Monday 17th of May 2021

gilding the beliefs...

shrineshrine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the past 25 centuries, religions have been gilding their beliefs to mesmerise the crowds. It is thus quite weird to note that a clever writer like Paul Kingsnorth has turned to Christianity to "seemingly escape the future as planned by the CIA".

 

It’s like giving up on an evolving conspiracy theory to join an older one that has been a lie since day one, while using titbits of historical events. 

 

Yet the present events in which we are all supposedly affected by, only interfere with a very small proportion of people, despite the droning news about this catastrophe or that deconstruction of society. 

 

Rod Dreher is excited once again, blushing like a young girl on her first prom ball:

 

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Yesterday I [Rod Dreher] wrote about Paul Kingsnorth’s great new Substack, to which I devoutly hope you will subscribe. Reader N.S. Lyons responds:

 

"In your post on Paul Kingsnorth yesterday you quoted this great paragraph from his essay:"

 

The churning of the surface waters of our societies – the fights, the divisions, the polarising ‘issues’ dangled before us like carrots to squabble over – these are all symptoms of deep shifts beneath. Add it all together – the coming-apart of (supposedly) liberal nations, the ongoing global eradication of rooted cultures and so much of the wild and non-human world, the rise of a techno-feudal new order, the replacement of older values with those of the globalised consumer machine – and what you get, I think, is a revolution.

 

Well, it seems he has some unusual company in his pessimism, because the day after he published his essay, the National Intelligence Council (NIC) released Global Trends 2040, the latest in a series of special documents published every four years by the NIC’s Strategic Futures Group to assess “the key trends and uncertainties that will shape the strategic environment for the United States during the next two decades.

 

It is a remarkable document. No one seems to have paid much attention to it yet, but I think that should change.

While the analysts who wrote it are unable to describe what is happening inside the United States itself (in practice these reports are mostly produced by the CIA, given that outward facing strategic intelligence is their specialty, and the Agency is essentially forbidden from engaging on domestic matters), their prediction of where the world is headed as a whole is both shockingly dire and fascinating in its candid acknowledgement of the havoc that a combination of technological revolution and the ideological revolution of “identity politics” is unleashing on us all.

 

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Etc, etc… N.S. Lyons tells us on his website, in his articles, The Upheaval — Introducing the revolutions upending our world:

 

We are living through an era of epochal change. At few times in history have so many currents of civilizational transformation coalesced and crashed into us at once, and at such speed. To say that we are being unmoored by massive technological, economic, environmental, geopolitical, and socio-cultural shifts would be to insufficiently limit our description of what is occurring. Vast new ideational, epistemological, and arguably even theological frameworks for how to understand and interact with reality have emerged and are now spreading across the world. 

 

Overwhelmed, and with no contemporary experience with which to easily contextualize and comprehend what is happening, our natural tendency is to ignore it, to dismiss, excuse, and normalize. Today is much like yesterday, this week much like last week. The economy continues to grow. Besides, we think, change is normal; political games and cultural fads come and go, life will remain much the same. But in our bones many of us can feel the rumbling of the earthquake, and intuit the terrible truth: we are experiencing a tectonic upheaval, a rending, uprooting, cataclysmic shift from one era of history to another. And in such times there will, inevitably, be blood.

 

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So what is this all about. No matter what, there will be diversity in human decisive actions despite this or that organisation trying to get the upper hand. N. S. Lyons sees this a little bit in his trying to make "sense of life amid the madness of the post-modern age”. Not only this, there has been much blood here and there over the centuries of human madness, and possibly less for the last 70 years...

 

One of the main problem is rather than try to find a modern solution to modern problems plaguing the few modern thinkers (as most people go with the flow of habits, beliefs and rituals — including barbecueing on Sundays) is to go back to the old deceit of religious beliefs. And I find this sad with a writer like Paul Kingsnorth, who seems to have written all he could and then gave up to find refuge in religious delusion.

 

I really don’t care what he does or not, but I care that he could influence other genuine truth-seekers, those in search of the relative truth in a weirdo universe, in which god has no place but through fabricated ignorance. So, Paul Kingsnorth has found god in the Romanian Orthodox Church, a discovery that makes Rod Dreher dribble with sweetened saliva and give him eyes the size of flying saucers. 

 

The Churches of all kinds have used various techniques to entice people to believe in crap. Gilding beliefs is one of them. Other techniques are the institution of precise rituals, in which the repeat of mantras become enticing like a trance. The Muslims use the same techniques, with corporal punishment added. The harsh reality of natural survival and of human bunfights should not be enough to push us, decent thinking dudes, into these religious delusive mode. it’s giving up on reality, even if reality does not make sense. The religious delusion is even far more senseless than a non-sensical reality. The religious delusion is a gilded lie. A magnificent porkie…

 

Yes, Paul Kingsnorth got involved in the free West Papua movement. But even before PK was born, Gus and his mates were involved in exposing the “transmigration” of Indonesians to West Papua. West Papua had been given up by the Western nations as a peace offering to Indonesia for having defeated the “commies” to the tune of several million deaths of their own people. It was believed that Indonesia would treat West Papua as a protectorate like Australia did with New Guinea for a while, until gaining independence, but Indonesia had other ideas… By the mid, 1980s, the shit hit the fan with East Timor, now Timor Leste. Our glorious government fought to prevent Indonesia taking Timor Leste over, and eventually it became independent. Behind the scene one could smell the Howard government working at preventing the Indonesians from taking over the oil and gas field of the Timor Sea and trying to place its dirty mittens on it, while technically these resources belonged to the new nation, Timor Leste. This is where grubby Downer got his pants pulled down later on, when the government was exposed for having bugged the offices of the Timor Leste new government. This case is still going on, with Witness K and his lawyer. We can only hope that the new Attorney General of Australia, Ms Cash, will drop the case as a good will gesture. One can hope.

 

 

But overall, giving up on understanding the trials and tribulations of the EVOLUTION of humanity, as tormented and unpredictable as it is, in favour of the old gilded loony faith, is a cop out. the rituals and the stories of the bible are RIDICULOUS, should one look at these with a proper critical eye. One wonders why such a "clever man" as Paul Kingsnorth fell into the trap of delusion. I guess he got tired of having to fight the good fight for reality, as relative and weird as it is, yet is as natural as the wild.

 

Gus Leonisky

 

Rabid atheist

 

 

Picture at top; the Shrine of St Taurin, Evreux, Normandy (from one of Gus' old books)...

 

More to come...

 

 

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of cathedrals and paper bins...

Thinking about it, it is quite extraordinary that humans spent/spend an enormous amount of time doing great things with no other purpose than to encourage/maintain delusions.

 

Look for example to the great cathedrals and churches of Europe. France has 180 cathedrals, Germany 49, Italy 500, Spain and Portugal 138… Many of these massive buildings were built from the 11th till the 18th century — from Gothic to Baroque style... And we’re not counting the little village churches, the protestant temples, nor the super-big glass-houses of the jet-setting American evangelicals.

 

Impressive. 

 

Add all the Mosques, Zeus and Buddhist temples around the world, the dedicated shrines to Vishnu and such, and one can see that the delusions of the spiritual homo sapiens species are well rooted within the cultures of the world. To this, add the castles of the kings, emperors and despots, and now you understand the structure of control, the power that “maintains order” in which faith in the unbelievable is paramount. 

 

In Australia, the Aborigines never built cathedrals, but accepted the sacred role of natural features in their daily life — probably because it provided beacons to their survival — and looked impressive. This is why when a Rio Tinto blows up a sacred cave in WA, it’s equivalent to destroying Westminster Abbey. We would not do this, would we, except in carpet bombing of stuff, during a mega-war. Imagine Dresden, churches and all, being flattened except the Schlösser (castles) on the other bank of the River Elbe… That will show you we mean business!…

 

All these churches and devotion centres to delusions were designed to help us leave this little planet in peace when we die and, of course, obey the dictums of rulers, priests and doodahs who told us to build bigger walls and higher cathedrals to demonstrate our real dedication to the unbelievable. This was/is crazy. But this activity which stemmed from being a social species provided us the purpose of building our termite mound with something added: style and compliance to the misunderstanding of reality…

 

Imagine a city without devotion centres of delusion, would this be like blue cheese without the mould?

 

Some moulds are poison, like that on bread that led to the mad witches of Salem, while others like that in cheese give us a tingle on the tongue or a certain unctuous bitterness like Camembert. Without this, our cheese would taste like the Frankfurt specialty cheese (possibly Harzer) in which the fat is totally removed: yuck if you like double-cream Brie.

 

People like Gus are annoying. We don’t play the game. We try to understand the puzzle of life rather than imagine fancydom. We invent fiction and scientific narratives that are fluid, not set in beliefs. Our delusions are flimsy, in search of better rocket fuel and bio-salads. What matters is that we get a roof over our head, that we get fed at regular times and can be happy by minimising pain and trauma, until it’s time to take our last trip to oblivion.

 

In some countries of Africa, the shrines to dead people are much bigger than the houses. The shrines are made of stones, while the houses are made from sticks and thatch... The ultimate in this caper are the pyramids. Useless as a German bunker with no windows, these extraordinary monuments to uselessness remind us that before cathedrals (with more windows to transform sunlight into god dust) there was already some dedication to the unbelievable we called myths. The present myths we call them religions because we still believe in the unbelievable. Religions make as much sense as a crane operator equipped with a fork, dedicating his life to dig a hole with no purpose but to make sure we venerate the hole, otherwise we get flogged. We pray for redemption because we did not look at the hole. 

 

Trying to understand the puzzle of life is difficult. It’s simpler to believe that the universe was created in seven days, including a day of farniente, rather than understand the quasars, the muons, gluons and quarks and all these bizarre-o-ums in which the Latin language has been replace by mathematics.

 

Mind you without these weirdo-o-ums, we would not have the smartphones we use to venerate in-for-ma-tion, which is designed to make us think of beauty products from the Kim Kardashian lines and the vagina-scented candlestick of Gwyneth. At least we can see improvements on our skin, where the natural blotches get erased by photoshop, the new magic tool that works better than holy water — which we've been told would work, "should we believe"... 

 

Erasing reality is one of our major pass-time, because we can. We call this improvements.

 

With thoughts like these, I don’t deserve to live till the end of eternity. And that’s fine by me. 

 

I don’t see myself, in a white robe, spending my time venerating an old male-god with a beard, a god that had been wrathful enough to destroy his own creation with biblical floods and deceitful enough to let our dumb ancestors Adam and Even become sinful. Oh crap, the Christian myths make as much sense as a dead cockroach on the floorboards of the lounge room. May be we should build cathedrals to the dead cockroaches. We do: may the god of delusion bless America…

 

So, to another delusion of power… The Pommy Royals. The Royals have lost one of their second fiddle. Prince Philip. According to some report he was the best cheese one can have on conservation, protection of wildlife, etc. According to others he was a bad driver and an annoying racist pun-maker. Overall, he was part of a “tradition” that cultivates delusions. “Traditions” give us our social rudder by making us remember where we’ve been. Some silly souls would say that they make us "remember who we are"… Stupid Twats!  The pomp, the gold and the decorations with medals could make us wish we’d be like Captain Mainwaring: pompous, delusional and gold-hearted without medals. We are sticklers for rules and regulations, and we forget the will of others beneath us except that of who must be Obeyed, but never seen — apart from her heaviness in the top bunk and her heavy feet on the floor above. The goddess is climbing down the stairs… and it’s time to run to the bomb shelters.

 

Have you ever heard the racket made by a cockroach in a paper bin?

 

 

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