The Necessity of Opposition

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying—Rev 21:4

Imagine heaven—where happiness is the law of the land—that eternal bliss that is all void of sin—with no more yang to counter the yin—no more descending to disrupt ascending—all tears are preempted no sadness therein.

It would quickly digress to the color of grey—an atrophic undefined purposeless way, pure numbing apathy of colorless color, all black or no white, oddly no contrast of what wrong or what’s right. Heaven can’t happen and stay heaven—without hell, so saddle up long for an infinite spell. Opposition is the only that makes being, worth being.

The way to even recognize joy is to have anxieties with which to compare and the opposite’s true too. So quite possibly in heaven we will need to peek through our fingers at an occasional Wild-West hanging or inquisition? Where heavenites gather around mesmerized in *hathos, a morbid curiosity for their burning brothers (out of necessity of course) to gather around just so often to keep themselves grounded to the doldrums of trial free living—how sweet it is at the foot of a gentle tyrant—it could be worse, right? With no opposite to give joy any perspective, death would be the unlimited bore—if the Christian heaven were real.

And only look at those miserable wretches—but don’t touch. Even compassion is stifled in the demands of this heavenly bliss. Rigid, rote, and care-less or else—unable to even water the tongue of the sinner, “because between he and thee is a great gulf affixed“—Luke 16:22 you will look, but only because you will have to remain happy, or else.

*HathosA pleasurable sense of loathing, or a loathing sense of pleasure, aroused by a certain necessity to watch.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

78 thoughts on “The Necessity of Opposition”

  1. Jim, eclairs and pecan pie are off plan. I’m saving my WW points for a coconut cream Easter egg today. Any dark chocolate on hand? 😁

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  2. There is this tendency that came in with abstract philosophy to deny or explain away aspects of reality not favorable to one’s feelings or views. Christianity inherited this tendency. Apocalypticism is an extreme version of this, the idea that reality will be “corrected” to fit some ideology or some group’s desire.

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  3. Jim, here’s a poetic statement from Wallace Stevens’ poem “Sunday Morning” with which I think you will agree.

    “Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her,
    Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams
    And our desires.”

    And the above can be explained from a Zen story.

    A monk walking along a path was confronted by a tiger. He turned and ran to the edge of a cliff. He flung himself over and landed on a small ledge where grew a strawberry bush. Below another tiger showed up, waiting for him to come down. To climb up or to go down was sure death. On the bush grew a single strawberry. He plucked it and ate.
    How sweet it tasted.

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    1. I bet! Thanks Paul. No matter how bad things may be, they can always get a little bit worse. I bet Mitchell Rupes snickers bars had the same sweetness too….

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        1. Depends on how cold that friggin popsicle is. I bought one at the B.C. ferry terminal that stuck to my lip worse than a Fairbanks flagpole. Lip scabs are never sexy.

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    1. One way to illustrate it’s insignificance, during the corona crisis (the great toilet paper famine) the churches closed and I never even noticed. Methinks they overrate their value

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      1. Every single one of our “great” institutions overrate their own value and necessity. We use them to survive because we are so grossly overpopulated but in normal conditions with less than a billion people in the world, we would need none of them. Every one of them is superfluous, predatory and generating entropy (death of the planet).

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        1. Agreed. We don’t need any of this. And the more we try to “fix” things the worse we make it. It is hard to imagine that we actually belong here. If we ever did, we don’t now. We have hedged natural selection at every opportunity and it will bite us.

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          1. Like – and agree. We don’t belong here. In fact as yet we don’t belong anywhere because we have grown ourselves through inimical behaviour to everything that isn’t “us”. That has to change.

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    2. Nan, what do you feel is most leading to this feeling of stress and anxiety in people. Is it uncertainty or the fear of Hell, or the unknown? I personally don’t feel that it’s possible for any finite human mind to fully conceptualize what it would be like to be in the presence of God in this way.

      But, for me it boils down to trusting in His love and wisdom. You know, that we aren’t going to be under this cosmic dictatorship on the one hand, or bored out of our mind floating around on the clouds, playing harps all day long, with nothing constructive to do.

      I’m all for enjoying this life, making the most out of it, making a difference and not simply waiting for “pie in the sky after you die.” But, I do have a difficult time understanding in the face of death why someone would not care in the least one way or the other about the hope of the resurrection.

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          1. I see truth in the video, but also weakness. Among other things, who gets to define the “ridiculous claim?” Most cultures around the world throughout time affirm the existence of a creator. Is this something that came about simply because of indoctrination or is this something that is intuitive and even self – evident to most of our species. There are also many people of faith that are not at all motivated by fear of things like Hell or judgement or who certainly don’t feel that everyone who disagrees with them is evil.
            On top of this many conflicts which appear motivated by religious difference actually find their root in cultural and ethnic rivalries of which differences in religion only play one part in the larger picture. The truth is not a caricature, like a cartoon for children. It is deeper and more complex, IMO.

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            1. Most cultures around the world throughout time affirm the existence of a creator. I would hesitate using the word “most.” Further, belief in the existence of a creator is nothing more than the result of mythology. In any culture.

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            2. Aren’t you opening up another can of worms, Nan? What is the source of our ubiquitous mythologies without basis in historical evidence? Tales strictly to amuse or scare children would scarcely have given rise to so much classical literature, music, paintings and sculptures and subsequently religions… then wars. Why do so few care to investigate the sources of our belief systems that have such impact on daily life to this day?

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            3. I found this on mythology.net and it says it much better than I could:

              A common quest among all cultures for an explanation of the most basic, and the most challenging questions of life and the human condition has always existed. The word Mythology itself is derived from the Greek word “mythos”, meaning story of people, and “logos” which means speech.

              The study of these stories of creation, good versus evil, life and death, god and the afterlife is Mythology. All cultures have uniquely expressed their beliefs and values through timeless fables. It is left to the reader to interpret each myth and decipher the underlying lesson within the winding and colorful tale.

              As to “Why do so few care to investigate the sources of our belief systems …” IMO, most people simply accept what they are told because it’s quicker and easier.

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            4. Quote: “The study of these stories of creation, good versus evil, life and death, god and the afterlife is Mythology. All cultures have uniquely expressed their beliefs and values through timeless fables.” True but that proves nothing to the existence or non-existence of a “spirit” world. If anything it strongly indicates that there is, as Becky pointed out, a common thread of belief within all of humanity based on a deep awareness of the existence of such an alternate reality or plane of existence . Why would a “myth” be less believable, or less essential to the development of humanity on Earth than some scientific theory such as evolution? Didn’t those beliefs play a crucial role in the development of our civilization? Unless we unilaterally declare that all of civilization is based on myth, meaning it’s an error, don’t we have to factor in the myths people relied on to develop their societies, most importantly their foundational laws; their written languages and their philosophies, in other words, their mythos (stories) and logos (words) by which they forged their civilizations? There is a biblical story called the story of Babel where the ability to communicate is taken from the people and they abandoned whatever it is they were building and scattered over the world because they could no longer understand one-another. That can also be labelled myth, but it illustrates a basic fact: that you need a story and words to tell that story or you can never have a society. If that story, and those words, are lies, you cannot build with that, you can only destroy. When we insist on destroying the intrinsic value of ancient beliefs, are we building or destroying?

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            5. There are some pretty good stories that have been used to scare people, long into adulthood. Go to your local longhouse and try talking about Stick Indians. Don’t say it out loud or they’ll come visit you.

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            6. Sure, undeniably so. My world, the Celtic world, is chock full of non-human spirit creatures, most of whom are either outright evil or mischief makers. Along with Catholicism’s demons, the Devil, intercessory saints, angels, archangels hierarchies, we were regaled with tales of werewolves, leprechauns and various breeds of nasties from the spirit world. Somehow we kids sorted our ways through it all. Sometimes we’d go in quest of these creatures; sometimes we were sure they’d been around. Sometimes saints “obviously” did their thing too and that was cool. Jesus and God though we were not allowed to approach, we had to pray to Mary usually, or sometimes Joseph, to “intercede” for us in matters theological, as to do with sin! It was entertaining and remember, we didn’t have the Internet! I think this modern ‘scientific’ spirit-dead world still lives and breathes within these mythologies. Stories and words, but without them we are dead inside.

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            7. From personal experience I have to agree with your comment, Becky. Too often now I see the overt anti religious falling into their own trap of fundamentalism. Science becomes the new god and like any god, has to be defended against any other claimant to the throne or installed on the throne by unseating the older one.

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            8. who gets to define the “ridiculous claim?”. That would now be the Christian, as their own ridiculous claim supplanted those more in tune with the earth. One example, “ The Kogi base their lifestyles on a belief in Aluna, the force behind nature. The Kogi understand the Earth to be a living being, and see humanity as its “children.” They say that our actions of exploitation, devastation, and plundering for resources is weakening “The Great Mother” and leading to our destruction.” Yet this ridiculous claim was not respected in the least by those who purvey Christianity’s ridiculous claim. A claim so ridiculous that it required force then attrition of nearly every way of life, not with its ideas but with its weapons. It amazes me every day that good people stand behind a religion that achieved its dominance through the spoils of every other culture.
              It’s interesting that you mention children, the source of how unserious this life actually is.

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          2. Slick and cute but I’m still left thinking, what is “Truth” to that particular person? What is “Truth” to anyone? Isn’t it, bottom line, what you are willing, or programmed, to believe? Philosophically speaking, where do we get our truth(s) from? Isn’t it the very same source we get the ridiculous claim from? If we want to be certain that we know, for a fact, what truth is, we have to accept that everything is “true” and that includes the ridiculous claim. If the ridiculous claim falls outside the truth umbrella, what is it – exactly – that remains within the area covered by the truth umbrella? If you finally arrive at a point where all things “scientific” are truth and where “the Truth” is literally, physically implanted in every living human and nothing else, certainly not anything imagined, can be true, you will have the worst totalitarian religion this world has ever seen. You will never defeat the ‘RIDICULOUS CLAIM’ by throwing ‘SCIENTIFIC TRUTH’ at it, just the opposite. You will be the one with the ‘RIDICULOUS CLAIM’ and in many instances Jim, that is already the case. You see, if science tells me that such and such is true and I and billions of others have no means of proving that claim is either right or wrong, it must, of necessity, become a matter of faith whether I accept it or reject it. How I defeated all forms of faith-based religions, including scientific claims: “believe all things, believe IN nothing.”

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            1. My feeling is that we should be open to truth wherever it’s found. I respect any aspect of faith that calls for respect and reverance for the earth.
              Jim, I don’t know of any good person who is part of the church who encourages murder and genocide. These are sins and abuses that need to be decried. However, there are scores of Christian people faithfully following Christ doing much good in the world. They just are not going to walk away from their faith because of the historic abuses of others. I feel as if people define “the ridiculous claim” based in their own paradigm. Non- theists would see the “ridiculous claim” as any religious faith, full stop. People of faith might see “the ridiculous claim” as an unthinking acceptance of scienticism.

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            2. Non- theists would see the “ridiculous claim” as any religious faith, full stop”. Some do, I certainly don’t see every spiritual leaning as ridiculous. Just those that make claims that are overladen with contradictions. I’m not arguing that there is nothing. The evidence just doesn’t support the biblical god. If the evidence supported it there’d be no need for our discussion.
              And I would bet you two eclairs and a pecan pie that those Christians that supported the witch hunts and inquisition were good Christians.
              As Voltaire said: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Not just religion though.

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  4. I’m not sure I agree with your premise that one cannot live in bliss without the threat of experiencing pain or hardship. For instance, I’ve never been tortured, but I don’t think that detracts from my ability to enjoy life without it. And in any case, once you’ve overcome pain and suffering you can continue to live quite happily forever after without them.

    Christian Heaven, of course, is — as Christopher Hitchens once aptly described it — akin to living in a celestial North Korea.

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    1. Of course you wouldn’t agree, but what if you had to? Of course there’s a little more at play than a 200 word blog post, but how about the souls of infants or severely handicapped that died moments after birth without the wherewithal to comprehend suffering or feel it. How would you possible teach them what suffering was so they could comprehend its value?

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      1. I realize your blog focuses primarily on religious issues. But my question remains: why would I have to experience pain in order to enjoy bliss? Do I need to experience blindness before I can appreciate being sighted? Or destitution in order to appreciate living in affluence?

        Psychological studies show a strong link between gratitude and happiness. You don’t need to live through all the possibilities in order to experience happiness — you just need to appreciate the things you have.

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        1. You didn’t really answer my question. How would you appreciate bliss if there was no reference to the contrary? Heaven would have to be a closed system of those with prior suffering in order for it to perceive a state of bliss. It would be boring. Every concern is hedged before even the thought of a teardrop could be considered. But as Revelation implies, drying the tears of every occupant would mean the existence of pain and suffering is ever present, or there would be no tears to dry.

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            1. I forget who I was replying to about what and where it all went, Jim. I think it was to Ron who said something to the effect that it is not necessary to experience suffering (evil) in order to realize bliss. It is understandable to me that Earth people would have some pretty skewed concepts on sorrow and joy, good and evil. As someone remarked, this planet is someone else’s hell. I can easily contemplate the idea of living in a pain/loss free world yet not constrained in the least as to enjoyment of life. As we experience it “here” our type of life expression depends on duality, so we make a massive assumption that it can only manifest that way “everywhere” else. From different approaches the ancients were able to describe ways to achieve pain-free lives. Who’s fault is it that we did not achieve it? That it was pie in the sky BS or that we chose not to seek to live in such a way that would give us all a chance to experience bliss, even here on this cursed world? I think Earthians seriously lack imagination but worse, they lack trust in their imaginings. All things are possible if we choose to make them so.

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        2. From Psychology Today—“ The height of personal happiness can only be measured by the depth of personal sadness. Happiness is not a stand-alone feeling. Happiness is a comparative emotion. The measure of happiness a person feels is judged against the measure of sadness a person felt in the past. The greater degree of sadness, the greater degree of happiness. Without sadness, happiness has no meaning.

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          1. “Happiness is a comparative emotion. The measure of happiness a person feels is judged against the measure of sadness a person felt in the past. The greater degree of sadness, the greater degree of happiness. Without sadness, happiness has no meaning.”

            This sounds like nonsense to me. There is no way to measure this claim at all. It sounds like a typical theist excuse of why their god does nothing.

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          2. Absolute utter tripe, Jim. If they’d said it has to be approached with a different mindset I probably would be OK with that, but their categorical statement based on nothing but “we say so therefore it’s right” is hubris in spades. These “preachers” of secular religion spell the death knell of Earth humanity. These people would declare imagination a pandemic, put people with free imagination in quarantine or re-education camps and try to have vaccines developed against it. OK, admittedly, for personal reasons I am no fan of Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopathy and they all fit neatly in the same Pandora’s box.

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            1. Well that’s 3-1 that the comment article was nonsense. I concur. Maybe im interpreting it to fit my post. Thank you Ron, Vel, and Sha’Tara.

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  5. If you want to live like a mindless zombie with no challenges for all eternity? On your knees bowing down before a misogynistic, genocidal, homophobic, racist, child murdering, psycho “creator” being who “loves you”, but will send you to hell for all eternity if you do not love him back? Well go for it. To “live for eternity” as a zombie like this? Is not living for an eternity, it is simply existing.

    This is similar to the Jewish Sheol afterlife. No color, no light or dark, living in all “dusk of light”, nothing but endless living as a shadow.

    Sorry, not my idea of a fun eternity.

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  6. Funny to think that the very mechanisms necessary to physically experience something beginning to resemble ‘happiness’ (enkephalin and opioid receptors) did not even exist in the world before some 3.5 billion years of terrestrial evolution had passed and untold billions of generations of living things had suffered enormously without as much as the hope of corporeal relief.

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    1. “If it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.”~ Woody Allen

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      1. Or there simply is no evil, but rules during the game, for god created circumstances for suffering to thrive and make the game worth playing Personally, I don’t see suffering as evil like many do.

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    2. Without those receptors would they they know it was suffering. A constant state of anxiety would be “is” what it is. Does an amoeba know it’s reacting to stimuli?

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  7. Earth is where it’s at! Come on up to get down, transcend direction. Angels and demons and emanations, all choose to incarnate for their own liberation.
    But really, truly, this reminds me of something I wrote about the whole spectrum of human experience has to offer, and using colours to designate alignment and “team colours” hah. I should pull that up and out or something.

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      1. So apparently I don’t make this link/message as explicit as you have (or I thought I did..?) But it’s something I’ve alluded to throughout different things I’ve written. I’ve taken on the Godhead form and have addressed the concept of divine through the adversarial pov. Generally.
        I did manage to find this, the closest thing to “colours equal alignment” so explicitly expressed. https://khambalia.wordpress.com/2019/06/23/revelation-annotations-08-whoa-2-3/
        I think I have stuff scheduled or something I dunno. I don’t remember what I lined up. But hey, pink power ranger leads the charge for the spiritual fight for humanity. My motto is “fuck the lot of you guys, I’m out” to both heaven and hell. Or something. LOL I don’t even know what the heck I’m writing as my desire has been to write stuff useful and practical, a realistic and rational approach to self perception/belief.

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    1. Hell is a total theological changing of the Old Testament Jewish theology of the afterlife. The afterlife of the Jews from the OT was not scary enough to truly control the masses. The inventors of the Christian myth, besides changing the very theology of the Jewish Messiah? Also changed their afterlife theology to something more horrifying. Their hell. I mean what is scarier to scare shitless people into believing your new theology? Some afterlife place where everyone goes, good and bad, etc, and live walking around for all eternity in a shadowy place where there literally is no fire and brimstone punishments called Sheol? Or a place of fire and brimstone, eternal torment and torture, ruled over by a Master of Evil? Our superstitious and ignorant ancestors would not truly be scared into believing by the “torments of Sheol” but they sure would with the invention and torments of a place called Hell.

      Again, all souls in the Jewish theology of afterlife? Went to Sheol, the rich and poor, the good and evil, the highly and the lowly, kings and queens, paupers and workers. No one was exempt from going to Sheol.

      Christian inventors changed all that. They seperated the Jewish theology of Sheol into two places, one for the good and one for the evil.

      Most of the theology of hell? Was not concrete until Dante wrote his Divine Comedy, especially Inferno, the trouble is? They mistook Dante’s whole Divine Comedy as it was a satire creation against the leaders and Christians of his day. He literally invented hell out of his imagination, and the Church then ran with it all.

      Hell is as real as Santa Claus and there is more evidence for Santa Claus than there is for the Christian heaven and hell.

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  8. Enforced happiness? Sounds like something out of the American Declaration of Independence! Oh wait, for you guys it isn’t automatic, you have to pursue it. Maybe a little bit of added excitement there as it means you may not get to catch it. At least in heaven it’s a guarantee. I think the concept of Heaven is a pilot production of a soap opera that was mothballed but some still insist it’s actually playing. I have to post my “Divine Divorce” parody on my blog one of these days…

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      1. OK, will do when the time comes. Every time I open it and read it I end up with a pile of edits – seems like it’s an evolving story – maybe it’s actually happening in heavenly fake time!

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