The next essay in Pot Stories and Humanist Essays is “Ten Reasons Not To Believe.” A couple of them are unique and especially important as they are key ideas in my philosophy and worldview. Number One, of course, is obvious and should occur to everybody at one time or another. God knows where you’re going, heaven or hell, and if the latter, created you anyway. Think of it: a constant, torturous, hopeless state of eternal pain and suffering. No hope of ever getting out. Time stays still. That’s gotta suck! Nice Guy, right? And what adds insult to injury, God will condemn you there for as trivial a sin as not believing obvious bullshit.
Number 7 (from the essay): … To me, by far the worst crime against humanity perpetrated by religious belief is the separation and divorce of humanity from nature. We are no longer animals like all the rest…
The etymology of the word “religion” gives us a clue. “Re” refers to “back” or “again” as in “repay” but “ligare” refers to “tie” as in “ligation or ligature.” So religion is a retying, a retying of the umbilical cord to mother church. We’re no longer alone in the woods, the baptized are part of a “congregation” from the stem “greg”—to flock together. Notice that this urge to school or flock in the animal world is very strong at the DNA level because the strong gain protection in the middle of the herd. The strongest wildebeests follow an urge to move to the center, while the weak and elderly are pushed out toward the periphery to face the hungry lions. In humans, being hierarchical, the strongest migrate to the institutions—banks, corporations, universities, government. In the army the weak face the enemy while the strong stay behind lines planning strategy.
The essay brings out how this feeling of belonging to a mother church has caused untold misery and damage to nature and the nonhuman animal world. The Vale Mine in the middle of the Amazon Rain Forest is an abomination, not two gays engaging in sex. Take a look at some of these grotesque pictures. I think an ET observing this from a space craft would conclude the planet itself is horribly sick with some sort of skin disease caused by a hideous parasite. It’s really something to see. As you observe the pictures, please bear in mind that the Amazon Rain Forest is by far the most biodiverse niche on the planet, home to exotic parrots, mischievous monkeys, and breathtakingly beautiful orchids. A magnificent kaleidoscope of color has been degraded to the drab, sickly complexion of dirt and mud.
Only being separated or divorced from nature could cause such callous destruction of the exterior world. Here’s a baby orang. There are only 700 orangs left in the wild. Only a heartless machine of some sort could have caused this. This sinister transmogrification of the human psyche could have only been caused by some unnatural phenomenon: Religious Superstition, a memeplex, a pernicious brain virus that has commandeered the nervous system of its host. Somehow our humanity has been stolen by an evil force. As Allan Ginsberg puts it: What sphinx of aluminum and cement bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?
Historical note: (If our phylogeny can be considered history). What a unique and wonderful niche in nature the canopy dwellers had. No predatory cat or wolf was going to chase an orang through the lofty branches of the tropical canopy. We can see their peaceful nature to this day. Ever notice how good we feel among trees instead of the concrete and aluminum of the big cities. Sivapithecus (orangs) and Ramapithecus (hominids) were very close, dating back to the late Miocene, 19 million years ago. This is where the human psyche was forged: we love flowers, bird calls and blue skies. Being fruit and berry eaters (frugivors) these foods are the most pleasurable to the taste.
This is our natural home, not big cities or the necrophilic guts of a church with crucifixes and I-died-for-your-sins reminders everywhere you look.
An orang in the forests of Sumatra was once heard by a researcher singing a liebestraum (love song) to his mate. You can only imagine how delightful it must have sounded. Maybe it’s why we love music.
to be continued... This is only one of 28 essays in the ebook.