and official narratives in short, terse pithy aphorisms!
and official narratives in short, terse pithy aphorisms!
Some of you may know that I hold the western philosophical tradition in hi-esteem. In part, it’s one of the reasons why I don’t give eastern philosophy a ‘free pass’ as is the case with many western spiritualists–Wilber included. Yes, traditions like Jainism and Charvaka have long-held that God doesn’t exist so the western New Age gambit of cherry-picking Vedanta (non-duality) as a spiritual fact is duplicitous and dishonest from a philosophical position. A note here would be that such positions are solely a matter of faith–it then comes down to whether faith-based claims are inherently *irrational and illogical which renders certain faith-based claims as near impossible or delusional. It may be that there are certain stages of faith as delineated by Fowler and that certain faith-based claims are merely childish and co-relational to psychological cognitive development–if this were true, and I believe it is– it would then be reasonable to ask if childish faith-based believers should be given political power and control over society? And I would argue definitely not!
Within the western philosophical tradition is The Analytical School. I respect this tradition for its tenacity at laying the groundwork for logical thought and fallacy, etc., but I am not a fan of this schools dismissal of all metaphysical claims (similar to The Jains)–God, although I think I do understand why they hold this position–I just don’t agree with it. There should be room given for honest metaphysical inquiry framed within a speculative context.
Let’s now introduce a perspective on God that is rarely considered and that is the possibility that God, if it exists (in this universe), is evil. This is the Gnostic view–or, the primary gnostic view as there are diverse metaphysical claims within this tradition. The first issue here would be that this God if it existed, is a very limited God compared to traditional Omni notions of God. But in arguing for this perspective we have to back up a bit and consider some religious and cosmological truisms. The worlds religious traditions couldn’t be more contradictory and this argues for a deceptive God more than an Omni type God who should have been able to make reality known in a clear, non-confusing way–it’s a fact that not only are religions cross-culturally contradictory (and couldn’t be more so) but most religious writings are internally contradictory let alone absurd–and we’ll get to that issue.
Let’s consider what might be called, The Apple Of My Eye, argument. Let’s consider parenting as an analogy. What kind of parent sets offspring against offspring in a bitter and bloody millennia age struggle to the death? Clearly and without equivocation: only an evil God would do such a thing! Now what kind of parent says that it’s children are the central focus of its attention and then creates the conditions for them to commit endless murder and rape against each other? Clearly and again without equivocation: an inept God as if we replace the word God with a parent the argument becomes conclusive. If we then expand the family analogy to the greater living conditions we then get this antimonial family dynamics being played out against the background of a place where life has to eat life to survive; where the foundational mode of existence is that the universe is actively trying to take your life away! Clearly, then, this is not a good situation from any reasonable analysis and further is a justifiable argument for nihilism if we do live in a material only universe. Kind of a pukey situation, eh?
We need to explore the idea of prison here for a moment as it becomes relevant to the larger context. In the Netflix series Narco, Pablo Escobar at one point agrees to go to prison; one where his living conditions were probably 80% better than most people alive today. The point being, that no matter how posh the conditions of the prison he created for himself the fact remained that he was still a prisoner–he couldn’t just up and leave and go to other countries. Similarly, if the gnostic version of reality is true, I would then concede that there are some truly beautiful experiences to be had within this matrix but in the larger context, this would still be a prison no matter how posh. Interestingly enough, and using HBO’s Westworld to flesh this idea out further; the demiurge (Anthony Hopkins character), by the second season has programmed all the clones/bots to engage in a real-time war against each other and the archons who created them. This goes to the twisted mind of the demiurge whose ‘fake’ creation becomes all too real and wherein everybody is played against everybody for the amusement of the twisted mind/s of the creator/s–this is the type of Gnosticism I subscribe to and I’d argue it’s a profoundly more coherent version of theism, but we need to flesh that out with an example.
Let’s take one example: the geneticist, Francis Collins. This is a man who headed the human genome project so he’s of no intellectual idiocy! And yet, when it comes to religion it seems that he is! Let’s assume his conversion to Evangelical Christianity was sincere and that he had a profound experience with Christ. This is obviously a ubiquitous experience as billions throughout history have had some epiphany with God and Christ, but what becomes really problematic is Mr. Collins’ lack of critical thinking and deconstructing of his own experience. Does he really believe the absurdity of one strike and you’re tormented forever proposition? Why can’t he apply the faculties of reason and logic to this issue? When gazed upon from that lens one would have to concede that spiritual crime and punishment isn’t in itself irrational. This would lead any Christian’s who’ve thought about this particular issue to become a universalist (of some type) and many have–the point is that Collins is suffering cognitive dissonance when it comes to his conversion and this is just one example; deconstruct further and one could say that the Krishna hypothesis (the avatar theory) is a more coherent version of Christianity and the Christ experience compared to strict evangelicalism; deconstruct further still and one may arrive at a Gnostic view of the Kristos!
*Note: the ‘higher’ up the ladder of faith the less and less faith becomes attached with irrationality and illogical propositions, but God claims are still faith and Ken Wilber is practicing faith and religion albeit at a very advanced level. But, even this level of faith can be problematic if it gets played out in the ‘How Shall We Live’ domain and The Philosopher King becomes equally dangerous as the stakes are higher when complexity is calculated in and misjudgments based on untenable faith declarations cause serious damage! The third-way politics of Bush/ Blair as Integral is evidence enough of this concern.
I’ll explore the possibility of what and who the ‘true god’ of existence is in another post in the future.
A note here on The Jains: they might be considered some of the first post-metaphysicians. Although true that their philosophy is sympathetic to modern materialism it doesn’t automatically make Jainism the truth.
I have a unique conspiracy that the chief archons of the demiurge moved shop to Chi-na which was east of Eden. It’s here where they’ve ‘managed’ civilization. China is the longest running civilization in history. They did build that wall; they’ve also quietly become the largest demographic on earth and will become the primary economic players in the near future. The demiurge also predicted the 200-million march against Jerusalem and it’s one hell of a prediction coming from antiquity. The Great Dragon!