Monthly Archives: September 2011

It’s Like Pinning A Butterfly!

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A Nation of Eagles

                                 And we are but baby birds

Transformed into spiders

                                Enjoying these newfound abilities

 Only to discover

                               That we were never really spiders at all

And that our abilities

                               Were only given to us because

It was the only way

                               That we could guarantee that

The True Spiders

                               Would never be threatened

And never go hungry

                               Ever again

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Jadis Argiope on “The Topic of Organised Religions”

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“It’s no secret that [Organised Religions] — though still quite volatile — are breaking down at an accelerated rate. Organised Religions are dissolving. And the harder they push to further their agendas, the more they alienate the people around them. It’s only a matter of time, if you ask me.”

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

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For those about to read this note, I would like to preface it by saying: If you know me, truly know me, then you will understand that, although I do tend to argue things out a lot, I still tend to maintain a somewhat moderate stance; a position of compromise. I strive for the balance, and to read between the lines of the most polarised of arguments. The following is the product of one such argument.

A Magic: The Gathering card once read:

The only thing separating us from mere beasts is our capacity for self-improvement.”

Incidentally, I do not play the game, but I stumbled upon it recently while exploring my many friends’ streams here, on Facebook.

At any rate, reading the quote struck a note; a note that I had been missing all along. Without it, the melody of my argument hitherto was incomplete, and completely displeasing to the ears. But now I’ve got it, and I’d like to share with you my composition now.

So let us return to original quote, if you don’t mind.

“The only thing separating us from mere beasts is our capacity for self-improvement.”

That’s quite a bold statement, wouldn’t you say? But allow me to make one more:

We are but a stone’s throw away from wallowing in the mud like the filthiest of beasts.

We are animal, yet we are also more than animal; but just barely. And that step — that critical step that exhalts us, distinguishing us from them — isn’t so far advanced that it would be difficult to go back.

Indeed, there is little keeping us from going back besides our own restraint. Evolution works both ways, you see. And those traits that are propagated most are obviously what come to dominate and determine the path of our species.

That said, if we allow ourselves to focus less on higher thinking and more on our primitive drives (self-improvement as opposed to instant gratification/frontal lobe vs amygdala), then it only stands to reason that the biological factors contributing to those behaviours will become concentrated over time via our breeding patterns; either intentionally or unintentionally.

Now, I would like to propose to you that this is exactly the path we are headed on if we do not change our ways. Furthermore, I will even go so far as to propose the single most influential factor that is contributing to our downfall.

Would you care to take a guess as to what?

It’s a dissolving faery tale that keeps us all in check. It dictates virtue, and chastises vice. It demands discipline, and allows no discretion, no room for deviation. And it is that abstract pot of gold in the sky — or the cake at the conclusion of the test for some — that always promises eternal happiness if we all just follow a few simple commands.

This faery tale has given us direction. It has created purpose and reason to move forward. Hollow that it may be, it invites us into the world of dreams; chasing White Rabbits, and contriving fantastic stories to pass on from generation to generation.

Yet inversely, it is our separation from our faery tales — waking to the reality that these are all just figments of our imagination — that compels us to concentrate less on our abstract fantasies that demand patience and more on our material world that reward us with instant gratification; eating away at our desire to explore the unknown. Without it, there is little to inspire us to contemplate, create and innovate.

It’s a fantasy that we have all come to rely on.

Indeed, it has not only served its believers, but its non-believers by setting forth challenges either to prove or disprove its stories. It gives us a reason to search for truth, to understand our world better. Science would never had the courage to work harder to get its parents’ attention without its older, competitive brother, Religion.

And thus, it is my belief that if left without it, if left in the hands of the great humanistic civilisations of the past, we would not have come even close to the products that we enjoy today.

Therefore, I am proposing that those figments in the sky above and the Hell below are simply out of our own construction, yet all of it stands as a necessary evil that is the product of millions of years of evolution. We need that evil if we are to move forward in our history.

And whether you call it The Force, Yaweh, Buddha, Allah, Spenta Mainyu, Krishna or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, we need its lies if ever we are to be driven to search for the truth; if for no other achievement than the betterment of humankind.

It’s a price that not too many of us are willing to pay.

Not consciously, but we do it anyhow. And we enjoy its benefits everyday. We couldn’t have come so far without giving up so much. Yet how much more have we gained as a whole from it? Without the Aryan race, without the godly Emperor Hirohito, without Jesus Christ or Allah….without every major atrocity — with the exception of natural disasters — where would we be now?

Man needs good and evil. Man needs war and drama. These are the elements that facilitate necessity. Necessity is the mother of invention. In time, that technology trickles down to the masses and we are offered internet, nuclear power, canned food, Mars and Milky Way, cell phones, the list just goes on and on.

It’s no secret that modern wars have come to be designed as a way of securing our infrastructure.

And that infrastructure gives us the gas in our cars and the chips in our computers. And although it comes at another’s expense, we don’t even think twice about where it all came from every single day.

It’s here and we enjoy it, and we only have a problem when it’s denied of us. A perfect example is Hurricane Irene and the power outages in New York, recently. So many friends and colleagues expressed their deepest dissatisfaction for how much it denied them of their way of life.

Religion is a crutch, and so is technology.

Yet it is also a tool that we use to secure a better way of life. And while the mere thought of that reality doesn’t settle well with us now, there isn’t one man or woman I know who is willing to give up the many products it has come to offer us.

But let me reiterate this now:

It is my belief that, in little time, willing or not, unless we can invent something real quick, and enough of us can get behind it, we really aren’t going to get to keep this world as we know it. Religion is evil, but it is an evil that demands discipline.

This discipline pushes us forward. And like it or not, right or wrong, it’s still a direction, and it’s a direction that delivers.