That is, a positive substitution is made with

Every plurality of bodies has a particular shape; every particular pattern can be a signifier; so any plurality of bodies can convey a potential message. A cloud, a tree, the lay of sediment against a contrasting background (e.g., tea leaves), cracks...

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On the possibility of a generic universal mythology

It’s popular knowledge these days that a “planetary mythology” or “world religion” is not tenable, because someone can “have” a self-concept or cultural identity only when these are specific. A universal is adequate to its extension class only when it subsumes all class members. Advocates of “My race is human!” and “Everything i...

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The NT Devil

What is “the devil?” Wikipedia can’t help, because its NT section just identifies each original character with every other, so Devil = Satan = Serpent = Lucifer and so on. No, substitution here is appropriate only for the indoctrinated. By equating all these unique characters, the result (and intention) is to hy...

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Epistemic devoutness and Threatening Sky Ape

Intelligent primates, ones having a theory of mind, anthropomorphize the source of thunder. Chimps go ballistic and will bang loud, clangy objects back—they look at the sky and shake their fists. This really happens.

This biological response to thunder, shared by all intelligent apes, is the seed that will grow i...

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Update: COSOM buys

I am happy to announce that COSOM has just purchased the premium domain name

You read that correctly. MapSelf will no longer be hosting COSOM Online Ministry. It has found a better home, a home of its own, with a name that is actually related...

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The Pauline ban on esoteric interpretation made Christians poor scientists

The traditional metaphysical methods of Western esotericism, or occultism, are all creations inside Judaism or Jewish adoptions of Greek Neoplatonism and gnosticism. The occult arts were preserved, that is to say, inside Judaism.

Everything is fine, until Paul came along and marketed his morbid and dumbed--down idea of what “Christianity” oug...

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Gematria is stray Pythagoreanism

What is Gematria?

Gematria is the pseudo-science that determines the meaning-essence of a word from its numerical value.

Hebrew is one of those languages whose letters do double duty, for they also represent numbers. This happens when a culture does not have a separate symbol set for counting. Anyway,...

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Bhakti and the essential dependence of the subject

Every self-conscious metaphysics arrives at 0 = 2, or the fact that experience—the all-in-all—is an equilibrium between poles, subject and object. The essence of subject for Descartes is thinking—perception, observation, pristine and static awareness, open and clear, an Apollonian beholder. The essence of object is extension—the perceived, the observed, vivacity of pres...

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Embed me with fanatics

I’m an atheist who loves religious fanatics. I like being around them. They are passionate about doing good. The religious do-gooder has a bigger battery and more cheer in her doing.

I’d rather be a stupid and passionate fundamentalist than a smart and listless skeptic, but it’s too late for me.


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The joy of Christian psychodrama

Who can grow up in the 1980s and not think that religious belief was not the rock solid metaphysical ground of existence? Adults became intellectual preschoolers on television, publicly panicking over fantasy literature that they treated as a genuine competing mythology and thus in some sense true. Hobbit stories, Hobbit...

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The glee of the evil good

Evangelicals are sociopathic, racist, and homophobic. They work hard to spread their gospel of hate and to channel it politically in hopes of realizing it institutionally. They feel great joy in hurting sinners, which they do directly or by passing sadistic legislation. ISIS members burning Jordanian pilots are really no...

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Myth is to metaphysics as observation is to physics

It’s one of the chief pleasures in esoteric system-building

The delight of the esoteric system builder is the convergence of traditional myth, theory, and the subtle phenomenal content of consciousness. I mean theory in the ordinary sense—a mechanical (rational) system where things are interrelated and caused (inferred) by law. A theory is the metalanguage that constitutes intelligibility, and it i...

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Synchronicity is all we have

There is something profound about synchronicities that I hadn’t seen before.

Those of you who know me know that my writing started in response to years of massive synchronicity deluge starting in 9th grade. These writings, my synchronicity diaries, still exist as WordStar documents on 5.25-inch floppies. Over the years, a...

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Physics is still a pain in the ass

L. Ron Hubbard, OT III

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The Cult of Evilspeak

If the Devil lives anywhere, it could be in San Fransisco.

Neville Drury, The Occult Experience

… or perhaps in Austin, where an obscure Christian sect called the Church of the Son of Man (COSOM) is spreading like a Texas brushfire.

A cult has become popular in Austin

As f...

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Some stupid seriousness

Considerations on The Trinity
If God, Godhead, Trinity, Incarnation, Time and Eternity are significant to and central in Christian theology, this work is central to theology.

So, so sad. So very, very sad. Sad—and … just sad. Also: sad.

Something becomes important to a tradition, and ...

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This is what it sounds like when Grima cries

The Amalekite genocide

I am not one of those who believes in the separation of Religio and Cultura. A Religio that is not embodied in concrete social practice does not exist, any more than a Significato or a Momentum exists outside the animating and preserving life-world. A mythology that does not infect the...

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Intelligent design: our aversion to complexity

Believing in intelligent design is just like believing that lightening “bolts” are actual bolts thrown by a god.

The god of the gaps is part of our intelligent design of models. It is our way of handling, quite elegantly, our distaste for impenetrable complexity. We simply cannot explain all the com...

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What would Jesus do if he saw his death memorialized as art?

All failure begins with fear—especially fear of others.

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Crowley’s lamer later years

In his lame later years, Crowley stopped doing and started proselytizing. He changed from Challenge Mode to Apologetics and Thelema-Thomism. Was he being a philosopher? Nope—he knew that ethical matters (metaphysics of morals) are higher on the Kantian scale that theoretical philosophy (metaphysics of substance, causality, and God). You cannot t...

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Pumpkin spice and fully functional mythology

I think it’s cute that humanity’s favorite flavor is named after an ingredient it does not contain. I am talking about so-called the so-called pumpkin spice five, or PS-5. PS-5 is comprised of cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg cloves, and cardamom. Combine these, and you create the essence of pumpkin fla...

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Cain and Abel: insight into the first propaganda class

Myth and fable as the first mind industry

Class analysis would simply condemn the priest class and all their clever propaganda—the propaganda that eventually became the myth, then the theology, and then metaphysics of that tribe. The Cain and Abel story, like many of the Great Classics, is propaganda with zero historical reference. Its original purpose was to a...

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What is the “word of sin” really?

What is sin? A Jewish concept that refers to violation of Torah. This does not need to be a moral lapse, but just a violation. Having rules of this sort are actually helpful because they bring into view the fact of irresistible inclination.

2000 years ago, to sin was to...

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Cain and Abel: Behind the scenes

God and obedience go together, and so the priest class is also the ruling class. But the best brief label would be information processors. They were record keepers, mathematicians, historians, culture codifiers and—later—readers and writers. When reading and writing develop, the brain expands. The known expands beyond What Is Experienced and...

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Jealous God

A God is just the Third Dynamic as unitary protagonist. People can be so immersed in team play that a new entity (the team) emerges, even as brains command separate bodies. Because Gods arise originally as projections of tribal co-consciousness, every God is a priori aware that other...

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God as punishment

Humans are, in biographical fact, punish-conditioned by their parents. Gods impose order, and punishment is the method of imposing order on human behavior.

God is not just Our Team Spirit, but a law-giver in the same style as Dad. It was our fathers’ law enforcement that we collect and project b...

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God as law

God is the law giver … at first. Later, as philosophy’s concern with consistency takes over, God does not decree the law of nature, but is the law itself, unmediated. The identification of God and law is the beginning of science. The famous “dawn of philosophy”—that epochal transition from mythological account t...

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Finding God in prison

People love interpreting Bible passages. Nothing is more comforting when you’re in prison or scared.

Get with a text that we all agree is infinitely chewy and will provide endless lifetimes of material for rumination. The ruminator is oblivious to the ugly environment. The ruminating inmate is the happy inmate.


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Cain and Abel: the function of myth

I wanted to cite Cain and Abel because I was writing about it for this. Wikipedia was the top Google result. I read it and—lo and behold—it’s a deep treatment of the story’s many layers of profound meaning. It’s a treatment written by people who take the story seriously, perhaps historica...

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The revenge of the Christ

Jesus unplugged his hands and feet, climbed down, and killed—Navy Seal style—everybody involved in his ordeal, which posterity perversely christened his passion. Not only the Sanhedrin, Caiaphas, Pilate, and the Roman cops, but also Antipas, Judas, Peter, and anyone who ever mocked him or who was glad to see him...
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Fundamentalism as easy mysticism

CSH: I think that what drives a lot of American Christian Fundamentalist culture is this dream to find a text that represents something that’s not human.

We love interacting with non-human animals because we can read their physiology and behavior and from this project a theory of mind. We grasp (...

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Commander Yahveh interrupts Christ’s lecture with some bad news.

The Visitor (1979)

CSH: We are watching The Visitor (1979). I was thinking: This movie is a bit cheesy and it’s a bit dislocated. But it’s great material for analyzing a perfectly workable mythology:

  1. It explains evil. Evil is the survival instinct inside limited resources plus the trauma of meiosis.
  2. It exp...
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Eve and Matt: Taoist Bowling II

CSH: Every moment of enlightened consciousness is a moment of spiritual-vaginal experience. In moments of ordinary consciousness, your will is constantly ejaculating images into your imagination. It’s called daydreaming and it happens even when you are not officially daydreaming. You’re constantly throwing stuff out. Ordinary consciousness or experience is autogenetic, or ...

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A new argument for God

In order to create a self, you have to create all the props, distractions, habits, ritualized motions, and other kinds of quasi-autonomous volition, compulsion, and discomfort. All these little non-selves become, when aggregated and averaged, the predictable self or character.

How about this:

This is interesting: the transformation of many...

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Stupid religious writing (Spiritual Intelligence, by Gerald Epstein)

I hate articles like this. It just provides supporting evidence for an arbitrary collection of desired ends. The goal: take a traditional and canonical system (the Ten Commandments) and show how it is really right by restating it the jargon of contemporary (folk) psychology, common sense ethics, and the few...

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Meaning vs historicity

The meaning, upshot, emotion, energy, and value of your reading experience is entirely detachable from the question, Did this really happen?

Also, contents produced by the subject do not need extra-mental referents. Reading is literally a self-creating act—from nothing, you project a dream and then merge with it. You paint a...

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All stories are transparent

One of the premises of fundamentalism is that a text that does not call itself fiction alleges to be an objective and accurate account. A myth that does not call itself a myth intends to be taken as a true report. A false promotion would never communicate itself as the...

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Hero stories: purpose and motivation

Hero stories are an interesting genre. What is the purpose of hero stories? What is their intended effect? And what motivates those who relay them?

The purpose of the hero story is to promote a hero—a person whose character is intrinsically valuable. Hero is to person as gold is to m...

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Religion and conviction

What attracts people to religion is whether or not the story lights them up. The power of a story to inspire is decided not by its facticity, but by the story itself—by its meaning. It is meaning, not historical accuracy, that makes a story attractive. Despite what evangelists say when y...

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Is the Bible a god-penned newspaper?

There’s no use trying to establish the historicity of the Gospels, the metaphysics of the Letters, or the veracity of any of the Hebrew Bible’s account of God’s deeds or the exploits of the Hebrews.

What we call “the” Bible is a post hoc collection of independent writings written by different...

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Why Christians hate metaphor

Of all concepts, God is the one grasped, of necessity, entirely through metaphor. Father and King are popular ones.

God is a father. Really? Then half of me came from his penis. “Naw! Dat naasty,” says the average American Protestant. “Dat just mean he yo creaduh.”

It is the role of theo...

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Why we like gods

CSH: Zora was saying that we demand that ultimate reality be irrational. According to survival-oriented reason, a religion that promoted suicide would be a failure and a bad choice. But the picture of ultimate reality inside atheistic science is not as comforting to our person-like consciousness as the picture of...

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Sex with the sexy young god

CSH: In Hinduism there is a kind of reverence-pain relationship that the person has to the God.

Infants scream, and then the parents do what the baby wants. That’s the basis of our instinctive belief in magick. Magick is just the will affecting the imagination and body. Magick is real i...

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