Making Your Way

How walking the path others have written stunts your potential

How do we make sense of the world without a guiding myth like religion?—Alan Watts

—By making our own way, not cut from the cloth of big-box corporate religion or political ideology, where billions get a handful of choices. Evidence of this truth is ever displayed among all Christianity. Everyone chooses what suits them, but in lacking real answers they go, trying to incorporate every single thought into a new god—their real god—themselves. Or, by complete submission (where we find another book) that compels one to enforce many.

We are not born to be decided upon, to be guided upon, to be swayed upon by others interpretations of life’s completeness, especially among the religious who have closed their minds to the endless possibilities of fulfillment. Oft blinded by their narrow view from what might be genuine delight.

Ideology is a poor guide because it’s not your story”—Joseph Campbell

What is the story of life? Where is the deepest meaning and fulfillment? We are alone finding our way among the crowds and impetuous, pushy religiosos that think in their narrow book of parables and horror are the answers for everyone that ever lived. How conceited. How dare they, really.

Mythology is psychology, misread as cosmology, history, and biography.“—Joseph Campbell

Brainwashing or Conversion?

How tools to manipulate self are inherent to conversion.

I recently read a blog where a woman was asking the audience if she should join Islam, the religion of her boyfriend of six years—his family didn’t know she was an infidel, and they were scheduled to meet the parents in a few weeks. Should she join with the Muslim faith to appease her boyfriend? I reviewed these steps to religious conversion after posting my reply.

In no precise order, and often overlapping:

1. New Identity—Although not always mandatory, a name change is required if her given name was an affront to Islam (Christina) It is common in many religions to assume a new name after conversion. Catholics, muslims, mormon, Hindus, and more. If no new name is officially or ritually given, aligning with the group is done voluntarily. Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Mormon, etc. Giving up your old identity and assuming a new, is just part of the program.

2. Guilt—You are bad. You are born a fallen sinner. Your sin is so grievous in fact, is as though your sin is driving the nails in Jesus’ hands and feet. As a sinner you are eternally separated from the presence of god. Your body is a temple that you have defiled with the ways of the world. You continue to make the lord suffer by your disobedience. He loves you.

3. Self-betrayal—Agree with me that you are bad. Once the prospect agrees that they are worthless without god, they can begin to see their own dilemma before the lord—not a highly evolved organism, but a child of god. Don’t you know what you are? You want to come from monkeys?

4. Breaking point—I am a sinner. I am not a good person nor could I possibly live a peaceful life knowing I am worthless. I need to be saved.

5. Leniency—You can be forgiven of all your sins if you simply believe, confess your sins, repent and be baptized. You want to be forgiven, don’t you? You want to return to god.

6. Compulsion to confess—Confess your sins, often to a clergy member, or authority. I am a sinner lord.

7. Channeling of guilt—the investigators guilt has lost all meaning—he’s not sure what he has done wrong, he just knows he is wrong. Things he didn’t know were wrong, are now wrong. This confusion creates something of a blank slate that lets the teacher fill in the blanks.

8. Releasing of guiltIt’s not me; it’s my beliefs. The embattled soul is relieved to learn there is an external cause of his wrongness, that it is not he himself that is inescapably bad—he was born this way because of the act of another. This means he can escape his wrongness by escaping the wrong belief system, or lack of one. All he has to do is denounce the people and institutions associated with that belief system, and he won’t suffer guilt anymore. The investigator has the power to release himself from wrongness by abandoning his old belief system. With his full confessions, the convert has completed his psychological rejection of his former identity. It is now up to the teacher to offer the prospect a new one. Scapgoating…placing your burdens on another to make you whole. Relief and salvation. I am saved, and I will now be a faithful follower.

9. Progress and harmony—Friendships and alliances form. New family, friends, phrases, I belong here. This is good. Backslapping, hugs and joy. You’re in!

10. Final confession and rebirthI choose good. Contrasting the agony of the old with the peacefulness of the new, the convert chooses the new identity, clinging to it like a life preserver. He rejects his old or non-belief system and pledges allegiance to the new one that is going to make his life better. At this final stage, there are often rituals or ceremonies to induct the converted target into his new community. This stage has been described by some brainwashing victims as a feeling of “rebirth.”

You may have guessed by now, but these are not conversion tactics listed in the numbered headings, but brainwashing techniques discovered by Robert J Lifton used on POWs in N Korean and Chinese camps. Conversion merely follows the same steps.

Here is one version of the sinners prayer. Don’t worry, I’m not fooling you into salvation…but it contains the elements.

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Geno-Phenotypes vs Religious Nurture- A change in Physiology

Comparing heredity to physiology and neurological changes from religious indoctrination from submitting your will to another power

I can’t help but notice from day to day how so many can completely ignore the contradictions of religion. Could it be faulty wiring, or are they compelled in some way by their physiology to align with obvious duplicity due to faulty programming? Where but institutionalized patients in state hospitals can you see such a broken bridge between reality versus what is believed? —Religious conditioning

A genotype is an organisms full hereditary information, while phenotype is the organisms actual observed properties. Additionally, an extended phenotype would include what the organism does, such as nest building for birds or dam building for beavers, who change their environment due to genetic programming.

Religious genotypes, phenotypes, and morphology could easily be expounded in analogy with more time, but your natural conclusion can easily see what I am alluding to. It’s obvious to everyone that has not been indoctrinated. The constant denial of the obvious is more than a decision to believe, but they are forced to ignore simple logic by physiology. Here’s how-

A key difference between a religious genotype and natural organic genotypes is one of nurture versus nature. While family traits can be passed on from generation to generation with no effort but copulation, religious traits must be routinely hammered into the newcomer without their choice or consent. After several years of indoctrination, subjects begin to take on the traits of the abuser parent and lose the natural discernment of contradiction due to shifted nueropathways. While religion through fertility is a common occurrence, retracting from nurtured thought duplicity is quite rare. The ability to ignore contradiction has become physiological.

Neurotheologist Dr. Andrew Newberg writes; “As to what’s going on in their brains, he says, “It depends to some degree on what the practice is.” Practices that involve concentrating on something over and over again, either through prayer or a mantra-based meditation, tend to activate the frontal lobes, the areas chiefly responsible for directing attention, modulating behavior, and expressing language.

In contrast, when practitioners surrender their will, such as when they speak in tongues or function as a medium activity decreases in their frontal lobes and increases in their thalamus, the tiny brain structure that regulates the flow of incoming sensory information to many parts of the brain. This suggests that their speech is being generated from some place other than the normal speech centers” The Metaphysical Mind

Research also shows that routines and habits actually create new neuro-pathways. A study in the Oct. 20 issue of Nature, led by Ann Graybiel of MIT’s McGovern Institute, now shows why. “Important neural activity patterns in a specific region of the brain change when habits are formed, change again when habits are broken, but quickly re-emerge when something rekindles an extinguished habit — routines that originally took great (pressure) effort to learn. We knew that neurons can change their firing patterns when habits are learned, but it is startling to find that these patterns reverse when the habit is lost, only to recur again as soon as something kicks off the habit again,” said Graybiel, who is also the Walter A. Rosenblith Professor of Neuroscience in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS).

Forcing religious habits into young minds through repetition has a two-fold effect One, essentially taking away freewill of the indoctrinated, and two, manipulating/changing actual neuro-physiology in each subject. Undoing these manipulations requires a long break in the routine to readjust the neurons to achieve clarity.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”. Why? Because his neurophysiology has been manipulated—It almost takes a miracle, or some good luck.

Here again we see contradiction in the religion of freewill. They appear to be the ones without it. After physiological changes in the brain seal it by indoctrination and repetition, they simply cannot undo the connections. We would just as well teach a beaver to build a birds nest. No matter what you do, he’ll still end up back at the water.

Synesthesia -The Religious Model

Synesthesia is a real condition of crossing senses. Someone may see a color that hurts their ears, while another may see numbers in different colors. It is an interesting phenomenon where senses cross neurons in visual/cerebral perception, and may attribute smells to pain, or shapes such as a triangle may physically perceptually be seen in yellow. Below is one example. A “normal” acuity would see all black, but a synesthesia patient may see green or red. .

And if a subject sees W’s as a color, this test takes less than a second.

Synesthesia is not only seen and present in religion, it is promoted. Seeing a cross can cause tears of pain or joy, hearing a lie can cause belief, and talking out loud followed by an amen, can fondle hope in religious subjects. But this type of behavior is learned, and once believed, it is tolerated.

While most synesthesics feel what they are seeing as normal , 98% of the population sees it as an enigma. To someone that believes in the supernatural god, it may seem natural or necessary, but it is not. But to the theist or the synesthesiac, it requires an outside observer to recognize the flaw.

Thousands of gods have dissipated into near oblivion. Where are they now? They are parked in the annuls and history books, but those from the time thought them to be immortal. While red may be a color, it also may have a smell. Whatever your eyesight tells your mind, deconversion has a sweet ring to it.

Twenty Minutes

I did this analysis twenty years ago with an apologist mindset, then I went on to explain how for god this was fair. I’ll let you judge for yourself, as my hairsplitting defense of gods wisdom overshadowed sensibility.

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

2 Peter‬ ‭3:8‬ ‭KJV‬‬

If a one day to the lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day, the average human living 70 years, has roughly 20 minutes of the lords time to decide his eternal fate here on earth. Some much less time, while others just a bit more. Hardly seems like a fair enough amount of time, considering about 7 minutes of that is spent sleeping, 7 is spent working, 5 is basic living, recreation, sex, weekends, vacations, family time, schooling, and so forth. Probably about 1-2 minutes thinking about religion and scripture. Decide quick! Take no chances. Go with the flow, and don’t forget to tithe!! Making love takes about twenty minutes on average I guess, so shouting out jesus at this time may count towards confessing. But don’t shout to early.

“If” any of this were true, how could judgement and sentencing for eternity be fair based on Bible math?

Political Science Experiment 1980 Who Can You Trust?

Exactly who, and what can you trust? I was a senior in high school in Issaquah, Wa in 1980. My teacher had us take a test to decide if we were liberal or conservative, democratic or republican. He told us to be very observant of his behavior during the semester, and at the end we would take a short survey. At the end of term, he asked us each to write what we thought his political views were. We each cast our votes and Mr Johnson revealed that he was a lifelong democrat and was politically active. Here’s where it got interesting. Every student in the class thought he was the same party as them and their family. Virtually split down the middle. Students of republican families thought he was a conservative, while the others thought he was a democrat. We have to be very careful to see life without strict confirmation bias. While nearly impossible to separate yourself from your upbringing, self awareness and acceptance of other viewpoints, and seeing past stereotypes is a good start to finding balance. Only then can we maybe see the world as it really is, or how it could be.

Seeing the good in religion is easy when you been raised in it and told your whole life what a blessing it all is. Identifying the harm it does requires you to step outside of yourself and consider other views are possibly more valid than your own indoctrinations. Facts can be uncomfortable, but the facts of religion are disastrous and incompetent. It would be nice to move past the superstitions and wasted, time consuming debate over “which god” and how great he is, and move on to solving some teal problems. Religions have promised a multitude of blessings, but in the end you make your own way in the world anyway. There’s nobody there. Religion only makes you think someone is watching. Differing religious views are two sides of the same coin. Heads I win, tails you lose is a very old trick. Trust your own observations of real evidence. Faith is a cop-out of reality and it takes no discipline or achievement to obtain it. And that’s the way they want it.

Bully Sticks and Converts

My son in law has a beauty of a German shepherd pup. He’s 8 months old and just untrained, goofy, and overly friendly. They have been giving him bully sticks for chew treats and he just loves them. I’m happy the dog is happy, but does he know he’s eating dehydrated bull penis? I don’t have the heart to tell him, but would he understand anyhow?

Christian newbies can also be full of zeal and eager to share their recent conversion in praise to their lord. But do they know what the ingredients are? When one finds out the inner fallacies of the church and the discrepancies and excuses, what kind of taste is that going to leave in his pallet? One can try to spruce it up with seasonings or cut it up and add it to a stew, but deep down he knows he’s still digesting a line of BS. If he tells his friends the bowl is full of bull penis first, do you think there would be any takers. The facts of religion must be disguised to be palatable for human consumption. And once you know what’s in it, you won’t want to try it no matter how you slice it.