update note: The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a complex legacy and isn’t supposed to be turned into a fascist instrument of murder by rogue sufis who in fact are incapable of creating texts of any us…
One of the most durable myths in recent history is that the religious right, the coalition of conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists, emerged as a political movement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion. The tale goes something like this: Evangelicals, who had been politically quiescent for decades, were so morally outraged by Roe that they resolved to organize in order to overturn it.
The eonic effect shows the way religions (and secularism, and philosophies, and science…) emerge in the context of ‘eonic transitions’, three times, at least: emergent ‘Israelitism’, emergent early Buddhism, and the modern ‘protestant’ reformation. (the case in Sumer and Dynastic Egypt are also probable cases). This is remarkable but it is a caution against monotheistic ideas of revelation. The idea that ‘god’ intervenes in history is a classic monotheistic meme but it is almost certainly to us now a delusive concept. But wait: what on earth were the Israelites up to? Their perception was that only a ‘god’ could move them around like a chess piece and they were right in a sense. But to a closer look, we see that it is an illusion. The eonic model distinguishes ‘system action’ and free action, and early Israelitism by definition shows ‘system action’ mediating ‘free action, followed by ‘free action’ only after the ‘divide’, i.e. ca 600. The facts strangely match this model and Israelite history changes course or consolidates around just that period of the Exile, after which the tradition solidifies and stabilizes. So what the ‘blazes’ is system action, and what was it up to? In one case it generates an atheist religion, and in another a theism. And then in the modern case both a reformation and a following ‘secular’ enlightenment. We can stand back and ‘sort of’ see the obvious logic of all this, except for the case of the Israelites. The answer lies perhaps in an unknown ‘gnostic or semi-Buddhist abstraction or element that operates as an attractor in the teleological dynamics of the eonic effect. As system action passes into free action confusion arises and the outcome is filtered through polytheistic mindsets into a variant ‘god’ concept from just that polytheism. Whatever the case there is some abstraction deeper than vulgar ‘god’ concepts in the case of the attractor, if I may purloin the idea from systems dynamics theories. Teleology is elusive and stands behind two opposite outcomes. Small wonder monotheism navigated into a rock. But even if we end in secular humanism the case of the Israelites before 600 BCE looks miraculous: case in point: just at the right time, independent conquering ‘states’ like the Assyrians/Persians conquered and then displaced the ‘remnant’ into exile where (!) Zoroastrian and Israelite monotheism could be blended after which the Israelites returned home with a new monotheism blending Semitic and Indo-European elements on the way to a universal ideology that could in principle (in practice it didn’t quite) lead to a universal culture of the future. It is almost impossible not to conceive of a divinity at work before the rise of modern science. The experience of the ancient Israelites was totally nonrandom, small wonder it seemed miraculous. But we can begin to move on and see a strange dynamical system at work, one operating on a stupendous scale.
It is in fact a small world, and none other than the ‘evolutionary’ dynamic behind the emergence of homo sapiens (or homo idioticus) full of many such rabbits out of the hat.
The Bible Unearthed by Silberman and Finkelstein is the book to read here: we still barely know what actually did happen in the period between the mythical Solomon (?) and the Exile period. Note again, some mysterious process of the eonic evolutionary dynamic independently of human awareness blended two monotheism by moving a chess piece of Israelites to a blender zone, and then ….the tale turns into the history of human agents now armed with a strange new eonic production, and this in turn in a late set of effects (not system action) produced the first universal religion clearly foreseen in the Old Testament (sort of) and in the outcome produced two religions instead of one, a botched but still viable result. Not that early Israelitism shows system action but later early Christianity does not. All that means is that people can botch the whole outcome. Whatever the case, this is not god in history. So what is it? The eonic effect and model merely points to a dynamic, not its full explanation, but it can help to think of an abstraction, ‘creative energy’ as a common denominator to multiple parallel outcomes. Man makes himself, but not in any arbitrary way, in the vein of an evolutionary potential that creates new futures.
A bit fuzzy, but at least some indication, maybe.
Samkya_ancient_modern2ax(1) One of the ironies of the history of religious monotheism is that it ‘could have been’ an atheist religion, or, rather, ‘atheist’, in quotation m…
Although the abortion/contraception issues are very troubling there is another perspective, which is that Christianity/Judaism are self-destructing as the secular tide begins to sweep over them, the endless echoes of the reformation to enlightenment challenges to ‘monotheism’ if not religion. Opposing abortion and contraception are not viable options for a future of christianity, and those who think so are fighting for a future that will not include monotheistic religions.
It can’t be possible that ‘angelic Jesus cares a brass farthing for the religious right, but such churches are fodder for hidden fascists and useful instruments.
Ditto for Judaism: the Zionist mafia is degrading Judaism to the state of disintegration…
The theology of Christianity is flawed and unable to assess properly the abortion question: the result is leading to the end of the religion’s hold, except on the right-wing where imperialism and genocide are matched with concern for the unborn…
Around the globe, warfare has faded enormously in this 21st century. It’s ironic that the world might become war-free, if not for religion.
With a socialist angle christianity might have created a new future for itself
Meyer has jumped the gun, it seems. The ID camp has long been plotting the final stage of their intelligent design campaign, a sort of theological time machine to go backwards. Their final coup is premature–in a debate that never ends.
There is no mystery in the return of the ‘god hypothesis’. It is the same mystery as the return of the ‘atheist or no-god’ hypothesis. None of these propaganda peddlers on the right (or left) have the nerve to read or cite Kant (they have read him and he lives in a theological taboo zone of cancel culture). Evidence of design and the issue of god are antinomial issues and have no real solution. The evidence is clear, more or less, but they invite a metaphysical trap, god hypotheses being one. The Kantian take is simple enough, in my version: the debate goes back and forth and never ends. We cannot use evidence of (intelligent) design as proof of the existence of god. Or vice versa. Darwinists created a huge hole through which ID theologicans have been able to drive a huge truck on the way to a conservative revival of Christianity. The natural selection theory, used to replace design arguments is so idiotic that if you claim it as true and/or as a path to atheism you hand victory to the simple question of design in nature and design in cosmology.
You can posit that design, if not ‘intelligent’ design, speaks to a higher level of lawfulness that generates lower-level design, but you can’t really ascribe that to a mind, as far as we know. Mind belongs to that lower level. STill, the argument is compelling for some. In that case you must start over and not use worn-out terms like ‘god’ which are so entangled in antique theologies that generate total muddle.
One of the clearest ways to break through this confusion is to shuffle the deck with Buddhist memes: buddhas reach enlightenment beyond mind. So would a mind behind the universe reach enlightenment beyond mind? In fact, a sort of god hypothesis takes shape in the belief of a god realm, not the one god to be sure, and then the realm of titans,etc, and it is clearly indicated that the buddha’s enlightenment goes beyond the ‘god realm’. So, who knows? The design speculation can as well reach polytheism. (or else a short circuit via all this nonsense).
The mystery behind design eludes our concepts. We can indeed consider that design in nature ‘seems’ ‘intelligent’ but we can’t close the case without entering a swamp of fallacies. And the idea of the ‘existence’ of god is equally flawed because ‘god’ would be beyond existence or else be a pagan zeus of some sort.
The evidence of design might well lead an atheist to reconsider his views, but reconsider to what? He must invent new terminology and be wary not to fall into ancient confusions or empower reactionary religions. If we speak of design we can become entangled in biblical myth, for example. The ID camp on the right wishes to use design arguments to buttress conservative culture politics. But we cannot move into a future of ‘design considered’ and then use that to affirm the god of the old testament. And we can’t any longer cover over the ‘mess of memes’ with faith, that ancient tactic to make the non-beliver first stupid, then a believer. The return of the god hypothesis would be an hypothesis, therefore, and can’t be taken on faith.
All this said, putting ‘god’ on the hypothesis spectrum is a valid gesture, but you can’t put new wine in old bottles. The world is struggling past Christianity and its ambiguous history. It has turned rancid as a poison. There is no going back, using a design argument.
Although I have great respect for Cole’s commentary on the left I have also been a bit puzzled by his take on Islam (I have not read this intriguing book however). ///Update: just discovered a Kindle edition of the book I can afford at AMZ for $2.99///
The link below which I can’t endorse as such confirms my suspicions about the scholarship on Islam and the difficulty of getting it straight in any direction.
Conventional scholars are often untrustworthy: consider the confusion over 9/11: Muslims have been subjected to one of the most terrible distortions in history in the way the false flag operation of the US and probably Israel/Mossad manufactured the war on terror in the genocidal cabal that produced so much mayhem in the middle east.
Scholars who are still confused here or else part of the cover-up (like Chomsky, I suspect)are untrustworthy on the spot. It takes less than an hour to find the material on this question and to see that despite the complexity of the discussion the conventional account is atrocious propaganda.
In equal and opposite directions one must confront the massive disinfo on jihad somewhere between figures like Spenser and…Cole.
Assessing the Taliban in terms of the ‘real’ Islam is of tremendous importance but after experiencing the dark of global Sufism and is fringe figures like Gurdjieff I am wary of almost anything said about Sufism, and thence Islam. The status of ‘Christian or ‘Jewish (Chinese???) Sufism is a strange sideshow of dangerous occult figures and proto-fascists. And figures like Ouspensky as reactionaries in search of sufism have seeded the realm of the Alt-Right figures like Bannon.
Cole might write a book on sufism, with some good annotation of spiritual cannibalism
Dr. Kelly Denton-Borhaug, a professor of religious studies, examines how Christian rhetoric is used to justify endless wars and the “moral injury” they inflict.