Thursday, May 15, 2008

As Heads Is Tails

Story goes that the devil is always just a man in each generation, with no supernatural powers but in a unique position to influence things toward death, destruction, and decay. Always there is such a man.

You listening Dick? George? Gordon? Try harder, boys.

Worse, the dualists state that the creator is mad, or was usurped by madness, and the created corrupt, so that what we think of as fine in this world, such as the church, is really foul; as heads is tails, our materialism is faith inverted. Instead of this world we need to make the unseen, untouchable world our goal.

Or so they say. Trouble is, if you’ve ever dealt with unseen entities, you know they lie and laugh about it. So focusing on the invisible, and listening to discarnate voices, is never a good idea. Things just never work out well for those who do that.

And prayer won’t help, either. The god of light cannot affect the god of things, and vice versa. If gods there be. How could we, mere mortals, limited and filtered, tell a god from, say, an advanced extraterrestrial being or a drug delusion?

These and other thoughts are considered by most forbidden knowledge. These are notions kept apart from general discourse, criminals in isolation cells, walled in and forgotten as much as possible, victims of a societal oubliette.

Now build a story to protect yourself from all this. Those stories we call religions.

Finding it hard to buy what those stories sell? Have some faith, they say. Faith is the ability to ignore facts. They’re telling you to stop thinking and repress curiosity. Don’t learn, just obey. No questions, only answers.

Humanoid primates have a lot of faith as they squint from their rain-soaked trees or smoky caves. No one wants truth. We want to be told what to do, how to feel, and have our thoughts dictated by dogma and tradition. We cling to labels and ignore contents. We prefer made-up maps to walked-on terrain. We do nothing and hope things will all work out.

Hope is charity’s abusive spouse, and best left home.

But what if forbidden knowledge and taboo thinking are the only keys to the cage? What if escape is only possible if we change?

Can we change enough to get out?

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