The Cosmic Lessons of Pearl Harbor, And Its Lessons For Today

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PEARL HARBOR DAY,  December 7,  brings remembrance of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii,  and for me it brings reflection upon its cosmic implications.  It takes us to some very interesting places in time,  thought,  and space:

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“All truth passes through three stages.  First,  it is ridiculed.  Second,  it is violently opposed.  Third,  it is accepted as being self-evident.”            Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

In the war against disease,  doctors are our defense,  but doctors reveal their weakness;  their limits;  by treating the symptoms of a disease,  such as pain,   rather than destroying the disease organism or condition itself,  to truly cure the patient.   In the war against Evil,  God is our defense,  but God reveals his limits;  by treating the symptoms of Evil,  rather than destroying the true sources of Evil,  in our world and in the spirit world,  to truly cure his Creation.                   —  Original to this work 

Evil is so pervasive,  so persistent,  so difficult to attack and destroy,  that some philosophers in history and in society today have surrendered to it,  by saying that we NEED evil present in the world,  in the universe,  as a balance,  as a challenge,  as a purifying fire to burn away our impurities,  as we go through the deadly conflicts that evil throws in our way.  So that is why God allows people to turn to evil and cause chaos and destruction in our world,  because somehow we NEED evil in the world,  because it somehow it is a benefit to us.  But this is insanity.  This is like saying we NEED weeds to choke out our gardens,  we NEED rotten food on our dinner plates,  we NEED disease ravishing our bodies,  we NEED to die of cancer,  we NEED rust in our steel,  we NEED scorpions in our beds,  we NEED misery in our lives,  we NEED to be robbed,  we NEED to be raped,  we NEED to be beaten or shot,  we NEED wars,  we NEED angry predatory people attacking us as if we were prey animals to tear apart and eat.  This is moral nonsense and philosophical fantasy.  Worse,  this is moral treason…..  it is giving aid and comfort to the enemies who seek to dominate us.  This idea is backwards.  We do not NEED evil,  but evil does NEED us,  as victims to prey on.  So,  all the better for evil predators,  if their foolish victims believe the lie that the predators,  who are preying on them,  are NEEDED…..  this idea is the predators’ clever propaganda for the prey….. so don’t fall for it.           —  Original to this work

When does violence become morally justified,  if ever?  That is a crucial question,  which has been debated for thousands of years,  and here is my answer,  in the form of a paradox…..  VIOLENCE BECOMES JUSTIFIED AGAINST THE VIOLENT.   When a person,  or a spirit,  or an angel,  becomes violent for any reason other than the basic need to survive…..  when a person becomes a dominating,  manipulative tyrant,  disrupting the lives of everyone around them…..  or when an angel in heaven became resentful of God and rebellious,  and could not be returned to reason…..  when destruction or domination or predation becomes the goal of any entity…..  when any such entity has the intent and power to commit unjust violence,  and begins that violence…..  THAT is the precise moment when violence becomes justified against the violent.  That is when the stopping of the destroyer becomes the imperative moral goal,  the duty,  the responsibility of anyone in contact with the destroyer,  and the destroyer must be opposed by all means,  for the common good.  The initiator of predatory violence brings a righteous violence upon himself.  This moral principle is more important than any of the Ten Commandments….. in the Bible,  it precedes the Ten Commandments  (see Genesis 9:6).  This is a natural moral imperative that must be obeyed,  or else evil and deception will rule…..  just as they have ruled for almost all of human history.  This is a law that has been broken,  ignored,  misfollowed,  misinterpreted and denounced for thousands of years,  to the great shame and disgrace of the human race.                —  Original to this work

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pearl-harbor-mem-day  In my philosophical / religious / historical research,  which is my lifetime hobby,  I recently found something very compelling.  Everyone knows,  or should know,  about the surprise Japanese attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii,  on December 7, 1941.  It is one of the most important events in history,  and Admiral Chester Nimitz had a front row seat of the analysis of that event.  He was assigned to replace Admiral Kimmel as the new Pacific Fleet Commander on December 16.  Admiral Nimitz arrived at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Day in 1941,  and this is what he was greeted with :

“I found the water covered with oil one-half inch thick from the sunken ships.  Many boats were hurrying back and forth between the wrecks and the Peninsula.  I was met by Rear Admiral Bellinger,  the Pacific Fleet Aviation Officer,  who informed me that the boats were picking up drowned sailors and marines from ships and taking their bodies to a central point on the Peninsula.”

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Admiral Nimitz then proceeded to rally the military forces of America in the Pacific,  and against tremendous obstacles and setbacks,  achieved a miracle in defeating the Japanese forces.  Nimitz would deny any miracle on his part,  but he did come to see the hand of God,  in the important errors that the Japanese made at Pearl Harbor.  Here is the insightful narrative about those errors given by Admiral Nimitz:

“The several errors made by the Japanese on December 7th, 1941,  helped very materially to shorten the war.  Their failure to come back a second day,  to destroy our repair facilities at the Navy Yard and to burn our four and one-half million barrels of fuel oil in surface tanks,  was a most serious error.  These tanks could have been destroyed by machine gunning them with 50-caliber incendiary machine gun bullets.

“Likewise,  the Japanese made an even more serious error on December 7th by leaving our submarine base on Quarry Point free from attack.  As a consequence,  no submarines or supporting equipment were damaged and submarines could proceed immediately to stations in the far western Pacific and start their long campaign of destruction of the Japanese merchant marine,  which was a primary factor in the defeat of Japan.  The submarines sank in excess of 75 percent of Japanese merchant marine shipping.

“At the time of the attack on December 7th,  there was under construction at Red Hill,  back of Pearl Harbor,  an underground bomb-proof storage for all petroleum products.  At that time in the Atlantic,  allied tankers were the principal targets of the German submarines and you need only check the figures for 1941 and 1942 of the Atlantic losses to see what might have happened had the Japanese destroyed the four and one-half million barrels of oil we had on the surface at Pearl Harbor.

“For me,  meantime,  after my arrival on Christmas morning of 1941,  I sweated blood until the underground bombproof storage was complete and our oil supply safely piped therein.  Had our oil supply been destroyed,   and considering the tremendous shortage of fuel and petroleum production,  generally,  in Europe,  it would have taken years to re-establish that supply,  and would have delayed our Pacific war accordingly.  Had our Pearl Harbor installations for repairs been destroyed,  our Fleet would have been forced back to the West Coast of the United States for support,  another item which would have prolonged the war.

“So in spite of the reverses we suffered on December 7th, 1941,  there were some spots on which we could congratulate ourselves on our luck.

“There was further cause for rejoicing in the fact that the Japanese had made the attack on our Fleet while it was inside Pearl Harbor.  Had the Fleet been at sea,  Admiral Kimmel would certainly have tried to force a battle to bring into play the powerful armament that our battleships carried.  However, these ships would have been limited to a maximum speed of about 18 knots,  while the Japanese Task Force had a fleet speed of 22 knots.  This difference in speed would have imposed on Admiral Kimmel a tremendous disadvantage.  He could not have forced a fleet engagement until the Japanese commander was ready for it.

“Furthermore,  the Japanese Task Force that came to Pearl Harbor that day had six aircraft carriers,  whereas Admiral Kimmel had none— the Lexington being far to the westward on another mission.  Imagine,  if you can,  what would have happened to our slower battleships in such an action,  with the aircraft of six carriers working on them and with our Fleet having no air cover at all.  Remember that on December 7th,  the Japanese destroyed all of the aviation strength of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps on Oahu.  Instead of losing some 3,700 to 3,800 men as we did at Pearl Harbor,  we would have lost by drowning or capture almost 20,000 men had our fleet been in deep water.

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Five Star Admiral Chester Nimitz from Fredericksburg, Texas

 “By this time you will agree that the good Lord was looking out for us,  although it didn’t seem so at the time.  The men salvaged from the sunken ships in Pearl Harbor were used to form the nuclei of crews that manned the new ships that were coming down the ways in the United States.  Had our old fleet not been so completely destroyed,  there might have been difficulty in securing the funds to build the ships needed to match the more modern Japanese ships.

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“Finally,  the Japanese attack served to unify our country,  which was not at all sure it wanted to get mixed up in World War II.”

—  from NIMITZ: Reflections on Pearl Harbor by William H. Ewing

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And Now For The Cosmic Lessons…..

So Admiral Nimitz was convinced that God had a hand in the disaster at Pearl Harbor,  keeping it from becoming a much worse disaster,  keeping it from badly crippling us at the start of a long war.  And I completely agree with him.  God,  as the logical metaphysical champion of goodness in the universe,  must have had some important influence in the events surrounding Pearl Harbor.  The quotes from Nimitz I presented above have been used by Christian fundamentalists countless times,  I am sure,  to support their faith in the omnipotent God of the Bible.

The hand of an omnipotent God

The hand of an omnipotent God,  committed to action on Earth,  to support Goodness and defeat Evil.  This is NOT happening, except in weak and subtle ways.

But let us apply some logical reasoning to this chain of events.  For an omnipotent God,  his hand in these events was a decidedly weak hand.  If God determined that the Japanese needed to be opposed at all,  why would he so seriously limit his actions?  A stronger hand would have been able to stop the evil engineers of the Japanese attack (the imperial government leaders and military commanders),  when the full intent and the means to commit the surprise attack came into being.  This could have been done in several ways,  all with  “plausible deniability”  to conceal that God had done it,  if God were concerned about such things.  Let us say that a massive hurricane or a few giant rogue waves sunk the Japanese fleet,  in the middle of the ocean,  as it was steaming to Pearl Harbor…..  this should be a simple thing for an omnipotent God.  Storms have devastated naval fleets before,  even in the history of Japan.  Or let us say that the Japanese leaders who ordered the attack died suddenly,  from car wrecks or cancer or heart failure,  sometime before they ordered the attack.  If the attack was entirely prevented,  then all the “errors” of the Japanese commanders would not have been necessary to help us,  and 3,800 innocent men would not have been killed.

Better yet,  let us say that those Japanese leaders died years before,  after their plans for conquest and war solidified in their minds,  but before they spread their plan and infected the entire country,  before they shifted Japanese industry to war production.  If God knew their evil intent,  and knew when it became a solid plan working toward execution,  needing only time and means to happen,  that would be the time for an omnipotent God to stop the evil leaders.  If the Japanese war on their neighbors was entirely prevented,  then all the other battles in mainland Asia and the Pacific Ocean would not have been necessary to fight,  the atomic bombs would not have been dropped,  and millions of innocent men,  women and children would not have been killed.

If the Japanese leaders who planned conquest were disabled or dispatched by God before they started carrying out their plans,  then the devastating Pacific war would not have been necessary to have been fought at all.  If such leaders have already earned a  ‘ticket to Hell’,  as evil men,  then let’s just start their trip a few years earlier,  and save a few million innocent lives in the process. This would be a logical and morally responsible thing for an omnipotent God to do.

But this sort of thing does not happen on our planet.  Evil leaders planning conquest are allowed by God to attack and conquer to their hearts content,  with the current best example being the leaders of ISIS,  who even claim to be doing it in the name of God.  If any group ever deserved violent force from a God who is being mis-represented by them,  ISIS is it.  They are seeking out and killing all Christians,  Jews,  Shi’ite Muslims,  and anyone else who does not agree with their militant Sunni Muslim faith.  They kill in the most horrible ways,  such as beheading,  crucifying,  burying alive,  and burning alive.  They are destroying churches,  destroying religious and cultural relics that are thousands of years old.  Yet God allows them to thrive and expand.  We are barely able to slow them down,  by bombing the hell out of them.  To ISIS,  their smashing success is proof that they are right about God,  and that we are wrong about God.  Here is their latest press release to us infidels,  as of 14 March 2015 :

“We — with Allah’s help — want Paris, before Rome and Islamic Iberia and after we blow up the White House,  Big Ben,  and the Eiffel Tower before Paris,  and Rome,” he warned.” The Muslims will return to power,  to be the vanguard and lead in every place.” They will do this in the most oppressive,  brutal,  bloody way possible,  as these photos show :

Christian girl beheaded by ISIS

Christian girl beheaded by ISIS, like many other children.  These photos should make you want to destroy ISIS.  There is no co-existing,  no compromise with this kind of people.  They should not be allowed to exist anywhere on this planet.  “Not my problem”,  you say?  YES, IT IS!!! ….. If you think it is not your problem, then you are a big part of the problem, you are an enabler of evil,  you are giving evil permission to thrive anywhere that it does not touch you.  That is, giving evil permission to thrive in all of the world, except the tiny tiny portion of the world that directly affects you.  That is extremely selfish, and self-destructive, for soon, the evil that you permit in all the rest of the world will come for YOU.

ISIS bleeds woman like an animal

Naked woman being bled to death like an animal by ISIS monsters. Why is she naked, and why are they catching her blood?  This was a beautiful woman.  Much evil was done to her before and after this photo.  If this does not sicken your soul and make you fighting mad, you are lost.

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Here is a map that ISIS released,  showing the lands that they hope to have under their control in the year 2020,  and the bizarre Islamic names for those lands:

ISISprojects2020

These huge territorial gains are not likely,  but they are not impossible.  They are possible,  but only if every existing Muslim country in the region switched their allegiance to ISIS.  Given the deadly divisions in Islam,  such as Sunni versus Shi’ite,  this will not happen.  But this map serves another important purpose for ISIS,  for all devout Muslims,  who ISIS hopes to convert to their evil cause.  All educated Muslims should recognize that  this map is very close to the map of the Islamic empire at its peak in the late 1700’s,  with the addition of Spain  (Andalus),  a great prize that Islam stole earlier from Christianity in a long and brutal war,  and then lost because of the strong counter-attack by Christian forces.

The real point of this map is that by 2020,  ISIS is claiming that they will regain the Islamic empire of the past,  in countries where Islam is already strong,  and then they will continue their bloody Jihad to take over the entire world,  working from this historic imperial base.  This region is rich in oil and other natural resources,  that would all be used to support the global Jihad of ISIS.  If ISIS wins these lands by 2020,  then the peaceful Muslims who oppose ISIS will have been killed or converted,  and the Muslim religion,  in general,  will have become the greatest enemy of God,  goodness,  progress,  and humanity in the modern world,  with ISIS becoming the voice,  the face,  and the sword of all Muslims.  Peaceful Muslims in other countries will become heretics,  subject to be slaughtered along with all the infidels.  The black region in the map above represents a spreading black cloud of death.

So ISIS believes that God will help them  “lead in every place”,  which means that they will come to control the entire planet Earth,  and their black flag would fly in every state of every country.  They would be riding a wave of terrible destruction,  and the death toll would be in the billions,  as they kill everyone who opposes them or disagrees with them.  There would be a world shortage of wood crosses for crucifying,  steel cages for burning,  and sharp knives for beheading.  it is a vision of ultimate horror and evil in every way.  And not only God knows their evil plans….. they are broadcasting their evil plans and their murders to the entire world,  in gruesome detail,  and attributing their success to God.  Yet we see no answer,  no action from God to counter them.

We see no action from God,  despite the many promises in the Bible that God will protect his faithful  (of the Jewish and Christian varieties)  from harm,  and destroy their attackers.  I have presented those promises elsewhere,  in the last article about Jesus With a Whip.  ISIS may be the greatest threat in history to the Jews and Christians,  and yet we see no action from the God who promised to protect them from such attacks.

Instead,  it seems that the ominous promises of  “Allah”  from the Koran are being kept,  enabling ISIS to conquer cities,  and to kill all the unbelievers,  apostates,  and infidels in their reach. The brutal bloody success of ISIS is attracting thousands of like-minded people  (evil or incredibly stupid) in Western countries to join them,  to abandon their homes and families to travel to Syria and kill people with ISIS.  As an aside,  they often end up cleaning ISIS toilets instead of killing people,  LOL.  Everyone else on the planet,  billions of us,  know that ISIS is wrong and evil,  God knows they are wrong and evil,  and yet God does nothing significant to stop them,  despite desperate pleas and prayers from their victims and from decent people all over the world.  Why not?

The Wind God Fujin, with bag of winds on his shoulders

The Wind God Fujin, with bag of winds on his shoulders…. source of the KAMIKAZE divine wind

Imperial Japan had a religious component as well,  if not as obvious as ISIS.  It had roots in the Samurai,  a religious elite warrior class that held great power in medieval Japan.  The samurai followed a set of rules that came to be known as bushidō.  Their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.  The Samurai followed a blend of Buddhism,  Zen,  Confucianism and Shinto religion.  They took the elements of those religions that supported discipline, honor,  elitism,  loyalty and armed service to one’s lord. Therefore,  if the lord was evil or corrupt,  his Samurai served evil.  Imperial Japan of the early 1900’s corrupted that blend of religion further,  and tailored it to support a policy of violence,  conquest and expansion,  much like ISIS is tailoring Islam to support their conquest today.  When the Japanese chose to resort to suicide pilots toward the end of the war,  they used a name with a religious meaning :  Kamikaze,  or  “divine wind”  (kami = god, spirit, divine,  kaze = wind).  The word Kamikaze originated as the name of major typhoons in 1274 and 1281, which destroyed Mongolian invasion fleets under Kublai Khan  ,  saving Japan from attack  (just the sort of typhoon needed to destroy the Japanese fleet steaming to Pearl Harbor).  Like ISIS today,  Imperial Japan abused and distorted religion to support conquest,  like a slap in the face to God.  Yet God did very little to rebuke the bad religion of Imperial Japan and oppose them,  and apparently did nothing to oppose them in China,  as we will soon see.  Why not?

One explanation is that God is simply not able to stop this sort of thing,  completely separated from any consideration of allowing us all to have our  “free will”,  completely separated from testing or teaching us with excruciating pain.  There is no morally valid benefit or teaching point resulting from the success of ISIS,  just as there was no morally valid benefit or teaching point in allowing the evil Imperial Japanese to attack their neighbors and conquer their lands.  The only lesson to learn is that evil people will band together and destroy you,  if you do not band together and resist them first,  answering force with force.  Who needs God to learn that lesson?  No one.  That lesson is learned easily on this planet,  in every generation throughout history,  with or without God.  It makes no logical sense for an omnipotent God to allow us to be conquered and killed by evil people,  to teach us any lesson,  and it could be considered immoral,  even cruel.  So the logical and moral evidence points to a seriously limited God,  who is not omnipotent.

As a counterpoint,  the Old Testament tells us that God became angry at the Hebrews a few times for disobeying him and following other religions,  that he then allowed Israel to be conquered by the Assyrians and the Babylonians.  This resulted in a faithful core of Hebrews,  led by prophets,  returning to the Hebrew faith.  This may be an exception to my arguments,  where allowing such conquering and killing did have some benefit.  But it was at the great cost of allowing many innocent people to be killed,  and the great cost of allowing evil pagan empires to expand their power,  influence and religion.  And these conquerings of the Hebrews did not require the omnipotence of God.  All God had to do,  was to withdraw any limited help or protection he had been providing to the Hebrews,  and let the aggression of their violent neighbors run its course.

But,  in earnest objection to that idea,  a moral omnipotent God should be opposed to ALL predatory aggression of nations.  He certainly should not be allowing it to succeed,  as he allowed the Japanese aggression to succeed at Pearl Harbor, and all over Asia and the the Pacific.  Nor should he use the predatory evil aggression of one nation against another.  This would be an outrageous neglect,  or an outrageous misuse of omnipotent unlimited power.

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The Book of Exodus,  Read With New Eyes

Moses in throne roomAnother interesting counterpoint,  earlier in Hebrew history,  would be God’s powerful actions to forcefully free the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery,  in the Book of Exodus.  God brought about plagues,  he killed the Egyptians’  first-born sons,  he parted the sea,  and drowned much of the Pharaoh’s army in the sea,  but in all these awesome displays of force,  God failed to deal with the biggest problem of all.…  the evil Pharaoh himself,  the evil Pharaohs before him,  and the evil leaders under the Pharaohs who kept the Hebrews enslaved,  in a centuries-long campaign of predatory evil against the Hebrews.  After centuries of evil,  God finally killed Pharaoh’s son and Pharaoh’s soldiers,  but he did not or could not kill Pharaoh himself,  who was the person most responsible for the slavery of the Hebrews.

The scriptures do not tell us why God let the slavery continue for centuries,  in fact they do not even clearly mention the time span of the slavery,  but that has been roughly determined in other ways,  to be anywhere from 430 years to 215 years.  I tend to go with the shorter period,  which is still centuries.  After Joseph served as the Egyptian prime minister and brought his family there,  the Hebrews lived in Egypt with freedom for a long time,  before they were turned into slaves for a long time.

Moses confronts Pharaoh again

Moses confronts Pharaoh again, but Pharaoh is being hardened…. by whom?

Curiously, the scriptures do tell us that God had a strange plan for dealing with the Pharaoh,  as God told Moses:  “….. I will harden Pharaoh’s heart,  and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.  But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you,  that I may lay my hand upon Egypt…..  and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord,  when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt,  and bring out the children of Israel from among them.”  Exodus 7: 3-5.  So,  instead of disabling or killing the one person who already had most of the responsibility for keeping the Hebrews enslaved,  God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.  What does this mean?  It means that God took away Pharaoh’s free will,  prevented Pharaoh from doing what Moses asked him,  prevented Pharaoh from releasing the Hebrews from slavery.  Why did God do that?  So that God could  “multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt…..  and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord”.  These scriptures tell us that God took away Pharaoh’s free will and brought the nation of Egypt to its knees,  killing many thousands of Egyptians in the process,  so that the surviving Egyptians would know and believe that the Hebrew god was more powerful that their  “gods”.

Pieces Of The Puzzle

This is a glaring counterpoint to the popularly sanctioned Christian doctrine of  “free will”.  Supposedly,  God loves us all so much,  that he grants us  “free will”  to follow him,  oppose him,  or ignore him and his teachings.  This is the theological explanation for the presence of so much evil,  crime,  and war in the world.  Yet here,  in a crucial conflict between God’s chosen people and the Egyptians,  God is taking  “free will”  away,  to force events in the direction God wants.  God took away Pharaoh’s free will in some mysterious untold way,  and he took away thousands of Egyptians’ free will,  simply by killing them.

So,  it would seem that God was using Moses and the Pharaoh and everyone else in this great drama as pawns…..  pawns in a much larger chess game that God was waging against larger metaphysical opponents,  above the earthly plane.  The  “gods”  of Egypt were created by metaphysical enemies of God;  inspired by Satan and his legion of fallen angels;  and God was doing battle with those enemies in the nation of Egypt.   One of God’s goals was to destroy or invalidate the popular ancient religion of Egypt with its many  “gods”,  while liberating the Hebrew people from wrongful slavery.

God’s plan was executed,  the drama played out,  the nation of Egypt was devastated,  and the Hebrew slaves escaped,  to go and carve out their own nation in the land of Canaan.  Their conquests in that land were bloody.  They were commanded by God to kill the existing inhabitants, every man,  woman,  and child,  presumably to wipe out their gene pool and their religion.  God gave this drastic command after devastating the nation of Egypt for worshiping other gods.  So in this time of history,  the Hebrews were used by God as tools in a long campaign,  to attack other cultures that had other rival religions,  to stop their evil and immorality,  to replace them with the higher moral standards that we find in the Bible,  in the Ten Commandments for example.  One of those commandments,  “thou shalt not kill”,  was effectively modified into  “thou shalt not kill,  except when God commands you to kill people of another religion”.  I wish we could know the actual spiritual success or failure of this campaign,  because it came with a high cost of lives and property.  This campaign,  in which God commanded the Hebrews to kill all of their enemies…..  man,  woman,  child…..  even including their livestock,  is equivalent to the destructive policies of  ISIS  today.  It is shockingly different from the soft,  loving,  forgiving image that most Christian preachers paint of God today.  In that earlier time,  God was waging war on people who rejected him,  waging war on rival spirits such as Satan,  and I hope that the gains were worth the cost.  If they were worth the cost,  then I wish God would do that again,  against enemies such as  ISIS,  who have become mass murderers and mass enslavers,  who can only be stopped by killing them.  Such predatory enemies are closing in on good people all over the world,  and we need God’s corrective justice more than ever,  more than in the time of the Exodus.

This entire saga about the conquest of Canaan speaks of God waging war,  God taking extreme measures,  which an omnipotent God should never be forced to do.  Massive killing,  such as God commanded the Hebrews to do at this time,  is only necessary when evil forces have been able to conquer and enslave large areas,  over a long period of time.  But this indicates a gross failure of good forces to prevent that conquering,  over a long period of time.  The forces of evil should never have been allowed to accumulate so much power and so many followers.  This would apply to any period of extreme evil,  such as the time before Noah’s flood,  such as the time we are living in now.  This is a vital point that we shall explore much more below.

Getting back to the war of the Hebrews versus Egypt,  when God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and therefore took away Pharaoh’s free will,  Pharaoh arrogantly rebuked God and mocked Moses,  time after time,  spurring God to bring another disaster to Egypt.  The Pharaoh’s death and the death of his evil henchmen would have ended the conflict,  but we are told that God wanted Pharaoh to stay very much alive and defiant,  as an evil adversary to God,  as an opposing pawn to justify a larger attack against a hostile nation.  God played out a grand drama,  argued and struggled with a constrained Pharaoh,  laying waste to an entire nation,  to punish its people.  He set up the Pharaoh as his punching bag,  his sparring partner,  who could not tap out from this fight with God.  If this is true,  the evil Pharaoh richly deserved it,  but disabling or killing him would have been more efficient and more understandable.

To summarize,  this rigged sparring exhibition with Pharaoh was God’s plan from the beginning,  which he told Moses from the beginning.  It was a rigged fight,  because Pharaoh was not a free agent.  He was constrained or restricted by God.  God supposedly used this constraint of Pharaoh for a good reason.  God kept punishing the people of Egypt,  who bore indirect responsibility for the slavery of the Hebrews,  instead of punishing the leader of Egypt,  who bore direct and personal responsibility for the slavery of the Hebrews.  But God was punishing Egypt for much more than enslaving the Hebrews.  It seems clear that God was punishing the people of Egypt for rejecting God for centuries,  for accepting the false gods of Satan,  even when the Hebrews were among them and worshiping God openly.  The Hebrews followed a different moral code,  that the Egyptians rejected.  So God punished the Egyptians for holding to their ancient gods and religion and morals,  that did not meet the standards of God.  To accomplish this,  God took away the free will of Pharaoh,  already an evil man,  making him essentially more evil,  making him challenge God,  instead of killing him,  even though God killed thousands of other Egyptians in this campaign.

Possible Solution To The Puzzle?

This is a puzzling way for God to handle the situation,  as if working within limitations,  as if figuring ways around obstacles,  with limited power. Very puzzling,  if God were omnipotent.  But I have a question,  that might solve the puzzle.  What if God was simply not capable of disabling or killing the Pharaoh,  even though God killed thousands of other Egyptians to make his point?  What unknown factors would explain such peculiar limits to God’s power?  Could the Pharaoh have been protected by some forces or entities that were acting in opposition to God?  Could it be that God was actually the one who was constrained or limited,  in his fight with the Pharaoh?  I am wondering whether God really did  “harden Pharaoh’s heart”,  or if Pharaoh hardened his own heart,  and God was somehow given credit for doing it,  by human writers,  because it never occurred to them that God may be limited.  This divine assault on Egypt was conducted in a limited way,  and achieved only limited success.

In God’s campaign against Egypt,  there were three proper moral goals…..  three goals that would be logical and desirable from a Godly moral standpoint…..  three goals that were stated or implied in the Bible…..  one,  liberate the Hebrew slaves who the Egyptians had oppressed for centuries;  two,  punish the Egyptians for their false religion and turn them from it;  and three,  neutralize and stop the tyranny of an evil Pharaoh.  But only one of these goals,  liberating the Hebrew slaves,  was completely accomplished.

The other goals,  turning the Egyptians from their false religion and neutralizing an evil Pharaoh,  were not met.  After the epic conflict,  the religion of Egypt did not change,  and God left an evil Pharaoh alive and in power to commit more predatory evil against his nation.  After the Hebrews left Egypt,  after the Pharaoh came limping back home from trying to destroy them at the Red Sea,  we can be sure that Pharaoh did not suddenly repent and become an ethical and compassionate leader of his people.  Pharaoh did not convert to worship the God who had just laid waste to his nation and decimated his army,  in order to release the Hebrew people who did worship God.  If the Pharaoh did so change,  or if the people of Egypt so changed,  their conversion would have been included as a grand ending to the Bible story.

The Harris Papyrus

The Harris Papyrus

Harris Papyrus- warsInstead,  Egypt remained a tyrannical regime that preyed on other people,  as illustrated by this historical report of the exploits of Ramses III:  “….. I laid low the Meshwesh,  the Libyans,  the Esbet,  the Keykesh,  the Shai,  the Hes and the Beken…..  I carried away those whom my sword had spared,  as numerous captives,  pinioned like birds before my horses,  their wives and their children by the ten-thousand,  their cattle in number like hundred-thousands…..”  the Harris Papyrus (circa 1100 BC).  This occurred after the Exodus,  which different scholars have placed at 1450 BC to 1250 BC.  Tyranny,  conquest and slavery continued in Egypt,  as did their God-denying religion.  Perhaps they were trying to rebuild their slave work force,  after they lost their Hebrew slaves.

There is a huge moral problem with this failure to kill or disable an evil Pharaoh of the Exodus,  and all the evil Pharaohs before him who enslaved the Hebrews,  that again points to serious limits to God’s abilities.

Possible Explanation?

It almost seems that when evil gains enough power in evil leaders,  it somehow gains a protection against attack by the powers of goodness.  We should ask if God really did  “harden Pharaoh’s heart”,  or if Pharaoh hardened his own heart,  and God simply could not disable or kill him,  because,  perhaps,  the evil Pharaoh was under metaphysical protection from another source,  acting as a rival to God?  Or,  what if Satan actually hardened Pharaoh’s heart,  as well as protecting him from being killed by God?  If this were the case,  the writers of the scriptures,  being committed to God’s omnipotence,  would certainly not want to believe it or report it.

God seems to have a difficult struggle or contest with rival forces of evil  (as we all do),  which was even described for us in the biblical Book of Job.  In the Book of Job,  the highly moral man Job,  who loved and worshiped God,  was allowed by God to be attacked and almost completely destroyed by Satan,  to see if Job would abandon God,  which Job did not do,  despite the horrible things Satan did to him.  Satan made a destructive challenge to God,  like making a gambler’s bet towards an uncertain outcome,  a bet which God accepted and allowed to go forward.

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The Book of Job,  Read With New Eyes

The Book of Job is widely dismissed,  even by ministers and priests,  as a parable or a myth.  It is regarded like a fairy tale with a moral message.  I think it tells us of a real clash between God and Satan,  and Job was a real person.  But whether Job was flesh and blood,  or a parable,  he has a lot to teach us about the limits of God.

This is the way the deadly contest started between God and Satan,  in  Job 2: 6-11:  “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord,  and Satan came also among them.  And the Lord said unto Satan, whence comest thou?  Then Satan answered the Lord and said,  From going to and fro in the earth,  and from walking up and down in it.  And the Lord said unto Satan,  Hast thou considered my servant Job,  that there is none like him in the earth,  a perfect and an upright man,  one that feareth God,  and escheweth evil?  Then Satan answered the Lord and said,  Doth Job fear God for nought?  Hast not thou made an hedge about him,  and about his house,  and about all that he hath on every side?  Thou hast blessed the work of his hands,  and his substance is increased in the land.  But put forth thine hand now,  and touch all that he hath,  and he will curse thee to thy face.” 

Now,  this is quite a surprising and disturbing encounter.  God is allowing Satan to disrupt his meeting with his most trusted angels,  or perhaps God cannot stop Satan from disrupting this meeting.  Then,  curiously,  God brags to Satan about his best human follower Job.  God brought up the subject of Job,  not Satan,  and predictably Satan challenges the motives of Job,  and makes an ominous bet that puts Job and everyone around Job in great peril.  God took the awful bet,  but allowed Satan to do the destroying,  instead of himself,  saying:  “Behold,  all that he hath is in thy power;  only upon himself put not forth thine hand.”  Job 2: 12.  In the next few verses,  this turned out to be a death sentence for many people in Job’s family and businesses.  Satan had challenged God to do the destroying,  but at least God did not agree to that disastrous ploy.  Much blood would be shed in this game of power,  but the blood would not be directly on God’s hands.  Satan left the presence of God,  probably with evil delight,  to plan and launch a terrorist-like attack of great violence against Job’s family,  servants,  and vast possessions.

It was an utterly devastating campaign of destruction,  murder,  and mayhem.  It made modern mafia or gang wars look like child’s play.  Satan launched a seek-and-destroy mission like no other ever written about.  Every other evil mission in history has had potential opposition from forces of goodness,  but not this one.  Satan could seek out and destroy everything Job loved and possessed,  with demonic power,  with no risk to himself.  He could plan the perfect destruction,  like an engineer of evil,  with no one to challenge his plans.  Job was a lucrative target,  with seven sons and three daughters,  thousands of sheep and camels,  five hundred yoke of oxen,  and five hundred she-asses.  Job had amassed a vast and far-reaching benevolent empire of productive and profitable enterprises,  with the blessings and protection of God.  We are told that Job was  “the greatest of all the men of the east.”  With the protection of God removed,  Satan could not be harmed by men,  he could not be opposed by men,  so he risked nothing as he conducted a cowardly mission of absolute destruction,  with God’s permission.  Satan must have enjoyed it immensely.

The Killing of Job's Servants

The Killing of Job’s Servants

Satan must have made some unmentioned preparations,  moving forces into place,  getting ready to strike.  He used a combination of human and metaphysical resources.  When he was ready,  he launched a devastating coordinated attack on several fronts.  We are told that he did most of it in one single day,  employing bandits,  a foreign raiding party,  a windstorm,  and fire raining down from the sky to burn up thousands of sheep and their shepherds  (we are told that Job had seven thousand sheep,  which required a lot of shepherds).  Burning to death is a particularly painful and cruel method of killing,  and a very key method in this story.

But Satan was careful to spare one man,  one eye-witness,  from each slaughter.  These lone survivors must have thought that they were saved by God,  but no,  they were saved by Satan,  for an important purpose.  The single survivor of each disaster reached Job one right after the other,  from far-flung places,  to deliver the awful news. The messenger of the sheep said of the raining fire:  “the fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants.”  Satan must have been especially happy to hear this report.  It was not the fire of God from heaven,  it was the fire of Satan,  but no one knew this.  The messenger’s report meant that Satan’s subterfuge was working perfectly.  God was being blamed for Satan’s murders and destruction.

The Grand Deception

This was not only an epic campaign of destruction,  it was also a grand campaign of deception.  Satan had urged God to do the destroying,  and God had wisely refused,  as mentioned above.  This is very significant.  If God had done the destroying as Satan had challenged him to do,  then God would have essentially become like Satan.  But Satan needed the destruction to appear to come from God,  so Satan had to fall back to deception.  Satan wanted Job and everyone else to think that God was doing these horrible things,  so he used fire raining down from the sky,  a God-like non-human weapon,  a terrifying weapon,  far superior to human weapons,  and the deception was a complete success.  Job was devastated,  with his family and vast empire destroyed in one day,  by multiple coordinated attacks,  including supernatural fire from the sky.  Job and all others were convinced that God had done this to him,  as Satan intended.  They had no idea that Satan was even capable of such a thing.  In their belief,  Satan was held to limits by the omnipotent power of God,  so in their minds,  the raining fire had to be from God.  Satan used their own religion against them,  to distort the beliefs of everyone in the country.  The extreme evil acts of Satan were being attributed to God.  Not only was Satan destroying Job,  God’s greatest follower,  he was also damaging the image and reputation of God in an entire region.  This was a masterpiece of deception by Satan,  with elements that most readers of Job have not even considered.

God allowed this deadly deception to proceed and succeed,  all along its murderous way,  from planning to execution,  when he could have exposed it at any time.  Allowing this deception was not mentioned as a condition of the bargain with Satan.  But Satan’s clever campaign of lies was safe…..  for he had deviously backed God into a corner of sorts.  After all of the killing and destruction,  done quickly in one day,  with everyone believing it to be done directly by God,  God would gain nothing by exposing his true involvement and complicity in this gross and grisly injustice.  If he spoke up now,  what could he say?…..  “I did not do these terrible evil things,  but Satan asked me do them,  so I let him do them”  is not a very noble Godly message.  “The devil made me do it”  or  “the devil talked me into it”  might be an acceptable excuse for humans,  but not for a God of love,  justice and omnipotence.

Of course,  an omnipotent God could have ended the evil assault with righteous justice at any time,  by exposing Satan’s deceptive campaign for all to see and then dealing out a severe punishment to Satan,  for all to see.  Or keep it hidden from us,  but like the Nike ad says,  just do it.  This could have turned Satan’s dark and dirty scheme into a great triumph of Goodness for the entire universe.  This was a chance to expose the evil lies and manipulations of Satan,  and then to end the evil rebellion of Satan for all time.  But God could not,  or would not,  take the appropriate action.

Instead,  through inaction,  through allowing the evil of Satan a free hand,  God’s image was suddenly in danger of going from bad to worse…..  going from a violent unjust God,  to a weakling of a God who can be manipulated and tricked by his great enemy Satan to be violent and unjust,  allowing many people to be murdered for no good reason.  It would seem that the conniving Satan had God in a tight spot,  with God’s image at great risk of a dark tarnish……  and incredibly the image of God now depended solely upon one human being….. Job.  God’s allowing of this great evil needed justification,  and that justification lied in the hands of Job,  the man whose life was being destroyed.

Instead of reading this story in the Bible,  with the outcome already known and written,  just imagine watching this drama as it played out,  as God and Satan made their moves and cast their bets on how Job would react to this incredibly evil,  unjust attack carried out by Satan and sanctioned by God.  After the vicious attacks and the deceptions,  the only uncertainty,  the only variable became the moral character of Job.  The outcome was not known,  not even to God,  who was putting his divine image at great risk.  The brightening or dimming of God’s image became linked to Job,  became highly dependent upon the integrity of one man…..  the strength or weakness of Job’s commitment to morality and goodness.  If Job’s will was broken,  and his spirit darkened and scarred,  Satan would win.

The Spectacular Risk

Now,   consider,  what would we be reading in the Bible if Job’s will was broken,  and he cursed God,  or committed suicide,  or just weakened and died with a broken spirit and broken heart,  after losing his family and his means of making a living?  Would God blame Job for failing to pass this evil test of horrors,  or would God have any remorse at all for allowing Satan to destroy his best follower on Earth?  Would the moral of the story be…..  “look what happened to Job,  who defied God and lost everything,  so don’t be like Job”…..?  This would be a clear case of the criminals blaming the victim,  with the criminals being Satan and God,  and the victim being Job and his murdered family and servants and livestock.  If God did not accept responsibility for allowing the murder of innocent people,  and if he did not punish Satan for those murders,  then God would no longer have any good moral standing with the human race.

God would have destroyed his best follower on Earth.  God would have destroyed all the good things that Job had built;  all the love and charity that Job had shown his fellow man.  Job had worshiped God diligently,  Job had been a bright sign pointing to the goodness of God,  and all that would be gone…..  lost in a foolish bet with Satan,  who would be gloating and touting his great victory over God.  Satan would be strengthened,  and God would be left with innocent blood on his hands,  and nothing but disaster to show for it.  This is the risk that God was taking,  in this whole evil affair.

There are basic moral principles that one must follow,  basic moral laws of behavior that one must not break,  if a person wants to be regarded as good rather than evil….. loving rather than hateful…..  helpful rather than hurtful…..  constructive rather than destructive.  God is no exception.  He is also subject to these principles and laws,  if he wants the love and respect of human beings,  as the Bible says he does.  In the story of Job,  God is violating these moral principles and laws,  at great risk.  If Job fails this test of horrors,  then God also fails the test.

On the other hand,  If Job’s will stayed strong,  and his spirit bright,  God would win.  Then God would win the bet,  Satan would lose,  and God would have the perfect opportunity to expose Satan’s lies and treachery,  and end Satan’s evil existence or at least end his freedom to attack humans,  for all time.  This goal was a good reason to let Satan continue his destruction and deception,  but only if God had the power to carry out the punishment.  Sadly,  both the goal and the power are lacking,  because we can look ahead in the Bible to the end of the story,  and see that nothing happened to Satan at all.  But let us return to the cosmic conflict in progress…..

Stepping Up to The Next Level Of Evil:  Satan Raises The Bet… God Calls

This incredible cosmic conflict progresses like a poker game.  But instead of poker chips,  the tokens are human lives,  and their blood and treasure.  God and Satan are like high-stakes gamblers,  sitting across the table from one another,  deciding the worth of humanity.  Job’s family and businesses are already sacrificed by God,  and his bet paid off.  Job is performing just as God hoped that he would.

So far,  Job is clinging to his faith in God.  When all the messengers had finished delivering their horrific news of the destruction of Job’s family,  servants,  and livestock,  “Then Job arose,  and rent his mantle,  and shaved his head,  and fell down upon the ground,  and worshipped,  and said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb,  and naked shall I return thither:  the Lord gave,  and the Lord hath taken away;  blessed be the name of the Lord.  In all this Job sinned not,  nor charged God foolishly.”  Job 1:2-22. 

Then God informed Satan of Job’s steadfast faith:  “Still,  he holdeth fast his integrity,  although thou movedest me against him,  to destroy him without cause.”  Job 2:3. 

So God won the first round of this cosmic poker game.  Of course,  this was totally unacceptable to Satan,  and he had an answer ready:  “Skin for skin,  yea,  all that a man hath,  will he give for his life.  But put forth thine hand now,  and touch his bone and his flesh,  and he will curse thee to thy face.”  Job 2:4-5.

Satan raised the stakes of the poker game,  and God called Satan’s new bet:  “And the Lord said unto Satan,  Behold he is in thine hand;  but save his life”.

….. So instead of exposing Satan’s devious deceptions,  and stopping this  poker game from hell,  God let Satan continue with it.  So the deception continued and the risk increased,  when God consented to let Satan attack Job’s body,  Job’s health.  “So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord,  and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.”  Job 2:7.

In this cosmic poker game,  Satan raised the bet and God had to call  (even though,  oddly,  God did not collect the penalty from Satan at the end of the game).  Job’s agony and misery rose sharply,  with the attack becoming even more intimate and personal.  The emotional torture was joined by biological torture…..  the physical pain was constant and mind-numbing…..  contact of his skin with any surface made the boils burst with pus and erupt with pain.  The wearing of garments became intolerable.  Lying down to sleep was like lying down on a bed of fire.  Sleep was impossible,  except through sheer exhaustion.  There were boils on the soles of his feet,  so walking would have shredded his feet into a bloody pulp,  even with sandals.  If there were boils in his mouth,  then even eating or drinking would bring no pleasure,  no diversion from the pain that now tyrannized every minute of every day and night of Job’s ruined life.  The skin is the largest and most sensitive organ of the body,  and Satan turned Job’s skin into a source of excruciating,  unrelenting pain.  Now,  every aspect of Job’s entire life had become a source of misery.  Upon seeing the boils,  Job’s wife told him to  “curse God,  and die.”  Death was becoming more attractive,  as the only possible way to end the suffocating pain and destruction that Job’s life had become.  Death had to be on Job’s mind every day,  but he resisted the temptation to end his agony so easily.

Job with boils

Job homeless,  covered with boils,  friends waiting for him to speak

Then,  three of Job’s friends came  “to mourn with him and to comfort him”,  but this too turned into torture.  Their conversation with Job degenerated quickly into an argument,  putting Job on trial for sins that he must have committed against God,  to be so severely punished by God.  First,  the three friends arrived and tore their clothes in sadness and wept,  upon seeing his wretched condition.  Then they stayed with him for seven days and seven nights,  but did not speak,  “for they saw that his grief was very great”.  Presumably,  they silently helped him as they could,  and saw that he was provided with food and drink.  Then Job,  perhaps encouraged by the silent support of his friends,  gathered the energy and courage to speak,  cursing the day he was born,  lamenting the tragedy and misery heaped upon him,  cursing the day he was born…..  “Let the day perish wherein I was born,  and the night in which it was said,  There is a man child conceived.  Let that day be darkness;  let not God regard it from above,  neither let the light shine upon it…..  Why is light given to a man whose way is hid,  and whom God hath hedged in?”  Job 3:3-23.  Job cursed the day he was born,  but he did not curse God.

The Next Level of Deception:  Satan Corrupts Job’s Friends

Then his friend Eliphaz was the first to reply,  and his reply held no comfort.  He began the long rant,  to be reinforced by the other two friends,  that Job must have done or thought terrible sinful things against God,  and that he should admit guilt and repent of his awful sins.  They thought they were helping their friend face reality,  and get right in the eyes of God.  But they were unknowingly doing the opposite,  attacking Job unjustly,  being manipulated by Satan in his grand scheme of deception,  continuing the assault on Job to break his spirit and admit to sins that he had not committed,  or to curse God.

It was impossible for these friends to help Job,  because they did not know the true reason for what had happened to Job.  Satan succeeded in turning Job’s close friends against him,  while they thought they were helping Job.  He transformed the three friends of Job into the three stooges of Satan.  He sent them to Job as his Inquisitors,  using their own religion against them,  to conduct an epic questioning,  criticizing,  and condemning of Job,  using their friendship to torment Job,  after all the tortures of Satan he had already endured.  Satan had deceived everyone,  including Job,  about the murders and destruction,  and Job’s friends were fed even more lies by Satan,  to goad them even more to  ‘help’  their friend Job,  by condemning him.

You see,  the first friend to speak,  Eliphaz,  had already been prepared for this assault on Job,  by a visit from a spiritual agent,  most likely from Satan.  The spirit appeared to Eliphaz at night,  before his journey to help Job.  It is difficult to tell whether Eliphaz was asleep or wakened,  but the spirit was real,  and it was no bright shining angel,  full of glory,  as appears to men elsewhere in the Bible.  No,  it was a vague,  shadowy image,  that Eliphaz could not clearly see,  even when it stood still in front of him.  In Job 5:15-18,  in Eliphaz’s reply to Job,  we read this ominous message:  Then a spirit passed before my face;  the hair of my flesh stood up;  it stood still,  but I could not discern the form thereof…..  and I heard a voice saying,  Shall mortal man be more just than God?  Shall a man be more pure than his maker?  Behold,  he put no trust in his servants,  and his angels he charged with folly…..”  The spirit’s message continued on,  in dark and destructive tones,  about the insignificance and worthlessness of mankind.

The unwritten assumption is that the spirit visitor and his message were from God,  speaking truth to Eliphaz,  and that is what Eliphaz assumed,  or else he would not have used it to support his argument.  But does this sound like a message from the spirit of God?  Certainly not!!  God does put trust in his servants,  and God does not charge his angels with folly.  These are false and absurd assertions,  meant to attack God as well as Job.  These assertions only make sense from the viewpoint of Satan,  who long ago led a rebellion of angels in heaven against God.

This was a hateful message from Satan,  and Eliphaz was foolish to accept it as truth.  It should have triggered an alarm in his soul.  It was the next phase of Satan’s assault by lying and deception,  to turn Job’s friends against him.  Job’s friends fell for it,  and became the unwitting pawns,  the suckers of Satan.  Remember now,  Satan had absolute agreement from God to do anything against Job,  short of killing Job.  Satan had already killed Job’s family and servants,  and he could have easily killed Job’s friends,  to leave Job even more alone.  But Job’s friends were much more valuable to Satan alive rather than dead,  because they had influence with Job,  and they could continue the false narrative,  the devastating  lie,  that God had attacked Job because of Job’s sin,  and that Job must admit guilt and repent.

Job under assault and accusation

Job under assault and accusation

Job and all others continued to assume that God was punishing Job,  so they assumed that Job was guilty of something horrible and unforgivable.  Everyone but Job,  that is.  Job thought that God was doing it,  but Job refused to admit guilt of doing anything wrong.  Even when God later went  “all in”  with this deception,  delivering a lengthy rebuke to Job for no good reason,  Job refused to bow his head in guilt or shame.  He refused to give up,  he refused to die,  and his strong sense of justice kept him alive,  to see if somehow he would be vindicated.

It is disturbing to realize that God participated in this epic deception,  first by consent,  then by silence,  then later by rebuking Job after the attacks,  without mentioning his little bet with Satan.  By continuing the deception started by Satan,  God tested Job to such an extent,  beyond any limits,  it is amazing that Job did not simply lay down and die,  with his body and spirit broken.  But as I will soon explain,  God had faith in Job,  because both of them had faith in something greater.

The dark spirit that visited Eliphaz asked a crucial rhetorical question,  that touches on this issue of something greater.  The spirit asked  Shall mortal man be more just than God?  Shall a man be more pure than his maker?”  This was intended as a sharp criticism of Job,  that cut to the heart of the matter.  But it was cutting both ways.  With these questions,  the dark spirit was betraying his true concern.  For in this moment,  in this episode,  in this unjust test of horrors,  Job was indeed more just than God,  more pure than his maker.  And God was remaining silent at this point,  watching the test unfold,  with his reputation and divine image at stake in this cosmic bet,  now being slandered by a dark spirit accusing him of folly,  knowing that Job did have the potential to pass the test,  and trusting that Job would pass the test.  The dark spirit said that God  “put no trust in his servants”,  but that was a vicious lie,  being delivered to Eliphaz by an agent of Satan.  God had the ultimate trust in his servant Job,  as much as he had ever trusted any angel in his service,  for God could see the goodness,  purity and strength of Job’s spirit.

Indeed,  it was Satan who had enjoyed that same trust long ago,  and then betrayed it,  and Satan was trying to now turn his betrayal back on God,  saying that God had not trusted Satan.  Only from Satan’s viewpoint,  did God  ‘put no trust in his servants’,  with those servants being Satan and the angels he corrupted to follow him instead of God.  Of course God did not trust them,  and for good reason!  Only from Satan’s viewpoint,  did God  ‘charge his angels with folly’  when he charged them to oppose Satan’s rebellion long ago.  The source of these accusations is made plain,  by their destructive nature and their absolute falsity.

Only from Satan’s viewpoint,  is God committing folly today by continuing to oppose Satan.  Only from Satan’s viewpoint,  is God non-existent,  ‘dead’,  or irrelevant,  and must be purged from public society,  as atheistic and secular forces have been doing for decades.  They are Satan’s pawns,  just as much as Eliphaz was.  Only from Satan’s viewpoint,  must all references to God and the Bible be removed from public view or hearing.  This is a modern outgrowth today,  of the same destructive and false viewpoint that was expressed by the dark spirit visiting Eliphaz,  to turn him against Job.

Most readers of the Bible just glance at Job and pass it right by,  and most commentators dismiss it as a parable or myth,  that did not really happen.  But the elements of the story indicate that it likely did happen,  and that it has a great deal more significance than it is given by most.  It could be one of the most significant episodes in cosmic history.  The twists and turns of this little Book of Job are delightful,  when you begin to see all the implications,  and all the spiritual and moral forces and their heavy history,  and their changed future,  swirling around this one man standing alone,  under incredible assault by both sides of the moral spectrum.

If Job passed this test,  mankind would be proven as worthy and reliable moral entities in their own right,  true allies of God,  with or without the support of God.  No longer would humans be seen as weak and corruptible,  as they had been so easily corrupted by Satan in the Garden of Eden.  This could be viewed as a repudiation,  a reversal of the so-called  “original sin”  and  “fall of man”.  This was the coming of age of man,  as a reliable moral force for goodness,  even when under heavy attack from all sides,  standing alone with no allies,  no moral support.  This is what God wanted to be shown.

And so far,  Job was showing it,  after Satan’s worst attacks,  blamed on God.  No other human was attacked in such a way,  before or after Job.  The stakes were becoming higher for Satan,  with every passing day of this crucial test of Job,  with every passing day that Satan did not break Job’s spirit.

Satan must have been highly frustrated and angry.  The tables of fate,  and the winds of fortune,  were slowly being turned against Satan,  solely by the strength and goodness of Job’s spirit.  Job had not been broken by massive murder and destruction,  not by the loss of everything he held dear,  not by the loss of his vast possessions,  not by the loss of his means of making a living,  not by the inflicting of excruciating pain on Job’s body.  Could it be that this frail contemptible creature called Job,  would withstand everything that Satan could throw at him,  with it even being blamed on God?

This developing truth must have been a shock to Satan.  It was also such an incredible,  heretical idea for the orthodox followers of God,  that Satan thought he could use it to turn Job’s friends against him.  So he sent the denial of this idea to Eliphaz,  by way of a dark angel who asked Eliphaz:  Shall mortal man be more just than God?  Shall a man be more pure than his maker?”  The dark spirit was ridiculing Job for proclaiming innocence,  after receiving terrible punishment from God.  Would God punish an innocent man?  Would God be so unjust?  In truth,  God was being unjust,  attacking an innocent man,  but the orthodox answer was that God was justified in punishing Job,  and so Job was guilty.

How different their long speeches would have been,  if they  knew the truth about what had happened to Job,  if they knew that he was the victim of a cosmic bet between God and Satan,  if they knew that God was allowing Satan’s vicious attacks on an innocent man,  if they knew that their own lives were in peril of being snuffed out,  if Satan thought it might help to break Job’s spirit.  But,  because of their faulty religion of worshiping an omnipotent,  unchanging God,  and because of Satan’s masterful deception,  Job’s friends were more harmful to Job alive,  rather than dead.

So,  Job’s friends were Satan’s final weapon,  to try to break Job’s spirit and prove the worthlessness of man.  Satan urgently wanted Job to fail this unjust test of horrors,  not just to undermine the authority of God,  but to prove that mortal man did not have the spiritual strength to stand alone as a moral force,  under vicious attack,  without God to prop him up.  Satan was to fail in both areas,  for Job did remain standing alone,  on the strength of his own ethics and morality and philosophy,  even when he believed God was attacking him,  even after his three friends exhausted all their lengthy arguments to break him down to confess and repent…..  repent to sins that he did not commit.

Job fought back against his friends,  the pawns of Satan,  fought back even against God’s later rebuke,  and proved that the human spirit was very strong on its own and,  in some ways,  the moral equal of God and the moral superior of Satan.  Job himself won this fight against Satan,  with God standing on the sidelines.  We should be ever proud and ever grateful to Job,  for showing us,  and showing God,  what we all can be…..  a strong independent moral force for goodness in the cosmos.  But only if we remain true to what God has taught,  and to the universal moral principles of goodness.

In fact,  the triumph of Job may have triggered events even more important than the proof of man as a reliable independent moral force,  according to other writers.  I will address this in the section below,  titled Carl Jung’s  “Answer to Job”.

 

The Basic Moral Lessons of Job

In their conversation in heaven,  Satan also acknowledged for us that God had a  “hedge”  or protective barrier around Job and all that he had.  The barrier was there for good reason,  to keep Satan and his forces from destroying God’s most faithful and moral follower at the time.  There is no doubt that Job had long been one of Satan’s prime targets,  and that Satan had already probed the protective barrier,  with no success.  Job was not a random subject in a strange conversation,  he was the focal point of the conflict,  constantly on the minds of both God and Satan.  God needed to protect Job,  and he did,  as acknowledged by Satan.  So God did have the power to protect at least one man and his entire clan from Satan,  until Satan persuaded God to take down the barrier,  as part of a horrible bet.  As an aside,  one wonders why God did not have a hedge or protective barrier around the Garden of Eden,  where Satan attacked the first humans?  How was it that Satan even had the access,  to slither up to Eve in the form of a devious,  lying serpent?  Was that disaster the result of another cosmic bet?

But an omnipotent God of Love and Righteousness would not have been such a gambler,  and would not have allowed evil forces to play such an evil game like this with a good man like Job,  destroying everything that Job had rightfully produced with love and hard work,  even to the point of killing his family and most of his servants.

Here is the most important moral implication to draw from the story of Job:  It is morally inconceivable,  ethically unacceptable,  and a violation of all logic and common sense,  that an omnipotent God would have allowed such extreme evil to be done to an innocent man,  or would have given his greatest enemy the permission to do it.

You may ask,  how can I have the arrogance to say what God would or would not do in such a scenario?  If you ask me that,  then you must also ask,  how could Job have the arrogance to question God,  to demand answers from God?  Job essentially came to the the same conclusion as I have,  and Job was later justified by God.  Job was not arrogant,  he was desperate,  at his wit’s end,  asking for a glimmer of goodness and justice,  when he was surrounded and suffocated by unjust evil.  He knew that he was innocent,  and he knew that the supernatural disasters raining down upon him were immoral and unethical.

I can say it,  without arrogance,  because I,  and you,  and all of us,  are made in the image of God,  as he told us in Genesis.  This means that our highest thoughts,  our best values,  our noblest morals are seeking the mind of God.  Or rather,  our mind and God’s mind are both seeking an ideal morality,  a perfect system of ethical values and behavior,  a best balance of pure ideal values such as Love and Justice.  When God created humanity,  in his image,  he gave us his own capability of seeking these pure ideal values.  He then gives us guidance and instruction in many ways,  and once we have learned God’s ways,  we can partially chart our own course,  while still seeking the same results that God is seeking.

But we are seeking this ideal morality,  this best balance,  under great adversity and attack.  God has Satan as his great enemy and attacker,  who is seeking a far different result.  Human seekers of spirit have not only Satan and his minions attacking us,  but also have most of humanity seeking other goals in conflict,  with many humans turning into predators,  actively seeking to destroy us.

Regardless of all that adversity,  a spiritual seeker,  a loving and righteous man,  with a proper sense of Love and Justice,  would not want Satan to have his evil way with Job,  murdering his family and servants,  and would never consent to it,  so that is how I can say that God did not want it,  and that God would have prevented it if he could.  He consented to it only because of even greater adversities and constraints which are unknown to us,  which are far worse than our adversities,  which are unreported in the Bible.  Job sensed this,  that God was acting  “out of character”  for some important reason.  Even in the depths of his profound misery,  Job still followed the pure ideal values of Love and Justice,  that God had temporarily abandoned.  Job kept his loyalty to God’s ideals,  the universal moral ideals,  even when he thought he was being attacked unjustly by God.

So if the story of Job is generally true in principle,  if it has a kernel of precious knowledge,  if it has a lesson worth learning,  that lesson is that we have the ability to pursue the same ideals that God is pursuing,  even when God is apparently punishing us for doing so.  We are capable of seeking these pure ideal values on our own,  against all adversity,  even when everything we love is being destroyed.

A secondary lesson from the story of Job is that the power and relationship of God and Satan are not as orthodox religion teaches.  Some unknown factors compelled God to lower his protective barrier around Job,  which exposed Job and his family and servants to Satan’s vicious attacks.  There are elements missing from this story,  that would explain and justify God’s way of handling the epic situation.  If we are limited to the elements presented in the Bible,  then God’s actions in much of the Bible are not justified.  But by logical and moral reasoning,  I know that  God is always justified,  so the Bible simply does not report all of the elements.

We can come to this conclusion in the spirit of Job himself,  who knew he had been wronged and cried out for Justice,  knowing that he would be justified in the end,  in spite of all the physical evidence to the contrary,  in spite of a rebuke by God.  And he was indeed proven to be justified,  by God himself.  After this conclusion,  our goal then becomes an effort to seek out the unknown,  unreported elements of the reality of God,  and the reality of the world,  and the reality of our spiritual existence.  These unknown,  unreported elements will not be found in any church,  nor in any  “approved”  scripture,  nor in any orthodox religious organization.

Likewise,  the crucial points I am making here,  about the story of Job,  will never be preached in a church,  except perhaps in condemnation of such ideas.  Chief among those points is this:

An omnipotent God would not have allowed this horrendous attack on Job.  An omnipotent God would have rebuked Satan for daring to challenge him with such an evil ploy,  to allow Satan to kill Job’s family and servants and livestock,  to destroy everything Job had.  But God did allow it,  Job did not curse God,  Satan was proved wrong,  and even after all that,  God did not rebuke Satan.  In the Book of Job,  God did not rebuke Satan,  but God did rebuke or lecture Job,  for crying out in pain and wishing to die,  and demanding an answer from God,  after everything he loved was destroyed,  and his body was covered with boils.  And still,  Job did not curse God,  yet he was rebuked by God.  God’s rebuke was more like a lecture,  asking how Job could question God’s judgement,  asking where was Job when God created the universe.  Nothing was said to Job about God offering up Job as an innocent victim to Satan in a bet,  which is what caused this whole tragedy.  Therefore,  Job was within his moral rights to question God’s judgement,  rendering God’s rebuke unreasonable,  perhaps even abusive.  With such an irrelevant and evasive rebuke,  God was almost acting as Satan’s partner in this evil deception.   As I said above,  there are elements missing from this story,  that would explain and justify God’s way of handling the epic situation.  Chief among those elements is the question of the omnipotence of God.

 

Love,  Knowledge,  and Justice…..  The Essential Elements of Goodness

However,  one element that is very clear,  that stands out above all in this story,  is Job’s integrity and morality.  Job is the unsung hero in this cosmic duel between God and Satan.  Everything he owned,  everyone he loved,  everything he held dear was destroyed,  and he did not know why.  And yet he held tight to a philosophy of love,  knowledge and justice.  He did not succumb to hate,  he searched for knowledge of what was happening to him,  and he cried out to God for justice.  He held tight to this philosophy for it’s own sake,  not for the sake of God,  who had abandoned him to the ravages of Satan.  Even when Job was scolded by God like an naughty child,  adding insult to injury,  Job did not despair.  That divine rebuke could have driven Job to anger,  hate,  deep depression,  or suicide.  But it did not,  because Job was driven by something greater.

Job held tight to a natural moral philosophy that is universal,  that is superior,  with or without the support of God.  The strength of this philosophy is not dependent upon God.  In fact,  it could be said that God is dependent upon the strength of this philosophy.  We are all  dependent upon the superiority of the concepts of Love,  Knowledge,  and Justice.  Held up by this philosophy,  even when abandoned by God,  Job did not completely despair,  he did not give in to his darkest thoughts,  he did not lash out in anger.  With his three close friends,  he searched for knowledge of what had befallen him.  When he was rebuked by his friends,  he did not hate them.  Instead,  he prayed for his friends, showing great love.

But Job fiercely sought justice.  He refused to admit guilt for any sins that he was being punished for,  and held a steady moral course,  saying  “Though he (God) slay me,  yet will I trust in him;  but I will maintain mine own ways before him”.  Job 13:15.  Job trusted God even if God killed him,  but he did not trust God with his own ways,  his own moral path,  his own essence.  This is remarkable,  that Job would pay homage to God on one hand,  but still maintain his own moral values independent of God on the other hand.  Job is actually expressing allegiance to a moral code or philosophy greater than God,  a philosophy that men are capable of discerning for themselves.  With this realization,  we have finally arrived at the most important cosmic lesson of Job.

 

The True Strength of Job,  Apart From God

In this philosophy,  God is seen as a great power,  our creator,  our vast superior.  He may have more power than any other entity in the universe,  but he is not omnipotent.  Omnipotence for any entity is a fantasy,  a false idea of human religion.  God is seen as the highest sponsor of love and goodness,  but God is not seen as the arbiter of all morality.  There is an ideal of morality that we all seek,  apart from God,  even in opposition to God if necessary,  that holds our true allegiance.  We are capable of following a path of morality and righteousness,  with or without God,  because of how he has designed us.  This is what Job was expressing.  The creation can be independent of the creator,  in some ways.  God cannot act unjustly and still keep our complete loyalty.  In Job’s case,  he was being unjustly and wrongfully attacked,  and Job knew it.  He knew he had done nothing wrong,  he knew that he was in the right.  He did not know that Satan was responsible for the attacks.  He assumed that God was responsible for the attacks,  and he respected God,  even if under attack by God.  But Job still expressed an independence from God,  he expressed the iron will to  “maintain mine own ways”  before God.

I am not recommending that we all  “maintain our own ways”  separate from God,  as a goal in itself.  That would be foolish,  that would be arrogant,  that would be evil.  That is what Satan was doing,  what Satan has done ever since his original rebellion against God.  We must discern the philosophical difference between Satan and Job.  They were both in conflict with God,  but one was evil and one was good,  one was the predator and one was the victim.  One was attacking,  and one was being attacked.  And the story of Job is presented as a unique situation in all of history,  when God gave permission for Satan to viciously attack one man,  in order to test him.  God knew the strength of goodness within Job’s soul,  the strength of Job’s innate moral values,  the correctness of Job’s ethical nature.  Because of Job’s moral strength,  apart from God,  which God could sense,  this bet with Satan was not as risky for God as Satan thought it was.  God knew that Job could follow his own strong moral compass,  even when Job thought that God was attacking him.  Prior to Satan’s devious attack,  Job had faith in God.  After the attack,  as the gamble played out,  Job continued to have faith in God,  and God had faith in Job.  And they both had faith in something apart,  something ideal,  something we all seek and use every day,  and that is a philosophy.  The philosophy God and Job shared was a universal philosophy of goodness,  composed of the basic elements of Love,  Knowledge and Justice.

God’s faith in Job,  God’s faith in the independent superior philosophy of Job was proven to be justified.  Even in ignorance of the true situation,  Job made the right call and chose to follow his own moral judgement,  which was correct by any measure.  This put him in conflict with God,  this put him in conflict with his friends,  but that did not stop him.  Job did not curse God,  but he did not blindly submit to God either.  He questioned God,  and he made a declaration to his friends,  in defiance of the apparent attacks by God:  “Hear diligently my speech,  and my declaration with your ears.  Behold now,  I have ordered my cause;  I know that I shall be justified.”  Job 13:17-18.  When his friends argued with him and tried to hold him guilty,  he bravely held his ground:  “God forbid that I should justify you:  till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.  My righteousness I hold fast,  and will not let it go:  my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.  Let mine enemy be as the wicked,  and He that riseth up against me as the unrighteous.”  Job 27:5-7.   This is very remarkable.  Job was holding his own moral position,  against his friends,  against God.  He was holding his own moral position above God.  Job knew that he was innocent.   After everything he held dear was destroyed,  and his body was covered with oozing boils,  and he thought he was going to die in misery,  Job still knew that he was in the right,  on his own,  even if he was being attacked by God,  even if his friends criticized and rebuked him.  He knew that he was innocent,  and he knew that Justice was on his side,  even if God was not.

Justice,  as an ideal moral value,  was at least as important to Job as his respect for God.  He was willing to die for his concept of Justice,  rather than admit any guilt of sins that he had not committed.  Job had an absolute Knowledge of right and wrong and Justice,  that he valued above anything,  even above God.

But remarkably,  even in his torment and pain, while maintaining an ideal philosophy,  Job did not lose his faith in God,  even though God may be attacking him:  “Whence then cometh wisdom?  and where is the place of understanding?  Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living,  and kept close from the fowls of the air,  Destruction and death say,  We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.  God understandeth the way thereof,  and He knoweth the place thereof.”  Job 28:20-23.

Job knew that he himself had some small measure of wisdom and understanding,  and he held tight to it.  He had a keen understanding or knowledge of morality and justice.  It was the only thing keeping him from complete despair in his plight.  Please note that  God did not give Job this ultimate knowledge.  God had abandoned Job to the malevolence of Satan.  Job acquired this knowledge of ideal morality on his own,  because he valued it,  he hungered for it,  he sought it,  and he aspired to it.  God was his creator,  God was his mentor,  God was his teacher,  God was his ally,  but when he thought he was being forced to choose between God and his own moral values,  he followed his own excellent moral values,  he followed his own concept of true Justice.

But even then,  Job did not abandon God,  even though he thought God may have abandoned him.  He maintained the belief that God still possessed the ultimate understanding and wisdom,  even if God was attacking him.  This is quite astounding,  and it was infinitely impressive to God.  Jobs’ wife had urged Job to curse God and die,  but cursing God was still the farthest thing from his mind. To Job,  the concepts of goodness,  ideal morality,  and God were forever linked,  regardless of his personal fate.  This is the ultimate profound expression of an allegiance to ideal morality and philosophy,  while still including an allegiance to a senior,  superior entity who shares the same values,  even if that entity was somehow hostile for the moment.  Job looked beyond his devastating personal tragedy,  and stayed focused on an ideal of universal goodness and Justice. This is the bravest expression of natural moral philosophy that I have found,  in all of the literature I have researched in my life,  to this moment.

It is braver even that Jesus,  who had a bit of an advantage on Job,  because Job was God incarnate.  Even so,  on the cross,  Jesus cried out  “My God,  my God,  why have you forsaken me?”,  but Job never expressed such a sentiment,  quite to the contrary.

Job maintained a fine-tuned balance of ideal moral philosophy throughout his ordeal. Job expressed loyalty to God, refused to admit guilt for any sins that he was being punished for, and held a steady moral course, saying “Though he (God) slay me, yet will I trust in him; but I will maintain mine own ways before him”. Job 13:15.

I am not recommending that we all “maintain our own ways” separate from God, as a goal in itself. That would be foolish, that would be arrogant, that would be evil. That is what Satan was doing, what Satan has done ever since his original rebellion against God. We must discern the philosophical difference between Satan and Job. They were both in conflict with God, but one was evil and one was good, one was the predator and one was the victim. One was attacking, and one was being attacked. And the story of Job is presented as a unique situation in all of history, when God gave permission for Satan to viciously attack one man, in order to test him. God knew the strength of goodness within Job’s soul, the strength of Job’s innate moral values, the correctness of Job’s ethical nature. Because of Job’s moral strength, apart from God, which God could sense, this bet with Satan was not as risky for God as Satan thought it was. God knew that Job could follow his own strong moral compass, even when Job thought that God was attacking him. Prior to Satan’s devious attack, Job had faith in God. After the attack, as the gamble played out, Job continued to have faith in God,  and God had faith in Job.  And they both had faith in something apart, something ideal,  something we all seek and use every day,  and that is a philosophy.  The philosophy God and Job shared was a universal philosophy of goodness, composed of the basic elements of Love, Knowledge and Justice.

Job trusted God even if God killed him, but he did not trust God with his own ways, his own moral path, his own essence. This is remarkable, that Job would pay homage to God on one hand, but still maintain his own moral values independent of God on the other hand.  Job is actually expressing allegiance to a moral code or philosophy greater than God,  a philosophy that men are capable of discerning for themselves. With this realization,  we have finally arrived at the most important cosmic lesson of Job.

The True Strength of Job,  Apart From God

In this philosophy,  God is seen as a great power,  our creator,  our vast superior.  He may have more power than any other entity in the universe,  but he is not omnipotent.  Omnipotence for any entity is a fantasy,  a false idea of human religion.  God is seen as the highest sponsor of love and goodness,  but God is not seen as the arbiter of all morality.  There is an ideal of morality that we all seek,  apart from God,  even in opposition to God if necessary,  that holds our true allegiance.  We are capable of following a path of morality and righteousness,  with or without God,  because of how he has designed us.  This is what Job was expressing.  The creation can be independent of the creator,  in some ways.  God cannot act unjustly and still keep our complete loyalty.  In Job’s case,  he was being unjustly and wrongfully attacked, and Job knew it.  He knew he had done nothing wrong,  he knew that he was in the right.  He did not know that Satan was responsible for the attacks.  He assumed that God was responsible for the attacks,  and he respected God,  even if under attack by God.  But Job still expressed an independence from God,  he expressed the iron will to “maintain mine own ways” before God.

Job stood on the foundation of morality that he had learned from God,  and reached higher still,  when God seemed to be faltering.  For this act of profound goodness and courage,  Job is my favorite character in the Bible.  And in the end,  for the icing on the cake,  he was proven right and rewarded by God.

Even when he was being rebuked by God,  even when God failed to explain why this disaster was happening to him (a friendly little bet with Satan),  he held to his own high principles and stayed to his highly moral course.  Job proved to be the strongest moral character in this story,  even stronger than God.

In Part Six,  I presented God’s faith in Job,  Job’s faith in God,  and their mutual faith in something apart from God,  an ideal moral philosophy,  that holds the true allegiance of both God and man.  If this is true,  wouldn’t it behoove us to try to discern and describe what that philosophy is?

PART SEVEN– God Goes All In, and Rebukes Job

The twists and turns of the Book of Job are hard to follow.  But the one element that is very clear,  that stands out above all in this story,  is Job’s tenacious integrity and morality.  Job is the unsung hero in this cosmic duel between God and Satan.  Everything he owned,  everyone he loved,  everything he held dear was destroyed,  and he did not know why.  And yet he held tight to a philosophy of love,  knowledge and justice.  He did not succumb to hate,  he continued to love his wife and his friends,  he searched for knowledge of what was happening to him,  and he cried out to God for justice.  He held tight to this philosophy for it’s own sake,  not for the sake of God,  who had abandoned him to the ravages of Satan.  Even when Job was scolded by God like an naughty child,  adding insult to injury,  Job did not despair.  That divine rebuke could have driven Job to anger,  hate,  deep depression,  or suicide.  But it did not,  because Job was driven by something greater.

God’s long rebuke of Job,  taking up four chapters, does not mention Job’s tragedy or the reason for it.  The rebuke is mostly rhetorical questions,  such as  “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?… Have the gates of death been opened unto thee?… Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven?… Wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?  But Job had not condemned God,  he had re-affirmed his trust in God,  even if God killed him.  This rebuke appears to be intended to remind Job of his ignorance and weakness in comparison to God,  a reminder which Job did not really need.  This rebuke was a non-sequitir, a diversionary tactic by God.

In four chapters,  God did not say anything about the murders of Job’s family,  servants and livestock.  God did not say anything about the boils that covered Job’s body.  Everyone still believed that God had done these horrible things,  and God let them keep believing it.  God’s purpose must have been to lend legitimacy to Satan’s attack,  and to test Job’s loyalty even further,  to see what Job would do when rebuked and humiliated in front of his friends.  Job took the rebuke to heart,  saying  “Behold I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.” Job 40:4.  God was not yet satisfied,  and continued the rebuke even more,  beginning with  “Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.” Job 40:7.

In God’s lengthy rebuke,  Job knew that God did not explain why Job had been so viciously attacked.  He knew that God was beating around the bush,  avoiding some central issue,  using evasive tactics,  and Job was rightly disturbed by this.  And indeed,  God was avoiding telling Job about the bet with Satan.  God would not tell Job that he was the human target of a crucial battle between God and his greatest enemy,  a battle that would be recorded in a Bible that would teach humanity profound lessons for many thousands of years.

After God’s lengthy rebuke,  Job was awed,  Job was humbled,  but incredibly he still held to an ideal apart from God,  still challenging God,  still wanting,  even demanding answers from God.  Job did not grovel,  he did not despair,  he did not become a yes-man,  he did not extinguish his own bright flame of spirit.  He was not satisfied with God’s rebuke,  and with amazing courage,  he issued a small rebuke of his own to God:  “Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, to declare thou unto me.” Job 42:4.

These words were similar to words God had used in his rebuke.  God had demanded Job to declare,  and now Job was demanding God to declare.

Question:  What gave Job the incredible bravery to throw God’s own words back at him?

Answer:  The strength of Job’s independent superior philosophy,  apart from God.  You see,  Job knew that God was not being straight with him.  Job knew that he had not been treated fairly,  that justice had not been served.  Vital moral principles had been violated,  many murders had been committed,  and God did not address this at all in his rebuke.  Also, on the strength of Job’s philosophy,  apart from God,  he was telling God  “go pick on someone your own size”,  like a small boy would tell an older bully in the school playground.  Job could do this only if he had an absolute conviction that his moral values,  his moral philosophy was absolutely right,  with or without God.  This gave him the strength of will to hold God to a higher standard, apart from God.

Job held tight to a natural moral philosophy that is universal,  that is superior,  with or without the support of God.  The strength of this philosophy is not dependent upon God.  In fact, it could be said that God is dependent upon the strength of this philosophy.  We are all dependent upon the superiority of the concepts of Love, Knowledge, and Justice.  Held up by this philosophy,  even when abandoned by God,  Job did not completely despair, he did not give in to his darkest thoughts,  he did not lash out in anger.  With his three close friends,  he searched for knowledge of what had befallen him.  When he was rebuked by his friends,  he did not hate them.  Instead,  he prayed for his friends,  showing great love.

Job knew,  by virtue of his independent moral philosophy,  that he was in the right.  By that same philosophy,  he knew that God was hiding some important information,  and he still stood up to God,  to ask for it.  He did not get it, but he did still ask for it.

Job submits to God

Job submits to God and falls silent

Job’s last words offered a concession,  a deferment to God,  to show his loyalty to God the end:  “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:6.

For all Job knew, after he uttered these words,  God would finally kill him,  and Job knew not what would become of his soul after that.  Put yourself in his place,  and feel his emotional anguish,  his physical pain,  and the crushing uncertainty of this moment.  After steadfastly proclaiming innocence and demanding justice many times,  Job’s last gesture was to put himself entirely at God’s disposal.  He fell silent and waited upon God’s answer,  and it was as if the entire universe held its breath with Job.

Then,  instead of killing Job,  to their undoubtedly great shock and surprise,  God turned to rebuke his friends!  He singled out Eliphaz,  who had believed the lies of the dark spirit:  “The Lord said unto Eliphaz the Temanite,  My wrath is kindled against thee,  and against thy two friends:  for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right,  as my servant Job hath.” Job 42:7.

Job restored to health and prosperity

Job restored to health and prosperity

So in the end,  Job’s independent moral philosophy was proven right,  and it was even rewarded by God,  who had abandoned Job during the agonizing ordeal of this horrible bet with Satan.  God was very pleased with Job’s conviction, bravery, and independent moral philosophy.  God restored everything Job had lost,  even doubling it:  “So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. He also had seven sons and three daughters.” Job 42:12-13.

So ends the story of one man’s integrity, faith, and philosophy withstanding the onslaught of worst attacks of Satan,  and winning over the heart of God.  But there is more to analyze here,  concerning the limits of God.

TO BE CONTINUED IN PART EIGHT

God was so impressed with Job,  God may have even re-examined himself,  an idea that was explored by Carl Jung.

Carl Jung’s  “Answer to Job”

Carl Jung

Carl Jung (1875-1961)

Carl Jung was the famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also in philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, literature, and religious studies.

Jung created some of the best known psychological concepts, including the archetype, the collective unconscious, the complex, and extraversion and introversion.

In 1952,  Jung published the book  “Answer to Job”,  which is considered by some Jung analysts to be Jung’s most important and profound work.  In Jung’s book,  Job’s steadfast retention of his personal morality under attack is acknowledged.  It impresses God so much,  that God is forced to re-examine Himself,  for allowing such an unjust attack.  Perhaps He is not so righteous after all!  Out of this astonishing divine self-reflection,  triggered in God by Job’s persistent righteousness,  God goes through a process of transformation that leads to His incarnation as Jesus.  God develops a new respect for humanity through his testing of Job,  and from that a new relationship between God and humanity is born,  through the life and ministry of God as Jesus.  Job’s unjust suffering at the hands of Satan,  allowed by God,  was the direct inspiration for God’s unjust suffering at the hands of evil humans,  in the incarnation of Jesus.

So,  according to Jung,  Job had to be a real person,  who caused such an impressive and transformational effect on God himself,  that it brought about God’s later incarnation as Jesus Christ.  I do not take my analysis of Job that far,  but suffice it to say that my analysis of Job as a real person who had important effects upon God and Satan,  and who elevated the status of humanity in the cosmos,  resides in good company.

My analysis of goodness,  as a set of ideal universal moral principles that exists apart from God,  is also in sync with Jung.  I contend that  Job’s steadfast adherence to those ideal principles motivated God himself to become more closely aligned with those principles.  This could be the process of transformation that Jung credits with motivating God to incarnate himself as Jesus Christ.  In other writings,  I speculate further upon what those ideal universal moral principles might be.  If they are capable of moving God to transform himself, as Jung proposes,  then they are even more powerful than I previously thought,  and they deserve a great deal more investigation by all.  But for now,  let us return to the cosmic events reported in the Book of Job.

 

Job Rebuked,  Then  Rewarded…..  Satan  Rewarded,  Then NOT Rebuked

God rewarded Job,  but what did God do with Satan,  his great enemy,  who caused this horrible ordeal?  Nothing!! Something is surely wrong here…..   Satan got  “rewarded”  up front,  by being given free reign to murder and destroy.  Then Satan was proven wrong and he lost the bet,  after murdering many people and killing livestock,  but God did not rebuke Satan with one harsh word.  The Book of Job begins with a lively dispute between God and Satan,  but it ends with a deafening silence between them,  after Satan was utterly defeated in his challenge.

It seems that God missed a golden opportunity here.  Satan left a trail of death and carnage in his wake,  and was proven wrong,  yet God had nothing to say to him?  Instead,  God rebuked the poor man Job,  who was the target of the most devastating terrorist attack on a single man in history,  that included many murders,  destruction of houses,  killing herds of livestock,  and a biological attack to Job himself.  So then God rebukes Job,  the innocent victim of the attack,  and God does not rebuke Satan,  the evil perpetrator of the attack??  This is fundamentally wrong and it offends our sense of justice,  even more than Job’s sense of justice was offended,  for Job did not know the larger conflict swirling around him.  But God’s failure to rebuke Satan may give us a clue about the reality of God,  and the limits of God’s power.

Could it be that God actually chose to remain silent,  chose not to rebuke Satan at the end of this epic contest?  That seems unlikely.  Throughout the Bible,  God rarely misses an opportunity for a rebuke.  It is a key teaching method for him,  and rightly so.  We need to read God’s rebuke,  after a key event,  to get the teaching points of the event,  to learn his wisdom.  In Job’s case,  Job was the innocent victim of a vicious attack,  and he got a rambling rebuke from God.  Satan,  the perpetrator of the attack,  the criminal,  the murderer,  needed to be rebuked,  and by rights should have been severely punished as well.  There needed to be a terrible price for losing a high-stakes bet with God.  There needed to be retribution for the many murders and vast destruction of houses,  livestock,  etc.  As a minimum,  the situation called for a rousing  “evil lost and goodness won”  rebuke of Satan,  in some more distinguished divine language.

So it is very unlikely that God chose not to rebuke Satan for attacking Job.  It seems more likely that Satan quickly vanished or retreated far from God’s presence,  out of God’s grasp,  so that he could not be rebuked.  Somehow,  God was not able to rebuke Satan,  or not able to make Satan listen to a rebuke,  that Job and his murdered family desperately needed to hear,  that we so much need to hear today.  If rebuke was not possible in this case,  then discipline or punishment of Satan was not possible either.  This is an indicator of God’s limits,  God’s lesser power than is generally believed;  and Satan’s greater power or freedom than is generally believed.  It is an indicator  that is consistent with other conflicts between God and Satan,  that are reported in the Bible.

In the end,  the story of Job was a great triumph for the philosophy of Goodness,  but it could have been a greater triumph for God if he had delivered a stinging rebuke to Satan,  or reduced Satan’s power,  or set new limits for Satan’s access to humanity.  Or kill Satan as he had murdered Job’s family and servants,  or ban Satan from the Earth entirely,  now there is a good thought.  Far from such measures,  God did not even rebuke Satan with a single word.  Here the greatest enemy of God and Goodness was defeated,  shamed,  proven wrong…..  and God did not follow through with meaningful measures.  God did not,  most likely because he could not.

Something is very wrong with the story of Job:  Satan is too powerful,  God is too permissive in what he  “allows”  Satan to do.  Satan commits many murders,  loses the bet,  and then God fails to rebuke Satan.  This does not ring true…..  this does make moral sense…..  this does not serve justice…..  so some key information is missing.  We must remember that God and Satan are moral opposites,  moral enemies at war,  yet here they are depicted as if they were friendly rivals,  engaging in conversation and a bet.  We must remember that Satan already staged a great rebellion in heaven,  and was  “thrown down to the earth”  by God and his loyal angels,  to remove the evils of Satan from God’s presence.  Yet here the great rebel enemy Satan is almost depicted as an equal to God,  able to come into God’s presence at will,  able to argue with God and challenge God with a bet,  that would cost the family and servants of Job their lives,  that would cost Job everything except his physical life.

There is a hit song  “The Winner Takes It All”  by the group ABBA,  with lyrics that could describe the story of Job:  “The gods they roll the dice,  with hearts as cold as ice…..  and someone weak down here,  loses someone dear.”  The story of Job sounds like that.

The story of Job also sounds like the stories of the Greek gods of Olympus,  where the gods compete with each other and manipulate humans like pawns.  The Greek gods engage each other in power struggles,  with any god able to gain an advantage over another,  and humans suffer the consequences.  The story of Job is like this.  God may completely defeat Satan someday,  as the Bible predicts,  but humans constantly suffer through the ages,  as the casualties of their long war.  If the Book of Job has any credence at all,  could it be that it gives us a more accurate picture of the relative powers of God and Satan?

As mentioned above,  Satan spoke of a  “hedge”  or protective barrier that God had placed around Job,  to protect him against Satan’s attack or influence.  Could it be that Job’s obedience to God and goodness helped to make that barrier possible?  Could it be that a person’s moral orientation,  toward goodness or evil,  toward love or hate,  is a necessary condition of building such a  “hedge”  around them?  Could it be that Satan is also capable of building a  “hedge”  or protective barrier around someone who is following predatory evil principles?  Someone like,  perhaps,  the evil Pharaoh enslaving the Hebrews?  So that the evil Pharaoh was protected by Satan,  and could actually stand up against God and refuse to free the slaves?  So that the Biblical plot device had to be employed,  that God had  “hardened Pharaoh’s heart”  against freeing the slaves,  when actually Satan was reinforcing the will of Pharaoh to defy God,  and protecting Pharaoh himself from God’s attack,  to some degree?

The battle of Exodus was much larger and more important than the battle of Job.  Job involved only one man and his sphere of influence,  while Exodus involved two nations and their combined spheres of influence.  God had a lot more invested in the Hebrew people,  than he had invested in Job and his family.  So likewise,  the amount of attention and effort that Satan paid to Job,  would be greatly multiplied in the story of Exodus.  The story of Exodus is an epic pivotal chapter in the Bible,  and Satan is not mentioned,  but we can be sure that Satan was there,  and that his strongest piece on the chessboard was Pharaoh.  Satan would surely throw all his power into protecting Pharaoh from God’s attack,  and this Satanic effort had an effect that was not reported or understood.  The Biblical account of God  “hardening Pharaoh’s heart”  has always disturbed me,  and now I am beginning to figure out another explanation.  It seems more likely that Satan emboldened Pharaoh to refuse God,  and protected him from being killed by God,  while many other Egyptians died around him,  who had little or no responsibility for enslaving the Hebrews.

The story of Job also makes the reader uncomfortable,  and for good reason.  It does not make moral sense,  with the underlying assumption of an omnipotent God.  With that assumption,  the reader must suspend morality and logic to agree with its conclusion.  Without that assumption,  the story of Job is still disturbing,  but it makes much more sense.  I must insist that crucial facts about God and Satan are missing from the story.  I think  the Book of Job will make sense and will be morally justified,  when we learn the truth about God and Satan,  much of which is missing from the Bible in general.  But there are enough clues to indicate that the orthodox view of their relationship is not completely accurate.

 

The Birth of Evil

By simple logic and morality,  an omnipotent God would not even allow an enemy like Satan to exist,  but would have disabled or destroyed Satan at his first act of destruction.  Or,  perhaps at his second or third,  or tenth,  or hundredth,  or thousandth act of destruction.  But throughout the Bible,  spanning many thousands of years,  Satan remains as the principle cause of evil in the world,  whom God apparently cannot disable or destroy,  but whom God will somehow manage to imprison in some future time,  as described in the Book of Revelation.  The epic, cosmic conflict between God and Satan began before the birth of humanity,  as described in Revelation 12: 7-9:   7 And there was war in heaven,  Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon.  The dragon and his angels waged war,  8 and they were not strong enough,  and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.  9 And the great dragon was thrown down,  the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan,  who deceives the whole world;  he was thrown down to the earth,  and his angels were thrown down with him..…”   So why are we told that the rebellious group of angels was  “not strong enough”  to defeat God?  Why was this an issue to be addressed?  How could there even be any possibility that they could be  “strong enough”  to defeat God?  There could only be such a possibility,  if God were not omnipotent.  That is already implied by the fact that there was a war in heaven at all.

Just as God,  perhaps,  could not later stop the Pharaoh from turning against him,  God could not stop Satan from turning against him,  though God surely tried to.  The stakes had been much higher with Pharaoh than with Job,  and the stakes were much higher still in dealing with the original rebellion of Satan,  than in dealing with Pharaoh.  God did not  “harden the heart”  of Satan to escalate the conflict,  but surely tried to defuse the conflict,  to bring Satan back into harmony with the morality and philosophy of God.  God could not stop Satan from turning a large number of other angels against him,  though God surely tried to.  God could not stop these rebellious angels from gaining more influence and power among other angels,  recruiting one-third of all angels to join them,  until they challenged the very authority and power of God himself,  though God surely tried to stop them,  all along the way.

The rebellious angels had even more power than their numbers represented,  because of the natural advantages of evil.  When entities lose their morality and turn towards evil,  they gain great advantages in any conflict.  They no longer care about  “fighting fair”  with any moral code.  They gain the advantages of surprise,  deception,  lying about their enemies,  lying about themselves,  lying about their actions and goals,  and targeting innocents to do the most damage possible to their opponents.  The forces loyal to God were lucky to expel the evil angels before they converted even more than one-third of the angels to follow Satan.

The Bible does not tell us the time span of this war,  nor the time span of the developing conflict that led up to the war,  but it must have been an agonizing struggle that lasted a long time.  When it rose to the level of violence,  there may have been more than one engagement or battle in this cosmic  “war”.  Happily,  God and his loyal angels were strong enough to win the final battle.  So the evil  “dragon”  Satan and his angels were kicked out of heaven,  but they were not really disabled or disarmed.  They were able to set up operations elsewhere,  like here on Earth,  and do great damage.

This is clear evidence of God’s weakness or limits in fighting evil.  An omnipotent God would not have needed to fight a war against any adversary.  God would not have needed to put his loyal angels at risk in battle,  but he could have defeated the adversary with a snap of his omnipotent fingers.  He also could have prevented them from doing damage outside of heaven.  Yet here in the Bible,  we have testimony that God had to send his angels,  commanded by Michael,  to fight a war with the rebellious angels,  commanded by Satan.  Then,  more importantly,  the tragic result of this war was not a destruction or disabling of powerful evil,  but merely an expulsion of powerful evil from one location to another.  The disease of evil was not eradicated or cured,  it was merely evicted from its place of origin,  and forced to find new victims to attack elsewhere.  Heaven was sanitized and cured of evil,  but  the rest of universe has been infected with evil ever since.

That is what the Biblical account tells us,  if we read between the lines.  But preachers will not preach this part of the Bible message,  though they will excel at reading between the lines elsewhere,  to preach their witty sermons.  But this is my “sermon”,  motivated by love,  justice,  logic,  and morality.  If we accept the existence and rebellion of Satan,  then this must follow:

Satan and his angels were  “thrown down to the earth”,  not as part of a wise intentional divine plan,  but as a great disruption of God’s plan,  as a desperate last-ditch defensive measure to get the troublemakers out of heaven,  anywhere but heaven.  Heaven was saved,  but only by exposing the rest of Creation to the predatory evils of Satan.  This was a desperate measure to save heaven,  but also to subject Earth to the power of Satan and his angels,  because there was not sufficient power available to God to do anything else.  This was a desperate measure,  taken in a vicious war.  The expulsion of Satan from heaven was a salvation for heaven,  but a disaster for the rest of the universe.  Preserving the  “free will”  of Satan had nothing to do with it;  that was not a consideration at all.  God did the best he could to defeat,  disable and destroy Satan,  but it was not enough.

So later,  at the birth of the human species,  represented by the story of The Garden of Eden,  Satan was right there, embodied in a devious serpent,  eager to ruin God’s latest project of creation.  Believers do not question WHY Satan was there at all,  or HOW God’s great enemy was even able to invade God’s precious crucible of the creation of humanity.  But it must be questioned.  Satan should not have been allowed there.  A factory owner does not allow his greatest competitor into his factory;  a company inventing a new product does not allow an enemy into it’s research facility;  a scientist does not allow protesters or terrorists into his laboratory.  Fences,  walls,  locks,  and security forces are used to keep enemies out.

Likewise,  parents do not allow evil people to gain easy access to their young children.  Young children are supervised and protected at all times,  to prevent evil predatory people from approaching them.

Yet Satan was there,  God’s great enemy in God’s earthly Garden of Eden,  a sacred sanctuary of great importance in God’s plans.  Satan was there,  ruining the lives of the first humans,  simply because God could not keep him out.  God had kicked Satan out of heaven,  but was unable to destroy or disable Satan,  unable to further limit his areas of operation.  Heaven was safe,  but the rest of the universe was in great peril.

So,  the human tragedies and wars through the entire history of our planet have been aided by an army of evil angels,  angry angels,  that God kicked out of heaven.  God expelled the rebels from his own domain,  but he could not stop them from making our planet miserable.

This is a disturbing chain of events.  Let us bring these events down to a human level,  to perhaps understand them better.  It would be as if some citizens,  in an earthly town called Paradise,  become disgruntled and rebellious.  They take offense at the town’s large church called Heaven and its pastor called God,  blaming it for all their problems.  Some of the rebels are members of this church.  The church is a beautiful church,  a rich church,  for its members lovingly contribute their time and resources to make it a glorious place of fellowship and worship.  The church gives back to the community,  with resources and help flowing to those who are in need.  These rebellious members lust after the beauty and glory and resources of the church,  wanting it for themselves.  It becomes known that the rebels are being incited by a man named Lucifer,  who is  the chairman of the church deacons.  He keeps telling them that the pastor God is plotting to kick him and them out of the church.  So they move into the church,  claiming that it owes them a place to live.  They then start vandalizing and looting the church in hidden ways,  and harass its other members when they come to services on Sunday.  They tell lies about the pastor God,  that he is stealing money from the church,  that he is sleeping with the women of the church.  They tell the members that God is unworthy to be pastor,  that they should accept Lucifer as the new pastor of the church.

In this town called Paradise,  there is no police force to call,  because there has never been any crime.  For many months,  the pastor God talks and pleads with the rebels,  now more properly called a criminal gang,  even giving them money and gifts,  pledging peace and good will.  But it is to no avail.  Lucifer and his gang claim that the church is rightfully theirs,  and that they can take better care of it,  which is a lie,  because they are secretly looting it and rigging explosives to destroy it,  and stalling for time.  Sadly,  but with steel resolve,  the pastor God organizes and arms the church deacons,  fights a battle and repels Lucifer and his gang of criminals from the church called Heaven,  only to watch them retreat and spread into the surrounding neighborhood and attack the gentle neighbors,  who are less able to resist the criminals.  The pastor grimly realizes that the war has really only just begun,  and he begins to organize for war,  to defend and liberate his town.

Now,  this pastor would be considered a noble hero and a great leader,  but he is not omnipotent,  for he cannot easily defeat the criminals attacking his church and town.  In a desperate struggle,  he threw them out of the church,  only to watch them spread to the town.  The town called Paradise is no longer a paradise.  It will take a much longer struggle to remove them from the town.  When he throws them out of the town,  he will have to worry about them attacking other towns.  And the longer they exist,  the more followers they recruit to join them and attack the rest of the town.  Their self-serving,  predatory philosophy and their lying propaganda appeal to an alarming number of people,  who had seemed to be good citizens.  The only way to stop the gang of criminals from spreading their predatory philosophy,  is to imprison them or kill them.  That becomes the pastor’s goal,  but it will take a very long time of agonizing conflict and destruction to accomplish it,  because the pastor is not powerful enough to do it quickly or efficiently.

Grimly,  this pastor called God prepares himself for a much longer struggle,  that he fears might expand from his town to other towns,  to the entire world.  And the pastor is grieved,  for he is not sure who will win the war.  He sees that this new power of  Evil is devious,  cunning,  and it has natural tactical advantages over goodness.  But he must hide his uncertainty and his limitations from his followers.  He loves them dearly,  and they need a leader who appears to be powerful,  righteous,  and confident.

We are very familiar with wars here on Earth,  and we know that they are the very opposite of the omnipotent rule of goodness and morality.  Wars happen because evil gains horrible power,  and threatens to enslave the entire world,  or a portion of the world,  so that the forces of goodness and morality must fight for their very survival.  A war is an extreme event of conflict and desperation.  War is an  “existential”  event,  threatening the actual existence of the warring sides.  Neither good nor evil is omnipotent,  but they are completely incompatible,  so they must fight wars to attempt to destroy each other,  or at least exclude each other from certain places.

So God fought a war and expelled the evil of Satan and his angels from heaven,  but could not stop them from doing their evil elsewhere in the universe,  like here on Earth.  Why would God fight a war to expel evil from his local domain,  but then allow evil to torment the rest of the universe;  the rest of his Creation?  Why would God allow it,  if God had the power to prevent it?  We can be fairly certain that God did not want or will this to happen,  so we can also be fairly certain that God was simply not able to stop it from happening.

 

War and Omnipotence Are Mutually Exclusive

The Bible tells us of war in heaven.  Satan and his minions were defeated in  “heaven”,  but not elsewhere.  The same conflict continues elsewhere,  producing wars here on Earth.  But wars do not suddenly spring forth out of nothing…..  wars occur as a final tragic eruption after a long build-up,  after a long struggle,  only when every other solution has failed.  Love has tried and failed,  logic has tried and failed,  reason has tried and failed,  morality has tried and failed,  and the predatory power of evil remains undaunted, attacking and advancing.  When the conflict escalates to war,  goodness is sometimes finally able to defeat evil,  to some extent.  But it seems to me that omnipotence,  on either side,  would not allow conflicts to escalate to the extreme of war.  Omnipotence is a fantasy.  Where war is present,  omnipotence is not present…..  and war is everywhere,  even in heaven.

God is not able to change this universal truth,  but is subject to it,  as described in Revelation 12: 7-9, and elsewhere in the Bible.  God was forced to engage in war in heaven.  Why do I use the word  “forced”?  Because it is an obvious conclusion.  Do you think that God wanted a war to happen,  or allowed a war to happen,  when he could have prevented it or stopped it?  Of course not.  But that ridiculous,  illogical,  immoral idea must be accepted,  that God did allow a war to happen when he could have prevented it,  if you believe in an omnipotent God.

The entire Bible could be described as a record of the war between God and Satan,  which is not over,  which may never be over.  So because of continual war,  in heaven and earth,  we can conclude that God is not omnipotent.  The ideas of war and omnipotence are mutually exclusive.  Where one exists,  the other cannot exist.  If any entity in the universe were omnipotent,  there would be no need for the extreme destruction and devastation of a war,  at any time or place.  By simple logic and morality,  any enemies would simply not be allowed to gain enough power to fight a war against the omnipotent entity or his believers,  whether that entity was good or evil.  Enemies would be disabled,  long before the extreme obscenity of war became necessary.  This is why I can theorize,  with complete confidence,  that God is not omnipotent in all things,  even if he is the Creator of the universe and the origin of Goodness in the universe.

We find further evidence of this lack of omnipotence,  again in the book of Revelation,  which describes the final conflict between God and evil forces on Earth.  Here is Revelation 20: 9-10 :    “…9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city,  and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.  10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone,  where the beast and the false prophet are also;  and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. ”  So here,  we are told that God,  after allowing Satan to have his evil way on Earth for thousands of years,  will finally defeat him,  imprison him  and punish him,  at the end of a war here on Earth.  And sadly,  all the billions of human souls that Satan has turned to evil,  through the ages,  will be punished with him.  The price of not stopping Satan at his original rebellion will be horrific.

Curiously,  God will not simply destroy Satan when he defeats Satan,  which would be more efficient and which would even be more merciful than eternal punishment.  This begs the question of whether God could actually destroy Satan or not,  a question we will address below.  But whatever God ends up doing to Satan,  if God could do that later,  if God could do it at all,  why not do it sooner,  and save billions of humans from lives of undeserved misery,  pain,  torture,  and  agonizing death,  such as the horrific murders that  ISIS is committing right now,  in the tens of thousands?  Just as many earlier predators in human history have murdered hundreds of millions?

Our human history is but a reflection of the more important events occurring in the spiritual world.  As above,  so below.  God could not stop the evil of Satan to prey on other angels,  inciting them against God,  challenging God,  causing a rebellion in heaven.  God was finally able to cast Satan and his followers out of heaven,  but he could not stop them from causing trouble elsewhere.  Human history is a reflection of that.  We have a constant supply of little Satans that God cannot stop…..  psychopaths,  sociopaths,  criminals,  murderers,  gangs,  cartels,  corrupt politicians,  evil dictators,  murderous tyrants.  All sorts of human parasites and predators that prey on the rest of us,  and then we are often forced to defend ourselves in wars.  Allowing  “free will”  has nothing to do with it.  When that free will is abused and people become predatory monsters,  preying on the rest of us,  they must be stopped,  just as Satan must be stopped…..  but they are not stopped by God.  This demonstrates the limits of God.  Even if God stops evil people and Satan at some future time,  it does not wipe out the horrific,  devastating evil that has been done for the thousands or millions of years leading up to that future time.

 

The True Nature of Justice,  And Its Corruption

There is a universal truth concerning justice,  a natural moral imperative concerning justice,  that too often gets ignored,  because it is constantly violated.  And here is the universal truth:  Justice is only as effective as it is swift.  The longer justice is delayed,  the less effective it is.  The longer time that justice is delayed,  the longer time that injustice and evil will reign.

Justice is a need we all acknowledge quietly in our own private thoughts,  and loudly in our social commentary.  There is a weighing scale in our heads,  that is constantly judging,  constantly weighing the actions of everyone around us,  and our own actions,  for fairness  (according to our own personal ideas of fairness).

Justice is a hunger that we all feel every day of our lives.  It is also a practical need.  For example,  when a criminal is about to pull the trigger of a gun to commit murder,  or a terrorist is about to push the button of a bomb to commit mass murder,  or a computer hacker is about to click on a program that will steal the personal data of millions of people,  ruining their financial lives,  there is no moral deferral of justice.  To provide true and proper justice,  the criminal or terrorist needs to be stopped,  before the crimes or murders are committed.  The crimes and murders will commit a great injustice to the victims,  the victims’ families,  the victims’ friends,  the victims’ co-workers,  and to all of society.  If the murders are not prevented,  then a great injustice occurs which cannot be undone,  and justice is reduced to a pale shadow of itself,  pursuing the criminal or murderer to punish them for the horrendous damage they have already done,  to their victims and to justice.  They have murdered justice,  just as surely as they have murdered their human victims.  Then,  we become obsessed with efforts to pursue them,  catch them and  “bring them to justice”  (a popular phrase concerning known criminals who got away).

But catching criminals after their horrific crimes,  is akin to closing the barn door after all the horses have escaped.  Catching the criminals after their horrific crimes may prevent any further crimes,  but it does not undo the crimes already committed.  Just as closing the barn door does not put the horses back into the barn.  In this way,  the popular societal or cultural concept of justice is only a pale shadow of what justice really is,  because criminals are not stopped when they should be stopped.  They should be stopped  before the crimes or murders are committed,  but after the criminals have the full intent,  plans,  and means to commit the crimes.

Criminals become evil in their heart,  mind and soul,  before they commit the crimes.  Their morals have melted,  their ethics have evaporated,  their values have changed.  They have been transformed into vicious predators,  and their souls have turned dark.  But like chameleons,  they hide their true dark colors,  and blend in with their lighter surroundings,  until they strike.  We cannot weigh their moral values,  nor read their evil intentions,  but God can.

The prevention of injustice or crime is much more important and effective than punishing it,  after it has been fully done.  Therefore,  the prevention of massive injustice is the primary component of full justice.  Full justice would prevent the criminal or murderer from committing the murders in the first place,  when they have the full intent and the means  (such as weapons or bombs)  to commit the murders.  This justice cannot be properly achieved by humans,  because we cannot read each others’ minds to see intent.  This justice can only be achieved by God and his spiritual agents,  who can read minds and see all intent,  and who know the secret means criminals acquire to carry out their crimes.

Failing that complete and perfect justice,  there is a fallback position,  which is almost as good.  At the very least,  after the first murder has been committed,  full justice would stop any more murders from being done by the same person or group.  This would be like closing the barn door,  after only one horse had escaped,  and it would be highly effective.  Instead of needing to catch a hundred horses,  or a thousand horses,  we only need to catch one.  Even this weaker form of justice is difficult,  usually impossible,  for humans to carry out.  But it would be like child’s play for an omnipotent God.

The need for justice is constant,  like the need of our lungs for oxygen.  Our bodies cannot stay alive without oxygen for more than a few minutes,  and our immortal souls need justice constantly as well,  and do poorly without it.  Justice is needed every moment in your life,  in my life,  in the world,  in the universe…..  yet justice is constantly denied,  delayed,  deferred,  or derailed.  Justice is only as effective as it is swift…..  it cannot morally be delayed to a future time.  This is a vital moral principle,  yet every religious doctrine violates it.  Every religion puts off justice until some future time,  through some kind of grand judgement,  through karma,  through reincarnation,  or through some other contrived concept.  This failure concerning justice in every orthodox religion,  makes every religion false concerning justice.  When we lose sight of the goal of constant justice,  it lets evil and injustice have their way with us,  preying on us,  wreaking havoc on everything.  The promise of future justice is an empty promise,  that perpetually sacrifices the present to evil.  It is a corruption of justice that has tainted every religion in the world.  When it come to justice,  every religion is a false religion.

The Birth of Evil Should Have Been Stopped

The scope and importance of this issue is quite stunning,  when you consider the enormous moral and practical implications.  In just three verses,  as you read above,  Revelation 12: 7-9 describes a mythical event or a real event,  before the beginning of Earth or humanity,  that changed everything after it,  because it was the birth of evil in the universe,  whether symbolic or real.  It was the first discord,  the first argument,  the first divorce,  the first lawsuit,  the first abuse,  the first crime.  It was the first time any living being thought of attacking or destroying another living being.  It was the first shot of the first battle of the first war,  before anyone had experienced the full horror of a war.

One side of the conflict was morally right  (God),  and one side of the conflict was morally wrong  (Satan).  The elements of rightness and wrongness are discussed elsewhere,  but rightness is marked by love and service to others,  while wrongness is marked by hatred and service to self and abuse of others.  By any measure of logic or morality,  the right side should win  (continue to survive and thrive),  and the wrong side should lose  (be stopped and disabled or destroyed).  That is the basic moral goal of intelligent life itself,  and this was the crucial time to make that happen.  The survival of Satan would mean the thriving of evil,  the thriving of the predatory self-serving philosophy that he had brought into being.

If Satan survived,  he would spread his predatory self-serving philosophy far and wide through the cosmos.  Was the survival of one evil entity,  Satan,  worth all the pain,  misery and destruction that he caused in heaven and then on Earth,  for all of human history?  And remember,  Earth is just one planet in a very large universe.  Any other inhabited planets were also to be attacked and victimized,  if Satan were to survive.  The survival of Satan was certainly NOT worth all of the pain,  misery and destruction he has caused in heaven,  on Earth and everywhere else.

This was an epic moment,  when the the fate of the universe was decided,  for billions of years to come.  The stage was being set,  for a cosmic theatrical play that could be a devastating tragedy,  or a fulfilling triumph.  The stakes of this emerging conflict could not have been higher.  God should have realized this,  and I am confident that God did realize this.

So,  if God realized the incredible stakes of this emerging conflict,  for the entire universe,  then two questions arise.  Should God destroy Satan,  and could God destroy Satan?  More important than the question of whether God could destroy Satan,  at any time past or future,  is the question of whether God should destroy Satan,  especially at the beginning of Satan’s ominous turn away from God and toward evil.  These questions are intimately connected.  The true and honest answer to one of these questions will determine the correct answer to the other one,  and will give us an insight into the nature of God.

First question…..  should God have destroyed Satan,  after he was able to defeat Satan’s treachery and rebellion against God and Heaven?  I would answer with an urgent, resounding YES…..  when I consider the horrible consequences of not doing so.  Satan was the first entity to question God’s love,  reject God’s plan,  reject God’s moral principles,  and the first entity to attack God.  Satan was the first rebel,  the first criminal,  the first traitor,  the first liar,  the first thief,  the first seducer,  the first rapist,  the first manipulator,  the first enslaver,  the first torturer,  the first murderer,  the first tyrant…..  all rolled into one evil entity.  Satan was the first seed of poisonous weeds in the cosmic garden.  Satan was the first malignant cell of a cancer in the cosmic body.  Satan was the first embryo of a vicious new predatory species,  which spread quickly after Satan’s banishment from heaven.  Looking back across the five thousand years of human evil that we know of,  looking at the countless millions of victims of endless wars on Earth, countless millions of good people snuffed out by evil predators…..  I then keep looking further back to the first war,  reported to us in Revelation 12: 7-8,  and I say YES,  God should have destroyed Satan,  especially if God had any inkling of what devastation Satan would bring to rest of the universe,  if left alive and powerful.  Satan’s single life should have been taken,  so that billions of lives would be saved.

I would even say that it was God’s moral duty to destroy Satan,  instead of merely ejecting him from heaven,  and thereby unleashing a ravenous dragon of evil on the rest of the universe.  So to answer this first question,  YES,  God should have destroyed Satan,  just as a doctor should destroy cancer cells and not let them survive.  God should have destroyed not only Satan,  but also every shred of energy associated with Satan,  and every follower of Satan who did not show true repentance.  If other angels later decided to rebel against God,  and follow the destructive path of Satan,  then they should be destroyed as well.  Such predatory evil is like a cancer,  and no doctor in his right mind would simply extract a living cancer from a patient,  and allow it to leave the hospital and infect new victims.

The common religious excuse of limitless  “free will”  to commit crimes and predatory evil is not valid.  All living beings may have free choice,  but once they have chosen,  their freedom ends,  and the consequences begin.  Every free choice begins a consequence,  and a chain of multiple consequences.  The free choice of one person,  to be a predator or criminal,  should not give them the liberty or power to continue to destroy the free choice of others.  If God allows Satan or other evil entities or evil people to enslave or kill,  their victims have certainly been deprived of their  “free will”.  Why should God allow Satan or anyone else the ability to continuously kill,  enslave or dominate others?  Why should God give evil entities the prolonged  “free will”  to destroy the  “free will”  of their victims?  Especially Satan,  the top predator in the food chain of evil?  No one should have such continuous and long-term free will to destroy others.  Giving evil predators continuous free will to destroy or dominate,  is the same as taking their victims’  free will away.  Clearly,  God should not do so,  therefore God should have destroyed Satan,  or should have at least imprisoned Satan immediately following the rebellion,  as God is predicted to do in Revelation 20:10.

Second question…..  could God have destroyed Satan,  after he was able to defeat Satan in this first war?  I believe in the love and goodness of God,  and his desire to protect us from evil,  as stated many times in the Bible.  I believe that God knew that Satan would attack the rest of God’s creation,  when God ejected him from heaven.  So I believe that if God could have destroyed Satan,  that God would have destroyed Satan.  God could not destroy Satan,  when he should have,  and therefore God is not omnipotent.  God and his legion of angels do what they can to defeat evil entities,  but they cannot destroy them.  If most of human history is any indication,  they cannot do much to defeat evil entities in this world,  even though they are doing all they can.

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The Walled City of Heaven,  and The Caterpillar

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Heaven is depicted in the Bible and in popular religion as a glorious,  shining city with high and strong walls all around it,  and a gate.  A wall is a looming,  depressing structure that blocks the view.  Why would God need a wall around heaven?  Whether real or mythical,  walls around a city have but one purpose,  and that is to keep enemies out.  That is very appropriate,  for it seems that the only place in the universe that God can keep evil from rampaging,  is that shining walled city with a gate,  with an army of angels to defend it.  Inside the walls,  saints peacefully stroll the streets of gold,  going about their saintly business.  Outside the walls,  the wolves of evil roam in packs,  with the entire universe as their territory.  The battle of good versus evil rages everywhere outside those walls of the city of heaven,  the sanctuary of God.  God may be fighting evil everywhere else with us,  even commanding the fight,  but he cannot destroy evil outside those walls,  outside that one sanctuary where God once fought a desperate war to eject the first evil.  I say  “war”  because that is the word that the Bible uses.  I say  “desperate”  because war can be nothing else,  because the outcome is uncertain,  and victory is not guaranteed to either side.  All these elements of this scenario are completely incompatible with omnipotence.

This alarming image I conjure from the Bible is a far cry from any religious doctrine in the world,  but it may be a bit closer to the truth.  It does not put God in the awkward,  impossible position of an all-powerful deity who allows the constant evils,  wars,  and disasters that occur on this planet.  But all orthodox religions do put God in this awkward position.

With all the religious talk of omnipotent,  benevolent deities who love us,  the world is in horrible shape,  with evil entities running rampant everywhere,  whether cutting off our heads or hacking our computers,  causing misery and conflict and destruction everywhere.  The omnipotent deities cannot be criticized by their believers for this disastrous state of affairs,  so the standard excuse given in religions is that we are all part of God or made in the image of God,  even the evil ones.  So it follows that we are granted  (or we grant ourselves,  as part of God)  free will as a precious loving gift,  for good or evil,  for better or worse,  because all are loved,  even the evil ones,  because even they are made in the image of God.  If a person chooses to use their free will to turn to evil,  well,  that is terrible,  but it is their own fault,  not God’s fault,  and God has no responsibility to immediately revoke the free will that is being horribly abused by that person,  even though God is omnipotent.

Religious believers accept this nonsense concerning God and evil,  then largely forget it or ignore it,  because it is unpleasant to think too much about evil and evil people.  Then they are overly confident in their faith,  and smug in their superiority and safety,  largely blind to the predatory evil in the world,  until it comes to kill them and cut their heads off.  Part of my purpose here is to shake religious believers out of their smugness,  their false  (and foolish)  sense of security,  their belief that God has everything handled,  that God will protect them,  that God is omnipotent,  that God has a wonderful plan,  that God is defeating evil so that we don’t have to.  Religious believers think that they are protected,  right up until the moment that they are killed by a terrorist or a criminal that they did not see coming,  because they were blinded by their religion.  God does have a plan for good,  but it is constantly thwarted by the disruptive actions of Satan,  other opposing spirits,  and humans who have their own plans for evil.

Like a caterpillar,  let us say a silk caterpillar,  most religious believers weave a protective cocoon of religious doctrine around themselves.  Like the caterpillar inside the cocoon of silk,  most religious believers have the ultimate feeling of security from all their wonderful doctrines of peace,  love and protection.  They also expect to emerge from their cocoon someday,  like a beautiful butterfly,  oblivious to all the destruction that happened around them,  in a new spiritual body,  in the presence of God.  If they are even aware of all the violence happening outside their cocoon of religious doctrine,  they are confident that they are protected by their cocoon,  because they believe their cocoon was woven by God,  and not by themselves.

Silkworm and cocooncocoons in hot watercocoons being sorted in water

But in reality the silk caterpillar,  still feeling safe inside its cocoon,  has been plucked from its hiding place and has been dumped into a bag and onto a truck,  on its way to a silk factory and to its doom.  Soon,  the caterpillar,  still feeling safe inside its cocoon,  will be dumped into a vat of boiling water,  to kill it as an unwanted by-product,  so that the silk can be separated and used to produce beautiful garments,  while the caterpillars that produced the beautiful silk are dead carcasses,  flushed down the waste pipes of the silk factories.  It takes about 2500 cocoons to make one pound of silk.  So after the silk caterpillar makes a silk cocoon,  a thing of great beauty and value,  the amazing creature who made this amazing cocoon is boiled to death and discarded as garbage.

The caterpillar,  who thinks it is safe in its cocoon,  who thinks it will emerge from its cocoon as a lovely butterfly,  is easily killed.  Similarly,  evil parasites and predators in this world are able to prey on religious believers,  who think that they are safe and secure inside their religious cocoons,  who are blind or indifferent to all the horrific evil happening in the world,  which they have ignored until it attacks them personally.

But then it is too late.  Evil has them in its sights,  with terrible weapons,  with superior numbers,  while the victims are unprepared,  unarmed,  and frightened.  Then evil easily separates them from their cocoon,  from their possessions,  from their freedom,  from their loved ones,  by killing them.  It is easy to defeat and kill people who have ignored you.  It is like killing caterpillars inside their cocoons.  Caterpillars inside cocoons don’t see danger coming,  so the element of surprise is guaranteed.  Because of the element of surprise,  even the Japanese attack on the military base at Pearl Harbor was almost as easy as killing caterpillars inside their cocoons.

 

WE Are Responsible to Stop Evil

But we should not be surprised by evil at any time.  We should be tracking its every move,  seeking to destroy it at all times,  instead of the other way around.  We should be vigilant,  we should be prepared,  we should be armed.  And there is crucial evidence in the Bible to support this principle.  There is crucial evidence that God expects us humans to stop the evil ones among us.  Even with all the censoring and book-burning that produced the Bible,  there are indications in the Bible about God’s true position on  “free will”,  and also about his possible limitations.  For example,  in Genesis 8 and 9,  after the great Flood,  God is giving Noah instructions concerning the new covenant between God and man.  He is telling Noah how humanity is to conduct itself,  to live a more righteous way.

In Genesis 9:6,  God told Noah  “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood,  by man shall his blood be shed;  for in the image of God made he man.”  This is a command among other commands,  not merely a divine observation or prediction of what will happen.  This seems to me to be a crucial verse,  concerning the relationship between God and humanity,  at the crucial time of a new beginning.

To put this command into modern human context,  this is the spiritual equivalent of disconnecting the 911 emergency call system.  It is the spiritual equivalent of disbanding all police forces in society.  We,  as individual citizens,  expect our government and police to help us when we are attacked by criminals,  and most religious believers expect God to somehow help them when they are attacked by criminals.

But what if there were no 911 to call,  no government or police to help citizens…..  what if God was not willing or able to step in to help his followers who call for his help,  when they are violently attacked?  Well,  dear readers,  this is not a  “what if”  question.  With this Bible verse,  God was stepping back,  and handing the responsibility for enforcing justice against evil to every person in this world.  Sadly,  it is a responsibility that most people,  probably 99 percent or more, are miserably failing to keep.

God is saying that when an evil human predator attacks a human victim,  then it is up to the good humans to  “shed the blood”  of the evil human predator.  Responsibility falls directly upon the shoulders of all good humans,  to enforce justice upon the evil humans  “whoso sheddeth man’s blood”.  God is saying that he will not enforce justice upon the most violent criminals and terrorists,  such as serial murderers,  such as Mexican cartels,  such as Boko Haram,  such as ISIS,  such as the increasing number of  “lone wolf”  terrorists who are killing people all over the world.  God is saying that he expects us humans to stop and kill these evil people,  to shed their blood,  without God’s help.  Or perhaps with God’s support,  but we must do it for ourselves.  If we can stop the predators without killing them,  that is fine,  but we are allowed,  if necessary,  to “shed blood”.  God may enforce justice upon them later,  in the spiritual realm,  but here and now on Earth,  it is our human responsibility,  and also our humane responsibility to enforce justice upon them now,  in the world of flesh and blood.

If this command from God is still in effect,  then all the urgent prayers of religious believers for God to help them or others who are under attack,  are prayers that may be futile and falling upon deaf divine ears.  God is saying:  don’t call upon me,  to do what I have long ago told you to do for yourself.  But most of the religious believers,  and all the liberal pacifist fools in the world,  are not listening to this command of God,  and would loudly disagree with it,  and would totally dismiss it or condemn it,  if it was brought to their attention.

Why would God assign to humanity such a difficult and dangerous task,  the stopping and punishment of violent criminals and murderers?  Maybe God assigned humanity to police itself,  concerning violent criminals and murderers,  because HE CANNOT DO IT HIMSELF,  because of some metaphysical limitation that He does not wish to reveal to us.  So He gave us a stern law,  for us to stop violent criminals and murderers for ourselves,  to shed their blood,  so that we would feel empowered and justified to do so.

How could it be that God could cause a great Flood to wipe out most of humanity,  which had become a race of murderers,  and yet not be able to stop a single murderer?  I do not know the answer to that mystery.  But the story of the Flood and the command in Genesis 9:6 plainly show that God cares nothing about the  “free will”  of evil people,  when he destroys them and tells us to shed their blood ourselves.

It also implies that we all should be doing a great deal more,  to stop evil in our world.  We should be calling it out and seeking it out,  instead of ignoring evil and waiting for evil to come to us.  But 99% or more of good people in this world do exactly that :  ignore evil and wait for it to come attack them.  Then,  they are shocked and surprised and unprepared,  against an enemy who is prepared and deadly.

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The Cosmic Struggle,  The Cosmic Chess Match,  Which May Never End

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blue chess board in lava.

I am a Christian,  I worship God,  I follow Christ,  and I support the goal of destroying false religion,  stopping evil oppression and liberating slaves,  such as God did in Egypt.  But if God was forced to engage in such a complex game of conflict,  like a game of chess,  in all Biblical times and up to the present day,  then God cannot be omnipotent.

I enjoy the game of chess,  which is an ancient simulation of war….  the original  “war game”.  It involves opponents who start the game as exactly equal,  each with an equal  “army”  of game pieces,  and who then win or lose the game by their intelligence and daring,  or lack thereof.  Chess is a good simulation of real-world, violent conflict,  but without the violence.  It is an intellectual simulation,  without regard to justice or morality on either side.  Each side must battle the enemy’s pawns  (lowest ranking fighters),  knights  (highest ranking fighters),  rooks  (strongholds),  bishops  (religious or philosophical leaders),  and queen  (the king’s closest partner),  to penetrate far enough into the enemy’s defenses to capture or kill the enemy King.  Many pieces will fight and fall,  but the game is not over until the enemy King is defeated,  and  “checkmate”  is declared.

white king standing over fallen black queenSimilarly,  In the cosmic struggle,  the cosmic chess match,  the fight is not over until the King of one side is defeated.  The symbolic Kings are God and Satan.  The proper objective of God should be to defeat Satan,  permanently.  An omnipotent God should have been able to achieve that goal by now,  after billions of years,  without keeping the universe in a permanent state of deadly conflict,  don’t you think?

There is one result in the game of chess that is called a  “stalemate”,  when one side has lost all except his King.  The King is not in checkmate,  but the King cannot move without being defeated,  because the opposing pieces have him boxed in.  The game ends in a draw,  even though one side still had the power to defeat the other.

The  “stalemate”  is actually a win for the weaker side,  who tricked the stronger side and prevented them from winning.  When one side has only his King left,  he plans his moves carefully against his opponent,  who is trying to put his King in  “checkmate”,  which simulates capturing or killing the King.  He tries to trick or lure the opponent into a stalemate,  to deny the opponent a win.  If he gets a stalemate,  then all the chess pieces are brought back onto the board for another game,  and another chance to win game and match.

The original  “stalemate”  was Satan’s rebellion in heaven  (whether symbolic or real),  where Satan attacked God,  God fought back,  God ejected Satan from heaven,  Satan was  “thrown down to Earth”,  and the pieces were then re-set on cosmic chessboards all over the universe,  with one chessboard being our little planet Earth.  Satan was the real winner,  because while defeated in heaven,  he and his followers survived and re-grouped,  to continue the fight everywhere else.  The clues of that continuous fight are contained in the scriptures of every religion,  and in the volumes of secular history,  and in today’s news on TV.  Predatory forces rise up constantly in every generation,  causing untold suffering through corruption,  abuse,  crime,  oppression and war.  It is logical that predatory humans have hidden allies of predatory spirits,  such as Satan and his dark angels,  supporting them and protecting them to some degree…..  just as God promises to support and protect his followers.  Ephesians 6:12-13 tells us so:  “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities,  against powers,  against the rulers of the darkness of this age,  against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God,  that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,  and having done all,  to stand.”  These verses were written for persecuted Christians after Jesus left us,  supposedly in victory over evil and death.  But  “the whole armor of God”  did not protect Christians from being persecuted and killed in horrible ways back then,  and it does not protect them today.  Regardless of such Biblical promises,  evil forces remain very strong and deadly.  This is just a continuation of the original war started by Satan’s rebellion and his expulsion from heaven.  The overall  “stalemate”  war between God’s forces and Satan’s forces continues,  producing piles of dead victims and oceans of tears here on Earth.

Surviving a fight with evil,  whether in flesh or spirit,  to remain standing over the fallen enemy,  is not as easy as that last verse implies.  Wrestling with evil is like a man wrestling a powerful wild animal,  an animal with the strength and cunning of a lion,  and with focused intelligence.  The man can be more cunning,  but If the man makes one mistake,  the lion will devour him.  Fighting evil is perilous,  treacherous,  and deadly.  Evil has a natural advantage of surprise,  and a natural advantage of not following any rules or morals.  This cosmic rivalry between God and Satan,  between Goodness and Evil,  may be more evenly matched than any religion believes.  But then,  there is not much logical or moral justification for what any religion believes. They get some basic principles right,  but other basic principles have been ignored or badly distorted.  Primarily,  they ignore or distort the basic need of humanity for continuous,  real-time justice.

That seems to be the permanent moral state of the world and the universe.  It is driven by a strong undercurrent of conflict between love or hate,  giving or taking,  creating or destroying,  serving others or serving self,  liberation or domination,  empowerment or oppression.  It seems that each side has its strengths and weaknesses;  neither side has sufficient power to always defeat the other side.  Every day,  every moment,  every encounter is open to be won or lost.  The only certain condition from moment to moment is…..  uncertainty.  Justice;  the clear defeat of predatory evil;  is constantly thwarted,  and seldom achieved.  But still,  there is a certainty that the two opposing moral forces are there,  in each moment,  in each encounter,  and that one of them can bring decisive elements into play.  We should never forget the certainty that the two opposing moral forces are there,  in our lives,  in every encounter,  every thought,  every moment.  We,  as individuals,  are both the pawn and the prize sought by unseen moral forces much greater than ourselves,  personified by Satan and God.  One side seeks to enslave us,  the other side seeks to liberate us.  One side seeks to take power from others,  the other side seeks to give power to others.  One side hurts,  the other side helps.  One side destroys,  the other side builds.

Each moment is uncertain,  but with the use of decisive elements,  the victory of one moment can lead to the victory of the next moment,  and the next,  gaining a strong momentum,  and moments can build quickly into monuments…..  monuments of strength for good or evil.  There is also a certainty that you or I can be one of those decisive elements,  that we can build moments into monuments.  This is the marvel,  the miracle,  the potential that God has created within each one of us.  We can waste that potential,  or we can use it and change the world,  for better or for worse.

So,  the world and the universe are in a never-ending chess match of morality,  where there are endless wins,  losses,  and stalemates,  and the board keeps getting reset,  with new pawns ready to fight and die.  No one really knows what happened to the old pawns who fought and died,  but every religion thinks it knows,  and insists that it is right.

Chess is a good simulation of war,  but it is played on a board,  without real weapons,  with game pieces that do not bleed or die.  Chess has strict rules,  but real war has no rules,  only results,  either victory or defeat.

rhino on chess boardAnd God is not an equal player,  but is supposed to be the most powerful player of all.  God is supposed to be the one and only omnipotent player.  God is supposed to be the One who created the game in the first place,  and has the power to win the game at any time,  or to abolish the game,  and start over with a different game.  But there is a catch,  there is a hook,  there is a moral requirement that cannot be ignored.  With great power,  there also comes great responsibility.  So with omnipotence,  unlimited power,  there also comes unlimited responsibility.

An omnipotent cosmic chess player,  in the real universe,  the real world,  would be morally required to win the game every time,  to win every deadly conflict every time,  to defeat evil and save its victims from pain and death,  while preventing any conflict from ever escalating into anything that could be called a  “war”.

For an omnipotent God,  who knows everything that is happening and has unlimited power over everything that is happening,  there would be no excuse for  “war”.  There would be endless ways to keep war from happening.  Yet,  on our planet we have wars happening constantly.  In those wars,  we have good people constantly losing their freedom,  their possessions,  their lives to the power of evil.

The existence of constant war on our planet is a hideous abomination,  and it is the result of the failure of good forces to defeat evil forces,  up to and including God.  Good forces are not able to prevent evil forces from building up enough power to wage war in the first place,  and then good forces must either engage in war,  or lose their freedom,  possessions,  and lives to the advancing evil.

Chess is a war game played between opponents of equal power,  and most real wars are fought between opponents of roughly equal power,  or the situation would not develop into a  “war”  in the first place.  In war,  there is a rough balance of power,  between opponents of limited power,  who are trying defeat each other.  The definition and concept and existence of  “war” is not even possible,  if one side in the war has unlimited power.  So the existence of  “war”  in the world,  in the universe,  in the Bible,  in heaven,  rules out any possibility of omnipotence.

With an omnipotent God,  there would be deadly conflict with evil,  yes;  constant combat with evil,  of course;  but it would be limited,  and the defeat of evil predators would be far more certain.  The same evil enemy,  such as Satan,  would not have to be defeated twice,  and would not be allowed to prey on weaker souls for thousands or millions of years.  Murderous tyrants would not be allowed to die a natural death,  after destroying millions of lives.  There would be no significant victories for evil,  such as the enslavement of the Hebrews for centuries by Egypt,  or the successful Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor or Nanking,  or the Holocaust killing of six million Jews by the Nazis,  or the current horrific success of ISIS.  There would be no stalemates with evil,  such as Satan’s rebellion in heaven,  and every successful ploy of evil since then.  There would be no prolonged conquests of evil,  no prolonged suffering of its victims.

But sadly,  evil has been unlimited by God in what it can achieve.  History is full of cases of evil defeating goodness,  or forcing goodness into a stalemate.  A complete victory for goodness is very rare,  and it is never lasting.  Christians would assert that the death and resurrection of Christ was the crucial everlasting victory against evil,  but it was far from complete,  because Christ left us in a world still filled with evil,  and with Satan and his legion of fallen angels still on the loose,  as powerful as they ever were.

 

Jesus,  Demons,  and Pigs

Jesus, the single most important person in history,  who I believe was God in human form,  was a game-changer in many ways.  In the area of spiritual warfare,  he ‘cast out demons’,  he won battles against these predatory spirits,  these fallen angels turned demons,  such as those who battled the angels in the Book of Daniel.  But still today, these spirits prey upon the souls of Earth.  Jesus’ victory over these spirits was a limited victory,  as I shall explain.  Even Jesus Christ himself,  the Son of God,  would not or could not disable them or destroy them,  which sorely needs to be done.  There is an instructive encounter of Jesus with predatory spirits,  or demons,  as reported in Mark 5: 1-14:

“And they came over unto the other side of the sea,  into the country of the Gadarenes.  And when He was come out of the ship,  immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,  who had his dwelling among the tombs;  and no man could bind him,  no,  not with chains:  Because that he had often been bound with fetters and chains,  and the chains had been plucked asunder by him,  and the fetters broken in pieces:  neither could any man tame him.  And always,  night and day,  he was in the mountains,  and in the tombs,  crying,  and cutting himself with stones.  But when he saw Jesus afar off,  he ran and worshiped Him,  and cried with a loud voice,  and said,  What have I to do with thee,  Jesus,  thou Son of the most high God?  I adjure thee by God,  that thou torment me not.  For He said unto him,  Come out of the man,  thou unclean spirit.  And He asked him,  What is thy name?  And he answered,  saying,  My name is Legion:  for we are many.  And he besought Him much that He would not send them away out of the country.  Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.  And all the devils besought Him,  saying,  Send us into the swine,  that we may enter into them.  And forthwith Jesus gave them leave.  And the unclean spirits went out,  and entered into the swine:  and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea  (they were about two thousand)  and were choked in the sea.  And they that tended the swine fled,  and told it in the city,  and in the country.  And they went out to see what it was that was done.”
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healingthegerasenedemonpossessedman222Demons into Pigs

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The townsfolk rushed out to the scene of the miracle,  and observed the former mad man with Jesus,  and observed 2000 dead pig carcasses floating in the sea.  You would think that they worshiped Jesus and praised what he had done,  thanking him for saving the mad man from the demons.  But no,  later verses tell us that the Gadarenes were afraid,  and asked Jesus to leave their coasts,  which he did.  Perhaps they were distressed at the sight of so much death and carnage,  as I think anyone would be.  Why did it happen this way?  Let us analyze this amazing story objectively,  while granting that it happened exactly as described.

First,  the demons involved do not sound like they are at the level of the two demon princes mentioned in the Book of Daniel.  Those demons battled the archangel Michael and another angel,  on a much higher level of power and significance.  Here,  Jesus encounters a ‘legion’ of demons who are attacking a single man.  Apparently,  it takes a ‘legion’ of these weaker demons to overcome one man.  This is not a very impressive display of their power.  They should be ashamed that it takes so many of them to possess one man.  They are the ‘scum of hell’,  ganging up to prey upon the ‘scum of the earth’,  as they surely regard us.

Jesus found these lower-level demons and their victim,  probably seeking them out by design.  As God incarnate,  he should have been aware of their presence from afar.  He crossed over the Sea of Galilee in a boat with his disciples,  landing in the country of the Gadarenes.  After Jesus purged the demons,  the Gadarenes were afraid of him,  and asked him to leave,  which he did.  He may have been able to predict this outcome.  So this was a very short trip,  with a single purpose,  which gave us a very important glimpse into spiritual warfare.

So,  what should we think about this amazing encounter?  Here are my thoughts,  for your consideration.  Jesus purged a legion of lesser demons from this possessed man,  saving this one man,  but Jesus granted the demons’ request to move into a herd of 2000 pigs,  a very large herd of ham on the hoof.  The demons promptly drove the pigs to run off a cliff and drown in the sea.  Obviously,  having done all the damage they could do here,  the demons did not stay inside dead pigs,  but then moved on to find more human victims,  away from the presence of Christ.  And they left behind a lot of collateral damage,  that Christ had agreed to.  Now,  to me,  granting the request of a legion of predatory demons would never be a good idea.  But Jesus had his reasons,  the parameters of spiritual reality,  which we must try to understand.

This is not the glorious victory,  over the soldiers of Satan,  that the orthodox Christians would have us believe.  It is more like a desperate hostage negotiation,  conducted by police against a terrorist who has kidnapped someone.  Jesus did not use his supposed omnipotent power to banish the demons from the Earth,  as one would expect,  as the demons seemed to fear,  or to destroy them completely.  Instead,  curiously,  he granted their request to move into the herd of pigs.  Why would Jesus do that?  He traded the destruction of one man,  for the destruction of 2000 pigs.  This is clever bargaining,  from a weak position,  with the forces of pure evil,  to get the best possible deal.  This is not a position of moral supremacy,  of supreme omnipotence.  This is a position of limited power,  with a hint  of clever calculation.  This is not a very good way to stop demons from doing further damage,  but it is all that Jesus Christ,  the embodiment of God on Earth,  was able to do.

There is a confusing passage above,  saying that the demons  besought Him much that He would not send them away out of the country.”  Now consider,  if Jesus were able to banish demons from the country,  from the region,  from the Earth,  isn’t that exactly what he should do?  But first,  it is very interesting to note that the demons were not worried that Jesus would destroy them,  completely ending their predatory,  destructive,  miserable existence.  They were not worried that Jesus would imprison them,  or throw them into the Biblical  “lake of fire”.  This implies that the demons did not think that Jesus could destroy them, or imprison them,  or do anything to effectively shut them down.  But they did think that Jesus could banish them from a large area,  perhaps from the Earth,  which is exactly what Jesus should have done.  The demons acknowledged that Jesus had a limited advantage over them,  at that location and that time,  but they were not worried that their mortal enemy had complete power to terminate their predatory activities.

So there is a deadly game happening here,  with many factors that the Bible account did not cover.  There are many important things happening between the lines of the scriptures,  that we must try to discern.

When the demons besought Jesus,  that he would not  “send them away out the country”,  Jesus should have had a superior bargaining position.  He could have indeed forced them to go  “out of the country”,  if the demons believed that he could do so.  But either Jesus could not do so,  or he could have banished them from  “the country”,  but granted their request,  and only banished them from one man.  Why would Jesus grant such an undesirable request,  from a legion of evil,  ruthless demons?

Did Jesus grant their request out of love or pity or mercy,  mercy for a legion of demons who have ruined countless human lives,  and who would ruin countless more lives,  if not disabled?  I think not.

Here was a lucrative target,  an entire legion of demons caught in the act of destroying a man’s life and disrupting a human community.  If Jesus could have stopped the demons cold,  he would have.  Perhaps Jesus did not banish the demons from the Earth,  because he did not have the power to do it,  and because he did not want the demons to discover he did not have the power.  So to get them out of one man,  he struck a trade with them,  allowing them to destroy a herd of 2000 pigs,  and to leave from the presence of Jesus,  and retain their freedom to operate elsewhere.

Sadly,  because Jesus could not disable or destroy the demons,  his trade was much worse than it seems.  To save one man,  he traded not only 2000 pigs,  but also the next human victim of the demons,  and the next,  and the next,  for as long as the demons are allowed freedom.  Jesus was able to force the demons out of one man,  one victim,  but he could not end their destructive behavior.

From an objective,  neutral viewpoint,  it would seem that the demons got the better deal in this encounter.  They had to give up one human victim,  but they got to destroy a huge herd of pigs, and they destroyed the livelihood of the pigs’ owners.  This might be one reason that the Gadarenes asked Jesus to leave.  Jesus had just caused one of their prominent citizens,  the owner of 2000 pigs,  to lose his herd and his livelihood.  Not to mention the livelihood of his herders,  and all his other employees.  Not to mention the likely shortage of bacon for breakfast in the village for a long time.

The Gadarenes,  in their indulgent self-interests,  did not appreciate the incredible spiritual battle they had just witnessed,  because they did not know who Jesus was,  nor the parameters of the spiritual war that Jesus was fighting.  If they knew,  they might have gladly sacrificed 2000 pigs,  to help Jesus in his cosmic war.  And they would have welcomed Jesus into their village,  to teach them more,  instead of asking him to leave.

But still,  we must realize that this was a serious crime,  that Jesus allowed the demons to commit in front of him,  and they were not punished or banished in any way.  They were not even banished from that village.  What was to stop them from returning to that same village,  the next week or the next year,  or a hundred years later,  to attack more human victims?  But,  of course,  they did not need to return to that village.  They retained their freedom of operation,  to find and destroy an unlimited number of human victims in the future,  all over the world,  right up to the present day…..  and they got their story recorded in the Bible,  so that we know a legion of demons is still here,  to bedevil us,  tempt us,  and attack us.  Invoking the name of Jesus may give us some protection,  but the demons can find plenty of victims who are not faithful followers of Jesus.

Considering these consequences,  this victory of Jesus over demons fades more and more.  Jesus had some power over the demons,  and he himself was not in danger from them,  but his power over them was limited.  His ability to protect the world,  protect us,  from these evil spiritual predators was seriously limited,  by unknown factors.

It is also interesting that Jesus asked the demon’s name,  in the singular,  as if Jesus thought it was only one demon.  Why did Jesus not already know that there were many demons present,  and why did he not already know all their names?  If Jesus did know these things,  why did he pretend not to know?  Is this a teaching point of Jesus,  or just an honest report of what happened,  revealing the apparent limits of God?

This whole episode is another good example of the  “stalemate”  with evil,  when evil forces are not destroyed or disabled or neutralized,  but merely forced to retreat and re-locate,  to continue their evil elsewhere.  One victim is saved,  but many others are endangered.  This is the  “stalemate”  that evil forces are able to achieve,  ever since the original rebellion of Satan depicted in the Bible.

Hints of this stalemate are visible everywhere in the Bible,  because it is the unspoken backstory of the Bible.  In Acts 10:38 we are told that  Jesus  “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil,  for God was with Him.”  Elsewhere we are told that Jesus WAS God,  that Jesus was the human incarnation of God.  Jesus did do a lot of healing in the scriptures,  and surely did much more healing and casting out demons that was not documented.  All of this healing of  “all who were oppressed by the devil”  was only necessary,  because Satan had not been properly defeated or disabled for thousands of years prior to this.  For thousands of years,  the Bible implies,  God did not or could not permanently defeat or disable Satan,  but did fight him,  so when God came to Earth as Jesus,  he cast out demons,  but of course he still could not permanently defeat or disable Satan.   

Jesus_temptation

Satan tempting Jesus

Jesus had an encounter with Satan himself,  at the beginning of his ministry.  Jesus had an opportunity to rightly confront Satan for all the predatory evil he does,  and to bring it to an end.  He had an opportunity,  in one blow to Satan,  to end all the demon possession that he would busy himself against,  during his entire ministry.  He had a chance to kill the head of the snake,  and disable the body and scales of the snake at the same time,  if he were able.

This encounter could have been the biggest victory of goodness over evil in history.  Here,  God’s greatest enemy came to him,  in person,  presenting himself as a target.  If Jesus had done anything to defeat,  diminish,  or disable Satan,  it would have mightily enhanced his three year ministry,  transforming it into a victory lap,  instead of a grueling battle against the predatory evil of Satan,  demons,  and men.  Jesus could have still died on the cross,  killed by the evil of men,  and ascended to heaven,  and he would have left a lot less predatory evil active in the world behind him.

But the encounter with Satan in the wilderness was nothing like that.  Satan was on the offense,  tempting Jesus,  while Jesus was on the defensive.  Jesus endured the temptations,  quoted scriptures,  and let Satan go away to continue his vast predatory evil operations all over the world.  Then Jesus spent the next three years chasing demons out of individual victims,  after Jesus had let the demons’ boss go,  without laying a single blow on him,  without even trying to.  Jesus did not diminish nor disable Satan,  because he could not.

Christians would explain this by saying the time was not right for Jesus to defeat Satan,  that Jesus will do that in his Second Coming,  that it was not according to God’s plan and timeline.  I say even if that is true,  it indicates God’s limits.  I would submit to you that the time to defeat evil is NOW,  because the longer it is allowed to operate,  the more victims it destroys.  Why are evil predators allowed to prey upon us,  for thousands of years?  I say that the time to defeat and disable predatory evil is NOW,  always NOW,  never some vague time in the future,  because predatory evil is destroying its victims NOW,  always NOW.  What do you say?

This is not intended as a critique of Jesus,  saying what he should have done or not done.  This is intended as a search for clues,  to determine a truth,  to find out why predatory evil is so powerful and difficult to defeat,  diminish or disable,  even with the power of God against it.  I am quite certain that Jesus did everything he could against Satan and the demons,  given the power and tools he had to work with.  We need to begin to understand the incredible obstacles he faced,  to begin to appreciate his incredible accomplishments,  even more than they are appreciated by orthodox believers.

 

Daniel and The Angels…  21 Days of Stalemate in The Scriptures

Daniel protected by angel in den of lions

Daniel protected by angel in den of lions

In the book of Daniel,  there is another very interesting story of spiritual warfare,  that supports the idea of a God who is something less than omnipotent,  though he is more powerful than Satan.  It reports on a battle in the constant war between God and Satan,  through their appointed subordinates or  “princes”.  It supports my analysis of the general deplorable state of  “stalemate”  between forces of good and evil.

Daniel was a Jewish prophet who was living in forced exile with the Jewish people in Babylon.  He had already won the great respect of the Persian king,  and been appointed a high office in the government,  by his great wisdom and faith in God.  He had already been attacked by his enemies and thrown into a lion’s den to be killed and devoured,  where an angel was sent by God to protect him from the lions.

This story of the lion’s den,  in itself,  needs to be examined for evidence of the true nature of spiritual hierarchy,  and relative spiritual power.  Like Job,  Daniel was probably the greatest follower of God of his time,  who became the focus of spiritual warfare between the forces of God and the forces of Satan.  Daniel was far more than a prophet of God…..  he was an exceptional leader of his own people in exile,  who gained the respect of the king of his peoples’  enemy,  and was appointed as a vice-regent in the enemy’s government,  to have a great influence for goodness in both the Jewish and Babylonian societies.  He was doing it all for God,  with God’s help,  to do God’s will on earth.  He was under God’s protection.  And yet,  the enemies of God were able to have Daniel thrown into a lion’s den by the king himself,  through an evil plot of legal maneuvers,  forcing God to send an angel to protect Daniel from the lions.

Now consider this carefully…..  a good king and God himself were maneuvered by evil forces,  to allow God’s best prophet to be condemned to die.  We are supposed to marvel at this miraculous rescue,  but why were evil forces strong enough to put Daniel in the lion’s den,  in the first place?  Shouldn’t their evil plot have been foiled,  and the plotters punished,  before Daniel was thrown to the lions?  In this way,  a story of strength through miraculous rescue,  becomes a story of weakness.  If God were stronger and justice was enforced properly and evil forces were properly opposed,  the miraculous rescue would not have been necessary.  Daniel would have never been pushed into a lion’s den,  about to be devoured,  needing an angel to rescue him.  The angelic rescue was an act of desperation,  needed only because the forces of evil had already been so successful,  that God’s most important prophet of the time had been condemned to die. Throughout human history,  countless good men of the caliber of Daniel have been condemned to die by evil forces,  and have not been rescued,  and have been killed in horrible ways.  Daniel’s rescue was the rare exception,  to the rule of murderous evil throughout history.

Later,  the incident of interest occurs when Daniel begins praying and fasting in a state of mourning,  out of concern for the dismal state of his people and the world.  He prays and fasts fervently for three weeks.  He must have been getting physically weak and spiritually discouraged by then.  Then,  finally,  he gets an answer to his prayers,  and what a spectacular answer it is!!

In the third year of the reign of King Cyrus of Persia,  after three weeks of praying and fasting,  Daniel is visited by an angel,  who is almost apologetic for his tardiness,  who is quick to explain why he has been delayed.  The angel has been delayed by a fight with a subordinate demon of Satan,  called the prince of Persia.  In Daniel 10:2-20,  we read:  “in those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks…..  Then I lifted up mine eyes,  and looked,  and beheld a certain man clothed in linen,  whose loins were girded with fine gold of U-phaz:  his body also was like the beryl,  and his face as the appearance of lightning,  and his eyes as lamps of fire,  and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass,  and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude…..  when I heard the voice of his words,  then was I in a deep sleep on my face,  and my face toward the ground.  And behold,  a hand touched me,  which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.  And he said unto me,  O Daniel, a man greatly beloved,  understand the words that I speak unto thee,  and stand upright,  for unto thee I am now sent.  And when he had spoken this word unto me,  I stood trembling.” 

“Then he said unto me,  Fear not,  Daniel,  for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand,  and to chasten thyself before thy God,  thy words were heard,  and I am come for thy words.  But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days:  but lo,  Michael,  one of the chief princes,  came to help me;  and I remained there with the kings of Persia.  Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days:  for yet the vision is for many days…..  And now I will return to fight with the prince of Persia:  and when I am gone forth,  lo,  the prince of Grecia shall come.  But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth:  and there is none that holdeth with me in these things,  but Michael your prince.”

The angel goes on to give Daniel the prophecy in two more chapters,  ending the book of Daniel.

Some writers have argued in the literature that the princes and kings referred to are human,  not angel or demon.  But it is absurd and idiotic to propose that the angel visiting Daniel was fighting with humans.  No human can resist or oppose an angel.  We cannot even see them,  unless they want to be seen. Other interpretations of the Bible have used the term  “angel-prince”  instead of prince in the verses above,  which pits angel against angel.  This is correct,  because we are told elsewhere in the Bible that one-third of the angels of heaven were  “thrown down to the Earth”  along with Satan,  and they became the eternal enemies of God.  They became demons,  but technically they were and still are angels, who have turned against God and become evil spiritual predators of great power.  Therefore,  I will refer to them as demon princes.

This story gives us keen insight into the conflicts of spiritual warfare between God and Satan,  and their relative powers.  Remember now that,  like Job,  Daniel was probably the greatest follower of God of his time,  having strong influence for God with both the Jews and the Persians.  But unlike Job,  he was not the subject of a cosmic bet.  God did not lower his  “hedge of protection”  around Daniel.  Daniel was a constant target of attack by Satan,  and constantly protected by God,  and still,  Daniel was condemned to die and was thrown into a lion’s den,  and had to be rescued by an angel.

God and Satan are not engaged directly in this fight described above,  but their high subordinates are.  The angel speaking is not named,  but he must be a high-ranking angel himself.  He tells of being helped by Michael,  a higher angel,  “one of the chief princes”,  in a fight with  “the prince of the kingdom of Persia”.  He was sent from God to deliver a great prophecy to Daniel,  in answer to Daniel’s prayer,  on the first day of Daniel’s prayer.  But a powerful demon called  “the prince of the kingdom of Persia”  fought him and delayed the first angel for 21 days.

Meanwhile,  Daniel kept fervently praying and fasting.  Sometime during that 21 days,  the great archangel Michael,  called  “one of the chief princes”  came to help the first angel.  This apparently triggered reinforcements on the side of evil,  and the angels engaged in battle with  “the kings of Persia”.  One demon opponent was now more than one,  and they were plural instead of a single  “prince”,  with the higher rank of  “kings”.

tpd_angel_demon_artWe can only imagine the spiritual weapons used in this fight,  and the spiritual fireworks they must have produced.  It seems unlikely that they simply faced each other and stared intensely at each other.  There had to be a clash of raw forces,  a collision of deadly energies,  and a battle of wits as well.  The demons blocked the angels’ path,  probably able to seriously injure or disable the angels.  The two angels battled these demon princes and kings,  until the angels finally prevailed after 21 days,  and broke free to deliver God’s message to Daniel.

Then the angel told Daniel that he was returning to fight with the demon prince of Persia  (note that the angel did not say that the demon would be defeated or banished or any such thing),  and that a mysterious prince of Grecia would come,  most likely another demon.  It is not clear whether the prince of Grecia is coming to attack Daniel,  or going to join the prince of Persia,  whom the angel tells Daniel he is going back to fight.  It could be that the angel was ordered to go resume the fight with the demon prince of Persia,  or it could be that the demons know that the angel must go back the same way that he came,  and they are preparing to attack him again,  and the angel knows that he must fight with them again,  in order to return home.

So,  we can surmise that demons have territories like other predators….. and that those demons,  like bandits or pirates,  are powerful enough to attack or ambush the angels of God,  who are doing the business of God and carrying messages from God.  And God will not or cannot stop the demons from attacking his angels.  But when they do attack,  God is able to send enough reinforcements to defeat the demons in that specific battle…..  just as God was able to  “throw them down to the Earth”  in that original battle,  defeating Satan and one-third of the angels in Heaven.

We are not told whether the prince of Grecia  (Greece)  is a demon prince or an angel prince.  However,  only the demon princes are associated with a territory,  while the angels are not.  My guess is that it is another demon prince,  coming to attack the angel and / or Daniel.  But the speaking angel ends by referring to the archangel Micheal as  “Michael your prince”,  signifying perhaps that Michael has been assigned the protection of Daniel against the demon prince of Grecia.

This is an interesting signifier of Michael,  is it not?  Here Daniel is told to regard the archangel Michael as his prince,  assuming a large role in Daniel’s life and faith.  Should we be doing the same thing?  I think perhaps we should.  Michael is mentioned elsewhere in the Bible,  as a champion of God battling forces of evil.  Should we all regard Michael as our angelic prince,  just a little below God?  Should we all be asking God to send Michael and other angels to protect us against unseen demonic attacks,  that ruin our lives?  I will be including this request in my prayers,  from now on.

To summarize,  In this remarkable story,  Daniel has become the focus of a great battle between powerful,  high-ranking angels and demons.  The demons are referred to as being a  “prince of Persia”  and  “prince of Grecia”,  meaning that they are higher demons,  having seized demonic control over specific human kingdoms.  Like earthly predators,  they carve out territories for themselves,  defeating any rivals that stand in their way.  These higher demons are able to fight and delay two angels,  including the archangel Michael,  for 21 days,  keeping the angels from doing an important assignment from God.  For me,  this is the most important point of the story.  It gives us insight into the real spiritual nature of the universe.

It is a story of warfare;  a story of attacks,  counter-attacks,  reinforcements,  retreats,  and re-engagement.  Angels are at risk;  they can be delayed,  perhaps even defeated,  perhaps even harmed,  if the demonic enemy concentrates enough force in  a certain time and place.

In this story of Daniel,  a supposedly omnipotent God allows demons to attack his messenger angel,  and then God has to send his archangel Michael to help.  God and his most powerful angel are thwarted and  “stalemated”  for 21 days,  by demons who God and Michael have already thrown out of heaven,  long ago.  We should ask here,  why are these demons still so powerful,  and what would have happened if God did not send his archangel Michael to help the first angel?  Would the first angel have been defeated or destroyed?…..  very likely.  Would the first angel have reached Daniel to deliver his important message from God?…..  probably not.

We should also ask here,  how many times must the same evil enemies be defeated? God already threw them out of heaven.  Then God defeated Satan again,  in the Book of Job.  What these demons did in Biblical days,  in the Book of Job, in the Book of Daniel,  in the Book of Mark when Jesus cast out demons,  they are still doing.  If they can still attack angels,  if they can still influence bad people to kill,  if they can still  “possess”  people,  if they can still torment good people,  then they are not yet truly defeated.  But they should have been truly defeated in the first and greatest battle with them,  when God was forced to  “throw them down to the Earth”.   How much more destruction will they cause,  how much more misery will they spread,  how many more murders will they commit,  before they are finally stopped?

Given the current dismal state of affairs in our communities,  in our country,  in our world,  with people being robbed,  raped,  tortured,  murdered,  blown out of the sky,  burned alive and beheaded every day…..  the fallen angels,  who became demons,  are causing and will cause a great deal more destruction,  misery,  and murder.  The Bible says that God will someday defeat them  and throw them into prison,  but God please forgive me,  I really must see that happen before I truly believe it.  Right now,  and for all of human history,  evil angels and evil humans are able to attack,  destroy our property,  and kill us at will.  It is up to God to prove to us that he can stop them.

Meanwhile,  the story of Daniel is clear evidence,  in the scriptures themselves,  that God is not omnipotent.  If he were omnipotent,  why would he allow demons to attack and delay his angels on their Godly mission,  for 21 days?  And remember,  where there is a fight,  where there is a war,  neither opponent is omnipotent,  and the outcome is uncertain.  This is clear evidence,  in the scriptures,  that the forces of God and the forces of Satan are more evenly matched than is believed by orthodox religion.  It is also clear evidence that the forces of God can prevail in single conflicts,  even when forces escalate on both sides.  So God is the superior entity,  but Satan and his forces are powerful enough to force God into a general stalemate for thousands of years of human history,  and that dismal stalemate continues today,  and we all suffer greatly from it.

This story in the book of Daniel,  along with the story of Job,  the story of the Exodus,  the story of Jesus casting out demons,  the story of God casting Satan out of heaven before the birth of humanity…..  these scriptures and others have a common theme that shouts to me the limited nature of God,  and the tragic stalemate the world is in,  indeed that the universe is in.

There are two crucial lessons here,  that people can benefit from,  that the God-human relationship would benefit from.  First,  because of God’s limited nature,  he is not to be blamed  (as he is generally blamed)  for the crimes of evil angels or evil humans,  nor for all of the natural disasters that devastate our planet.  He can focus energy and resources to cause specific things to happen,  he can create life, and set large cosmic and planetary systems in motion,  but he cannot prevent all crimes and disasters.  Second,  and most important,  he needs our help more than we can imagine,  especially from his followers.  Far more than wanting our love and passive obedience,  God needs our aggressive help in resisting,  battling and defeating evil humans,  just as God needed the angels’ help in defeating the demon prince of Persia and delivering his message to Daniel.  The angels could not have done it without God’s  help,  and God could not have done it without the angels’ help.  That is why the episode played out as it was reported by the angel to Daniel.  If that is the way it happened,  then it could not have happened any other way.  If that is the way it happened,  this story gives us key parameters to understanding the spiritual landscape and battlefield,  understanding the reality of spiritual warfare.

You should give much thought to this,  before you dismiss it.  If this episode in the the Book of Daniel is dismissed as merely a  ‘vision’  or a  ‘parable’,  and not a real occurrence,  then every story in the Bible can be so dismissed.  This is what believers do,  when they are confronted with uncomfortable episodes in the scriptures.  They dismiss them as a dream,  a vision,  a parable.  Or get this,  they dismiss them as a great ‘mystery’ of faith.  They throw out vital scriptures that teach vital lessons.  They ignore the fact that we are provided important clues in the scriptures,  to help solve the great mysteries of faith.

A third lesson is that the defeat of evil,  such as these demon princes and their great influence on humanity,  will be a mutual task that will require the active aggression of every good human and angel,  acting under the guidance and protection of God. We can all be soldiers in God’s army,  but most of his flock act more like bleating sheep,  and run from any danger,  or meekly endure it,  as many teachings do advise us to do.  It could be that those teachings have been over-emphasized,  doing harm by the weakening of goodness and the strengthening of evil.

But orthodox preachers and teachers will not see these lessons,  nor consider such a possibility,  because these lessons do not agree with the orthodox agenda.  Preachers endlessly analyze the two chapters of prophecy delivered to Daniel by the angel,  but they mostly ignore the great difficulties and perils that the angels encountered,  attacked by demons,  producing 21 days of stalemate,  in delivering that prophecy.

The two subjects,  the prophecy and perils of its delivery,  are vitally linked,  and we were given them together for a reason.  We should not consider one,  without the other.

Stalemate is Not Desirable,  Nor Intentional

In a chess match or any other conflict,  a stalemate is not what either side desires or intends.  It is an undesirable outcome that the weaker side forces the stronger side into.  Consider the casting out of Satan from heaven,  the casting out of demons by Jesus,  the battle of angels and demons in the Book of Daniel,  or any other conflict with fallen angels or demons.  The fallen angels or demons are never disabled,  never neutralized,  never terminated as sources of trouble.  They are merely dislodged,  displaced, and  forced to find new victims.  But there are always plenty of new victims to be found.  This is a state of perpetual stalemate,  and it is horrible.  It cannot be intentional,  on either side.  On the side of God or goodness,  a  “stalemate”  strategy,  or allowing endless stalemates to occur,  makes no sense  from a logical,  moral,  strategic,  or tactical viewpoint.  Saving victims here,  while endangering other victims there…..  this is very ineffective,  not to mention frustrating.   It would be like arming our military with only non-lethal devices like stun guns or tear gas.  We can stun the enemy or force them to retreat,  only to have them revive or re-locate to attack elsewhere.  Non-lethal power is focused to save people in one area,  only to have other areas attacked,  without reducing the capabilities of the enemy.  This results in never-ending war,  with no true victory possible.

Or,  it would be like having a house infested with cockroaches.  The homeowner sprays the house with non-lethal bug spray,  which forces all the roaches to scamper about,  and then pass out,  lying upside-down with legs quivering on the floor.  The homeowner then gets his broom and sweeps all the roaches out of the house,  thinking that he has accomplished something.  And he has won a temporary,  localized victory.  But soon the roaches revive,  and either creep back into his house,  or into the neighbor’s house.  Now,  roaches are dirty and disgusting,  but they do not sting.  With evil forces,  instead of roaches,  the pests are more like hornets,  scorpions or rattlesnakes. Can you imagine ejecting swarms of still-alive hornets and scorpions and snakes from your house,  and what your neighbors would think of this strategy?

Just imagine a new product on the shelves,  next to all the lethal bug sprays,  that advertises “Knock em out,  Sweep em out,  Let em live”,  with pictures of roaches,  hornets and scorpions.  It might appeal to the more extreme environmental and pacifist fools in society,  but sales would be extremely limited.  And if you used such a product,  you would face the rightful anger of your neighbors.  You have cleared your house of pests or enemies,  but only by forcing them to move into the neighbors’ houses.  Just as God did when Satan and his angels were ejected from heaven and  “thrown down to the Earth”…..  just as Jesus did when he ejected the legion of demons from the man into the herd of pigs.  The pigs did not deserve to be driven to their death by demons,  and the owner of the pigs lost his property.  Then,  the next human victims of those demons did not deserve to be attacked by demons,  all the way up to the present day.

But this is all that God seems to be able to do,  in most cases,  when dealing with non-human forces of evil,  and also when dealing with evil humans,  who may be protected by evil non-human forces.  Evil entities are purged or defeated in one place,  only to move to another place and attack again.  On the spiritual battleground,  God may eventually win a real victory,  but only after millions of years of struggle,  and after thousands of years of misery,  destruction,  and war on this planet.  This  “stalemate”  strategy makes no sense…..  unless …..  power is limited.

So,  in human history and in the Bible,  it seems that the reality of the struggle between God and evil goes something like this:

God is love in some cosmic sense,  but that love does not embrace destructive,  predatory evil.  God clearly hates evil and evil-doers.  He tells us so in many ways,  in many religious writings.  Also in religious writings,  God dictates laws against evil and punishments of evil-doers.  Some of them are punishments that we are to carry out,  as in Genesis 9:6 above.  Or in many other scriptures,  God promises to protect the good and punish the evil.  But God usually does not or cannot destroy evil-doers,  and usually he cannot stop them from their predatory acts of abuse and destruction,  especially if they are leaders.  Examples of this are legion,  exceptions are few.  In the Bible,  the best example is the story of God sending his loyal angels to fight a war against Satan and his rebellious angels,  ejecting them from heaven,  but not killing them and not being able to stop their evil elsewhere  (this is not said,  but it is abundantly evident by what happens next,  in the rest of the Biblical timeline).  In the story of Exodus,  God did not attack or kill Pharaoh directly,  even though Pharaoh was keeping the Hebrews enslaved,  after they had been enslaved for generations.  God makes many promises to protect his followers from evil enemies,  or is attributed such promises by his followers,  but then he largely fails to do so.

The greater the power of an evil man like Pharaoh,  or an evil spirit like Satan,  the lesser the chances that the powers of goodness  (including God,  especially God)  will stop him from murder and destruction.  This is an observable fact of human history and current events,  and it is Exhibit 1 against the omnipotence of God.  Most of the confusing stories in the Bible,  some of which I mentioned above,  become very clear if we stop demanding that God be omnipotent,  if we accept the far more realistic idea that God has very real limits;  limits  that produce stories that are described in the Bible by human writers,  while not being understood by those human writers.  Now,  after those writings,  with thousands of years of tragic human experience to analyze,  in the historical record,  we can come closer to understanding the limits of God.  Even if Satan is a myth,  the stubborn persistence and power of human evil gives the same result.

God created us,  and he loves us,  and he hates evil,  but he will not or cannot stop an evil man from murdering you or me.  He will not or cannot stop evil predatory leaders of nations from enslaving their own people,  or from attacking,  enslaving or destroying other nations.  The logical and moral conclusion is that God is not able to stop them,  except perhaps in rare cases where factors converge to enable it.

 

Back to Pearl Harbor

So we should be very grateful for all the crucial help God gave us in the  “lucky”  circumstances of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  I sincerely thank God for that incredible help,  as everyone in America should thank God.  But we should also see the indicators that suggest that this was not the hand of an omnipotent God,  but a God who has limits,  and who performs brilliantly within those limits.  I am in awe of the chain of beneficial consequences that Admiral Nimitz pointed out in his narrative above,  that he was in a unique position to observe. Nimitz brilliantly points out the errors of the Japanese,  which were obvious to him in hindsight,  and attributes them to the influence of God,  but he does not offer any opinion as to the metaphysical details of that influence.

This is a separate puzzle to solve…..  how did the bold,  ruthless and clever Japanese commanders fail to finish their mission,  and fail to destroy the fuel, repair,  and submarine facilities,  failing to destroy the ability of the American Fleet to fight back?  How did God bring their  “errors”  into being,  without violating the Japanese commanders’ precious  “free will”,  which is regarded as sacred and inviolable in orthodox Christian doctrine?  If God concealed things from the commanders,  or directed their attention elsewhere,  or caused them to forget things,  this could be considered a serious violation of their  “free will”,  which would cause huge headaches for Christian theologians.  It causes no problems for me,  because I think there is a universal moral principle that evil people who destroy others forfeit their right to any  “free will”,  in the first act of destruction,  and it becomes the obligation of others to take their  “free will”  away from them,  by any means including killing,  to stop further destruction.  I do not think God has any great concern for the  “free will”  of evil people.

Admiral Nimitz did not wish to walk where angels fear to tread,  so to speak,  and he did not concern himself with such prickly details of how God brought about the  “errors”  of the Japanese commanders.  He could see the bigger picture,  and perhaps he alone could see the larger battle being played out on the vast physical and spiritual chessboard,  that was the conflict we call World War II.  He saw the traces of God’s hand.

The Allied forces did not win that war on their own.  We won it only with the help of God,  who was doing secret things to help us,  and to hinder our stronger enemies,  without regard for preserving  “free will”.  But an omnipotent God could have,  would have,  and should have,  prevented the conflicts from becoming a “World War” in the first place.  For an omnipotent God,  the loving creator and father of us all,  preventing the tremendous evil, horror, and destruction of a “World War” should be at the top of his “to do” list.

 

Japanese Adventures in China:  The Rape of Nanking

We should be even more grateful for the limited help of a limited God at Pearl Harbor,  when we realize that other victims of the murderous Japanese Imperial forces did not receive such brilliant divine help.  In 1931,  ten years before Pearl Harbor,  the Japanese Army invaded China and swept the weaker Chinese Army before them like loose debris.

They routinely committed atrocities against the defeated Chinese,  torturing them,  slaughtering them,  using them for slave labor.  They conducted deadly biological experiments on Chinese prisoners in concentration camps.  They did all this in China,  just as the Nazis would do it 10 years later with the Jews in Europe.  They considered the Chinese to be inferior and wanted to exterminate them,  just as the Nazis considered the Jews to be inferior and wanted to exterminate them.  God did not prevent the Nazis from killing 6 million Jews,  and God did not prevent the Japanese from killing at least 4 million Chinese civilians.  Some researchers place the numbers of victims much higher.

Nanking was the capital of a Chinese province in 1937,  when the Japanese Army conquered it,  after defeating the resisting Chinese Army units.  The Jap generals decided to make an example of the city,  and ordered all the inhabitants to be killed.  They did not succeed in this horrifying goal,  but they tried,  and in 2 months they tortured and killed perhaps 400,000 people,  most of them peaceful civilians. They likened the Chinese to animals and insects to be exterminated,  and took the opportunity to “harden” their troops to cruelty and killing. Rape-of-nanking-cover

The Japanese soldiers shot,  bayoneted,  beheaded,  mutilated and burned their victims. They made a sport out of brutal killing.  Japanese officers competed to see how many Chinese they could decapitate with their swords.  Some Japanese troops lined up Chinese civilians front to back,  and then fired a rifle into the front victim in the line,  to see how many Chinese people a single bullet would kill.  The troops were encouraged to rape women and girls,  and were instructed that if women and girls were raped,  they must then be killed,  lest they bear a Japanese child.  Many were literally raped to death,  from loss of blood after their vagina ruptured.  Others were disemboweled after rape,  or nailed alive to a wall,  or had their breasts sliced off.  Others were roasted alive.  Some troops would capture a pregnant woman,  make bets as to whether the baby was a boy or a girl,  and then cut the baby out of the woman to settle their bets.

The vicious Japanese in Nanking made ISIS look like amateurs in savage killing.  This mass slaughter is perhaps the worst known single atrocity in human history,  or at least the best documented.  And it was not done in secret,  at the time.  Japanese newspapers back in Japan reported the rising death toll with pride and glee,  and reported the rising death count of specific Japanese officers,  so the Japanese people were informed.  Westerners in the city did their best to save as many Chinese as they could,  and sent frantic cries for help to their home countries.  Other countries,  including America,  stood by and protested the brutal atrocity,  but did nothing to stop it or counter it or punish Japan for it.

And God,  omnipotent or not,  did nothing to prevent it or stop it. Iris_Chang

Iris Chang heard about this horrific atrocity from her Chinese grandparents,  and began to study it.  When Iris Chang published a well-researched book about this greatest atrocity in 2001,  “The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II”,  she was actually accused of fabricating the tale and slandering the Japanese.  She received hate mail and death threats.

Incredibly,  some Japanese politicians denounced her as a liar and denied that the atrocities ever happened.  Finally, they gave a vague admission that unfortunate things happened and some Japanese soldiers did bad things.  When they should have issued apologies and separated themselves from their evil past,  they added a new moral outrage to the disgrace of their nation.  They take the evil of their fathers upon themselves,  and perhaps show us their true colors.  Perhaps the Japanese culture is still capable of such evil,  if they will not acknowledge it in detail and denounce it.

Then,  to add another victim to the rape of Nanking,  adding tragedy to tragedy,  Iris Chang could not take the abuse she was getting from writing her important book,  and she allegedly committed suicide in 2004.  A suicide note was found that said she was being hounded by unknown people following her,  and tampering with her mail.  She suspected it was the CIA or other government forces.  She felt that they would not stop until they had destroyed her. After her tragic death,  the people of Nanking erected a statue of Iris Chang to honor her work on their behalf.

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Statue of American author Iris Chang in Nanking, China

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This is a tale of crushing tragedy,  starting with the pure evil of the Japanese government and military in the 1930’s,  continuing with the denial and anger of the Japanese politicians,  and ending with the harassment and death of Iris Chang in 2004,  who simply reported it to the world.  In this case,  the world did  “kill the messenger”,  because the world did not like the truth of the message.

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No Possible Benefit from the Unjust Slaughter at Nanking

So we in America should be even more grateful for the brilliant divine help we received at Pearl Harbor,  and in the rest of World War II,  when we realize that others did not receive such help.  The city of Nanking lost about 100 times the number of people we lost at Pearl Harbor.  It is hard to even imagine the attack at Pearl Harbor repeated 100 times,  but with the addition of Japanese troops on the ground,  committing brutal murder of civilians and sadistic torture,  thrown into the mix.

Why didn’t the pitiful,  defenseless victims of Nanking get some metaphysical protection,  like was given at Pearl Harbor?

Someone may suggest that they were in some way less deserving of God’s help,  or of the wrong religion,  but I will not entertain any such suggestions….. that is descending down toward the attitude of the Japanese butchers themselves.  Another may suggest that God allowed the Chinese to suffer this hellish atrocity to teach them something, or to toughen them…..  that somehow there was a shred of benefit from allowing the demonic Japanese troops to torture them and slaughter them.  For those who died,  the lesson was a bit too intense.  Even for those who survived,  scarred for life,  I will not entertain such a false rationalization.  The only lesson of value they could have learned from this genocide was the need to attack the Japanese with every shred of energy in their soul,  with their bare hands if necessary,  and to kill the Japanese monsters as they died,  instead of cowering like sheep at the slaughterhouse.

But God does not teach this lesson of violent resistance through the orthodox religions.  The orthodox religions all teach pacifist doctrines,  to leave justice to God or karma.  These pacifist doctrines of all religions are very wrong,  because they concede victory to predatory evil.  Neither God nor karma were offering any resistance to the Japanese,  or any help to the Chinese,  and it is absurd to suggest that either the Japanese or the Chinese could learn anything beneficial from this unjust slaughter.  So I will not entertain any suggestion of God  “allowing”  this unjust slaughter for any reason,  if he had any power to prevent it or stop it.

In the present massive atrocities of ISIS,  there is no possible benefit from  “allowing”  these Islamic monsters to murder the followers of every other religion,  and to spread a vicious tyrannical form of Islam throughout the world.  They are pure evil,  wearing a holy mask of religion,  and there is no possible benefit in  “allowing”  them any shred of success.

For that matter,  there was no possible benefit from  “allowing”  the unjust attack on Pearl Harbor,  either.  Tell me,  how were the 3800 dead Americans supposed to learn or benefit from this,  if their single mortal life was taken from them,  and their souls were then shuffled away for an eternity in heaven or hell?  If God had any more ability to oppose the attack,  than the ability he exercised in the Japanese  “errors”  that Admiral Nimitz described,  then he was negligent to be holding back that ability.

So I will entertain the possibility of limits to what can be done by metaphysical beings,  in the physical world we live in.  It is painfully obvious that the metaphysical help humans receive from God is severely limited,  and therefore God must be limited,  in some way that we do not know or understand.  In addition to wars,  this occurs to me every time there is a major natural disaster,  like a hurricane,  tornado,  earthquake or tsunami.

The Final Suggestion of this Cosmic Lesson

Far from criticizing or attacking God,  this is a realization that could bring us closer to God.  When the possibility of limits is considered,  those of us who believe in God should be even more grateful for the help we do receive,  and we should realize that he needs our help more than we have imagined.  Instead of sitting back and throwing a temper tantrum,  being angry that God has allowed evil people and natural disasters to kill millions in horrible ways,  we should pitch in and do more to defend and protect people from wars and disasters;  do more to help the surviving victims;  realizing that maybe God is doing all that he can do,  and is holding nothing back,  and desperately needs our help.

A limited God would deserve even more love, respect, devotion, loyalty and worship from us,  his created beings.  His love may be unlimited,  but his power might be limited,  and that would be a great enlightenment and liberation for us.  We would not blame him for “allowing” all the evils,  all the disasters,  all the wars that destroy us.  We would come to understand better the tragedies that befall us,  that he cannot prevent.  We would come to understand his suffering,  when he sees us being tormented in this world,  and he cannot stop it.  We would be in awe of all he has been able to create and accomplish,  without being omnipotent,  without knowing all that will happen to us.  We would know that he suffers when we suffer,  he cries when we cry,  he rejoices at our joy,  he is proud when we gain wisdom,  just like our earthly fathers and mothers.

Indeed,  Jesus taught that we should address God as “Abba”,  which is roughly translated as an affectionate term for father,  like “daddy”.  We know all the limits and obstacles our earthly fathers face,  and know all that they sacrifice to provide for us,  because they love us,  but they cannot protect us from everything,  and that puts great meaning into the affectionate term “daddy”.  Jesus wanted us to apply all of that earthly sentiment concerning our earthly fathers to God. But God does not protect us from most harm,  and this may be evidence of God’s limits.  Our earthly fathers may be able to protect us from some harm even better than God,  in some cases.

Concerning the attack on Pearl Harbor,  God could not stop it from happening,  but he did turn its evil to work for the good,  with all the events of extremely good luck for the American forces,  and all the “errors” of the Japanese forces,  as Admiral Nimitz explained above.  In this article,  I have explained my view of God’s actions at Pearl Harbor,  in all of history,  and in the Bible,  as being understandable only if God is limited and not omnipotent.  But theologians will turn this topic into a discussion of  “free will”  and how God grants it unconditionally to all of us.  In their view,  God is unlimited and omnipotent, but he grants us all an unlimited  “free will”,  in this earthly life.  According to orthodox religious doctrine,  an omnipotent God severely limits himself by granting all of us our  “free will”  to live our lives as we choose,  whether for good or evil,  to be rewarded or punished in the afterlife.  I have explained how this doctrine makes no moral or logical sense,  and should be viewed as morally irresponsible and grossly negligent.

Theologians raise  “free will”  to a sacred status,  that God will not violate,  even if we use our  “free will”  to destroy everything.  This is the only way they can explain all the evil and tragedy in the world,  and still argue for an omnipotent God.  But it is a very poor argument,  as I explained in the last article of this blog.  https://goldenmeantx.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/a-different-easter-celebration-jesus-with-a-whip/    In that article,  scroll down to the section  “Free Will VS. Permissive Inaction”.  What if the  “free will”  argument only hints at the whole truth?  What if it is only a crude distortion of the whole truth?  What if it is the cover story for a larger truth that we do not want to face?  What if our obsession with  “free will”  is merely a manifestation of human selfishness and stubbornness,  and not a loving gift from an omnipotent God?  It is something to seriously consider.

But in considering that,  you must also consider the need to take on a great deal more personal responsibility yourself,  in countering the evils of this world.  And that would be a worthwhile consideration,  even for an atheist or agnostic,  regardless of any consideration of God.

If you have read this far into my article,  after having read all of it,  I welcome you,  and I know,  as if we were soulmates,  that you will empathize with this expression of one of my basic messages :

When does violence become morally justified,  if ever?  That is a crucial question,  which has been debated for thousands of years,  and here is my answer,  in the form of a paradox…..  VIOLENCE BECOMES JUSTIFIED AGAINST THE VIOLENT.   When a person,  or a spirit,  or an angel,  becomes violent for any reason other than the basic need to survive…..  when a person becomes a dominating,  manipulative tyrant,  disrupting the lives of everyone around them…..  or when an angel in heaven became resentful of God and rebellious,  and could not be returned to reason…..  when destruction or domination or predation becomes the goal of any entity…..  when any such entity has the intent and power to commit unjust violence,  and begins that violence…..  THAT is the precise moment when violence becomes justified against the violent.  That is when the stopping of the destroyer becomes the imperative moral goal,  the duty,  the responsibility of anyone in contact with the destroyer,  and the destroyer must be opposed by all means,  for the common good.  The initiator of predatory violence brings a righteous violence upon himself.  This moral principle is more important than any of the Ten Commandments….. in the Bible,  it precedes the Ten Commandments  (see Genesis 9:6).  This is a natural moral imperative that must be obeyed,  or else evil and deception will rule…..  just as they have ruled for almost all of human history.  This is a law that has been broken,  ignored,  misinterpreted and denounced for thousands of years,  to the great shame and disgrace of the human race. 

That exact message was given at the beginning of this article,  but I have covered so much religious and philosophical grounds,  that some readers will not have realized the possible truth and value of this message,  until after reading the entire article.  So I have repeated that imperative message here,  to give more victims of evil the chance to stop being victims,  to stop believing the religious and philosophical propaganda that focuses only on  “love”  and  “peace”,  which is incomplete and crippled,  therefore wrong and harmful.  It is my hope and intent that more victims of evil will emerge from their cocoons,  and step forward as volunteers,  as active participants in the war against evil,  which rages around us at all times.

One of my favorite Bible verses is a plea to God for help :  “Rescue the poor and the needy;  deliver them out of the hands of the wicked.”  — Psalm 82:4.  But this could just as well be God’s plea to us for help,  God’s command for us to fight the wicked and rescue their victims.  Moral principles like this are universal….. binding to God,  binding to us,  binding us to each other in moral harmony.   God is already doing all he can against the wicked,  and still the wicked are seizing and controlling much of our world.  He needs our help.

So,  the proper question is….. are you and I doing all we can against the wicked?  The proper answer is…..  we are not….. and that should cause us great shame….. but sadly,  it does not seem to cause us any shame at all.  We are too busy with our own self-centered interests,  too busy making a living,  too busy with our family,  too busy having some fun.  Those few who recognize the wicked,  will focus on avoiding the wicked,  instead of attacking them to stop their crimes.  There is a  widespread basic moral failure to attack the wicked and rescue their many victims.  We are too busy with the affairs of our own lives,  to trouble ourselves with the victims of the wicked…..  until we ourselves become victims of the wicked,  and then it is too late….. just as it was too late for the 3800 American dead at Pearl Harbor,  and too late for the 400,000 Chinese dead at Nanking,  and too late for the Christians who are being murdered every day in Iraq and Syria by the wicked monsters of ISIS.

We are not all willing or able to actively fight the wicked,  but we should all support those who are willing and able to fight the wicked,  on all fronts,  local and global.  We should support the fighters,  instead of condemning them,  or condemning their mission.  Yet that is what many  “progressive”  radical liberal pacifists do to our warriors,  and they are sadly gaining the majority in America.

I will end with a quote from Admiral Nimitz,  that noble warrior who defeated the wicked Japanese forces,  who saved millions of people from death or slavery,  which summarizes all he learned at Pearl Harbor and in the rest of World War II :

“God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right,  even though I think it is hopeless.”    .     .     .     .    – – five star Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz,  commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in World War II

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Best “Star Wars” Christmas Lights in the Galaxy

Last year,  it was  “Gangnam Style”  Christmas lights,  in Cedar Park, Texas,  with over 4 million views

https://goldenmeantx.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/christmas-lights-gone-crazy/

This year,  a music teacher in New Jersey takes Christmas lights into deep space,  with a fantastic computer-controlled display including moving mini-searchlights on top of the house,  and a simulated explosion.  This is a small house with a BIG impact.  The audio is amazing,  also.  It is a medley of Star Wars music.  Even if you never saw a Star Wars movie,  this is worth watching….. enjoy!

I have seen all the Star Wars movies,  so this was amazing for me.  Apparently for others, too…..  this video has zoomed past four million views in 10 days.

But,  still…..  I would not want to live next door to these people…..

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As an encore,  here is the same house playing some Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas music,  last year.  It shows off some other capabilities of the display.  Many bigger displays are not this good.

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I hope you enjoyed them both…..  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

And may the Christmas side of the Force be with you

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Book Review: “Proof of Heaven”…..? or Proof of Something Else?

Date last revised:  15 April 2014

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Quote of the day:   “Then I’ll get on my knees and pray…..  We don’t get fooled again…..  don’t get fooled again…..  No, no!”  The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, 1971

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INTRODUCTION

I recently read an amazing book,  which is in its 45th week on the New York Times best-seller list,  currently #1 in its category.  The title is “Proof of Heaven- A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife”, by Eben Alexander, M.D.

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Proof of Heaven and AuthorThis book tells of Dr. Alexander’s near-death experience, or NDE.  The book is quite remarkable,  because the author’s experience was so unique.  Most books about NDE’s,  spiritual encounters,  or the afterlife are written by people who already have spiritual beliefs,  or who are at least open to the concepts of spirits, souls, and God.  I have read many of these books,  being interested in this subject since my college years.  Many thousands of people have had an NDE and reported it,  but scientists tell us that they are impossible,  that they are just some concoction of the amazing human brain.  Dr. Eben Alexander,  neurosurgeon,  was one of those scientists.  The good doctor “knew” that NDE’s may feel real to the subject,  but they are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.  His beliefs were atheist,  rejecting any notion of metaphysical forces or spiritual existence.

The doctor’s experience is also unique because of the clinical,  medical certainty of his impending death.  After a week in a coma,  with his brain under constant attack by E. Coli bacteria,  the chances of his death were 95%.  Even if he survived,  his tending doctors “knew” that with all the brain damage they were observing,  he would be a vegetable,  deprived of all higher brain function,  unable to talk or move.  The fact that he not only survived,  but made a full recovery and returned to his own medical practice,  is a true medical miracle that cannot be explained.  But it is easily explained,  if you accept the metaphysical nature of life,  and the existence of soul or spirit.  There were many people praying fervently for him,  and telling others to pray,  more  every day of his coma,  and this helped to build up metaphysical forces which defeated the bacteria and healed his brain.  In his NDE,  he could actually feel or sense some of the people praying for him to come back.  And simultaneously,  but at cross-purposes, it is likely that the doctor’s spiritual guides,  for reasons we can only guess,  wanted him to survive, return to his body,  and to spread their message.  He is now  spreading their message quite well,  with a #1 book,  a website,  interviews,  a constant speaking tour,  and a contract for a movie with Universal studios.  He has spoken at a conference with the Dalai Lama.  He has been on many TV news programs.   He has even been on “Oprah”,  where that woman reinforced and broadcast his message to millions of other gullible women.

But the message he is spreading,  from the spiritual guides he encountered in his NDE,  is not entirely beneficial.  In fact,  I think that it is somewhat harmful.  The mysterious motives of his spiritual guides may become clearer to you,  by the time you finish reading this review.  I think that in his gripping drama of life,  death,  and afterlife,  this prominent doctor may have become an unwitting pawn on a spiritual chessboard of battle,  between  good and evil,  between liberators and dominators,  or between God and Satan,  if you want to see it in such religiously polarized terms.  It is a constant cosmic battle being waged across the universe,  and right down to where you and I live,  in our houses,  in our cars,  in our offices.  We are all potential targets of opportunity.  Normally,  in our daily affairs,  we are of little direct concern to higher powers.  We go to work,  we go to play,  we marry,  we have children,  we laugh,  we cry,  we grow old,  we die,  as one among billions of souls,  on this planet we call Earth,  among billions of other planets.  We live out our lives,  and we seek our destinies,  in privacy and anonymity, for the most part.  BUT….. when something unusual and important happens to us,  the metaphysical alarm is sounded,  we become the focal point of metaphysical attention from many directions,  and the different forces in play see a chance to use us to their advantage,  and the cosmic game is on.  I think this is what happened to Dr. Alexander.  I think the good doctor might agree with me on that point,  but he may not agree with my other points.  Bear with me,  keep reading,  and perhaps you will see what I mean……

THE IGNORANT ARROGANCE OF SCIENCE

Like Dr. Alexander before his NDE,  most scientists scoff that spirits do not exist,  because they cannot detect or measure spirits.  Instead of scoffing,  they should be questioning their own knowledge.  They should be questioning their limited means of measurement.  For spirits are not all they cannot measure.   Science cannot measure good and evil,  science cannot measure love and hate,  science cannot measure intentions,  science cannot measure free will,  science cannot measure morality,  science cannot measure ethics,  science cannot measure a soul,  science cannot measure God.  What science cannot measure,  a soul for example,  science ignores,  or even denies that souls exist.  Most scientists lean toward atheism, and scoff at religion.  But….. good, evil, love, hate, free will, intent, life energies, souls…..  these “unmeasurables” are the most important things to measure, are they not?  I think so, and you probably think so, too.

Yet,  these  “unmeasurables”  are the things that many scientists (the atheistic ones)  and philosophers (the liberal ones) argue against,  proclaiming they do not exist.  Psychologists argue against free will,  arguing that we are helpless slaves of our emotions,  our hormones,  our genetics and our traumatic childhoods.  Philosophers argue against conventional concepts of morality,  dismissing them as mere social rules that hold no real moral truth.   Sociologists deny the possibility of individual evil intent,  looking for all kinds of excuses and reasons to show that society forces some people to turn to crime.  Most other scientists simply ignore these  “unmeasurables”,  because they are in the business of measurement,  so why should they waste time on something that cannot be measured,  and therefore may not even exist?  How would a scientist measure these intangible things that exist only in our minds and spirits?  This only leads to massive frustration,  and possible loss of funding for lack of results.  But they DO spend massive amounts of money and time researching behaviors,  brain activity,  genetics, hormones, and chemicals in our bodies,  and use this evidence to argue that the all-important  “unmeasurables”  mentioned above do not exist.  This is a round-about, negative way of acknowledging that the  “unmeasurables”  are of prime importance.  It is also a biased battle against the truth,  instead of an honest effort to find the truth.

Science ignores it,  but If you do have a soul,  if you ARE a soul,  then that is the most important fact in your entire existence,  is it not?  That one fact changes your outlook on everything else.  This is a big reason many people are atheists.  If they acknowledged the metaphysical,  it would logically and morally require them to move out of the ‘comfort zone’ of atheist denial,  and accept the uncertain and the unknowable.  It would remove the fence they have built around their backyard of certain knowledge,  and they would have to ponder the uncertainty of things that were beyond that fence.  They would have to develop faith in higher powers.  They would have to change their lives.  They might have to change their jobs,  their friends,  their relationships, their place of residence.  They would have to stop attacking those who hold beliefs different from their own.  For atheism IS a belief system,  perhaps even more so than the religions it attacks.  It seems to me that it would take a great deal of stubborn, bitter belief to witness the miracles of life all around us,  and inside us,  that science cannot measure or control or explain,  and still proclaim that there is nothing metaphysical behind it all.  An ancient Greek philosopher / scientist, Protagoras (490 – 420 BC), was on the right track when he said  “Man is the measure of all things”,  but science has long ago abandoned that great hopeful vision.  Instead,  too often science has the arrogant attitude that whatever man cannot measure,  does not exist.  This is the attitude of a tiny insect,  as it is crushed by a shoe that it did not see coming and it cannot understand.

That was the attitude of neurosurgeon Eben Alexander,  before he was  “crushed”  by a week of brain-dead coma,  and his astounding near-death experience (NDE),  that he did not see coming,  that he is not fully understanding This is not to single him out for criticism (yet);  no one could fully understand such an incredible immersion into the spirit world.  Eben was even less likely to understand it,  because of his beliefs before his NDE.  Eben was essentially an atheist,  even though he went to church occasionally with his wife and kids.  But he tells us that the scientific and medical communities he worked in turned him atheist,  rejecting any notion of the metaphysical.  The scientific and medical communities promote and even enforce a type of institutional atheism,  through peer pressure and a type of elitist arrogance.  Dr. Alexander broke away from that institutional atheism,  but only by having the most incredible NDE,  which moved him so much he felt the need to write a book about it.

THE REACTION OF THE HUMANIST / ATHEIST MEDIA

It is no surprise that atheistic book reviewers everywhere are rejecting “Proof of Heaven” out of hand.  They are calling it fantasy,  delusion,  hallucination.  They probably consider Dr. Alexander as a traitor to the atheist cause.  They are alarmed that the book has become so popular and profitable,  rising to the top on bestseller lists.  They are attacking the publishers for spreading a story that passes off fantasy for truth,  just to make money.  They are finding doctors who challenge Dr. Alexander’s claim that his brain was rendered inoperative during his NDE.  Some of those doctors say that we cannot know or prove that the brain was inoperative,  and one I read said that even if it was completely “turned off”,  the brain could have produced the entire NDE as a vivid dream,  as it struggled back into consciousness.  But of course,  in their criticisms of Dr. Alexander,  these doctors cannot prove anything they say,  either.  And they cannot explain Dr. Alexander’s amazing full recovery.  They do not even mention it,  because it presents a problem to their atheistic beliefs.  So it comes down to belief,  on one side or the other.

Or,  perhaps it comes down to journalistic malpractice and abuse.  In the atheists’  best assault,  Luke Dittrich of Esquire Magazine wrote a scathing article about “Proof of Heaven” and it’s author,  calling Dr. Alexander a liar on several counts.  Even if Dittrich is not a professed atheist,  he has become their best attack-dog.  His critical review of “Proof of Heaven” is the journalistic equivalent of a lynching.  However,  one review of Dittrich’s  attack turns the tables,  exposing Dittrich himself as a lousy investigator.  His so-called  “in-depth, investigative profile”  of Dr. Alexander,  was extremely shallow….. really nothing more than a bungling hit-man’s failed attempt at assassination;  or a stink-bomb thrown by a belligerent teenager.  In his one-sided attack,  Dittrich exposes himself as a snake-oil salesman in his own right,  a charlatan who only tells of the points that might support his conclusion,  and ignores the others.  NDE researcher Robert Mays,  a far superior investigator,  shoots Dittrich’s investigation full of holes in this review:   http://iands.org/images/stories/pdf_downloads/esquire%20article%20on%20eben%20alexander%20distorts%20the%20facts.pdf 

Dittrich should read this scathing exposure of his pathetic,  dishonest journalism,  which could expose him to a lawsuit by Dr. Alexander.  He should issue an apology for writing such harmful trash.  But he will instead,  no doubt,  turn merrily to his next hatchet-job,  condemning some other poor soul for daring to have an opinion different than the infallible Luke Dittrich.  The egotistical arrogance and bias of this man is repulsive.  In his attack on “Proof of Heaven” and Dr. Alexander,  he cared nothing about objectivity or fairness….. he used his writing as a weapon of destruction,  rather than a tool of construction.

Alexander issued a critical statement in response to Dittrich’s article,  which included:  “Esquire’s cynical article distorts the facts of my 25-year career as a neurosurgeon and is a textbook example of how unsupported assertions and cherry-picked information can be assembled at the expense of the truth.”   But in supreme irony,  Esquire and  Dittrich should not be criticized by Dr. Alexander,  because they are fulfilling a key message that  Alexander brought back from his NDE:  “there is nothing that you can do wrong”…..  much more on this later.

SO, START THE BOOK REVIEW ALREADY…..

This book review of mine takes a different approach,  and I hope that it is constructive,  for that is my intent.  Let us grant the belief that the NDE was real,  and that it happened  just as Dr. Alexander said it happened.  With this issue out of the way,  there is much to analyze in the NDE itself.  And if you do believe that the NDE was real,  as I believe,  it could have very important effects in your own life,  death,  and afterlife.  Those are the important lessons to take away from “Proof of Heaven.”  It is a report of one man’s premature adventure,  or misadventure,  into a state of being we all must face,  when our brains cease to function,  upon the death of our bodies.  We must be ready to continue on our personal quest as a spirit,  in a spirit world with dangers and pitfalls,  and we must be able to recognize friends,  allies,  and enemies for what they really are…..  or as spirits,  we will be victims of deception,  and in danger of entrapment.  But as we shall see,  the spiritual pitfalls are just stronger variations  of the moral and philosophical traps we already face here on Earth,  in bodily life.

In 2008, Eben’s brain was attacked by a rare and vicious strain of E. Coli  bacteria, putting him in a coma,  and near death,  for 7 days.  It was an extreme case of meningitis.  The part of his brain that controls thought and emotion shut down completely.  Medically speaking,  his consciousness should have shut down,  like turning off a computer.  His brain was essentially dead,  but he was not.  He was very much alive,  intensely conscious,  and swept away from his dying body.  His book tells of the incredible other-world he experienced during that week,  when he should have been experiencing nothing.  He,  of all people,  “knew” that his brain was essentially dead, and “knew” that he should have experienced nothing.  Before his NDE,  his religion was science:  “I adored the simplicity- the absolute honesty and cleanness of science.  I respected that it left no room for fantasy or for sloppy thinking.  If a fact could be established as tangible and trustworthy, it was accepted.  If not, then it was rejected.  This approach left very little room for the soul and the spirit, for the continuing existence of a personality after the brain that supported it stopped functioning.  It left even less room for those words I’d heard in church again and again:  ‘life everlasting’. ”  In his book,  after his NDE and his amazing recovery from the coma,  Eben places supreme importance upon love and compassion as the greatest forces in the universe:  “How do we get closer to this genuine spiritual self?  By manifesting love and compassion.  Why?  Because love and compassion are far more than the abstractions many of us believe them to be.  They are real.  They are concrete.  And they make up the very fabric of the spiritual realm.”

COMMENTS FROM BEHIND THE CURTAIN

So here,  a prominent neurosurgeon,  formerly an atheist,  has sensed some of the “unmeasurables” that I mentioned above,  in their true metaphysical form.  He now has no doubt that they exist outside the human brain,  and that they are all-important.  He has sensed them in spiritual form,  and he has begun to learn how to recognize and measure them.  I am envious,  because he has experienced them in their vibrant true form,  while I have sensed them only dimly,  but with certainty,  through a rigorous exercise of  logical and moral philosophy.  I do not think love and compassion are “concrete”,  I do not think they exist independently,  but I do think they are real energies generated by living beings.  Their energy can become as powerful as the living entity who generates them.  This would explain both the weakness and the strength of love or any other “unmeasurable”,  spanning the spectrum from the weakest human to the strength of God.

Dr. Alexander knew something about the “unmeasurables” before his NDE,  as we all do,  but he thought they were just intangible, temporary products of the human brain,  that die when we die.  Then in his NDE,  he learned that love is a product of the metaphysical spirit,  not the physical brain.  Our brains are merely the mechanism employed by our spirits to carry out their will in physical bodies.  He was shown by spiritual guides that love and  compassion are real forces in the universe.  Most people report a tangible feeling of encompassing love at some point in their NDEs.  So apparently,  the spiritual guides could not conceal or deny this universal feeling of love,  even if they wanted to.  So they must incorporate it into their presentation,  and turn it to their own use.  The spiritual guides then also touched upon evil as being real,  and being necessary for the existence of free will,  which we all possess.  It was momentarily comforting to me,  to read this in the book,  because this is a crucial part of philosophy,  and I thought it was in agreement with mine.  In my philosophy,  a natural moral philosophy,  free will is perhaps the most powerful force in the universe.  Everything else in the universe becomes the servant,  or the slave,  or the tool,  or the laboratory,  or the playground, or the battleground,  of the free will of sentient beings.  In using our free will,  we make some right choices and some wrong choices.  Those right choices and wrong choices are intentional.  Whether they are based in ignorance or in knowledge,  in good will or in hostility,  they are intentional….. otherwise they should not be called “choices”.  The worst of the wrong choices  are destructive  (evil),  and they produce destructive (evil) results,  to a lesser or greater extent.  This is my position on evil,  and it explains the existence of evil nicely,  but only as an unfortunate but  “necessary evil” to use a cliche,  only as a toxic by-product of  the worst wrong choices of intelligent beings….. not as some essential independent force or energy to “balance the karma of the universe”,  or some such nonsense as I have read elsewhere.  Even Dr. Alexander fell into this folly in one passage of his book,  writing:  “Small particles of evil were scattered throughout the universe…..” ….. Excuse me,  particles of evil?….. As if evil were something physical,  like a toxic atom,  or a malevolent virus,  or a poisonous seed?  No….. evil does not exist as a physical or metaphysical object.  Evil is not a proper noun,  but merely a literary noun;  evil is properly an adjective that describes one possible result of bad choices,  or the bad choice itself,  or the person who made the bad choice.  Evil is wrong,  evil is destructive,  and it is everywhere,  but only because we all make some wrong choices,  pretty much every day of our lives.  Not all the wrong choices are evil,  but the worst ones are evil.  The average person,  somewhere between a saint and a devil,  can be evil one day,  and good the next.  We can fail the tests of life one day,  and pass them the next week or two,  only to fail them again.  It all depends on our choices,  and how we react to the choices of others around us.  We humans bring evil into the world,  and we can also remove it,  by virtue of our free will and choice.  We are completely responsible for our choices,  and we are held responsible for our wrong choices by society,  by the physical and metaphysical laws of the universe,  and ultimately by God.  This a core principle of my philosophy.

BACK TO THE BOOK REVIEW…..

This is why I was greatly troubled by what I read next in the book.  This is why I do not trust part of the core message that Dr. Alexander was given in his NDE.  The core message to him from his mystical guides in the spiritual realm had three main points:  1) “You are loved and cherished.”  2) “You have nothing to fear.”  3) “There is nothing you can do wrong.”  Eben was deeply moved and impressed by this message.  Eben further interpreted this profound metaphysical love he felt as an unconditional love,  because of point  #3 of the core message,  that he or we can do nothing wrong.  He did not bring up the passive Golden Rule,  but the Golden Rule is often linked to unconditional love,  because if we want to receive unconditional love,  then we should certainly extend it to everyone else,  regardless of the harm and destruction they are doing,  as if they are doing nothing wrong.  We are to just ignore the harm and destruction they are doing to us and others,  and love them anyway.  This violates all rules of morality and logic,  but never mind that,  it just sounds right and “feels” right,  to an immature and inexperienced and unthinking person.  So unconditional love is a key point of all pacifist philosophy, whether religious, atheist, secular, or liberal.  But there is a big moral problem with unconditional love,  no matter how profound and beneficial it may sound.  It neuters all concepts of right and wrong,  good and evil,  and gives evil the upper hand.  It renders justice ineffective,  or impossible to achieve.  Unconditional love has no way to resist or counter malicious violence….. only to endure it and suffer,  and let the evil have its way.  Unconditional love will lose every time against unconditional hate,  unconditional anger,  unconditional greed  or unconditional bigotry.

The core message was given to Dr. Alexander in the portion of his NDE that occurred in the place he is calling “Heaven”,  or more specifically the “Gateway” area of Heaven.  It was intensely beautiful and Earth-like,  resembling some of the most lovely gardens,  meadows,  rivers and hills on Earth.  His soul or spirit was in a very pleasant place,  no doubt,  but it should not be described as “Heaven”.  Even in this world,  people with lots of power and money,  billionaires,  can build beautiful estates sprawling over the countryside, with luxurious landscapes that delight the senses,  similar to what Dr. Alexander describes in his book.  They can build magnificent mansions,  inviting villas,  and glorious gardens.  They can spend money like pouring water,  and indulge in every designing whim that enters their head.  They can hire servants who fill every desire,  and impress guests  when they choose to inflate their ego,  but their souls can be empty and dark,  and they could build a dungeon in the basement if they were dark enough.  But no matter how pleasant,  their little empire should not be called “Heaven.”  And most assuredly,  these selfish people would agree with Dr. Alexander’s mystical guides that “there is nothing you can do wrong”.  Or at least,  nothing that they personally can do wrong,  even though they criticize and harass everyone else for being wrong,  in an attempt to dominate them.  Now why,  you may ask,  would I have such a negative thought about hypothetical strangers?

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BRING IN THE EXPERT WITNESSES….. SOME PSYCHOLOGY THAT ACTUALLY MAKES SENSE

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.The-Sociopath-Next-Door-9780767915823-mdWithout Conscience by Robert HareSnakes-in-Suits-9780061147890-md          .          .          .          .        .    .  Let us take a closer critical look at point  #3,  “there is nothing you can do wrong”.  To do so,  I need to bring in some facts from psychological research.  In the discoveries of psychology for the past few decades,  the perception of doing wrong or being wrong came under important scrutiny in the study of  narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths.  The findings are documented in the books shown above,  among many other books.  The findings are very troubling.  These types of people have no true regard for other people,  but only for themselves.  They have no moral conscience,  or if they do have it,  they ignore it.  This is generally true of other people with other types of “anti-social disorders” as well.  They are obsessed with their own problems,  their own needs,  their own desires,  their own lusts,  their own perversions,  while ignoring the problems and needs of others.  They feel completely justified to do whatever they want to do,  with no moral restraint.  They think they can make no mistakes,  and when they do make a mistake,  then they should automatically be excused for it.  They do not need to be told that they can do nothing wrong.  That is what they already think,  and they use that idea to justify every wrong thing they do to other people.  They take everything they can from others,  they seek to manipulate or dominate others,  and do not give of themselves.  Their idea of  The Golden Rule is “the one with the gold makes the rules” or “do unto others before they do it unto you”.   The message given to Dr. Alexander  (“there is nothing you can do wrong”)  is the mantra playing constantly in their minds.  They did not need a mystical near-death experience to deliver it to them…..  they figured it out for themselves (literally  “for themselves”  only,  based in selfishness),  and it puts them on the wrong side of any moral conflict.  I hope you are beginning to see that this message has a very dark side,  that can justify any insult,  any lie,  any neglect,  any abuse,  any crime,  or any atrocity.  According to Dr. Martha Stout,  who wrote “The Sociopath Next Door”,  4% of the American population are sociopaths,  and this does not even take into account psychopaths,  narcissists,  or other types of people with “anti-social disorders.”

And in my opinion,  there are a lot more people that it does not take into account.  There are many types of “mania” disorders,  such as kleptomania,  nymphomania,  or pyromania.  There is obsessive-compulsive behavior.  There is schizophrenia.  There is attention-deficit disorder  (or ADD,  very popular these days,  and used as a reason to drug our children).  There is bipolar disorder,  in which one swings back and forth from extremes of depression to happiness.  There is simple old-fashioned depression itself,  which is now diagnosed frequently and treated with drugs.   But the psychologists are coming up with new “disorders” all the time,  as if they think everyone should have their very own “disorder” to take care of with drugs.  In modern society,  there is an epidemic of various “disorders” and the drugs to treat them,  with the drugs causing dangerous side effects.  These drugs are advertised on TV.  Not to mention the rampant social problems such as gang activity among teenagers and adults,  single-parent families,  child abuse,  spouse abuse,  drug abuse,  alcoholism,  petty crime,  political corruption,  runaway debt and welfare.  These are not just caused by biological or mental “disorders”,  they are ultimately spiritual flaws and wrong choices that may manifest themselves as something the psychologist can call a “disorder”.  People have no qualms doing all these things if they choose to do them,  or stepping on others to get ahead if they choose to do that.  Most of such people are not diagnosed with any “disorder”,  and some of them are our leaders in government and business.

I think that  the perception that one can do nothing wrong,  or think nothing wrong,  is much more widespread throughout the general population,  than the psychologists have discovered….. I think it is a basic human tendency in most people,  on a lower level of  development.  It is  also more than people will honestly admit.  They cannot admit it or announce it,  because it would be rejected by everyone around them as outrageously egotistical and glaringly false,  but still…..  their ego whispers it to them as a mantra they cannot resist….. “go ahead,  think what your want,  do what you want,  take what you want,  you deserve it,  this is the best way to live,  show others how wrong they are,  but  you can do nothing wrong”.  They take this doing-no-wrong attitude without enough  education,  information,  or investigation.  They take this attitude without knowing enough about the people they are abusing,  and certainly without caring about the people they are abusing.  This doing-nothing-wrong attitude is evident in the actions of many (or most) people around us.  It contributes to every argument,  every heated debate,  every political speech,  every lawsuit,  every divorce,  every business failure,  every bankruptcy,  and every dysfunctional relationship in the world.  It causes a clash of wills.  One side or the other is wrong,  but thinks they have done or said nothing wrong,  even when they are clearly in the wrong according to law, morality,  or concensus.  The side that is right,  or more right,  is defeated if they cannot win the conflict,  and justice is defeated along with them.  Even if the wrongdoer is punished after the fact,  they have already done the harm and their victims have suffered,  or died.  Almost every convicted murderer claims they are innocent of murder…..  or they killed the @$$#*&!! for a good reason!  The perception that one can do nothing wrong is the unseen partner in every crime,  every lie,  every abuse,  every murder,  every war.  It is the reason we have so many different religions and philosophies in the world,  and why they are in such bitter conflict.  Not only do most of them insist that they alone are right,  but some of them seek to suppress or destroy their opponents…..  jihadist Muslims for example,  or our current American president and his radical liberal / progressive / socialist faction.

The result of this doing-nothing-wrong attitude is not freedom and enlightenment,  as Dr. Alexander would have us believe…..  the result is error,  chaos,  failure,  and conflict.  There is no hope for peace or harmony,  when both sides of a conflict think that they are doing nothing wrong.  There will be only strife,  anger,  and misery.  It is equally disastrous when only one side thinks they are doing nothing wrong.  They will commit all manner of abuse and attacks against the other side,  being more wrong all the while.  The side that acknowledges their wrongness and offers peace will be knocked down and steamrolled.  Reality,  truth,  and justice are defeated,  while delusion,  lies,  and evil  win the day.  This is what happens when we think we can do nothing wrong.

There is a colorful old saying that sums it up nicely:  “he thinks his shit don’t stink”.  But everyone else can smell the reek of his wrongdoing,  everyone else sees his gross hypocrisy,  and they want to avoid him if they can.  Other cultures have this saying as well.  In Thailand, it is “Kee mai men”.  In Chile it is  “El cree que su kaka no huele”.  In France it is  “il ne se prend pas pour une petite merde”.  I am sure almost every country has this saying,  because the false perception that one can do nothing wrong is a widespread human fault.  There is another saying I ran across:  “I thought I made a mistake once,  but I was mistaken.”  This is a good sarcastic comeback to someone who made a mistake,  but will not admit it because they actually do think they can do no wrong,  because it is never their own fault.  They are experts at casting blame away from themselves.  They distort events and words to show that in their situation,  they were forced by the actions and words of other people to do what they did.   Their finger points in every direction,  except at themselves.

1619 Painting- Parable of the Mote and Beam

1619 Painting– Jesus’ Parable of the Mote and the Beam

We could insert here the teaching of Jesus concerning gross hypocrisy:  “Why do you behold the mote that is in your brother’s eye,  but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?  Or how will you say to your brother,  Let me pull the mote out of your eye,  and behold,  a beam is in your own eye?  You hypocrite,  first cast out the beam out of your own eye;  and then you shall see clearly to pull the mote out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7, 3-5)
This is Jesus warning us that hypocrites are definitely doing something wrong.  In many of his parables,  like this one,  Jesus clearly compares a person who is doing something wrong to a person who is doing something right,  in simple terms that anyone can understand.  It is a far cry from Dr. Alexander’s message “there is nothing you can do wrong.”  In fact,  it is the opposite message.   Jesus tells us,  in many clever ways,  there are many things you can do wrong,  and are doing wrong,  and here is how to do them right.  This is one of the main themes of the entire Bible:  wake up to the many things you are doing wrong,  admit them,  confess them,  repent of them,  and stop doing them!  This is the path to spiritual growth and strengthening.  Dr. Alexander’s message leads to spiritual confusion and weakening,  but it reinforces our natural tendency to justify all our bad choices and admit to no mistakes.  The conflict between these teachings could not be greater…..  they are like opposite magnetic poles that repel each other.  They represent a basic philosophical conflict of truly cosmic and universal proportions.  But we are easily distracted from this crucial universal philosophical spiritual conflict,  by the intense physical problems of daily life on this planet.

In the news just today,  Israel,  the homeland of Jesus,  is dealing with a tremendous influx of refugees from neighboring countries,  such as Syria,  who seek to escape death or starvation,  who are overwhelming the resources of Israel.  They cannot accept all the refugees,  and must decide who to accept and who to send back.  This is an agonizing decision for Israel,  and a matter of life or death for the refugees.

How can we worry about universal moral principles,  when we have to worry about where our next meal is coming from?  But luckily,  some of us know that our next meals are assured,  for at least a few days,  so we can afford the time to think about these vital issues,  and we should.  After I thank God for my good fortune and my next meal,  I take the time to do research and writing,  which enables me to post blog articles such as this one.  I feel that it is my obligation,  to share the results of my research.  Only in this way,  can others decide if my findings are useful to them,  or not.  I find the research of others to be extremely useful,  and I hope to be of similar service.

In my opinion,  the perception that we can do or think nothing wrong is with most of us when we are born,  or shortly thereafter.  It is part of our ego.  This is evident in most two-year or three-year old babies,  when they start contradicting everything their parents say or do,  refusing what their parents want them to do,  shouting “NO!”.  They begin to learn the power of disagreement,  the power of rebellion,  even when they are utterly wrong.  They learn that by saying NO,  they can stop or delay whatever process is going on around them,   and they begin to enjoy that power.  Then they learn that they can express their flawed three-year-old misconception or opinion,  and influence the actions of others,  even their adult parents,  who are far older but perhaps not wiser.  We all begin forming opinions about everything,  we all begin making moral choices that push our opinions in a certain moral direction,  and they soon become concrete to our own minds.  We all have a drive to justify ourselves in our own minds,  and all our choices,  right or wrong.  But because everyone’s life experience is different,  and because everyone’s moral choices are different,  our opinions are different than other people,  and they soon begin to clash in conflict.  Our lives are a God-given opportunity to begin learning that our opinions are not set in stone,  that we ARE often wrong,  and that we need to begin to re-shape our opinions by learning from others,  to re-direct our actions by watching others.  Many (or most) people do not take that opportunity,  and spend their lives trying to enforce their flawed opinions on everyone around them,  by any means of argument or intimidation,  like an overgrown three-year-old baby.  This presents a terrible problem for those who see their own wrongness and try to learn from others,  because those who are the most wrong are also the most domineering,  the most manipulative,  the most deceptive.  This is true of some preachers as well as punks,  true of some teachers as well as thieves,  true of some gurus as well as gangs.  We must detect their wrongness and not let it infect ourselves.  We must be very careful in picking who we learn from,  and what  “knowledge”  we learn from them,  or we will become as wrong as they are.

THE DANGERS OF LEARNING ON EARTH

Learning “knowledge” is a process littered with pitfalls and traps.  The “truth” is something that is as hard to find as a needle in a haystack,  or a diamond in a garbage pile,  for there is so much  false belief,  bias,  and deception.  Further,  all bits of “knowledge” or “truth” are not equal.  There are nuggets of truth that are far more valuable than the dirt of truth you find the nuggets in. diamond on black gold nuggets and bars  What is more important,  knowing all the top  songs of the year,  or knowing how to make a musical instrument and play it?  What is more important,  learning how to play a video game,  or learning how to create one for others to play?  What is more important,  enjoying a delicious meal,  or knowing how to cook that meal?  What is more important,  learning how to read a book,  or learning how to write a book?  Reading a book is like plowing the dirt,  writing a book is like planting the seeds in the dirt that will grow into fruit to feed others.  Some knowledge is like dirt,  at the base of our ecosystem,  necessary for life to grow,  but it must be plowed and seeded with greater knowledge.  Or it must be sifted and searched through,  to find a bit of gold.  Gold nuggets are mined from hills of ore and the rivers that flow through them.  The hills and rivers are just as real and true as the gold nuggets,  but the gold nuggets are far more valuable.  We should all be sifting and searching through the dirt of knowledge,  for the gold nuggets of knowledge;  the knowledge that gives us the most capability,  understanding and wisdom.  Those who find the gold nuggets of knowledge are doing something far more right than those who shuffle around in the dirt of knowledge,  finding nothing of great value.  Those who just wallow about in the dirt of knowledge,  never planting or searching,  are wasting their lives and doing something very wrong.  The false idea “there is nothing you can do wrong”  equates the gold with the dirt,  cancelling out the value of the gold,  and falsely elevating the value of the dirt.

Every book you read;  every school (public or private),  class,  or seminar you attend;  every advertisement or movie or documentary or news program you watch;  is created by people who think that they are doing nothing wrong in some sense,  who think that they are conveying the “truth”,  who think that they are giving you something you want or need,  who think that they are giving us valuable  “knowledge”.  But watch the news programs from different networks  (MSNBC, FOX, CNN, ALJEZERRA, CCTV)  and you will see that they are very different,  in what they choose to report,  what they choose NOT to report,  and the viewpoint they report.  They may be giving us knowledge that conforms to the genuine reality of the universe,  or they may be giving us their own personal bias,  or they may be giving us their philosophy,  or they may be giving us their political agenda,  or they may be giving us their lies to push us in a certain direction,  because they think their cause is so important,  it warrants any tactic  (the ethical end justifies the unethical means).  They are straining the “knowledge”  through their own personal filter;  a filter that was made by the practical and moral (or immoral) choices that they have made throughout their lives.  They are telling us only what they want us to know,  to support their own choices.  The  “knowledge”  they are giving us  is only as true,  and only as good,  as their choices.  And of course,  as they made these choices,  they felt that they were choosing correctly,  that they were  “doing nothing wrong”,  even when they were completely wrong.  This  “knowledge filter”  applies to everything we see,  hear,  and touch in the human realm,  as well as the spiritual realm,  whether it be a question of science,  or a personal matter.

Consider for a moment the person in your life that you love the most.  Now consider someone tells you that person did something very harmful,  very bad,  very evil.  You will not want to believe that your greatest love in life did something very bad.  You will reject what the informant told you,  and you will be repelled from the informant,  regardless of the truth of what they told you.  Your  “knowledge filter”  is preventing you from learning the reality that your greatest love in life may be a liar,  a thief,  a murderer,  or is having an affair,  or is being disloyal to you in any way.  You feel that they could do nothing wrong,  and that you could think nothing wrong…..  but they have done something wrong,  and you are thinking wrong if you don’t accept it.  Now apply this  “knowledge filter”  to other topics,  such as business or science.  Scientists are searching for reality and truth,  but they “fall in love”  with a particular theory,  become extremely biased,  and then they filter all their data according to that theory.  They have a conviction,  as strong as any religious belief,  and they interpret all their data to support their conviction.  The theory becomes their God,  and the truth is lost.  Again,  the ethical end justifies the unethical means.

“Global warming” is a perfect example.  There is much evidence that global warming is happening,  with the melting of glaciers that are thousands of years old, for example.  But the assertion that humans are causing this global warming is not supported by much evidence.  In fact, there is opposing evidence that the oceans are being warmed FROM THE BOTTOM UP,   from the crust beneath the oceans.  This means there are changes happening within the earth,  that humans have nothing to do with.  Let us start with what we know of,  on land.  In recent years,  there are more earthquakes worldwide,  with several major ones already in 2014,  occurring in Los Angeles,  Yellowstone,  Chile, Peru,  Nicaragua,  Japan,  Alaska and many other places.  Earth had more than 2000 reported earthquakes in years 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquakes_in_2014  In 2014,  we have had 440 earthquakes as of April 4,  which would seem to be a lower rate,  but the 10-year trend is upward,  indicating more movement in the crust,  which indicates more heat in the crust,  closer to the surface.  There is an uptick in known volcanic activity,  with 9 new eruptions and 12 ongoing events in the week of March 26 – April 1 alone:   http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2014/04/02/active-volcanoes-in-the-world-march-26-april-1-2014/

There is likely a greater number of unknown eruptions at the bottoms of the all the oceans.  Here is a link that goes a long way toward proving that:   http://iceagenow.com/Ocean_Warming.htm , with one scientific article estimating there may be 3 million volcanic vents hidden in the oceans.  These vents are warming the oceans from below,  like a pot of water on a stove.  Many of them are under the Arctic ice cap,  helping to melt more ice every year:   http://iceagenow.com/Eruptions_as_big_as_Pompeii_under_Arctic_ice.htm.  Here is a quote from an article of 26 Nov 2010:

“Recent massive volcanoes have risen from the ocean floor deep under the Arctic ice cap, spewing plumes of fragmented magma into the sea, scientists who filmed the aftermath reported Wednesday.  The eruptions — as big as the one that buried Pompei — took place in 1999 along the Gakkel Ridge, an underwater mountain chain snaking 1,800 kilometres (1,100 miles) from the northern tip of Greenland to Siberia.”

Gakkel Ridge under icecap

Gakkel Ridge under icecap

The Gakkel Ridge is a long mountain ridge in the ocean under the icecap,  where other scientists have discovered that the icecap is thinning.  Now we know why.  The thinning is not primarily from above,  not from increased CO2 or holes in the ozone layer,  though these are a lesser factor….. no,  it is from huge volcanic eruptions directly under the icecap!  Massive amounts of water are superheated at the mouth of the volcanoes.  It can be heated much higher than the normal boiling point of water,  because of the intense undersea pressure.  That superheated water immediately begins to cool,  but it rises as a column of warm water to the bottom of the icecap,  and also gets carried away to join the currents of the world’s oceans.  In those oceans,  there may be 3 million volcanic vents warming the water world-wide,  as mentioned above.  If all this underwater volcanism is steady or increasing,  the warming of the oceans would only have to be a few degrees,  to produce drastic changes in weather patterns,  such as we are now beginning to see.  Since 1980,  the land / sea surface temperature increased at a faster rate, rising 1 degree F to the present.  This will likely continue,  but blaming humans solely for this increase is absurd.

Yet the liberal media and liberal government  keep parroting the  “blame humans first”  message turned into a false religion by high priest Al Gore,  that lover of hotel massage girls  (otherwise known as prostitutes),  and his fellow disciple Barack Obama.  They interpret global warming,  and everything else,  through their ideological filter of liberal / progressive / radical / socialist doctrine.  This dictates that they blame every ill on capitalism,  industrialism,  conservatism,  traditional  religion,  or the over-reaching  “greed”  of America.  Their creed of blame is  “blame America first”,  or  “blame humans first”  if America is not solely involved.  But there is other evidence to consider,  as I present above and below.  We know more about the surface of the moon,  than we know about volcanic activity at the bottom of our oceans.  But we are learning faster now,  and the evidence is piling up,  that this is the source of ocean warming.

Sarychev Eruption 2009

2009 Sarychev Eruption,  plume width: 6 miles

Now let us get back to the volcanoes on land.  Here is an amazing NASA photo,  from the International Space Station in 2009,  of the start of a minor volcanic eruption on a Russian island.  The plume width is already about 6 miles.  It will keep belching out of the earth for days or weeks.  The Mt. Saint Helens eruption in 1980 sent a plume 15 miles high,  with smoke and ash reaching 285 miles away.  It melted all snow and ice on the mountain,  sending huge mudslides into the valley.  1980 is about when the earth started warming at a faster rate.  In 1991,  Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines sent a plume 21 miles high,  destroyed massive amounts of ozone,  and the cloud effects temporarily lowered global temperatures by half a degree.  But the long-term effects are to raise global temperature.  One major volcanic eruption pumps more heat,  CO2 and particulates into the atmosphere,  and destroys more ozone,  than many years of worldwide human output.  This volcanic CO2 and ozone destruction are,  no doubt,  contributing significantly to the melting of mountain glaciers on land.  Meanwhile,  the undersea eruptions are melting the arctic ice from below.

Al Gore has no interest in this type of evidence,  because it undermines his anti-human agenda.  For his agenda,  this evidence is  “an inconvenient truth”,  to borrow his own clever phrase.  It is very inconvenient,  because he cannot extract money from volcanoes.  If he blames humans,  then he can extract money from them.  He can make us feel guilty,  and shame us into contributing money to pay for our dirty  “carbon footprint”  on the sacred natural landscape.  The government can restrict business and industry,  and place severe limits on their carbon-producing activities.  Meanwhile,  the volcanoes belch out incredible amounts of carbon,  with no restriction,  apparently increasing,  in what may be a natural periodic cycle.  Our planet has suffered ice ages and warming periods many times,  before humans were driving cars around.  Some say that other geological and astronomical factors might be pushing us toward another ice age now,  and if that is true,  then global warming influences might be a blessing,  whether natural or man-made.  In past ice ages,  volcanic activity created havens for many species to survive the cold,  in pockets of ice caves under the glaciers,  formed by volcanic steam fields:  http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2014/03/11/volcanoes-helped-species-survive-ice-ages/

If all this is a natural periodic cycle,  then all of the scientists,  politicians,  and liberal activists are wasting their time and our money,  trying to blame it on humans.  On the other side,  some conservatives are equally wrong in trying to minimize or discount the severe weather impact that global warming / ocean warming is causing.  Neither side will recognize the heavy contribution of increasing volcanic activity,  both underwater and on land.

But the blame-game surges forward,  full speed ahead.  Here is a story from the headlines today,  about a UN report on climate change and what we must do about it:   http://news.yahoo.com/climate-panel-says-emissions-rising-avoids-blame-125808890–finance.html   The story does not report any mention of volcanic activity, even as a minor insignificant factor.  Instead it is a blame-fest,  trying to clarify which countries are more to blame for carbon emissions.  Even that has turned into a scandal,  because the scientists blamed the developing countries,  such as China,  for the most increase in carbon emissions, far more than the developed countries,  but the diplomats in the UN had these references deleted from the final report:

UN report on climate change

Scientists present climate change report to UN

“Leaked drafts of that document showed the biggest reason for the rising emissions is the higher energy needs resulting from population growth and expanding economies in the developing world, mainly in China and other large countries. However, diagrams that illustrated that were deleted by governments in the final version that was adopted at a weeklong IPCC session in Berlin.”

Politicians and diplomats are expected to lie and conceal…..  it should be written into their job description,  and tattooed as a warning on their forehead.  Scientists are expected to seek the truth and tell the truth,  but these scientists have failed in that job requirement.  When we pursue only fragments of truth,  and ignore or suppress the rest,  then we betray the whole truth.  Some scientists have even admitted falsifying data to support the theory of human-caused global warming,  because the real data was not supporting them.  Then everyone who reads or hears of their work,  and wants to believe it,  has a false belief,  being wrong while thinking they are right.

The fight about global warming is just one example of the danger and harm of people thinking that they cannot be wrong.  When people think that they cannot be wrong,  the truth is that they cannot be right!  No one possesses enough knowledge to claim absolute certainty,  but they think and act as if they do.  This is the tragedy of everyday human life,  in all walks of life.  This is also what happened to Dr. Alexander in his amazing NDE.  The incredible experiences in his NDE,  and the things he was told in his NDE,  became his God,  but the whole truth may be something very different.

THE DANGERS OF LEARNING IN THE SPIRIT WORLD

All of this is to say,  point #3 given to Dr. Alexander by the spiritual guides in his NDE,  that  “there is nothing you can do wrong”  is the LAST message we need to hear,  because it is already causing enough trouble in our world.  In my opinion,  this problem extends to the spirit world  (or perhaps comes from the spirit world),  and there are factions of spirits that are each pursuing different moral goals,  that are in conflict.  One of those factions wants to reinforce the harmful message to humanity “there is nothing you can do wrong”,  to continue the chaos and suffering,  and the lack of spiritual development on this planet.  Why would they do that?  There are at least two reasons,  and they are both rooted in philosophy.

First,  this faction subscribes to the philosophy of rebellion and indulgence,  believing that there should be no moral restraints imposed on our thoughts and actions.  This spiritual faction is represented by the story of Lucifer’s rebellion against God and the Fallen Angels in the Bible.  Whether that story is myth or real  (and I suspect it is real),  it represents a basic philosophical conflict for intelligent beings,  whether in flesh or spirit.  The conflict is about accepting authority and power for oneself,  or deferring to the authority and wisdom of others.  Ideally,  we do both at the same time,  in phases,  as a child does while growing up.  This process should continue forever,  but it gets sabotaged.  The basic conflict is also about imposing authority upon others,  which can be done right,  or done wrong.

Essentially,  in this do-nothing-wrong philosophy,  everyone is their own God,  their own ultimate authority,  with no need for a higher God or authority.  There is no need to defer to the wisdom of others.  We are free to experiment with every vice,  to pursue every passion for its own sake,  to pursue every pleasure to the extreme,  regardless of the reckless harm it may do to ourselves and others.  This is not a harmless,  benign philosophy.  While it may be just reckless discontent in the first stage,  it later becomes attracted to power over others.  When we recognize no higher purpose or power over us,  we are free to seek as much personal power as we can,  and lord it over others.  We can persuade or intimidate others to give up their authority to us.  In this philosophy of power,  the strong seek to dominate the weak.  This is similar to the nihilist philosophy of Nietzsche,  which can be boiled down to “might makes right”.  Success is its own justification.wolf pecking orderfish eats fish bird feeds bird Just as in the animal world,  a “pecking order” develops,  and the strong abuse the weak,  even to the point of enslaving or destroying the weak.  This behavior is obvious in the physical world,  but very devious and subtle in the metaphysical realm.  When taken to its worst extreme,   this was the philosophy of Adolf Hitler.  At the other end of the spectrum,  it is also the philosophy  of drug addicts and other so-called “free spirits”;  people  who may have no desire to dominate others,  but who follow no moral guidance.  Think of the “hippie” and “New Age” movements of the 60’s and 70’s,  with their pot,  LSD,  mushrooms,  free sex  and birth control pills.  They would love the “nothing wrong” message from Dr. Alexander.  Their motto was “turn on and tune out”,  meaning turn on with drugs and tune out of the establishment culture.  They established communes to live apart from larger society,  with no moral rules but with corrupt  leaders and power struggles (as in the 2000 movie “The Beach”).

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Ranch

Bahgwaan Shree Rajneesh

In the bizarre Oregon commune (1981-1985) of Bahgwaan Shree Rajneesh,  the infamous Indian guru became a dictator,  tyrannizing his followers,  numbering about 2000,  having sex with all the women of his choice.  I remember seeing his television programs,  broadcast on “public service” channels across the US.  But he had a very dark side, and he got into a fight with the nearby town of The Dalles, Oregon,  finally trying to poison its food supply.  Rajneesh was then arrested and deported from the US,  and 21 countries denied him entry,  causing him to wander the globe without a home before his death in 1990.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osho_%28Bhagwan_Shree_Rajneesh%29 .

The “free spirit” is mostly pacifist,  and morally superior to Adolf Hitler,  but they are at opposite ends of the same philosophy,  and they are both wrong.  They refuse to submit to any moral authority over them.  There are many,  many people in this world who follow this philosophy,  without knowing it or giving it a name.  It is the philosophy of nihilism,  of narcissicism,  of rebellion,  of anarchy, of bullying,  of abuse,  of over-indulgence,  of self-worship,  of tyranny,  of demonism.  It is the “default” philosophy of humanity,  the crude animal-like philosophy we stay mired in,  if we do not aspire to rise above it.  And if a person is mired in this philosophy when they die,  the event of their death will not change them.  They will stay in this philosophy as a spirit,  and they will be mutually attracted to higher,  stronger spirits with the same philosophy.  If there are spirits at all,  then there is a large spiritual faction that follows this philosophy,  with a hierarchy and “pecking order” well established.

Which brings us to the second reason.  The spirit faction spreads this message  “there is nothing you can do wrong” here on Earth  because this world is a springboard into their world,  and and the less spiritually developed we are when we die,  the more pliable and vulnerable we are to them in their realm.  We may not yet be following this philosophy,  but we can perhaps be diverted from our higher path,  and be persuaded to fall into their pit of self-worship,  where they reign supreme,  where there are many temporary pleasures to distract us from spiritual growth.  Many human spirits are easily diverted from their higher path,  and these devious spirits are experts of diversion.  They seek to enlist us with enticing slogans and deceptive glimpses of their spiritual realm.  They seek to enlist us not as equals,  but as pawns.  They want more spirits at the lower ranks of their “pecking order”.  They want to keep us lost in self-indulgence and self-worship,  instead of growing to seek and worship the higher authority of God.  They put themselves on the same level as God,  saying that we all have a part of the divine God in us,  which sanctions whatever we feel like doing,  good or evil or caring or selfish.  No matter what we do,  we are part of God and we are supposedly granted  “unconditional love”.  This sounds wonderful to the average person,  who has a crude moral compass.pecking order bullying  But this philosophy extends unconditional love to all the liars,  bullies,  abusers,  thieves,  rapists, torturers,  murderers and dictators of the world,  as well as you and I.  Bullies and abusers can easily be persuaded to become murderers and dictators  with clever rationales that engorge their inflated egos,  and that is the evil strength of this philosophy.  The higher spirits who follow this philosophy are experts at such persuasion.  They are true believers in the religion of  “might makes right”,  but they know that it must be,  let us say,  properly presented.  If they are successful in their presentation,  the bully who intimidates hundreds of people in his life,  might be converted into a dictator who can murder millions.  Such awesome power of domination is the  “holy grail”  of this philosophy,  and its followers feed on that power in the spirit world.  In this world,  we need to  “just say no”  to tyrants,  and “just say no” to the liberal / pacifist / atheist apologists,  who enable tyrants.  Such liberal apologists include Franklin Roosevelt,  who presented Josef Stalin to the American people as  “Uncle Joe”  while Stalin murdered millions in Russia,  and Barack Obama,  who has stood by and watched tyrants in Iran,  Libya,  Egypt,  Syria,  Venezuela,  Cuba,  Burma,  North Korea,  China and Russia oppress and murder their people,  while doing nothing  (except Libya,  where he bombed but refused to target Khadafi).  When people were being murdered in the streets of Tehran,  Iran, after a corrupt election,  Obama said the Iranian people were  “engaged in a debate”,  when they were actually being subjected to a bloody religious / political oppression.  We need to recognize and denounce the pure evil of someone who will snuff out another person’s life as casually as they snuff out a cigarette,  or a hundred lives,  or a million lives.  For knowledge of such lesser murderers,  we need only to listen to the daily news.  For knowledge of the greater murderers,  we need only to trouble ourselves with a few minutes of historical study.  Just Google such names as Alexander the Great,  Julius Caesar,  Tiberius,  Caligula,  Herod,  Attilla,  Mohammed,  Genghis Khan,  Ivan the Terrible,  Napoleon,  Lenin,  Stalin,  Hitler, Mao,  Castro,  Pol Pot,  Saddam Hussein,  Moammar  Khadafi,  Osama Bin Laden,  Kim Jung Un, Vladamir Putin.

I have no doubt that successful tyrants,  such as these,  become a major focal point for the attention of spiritual entities from all sides,  and the success of these tyrants in murdering millions does not speak well about the power and influence of the  “good” spirits.  The  “good”  spirits never prevent or stop such tyrants,  allowing them to gain power from very small beginnings,  when they could be easily stopped.  The  “good”  spirits say they are forbidden to intervene,  because of the sacred law of  “free will”.  However,  I suspect that these murdering tyrants have a lot of support from the same metaphysical sources who gave Dr. Alexander the message  “there is nothing you can do wrong”.  Indeed,  how could the bringers of this message criticize anything the worst tyrants do?  These tyrants believe the same message,  and take it to it’s destructive extreme.  Such people are monsters who do not deserve unconditional love,  but must be stopped at any cost.  But they will gleefully welcome unconditional love and abuse it,  if anyone is foolish enough to give it to them.  It is just another fuel for their fires of evil.  These predatory monsters are the evil ones that this spiritual philosophy is designed to support.  They take the most advantage of Eben’s message  “there is nothing you can do wrong”.  They set up the  “pecking order”  below them,  and they abuse it.  pecking-crapping orderJehovah Witness pecking orderEven if you just give them the benefit of the doubt,  they will cleverly use it to do more evil.  This philosophy favors agents of the worst evils,  and gives them divine license to harm and destroy others.  Entire countries are in their hands,  and entire religions at times,  as well as entire spiritual realms.  They seize power at the top of the  “pecking order”,  by devious means,  and seek to control you and I at the bottom,  by devious means.  Their evil power structure takes power away from those below them,  by intimidation,  misdirection and confusion.  In a proper power structure,  power and authority are freely given from below,  in full knowledge and respect.

I also have no doubt that there are spirits similar to these tyrants in the spirit world.  When our earthly tyrants pass from this world,  they would not suddenly change their basic evil nature,  or their hunger to control others.  They would retain much of their anger,  their hatred,  their rigid ideology.  They could ally with far older spirits who already have a sphere of influence established.  After all,  if such things are allowed on earth,  in slavish worship of  “free will”,  then domination would certainly be allowed in the metaphysical realm.  Even in the Bible,  it is written that Satan and his followers have free reign for rebellion and domination until some time in the future.  It would employ different tactics than in the Earthly realm.  Spiritual tyrants could not break our bones and spill our blood,  but they could still inflict spiritual pain upon us,  just as they did in this world.  They could exploit our own spiritual weaknesses and fears,  and employ all manner of deception and persuasion,  to convert us to their philosophy,  under their guiding influence.  They could also employ spiritual pleasure,  with the appearance of freedom and harmony.  The pleasant parts of Dr. Alexander’s NDE could be an example of this sort of thing.  They seek to influence or dominate or enslave as many souls as possible,  expanding their own empire of influence.  Such is the basic nature of tyranny,  from the latest schoolyard bully to the ancient heavenly rebellion of Lucifer,  and everything in between.  What they all have in common is a conviction that they are justified,  that they are doing nothing wrong,  while they intimidate and dominate others.

2edge-sword3

“Nothing Wrong” cuts both ways

Thus the double-bladed message  “there is nothing you can do wrong”  is employed to deceive us.  This message is the ultimate “two-edged sword”.  With one side of the blade,  it seems to cut the bonds of sin or failure,  giving our spirits great freedom to grow.  But this side of the blade is deceptively dull,  for it cannot cut moral responsibility or accountability.  With the other side of the blade,  extremely sharp,  it gives bullies and tyrants a weapon to cut deeply into our spirits,  committing every abuse or evil they desire,  with no restraints and no regrets.

Moral responsibility or accountability is a basic universal moral law,  and God is the one who decides how to enforce it.  We can try to discern God’s will in following responsibility and enforcing accountability,  and all of the religions have their doctrines and teachings concerning this.  But we cannot be sure,  and we must retain flexibility and keep an open mind.  We cannot take the divine authority of God for ourselves.  If we do not honor the exclusive incomprehensible divinity and moral authority of God,  which we can never have any part of,  then we will fall prey to all the lesser “gods” beings who reject God,  or who envy God,  who want to be their own god and to lord their influence over us,  here and in the spirit realm when we die.  They are very smart,  and very persuasive.    Their clever messages are very appealing,  but teach the opposite of the teachings of God,  as illustrated by Jesus’ parable of the mote and beam above.  They say  “there is nothing you can do wrong”,  which provides full license to do everything wrong,  while Jesus tells us that many things we do are wrong,  and that we are accountable for them.

THE ULTIMATE  “IDENTITY THEFT”

It is very attractive and ego-stroking for us to believe that we have  “part of the divine”  in us,  a divine spark,  or that we somehow share in God’s divinity, or  that we will someday merge back into God,  so that somehow we can do no wrong.  This is integral to most New Age teachings,  but I am here to tell you that it is wrong itself.  We DO have the spark and miracle of life within us,  FROM a divine source,  but that does not make us PART of that divine source.  We have the spark of life within us,  but so does a virus or a poison spider.  Ironically,  the virus and the spider have more of a claim to  “doing nothing wrong”,  because their options are so severely limited.  A virus does not really have the option of doing anything “right” or “wrong”…..  it can only do what it must for survival and propagation…..  but it can kill millions of humans in the process.

In contrast to a virus,  humans have almost unlimited options.  We consciously choose between good and evil.  We can kill people by choice,  not by necessity.   The gift of intelligence and consciousness means that we humans can do anything wrong!!…..  not that we can do nothing wrong.  The  “nothing wrong”  message is the opposite of the truth.  Yet many spiritual teachers are teaching that the spark of the divine God we have within us,  means that we can do nothing wrong.  This claim to be  “divine”  has been a problem since the Gnostic teachings of early Christianity,  and it is getting worse now,  with all the New Age materials and channelings.  I think this is a false teaching.  Even Jesus sometimes spoke of himself as separate from  “Our Father”,  then other times spoke of himself being one with the Father,  but I will not get into all the arguments flying about for the past 2000 years,  concerning the Trinity.

Jesus is most definitely a special case,  to say the least.  But even if Jesus was God or part of God,  he did often speak of the Father and the Son,  which speaks of some separation,  rather than a blending into One.  On the other hand,  he did say some things that implied he and the Father were One.  But we normal humans can make no such claim.  We  may be made in the image of God in some ways,  but we must remember that,  by definition,  an image is not part of the original.  Why can’t we just be humbly grateful for being an image of our Creator,  without trying to steal part of his identity for ourselves?  This is the ultimate  “identity theft”,  and it is happening in religions and spiritual cults all around us,  and it is most assuredly happening in the spirit realm.  Yes,  God is a victim of identity theft,  so to speak,  but we are the real victims of our own crime,  if we try to convince ourselves that we are part of God,  or that we possess any of the divine power and authority of God.

Aside from the sheer arrogance of such a doctrine,  there is the danger it opens us up to.  For we cannot just take it ourselves,  and deny it to everyone else.  This is one reason the “nothing wrong”  message is carefully packaged with the  “unconditional love”  message  (as in Dr. Alexander’s NDE).  They work very well together,  in their attempt to wipe out moral responsibility and accountability.   If we accept any part of  “there is nothing you can do wrong”  for ourselves,  then we are granting that same license to people or spirits of that philosophy who will influence us and dominate us now,  and when our bodies die.  This is the faction that got ahold of Dr. Alexander in his NDE,  when he was given that message.  Sadly,  Dr. Alexander has chosen to stand with them.  It is highly ironic,  because Dr. Alexander has drastically re-shaped his opinions as a result of his NDE,  but he may have jumped from the atheist frying pan into the spiritual fire.  It may be that this perception  “there is nothing you can do wrong”  was already very strong in his ego and subconscious,  so the message in his NDE just reinforced that perception and gave it a  “divine sanction”,  so that he would return to his earthly life and become its spokesman,  with a powerful vision behind the slogan.

All of my statements concerning spirits,  above and below,  are speculation,  and not taken from direct knowledge.  They are not based in belief or faith.  I have a hard time with belief and faith.  So I read,  study,  research,  investigate,  and then I write.  These statements concerning spirits are deductions,  based in logic and natural moral philosophy.  They are statements that agree with some teachings of Christianity and other religions,  and disagree with other teachings.  They are general statements,  that try to identify trends and tendencies of intelligent life,  whether in flesh or spirit.  I have found nuggets of truth in many different religions and philosophies,  as well as many lumps of coal that just cover everything with soot and filth.  The  “nothing wrong”  doctrine is perhaps the biggest lump of coal,  masquerading as a nugget of truth,  that I have ever seen.

 This message  “there is nothing you can do wrong”  could possibly be helpful in rare cases.  It could only be beneficial to a person IF that person has already learned to do most things right,  and IF that person is committed to serve others….. and that is a rare phenomenon in human nature.  At best,  the message is premature.  If it is valid at all,  it should be a secret reserved for a few who may be ready for it,  who have earned it.  It should not be broadcast with a bullhorn,  to the masses who will abuse it.

That is the only possible concession I would grant to this disastrous philosophy represented by the deceitful message:  “There is nothing you can do wrong.”  In my opinion,  it is never valid,  and never beneficial,  and always harmful in one way or another.  This philosophy should be pulled up by the roots,  hacked into little pieces,  and thrown on the garbage heap of failed philosophies.  In this blog article,  I am doing my best pulling and hacking.  But it is a prolific philosophy that snakes its way into all areas of our lives,  like a poisonous creeping vine.

Most people who hear this message,  believe it and spread it,  are non-violent pacifists who have no intention of condoning abuse or violence.  Their mistake is,  they do not understand the dark side of the human ego,  or the destructive evil it is capable of,  because they do not have that much potential for evil in their own souls.  They naively assume that everyone is more or less like themselves,  with a moral conscience,  with a general good will toward their fellows.  When they believe and spread the message  “there is nothing you can do wrong”,  they are thinking of very minor sins or mistakes,  or wrong attitudes,  or wrong assumptions,  that can be corrected with no real harm done.

They do not realize that this message itself is like a ticking time bomb.  It is like a clever saboteur or enemy spy who disguises himself to get past the guarded city gates,  past the crowds on the streets,  then fades into the shadows,  pulls out his weapons,  and begins his treacherous work.  It is like the last plague on the Egyptians,  the angel of death that passed by the homes of the Hebrews,  but killed the firstborn sons of all the Egyptians.  Consider it to be like a selective virus.  It does not do any major damage until it finds the right hosts to infect.  It is like a poisonous seed that will only grow and produce poisonous fruit in a dark heart.

trojanhorse

People pulling Trojan Horse into the city of Troy

“There is nothing you can do wrong”  is a philosophical Trojan Horse,  looking like a grand gift that,  when taken into our inner sanctums,  springs open at night to release a horde of killers in our midst.  It is the philosophical message itself that carries this danger,  not the blind innocents who mouth it so happily.  They are just like the gullible Trojans who brought the amazing Greek  “gift”  into their city,  not suspecting that it held Greek warriors who would slip out that night,  open the city gates,  and let the Greek army in to destroy them.  The  “nothing wrong”  philosophy is the Trojan Horse of our spiritual enemies,  being offered as a glorious gift  “from God”,  which becomes our attacker when it spreads among us.  It justifies any abuse,  any harm,  any violence that anyone wishes to commit against us,  or that we wish to commit against others.  It is the most deceptive,  the most faulty,  and the most dangerous philosophy that I know of.

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WHILE WE “DO NOTHING WRONG”, THE WORLD CRUMBLES AROUND US…. MESSAGES FROM OTHER MEDIUMS

meteor strikegg53769670end of world nametagWhile we are all “doing nothing wrong” as individuals  (according to Eben and his spirit guides),  which means that all governments,  societies,  religions,  and companies should be doing nothing wrong….. the world is in a downward spiral of agonizing turmoil,  with economies failing and people losing their jobs and savings,  with religious terrorists and bigots everywhere,  small but vicious wars popping up,  Arab Spring turning into Arab Winter,  governments stealing more and more freedom and privacy from their people.  Deadly resistant bacteria are showing up in hospitals  (as a result of the overuse and abuse of antibiotics),  water supplies are dwindling from overuse and poor management,  food supplies are running short in more and more areas of the world,  and changing weather patterns are adding a layer of danger,  misery and worry  to everything else.  Disaster,  disease,  crime and injustice are running rampant,  causing intense global suffering,  while we are all  “doing nothing wrong”,  according to Dr. Alexander’s spirit guides.

But other spiritual mediums give us a bright hope for improvement,  in a twisted sort of way.  At least we do not get the spiritual lie  “There is nothing you can do wrong”  from some of them.   There may be a future event in world history,  a metaphysical shift,  that will weed out the selfish,  the cruel,  the evil ones,  leaving only those who have advanced to a spiritual level worthy of  this message  “there is nothing you can do wrong”  (if such an advancement is even possible).  It would be like a tamer version of the Noah’s Flood global disaster,  with over half of humanity surviving,  but with billions being weeded out.  This would be the opposite of most versions of The Rapture,  in which the true Christians are removed from an increasingly evil Earth.  I think this Rapture is very unlikely,  though I would be delighted if it came tomorrow.  Unlike The Rapture,  in which good people are removed from the Earth to save them from further Tribulations,  the other myths are non-Christian and more New Age,  describing a general metaphysical shift of the Earth,  where evil people are removed from the Earth and the good people who survive get to stay,  in which evil is defeated and goodness triumphs,  in some way.  A physical disaster is accompanied by a metaphysical shift.  This shifting event is referred to in various spiritual myths as The Age of Aquarius,  The Shift to the Fourth Density,  The Thousand Year Reign, The Tribulation,  The Ascension,  The Transformation,  and other ominous labels.  We just went through such a scare,  with the myth of the Mayan Calendar ending in 2012.  For the last 30 years,  there is a drumbeat of many psychics and channels,  trumpeting the eminent shifting of the Earth from third to fourth density.  Some of their predictions have come true after a fashion,  but many of them have fallen into disrepute,  because their predictions DID NOT happen.  According to their previous alarms  (channeled from several different spiritual sources),  we should have already had a shifting of Earth’s poles,  massive earthquakes,  floods,  sinking of countries and states into the ocean,  etc., etc., etc,  many times over.  Some of these channeling psychics who published books are Edgar Cayce,  Ruth Montgomery,  Jane Roberts,  Gordon Michael Scallion,  Carla Rueckert,  Nancy Lieder,  and David Wilcock.  While mentioning their names here in a negative connotation,  please understand,  I do not mean to discount their many positive elements.  I think that psychic channeling is at the cutting edge of human evolution,  and it is a very risky business,  because it exposes the channeling person to the entire spectrum of higher entities,  from darkly evil and deceptive,  to brilliantly good and wise.  This puts the channeling person in turmoil and possible personal danger,  as well as placing a great burden on their shoulders if they go public.  The channeling person has a great responsibility to judge the subtle intent of the communications of entities far more advanced than they are,  and some channels are not up to this demanding task.  Among those channels that I believe to be failing that task are Nancy Lieder and Gordon Michael Scallion.  Lieder is by far the most outrageous,  but I will leave it to the the reader to investigate her and her book “Zetatalk”.  I believe such channels have fallen victim to false negative messages of destruction from negative spirit entities.  Detailed messages of global disasters,  with specific years or dates,  that do not come true,  still have a negative and oppressive impact on everyone who hears or reads them.  This is a clearer case of negative influence than that of Dr. Eben Alexander,  who received false positive messages in his NDE,  in  a much more devious spiritual campaign,  which I am exposing in this blog article.

ask-1Future Map World Future Map US Gordon Michael Scallion was so convinced of his negative channeled messages,  he even published a  “Future Map”  of how America should look after the disasters,  in great detail,  with much of the Western US underwater,  the Pacific Ocean lapping at the outskirts of Phoenix,  and the Mississippi River Valley expanded into a large sea.  He also sells a “Future Map of the World”,  showing new oceans in the middle of continents.  He still sells the maps on his “Earth Changes” website  https://www.earthchanges.com/product/gordon-michael-scallions-future-map-set/  ,  but neglects to say that he earlier predicted these disasters to happen around the year 2000.  As that year approached,  his prediction dates were revised, always 10 or 15 years in the future.   He is peddling failed predictions,  but he insists that they still might happen,  because they were somehow delayed.  That may be possible,  but the more dates that are missed,  the more unlikely it becomes.  Generally,  these channels trumpet their few small successful predictions (which are usually somewhat vague),  and find all sorts of excuses for their massive failed predictions of global disasters.  They tend to be more successful in predictions of small events in their own lives,  and synchronicity events in their lives and their friends’ lives,  which are quite impressive.  These small successes are evidence of their likely connection with something metaphysical.  These small successes keep them going.  They have heavily invested their lives and finances into their channeling work,  because they believe it to be important to the advancement of the human race.  Scallion feels he is saving lives by warning us of specific disasters that we can then avoid  (just look at his map,  and move to where there is no blue).  But there are doubts,  there are inconsistencies and conflicts and failures in the channeled information.  If they see the conflicts,  they are greatly troubled,  but they hope for the best.  At some point they must make a choice,  and they choose to keep channeling…..  Just as Dr. Alexander chooses to keep spreading the false positive message of his NDE.   So they are relentlessly forced by their choices to stumble on through the metaphysical fog,  keep channeling,  and accept the various excuses the spirits offer them for the continuing failures of major predictions….. and the spirits are quite clever in coming up with excuses.

It is difficult to tell the true from the false,  because the evil spirits are so clever and so unlimited in their deceptions to harm us,  and the good spirits are so overly concerned with violating sacred laws of free will and the  “Law of One”  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Law_of_One) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9MJgxcEZFQ) ,  that they are crippled by these laws.  The  “Law of One”  overemphasizes our spiritual bond with our moral enemies,  and tends to ignore the vast polarities between individuals,  tends to discount some of our unique physical skills or interests,  and tends to discount our suffering in this life.  When it comes to active help or intervention,   the good spirits are shackled by limitations based on moral concerns of violating our  “free will”,  while the evil spirits have no such limits.  The evil spirits can tell any lie,  spin any tale,  predict any doom,  and scare the hell out of us,  and even attack us and harm us,  if we become susceptible to their power by believing their lies.  Meanwhile the  “good”  spirits tell us they cannot help us much,  because they cannot violate our sacred  “free will”,  and cannot violate the sacred universal  “Law of One.”  They condemn us to our own poor choices,  like laboratory rats who starve to death,  because they cannot find their way out of a devious maze that the scientists built for them,  turning left when they should have turned right.  We humans are at the bottom of an incredible pyramid of higher spiritual entities,  which all seem to be messing with us in appalling ways,  or allowing us to be messed with.  I would suggest that the  “good”  higher entities need to see that they are trapped in their own higher metaphysical maze,  and that they need to modify the moral limits,  break the metaphysical barriers,  not worry so much about violating our free will,  and give us more help in getting out of our maze,  which they have contributed to building.  What is more important?…..  some cosmic concept of pure  “free will”,  or the well-being and healing of people?  We humans limit our children’s  “free will”  for their own good,  while we raise them and teach them.  Our young children need to have their  “free will”  limited and guided,  while they learn enough information to use their  “free will”  in a productive way.  Similarly we adults,  as spiritual children,  need accurate spiritual information to use our  “free will”  in a productive spiritual way.  But all we have is a confusing vast array of religions or cults to confound us,  or secular atheistic society to misdirect us.  In the lack of accurate spiritual information,  people commit their lives to various religions out of love,  out of fear,  out of hatred,  out of arrogance…..  in short,  from pure emotion,  and  not from accurate information.  Our precious  “free will”  would lead us to very different goals,  if these good higher spirits would stop hiding the facts,  reveal themselves to more people,  and show us the true metaphysical nature of our world…..  in other words,  give us a little true spiritual information.  Uninformed people tend to make very poor use of their  “free will”.  When we do not know enough of the truth,  our choices are rendered futile,  our free will is wasted,  and our convictions become a cosmic joke.  What is the point of choosing between crawling and walking,  in our primitive land,  when we know nothing of rolling or flying,  because our people have not yet discovered the wheel or the wing,  but people in the neighboring countries are driving cars and flying airplanes?  So while we struggle to crawl 10 feet in the dirt,  we could have rolled 10,000 feet on wheels,  or we could have flown 100,000 feet on wings in the air?  We should ask ourselves,  what wonders did our neighbors discover,  that we did not discover?  Or did we discover these things in the distant past,  only to have our memories blocked?  Or were these discoveries granted to one society,  and denied to another?  If so, what were the criteria,  and were they morally valid?  Why should good people in one society be granted different information than good people in another society?  I have personal experience in this area,  owning houses in two vastly different countries  (USA and Thailand).  Spirituality is much more open and visible and honored in Thailand.  The USA is more intellectual and questioning.  But in all societies,  too much is hidden from us.  Spiritually,  we are kept ignorant,   for no good reason that I can see.  But you will see many  reasons offered in other spiritual writings,  like arguing that we are kept ignorant for our own good,  because the spiritual truth would overwhelm us.  The brutal result of this scenario is that we make the same mistakes over and over again.  How can you learn from your mistakes,  if you cannot remember them,  from one day to the next,  or one decade to the next,  or one lifetime to the next?  We are all robbed of our spiritual memories,  leaving us in spiritual ignorance.   Spiritually,  we are lost because there are too many false paths,  and not enough evidence of the right path for each of us.  Then we become victims of devious  negative forces masquerading as positive,  like Dr. Alexander fell victim to in his NDE.

I have no doubt that these psychics are channeling some good entities  (service-to-other) who want to help us or liberate us or elevate us,  and some bad entities (service-to-self) who want to harm us or dominate us or scare us.  But at some point,  good or bad,  the spirits who cry  “wolf”  too many times,  when no wolf can be found,  when their Apocalypse does not happen,  should be held to account for their lies / mistakes.  For example,  one spirit entity that I otherwise consider to be possibly  “good”,  a collective oversoul who calls itself  “RA”,  predicted in 1981 that the Earth would be transformed from Third Density to Fourth Density by the year 2011.  This did not happen.  I know that it did not happen,  because according to RA’s own later words,  such a transformation would be a huge event;  much anticipated and planned in the universe;  obvious to everyone on the planet;  a wake-up call of immense proportions.  We would be living in a very different world of light and love, with no more criminals,  no more terrorists,  no more tyrants,  no more wars,  with the bad people taken away from us….. but in 2014 we still have all of these,  and it is getting worse,  not better.  But RA is still predicting this transformation,  through various channels.  RA cannot have it both ways.  I would like to know why this entity,  supposedly possessed of infinite knowledge and wisdom of past-present-future,  who has otherwise sounded very helpful and compassionate,  made such a false prediction.  RA is also troubling to me because he/she/it is one of the major teachers of the LAW OF ONE doctrine.

There are at least 170 such major predictions of doom in recorded history  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dates_predicted_for_apocalyptic_events),  none of which came true,  for we are still putting up with all the assholes doing wrong things.  If such an event were to happen,  it would be marked by physical disasters,  social upheaval and metaphysical trauma,  as the selfish were gradually removed from this world or killed and reincarnated elsewhere,  while most of the caring remained,  terrified by the violence erupting around them.  Families would be torn apart,  friends would be separated forever,  as the dysfunctional culprits were removed.  When the dust settled,  the survivors may be partly worthy of Dr. Alexander’s message  “there is nothing you can do wrong”,  but at the time it would be the farthest thing from their minds.  Spreading that message now,  before the momentous event,  would likely increase the number of souls that must be weeded out.  After the event,  the message would not be needed,  because the survivors would be living it,  with no need for verbalization.  It would be written in their souls,  with no need to be written on paper.  But still,  as long as free will and choice remain for individual people,  it would be possible to do something wrong,  or many things wrong.  It would be possible for those Raptured away from Tribulation,  and possible for survivors of an Earthly culling or shifting event.  It was possible for Lucifer,  the Angel of Light,  who led a rebellion against God  before the dawn of humanity.  If it is possible in Heaven,  then  it is possible anywhere.  Even in the brilliant presence of God,  there will always be rogues and rebels who become discontented and resentful,  who stir up discontent and resentment in others,  and challenge those who hold rightful authority over them.

Ra Material Book 1I am beginning to think that this talkative entity  “RA”  is highly suspect of being some sort of rogue himself.  In one of his early communications,  he gave us the following gem of cosmic wisdom:  “In truth there is no right or wrong.  There is no polarity for all will be,  as you would say,  reconciled at some point in your dance through the mind / body / spirit complex which you amuse yourself by distorting in various ways at this time.  This distortion….. is chosen by each of you as an alternative to understanding the complete unity of thought which binds all things….. You are every thing,  every being,  every emotion,  every event,  every situation.  You are unity.  You are infinity.  You are love / light,  light / love.  You are.  This is the Law of One.”  The Ra Material  (1984). 

This spiritual happy-talk  is either incredibly naive,  incredibly stupid,  or incredibly deceptive.  If  “RA”  was really a collective oversoul comprised of thousands or millions of individual souls,  each having lived thousands of bodily lives,  then he / she / it would have vivid memories of being violated and brutalized by evil predators in many agonizing ways,  from theft to rape to torture to murder,  to grisly death on a battlefield,  to being exterminated in a genocide,  to being unjustly thrown in prison or a concentration camp.  I would not describe this as a  “dance through the mind / body / spirit complex”.   The difference between evil predators and their innocent victims is absolutely a moral polarity.  And it is outrageous,  not to mention callous and unfeeling,  to describe such atrocities as things to  “amuse yourself ”  with.  Let this pompous oversoul  “RA”  be incarnated into a body again,  and let him be unjustly thrown into prison for a life sentence of hard labor and torture in North Korea,  Iran,  Cuba,  or China,  and let us see if he thinks it is “amusing”.  Or let her be brutally gang-raped and then hung to death from a tree,  as just happened to two village girls in India yesterday.  There is nothing  “amusing”  about that horrific evil  “dance”.  Contrary to these  LAW OF ONE teachings,  there are many moral and philosophical polarities  that disrupt our lives,  that cause conflicts and crimes in our world.  Our polarities reflect similar polarities in the spirit world.  Could it be that RA is on the other side of a polarity from us,  and therefore wants to conceal it?  Refusing to see moral polarities  is a type of naivete or moral blindness,  but teaching that the polarities do not exist,  that there is no right or wrong,  is far more grievous,  and seems to be a deliberate deception.  It has devastating results in our world,  and it is the polar opposite of the teachings of Jesus.  The Bible warns us that there will come a time when good is called evil,  and evil is called good.  I think we are in that evil time,  we have been in it for a long while,  and have reached a more dangerous level where good and evil are blended together and made part of a “dance” and called  “distortions”  which we “amuse” ourselves with,  where there are no  “polarities”,  as this  “RA”  informed us above.

But RA plays a dark game of words.  For example,  his pet word  “distortion”  heavily implies wrong,  and he uses it to describe what we are doing wrong,  and yet he pronounces above that there is no wrong.  He also uses “distortion” to describe things that are undeniably good,  such as  “free will”,  “Love”,  and “Light”.   Also his four ominous words  “all will be reconciled”  jump to the end of the struggle,  ignoring all the triumphs and defeats along the way.  It ignores all the bravery,  the heroism,  the sacrifice,  the abuse,  the atrocities that happened along the way,  that forged the participants into heroes and villains.  It is like saying that World War II ended in reconciliation.  That word just does not describe the end result.  In a war,  or in any serious struggle between entities,  one side wins and the other side loses.  One side’s philosophy spreads,  and the other side’s philosophy is crushed.  The losers are not “reconciled”,  they are defeated or destroyed,  and their influence is severely diminished.  In the case of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany,  that was a very good thing.  Wars are not a  “dance through the mind/body/spirit complex”  to amuse ourselves.  They are deadly serious conflicts between good and evil,  that ruin or destroy millions of lives.  We hope that the side that wins,  is the side that is more morally correct and advanced,  but that not guaranteed  (luckily, the right side won in World War II,  but that has rarely occurred in later wars).  Initially,  the side that is wrong or evil has the advantage,  and they are very likely to win.  And it is said that the winning side gets to write the history of the war.  It seems to me that,  with four words,  “all will be reconciled”,  RA is trying to write the history of the cosmic war,  before it is even over,  and trying to conceal or invalidate the important struggle between right and wrong,  good and evil,  that is swirling all around us now.

There is also very little reconciliation in political conflicts,  religious conflicts,  philosophical arguments, legal disputes  and daily arguments between people.  For example,  the current ruling political party, with its leader Barack Obama, is in complete gridlock with Republicans in Congress,  with both sides blaming each other.  There is no reconciling to be done,  there is only blocking or defeating the other side.  Obama and his administration are also in conflict with religions,  business owners,  industry owners,  land owners,  and  gun owners.  They are in conflict with capitalism and conservatism in general,  as a war of philosophy.  They deny that there is anything exceptional about America,  but claim that it has committed many grievous mistakes and errors,  which they will correct,  and they are trying to transform us into their idea of a perfect society.  There can be no reconciling in this political struggle.  One side’s philosophy wins;  the other side’s philosophy is suppressed or defeated.  But in RA’s pronouncement,  all of this is of no concern,  for  “all will be reconciled at some point”  and  “there is no polarity”.  This philosophy is completely alien and harmful to human life on this planet.  I think that it is harmful to spiritual life as well.

This pronouncement was published 30 years ago,  it is reinforced with channelings from other sources,  and it is now gaining much wider distribution,  in part through the internet.  This  “Law of One”  teaching is gathering quite a following,  and turning into a religion.  But it needs to be exposed and opposed for the harm it can do.  It preaches “unity” and “unity of thought” that “binds all things”.  In this world,  there is no significant “unity” or “unity of thought”  between a lion and a lamb,  a shark and a seal,  a fox and a chicken,  or a tyrant and his innocent victims.  One lives,  and one dies.  One triumphs,  the other is defeated.  There is no  “unity of thought”  between a serial killer and his victims.  There was no  “unity of thought”  between Jesus and the evil people who had him whipped and crucified  (he did forgive them,  but that just increased the polarity between them),  and it was certainly not  “amusing”.    Instead, in this world,  there are significant polarities that we must recognize and deal with,  for they can kill us.  It wouldn’t really matter if the monster who tortures and kills us shares some cosmic “unity of thought” with us,  on some metaphysical level.  It is the stark DIFFERENCES OF THOUGHT,  it is the weapons cutting into our flesh,  it is the bullet that pierces our heart,  it is the blood that flows and the precious life that is unjustly taken,  the freedom that is stolen,  the rights that are violated,  the dreams that are turned into nightmares;   that is what matters,  that is what overrides any cosmic “unity”….. and RA does nothing to stop it.  In fact,  he sanctions it through his over-emphasis on sacred  “free will”.  He seems to dismiss the massive injustice in Earth history,  by saying in essence that we have to tolerate it because of sacred  “free will”,  which he calls the first gift of God to the universe.  He needs to ponder the old Earth saying:  “Your free will ends where my nose begins.”  Free will is indeed a precious gift,  but when free will is abused,  it should be limited or canceled.  This is the basic universal rule of justice,  that RA ignores.  He ignores it,  because it invalidates much of his teachings.

But the RA teachings are not alone in this regard.  The one thing lacking in every religious system in the world,  is reliable repeatable justice in this world.  Because of the lack of reliable repeatable justice in this world,  religions must concoct various elaborate cosmologies to explain how we will receive justice,  punishment or reward after we die….. or in the case of reincarnation,  how we also received justice before we were born….. and various excuses why we do not have justice in our lives here and now.  They are all suspect to me,  because I expect reliable repeatable justice in this world,  when the injustice happens,  when we are witnesses to it,  when we are victims of it.  Metaphysical entities are capable of delivering such justice,  and we deserve it,  so I demand it.  Not instant justice,  but prompt justice,  after a reasonable of time for preparation,  but before the perpetrators can launch a career of injustice.  Delayed or deferred justice is just another form of injustice,  because it enables the perpetrators to attack more victims.

Back to the RA teachings about  “unity of thought”.  I have experienced very little unity of thought in my life on this planet.  Even among family and friends,  unity of thought is rare.  Life is an arena full of people gaming each other,  full of thoughts that compete and push against each other.  These warring thoughts produce both help and harm,  depending upon the intentions of the people involved.  It is the stark DIFFERENCES OF THOUGHT,  not  “unity of thought”,   that produce all the conflict,  misery,  suffering,  and destruction.  Ignoring the DIFFERENCES OF THOUGHT is not helpful.  It doesn’t really matter if we have some “unity of thought” with the person who is attacking us.  It is the differences of thought that are producing the attack.  It doesn’t really matter that the worst people can repent and change,  until they actually do it,  and that is very rare.  If they do repent and change,  it is only after a significant body count has been piled up.  If they do repent and change,  it is only because they realize that they have been wrong,  not because they realize that they were doing nothing wrong.

If this  “LAW OF ONE”  includes the  teaching that there is no right or wrong,  then it is really the LAW OF NONE.  It claims to spread the message of light and love.  But it worships  “free will”  to such an outrageous extreme,  that it allows evil to destroy love,  and it cancels out any notion of one moral judgment being any better than another.  In this way,  it destroys its own credibility.  After telling us essentially that nothing really matters,  it offers volumes of moral advice,  in great hypocrisy and self-contradiction.  Tentatively,  I would say that any moral advice rising from these premises is highly corrupted.  But  I am still studying and absorbing this LAW OF ONE,  as I just discovered it while writing this article.

It does discern two basic moral orientations that seem to be sound….. service-to-other (said to be good)  and service-to-self (said to be bad).  During our lives here on Earth,  our main purpose is to choose between these opposing moral priorities.  When our choice solidifies and becomes permanent,  we move on to higher densities,  but with forced separation between the two opposing groups.  This is all fine as a concept of spiritual progression,  but there are two contradictions here,  according to RA’s other teachings.

First,  the service-to-other and service-to-self choices are described by RA as “polarities”,  but didn’t he tell us above with great confidence that there is no polarity,  no right or wrong?  So which is it,  do we have polarities or no polarities?  This is not a complicated issue.  It is troubling,  because people who are engaging in deception tend to contradict themselves,  and then fabricate complicated reasons why it is not really a contradiction.  RA dictated four books to spin a web of complicated reasons to tangle our thoughts.  But I will point out the contradictions as I see them.  This one is extremely basic:  polarities or no polarities?  RA tries to teach both ways,  but I will not let him get away with that.  There are physical polarities in nature:  positive and negative magnetism,  positive and negative charged particles,  matter and anti-matter,  wet and dry,  hot and cold,  light and dark,  living and non-living materials,  predator and prey.  These polarities of nature can mean the difference between life and death for us,  and so can the moral polarities of human nature and spiritual nature.

Second,  I have another simple question.  If RA says there is no right or wrong,  then how can service-to-other be deemed to be better than service-to-self?  RA spends much of his time promoting service-to-other and supposedly guiding us in that direction,  promoting unconditional love,  but why would he do that,  if there is no right or wrong?  If there is no right or wrong,  then unconditional hate is equal to unconditional love,  and it should not matter which way we go.   Can the collective oversoul RA answer this basic question in simple and logical terms,  with no backpedaling or double-talk?  I have not yet seen this question asked or answered in The RA Material.  But logic gives us the answer.  If there is no right or wrong as RA says,  then service-to-self and service-to-other are equal,  with no moral difference,  and a murdering tyrant is equal to Jesus Christ,  and RA is a supreme liar with a harmful agenda….. or a deluded entity who is so far removed from the reality of our everyday lives,  that his advice is,  let us say,  of limited value.  I would go further and say that it highly deceptive and dangerous.

This is a huge fundamental contradiction that cannot legitimately be contained in the same body of teaching.  If RA says there is no right or wrong,  then there is no real need for any education,  proper procedure for any task….. no need for priorities of any kind at all…..  and love is no better or worse than hate, or any other emotion.  Healing is not better than hurting;  pleasure is not better than pain;  happiness is not better than misery.  RA praises unconditional love as the greatest good in the universe,  so it must be  “right”,  and yet he told us that there is no right or wrong,  so again,  love can be no better than hate.  And of course,  this necessary conclusion rising from  “no right or wrong”  is completely absurd,  and RA is the champion of absurdity.  If RA objects to this theory,  and wishes to refute it,  then let him leave a comment to this blog.  He could certainly instruct one of his many human channels to write a comment here  (after all,  his channels do write lengthy books from his lengthy discourses,  dictated to them while in a trance).

We are forced to exchange writings,  since I apparently do not have the right frequency of vibration for communicating directly,  as RA’s channels do….. but wait….. there is no right or wrong frequency,  right?  It does not matter if I vibrate or not,  right?  But RA claims to be of a higher frequency,  closer to God,  with much more knowledge and wisdom,  and therefore more  “right”  than us,  by strong implication.  The whole reason he is communicating with us is because he thinks he is right,  and we are wrong in some ways,  and he wants to help us.  But he says there is no right or wrong.  Then why should we listen to him?  What part of  “no right or wrong”  do I not understand?  Please explain.  I am begging for an explanation here.  I would hate to be wrong and would like to be right,  so please correct me….. except,  oh yeah,  there is no right or wrong,  right?  So really,  no one needs to be corrected about anything.  Yet RA wrote 4 books to help us correct ourselves.  Someone help me here,  I am so confused!

And,  indeed,  confusion will be the primary result whenever serious critical thought is applied to the LAW OF ONE.  If it does not confuse you after the points I am raising here,  then you are an unquestioning believer,  even while the LAW OF ONE tells us not to be an unquestioning believer.  So questioning is right,  and blind belief is wrong,  right?  But wait,  there is no right and wrong,  right?  You see how this vicious circle of faulty logic never ends.  But never mind all that….. I am following the advice to question the LAW OF ONE,  and I am asking for answers.  Could it be that I am “dancing” around an inconvenient truth for the LAW OF ONE supporters,  or will they say that I am “distorting” their true reality to “amuse myself”?  Time will tell,  if they comment at all,  but I am certainly not doing this for amusement.

While there may be many paths to God,  these are actual paths,  or required sequences of learning,  that must be followed in order to make spiritual progress.  Each religion and philosophy has a different path,  and while some may be better than others,  they can all result in spiritual progress.  I do not know the true correctness of my chosen path,  but at least I am trying to follow it,  with discipline and integrity.  And if there are paths,  then it is possible to get OFF the path,  and get lost in the wilderness.  Even if there are many paths through the dark jungle,  then staying on a path to God is right,  and getting off of a path to wander in the dark jungle is wrong.  By saying that there is no right or wrong,  this  “LAW OF ONE”  is teaching that there are NO PATHS AT ALL,  and that it is fine if we just go in circles forever,  or wander aimlessly,  or maliciously knock other people off their paths.  In truth,  the one who is actually following any path to God is right,  and the one who wanders with no path is wrong.

Some paths take people away from God,  even farther away than those who just wander in the dark.  These are the evil paths of criminals and tyrants,  the abusive people I have already spoken too much of,  in this article.  The LAW OF ONE,  with its slavish worship of  “free will”,  allows these evil people to attack and destroy good people at will,  while the LAW OF ONE masquerades as the ultimate goodness,  while proclaiming our  “oneness”  with the criminals and tyrants.  In truth,  the LAW OF ONE teachers do not seem to care how long it takes us to make any spiritual progress,  whether we are good or evil.  It is all on us.  If we are abused or attacked,  then we have somehow  “chosen”  this to happen.  If we are the abusers or attackers,  somehow we are not really doing anything wrong;  we are just a tool of karma;  and it will just take us longer to make spiritual progress.  So abusers and their victims are locked in a downward spiral of spiritual damage,  like two fighting eagles falling out of the sky with their talons locked,  slashing each others’  flesh.  Abusers and victims are both suffering great spiritual damage.  It will take a long time,  multiple lifetimes,  to recover from the spiritual damage and get back to spiritual progress,  but that does not matter to the LAW OF ONE entities.   They have communicated this point in subtle ways through their human channels.  That is why they claim that there is no right or wrong.  We can take 10 years or a million years to progress the same amount,  or none at all,  by our own choice,  and it does not really matter (but it matters greatly to me,  and it should matter to you).  Like RA proclaims above:   “All will be reconciled at some point”,  give or take a few more million years of chaos,  misery,  and suffering.  This may be a veiled effort to actually prevent significant spiritual progress.

Some of the LAW OF ONE entities sign off each channeling with  “you are loved more than you can possibly imagine”,  a very noble claim;  yet they also claim to be unable or unwilling to help us much,  because of a prohibition against violating our  “free will”.  And they will not violate the  “free will”  of those who attack us and destroy us.  They would not violate the  “free will”  of the thief who stole my mother’s purse on Christmas Eve,  they would not violate the  “free will”  of the Jihadist suicide pilots who flew airline jets into the World Trade towers.   Their great love,  more love than we can imagine,  does nothing to stop unjust attacks.  What is the benefit of their love,  if it does not contribute to justice?  Justice is the end product we all need…..  for ourselves and others…..  ongoing justice,  effective justice,  prompt justice that is not delayed or deferred for lifetimes.  Love is wasted,  if it does not pursue that.

Like all clever deceptions,  this LAW OF ONE seems to employ bits of truth or logic,  to attack a greater truth.  It is related to Dr. Alexander’s three-point message from his NDE.  It shares the  “nothing wrong”  message and the promotion of unconditional love with that NDE.  It expands from there into an excessive honoring of  “free will”,  as I have already described.  The greater truth that all of these deceptions are attacking is JUSTICE.  For if we can do nothing wrong,  if we are loved even when we become murdering tyrants,  if our  “free will”  can never be violated,  even when we severely abuse it,  then JUSTICE is completely destroyed.  In the LAW OF ONE and other teachings,  whatever justice may be done is taken care of by the mysterious law of karma,  and by choices we make in the spirit world before we are born.  The result of all of these doctrines is that JUSTICE is completely absent from human existence on planet Earth,  except what justice we can achieve for ourselves.  And if we follow these doctrines,  we won’t even try to do that.  Yet justice is what we all yearn for,  what we all need,  to live in safety,  security,  happiness and true freedom.  We also need Knowledge,  especially spiritual knowledge and memory,  to live our lives effectively,  yet that is withheld or concealed or distorted,  by a  “veil”  put in place between physical and spiritual existence,  and we are told that this withholding is for our own good.  The result of almost all spiritual or religious teachings in this world,  is the withholding of Justice and Knowledge in this world,  that we desperately need.  As I wrote above,  the one thing lacking in every religious system in the world,  is reliable repeatable justice in this world.

I cannot imagine a hypothetical time or a hypothetical scenario when this message  “there is nothing you can do wrong”  would be universally true or beneficial.  Aside from it’s utter falsity,  it is irrelevant,  for it is always eclipsed by greater events and concerns.  Even if it were true for a limited time or for a few qualified individuals,  it is overwhelmed by the vast majority of people doing many things wrong.  It is overwhelmed by the cruel disasters of nature,  such as flood,  fire,  tornado,  or earthquake.  It is overwhelmed by undeserved disasters,  as well as undeserved good fortune.  This message is a message of chaos;  a message of unlimited failure…..  which keeps us weak and confused.  We would be better served by a message of perseverance and hope,  that no matter what we do wrong,  we still have the free will to turn to the right.  Few take that turn,  but the option is always there.

Further,  if this message were a universal truth,  as Dr. Alexander seems to regard it,  it would wipe out all responsibility,  accountability,  morality  and humility.  There would be no point in learning the right way of doing anything,  or in disciplining ourselves to be moral and fair and ethical.  We could break promises,  indulge every whim and vice,  mistreat everyone,  and  break every rule or law,  with no consequences.  It should be obvious that this is no way to run a hot dog stand,  much less an entire universe.  In ancient Greek philosophy,  goodness was described as  “the class of the limited”  and evil was described as  “the class of the unlimited”.  Goodness does require some limits,  it requires prohibitions of many evil or selfish acts.  The idea that we can  “do nothing wrong”  is the ultimate in self-indulgence and selfishness.  We all have moral duties and obligations,  to ourselves,  to others,  to society,  to our Creator.  Following our duties and honoring our obligations is right,  ignoring them or breaking them is wrong.  No message from any source can change that,  for that IS a universal truth.  Every major religion in the world has teachings of what is right,  and what is wrong.  These teachings stem from ancient spiritual messages to many spiritual,  saintly people who already knew the general difference between right and wrong.  That is why they were chosen to receive the messages.  I will throw in my lot with them,  instead of these johnny-come-lately prophets who report a dangerous message that we can do no wrong.  That message is from a different source,  probably the same source that puts out other messages like  “if it feels good, do it”,   “Nobody is perfect”,   “You cannot be certain of anything”,   “I couldn‘t help it! Nobody can help anything he does”,  “That may be true for you,  but it is not true for me”,   “Act first, think about it afterward”,  “Everything is relative”,  “It depends on the situation”,  “I did not have sex with that woman”,  “You didn’t build that!”,  and  the idea that everyone deserves a comfortable life,  including free food,  housing,  healthcare,  and more babies,  even if they don’t work to pay for it.  All these messages attack individual responsibility,  reward weakness,  and destroy justice,  and they are very wrong.  And they all fall on the liberal / progressive side of philosophy and politics.

Another point:  think of the old saying  “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.  What is a good intention?  It is an intent to do or say something good,  something that will benefit other people.  It is based on the judgement that one is doing something right,  and is not doing something wrong.  But invariably,  there is some factor that is not taken into account,  or there is a person involved who takes unfair or immoral advantage of what we say or do,  that we probably should have seen coming.  Our act of goodness backfires,  creating harm and destruction,  and we find ourselves on  “the road to hell”.  It turns out that we did indeed do something wrong,  and we need to learn from our mistake.  This is another aspect of the dangers of thinking  “there is nothing you can do wrong”.

alliswell_bracelet_sterling

Yes, you too can buy your own swell bracelet proclaiming “ALL IS WELL” to your suffering neighbors

Dr. Alexander has a website promoting his story and his book.  On the website,  he is also selling a silver bracelet emblazoned with the slogan  “ALL IS WELL”.  This memorializes the first words he spoke when he awoke from his coma,  after his profound, life-changing NDE.  He may have felt that  “all is well”  at the moment for himself,  escaping death in a full recovery.  But as a slogan for everyone to wear on their arm,  it is a vicious lie.  All is NOT well.  The world,  and everyone in it,  is suffering in many ways.  Ignoring the widespread suffering in the world does not make it go away,  but only increases the suffering for others.  This bracelet should be sold with a pair of rose-colored glasses  and a pair of headphones playing elevator music,  to better insulate the wearer from the real world.  Alexander now offers his own words on a bracelet,  as if he were a prophet emerging from a Biblical vision to teach us.   But I have a problem with the lessons he is teaching.

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Those are  just my opening arguments…… just cracking a few knuckles,  just some stretching exercises before the wrestling match.   There are many more,  even stronger points made below.  I am putting a lot of thought and effort into this,  because I think this is one of the most important issues in human life,  and beyond human life.  It is one of the most important issues for intelligent beings anywhere in the universe,  in any form.  It is a crucial question of philosophy and morality.  Should we believe a devastating fantasy that we can never do anything wrong,  or should we acknowledge the obvious truth that we can always do anything wrong?  These philosophies are polar opposites,  and so are the consequences that flow from them.  Freedom of will means that we are free to choose wrong,  and free to make mistakes.  Then we are free to learn from our mistakes.  But if we never call them mistakes,  nor take responsibility for our mistakes,  then we can never learn from them.

And please understand,  I am not attacking the good doctor,  but only the message that he faithfully reports to us in his book.  I thank him for his book,  with its vivid detail and thoroughness.  I respect his great courage in writing the book,  and subjecting himself to criticism.  I am critical of the doctor only to the extent that he seems to agree with or follow the message given to him in his NDE.  Sadly,  he seems to agree with it,  let us say,  to an extent of  “hook, line, and sinker”.  I sent him a link to this article,  with no response.  I later sent him another email containing a link,  and containing the following paragraph,  which presents my main thesis.  He acknowledged receipt,  but has not replied to address my concerns.  He continues his extensive traveling and speaking campaign,  to spread the message of his NDE.

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MY MAIN ARGUMENT ABOUT THE BOOK “PROOF OF HEAVEN”

So,  in my opinion,  the core message given to the good doctor in his NDE is a masterpiece of deception,  and he was manipulated to be happy to receive it.  Indeed,  it has become his life’s mission to spread that message.  In the core message given to the doctor,  in what he thought was “Heaven”,  point  #1  (“You are loved and cherished”)  is wonderful,  as loving and cherishing are always welcome and beneficial.  The best lies always have a kernel of truth,  and point #1 serves that purpose.  But  point #1 is a limited truth,  for while we may be loved and cherished by God and certain others,  we certainly are not loved and cherished by all beings everywhere.  There are many people in this world who can and do find reasons to hate us on sight,  like racists,  or from afar,  like Muslims chanting “Death to America”,  for example.  Such people consider us enemies and want us dead,  without knowing anything about us,  except the color of our skin or the place we live.  Many other people in the world  (or right next door)  have contempt for us,  because of our values and principles,  or for political differences,  or for cultural differences.  Many other people in the world regard us as mere objects for their own gratification,  or as pawns to use for political or financial gain.  Dr. Alexander himself is not loved or cherished by his many critics,  who span the spectrum from hateful atheists to Bible-thumping Christians.  But  point #1 ignores these ugly facts,  and makes us feel all warm and cuddly,  setting us up for the big lies in points #2 and #3.  They too are so comforting,  we want them to be true.  But points  #2 and  #3 both make no logical or moral sense in this world where we live and die,  nor do they make sense in any spiritual world that I can imagine.  Point #2  (“You have nothing to fear”)  is contradicted even in the doctor’s NDE,  where he was first dumped into a gloomy place of darkness and muck,  which was “terrifying”,  where he tells us that he panicked.  Terror and panic are extreme forms of fear,  are they not?  And point #3 (“There is nothing you can do wrong”)  is by far the most nonsensical.  Here is why I think so:

FINALLY, BACK TO THE BOOK REVIEW…..

Dr. Alexander,  this man who was a hardened  atheist just hours before,  was now being overwhelmed by proof that he was fundamentally wrong.  His body lay dying in a hospital emergency room,  and his spirit was wrenched out of that body and forced into a new reality.  According to his beliefs,  this was impossible and absurd.  He was a spiritual basket case of wrong assumptions.  As a spirit he was weak,  confused,  disoriented,  amnesiac,  and easy prey for any spiritual forces that became aware of his mind-breaking crisis of pain and impending bodily death.  First, he found himself in a very unpleasant environment,  which he called the Realm of the Earthworm’s-Eye View.  I would call it something a bit more sinister than that.

muck and darkness with light

muck and darkness with light

grotesque faces

grotesque faces

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

It was a place of “visible darkness”,  like “being submerged in mud yet also being able to see through it.”  At first he thought he was part of the muck;  he says he wasn’t human while he was in that place;  and he did not remember any of his human life.  First he tells us that he had no exact sense of time,  but then says that he might have spent years stuck in this muck.  Then he became aware of a deep rhythmic pounding or pulsing that was ominous and disturbing in hindsight.  He also heard occasional dull roars;  roars that sometimes changed to rhythmic chants that were “terrifying”.  Then “grotesque animal faces bubbled out of the muck,  groaned or screeched, and then were gone again.”  Then things became really creepy…..  he saw movement in the muck,  and then he felt the movement,  as if reptilian or wormlike creatures were passing by,  and rubbing against Eben with smooth skins,  or spiky skins.  Then he became aware of a smell:  “a little like feces,  a little like blood,  and a little like vomit.”  He described it as a smell of biological death,  not of biological life.  How could he feel without a physical body,  or smell without a physical nose?  Either he had a metaphysical body that he was not aware of yet,  with that awareness being blocked,  OR his memories of earthly experiences were being masterfully manipulated,  temporarily  suppressing all of them except those specific memories needed to produce the desired effect.  As a doctor and surgeon,  he would have the smelled the disturbing scents of feces, blood, and vomit of other people hundreds of times,  and he associated it with death.  This may have been a strong and primal memory,  difficult to suppress,  so its disturbing effect was put to the best use by unseen manipulators….. this is just one possibility to consider.  I will return to this possibility below.

Some Christian reviewers are jumping to call this place Hell,  but that is far too simplistic.  And the doctor’s experience here does not jive with Christian doctrine concerning Hell.  He could not remember any “sins” he had committed,  in fact he could remember nothing at all.  Therefore he had no sense of regret,  no sense of being punished,  which is the whole point of Hell.  While this place became increasingly unpleasant at first,  he returned to it sometimes during his NDE,  as a resting place,  a “dulling” place,  after his psyche was overloaded by other places,  perhaps after he had gained the strength to keep this dark place from hurting him.  It was where he sunk to,  when the “higher” spirits ended a session with him in the “higher” realms of light.  On his last visit here,  he saw undistorted human faces bubbling out of the muck,  which turned out to be the faces of the people who were then in his hospital room,  in the last hours of his coma.  But in his first visit here,  he was very vulnerable to its unpleasant and harmful features.  And it was more terrifying on his first visit because he did not know that he could leave it.

So the first place he was taken,  as a spirit in this NDE,  was a scary and depressing place of darkness and muck,  where some sort of animal-like spirits may have been in great distress,  and other repulsive squirmy creatures were beginning to rub against him,  and he became aware of the sickening smell of death.  What would the repulsive creatures do next?  Were they rubbing against him as a prelude to attack,  like sharks circling their prey?  Were the grotesque animal faces all that remained of their former victims?  This was not a very good start to a spiritual adventure,  and it contrasts sharply with most other reported NDE’s,  which have no such negative elements.  In most NDE’s,  there is no discomfort or fear, as the spirit travels through a “tunnel”,  to meet joyful family, friends, or a loving spiritual guide.  Eben had deceased relatives who could have met him and comforted him,  but perhaps they were kept away,  by the forces that dumped Eben into the muck.  Perhaps those forces had more influence over Eben, because he had been a hardened atheist….. therefore his spirit was blind, ignorant, and weak.  What would have happened to Eben, if he stayed in this horrible spiritual place of misery and torture?  The more he became aware of his dismal surroundings,  the more he began to panic.  If he stayed there,  he may have become like one of the grotesque faces bubbling out of the muck to groan or screech.  And he did not know how to get away from this place.  It was the only place he had ever known,  because he could not remember any of his human life,  and he did not even know what a “human” is.  That is another stark difference with other NDE’s…..  in most other NDE’s,  the people retain their human memories.

Interestingly,  Eben has studied the subject of NDE’s thoroughly since his own NDE,  and he notices these differences with other NDE’s himself,  and ponders them in his book, in a short chapter titled “A Special Kind of NDE”.  In a growing aura of self-justification and self-importance,  he concludes that his amnesia was like a gift from God,  so that he could go deeper into spiritual realms without having to worry about what he was leaving behind.  He says that he now suspects that his human memories were intentionally removed during his NDE.  It apparently took years for this to occur to him,  while it occurred to me immediately.  But we seem to disagree on the reason for the intentional removal of his memories.  While insisting that he is not boasting,  he writes that because he had no memories,  “I was allowed to die harder,  and travel deeper,  than almost all NDE subjects before me.”  He thinks that,  for some divine reason,  he was deemed to be worthy of having this superior kind of NDE.

In his self-praise,  Eben totally discounts the first part of his NDE,  where he was allowed to sink into the muck,  into depths of terror and panic.  He was weak,  ignorant and helpless,  being approached by ominous creatures,  before he was conveniently rescued  (see details below).  He should think deeper about his good fortune at being snatched from the jaws of disaster,  and the possible reasons for the rescue.  If he had been left in the muck in this weakened state,  he probably would not have recovered,  either spiritually or physically.  He would not be here to expound on and on about the more pleasant aspects of his NDE.  He does not even consider the possibility that as a hardened atheist,  perhaps with other additional weaknesses,  he was a better candidate for deception,  a better sucker,  a better sycophant,  than “almost all NDE subjects before me”…..  NOR does he consider the possibility that his spiritual handlers detected in him a superior ego,  that would do a fine job of spinning a tale that would promote both their message and his own importance,  to their mutual benefit.  But as objective observers,  these are possibilities that WE must consider.

CONSIDER THIS ALLEGORICAL PARALLEL

Glue traps with 18 scorpions

Glue traps with 18 scorpions

We could even consider the possibility,  let us call it a hypothesis,  that Eben’s “Realm of the Earthworm’s-Eye View” is perhaps more like a trap.  My parents use “glue traps” for insects.  This is a flat piece of plastic with some kind of extremely sticky glue on it.  My parents put it just inside the doors,  where insects are likely to crawl in from outside.  Stronger insects,  such as large cockroaches or centipedes or crickets,  who put a claw down on the glue might get away,  minus one leg,  to gain entrance into the house.  Their detached leg remains on the glue trap,  as a witness to their mighty struggle.  But weaker insects such as small roaches, ants, beetles, spiders and scorpions cannot pull free (one scorpion in the photo is free except for its tail),  and the glue trap becomes their final resting place (after days of starvation,  frustration,  and misery),  unless a human were to come along and rescue the pathetic victim…..  which is not very likely,  because humans set the trap in the first place.  This reminds me of the dark mucky place in Eben’s NDE.  The gloomy muck might serve as a metaphysical trap,  which becomes a “resting place”,  with no actual rest but with misery and terror,  for weak spirits such as atheists and the like.   They become prey for spiritual predators,  who derive some sort of metaphysical sustenance from their victims…..  Unless the predators, or their masters,  decide that it would be better to rescue a particular spirit,  who would be more useful if properly indoctrinated and sent back to Earthly life.  Does this sound too outlandish?  Perhaps,  but it is one way of answering some of the troubling questions that Eben’s story raises.  In my hypothetical scenario,  this trap of muck would not have to be universal in scope,  but could be a local feature,  not encountered by all human spirits departing the earthly plane.  Eben encountered it,  and brought back a well-detailed report of it,  the only report of it that I am aware of.

There are many other negative,  frightful,  even terrifying NDE’s reported in the literature.  One researcher,  Bruce Greyson,  discovered 50 cases of  “distressing near-death experiences”  and wrote a published article about them in a psychiatry journal.  Another researcher reported that 3 percent of NDE cases he studied,  in children,  were negative.  A few people with negative NDE’s are convinced that they were really in Hell,  and were rescued or retrieved by forces of Goodness.  One woman was rescued from spirit attackers when she called upon Jesus to help her.  All of these negative NDE’s are different,  but they are all distressing,  depressing,  and terrifying.  You could be thinking,  “that would not happen to me”,  but it could happen to any of us,  if we are selected as a target by immoral spiritual forces,  or spiritual predators.

BACK TO THE BOOK REVIEW,  AND THIS IS THE BEST PART!

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Blue-eyed spirit girl with butterflies

Orb melting away darkness

Orb melting away darkness

Let us return to the empty ignorant amnesiac spirit of Eben,  wallowing helplessly in the muck with repulsive creatures closing in on him,  growing fearful but with nothing to fear (as he tells us later),  being filled with whatever his expert spiritual handlers wanted to fill him with.  We will never know what would have happened to him,  if he stayed in this God-forsaken place of misery and torture (perhaps even intentional torture).  When his panic reached a certain level,  and as soon as he wanted to get away from this dreadful place,  a spinning orb of white-gold light appeared in the darkness,  and melted the darkness away.  The orb appeared right on cue,  like a shining knight to the rescue,  after the stifling muck had done its intended job and Eben had begun to panic.  After being rescued from a form of spiritual torture,  Eben was much more likely to believe anything that he was told.  The spinning orb escorted him to a very different place of light and beauty,  which he described as brilliant,  vibrant, ecstatic,  stunning,  and he felt like he was being born into this lovely place.  He found himself flying over a green,  lush landscape,  with trees and fields,  streams and waterfalls,  with people dancing and laughing.  Then he became aware that he was accompanied by a beautiful girl with deep blue eyes.  They were riding together on a vibrant living surface, which became the wing of a butterfly.  Then millions of butterflies were all around them,  and they flew together in looping formations,  past brilliant flowers that blossomed open as they flew near….. this went on for a while….. in fact the doctor reports that  “I spent great stretches of time… in the presence of my guardian angel on the butterfly’s wing and an eternity learning lessons from the Creator and the Orb of light deep in the Core.”  Here is a collage of how the doctor’s butterfly ride may have looked or felt:

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Girl with butterflies.

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Wow,  what an incredible spiritual roller-coaster ride that must have been!  I would stand in line for days or weeks to experience that one!….. but I would not automatically grant the operators of the ride the status of “God” or “connected to God”,  no matter how pretty and friendly they were.  I do believe that Dr. Alexander had this euphoric experience,  which would be deeply enjoyable and impressive.  BUT,  we must ask,  WHY was this particular experience being provided to him?….. after he had first been subjected to spiritual torture?  I could liken this amazing spiritual place to the earthly billionaire’s estate I described above.  It might feel like paradise,  but it is not “Heaven”,  and it seems to have a dungeon lurking in the basement.   Eben,  the former atheist,  now rescued from that dungeon,  found himself in an intensely  pleasant-feeling spiritual environment,  and he was ready to grasp for the candy,  like any child who wakes up in a candy store.  At this weak and vulnerable point in his spiritual awakening,  he was told by his lovely new female spiritual guide,  who he “felt” was linked to God,  that three-point message of comfort,  ending with:  “There is nothing you can do wrong.”….. Really??  Up to that point,  the doctor’s whole spiritual lifeview was wrong,  the anti-spiritual things he had “felt” were wrong,  and he had suffered for it,  as he tells us in the book.  As I wrote above,  this point #3 (“There is nothing you can do wrong”)  is complete nonsense,  and a horrendous lie.  Here is why I think so:

THE TRUTH THAT DESTROYS THE LIE

Any spiritual guide is welcome to correct me,  but I thought that most human tragedy,  for all of recorded history and beyond,  is the result of people doing something wrong,  and that most human progress is the result of people doing something right.  Turning aside from historic wars,  genocides,  inquisitions,  and jihads committed by hordes of people doing something wrong and others fighting back…..  Consider something as common as a car accident.  Most car accidents are caused by drivers doing something wrong,  something that is not in accordance with the traffic laws,  or the laws of physics.  The internet,  especially Youtube,  is filled with videos of people getting hurt or killed by doing something wrong.  Good people are robbed, raped, and killed every minute on this world by criminals doing something wrong.  In our relationships of family and friends,  lives are ruined and made miserable by people doing many things wrong,  hurting each other deeply.  Some of these things in the previous sentences are mistakes,  some are accidents,  some are intentional,  some are unintentional,  some are sins,  some are crimes,  but they are all WRONG.  Consider our physical health and welfare….. we need to keep our bodies healthy to be able to accomplish what our spirits need to do.  There are definitely some wrong things we can do to our bodies,  like eating way too much or not enough,  taking harmful drugs,  smoking,  not exercising,  etc.  These things are very bad for our health,  so they are wrong,  and if we do them,  our bodies and spirits will suffer.

So people are doing wrong things all the time,  and they suffer for it,  and other people also suffer for the wrong things we do.  Consider an innocent family driving in their car,  hit by a drunk driver in another car,  and the family is killed or maimed for life.  Wouldn’t you say that the drunk driver did something wrong?  Something so dreadfully and fundamentally wrong,  with such predictable and destructive results,  that it should be called evil?  When the drunk driver dies,  will the lovely spirit-girl tell the fool  “there is nothing you can do wrong”….?…. If she does,  the fool will most certainly believe her,  and will most certainly keep doing things that are horribly wrong.  In the news today  (March 8, 2014),  I saw a shocking video of a woman driving her car off a beach into the ocean at Daytona Beach,  to kill herself and her children….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siUrSL_AUns  ….. she failed to kill anyone,  but 20 years ago in 1994,  Susan Smith did the same thing and killed her two young children….. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Smith ….. The lovely spirit-girl’s message to humanity tells us that these women were doing nothing wrong,  but it is a devious lie.  Every day, the news is full of people doing things that are horribly wrong,  and foolish,  and mean,  and treacherous,  and evil.  I would venture to say that all of us are doing something wrong,  or many things wrong,  and that we could be doing those things right,  or at least better.

Bridge collapses people die

Bridge collapses people die

Imagine a math teacher telling his students  “there is nothing you can do wrong”.  There would be no wrong answer on the tests.  2 + 2 could equal any number the student thinks.  Forgetting a step in an equation would bear no penalty.  But the resulting jumble of numbers would mean nothing,  and accomplish nothing.  Mathematics requires great intelligence,  great discipline,  and following the right procedures.  There is only one right answer for any equation,  and any other answer is wrong.  Great mathematicians following the right procedures have unlocked many secrets of the natural world and the universe,  with great benefit to human civilization.

Try telling an engineer,  an architect,  a surveyor,  or  a carpenter that they can do nothing wrong.  If you design and build a skyscraper, or a bridge,  and you do it wrong,  the skyscraper or bridge falls down,  and people get hurt or killed,  and you are in big trouble.  For that matter,  Dr. Alexander is a neurosurgeon,  and he should certainly know that if he does his surgery wrong,  his patient will suffer physically,  and the doctor will suffer mentally, emotionally and financially.  And from other amazing books I have read,  the skills of engineer,  architect,  or doctor may have their spiritual counterparts in the metaphysical realm.  Our skills and interests and talents should certainly stay with us,  in some form,  in the metaphysical realm.  And it would make sense for there to be a right way to do things,  and many wrong ways to do things,  even in the spirit world.

Yet here is this “higher” spiritual being telling us,  through Dr. Alexander,  that we can do nothing wrong??!!  This statement itself is fundamentally wrong.  It is so wrong,  that I must question the motives of this “higher” being,  who perhaps wants us to continue doing things wrong,  keeping us down,  while we are thinking it is perfectly OK,  because we cannot do anything wrong.  What better way to keep a person from really maturing or improving or advancing?  Does this “higher” being really have the best interests of humanity at heart?  Perhaps not.  Could it be that these particular “higher” beings do not really want to stop the massive human suffering on this planet,  so they tell us we are doing nothing wrong,  so we will not correct the wrongs,  so that the suffering continues?  It seems to me that one of the main points of human philosophy and religion,  throughout history,  is to learn how we are doing things wrong,  and stop doing them that way,  so that our suffering is lessened.

Think about the power of this message “there is nothing you can do wrong”.  If you are  a fool,  like the drunk driver,  and you hear this message,  you will continue being a fool.  If you are a criminal,  like a gang member,  robbing and abusing at will,  and you hear this message,  you will continue to be evil,  robbing and abusing at will.  Any twinges of guilt you may have felt are extinguished by this message,  especially if you think it is from God.  You will use this imagined divine sanction to rationalize and justify every wrong thing you do.  If you abuse someone,  it is because they abused you first.  If you get mad and beat up your wife,  it is OK,  because she deserved it.  If you blow all your savings at the casino,  that is OK,  because you can do no wrong,  but guess what,  now you and your family have no money.  Will the lovely spirit-girl pay your bills,  the same lovely spirit-girl who says you can do no wrong?  Not likely.  Sociopaths and psychopaths,  estimated to be at least 4  percent of humanity,  already think they can do no wrong,  because they have no moral conscience.  They do not need any encouragement in that direction.

This message,  and the philosophy behind it,  completely negates and violates the fact that everything in human experience happens on a spectrum.  Think of the light spectrum,  with the rich colors of the rainbow that it contains.  Think of the many shades of grey between black and white  (a recent popular book was titled  “50 Shades of Grey”).  Now think of the spectrum of suitability or effectiveness that we recognize,  whenever we are trying to accomplish any task or skill.  Some people have a special talent for a given task, others have no knack for it at all.  The spectrum of suitability spans from worst,  poor,  good,  better,  best.  Whether the task is riding a bicycle,  driving a car,  digging a hole,  cutting wood,  cooking food,  packing a suitcase,  building a house,  or picking a person to marry,  there are different methods that can be ranked from worst to best,  according to their efficiency or their relative success.  It is absurd to say that there is  “no wrong way”  to drive a car or build a house.  There are many inefficient,  inappropriate,  or dangerous methods that should not be used,  and if you use them,  then you are wrong to some degree.  There is almost always a better way to do something,  and if we think that we are  “doing nothing wrong”,  we will not be motivated to look for that better way.  This is the diversion that Dr. Alexander’s spirit guides are trying to accomplish with us,  diverting us from the effort to look for a better or more ethical way to do things.  When it comes to metaphysical matters,  we could be as wrong as using a hammer to dig a hole,  or using a shovel to drive a nail,  and not even realize it.  We could be going the completely wrong direction,  condemning ourselves to endless frustration and misery.  We need to realize that there are endless course corrections needed,  to keep us close to the right path to happiness,  and to fellowship with God.  But why should we worry about it,  if we are all “part of God”?  Why should we worry about it,  if we can do nothing wrong?

This message  “there is nothing you can do wrong”  reminds me of the old saying of worldly Catholic church-goers:  “Sin all week and confess on Sunday”,  and then you are free to sin all week again,  and confess again.  But this message is even worse than that,  because it wipes out the concept of sin,  telling us that we cannot sin.  This message perpetuates all folly, all error and all evil.  It perpetuates all misery,  all injury and all suffering.  Those people who are doing things wrong,  will continue doing things wrong.  Those people who are doing things right, do not even need this message at all.  And those people who are truly trying to do things right,  who yearn for righteousness in their hearts,  who have the right priorities but just fall short in performance,  do not need this message either,  because they are already in a mode of self-correction.  This message might give them some comfort,  but they would have kept moving in the right direction without it.  So the main thing this message does is perpetuate folly,  error and evil.  This message is a clever and powerful tool for forces who do not want us to improve or advance, in a moral or spiritual way.  People who seek the spiritual truth must completely reject this message,  or they will forever be lost in lies and self-worship,  and they will never find the true path to God.

Further,  this message “there is nothing you can do wrong” promotes a fantasy of infallibility,  that hinders development in all types of investigation,  research,  and design.  It completely cancels out the important problem-solving technique of asking:  “What if I am wrong,  then what?”  People often make wrong assumptions about  everything,  and the sooner they discover it,  the sooner they can correct it,  but only if they are open to the reality of their wrongness.  Think of the huge historical follies in science.  We once thought the Earth was flat,  but we were wrong.  Then astronomers thought the earth or the sun was the center of the universe,  but they were wrong.  Explorers thought they could find the fountain of youth or a city made of gold,  but they were wrong and they died looking for these fantasies.  Scientists thought they could find a way to make gold from lead,  but they were wrong.  Doctors thought they could cure various illnesses by “bleeding” us,  but they were wrong.  Their patients died because they did not ask themselves  “What if I am wrong,  then what?”  In the worlds of engineering,  designing,  marketing,  and troubleshooting,  this is a crucial question,  that must constantly be asked.  Fail-safes and backup systems must be designed into machines,  computers,  aircraft,  ships,  and vehicles.  Being wrong can,  and does,  get people killed,  maimed,  fired,  and sued every day.  Not to mention in the high-stakes world of weapons design  and military conflict,  where the wrong strategy can get armies slaughtered and nations defeated.  When one strategy fails,  an alternate plan must be ready to execute.  In military conflicts,  the ‘rightness’ or ‘wrongness’ of a particular strategy is determined by what the enemy does.  If the enemy fails,  our strategy was right.  If the enemy advances,  our strategy was wrong.  The conflict is in a constant state of flux,  and we must be ready with a different plan when our first plan is defeated, or ‘wrong’….. our very lives depend on it.

In the spiritual world,  the stakes are equally high,  and  “What if I am wrong, then what?”  is a crucial question.  The possible explanations of Dr. Alexander’s NDE that I have given above,  should give any atheist who reads this a LOT to think about…..   what if you are wrong,  and you survive the death of your body?  After a lifetime of condemning that possibility,  you would be far behind in spiritual development,  like a mentally retarded child in school.  Can a retarded child ever catch up with his peers,  who are not retarded?  Not likely.  And worse,  when your body dies,  you may find yourself in the most unpleasant circumstances,  like the atheist Dr. Alexander,  unpleasant circumstances  that have nothing to do with the religious myths of the world.  Spiritually,  you may be like a fish out of water,  or more like a fish stuck in the muck of the “Realm of the Earthworm’s-Eye View”,  ready to be  harvested or abused by the first predator that comes along.  And you cannot count on being rescued like the good doctor was rescued.  You might stay stuck in the muck for a long, long time,  while the believers you sneered at on Earth have a spiritual support system,  which enables them to soar above the muck,  move on toward their spiritual destiny,  and leave you far behind.  You may not even survive the predators,  the metaphysical worms and snakes,  in your weakened atheistic state….. for your atheist views have been like a virus attacking your soul,  weakening your soul,  denying your own spiritual existence,  and attacking anyone who tried to help you.  For the spirit,  atheistic beliefs are like those strange diseases that attack your own biological immune system,  in the human body.

So….. if you have been one of those arrogant,  attacking,  sneering,  hostile atheists,  then I would say that you deserve your fate in the muck,  if you should find yourself there when your body dies.  Alexander found himself there,  and he was not even a hostile atheist.  He lived with believers in his family and tolerated them.  When his surgery patients or their families expressed religious sentiments or spoke of prayer,  he humored them and did not criticize them.  Still,  his spirit was weak from self-denial,  and he found himself mired in the metaphysical muck,  with raw awareness but no memories.  If you are dumped in the muck,  any help that you might receive,  will be by the grace of God…..  the same God that you have condemned for an entire lifetime.  So you might be wise to seriously ask the question:  “What if I am wrong,  what if souls,  spirits,  and God exist,  then what will happen to me when I die?”  Then,  more importantly,  you should ask yourself:  “What if spiritual predators exist,  what will they try to do to me when I die?”   And you should ask it soon,  because tomorrow you could be taken out by a drunk driver who has been told  “There is nothing you can do wrong.”

Here is a spiritual analogy,  concerning our spirits and the tasks they are trying to accomplish,  mirrored in the physical world.  Things that are clear to us in the physical world,  can be very murky and unclear in the metaphysical realm.  So, imagine that you and your friends are trying to build a house with wood,  saw,  hammer and nails.  This house could represent a family,  the fellowship of a church,  the success of a business,  or the harmony of a friendship.  Imagine that you do not know how to use the tools.  You use the wrong, non-cutting edge of the saw,  so no wood will get cut.  You figure out how to use the hammer,  but you try to hammer the nails in head-first.  This doesn’t work,  so no wood will get nailed together.  So no house will be built.  You and your friends keep trying,  arranging the pieces of wood in different patterns and looking for other ways to fasten them,  but nothing  really works.  You feel very frustrated and sad.  Tempers flare,  and you argue with each other about it.  But all the while,  this “higher” spiritual being is watching you,  generating something that feels like love,  and putting the message in your mind  “there is nothing you can do wrong”,  with no further guidance,  even though the being knows how to use the saw and nails.  At some point,  you become aware of this “higher” being and its message in your mind.  This might make you feel better,  you feel like you are in tune with God,  and you have an excuse handed to you to use in your arguments  (an angel just told me I am loved,  and I am doing nothing wrong!).  So you and your friends are doing nothing wrong,  but you are still arguing,  and no house is being built.  Could it be that this “higher” being,  who could instantly tell you how to use the saw and the nails,  does not really want the house to be built?  In other words, does not want us to truly advance spiritually?  Just because some unknown “higher” beings tell us that we are loved and cherished,  does not necessarily mean that it is for our ultimate benefit.  After all,  most farmers take good care of their livestock,  even loving and cherishing them,  developing relationships with some of them,  right up until the day they sell the the livestock for slaughter,  or slaughter the livestock themselves.  In spiritual matters,  a claim that you are loved and that you can do nothing wrong,  might have a much more subtle purpose.

World burning from 2 sidesIn the writings of most religions,  there are reports of opposing spiritual sides or factions,  with  opposing philosophies and opposing moralities.  In Christianity,  it is Satan opposing God, and tempting humans.  In Islam,  it is the bad Djinn opposing Allah,  and harassing humans.  In Zoroastrianism,  it is Angra Mainyu  opposing Ahura Mazda and inflicting humans with misery.  In Hinduism and Buddhism,  it is various demons opposing demi-gods and oppressing humans.  In New Age terminology,  it is service-to-self  entities opposing service-to-other entities.  In each case,  the “dark” forces seek to dominate or enslave humans,  while the forces of “light” seek to liberate or uplift humans.   So each faction of spirits seeks converts or followers among humans,  whenever they get the chance.  Some of them are very, very skilled at lying,  deception,  and propaganda.  They spin their philosophy to make it more enticing,  hoping that we won’t ask certain questions or apply logic and reason to their claims.  We must be very careful before we believe their claims and give them our support,  because they might be on the opposite side of what we think they are.  The faction that told Dr. Alexander  “there is nothing you can do wrong”  is philosophically opposed to whatever spiritual entities contributed to the writing of the Christian Bible.  Consider just one such Bible verse:   “If you go the wrong way-  to the right or to the left-  you will hear a voice behind you saying,  “This is the right way. You should go this way.”  ( Isaiah 30:21)   You will not hear a voice saying “go whichever way you want….. there is no wrong way.”  If there are such factions,  which one would YOU want to be aligned with?  I will be aligned with the faction that is trying to tell me how to do the right thing,  and turn the right way,  and stay away from the wrong way.  I will stand with the faction that wrote the Christian Bible,  especially the New Testament chronicle of Jesus…..  not the Jewish Torah,  not the Muslim Koran,  not the Mormon Bible,  not the Satanist Bible,  not the Hindu Bhagavad’gita,  not the Buddhist scriptures,  not the Dianetics handbook,  not any writings of philosophy,  nor any other religious volume in history.  After reading parts of many of these volumes,  I will live and die with the core message of the Christian Bible in my heart.  Contrary to Dr. Alexander’s message,  there IS much to fear,  and  we CAN do much wrong,  so we NEED the protection and guidance of God,  as brought to us by the loving grace of Jesus.

Even if the messages “you have nothing to fear” and “there is nothing you can do wrong” were true on a spiritual level,  how helpful are they in bodily life?  I think they are the wrong messages for human life on this planet.  There are many dreadful,  horrible,  destructive things to fear in this world,  from tornados to tyrants,  from earthquakes to E. Coli bacteria,  from child-rapists to serial killers to terrorists to genocides,  and we should have a healthy fear of them,  which is part of being prepared to deal with them.  “You have nothing to fear” is a cruel joke to the victims of many horrific crimes in recent headlines,  like a woman gang-raped on a bus in India,  or a Coptic Christian beheaded in Egypt,  or a starving refugee family in a third-world nation torn by war,  or the former American ambassador to Libya, who was tortured and killed horribly in Benghazi.  Consider the evil game  “pick em out, knock em out”  now being played on our city streets by roaming gangs of young punks,  who suddenly punch a passing stranger in the face with all their strength,  to watch the victim fall unconscious to the concrete,  often hitting their head with serious injuries.  If the victim is not knocked out with the first blow,  then they are beaten more.  Such random,  senseless,  evil violence is something to be feared.   As for “doing nothing wrong”,  the criminals committing these crimes are doing something very wrong.  But as sociopaths or psychopaths or religious fanatics, they  think they can do no wrong,  and they think their monstrous crimes are justified.

Even the best of us,  good people with good intentions,  are all constantly doing some things wrong,  or less efficiently,  or with the wrong attitude,  and we may not even realize it.  I am constantly looking for methods or techniques that other people use,  or attitudes that other people have,  that are better than mine,  or that get better results than mine.  Rather than thinking “there is nothing I can do wrong”,  we need to constantly ask ourselves “what am I doing wrong?”  We need to discover those things that we are doing wrong in this life,  or we will never learn to do them right!  This life is our precious chance to make mistakes and learn from them.  This is one important key to self-improvement.  It is incomprehensible to me,  that Dr. Alexander thinks  “there is nothing you can do wrong”  is a beneficial message that the world needs to hear.  We already have too many people who think that way,  who are fools,  abusers,  manipulators, criminals,  and monsters.

ANOTHER COSMIC LIE,  CONCERNING EVIL

Then the doctor was also told that evil is real,  as a result of free will.  I think most of us can agree with that,  and this is another kernel or tidbit of truth to lure us in…..  but we just got told that “there is nothing you can do wrong”.  Well,  pardon me,  but “evil” and “wrong” are pretty strong synonyms,  and if evil exists,  it is most certainly “wrong”.  And if,  using our free will,  we participate in evil then we are most certainly “wrong”,  at least for that moment.  Right?….. of course that is right.  Some people can be horribly “wrong”,  for their whole lives,  such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jung Ill, etc., etc., etc., and these people devastate our planet.  Can you imagine Dr. Alexander’s higher beings giving their comforting assurances to Hitler,  upon his exit from this life,  that “there is nothing you can do wrong”???   Several million victims of Hitler,  who he sent on before him with agonizing and tortuous deaths,  and who should be waiting to greet him,  might disagree that Hitler did nothing wrong.  Therefore, something is very “wrong”, or fundamentally alarming, or at least very puzzling,  about the spiritual beings in Dr. Alexander’s NDE.  Dr. Alexander needs to withdraw his absolute faith in his spiritual guides,  until they explain this glaring logical and moral problem with their glowing pronouncements.  This is one of the puzzles we need to solve,  before we trust any metaphysical “insights” or “truths” handed to us by metaphysical beings.  But that is another huge issue in itself.  There are hundreds of books similar to this,  claiming to reveal higher spiritual knowledge.  They have some common themes,  and vary wildly in other aspects.  This message “you can do nothing wrong” is not unique to Dr. Alexander’s book;  it is fairly common.

One thing is sure,  at least to me.  We can all do things that are wrong,  and we can all do things that are right.  To the extent that we do things right,  our spirits progress.  To the extent that we do things wrong,  our spirits stagnate.  Our lives and conflicts and struggles on this world are a microcosm of what is happening in the entire universe,  wherever sentient life exists.  To think that anyone, anywhere (except God) could “do nothing wrong” is absurd.  Our possession of free will means that we are capable of doing something wrong,  or something right,  every minute of every day.  I am open to the idea that even God makes mistakes,  or tries different things and learns from them…..  I would love God no less for this,  and could relate to Him better.  In fact, the Bible is a record of God trying different things with the human race, and learning from them.  The Garden of Eden scenario did not work out;  God then wiped out most of humanity with a flood and started over with Noah’s family;  God then tried different ways to relate to the Hebrews,  none of which worked out very well,  then God gave us the gift of Jesus, and a different plan to help us.

There will be right and wrong,   good and evil,  weak and strong,  striving against each other,  always and everywhere,  in every physical and metaphysical arena in the universe.  When we die,  we will not escape from it or rise above it.  There may be temporary rest or retreat in strongholds of goodness,  where we can regain our strength,  but then we must return to the universal struggle.  Even the angels have their duties and missions they must carry out.  We are all on a quest,  an adventure,  searching for meaning and truth.  We all make mistakes,  and we all do many things that are absolutely “wrong”,  in every sense of the word.  We cannot avoid making mistakes and doing wrong things,  and that is OK,  as long as we learn from them.  And knowing that we have been wrong,  hurting ourselves and others,  we should feel humility and regret,  in a spirit of apology and repentance,  as taught in the Bible.  A typical verse says: “True freedom comes when we confess our wrongdoing to God.  He forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  After this repentance,  we avoid what we have learned to be wrong.  I fear that most people do not learn much from their wrongs,  never really admit to themselves that they are wrong,  and keep doing wrongs over and over again.  But many of us do learn from our wrongs,  and use them as a means of self-improvement.  That is a far different message than to say “there is nothing you can do wrong.”  We must realize that we have been wrong,  feeling regret and repentance,  before we can move beyond it.  We must have principles and ideals that we are willing to live by and fight for,  or others who are more willing to fight for their interests will dominate us.  These “higher” beings,  who absurdly tell us that we can do nothing wrong,  may be trying to dominate us and divert our attention from the truth.  So,  beware of “higher” beings bearing gifts of false doctrines,  just as we must beware of “lower” beings like ourselves bearing false doctrines.  The origin makes no difference…..  If a doctrine cannot stand a test of morality and logic,  as I have tested this one here,  it should not be trusted.  If a doctrine does not blend with the reality we already know,  it should not be trusted.

IS “UNCONDITIONAL LOVE” REALLY SUCH A GOOD THING?  OR IS IT ANOTHER CLEVER DECEPTION?

Eben interpreted the profound metaphysical love he experienced as an unconditional love.  He gushed on and on about the unconditional nature of this spiritual love,  calling it the reality of realities,  the truth of truths.  But think about all the implications of unconditional love,  including the negative implications.  This means love without standards,  without cause and effect,  without reasonable incentives and deterrents,  without logic,  without merit,  without justice.  It means we must love those who attack us,  who kill others,  who torment and torture their victims and derive pleasure from it.  I can pity these people,  but I cannot love them.  They have the same choices we have,  but they have chosen wrong,  and the best “love” we can give them is to stop them,  to take away the power that they are openly abusing,  to make them re-think their wrong choices as soon as possible,  even if they must be killed to stop them.  In this age of environmental awareness,  I consider this to be the ultimate re-cycling project.  If we are eternal spirits in temporary bodies,  and if a spirit becomes an abusive murdering monster while on Earth,  then killing his or her body might be doing them a great favor,  giving their spirit a chance to take a rest,  take corrections from other spirits,  and try again in another life later.  This would be much more beneficial to the errant spirit than rotting in a prison for life,  with society paying for it,  waiting for the physical body to die.  Instead,  the errant spirit would be in direct contact with higher spirits,  doing the real work of spiritual rehabilitation.  Meanwhile,  back on Earth,  the rest of us could live and grow in greater peace,  without that errant spirit attacking us anymore.

God may be capable of having unconditional love for us all,  and still deliver justice to the universe somehow,  but we lesser beings most certainly cannot.  I do see love as all-important,  but  I see unconditional love as a pitfall and a snare for humans,  a moral blindness,  the ultimate enabling of immorality,  that usually becomes an unwitting instrument of evil.  This planet,  or most of the humans on it,  are simply not ready for unconditional love.  But in our prideful egotistical arrogance,  we think that we are ready for it,  and malevolent humans or spirits take advantage of that arrogance,  and use our unconditional love for evil purposes.  Unconditional love feeds our pride and makes us feel morally superior,  but it opens us to all kinds of abuse and attack.  It helps our abusers more than it helps us.  It benefits those who would defeat us or dominate us,  so they,  our enemies,  sow that message in our midst,  the better to disarm us and control us.  It is like a virus that turns our own spirits against us.  They are using spokesmen like Eben Alexander to help spread the virus.  No matter what they do to us,  no matter what they take from us,  no matter how much they lie to us,  we are supposed to love them and forgive them,  even worship them.   And they,  our enemies,  are the first to remind us of this requirement,  as part of a great spiritual deception.

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN UNCONDITIONAL LOVE,  PACIFISM,  AND EVIL

Unconditional love is hawked mercilessly by almost every religion,  every spiritual guru,  every secular liberal,  every pacifist,  and every gullible adolescent,  most of whom never grow up,  but they do grow older to become the gurus and leading pacifists.  This takes them out of the brutal struggle against evil dominators,  and they will even condemn those of us who do carry on the fight  (what happened to unconditional love for us?).  They are good people for the most part,  but their belief in pacifism and unconditional love not only takes them out of the fight, it literally gives “aid and comfort” to the enemies of goodness.

In Dr. Alexander’s NDE,  we find that his spiritual guides first torture him to make him more pliable,  and then reinforce this harmful doctrine of unconditional love.  I suspect that this could be part of a massive, ages-old spiritual campaign by forces of domination,  to support the age-old human philosophy of pacifism,  so that forces of evil have less opposition in the human realm.  Three famous quotes already address this issue,  in the records of our philosophy.  These quotes are intended to combat pacifism,  but given the great success of pacifism,  in which good men do nothing against evil,  these could be the talking points of the enemy amongst themselves:

The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it.
– Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
– Edmund Burke (1727-1793)

He who does not punish evil,  commands it to be done.  — Leonardo da Vinci

I propose another statement against pacifism:  Wherever pacifists withdraw,  evil men advance.  Whenever pacifism prevails,  territory and lives are lost to evil.  History is full of examples,  with current ones being Iraq, Iran,  Libya,  Syria,  Egypt.  and North Korea.  Vietnam is a classic example of pacifist withdrawal.  Then our pacifist withdrawal from Vietnam enabled the horrific genocide by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and the strengthening of the petty communist governments of Laos and Burma, which still brutally oppress their people today.  The major communist “ideal societies” of  Russia and China,  in their massive slaughters of their own people in decades past,  benefited greatly from the pathetic pacifism of the West.  Many prominent liberal pacifists in America and Europe denied that these slaughters were even happening.  Hitler rose to power partially due to the blind pacifism of Europe and America.  Billions of people have suffered under the hands of evil domination,  partially because of the sanction given to it by “peace-loving” pacifists,  peddling “unconditional love”.  Pacifism gives license to evil.  The same thing happens on a smaller scale,  in every family,  every community,  every arena of human strife.  We do not need to blame spiritual forces for these disasters….. we seem to manage them quite well for ourselves.  But here,  in Dr. Alexander’s NDE,  we find possible strong proof of “higher” spiritual promotion of human pacifism.  And the good doctor is following his marching orders very well.  In his book signings and speaking tours,  Eben is doing everything to promote unconditional love,  and nothing to defeat active evil.  It is likely that no lives will be saved by his message,  but it is likely that many lives will be lost,  through giving up the will to fight.  And Eben will be oblivious to the spiritual and moral damage he is doing,  in his egotistical bid to become the latest spiritual guru,  on a mission to spread the flawed and dangerous message of his NDE spiritual handlers as if it were the new Gospel.

I,  for one,  must humbly admit that I am not ready to give or receive unconditional love,  but that I must learn to give and receive conditional love first.  Pity,  grace,  forgiveness,  second and third chances….. these I am willing to give and receive when needed,  but they are conditional and not unlimited,  for good reasons.

Those of you who may think that you are capable of unconditional love,  consider the following scenario.  Think of the person you love the most:  wife, husband, daughter, son, mother, father, best friend, anyone.  You love them for emotional, rational, and moral reasons,  or conditions.  Now imagine that the person you love begins to act differently.  Slowly, they begin to break long-standing agreements and understandings.  They begin to lie,  or lie more.  They fail to honor commitments they make.  They begin to violate every trust that you have put in them.  They become angry and vengeful,  dominating,  even tyrannical,  lashing out with rage whenever you try to make a positive contribution in any conversation.  But they blame others for all of these changes in their behavior,  and soon they begin to blame YOU.  Eventually they start working against you,  telling lies about you,  turning others against you,  doing everything they can to ruin your home life,  your work life,  your spiritual life,  your self-respect,  your happiness.  They do all this despite your constant expressions and demonstrations of your love for them.  You suggest professional counseling or therapy,  but that is rejected with more outrage,  accusing you of calling them crazy.  They demand that YOU need counseling,  and they continue all their immoral, destructive,  devastating attacks against you.  Then they become physically violent,  smashing things in the house,  hitting you with their fists when they get mad at you.   Every moment you spend with this person is full of stress and misery and danger,  but you tell yourself that you still love them.  Perhaps you do,  but  If you change your behavior or your thoughts toward this person that you love in the slightest degree,  then you love them conditionally,  not unconditionally.  If you spend less time with this person,  finding reasons to stay away from them longer,  or  pack you bags and move away from them,  or divorce them,  then you love them conditionally,  not unconditionally.  But conditional love is very appropriate in this scenario.  You had emotional,  rational,  and moral agreements with this person,  and those were the conditions of the love  relationship.  If you continue the love relationship after the other person has violated all the conditions for the relationship,  then you are just enabling and empowering the other person to hurt you and others.  It is like continuing to love and feed your pet dog after he has contracted incurable rabies,  and is viciously attacking you and everyone else,  but you are  believing that he still deserves your love and support.  Dr. Alexander does not address this problem in his book,  but just gushes support for unconditional love throughout the book.

SO PERHAPS…..  ONLY GOD IS CAPABLE OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE?

Eben described love as an all-encompassing energy that he personally felt in the spirit world,  like sunlight in the physical world,  something all around him and in him,  that emanated ultimately from God (or “Om”,  as Eben chose to call God after his NDE).  He felt that the God-love is an unconditional love,  projected toward everyone,  like rain that falls on the just and the unjust.  I think there is an unconditional love emanating from God for all his Creation,  that we can feel,  that we can want,  that we can receive,  but can we generate it ourselves?  Is it even wise to attempt it?  I do not feel so strong or so brave to attempt it.  Putting aside my objections of unconditional love being an enabler of evil,  being encouraging to our enemies….. consider another point.  Could there be a bit of arrogance behind the widespread human attempt to generate unconditional love?  Could it be a product of the incessant  “you-are-divine”  campaign imbedded in most religions  (even some semi-Christian sects)??  Personally,  I think it is a bit uppity to claim that I share any  “divinity”  with God.  I owe Him everything,  and I love Him with all my heart,  and try to follow His will as best I can understand it,  but I do not aspire to share in His special “divinity” as Creator.  Could it be that this issue has become very confused over the ages,  and that we really should concentrate on the proper conditions for love,  in our Earthly lives?  If the conditions for love are not present,  if agreements are not being kept,  if trusts are being violated,  if we are being lied to,  if we are being attacked,  why should we ignore these problems and offer love anyway?  Better to address the problems directly,  with an eye to justice and fairness,  and create the  conditions for love to grow properly on its own.  God got the celestial ball rolling,  and keeps it rolling,  with His amazing unconditional love,  but perhaps,  as lesser beings,  we should focus more on the proper conditions for love in our own lives…..  instead of singing the praises of putting up with the LACK of proper conditions. 

Another aspect of Eben’s description of love as an all-encompassing energy makes me uncomfortable.  He felt that God is love,  and love is God,  in agreement with some verses in the Bible. That means we humans,  and all of the universe,  are created by love,  as Eben wrote,  but it also reduces God to an energy field instead of an entity.  It “dissolves” God,  it “vaporizes” God,  so to speak.  It reduces God to a faceless product,  instead of the ultimate Producer of all products.  I am not comfortable with that,  but then I am not comfortable with any single concept of God.  To me,  God is much more than just love.  He is love,  he is knowledge,  he is power,  he is justice,  he is wisdom,  he is forgiveness,  he is laughter,  he is joy,  he is sadness.  But really,  that is beyond the scope of human life.  We cannot know the nature of God,  and really,  it doesn’t matter,  because our puny perception of God doesn’t change what happens.  We should be more concerned with the nuts and bolts of daily life,  how to reduce strife and stress,  how to reduce suffering of ourselves and others,  how to turn our wrongs into rights,  how to live more abundantly,  how to enjoy life….  in other words,  how to create the proper conditions for love to flourish in our lives.  We also need to learn how to combat and defeat evil  (wrong choices)  in ourselves and others.  Personally,  I am uncertain whether love and hate are products of living beings,  or if it is the other way around….. whether they are temporary or permanent….. whether we guide them or they guide us.  Perhaps both possibilities are true,  on different levels,  perhaps not.  But regardless,  I am convinced that they  (love, hate, etc.)  are all-important,  that they do control our lives,  that they are part of the nuts and bolts of our daily lives,  and  that they must be better understood and measured,  by all of us,  as soon as possible.  Why?

Because these “unmeasurables”,  these hidden human or super-human metaphysical forces are variables that dictate how all the other measurements will be used….. for good or evil, for help or hurt, for building or destruction,  for teaching or tyranny,  for liberation or domination.  The battle between them is fully engaged…..  people are dying from them every day,  and being enslaved every day,  and being liberated every day.  Science cannot measure these things,  but WE can,  in some fashion,  as intelligent, morally autonomous, individual living human beings.  We can read all sorts of indicators about the moral character and personality of the people around us,  and this is crucial to our lives.   So  we must leave science behind us,  and learn to measure these things as best we can,  even while science is proclaiming that they do not exist.  Our judgements in these matters can enhance our lives,  or ruin our lives.

OK,  OK….. Getting back to the book review…..

41IVIoEvm6L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_After I read “Proof of Heaven”,  and wrote down a first draft of my review,  I read another author’s review of the book.  Author Coleman Luck was so impressed and disturbed by “Proof of Heaven”,  that he wrote and published a small book examining Dr. Alexander’s book.  Above,  I wrote a mostly philosophical review of “Proof of Heaven”,  but Coleman Luck’s review is mostly religious,  comparing “Proof of Heaven” to Bible verses and accepted Biblical teachings.  The interesting thing is,  we come to pretty much the same general conclusion,  that the doctor’s NDE was real,  and that the doctor’s spirit was subjected to deception and lies,  mixed into the truth of an amazing spiritual adventure.

As a final statement,  about being right or wrong,  I am quite sure that some of the ideas I have written here are right,  and that some of them are wrong.  The sooner I find out which ideas are wrong,  and not in accordance with reality,  the better off I will be.  So I will sign off here,  to continue my quest elsewhere.  You can be sure that I will not be continuing my quest in any of Dr. Alexander’s teachings.

The Golden Rule Needs Some Iron

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I have been working steadily on this blog post,  and it has a lot of new material.  New pics, new book references, new philosophical arguments.  So I thought it was time to re-blog it.  Click on “view original” below the pics…..  but before you do that…..

I issue a 1-MINUTE CHALLENGE.  Can you spare just 1 minute for your own self-improvement,  for a step toward a better life, and a better world?  That is what philosophy can do for you.  Spend just 1 minute browsing the graphics below,  find one that interests you,  and go read the text surrounding that graphic.  It is my hope that you will find encouragement and inspiration in what you read,  and that you will want to read more of the blog.  If you have a blog,  leave a link in the comments,  so I and others can find our way to it.  Thanks!!

JACOBS-LADDER-with-angelsOnly Racists Oppose My DictatorshipScene_at_the_Signing_of_the_Constitution_of_the_United_StatesA Theory of Justice by John RawlsBernie Madoff - Master Swindler with wife

Socrates takes hemlock poison

Socrates takes hemlock poison

Solomon's wisdom of the baby

Solomon’s wisdom of the baby

Green aura

Green aura

Red aura

Red aura

Blue aura

Blue aura

Paul Harveyforward_sticker_rectangleRadicals by David Horowitzyuan_100_fMao leading peasants attackPETA ad reducing woman to animalIngrid NewkirkLion eats lambLooking for Spinozasavethechildren 060907The Third Jesus by Deepak ChopraThe problem of evil womanth_drill-sergeantIRAQ PRISONER ABUSELord of the Rings poster

Plato and Aristotle at The Academy

Plato and Aristotle at The Academy

th_arbeit_macht_frei 1prisoners1black-hole-swallows-star_36618_600x450The Golden Rule by Norman RockwellWithout Conscience by Robert Hareth_George-Zimmerman-Wanted-Poster-2

goldenmeantx

 

If you would like to contact me about this article, without leaving a comment for all to see,  then please use this contact form.  I look forward to your input.  Thanks.

Date last revised:  25 October 2014

Some readers will think this writing is too long, some will utterly reject its ideas, some will consider it heretical, in either a religious or political way.  But other readers will learn something useful from this writing, and some will be encouraged that there is a writer who has a view of this issue that is similar to their own, and who had the courage to “put it out there” where anyone can read it.  But that is about the limits of my courage, which may sound the trumpet-call of retreat at any moment.  So read this piece while it is still here….. it may disappear at any time.  For that matter…

View original post 36,997 more words

Christmas Lights Gone Crazy

Last weekend, I took my family for a drive around town to look at the Christmas lights on people’s houses,  and we saw some very nice ones,  but we did not see anything like this.  This is completely incredible and over the top….. can you imagine having this next door to you…..OMG….. where are my earplugs….

FYI,  this song “Gangnam Style” by Korean pop-singer PSY has set the record for most-viewed on Youtube, recently passing the 1-billion mark….. but it has nothing to do with Christmas….. what were these people thinking….. this is a perfect example of mindless sensuous extravagance….. which is the point of “Gangnam Style”…..  somehow I actually like it….. but not for Christmas!!  These people are competing in a Christmas light contest to win $10,000.  They are begging for votes on Youtube and Facebook.   I will not give them a vote, but I will give them a break, because in other videos, their gawdy lights blink to “Joy To The World” and “Amazing Grace”.  However, they could have left out  “Gangnam Style”….. and we would not miss it.  But the damage is done, and this video has attracted world-wide attention, with about 3 million views already.  The owners say that reporters from all over the world have appeared at their house in Cedar Park, Texas…..

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The irony of that video is amazing.  The song is making fun, in Korean language, of rich people doing senseless, extravagant things, and that is exactly what these people did with their Christmas lights.  They do not know or care,  but the song they are blaring out of speakers is making fun of them!  Their house would have fit right in, as a crazy scene in the song video, with PSY galloping in front of it, LOL….. and the people in the house would probably love that, but it has nothing to do with the meaning of Christmas.

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For those who have not been following this crazy song, and the controversies surrounding it, even involving President Obama, here is the official PSY video….. click on the title and check out the number of views:

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If I were to build an extravagant Christmas light display,  and then play non-Christmas songs with it,  this is much more to my liking….. at least it is patriotic….. and honoring all 4 branches of our brave military, who have fought tyranny and defended freedom all over the world….. something which  PSY brutally condemned in a disgusting video in 2004….. he sung for the torturing and killing of our soldiers and their families….. our troops died in the Korean War to give this PSY-cho the freedom to condemn us…..  PSY is such a scumbag,  but that is another story…..

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And here is a delightful synchronized display involving 13 different houses on a street with an actual Christmas song….. Merry Christmas!!

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When Things Just Work

DATE LAST REVISED:  18  DEC  2012

I finally found something to motivate me to do a new post.  I needed something a little lighter than heavy issues like the Golden Rule.  Doesn’t the title of this article  sound great, when things work out just like you hoped, just like you planned?  Well, sometimes it really happens.  A 2-minute video was just sent to me by an engineer friend (thanks, KW!).  This Honda commercial called “COG” or “When Things Just Work”  is 9 years old, but it was shown in Europe, and not in the US, and then on the internet.  I never saw it back then, but I don’t watch a lot of TV.  At the time, this commercial won every award for advertising:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh4zWeUDW-E

This video shows the 2-minute commercial, and then some interviews with people who made it, and shows some bloopers of how things went wrong in the 606 attempts to film the commercial, then it shows the commercial again.  According to Wikipedia, the project took 7 months from start to finish (the technician in the video who says 6 years must be on drugs, LOL).   It had a budget of one millions pounds (1.6 million US dollars), but I could not find the final cost.  Taking all of that into account, perhaps the entire project should be called “When Things Just DON’T Work” or “How To Spend Millions of Dollars Moving Spare Parts Around In a Big Room.”

Still, I can’t stop watching this epic commercial over and over.  After over 600 attempts, they finally got it right, and it is a beautiful thing!!  As Henry Ford said, “Success is 99% failure.”  He should know….. he invented the first automotive assembly line in 1913.  If we keep trying, struggling and learning from our mistakes, we will finally get it right.  Recognizing the mistakes and learning from our mistakes is the really hard part.

I am convinced that the events in the video are all real, with no computer graphic funny business.  That was the stated goal of the project.  Otherwise, why would it take 7 months, 606 takes, and a budget of  one million pounds?  Everything that you see happened in real time exactly as you see it.  The tires roll uphill because the technicians attached or inserted very heavy weights to make them do so.  This is not “cheating” or “fake”, as some nitpickers on Youtube have whined….. you can’t cheat the laws of physics.  They were just making use of gravity in clever ways, throughout the whole sequence.

Everything you see in the sequence (besides the walls, floor, various supports, ramp and Honda Accord at the end) are parts from two cars. The voice is that of Garrison Keiller. The commercial was so well received by Honda execs when they saw it, that their first comment was how amazing the computer graphics were. They almost fell out of their chairs when told that the images were real without any graphics manipulation.

So watch it and enjoy!!!

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And then another friend, KJ, a great mechanic and ingenious tinkerer, sent me another video, music video this time, perhaps even MORE ambitious than the Honda commercial.  It is done by a band named OK GO, singing their song “This Too Shall Pass.”  In their Rube Goldberg layout, they become part of the action, which is very elaborate.  Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qybUFnY7Y8w

Other than WOW VERY COOL, my only comment is, I feel sorry for whoever had to clean up the mess!!!

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And now, may I introduce a new Rube Goldberg video I actually found on my own.  It was done very recently (November) by the extreme geniuses and tinkerers at RED BULL (energy drink), and it already has over 12 million views.  RED BULL sponsors an army of athletes of many different types, and they brought them in to do this delightful video.  Two of the extreme athletes are Danny MacCaskill, with cat-like abilities on a bicycle, and Robbie Maddison, dirt-bike jumper extraordinaire  (FYI, Robbie rode as Daniel Craig’s stunt double in the incredible riding in “Skyfall”, the latest James Bond flick).   They are both featured in videos elsewhere in my blog.  If you are interested in seeing a video about the riding in “Skyfall”, I have put it here as a bonus:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIcNaX0vmuE&feature=player_embedded#!

RED BULL calls this video “The Athlete Machine”, which does not begin to do it any justice.  So enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0jmSsQ5ptw

As the helicopter lifts off, we must assume that the “kluge” continues with Pat Moore, on the ski slopes, in the next video?  Stay tuned…..

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Standing on the shoulders of giants

“On the shoulders of giants”… The blind giant Orion with his servant Cedalion on his shoulder

PHILOSOPHICAL NOTE:  All of these videos, but especially the RED BULL video, show the synergistic effect of precisely coordinated efforts.  The coordinated efforts of many different people,  using many different skills and materials,  in clever ways,  can produce an overall result that is far more than the sum of the parts.  In these videos, the result is very entertaining, because that is the limited goal of the project.  In real life,  or in government,  the result of coordinated efforts can be the difference between life and death for individuals, or between freedom and tyranny for societies.  In technology,  the result is cars,  computers,  factories,  skyscrapers and cities.  Our civilization is one huge Rube Goldberg contraption.  We are all just a cog in the machine.  But what a glorious machine it is….. and we all reap the benefits.  The precise coordinated efforts,  and sheer genius,  that go into the making of a car or a computer are mind-boggling….. if you will just take a moment and allow your mind to be boggled,  the next time you turn the key, or push the button.  We all stand on the shoulders of giants,  as Isaac Newton once said of his own discoveries.

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Now, as I am prone to do, I kept searching, and I found even more goodies, as one is prone to do, when one keeps searching.  Here is an encouraging video of kids trying real hard with no million-dollar budget.  They are swinging on a shoestring, and their video is still inspiring, as they find different ways to ring the bell:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFWHbRApS3c

And yes, there will be more to see, if you come back later.  So many videos, so little time…..

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Just in time for Christmas,  I found a vintage Mythbusters TV video,  from 6 years ago.  They decided to make a Christmas Rube Goldberg contraption,  just for Christmas, just for fun.  So here it is, with wishes from me to you for a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a MORE PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR,  if that is possible with the idiots we have in the government….. where things  (and people)  JUST DO NOT WORK….. LOL…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCYg_gz4fDo.

 

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Jesus the reason for season merry christmas loopGotcha snowball

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<<—- CLICK ON THE SNOWBALL FOR A SURPRISE

The Golden Rule Needs Some Iron

 

If you would like to contact me about this article, without leaving a comment for all to see,  then please use this contact form.  I look forward to your input.  Thanks.

Date last revised:  25 October 2014

Some readers will think this writing is too long, some will utterly reject its ideas, some will consider it heretical, in either a religious or political way.  But other readers will learn something useful from this writing, and some will be encouraged that there is a writer who has a view of this issue that is similar to their own, and who had the courage to “put it out there” where anyone can read it.  But that is about the limits of my courage, which may sound the trumpet-call of retreat at any moment.  So read this piece while it is still here….. it may disappear at any time.  For that matter, this entire blog could disappear at any time, if it draws the attention of powerful forces that object to its truth.

For those readers who will think this writing is unnecessary or wrong, consider the recent case of the young black man in Florida, Trayvon Martin, who was shot by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.  Neither one of these people followed the Golden Rule, but each was following his own moral rules, and it resulted in the shooting death of the young Trayvon Martin, a great tragedy.  George Zimmerman won the immediate fight, but regardless of his guilt or innocence, his entire life is probably ruined, by the racial and political issues that have taken over this case.  That is also a great tragedy.

After Trayvon’s death,  black men carried out at least 14 attacks on white victims across America, with the idea of “avenging” Trayvon.  They attacked white victims, even though George Zimmerman was not white, but Hispanic.  In Toledo, 6 black punks beat a 78-year-old white man, shouting:  “This is for Trayvon… Trayvon lives, white man… Kill that white man!”  In Gainesville, 5 blacks beat a 27-year-old white man severely, leaving his face permanently disfigured.  The blacks were shouting “Trayvon!”  during the vicious attack.  I did not hear of these attacks on the news, and you probably did not either, because the liberal mainstream media (LMM) will not report such attacks, or if they do, they will not mention the race of the attackers.  The reverse racism of the LMM is so obvious,   so stupid,  and so very disgusting.  The LMM is no longer an objective news-reporting profession….. it is a propaganda machine for liberal / progressive / radical zealots,  and a weapon to attack and punish its philosophical opponents.

Zimmerman was pronounced “not guilty” by a jury of 6 women.  There were threats of rioting by blacks.  There were more vicious attacks of whites by blacks,  to “avenge” Trayvon,  even though Trayvon’s parents urged them to to remain peaceful with “quiet reflection”.

Why did Zimmerman shoot Trayvon, and was he really justified?  Perhaps so, or perhaps not.  He could have avoided the fight,  and Trayvon also could have avoided the fight.  Trayvon was not doing anything wrong,  until he found himself on top of Zimmerman,  hitting Zimmerman and pounding Zimmerman’s head on the concrete.  That in itself gave Zimmerman the legal right to shoot Trayvon.  We must go far beyond the Golden Rule to answer these questions.  But what about our hunting and killing of Osama Bin Laden?  What about the hunting and killing of Libyan leader Moammar Ghadaffi, by his own people?  Did you approve or disapprove of that?  If you disapproved, then you have come to the right place, for you are in sore need of an attitude adjustment.

Such cases concerning the use of deadly force are fascinating, and they are happening every day, all over the world.  Here is a link to a website, Victims of the State, that describes some of the more famous of these cases, in which the defendant was falsely accused….. http://victimsofthestate.org/CC/new.html …… you should ask yourself:  what would you do in these situations?  Following the Golden Rule would not help you in most of these situations, and if you survived, you would be wrongly accused and put through hell on earth.

In most other situations, a defender with a gun is successful in stopping or preventing a crime, with no repercussions to the defender, often without even firing the gun.  One researcher, Dr. Gary Kleck, says that this happens about 2.5 million times a year in the US.  This means that guns are used by private citizens to protect life or property 60 times more often than a gun is fired with criminal intent:  http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0210e.asp .  Private citizens are also 5 times more effective than the police, in using their guns against criminals to stop crimes.

And on the moral side of this issue,  a man or woman using a gun  (or knife, or baseball bat, or their bare hands)  to protect themselves or their family against a monster who has broken into their home and who is intent on killing them or raping them or robbing them,  is totally justified and in the right,  and the historic  “Golden Rule”  is worthless to them,  even dangerous or fatal.  This little problem is not mentioned in the ancient teachings of the  “Golden Rule”.  And in many states today,  the “Golden Rule” is enforced by law,  prohibiting a homeowner from using a weapon against an intruder, but instead requiring retreat from the intruder.  Such laws are an outrageous violation of natural moral principles,  justice and common sense.

The following article is a work in progress, that I have written on and off, mostly off,  for the last 15 years.  I will probably work on it for the next 15 years, modifying it as my slow research may require.  Until I finally decide what to do with it, this is the best place I can put it.  This blog gets views from many different countries, as well as the USA.  WordPress.com started reporting views by country on February 25, 2012.  Since then, I have had 1306 views from the USA, 101 views from the UK, 99 views from Canada, 58 views from Brazil, 116 views from Australia, 33 views from Thailand, 65 views from India, 23 views from New Zealand, 24 views from Italy, 45 views from Germany, and so on.  This includes views from hostile countries such as Russia (39),  Indonesia (48), France (46), Turkey (23), Romania (14), Slovakia (9), Chile (9), Netherlands (15), Venezuela (9), Serbia (5), Pakistan (37), Colombia (3), Sri Lanka (5), UAE (6),  Saudi Arabia (4), Libya (2), Vietnam (5), Jordan (4), Kenya (3).  If you don’t think some of these countries are partially unfriendly to us, you should think again.  Unfortunately, the more oppressed countries,  which need this message the most,  have restricted internets,  so they will not be able to see it.  I am surprised there are views from Libya, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.  This is just a record of the views since Feb 25, 2012.  The total views of this blog are 3492 views,  since Jan 5, 2011,  from a total of 85 countries.  This averages about 3 views per day,  every day,  with 2 of them from countries other than the US.  You may think these are paltry numbers,  but if I can improve the philosophy of just a few people in the world,  or have them improve my philosophy,  then I consider all my efforts to be worthwhile.  My “marketing” methods may be strange, as in non-existent,  but after all,  I am not trying to “market” a product for any profit.  I am simply doing something that I enjoy, and offering it for free,  to others who may enjoy or appreciate it.  If you do not enjoy or appreciate it,  then……  what are you doing here?…..  nobody is keeping you here…..  don’t let the door hit your ass on your way out.   Goodbye,  and good riddance…..

I would like to think that most of the people who read the following article will agree with some or most of it,  but I don’t know.  I might be in a tiny minority.  That is why discussion and debate are so important in philosophy,  so we can discover the agreements and disagreements,  be directed to new evidence,  and reform our viewpoints,  if necessary.

If you read all or part of this article,  comments will form in your mind.  Comments are welcome here,  with these simple conditions:  if they are constructive or helpful,  I will post them.  If they are destructive or rude,  I will not post them.  If you have an opposing point or argument,  that is the most welcome,  because it might help me correct an error I have made in thought or judgment….. or it might enable me to help correct an error of yours.  Truthseeking should be a group activity.

My philosophical-leaning articles are not light entertainment.  They require an investment of reading time and thought,  more than just a minute-or-two glance.  With these articles,  I am  trying to fill a vacancy or a void I see in both formal philosophy and cultural philosophy.  Most philosophy is increasingly liberal and pacifist,  and it spreads many falsehoods and errors in logic and judgment.  The religious and moral foundations of American culture and Western civilization are being attacked and destroyed.  I am neither liberal nor pacifist,  and I will not let these attacks go unchallenged.  In my own small way,  I am trying to nudge philosophy and culture away from insanity and back to their conservative roots,  with a blend of philosophical reasoning, science, and metaphysical faith.  And I hope I am giving others the inspiration and ammunition to do the same.  So now,  I hope you enjoy my latest article,  which perhaps contains the core principle of my philosophy.  That core principle is extremely important.  It has the potential to end the most intense suffering in the world…..  the suffering that results from predatory people preying on other people.  This should not be tolerated,  and we all have the ability to stop such suffering,  whenever and wherever we encounter it,  if only we have the courage to do so:

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The Golden Rule Needs Some Iron:  for the Defense of Goodness

A well-organized society is one in which we know the truth about ourselves
collectively, not one in which we tell pleasant lies about ourselves.
Tony Judt, British historian (1948-2010)

Pure gold is simply too soft for most practical uses.  It must be mixed with
harder metals to form a strong alloy.  Likewise, the Golden Rule, while
precious, is too soft to serve as our only Rule of life.  It must be mixed
with a Rule of Iron to form our morality into a strong and useful alloy.
Original to this work

Immanuel Kant, Jesus, Buddha and many others would have us follow the Golden Rule in all things, above all else.  The Golden Rule, or the moral principle of reciprocity, is found in the writings of almost every religion.  Among good people, it is generally regarded as the most concise and most important principle of ethics.  It is even hailed by many as the only moral principle we really need.  Here is a collection of religious teachings on the moral principle of reciprocity:

Christianity:
All things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them.
Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31

You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.  Matthew 22:36-40

If there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely,
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  Romans 13:9

Ancient Egypt:
Now this is the command: Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you.
The Culture of Ancient Egypt, “The Eloquent Peasant” (John Albert Wilson)

That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another.  A Late Period Hieratic
Wisdom Text (P. Brooklyn)

He sought for others the good he desired for himself.  Let him pass.  Egyptian Book of the Dead (1580-1350 BC)

Judaism:
What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow men.  That is the entire Law,
the rest is commentary.  The Talmud, Shabbat 31a

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk.  Love your neighbor as yourself;  I am The Lord.  Leviticus 19:18

Islam:
Not one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
Hadith, an-Nawawi 13 (The Hadith is Mohammed’s teachings, not those of Allah)
(Note: this teaching of Islam only applies between faithful Muslims)

That which you want for yourself, seek for mankind.  Conversations of Muhammad
(attributed to the man Mohammed in the Hadith, not the god Allah in the Koran)

Buddhism:
Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.  Udana-Varga 5,1

Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.
Detachment and Compassion in Early Buddhism, by Elizabeth J. Harris

One should seek for others the happiness one desires for himself.
Buddha (Siddhartha Guatama, c. 563-483 BC)

Hinduism:
One should not behave towards others in a way that is harmful to oneself.
Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva  113.8

This is the sum of duty: do naught unto others what you would not have them do unto you.
Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva  5.1517

Ba’hai:
And if your eyes be turned toward justice, choose for your neighbor what you choose for yourself.  Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, 30

Beware lest you harm any soul, or make any heart to sorrow;  lest you wound any man
with your words, be he known to you or a stranger, be he friend or foe.
Selections from the Writings of Abdul-Baha

Jainism:
A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated.
Sutrakritanga 1.11.33

In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.
Sutrakritanga 1.11.33

Sikhism:
Golden Rule: I am a stranger to no one;  and no one is a stranger to me.  Indeed, I am a friend to all.
Guru Granth Sahib, page 1299

Confucianism:
Tsekung asked, Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?  Confucius replied, It is the word “shu” – reciprocity.  Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.  Analects 15.23

Try your best to be treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.   Mencius VII.A.4

Taoism:
Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.  Tai Shang Kan Ying Pien

Wicca:
Hear ye these words and heed them well, the words of Dea, thy Mother Goddess, “I command thee thus, O children of the Earth, that which ye deem harmful unto thyself, the very same shall ye be forbidden from doing to another, for violence and hatred give rise to the same.  My command is thus, that ye shall return all violence and hatred with peacefulness and love, for my Law is love unto all things.  Only through love shall ye have peace; only peace and love will cure the world, and subdue all evil.”
Codex Vias, Part Two

Zoroastrianism:
Whatever is disagreeable to yourself, do not do unto others.   Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29

That nature alone is good which refrains from doing to another whatsoever is not good for itself.   Dadisten-I-Dinik 94,5

FROM  PHILOSOPHY

Categorical  Imperative:
Act in such a way that the maxim of your conduct can be willed as a universal law.  Immanuel Kant, German philosopher  (1724 – 1804)

Greek Philosophy:
Do not do to your neighbor what you would take ill from him.  Pittacus, 640-568 BC

Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing.  Thales, 624-546 BC

What you do not want to happen to you, do not do it yourself.  Sextus the Pythagorean

We should behave toward friends as we would wish friends to behave toward us.  Aristotle (384-322 BC)

Do not do unto others what angers you if done to you by others.  Socrates (436-338 BC)

It has been shown that to injure anyone is never just anywhere.  Socrates, The  Republic

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The Golden Rule painting by Norman Rockwell

Outside this original work that you are now reading, this rule of moral reciprocity, the Golden Rule, is utterly passive (or pacifist).  But it appears in positive and negative forms, which are duly described in the literature.  In the positive form, we are to actively DO positive things for others, to help others;  things that we would wish them to do for us.  In the negative form, we are to REFRAIN FROM DOING negative things to others, such as physical harm, that we would wish them NOT to do to us.  This passive Golden Rule, in both forms, shared by all these different religions and philosophies, is a great moral concept.  But I hope to show that it is incomplete.  It should not be thought of as the complete moral principle of reciprocity.  It is only one side of that principle, like one side of a gold coin, like one end of a carpenter’s hammer.  One end of the hammer drives nails in, the other end pulls nails out.  Both ends of the hammer are essential to the greater task of taking down an old house and building a new house.

Look at this wonderful painting by Norman Rockwell.  He strove to paint people who look as different as possible,  from many different cultures,  but who are all equal in their peacefulness, their innocence, their humility, their benevolent morality.  They are all of one mind;  there are no disagreements;  there are no arguments;  there are no conflicts;  there are no adversaries;  there are no predators;  there are no enemies.  This an excellent visualization of all the above historical quotes of the Golden Rule.  It is a tempting fantasy, but it is a pleasant lie about ourselves,  about our world,  that we should not indulge in.  This painting is like a hallucinogenic drug,  a pleasing fantasy that charms us,  that entices us to ignore reality.  In reality,  there are arguments, conflicts,  predators and enemies all around us.  Even among our friends or family,  there are people who are wasting their lives, and enticing us to waste our lives along with them.  The dream of “Equality” is a fleeting fantasy that blinds us to that reality.  The dream of  “The Golden Rule”  also blinds us to the reality of the moral inequality all around us.

As a general rule,  it is better to be able to see the world around us,  than to be blind,  wouldn’t you agree?  People who are blind are severely limited and handicapped in life.  We pity the blind,  and those of us with good eyesight would never give it up willingly.  It is extremely useful to be able to use our vision to see and  measure the quantities and qualities of the environment around us,  which includes the people in that environment.  We appreciate our eyesight,  and we depend on it to the fullest extent.  It is incredible how quickly that simple idea gets lost or ignored,  when we delve into philosophy or theology or even scientific theory.  Too often, we are asked to close our mental or spiritual eyes,  or to ignore what we know we are seeing with them.

When we can see and measure something with precision,  we can apply intelligence and genius to those measurements,  understand the natural principles at work behind the measurements,  and accomplish amazing things.  Our modern civilization is based on measurements, which lead us to understanding, which leads to the miracles of technology that we all now depend on every day.  We can measure almost everything,  from quantum particles to galaxies,  from microns to light years to parsecs,  from foot-pounds to megatons.  Scientists can measure just about every physical feature of our environment now,  but they still cannot measure the METAphysical.  What science CANNOT measure are the most important things…..  life energy;  the miracle of life itself;  the hidden forces around us;  the hidden qualities of the people that use all these measurements.

The inability of science to deal with the miracle of life is well-illustrated by the definition of “Life” found in a medical dictionary:   “Life:  a constellation of vital phenomena–  organization, irritability, movement, growth, reproduction, adaptation.”  Sorry, folks, but this is NOT a definition of life,  as the dictionary writers should well know.  This is a boiled-down list of the basic things that life DOES,  this is not a description of the DOER.  This is like listing all the known characteristics of sunlight (illumination, heat, color, etc.),  and calling it a definition of the sun…. ridiculous!!  The sun is not defined as the things it produces…..  the sun is a star, an amazing ball of hydrogen fusion and other elements that also produce a “constellation of vital phenomena”–  such as illumination, heat, color, and gravity–  without which life could not survive on our planet,  from its beginning 4 to 5 billion years ago.  The sun is not sunlight;  the sun produces sunlight.  Similarly,  life is not our bodies and their activities,  but life produces our bodies and expresses itself through our bodies’ activities,  which are life’s products.  Without the vital creative energy of life,  there would be no bodies,  no activities,  no physical “vital phenomena”  for dictionary writers to list.   Science has discovered and measured the physical “vital statistics” of the sun  (distance, mass, size, temperature, elements),  so we can give it a proper definition, because it exists in the physical realm.  But science cannot give us a definition of life,  because science does not know the “vital statistics” of life;  the cause of life, the source of life, the energy of life.  These “vital statistics” of life exist in the METAphysical realm,  beyond the reach of science.   Yet we all possess life within us,  and know the definition of life intimately and intuitively,  even if we cannot measure it or put it in writing.  We cannot see it with our eyes,  but we FEEL it with our inner senses.  We feel it with all our being,  and life IS our very being,  our very essence,  apart from our physical bodies.  But all medical science can do to define life,  is to come up with a pathetic laundry list of a few basic things that our physical bodies can do.

Blue aura

Blue aura

Red aura

Red aura

Violet aura

Violet aura

Green aura

Green aura

Orange aura

Orange aura

Some psychic-gifted people can sense colorful “auras” glowing around people, and can tell the general morality of a person by the color of the aura.  Different aura colors indicate different qualities of character,  and different levels of emotional maturity.   A darkened or black aura indicates hostile emotions,  the holding of grudges and sinister intent.  With Kirlian photography and more recent techniques,  cameras have been developed that are claimed to capture these auras in photographs, as shown here.  These photos may be fake,  but they may be real.  There is an interesting effect of the photos posted here.  When I move my eyes quickly from one to the other,  the auras seem to move or pulsate.  Do you notice this effect?

There is an growing tendency in modern society to gloss over differences between people,  and declare absolute moral equality,  even when it is obviously wrong and harmful to do so.  Liberals or “progressives” are the worst offenders in this regard.  The infant science of auras, and their detection,  will put the lie to such liberal-minded moral equality,  and society will be much better off for it.  But no doubt,  some stubborn liberals will champion the cause of those poor souls with dark auras,  who would be rightfully shunned by most people,  until they brighten their auras.  Those stubborn liberals would no doubt liken prejudice against dark auras to prejudice against black-skinned and brown-skinned minorities,  even though aura and skin have no correlation at all. Let us imagine how it might be,  if we all became aura-sighted:

Just imagine with me,  for a delightful moment,  how different (and better) our lives would be,  if these auras are real and if everyone could see them.  I would love to wave a magic wand,  and suddenly enable everyone to see auras.  We would be able to tell a lot about a person just by looking at them.  You cannot read a book by its cover,  but you could read much about a person from their aura.  We could have better relationships,  because we could tell if we would be compatible with them or not.  We could avoid deep relationships with people whose auras (and personalities) clash with ours.  Most importantly, people with dim or dark auras would not be trusted,  and they could no longer fool us into trusting them.  Can you imagine a politician  giving a speech to thousands or millions of people,  with a dark aura swirling around him?  No one would believe anything he said.  Actually, there would not be any politicians with dark auras,  because they could not get enough votes to get elected in the first place.  Can you imagine how much better our government would be?  There may not be any dictators or tyrants,  because people trying to become dictators or tyrants would have the darkest auras,  and they would not be able to lie about their intentions.  People with dark auras would be easier to help,  if they would accept help.  If we wish,  we could extend the passive Golden Rule to them,  in a limited fashion,  while on guard,  like trying to tame a lion.  It would be easier to identify and catch criminals,  if they would not accept help.  A person’s evil would be on display,  in his or her aura,  like a gauge on an instrument panel.  Everyone, including the dark ones if they are willing,  would benefit from this,  and the world would become a much safer and happier place.  All because we could now see, or measure, the moral qualities of the people around us,  and they could see or measure ours.  All because we could now see another part of our natural being,  our metaphysical anatomy,  that was there all along,  but only a few people could see it,  and the rest of us did not believe them.

Most scientists would scoff that auras do not exist,  because they cannot detect or measure auras.  Instead of scoffing,  they should be questioning their own knowledge.  But that is not all they cannot measure.   Science cannot measure good and evil,  science cannot measure love and hate,  science cannot measure intentions,  science cannot measure free will,  science cannot measure morality,  science cannot measure ethics,  science cannot measure a soul,  science cannot measure God.  What science cannot measure,  a soul for example,  science ignores,  or even denies that souls exist.  Most scientists lean toward atheism, and scoff at religion.  But….. good, evil, love, hate, free will, intent, life energies, souls…..  these “unmeasurables” are the most important things to measure, are they not?  I think so, and you probably think so, too.  Yet,  these are the things that many scientists (the atheistic ones)  and philosophers (the liberal ones) argue against,  proclaiming they do not exist.  Most other scientists simply ignore these “unmeasurables”,  because they are in the business of measurement,  so why should they waste time on something that cannot be measured,  and therefore may not even exist?  This only leads to massive frustration,  and possible loss of funding for lack of results.  But they DO spend massive amounts of money and time researching behaviors,  brain activity,  genetics, hormones, and chemicals in our bodies,  and use this evidence to argue that the all-important “unmeasurables” mentioned above do not exist.  This is a round-about, negative way of acknowledging that the “unmeasurables” are of prime importance.  It is also a biased battle against the truth,  instead of an honest effort to find the truth.

Science ignores it,  but If you do have a soul,  if you ARE a soul,  then that is the most important fact in your entire existence,  is it not?  That one fact changes your outlook on everything else.  This is a big reason many people are atheists.  If they acknowledged the metaphysical,  it would logically and morally require them to move out of the ‘comfort zone’ of atheist denial,  and accept the uncertain and the unknowable.  It would remove the fence they have built around their backyard of certain knowledge,  and they would have to ponder the uncertainty of things that were beyond that fence.  They would have to develop faith in higher powers.  They would have to change their lives.  They might have to change their jobs,  their friends,  their relationships, their place of residence.  They would have to stop attacking those who hold beliefs different from their own.  For atheism IS a belief system,  perhaps even more so than the religions it attacks.  It seems to me that it would take a great deal of stubborn, bitter belief to witness the miracles of life all around us,  and inside us,  that science cannot measure or control or explain,  and still proclaim that there is nothing metaphysical behind it all.  An ancient Greek philosopher / scientist, Protagoras (490 – 420 BC), was on the right track when he said  “Man is the measure of all things”,  but science has long ago abandoned that great hopeful vision.  Instead,  too often science has the arrogant attitude that whatever man cannot measure,  does not exist.  This is the attitude of a tiny insect,  as it is crushed by a shoe that it did not see coming and it cannot understand.

Proof of Heaven and AuthorThat was the attitude of neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, before he wrote the book “Proof of Heaven:  A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife” (2012).  Eben was essentially atheist,  even though he went to church occasionally with his wife and kids.  But the scientific and medical communities he worked in turned him atheist,  until he had the most incredible near-death experience (NDE) and felt the need to write a book about it.  His book is the current #1 New York Times Best Seller, in its category,  for 38 weeks.  My latest article in this blog is a full review of that book:

https://goldenmeantx.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/book-review-proof-of-heaven-or-proof-of-something-else/

In that book,  Eben described love as an all-encompassing energy in the spirit world,  like sunlight in the physical world,  something all around him and in him,  that emanated ultimately from God (or “Om”,  as Eben chose to call God after his NDE).  So he felt that God is love,  and love is God,  in agreement with the Bible.  That means we humans,  and all of the universe,  are created by love,  as Eben wrote,  but it also reduces God to an energy field instead of an entity.  It “dissolves” God, it “vaporizes” God, so to speak.  I am not comfortable with that,  but then I am not comfortable with any single concept of God.  But really,  that is beyond the scope of human life.  We cannot know the nature of God,  and really,  it doesn’t matter,  because our puny perception of God doesn’t change what happens.  We should be more concerned with the nuts and bolts of daily life,  how to reduce strife and stress,  how to reduce suffering of ourselves and others,  how to turn our wrongs into rights,  how to live more abundantly,  how to enjoy life.  Personally,  I am uncertain whether love and hate are products of living beings,  or if it is the other way around….. whether they are temporary or permanent….. whether we guide them or they guide us.  Perhaps both possibilities are true,  on different levels,  perhaps not.  But regardless,  I am convinced that they  (love, hate, etc.)  are all-important,  that they do control our lives,  that they are part of the nuts and bolts of our daily lives,  and  that they must be better understood and measured,  by all of us,  as soon as possible.  Why?

Because these “unmeasurables”,  these hidden human or super-human metaphysical forces are variables that dictate how all the other measurements will be used….. for good or evil, for help or hurt, for building or destruction,  for teaching or tyranny,  for liberation or enslavement.  Science cannot measure these things,  but WE can,  in some fashion,  as intelligent, morally autonomous, individual living human beings.  We can read all sorts of indicators about the moral character and personality of the people around us, and this is crucial to our lives.   So  we must leave science behind us,  and learn to measure these things as best we can,  even while science is proclaiming that they do not exist.  Our judgements in these matters can enhance our lives,  or ruin our lives.

Bernie Madoff - Master Swindler with wife

Bernie Madoff, Master Swindler, with wife

For example,  think of all the poor folks who judged the financial criminal Bernie Maddoff to be trustworthy,  and trusted him with their life savings.  Bernie was living like a king, on their money, and turned them into beggars.  His victims could have (and should have) used a better measurement of Bernie’s moral character.  “Science” had nothing to offer them,  to make this measurement.  The “Golden Rule”  told them that they should not make this measurement.  But if they could have seen Bernie’s aura, for example, they would not have given him their money.  In this photo,  just imagine a black aura swirling around Bernie like a dark mist, to match his black coat and tie,  turning his nice smile into an evil grin.  Forget auras….. if they had just asked the right questions,  dug a little deeper,  insisted on independent verification of Bernie’s claims,  then they would have found the true measure of the man.  He was a predator,  a parasite,  a destroyer of lives…..  he ruined hundreds of lives,  his own life,  and his family.  He is now serving 150 years in prison.  But he feels no shame….. recently,  in a prison interview,  he blamed the government for not catching him sooner.

You would think that “science” and The Golden Rule have nothing in common.  But if you think that,  you would be wrong.  When it comes to the most important puzzles and conflicts of our lives, ” science” and the Golden Rule are of no help,  and they both hinder us and hold us back.  The greatest failing of the traditional Golden Rule is this:   just like “science”,  it forbids us from the most important measurements of our lives.  That is, the measurement of the morality and / or ethics of the people around us, and of ourselves.  Science CANNOT measure these things, and the Golden Rule says that we SHOULD NOT measure them.  We,  as incredible intelligent beings of body / mind / spirit,  CAN measure these things crudely,  but as it has been forged through millennia of human turmoil and manipulation,  the traditional and passive Golden Rule tells us to IGNORE such measurements.  The results of this forced ignorance have been mostly disaster;  allowing the triumph of evil and oppression.  It is time for that to change.  It is time to recognize and release our innate abilities to measure morality,  abilities that we use every day,  but usually must deny or conceal.

It is time to shred the smothering dark blanket of idealistic “equality” that has settled over modern society.  Different people, societies, cultures, nations, lifestyles, religions and forms of government ARE NOT “different but equal”.  They are all different in terms of morality, ethics, efficiency, enterprise, aptitude, openness, industry, work ethic, innovation, genius, knowledge, justice, love,  or the LACK of these qualities.  These differences make them superior or inferior, in the different categories that can be examined.  These differences make them more or less moral;  more or less successful as individuals, as nations, as religions.  We can respect and even enjoy cultural differences (I certainly do),  but we should not be fooled into thinking that cultures or people are equal in overall morality, or equal in overall potential,  because they are not.  But that truth does not stop them from claiming to be equal….. indeed,  it motivates them to preach the false religion of  “equality” all the more.

I am not implying here that I myself am superior to other people,  just because I analyze and criticize some of their theories and beliefs.  The world is full of passionate people selling theories and oppressive people enforcing beliefs  (if they can),  that usually conflict with each other.  They cannot peacefully co-exist in a fantasy world of “equality”.  The very nature of different theories and opposing beliefs is to clash with the others and gain supporters,  until one is generally accepted as right and the others are rejected as wrong.  But whether the prevailing theory or the popular belief has a good relationship with reality or truth,  is another question entirely.  I have found that often,  the theory or belief does not have a good relationship with even my limited understanding of reality.  When I analyze the tiny portion of the universe that is accessible to me,  I try to keep faithful to strict standards of logic and morality,  much more than I try to do so with my family and friends,  in my everyday life.  My family and friends deserve good will and grace,  but the vital search for truth requires a strict standard of logical or moral principles.  This harsh but vital arena of philosophical thought is my sacred retreat,  that I delight in,  that I welcome you into,  if you would join me.  I do need some friends here,  before my enemies overwhelm me.

This article has a great deal of analysis and criticism…. of  scientists, other philosophers, other writers, politicians, religionists, liberals, pacifists,  etc.  I think that some of my analysis is closer to reality than some popularly-accepted analysis.  I know that some of my talents are superior to others,  and I know that some of my talents are far inferior to others.  I know that I am a more ethical person than some people,  and I know that I am a less ethical person than some people.  Everyone should know this about themselves, in a vague and intuitive way.  The difference is,  I think we urgently need to understand and measure all these differences, not sweep them under the rug, or throw a false blanket of  “equality”  over everyone, or blindly give everyone a moral pass,  as The Golden Rule requires us to do.  The more we know about our true place in relation to other people,  the better we will be able to understand and improve ourselves,  and the better we will be able to help others improve,  if they will accept our help.

JACOBS-LADDER-with-angels

Jacobs’ Ladder with Angels descending and ascending

Here is another image….. think of life’s path as a huge ladder or stairway into heavenly mystical realms,  that we are all climbing,  like Jacob’s vision of a ladder into heaven in the Bible….. not a level path that hugs the earth and leads us to a supposedly desirable destination,  and not a cyclical wheel that keeps returning us to the same arena of life over and over again (as in Hinduism and Buddhism).  Imagine this long ladder or stairway as the fastest climb to human maturity, and more important,  the fastest improvement as a metaphysical entity.  Many writers have interpreted Jacob’s Ladder in this way.  Another writer hints that the angelic beings Jacob saw climbing up and down represent our own souls:

“The Hellenistic Jewish Biblical philosopher Philo Judaeus, born in Alexandria, (d. ca. 50 CE) presents his allegorical interpretation of the ladder in the first book of his De somniis.  First,  the angels represent souls descending to and ascending from bodies   (some consider this to be Philo’s clearest reference to the doctrine of reincarnation).”  (Wikipedia)

Do you want to stay mired in petty emotional issues for thousands of years?  From what I have researched  (to be reported later),  that is what happens to most people.  I will not allow that to happen to me any longer.  I envision myself as trying to climb Jacob’s Ladder, and trying to avoid falling back down it.  To advance in any area of life,  to improve ourselves,  we must struggle to keep climbing life’s ladder of self-improvement,  rung by rung, step by step,  to greater heights of goodness and wisdom,  and it is a hard struggle.  It is as if we are climbing an invisible staircase,  that we can partially feel,  but we cannot see.  If we get disoriented or dizzy,  or blinded with anger,  we can easily take a step down instead of up,  and hardly know the difference.  Or we can lose our moral balance,  fall,  and tumble down many steps.  To keep climbing,  we need to know which way is up,  and we need to know what rung of the ladder we are perched on.  We need to get to know the people perched on our rung of the ladder,  and we need to get to know the people on the rungs above us,  who are ahead of us and superior to us,  so that we can learn how to get to the next higher rung.  We need to look down and try to help the people on the rung below us get up to our rung, without letting them pull us back down to their rung.  In this scenario of mine,  there are real and large differences between people on different rungs.  It is the difference between lazy and industrious,  between deceptive and honest,  between bullies and their victims,  between villian and hero,  between selfish and generous,  between foolish and wise.   When a false concept of “equality” is forced upon us,  it brings life’s ladder of self-improvement crashing down,  to lay flat on the ground.  All the rungs of the ladder are at the same level,  and we cannot climb any higher.  This is what liberal philosophy does to us.  A false concept of “Equality” is the killer of Excellence.  Excellence is what we all should be seeking,  in some arena or another.  It you are not seeking excellence in some way,  then you are wasting your precious  cosmic time,  in my humble opinion.

We need to recognize and honor those who are superior to us,  and help those who are inferior to us.  Those who are the most unethical and the most harmful,  need to be stopped from doing their harm.  After that is done,  whether they can then be helped or not,  is another question,  and it is largely up to them,  not us.  We are all very different,  for better or worse.  The more we know about people’s better-ness or worse-ness, as well as our own,  the better off we will be.  If someone is truly better than you or me in some important way,  then it is to our benefit to humbly learn how they are superior and how they got that way.  But discovering these differences, and measuring them,  is very difficult even if we all agreed to do it,  and there is no such agreement.  It is a very unpopular thing in society,  to expose other people’s faults, or our own faults,  even though we desperately need to understand our faults.  It has also become unpopular to acknowledge our strengths and successes and virtues,  because that is not “fair” to others .  It seems that most people try to hide their differences and disguise their true nature,  for selfish purposes…..  not for the sake of conformity and harmony,  but for purposes of deception,  manipulation, and self-gain.  We hide behind a curtain of societal “equality”,  that has been lowered onto the stage of society by liberal philosophy.  And even when the curtain is raised,  we all have our personal masks of “equality” to hide behind.

As my favorite Greek philosopher Aristotle said:  “The worst form of equality is to try to make unequal things equal.”  But that is what liberal philosophy is trying to to,  and is getting away with,  in modern society.

A Theory of Justice by John Rawls  It is always to the advantage of lesser people to proclaim themselves to be the “equal” of greater people, by whatever scale they measure…..  or to deny that the more successful people are superior in any way at all,  or to imply  that they do not deserve their success…..  as President Obama infamously proclaimed the lie:  “You didn’t build that!”  His pathetic outburst was just the latest expression of a century of liberal philosophy, that proclaims  individuals are not really responsible for their own success or failure.  It proclaims that we are not free moral agents with free will, and that our success or failure is caused by genetics,  race, circumstances of our birth and childhood,  education or lack thereof,  societal forces,  and sheer luck,  whether good or bad.   A famous book by liberal philosopher John Rawls,  “A Theory of Justice”  (1971),  advanced this philosophy more than anything else in the last century.  Rawls has been called the most important philosopher of the 20th century.  He won the National Humanities Medal in 1999,  presented by President Clinton,  in recognition of how Rawls’ work  “helped a whole generation of learned Americans revive their faith in democracy itself.”[4]

Clinton and his  “learned Americans”  (whoever they are),  and the rest of us,  need to be reminded that there is nothing inherently virtuous about  “democracy itself”.  If the people in the democracy are not virtuous,  then the democracy is not virtuous,  but becomes a tyranny of the immoral majority.  It has been said that democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for supper.  That is what is happening with the increasingly liberal majority in America.  Not only is it a tyranny of the immoral majority– it is a tyranny of stupidity and willful ignorance (of the liberal voters).  Barack Obama is the closest thing to a dictator that America has yet had, with his many czars answerable only to him,  his many executive orders,  his takeover of the healthcare system,  his attacks on freedom of religion,  freedom of speech, capitalism,  gun rights,  and his admitted disregard for the Constitution.  He openly laments that he cannot force Congress (and the rest of us) to “do what is right”,  according to his liberal agenda.

Only Racists Oppose My DictatorshipWe are now finding out how far and deep Obama’s arrogance runs,  and the arrogance of his liberal / progressive / Radical comrades,  with the scandals popping out like measles all over his government:   Fast and Furious, still brewing,  is being joined by the Bengazhi lies and cover-ups,  the blatant and criminal IRS attacks of conservative and religious groups,  the newly-discovered widespread monitoring of emails and phone calls by the National Security Agency,  and the illegal seizure of emails and phone records of over 100 reporters.  Even liberal reporters,  in Obama’s camp,  are upset about that outrage.  These scandals are not going away,  and the more facts that are discovered,  it is only going to get worse for this president and his gang of lying  Radicals  (lying is a prominent tactic of Radicals– see more below).

Obama knows what is being hidden,  what may be exposed,  and he is very worried. obama-facepalmThe president is reportedly not sleeping well,  has been seen openly weeping, and an insider revealed Obama has told some close friends,  “They’re going to impeach me.”  He has been seen by Secret Service agents wandering the halls of the White House at night,  often stopping to stare at the portrait of  his hero Abraham Lincoln  (Globe Magazine, June 10, 2013).  But I don’t think the spirit of Lincoln will help Mr. Obama  (except perhaps to confess,  LOL).  Lincoln was a great uniter,  trying to heal the wounds of the country.  But Obama is a divider,  creating new wounds,  pitting classes and groups of Americans against each other,  and directing vicious attacks against the groups he doesn’t like.  Obama has preached the Golden Rule at us in various speeches,  but the Golden Rule is the farthest thing from his mind,  when he attacks his political and philosophical opponents.

John Rawls full (1921-2002)

John Rawls (1921-2002)
Liberal/socialist philosopher

Getting back to John Rawls….. who was a great and prolific writer, but had a stutter and was deathly afraid of speaking in public.  He is the writer most responsible for creating the liberal definition of  justice as “fairness”, merging the two different concepts into one.  He then elevated justice into “social” justice,  and made this “social justice” the primary goal of liberalism.  In his pursuit of liberal “social justice as fairness”,   Rawls famously called for a “Veil of Ignorance” when considering who should get what in society.  He said that we should act as if we know nothing about our own position in society,  our own past history;  as if we do not know the position or history or ethics of anyone else.  This essentially gives everyone a free ticket of equality,  a free pardon for all their sins, crimes, or mistakes,  and holds no one responsible for anything,  good or bad.  It is an amazing and compelling theory of justice,  that has taken hold and dominated liberal / progressive thought ever since.  But it is indeed ignorant,  just as John Rawls labeled it.  Dr. Rawls needed to review the dictionary definition of ignorance:  “a  lack of knowledge, information, or education;  the state of being ignorant.” 

There is another type of ignorance,  better used as a verb,  when we know certain facts,  but we purposely ignore those facts,  because they do not align with our belief or philosophy, or because we just do not “like” those facts.  This is not a lack of knowledge,  but it is an abuse of knowledge.  It is not an innocent ignorance,  but it is a willful ignorance,  that is damaging and hostile to the truth.  It is this willful ignorance that John Rawls was calling for,  and liberals answered his call en masse. 

There is nothing desirable about either type of ignorance,  and there is nothing “fair” about ignorance.  Using a “veil of ignorance” to consider anything, is just as stupid as the old and persistent idea of putting a blindfold on the Goddess of Justice.  If anything,  Lady Justice needs unobstructed 20/20 vision,  and eyes in the back of her head,  as well.  Ignorance and blindness causes more unfairness,  especially as Rawls meant it to be:  a forced ignorance,  that turns everyone into identical clones or zombies,  in the eyes of society.  It is the perfect cover for immoral, unethical, and criminal behavior of all types.

Ignorance is intellectual blindness….  but at least those who are truly ignorant can be taught to see,  if they are willing to learn.  Those who are willfully ignorant cannot be taught to see,  because they are unwilling to learn.  They think they have already learned enough,  but they are wrong.  Willful ignorance is foolish….  willful ignorance is a denying of facts,  that always leads to wrong conclusions.  But incredibly, John Rawls made IGNORANCE  a fundamental part of modern liberalism.  And liberal ignorance leads to liberal injustice.  Similarly,  the traditional religious Golden Rule puts a “Veil of Ignorance” over our eyes,  and also leads to injustice.   It is my hope that liberal / progressive ignorance, injustice, and lying will be its undoing,  causing the trio of  liberalism,  progressivism,  and Radicalism to fail as a philosophy.  But the philosophical failure will happen only if more people begin to see the false premises and massive failures of liberalism as a form of governance.  Right now, sadly, it is on the rise, and far from waning.

John Rawls also wrote in 1971 in his book “A Theory of Justice”:  “Men’s propensity to injustice is not a permanent aspect of community life.”  He was implying that his liberal / socialist philosophy had the ability to correct injustice.  That Rawls could hold this ignorant belief after the horrors of that century, including two world wars  (he served in WWII himself)  and during the heights of the Vietnam War and the Cold War,  during the social rebellions that his radical political allies were fighting in America,  two years before an evil coalition of Arab countries tried to destroy Israel in the October War of 1973,  is amazing.

It is as if Rawls put a “Veil of Ignorance” in front of his own eyes, concerning history.  Socialism and communism,  radical cousins of Rawls’ philosophy,  proved to be failures.  In the decades leading up to 1971,  Russia and  China took socialism and communism to levels of massive injustice that the world had never seen before…..  but most liberals and socialists looked the other way,  or even denied that it was happening.  They did indeed employ a willful “veil of ignorance” concerning the massive injustice and tyranny in Russia and China.  Twenty years later, the tyrannical Union of Soviet Socialist Republics  (USSR) collapsed,  confirming the colossal failure of socialism as government.   In following years (after 1971),  horrific genocides and persecutions occurred within the nations of Cambodia, Rwanda, Iran, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo.  The “community life” of those nations became a nightmare of injustice.  In Cambodia and Rwanda,  huge piles of human skulls were witness to the orgies of murder that took place there.  In China and its puppet North Korea,  murderous communist regimes have held power for over 60 years,  committing all types of atrocities against their own people.  In China, the  “community life” of over a billion people, a quarter of the human race,  is still dictated in every detail by a tyrannical government.   In America,  the last century has been marked by liberal pacifists protesting against all manner of so-called injustice,  and with their darling presidents Franklin Roosevelt,  John Kennedy,  Bill Clinton and Barack Obama,  they have sadly gained enough power to create new types of social injustice,  which must now be protested against by ethical people.  “Community life”  in America is now marked by runaway debt,  runaway welfare,  runaway lawsuits,  so-called “gay rights”,   multi-culturalism,  socialism,  daily news of shocking terrorist or criminal attacks,  an attack against successful people,  an attack against Christian religion,  and a coddling of Muslim religion.  In some Muslim countries,  Muslim governments are enforcing laws that allow only one public religion,  that ban Western music and movies, that ban alcohol and pork,  that discriminate heavily against women,  that call for chopping off the right hand of thieves,  and the execution of those who leave the religion of Islam.  Some of these countries have a separate police force of   “religious” policemen,  who roam the streets enforcing the many oppressive laws of Islam.

With that and much more evidence,  it has been demonstrated in every society that injustice IS a permanent aspect of “community life”,  including the current liberal community life in America.  If a particular outbreak of injustice is not permanent,  it is only because good men sacrifice everything to defeat it.  John Rawls’ statement was completely wrong.  Men’s propensity to injustice IS a permanent aspect of community life,  in many different ways,  and we must always find ways to fight the injustice.  But “A Veil of Ignorance” is not the way to fight it.  No one can find their way with a blindfold covering their eyes.  Now,  Rawl’s own dear liberal philosophy, based in part on willfull ignorance,  is causing a lot of injustice itself!!

Other more reasonable liberals recognize the problem of the liberal philosophy.  From the liberal right,  William Galston wrote in 1991 in his book “Liberal Purposes”“Liberalism is committed to equality,  but it needs excellence.  It is committed to freedom,  but it needs virtue.”  This is a jewel of wisdom that liberals need to learn.  But liberals demonize excellence,  so they give every kid a trophy.  They scorn traditional virtue,  so they ban The Ten Commandments and Christmas nativity scenes from public display….. but they allow public display of jars of urine with the cross in them,  as a display of “art”….. and they ban public prayer in our schools….. and they force the Boy Scouts to accept “gay” boys.  When liberals lack excellence and virtue,  their loud calls for equality and freedom only bring more injustice.  Equality and freedom without responsibility and merit is always unjust.  This is the new injustice that liberals are creating,  in their attempts to fight old injustice.

Scene_at_the_Signing_of_the_Constitution_of_the_United_StatesOur American founders had a vision of equal rights and equal opportunity for all,  which the liberals are trying to enforce, often in misguided ways.  But the founders also had a vision of strict personal responsibility, which the liberals completely reject.  The liberals want equal results for all,  which the founders never intended.  Also,  the founders never intended for morality or  success or excellence to be attacked or punished,  as liberals are now doing.  If you become successful or wealthy in a way that the liberals do not like,  they will viciously attack you.  But they are huge hypocrites,  because the successful and wealthy among their own liberal ranks are praised and adored.

You, I, everyone…..  we all have our strengths and weaknesses.  We all have our special talents in particular areas,  and if we use our special talents, they might make us rich.  If so, we have earned that wealth, and we deserve it.  We all have our failings in other areas, that might ruin our lives.  If we allow our failings to ruin our lives,  then we deserve that, too.  Of course, we should all use our strengths to help others in their weaknesses.  But,  of course,  we all have our moral choices as to how we will treat others.  We all have our temptations toward evil,  and some of us give in to temptation more than others.  ALL OF THESE DIFFERENCES in people must be acknowledged,  for any “theory of justice” to be accurate.  But John Rawls told us to ignore all that,  and liberals listened to him.  As a result,  their idea of justice is a bad philosophical joke.   It is astounding to me,  how well this bad philosophy resonates with the blindness and ignorance taught by the traditional,  religious “Golden Rule”.  It is like an unholy alliance of atheist and believer,  liberal and conservative,  even though they may not be aware of their alliance.

It is always to the advantage of evil to proclaim itself the “equal” of goodness,  and that is what evil perpetually claims,  in all sorts of devious ways,  even under the guise of  “fairness”.  But that is a vicious lie,  which allows evil people to exploit and dominate good people.  Evil people (or unethical, if you prefer) are perfect chameleons, skillful actors, and masters of camouflage.  They are expert liars, because they have been lying all their lives to perfect their skill.  They can always manufacture excuses and illusions of  “fairness” to justify their acts of selfishness,  oppression,  and aggression.  They know intuitively how to exploit liberal philosopher John Rawls’  “Veil of Ignorance”,  which has now settled over modern liberal society,  for their own selfish gain.  And if evil people manage to dominate a nation, changing its laws and customs over time,  then that nation or its government should be recognized as mostly evil (for example, I am thinking of Iran, North Korea, China, Burma, which are only some of the worst).   President Bush was condemned for calling such nations an “axis of evil”,  but that is what they truly are,  enslaving their own people and threatening their neighbors.

I would challenge the liberal pacifist fools who condemned President Bush’s term “axis of evil” , to schedule a long vacation in the  paradise nations of North Korea, Iran, Cuba, or China.  While there, they should publicly criticize the government or religion,  as they loudly do here, and see what happens to them.  The liberal pacifist women should schedule a long vacation alone in a strict Muslim country such as Saudi Arabia or Yemen, if they think these are good societies for feminine freedom, equal to the West.  They should wear the same clothing they wear in America.  When they are criticized for showing too much skin, or for walking in front of a man,  they should protest loudly, and see what happens to them.  They will likely be beaten or raped on the street,  and then thrown in jail.  Such supporters of cultural “equality”, when the opposite is true, are fools, pure and simple.  Like evil folks,  fools always proclaim themselves to be “equal” to the wise,  or even superior to the wise.  But the wise folks know the truth,  and the true measure.  It is time to measure and recognize good and evil for what they really are.  It is time to recognize those who are evil,  but call themselves good.  It is time to recognize those who are fools,  but call themselves wise.  The more you as an individual try to do this,  the better off you will be,  and the more secure you and your loved ones will be.

But that is getting harder to do as years march on,  because of the popular acceptance of liberalism,  progressivism,  relativism,  Radicalism,  and other related “isms”.   Liberal philosophy is taking us far in the other direction.  The smothering dark blanket of false individual “equality” is not the only great damage that liberalism does to societies.  Multi-culturalism is destroying the excellence and superiority of American society.  Liberal philosophers say that evil does not exist,  and liberal intellectuals say that we should not morally judge others,  because we are all just helpless products of our social environment,  or just victims of bad circumstances.  Therefore, even though these liberals are secular or atheist,  they agree with the religious Golden Rule,  that we cannot or should not measure the morality of the people around us.  They are fond of quoting Matthew 7:1, from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:  “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” This may be the most-quoted verse of the Bible,  by christian or agnostic or atheist alike.  But they take it out of context.  Taken alone, as an ultimatum, this one sentence would mean that we could have no judges,  no courts of law,  no laws,  no justice system,  no moral rules at all.  Judges and courts would have to be condemned as wrong and sinful.  Criminals could not be judged, and therefore could not be jailed or punished.  Legal disputes could not be decided in courts, nor out of courts.  No one in society could make a decisive judgment about another person.  That is an absurd scenario, and that is not what Jesus meant.

I would recommend that they keep reading Jesus’ words in the next verses:  “For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged;  and with what measure ye mete,  it shall be measured to you again.”  To me, this means that our judgements and measurements must be fair and righteous,  so that we will be judged in the same way.  It is really the opposite of the Golden Rule…..  warning us that what we do unto others,  will someday be done to us.  It could also be taken as a statement in support of the religious doctrine of karma.  Jesus goes on to tell us to cast the beam out of our own eye,  or judge ourselves,  before we cast the mote out of our brother’s eye, or judge him.  And I must point out another teaching of Jesus in John 7:24,  “Do not judge according to appearance,  but judge with righteous judgement.”  Here we are taught to measure and judge,  but to learn to judge rightly.  Jesus also taught forgiveness,  which is a form of judgement in itself:  you take the full measure of a person and what they have done,  you decide that they have potential for goodness,  and you forgive them,  deciding or judging to give them another chance.

Solomon's wisdom of the baby

Solomon’s wisdom of the baby

And the Old Testament is full of judging:  God judging man,  people judging people,  uniting, dividing, praising, condemning.  King Solomon humbly asks God to grant him wisdom, which God does,  enabling Solomon to become the wisest judge of all.   So I say quite the opposite of the liberal / atheist /  religious / pacifist non-judgers  (the tent of non-judgement is large, with strange bedfellows, indeed);   I am saying that everyone is capable of right judgement, and that we all should be doing that, collectively.  We should not judge in isolation, with no input from our moral peers, no input from our moral superiors.  Judging rightly is a skill that must be learned and earned,  with humility and love.  People who judge firmly and correctly,  with  “righteous judgement”,  become our leaders and heroes.  People who claim to be able to define and measure goodness and evil,  all by themselves,  tend to become the tyrants and monsters of history.  But I am saying that collectively,  WE ARE capable of right judgement,  we should all be practicing it,  but we have been discouraged by liberal society and passive believers from doing so, for centuries.  They have used the passive crippled Golden Rule as a golden stick to beat us with,  to keep us from exercising right judgement, to keep us from learning and growing in moral stature.  As a direct result,  poor judgements and wrong judgements are ruining our society,  under the steady advance of false liberal philosophy.  The liberal social consensus we have reached is based on falsehoods.

And, of course, the mixed bag of “non-judgers” are extreme hypocrites.  They judge,  attack and condemn anyone who disagrees with them about social issues.  They somehow fantasize that they can condemn “judging” and people who “judge”, without engaging in harsh judgement themselves,  which is insane.   Their political and philosophical base is the Democratic Party in America.  They measure and judge people all the time,  by their own liberal scale,  which has been developed over centuries, perhaps millennia, by  liberal pacifist philosophy,  perhaps best expressed by the absurd idea of Socrates,  about 2400 years ago,  who said “the only good is knowledge,  the only evil is ignorance.”

Socrates takes hemlock poison

Socrates takes hemlock poison

This was a statement of measurement and harsh judgement in itself,  which is still a key foundation of  “non-judging”  liberal philosophy.  It wrongly grants all knowledge the moral status of being good,  and it wrongly decrees that people who do terrible things are not evil, but merely ignorant,  with no moral capability to CHOOSE evil.  It proclaims that knowledge cannot be used willfully for evil purposes.  It wrongly assigns morality to non-living concepts,  and takes away moral responsibility from living entities.  This is a profoundly ignorant statement in itself,  but that is another lengthy topic, which I will address elsewhere.  Socrates had his brilliant points,  but he also taught some glaringly wrong concepts,  like that one,  which have plagued society ever since.  Socrates was an extreme pacifist,  with his own versions of the Golden Rule,  as quoted at the beginning of this article.  His quotes are the last two in the list.

It is ironic, and to me very amusing,  that “ignorance” is condemned as the only evil by Socrates,  one of the first liberal pacifist philosophers who gained wide recognition (though they did not call it liberal or pacifist 2400 years ago)….. while John Rawls specifically called for a “Veil of  Ignorance” in his liberal “Theory of Justice”,  as explained above.  Rawls praised “ignorance” as a great virtue in his philosophy, while Socrates condemned “ignorance” as evil in his philosophy.  For liberals,  “ignorance”  is a philosophical football that gets kicked about over the centuries,  first one way,  then another,  but they can never get the football of ignorance to the goal line,  because they truly are ignorant of the rules of the game of life or reality.  In reality,  “ignorance” is never a virtue,  is always a liability and a disability,  and is usually very harmful.  To his credit,  Socrates was much closer to the truth about ignorance, calling it evil.  His outrageous error was in calling ignorance the only evil.  Ignorance is harmful and destructive,  but it is certainly not the only human failing that is evil,  as Socrates proclaimed.  There are many more and much greater evils than ignorance.  His proclamation  revealed a great ignorance of his own,  concerning certain human affairs,  free will, and morality (or lack of it).  Modern liberal philosophers reveal an even greater ignorance,  proclaiming that evil is not even a valid concept,  because according to them,  we do not even have the free will or moral autonomy to choose good or evil.  This assertion is their most grievous error,  and it poisons everything else they think or do.

It is time to correct thousands of years of overly-pacifist philosophy and complete the Golden Rule,  to make it whole again,  for society as well as wise individuals,  by restoring its ability to measure on a scale of morality,  which restores and activates its aggressive side.  Because if you know,  from a certain measure,  from concrete evidence,  that someone is really an evil predator who is working against you or your family or your country,  if you can remove that fatal  liberal  “benefit of the doubt”,  then you must act to oppose that known predator,  and you must act with swift decisive force,  for every  minute that you delay,  the evil predator is destroying something else that is precious to someone.  In this way, the full principle of moral reciprocity is followed,  and it operates as it was intended to operate.

But in violation of the above principles of measurement and decisive action,  the passive Golden Rule commands us to act as if all people were moral equals,  or potential moral equals,  at the higher end of the morality scale.  We must give everyone the “benefit of the doubt.”  We must ignore the evil that we clearly see in others,  we must act as if we were blind.  Love your enemy, and it will impress him;  it will have a positive, uplifting effect on him……….

…..What’s that? You say you have no enemies?…..Do you foolishly imagine that you have no “enemy”?….. that you bear no ill will toward anyone, no hatred, no contempt, only love and tolerance,  so no one should wish to harm you?….. that is probably what the hapless victims of 9/11 thought….. what the Jews in Nazi Germany thought….. what the Christians in Muslim countries thought….. what the victims of most burglary and murder thought….. what every divorcee thought, LOL.  There are many places in the world, even in your own city, where your mere appearance would trigger feelings of hate and hostility toward you, based on your skin color, your gender, your clothes, your vehicle, your religion, or your language, and you will be attacked in some way.   I have traveled far and wide in the world, and I know this personally.  I have been the target of such an attack.   There are also many places where you and your money are happily welcomed, and new friends are easily made, but that is not my current subject.  There are places where the Golden Rule works as advertised, and many other places where the Golden Rule will get you attacked or robbed or killed.  These places are infested with evil, predatory people,  who ARE your enemies,  and if you pass through their territory,  they will see you as THEIR enemy.  They will see you as an easy victim to violate;  an easy score to collect as revenge for some imagined grievance.  They will see  you as ripe fruit to be plucked, eaten, and thrown away…..

……. Love your enemy, submit to his/her demands, give him everything he wants, and it will appeal to her morality;  it will arouse his moral conscience,  or shame her into reform.  This false premise has been the basis of pacifist thinking for thousands of years.  No doubt,  it happens occasionally.  But as much as we would all like that to be widely true, please use your common sense, and look at the military and cultural conflicts of history, and of today.  Moral equals do not wage war against each other, or conduct vicious religious purges against each other, or commit various crimes against each other,  yet those events are constantly occurring.

Take some quality time for your own education, and look at the following video “100 Years In 10 Minutes”, for a quick reminder of some important global events of the last century.  Most of these events are wars or natural disasters.  I could add a lot more.  This is a remarkable video, that shows both the triumph and tragedy of the human race, that should tug at your heartstrings.  This is not a happy video, but it is accurate.  Our planet is a paradise for some people, but a dangerous and hostile place for most of it’s unfortunate residents.  Most of us who are not victimized in wars or genocides or earthquakes, are struggling to keep our family fed.  If you have food, a car, and air conditioning, you are living better than 99.999% of people on this planet in the last century.  If you are even able to watch this video, with access to a computer with internet, and a safe place to use it, then you are in the upper 3% of fortunate people currently living on this planet, and you should feel blessed:

This is not the history of a planet occupied by moral equals.  It is a history of deadly serious moral conflict.  Every 5-second clip in that video is just the visible tip of a submerged iceberg, representing  thousands or millions of human lives that were destroyed or devastated or influenced by that single event.  For example, when Mao Zedong  “announces the People’s Republic of China” in 1949, at 4:00 in the video, it represents the extermination of at least 30 million people in China, or as many as 70 million,  for the remaining 27 years of his evil life, because the rest of the world did nothing to stop him.  Mao was the greatest murderer and worst tyrant  in history, and every child on Earth should be taught this in school, especially Chinese children.  Mao’s portrait is on their Chinese money, but they know nothing about the horrendous crimes of this monster.  American government officials should not be praising Mao for anything, as they have done under Obama (Anita Dunn and Ron Bloom)….. and other Obama lackeys have praised Fidel Castro.  Chairman Mao deserves a few more words here, for your own benefit, so that you can see a bit more of the submerged bloody iceberg.  Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia about Mao, with descriptions from 3 writers who progress from delusion to honesty:

Mao’s English interpreter Sidney Rittenberg wrote in his memoir The Man Who Stayed Behind that whilst Mao “was a great leader in history”, he was also “a great criminal because, not that he wanted to, not that he intended to, but in fact, his wild fantasies led to the deaths of tens of millions of people.”[249]  Li Rui, Mao’s personal secretary, goes further and claims he was dismissive of the suffering and death caused by his policies: “Mao’s way of thinking and governing was terrifying.  He put no value on human life.  The deaths of others meant nothing to him.”[250]  Biographer Jung Chang goes further still and argues that Mao was well aware that his policies would be responsible for the deaths of millions.  While discussing labor-intensive projects such as waterworks and making steel, Chang claims Mao said to his inner circle in November 1958:  “Working like this, with all these projects, half of China may well have to die.  If not half, one-third, or one-tenth – 50 million – die.”[251]

One has to ask, why would hard work be expected to kill people?  If Chairman  Mao saw to it that the workers were provided with basic necessities of life (food, water, safety, medical care),  they would not have dropped dead like flies.  But that was not even considered.  Mao regarded his people as his slaves, his property, his livestock, like work animals, like robots, to be overworked, used up, and thrown away like dead batteries.  This is not communism,  which is evil enough in itself.  Karl Marx condemned capitalists and industrialists for mistreating and abusing and cheating their workers.  But that is exactly what Mao did to the workers in China.  This is complete disregard or contempt for the people Mao tyrannized.  He thought nothing of working half of his own country to death, like an evil capitalist, while he terrorized the other half with communist doctrine.  This was perhaps the greatest and deadliest  hypocrisy in history.  And the ignorant “progressives” in America praise Chairman Mao for it!  Progressives have their own great and deadly hypocrisy.  They preach tolerance, but they are extremely intolerant.  The Golden Rule is the farthest thing from their minds, in their dealings with their ideological and political opponents, who they try to punish and destroy.

Mao leading peasant attack mob… FORWARD!!
This one-word slogan should sound familiar…..

Mao took supreme power over China, enforced communism, and killed or imprisoned everyone in China who disagreed with him, in the slightest degree.  Chairman Mao was morbidly obsessed with death (except his own), calling it a process of cleansing and renewal.  Every time he issued orders to have people killed, he was “renewing” society.  He once said that when people were killed, we should make fertilizer from them, to renew the earth.  He thought that this was a profound and enlightened philosophy.  His disastrous  “Great Leap Forward” of 1958 became the Great Chinese Famine, which was the direct cause of the deaths of about 36 million peasants.  Mao’s reaction to the horrible famine, which he caused, was to say:  “It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.” [236    Here again, Mao is willing to let half of his own country die, this time starving to death.  For three decades, Mao turned the entire huge country of China into a communist prison camp, where you obeyed him and his thugs, or you died.  Even if you did obey, you had a good chance of starving or being worked to death.  All of this and much more horror is represented by a 5-second clip in the video, but you will not know that if you have not studied history on your own.

With the aid of that video, I must give a plug here for the subject of history.  If you know or care anything about human history, your soul should be deeply stirred by that video.  If it is not stirred,  then you are probably missing almost everything of importance that is happening in our world.  Consider this a litmus test, a pass /fail, a go /no go, a falling shoe, or a wake-up call.  If your soul is not stirred by that video,  or if you won’t even look at it,  then you are dead to the world,  you are part of the problem,  and not part of the solution to our problems.  You are a blind earthworm,  when you could be a soaring eagle,  seeing everything below you.  You should spend time learning not just “history” in the generic sense,  but learning the plural “histories” of your world, your country, your state, your city, your neighborhood, and your family, or you will surely repeat many of their mistakes, and you will not benefit from their knowledge.  In this age of the internet, easy research, and easy access to organized historical information (Wikipedia, for example), there is no excuse for historical ignorance, other than our own willful stupidity.

forward_sticker_rectangle The average American’s ignorance and dismissal of history is killing our country, or it is a telltale symptom of what is killing our country.  In TV on-the-street interviews, many people do not even know the name of the Vice President, or the Speaker of the House.  A great number of people do not follow important current events, much less recent history.  They are only interested in shallow social pursuits (like Facebook or Twitter), or the fleeting pursuit of material pleasures  (like fast food, concerts, parties, video games, sports), without ever rising above these pursuits.  This is an increasing global trend of egotistic narcissism, self-absorption and pleasure-seeking, that ignores larger events.  At the same time, there is an increasing global trend of other people who very much want to CONTROL larger events,  and force their ideas on everyone else.  This is the trend of Radicalism,  that is partially a reaction against the rising global narcissist / materialist trend.  Radicalism is actually a form of narcissism as well,  the malignant form, like cancer,  that looks outward to conquer and transform society, to force everyone to follow one’s own political doctrine, or one’s religion.  Radicalism is a deadly political immoral doctrine of extremism that destroys freedom and leads inevitably to tyranny.  Communism was the most deadly spawn of Radicalism, and Chairman Mao took it to its greatest extreme, as described above  (on second thought, Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge took  Radicalism to its most horrific extreme, in Cambodia, where they seized power in 1975 and declared it “Year Zero”, beginning their slaughter).   Muslim extremists are now enjoying their Radical success in countries such as Egypt and Libya and Iran.  They will soon reverse the American efforts of liberation in Iraq and Afghanistan, since President Obama is abandoning those efforts.  Obama is a student of Radicalism himself, condemning the America of the past 2 centuries, and those voters who do not care about history  (especially the history of Obama himself)  are allowing him and his “progressive” comrades to “transform” America into a socialist welfare provider, and into a crippled player on the global stage.  We may soon go the way of Greece, or other great countries in Europe brought to ruin by socialist welfare.

Pythagoras 500 BC

Pythagoras 500 BC

Euclid at School of Athens

Euclid at School of Athens

Plato and Aristotle at The Academy

Plato and Aristotle at The Academy

Greece is such a pathetic tragedy.  Greece was the cradle of Western philosophy, logic, science, math, democracy, independence, work ethic and self-suffiency,  but they have turned their backs on all that now.  They could still be standing on the shoulders of giants such as Pythagoras, Euclid, Herotidus, Archimedes, Plato and Aristotle,  but they have fallen into the filth of self- indulgence, laziness, dependency, and welfare.  America is on the same downward spiral,  beginning to  circle around the toilet drain.  But in America, Radicalism is the hand that is flushing the toilet,  chasing the utopian fantasy of  “social justice,”  like a dog chasing its own tail.

We are living in the age of Radical revival, both political (in the West) and religious (in Muslim cultures).  Radicalism started in America in the sixties, with Saul Alinsky as its greatest prophet and teacher.  In 1969,  Hillary Rodham wrote her senior thesis on Alinsky and his movement, titled “There is Only the Fight:  an Analysis of the Alinsky Model”.   Barack Obama studied Alinsky’s diabolical  methods in Chicago, and has practiced them ever since.  The definition, and the threat, of Radicalism is simple.  Radicals are immoral people who lust after power to control society,  who lie profusely,  and who try to punish or destroy those who do not agree with them.  They use one ethical ideal to justify their violation of all other ethics.  They are the textbook example of the infamous saying “the end justifies the means”,  which should always be clarified as “the ethical end justifies all unethical means”.  Alinsky,  feeling his fame,  actually dedicated one of his books,  “Rules For Radicals”,  to Lucifer (Satan).  He taught liberals to abandon their ethics,  lie skillfully and misrepresent themselves,  lie about their opponents,  to destroy the establishment,  to seize political power and use it like a weapon.  Nowadays Obama,  Hillary,  and all of Alinsky’s other followers call themselves part of the “progressive” movement,  moving “forward” to “social justice”.  Radicals start off with lying and deception,  promote themselves to rioting and violence,  then graduate to murder and genocide,  but they always give themselves cover with massive lying, deception, and cover-ups.  When they gain power,  they don’t have to riot anymore.  They consolidate their power, freedom dies, suffering increases, and then eventually people disappear or die in large numbers.  History teaches us this, but few are listening.  Are you?  If you are, I would encourage you to read any book by David Horowitz, a prominent radical-turned-conservative who is perhaps the best current historian of Radicalism, in all its dangerous forms.  In his latest book,  Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion (2012),  he laments:  “When all is said and done, what has impressed me most, after all these years, is how little we human beings are able to learn collectively from our experience, how slowly we do learn, and how quickly we forget.”  On the book cover,  Saul Alinsky is the second man from the left.  The fanatics that Horowitz describes in this book are the type of people who have taken over most of American government and culture, who will destroy the great philosophy and values of America if they are not stopped soon.   Radicalism is the most important concept in the world today, the most dangerous, and the most in need of being understood,  that is being the most ignored.

So you have never heard of Saul Alinsky before,  and don’t care,  but those radical thugs who want to control you or destroy you HAVE heard of him,  or other Radicals worse than him,   and use their methods.  They are in our government, and in the White House, doing as much damage as they can.  Wake up!,  before it is too late.  For a bit more on Radicalism,  here is a link to my previous article:  Radicalism – The “Dark Side” of Liberalism

This Radical takeover attempt is happening world-wide.  You have probably never heard of the United Nations  “Global Small Arms Treaty” or their “Agenda 21”,  but you have  suffered from it, without knowing.  “Agenda 21” is the UN’s wish list for expanding their power in the 21st century, and diminishing the power of the US and other nations.  You may have heard of “sustainable development” or “green energy”,  and those are buzzwords for the Radical / socialist / globalist agenda.  The “Endangered Species Act” of 1973 has been used as a very effective weapon by these disgusting Radical government officials in America.   Every state and county in America has enacted laws to “protect the environment”,  and those laws almost always take away our freedoms,  or make it more difficult for farmers and ranchers to make a living, to feed the rest of us.  The federal estate taxes of America make it almost impossible for families to pass their land-dependent businesses to the next generation.  The number of large-acreage farms and ranches in America has been cut in half in the last 20 years.  Independent farmers are going bankrupt or out of the farming business at an alarming rate.  Some of them are FORCED out of business, or fined or put in jail, for killing small obscure animals in the operations of their farm.  You have probably never heard of I.C.L.E.I., the “International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives”,  but this UN supported group has been very active in the last 5 years, making contracts or agreements with over 1200 American cities to increase regulations and restrictions on the use of land.  This assault on American property rights has been going on for several decades.  The Obama administration is accelerating its progress.  Have you been aware of it?  Probably not, because it does not get reported much, and if you do not own land,  you are not directly affected by these ruthless,  tyrannical,  destructive laws.  But they are in the process of destroying our property rights,  our gun rights,  our health rights…..  all of our basic American liberties are under assault by these Radicals,  and you need to realize that YOUR rights are in their crosshairs,  they are constantly pulling the trigger,  and they are your enemies.

There is a great need to support farming and ranching, and the work ethic and conservative values that go along with them,  in our increasingly liberal, secular / atheist, urban culture.  One company saw that need,  and delivered support in a big way, in an epic 2013 Superbowl TV commercial,  “SO GOD MADE A FARMER” :

Paul Harvey.

If you do not know a smidgeon of history,  you will not know who Paul Harvey was (only the most famous radio commentator),  and if you do not know and respect the Bible and its story of Creation,  you will not appreciate the Biblical reference.  In the comments of that superb video on Youtube,  one commenter adds some iron,  addressing some of the enemies of the farmer:

” “And the devil said,” I need to eliminate the farmer”.  So the devil made Monsanto.  The devil said, “I need to contaminate the farmers good seed”.  So he gave Monsanto U.S. patents for GMO’s, genetically modified seeds.  The devil said, ” still the farmer prevails”.  So he had jack boot thugs raid his organic produce and milk selling with SWAT tactics.  The devil said, “I must do more to stop the farmer”.  So he made unconstitutional laws to take his land.”  ”   And that is what the U.S.  Government has been doing for decades,  taking the farmer’s land,  in many devious and diabolical ways,  in the name of the environment or taxes or development.  If you do not know some history,  you will not know this,  and you will not care,  until you are starving for the lack of the farmer’s goods.

There,  I have given my best plug for the reading of history,  now let me return from that detour, back to the main road, which has its own twists and turns to deal with.

Let us return to the central question of the Golden Rule,  moral reciprocity,  moral conflict,  and moral inequality.  Our world is full of moral conflict,  between people of vastly different moral qualities.  Look at the general type of people attending churches, temples, and mosques, compared to the general type of people attending a maximum security prison.  Such prisons are reserved for the most violent inmates.  Some of those raging prisoners, when they flush the toilet in their jail cell,  save their excrement,  presumably in a  cup or bowl,  to throw it at whoever walks by.  These people are full of hate, resentment, and malice.  When they act on that hate and get caught,  they are put into prison.  When they get out of prison, most of them will not change,  and they will be a menace to us all.  Repeat offenders are the norm now, rather than the exception.  Their more intelligent comrades are smart enough to avoid getting caught, but they are just as evil,  and they walk among us.  They could prey upon us at any moment,  announced by a deceptive request for help,  a kicked-in door,  or a crashing computer,  or a drained bank account.  They are vicious predators,  and they have no moral rules.  They are not our potential moral equals, and we cannot trust them.  In fact, we must constantly be on guard against them.  That is why we have locks on our doors, that is why we have guns in our homes, that is why we have police departments, that is why we have security programs for our computers, that is why we warn our children about over-friendly strangers.   The basic structure of human society is heavily influenced by the very real moral inequality of individuals and cultures and sub-cultures.  This is all very obvious to most people, but the Golden Rule commands us to completely disregard it.

The Golden Rule commands us to regard our enemies, and the many human predators who prey on us, as our potential moral equals.  The Golden Rule commands us to unlock our door and let the predator into our home,  whenever they choose to knock on our door,  because we are to trust in the good will of the predator;  we are to trust in the moral equality of an evil man  who is about to attack us.  The Golden Rule commands the lamb to lay down by the side of the lion.

The lion and the lamb may lay down together in paradise.  But in paradise, presumably, lions do not get hungry…..  In this world, you cannot peacefully coexist with a hungry lion.  If you surrender to a hungry lion, offering peace and love,  you will just be killed and eaten faster.  If you cut off your arm, and try to appease the lion with that, it will only delay your demise for a few bites.  But the Golden Rule requires the appeasement of evil.  It is as if followers of the Golden Rule are required to cut off pieces of their own flesh and offer it to any lion that they may meet, hoping that their sacrifice will magically turn the lion into a lamb, because the lion is a potential moral equal to the lamb.  I hope you can see the absurdity of that premise, in my allegory and in human society.

Equality is a rare thing, in nature or in human society.  Nature is a collection of raw dynamic forces and raw materials, set in motion long ago, all unique and unequal, which strive against each other to first find a balance or equilibrium, then to upset that balance, then to find balance once again, like the pendulum of a clock swinging back and forth, like summer and winter, with unequal forces  seeking equilibrium.  But summer is not the equal of winter, and equilibrium is not the same as equality, and it is not always peaceful.  The forces of a hurricane are seeking equilibrium, even as they destroy trees and homes.  After the energy of the hurricane dissipates, a more peaceful equilibrium is found for a while.  Human society is much the same way.  It is foolish to pursue equality in all things, at all times.  Modern liberal / progressive  society demands the equality of all people at all times,  in the pursuit of “social justice”,  but that is not realistic.   The liberal version of  “social justice” is rewarding weakness or laziness (immorality),  and punishing excellence (morality).  They have it completely backwards.  Justice must be applied to individuals,  and properly applied, taking all their inequalities into account.  It should  not used as a excuse to try to engineer society.

For example, here are photos of two individual women, who could not be more unequal, except for their superficial agreement in a questionable humanitarian cause….. or is it a mammalian cause, or a reptilian cause, or an amphibian cause, or a fowl cause, or simply an anti-human cause?….. I would say it is the latter…..

Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA

Taking “social justice” to its most absurd position, Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, famously said “a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy… they’re all animals.”  This is an insane assertion by an obsessed woman, who is an atheist.  She was the star of a HBO documentary “I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA” (2007).  This fanatical atheist woman is really trying to reduce humans to the generic status of animals, while she says she is trying to end the abuse of animals.  But animals in the wild abuse each other,  and eat each other, all the time….. they must do this to survive.  The strong survive to breed, and the weak become food for the strong.  This is not cruelty,  it is survival.  If humans are reduced to the status of animals,  or equated with animals,  then we should have the natural right to abuse each other and eat each other, too,  shouldn’t  we?  Of course not…..  we cannot apply the same moral standards to animals and humans.  We have high intelligence and self-awareness and moral responsibilities (not to mention a soul), which animals do not have.  Ingrid Newkirk could not be an advocate for animals, if she was just an animal.  She has no true understanding of nature, nor of her own nature.  She is obsessed with a single issue, and she has lost all perspective or balance.  Her PETA advertisements, such as the one shown here, exploit the appeal of beautiful women and nudity, calling them animals, which many women find insulting and demeaning.   PETA has gone far beyond the concept of “social justice” for all people.   The animal advocates in PETA want to give rats and pigs and fish the same status,  and the full legal rights,  of people.  In their fantasy world,  circuses and rodeos would be banned.  Pet ownership would be banned or heavily restricted,  and our pets would have lawyers to sue us for causing them any “distress”.  We would all be vegetarians,  by force of law.  Everyone who eats a hamburger,  or catches a fish,  would be put in jail.  This is “social justice” gone berserk.  PETA would have put Jesus in jail,  for he performed miracles to help his disciples fill their nets with fish.  Fish are not the equal of humans;  we are far above them in every important way.  And they are meant to serve as food for us,  for each other,  and for a whole host of other animals who survive by eating fish.  As the bumper sticker says,  “I did not claw my way to the top of the food chain,  to EAT VEGETABLES.”  This is the way that nature or God has designed our world,  with a natural hierarchy and a food chain.  We humans are at the top of the food chain,  and we are superior to animals in the most important ways.  This does not give us the right to abuse our pets,  but it does give us the natural right to domesticate animals,  USE them for our own purposes,  HUNT them and EAT them as we see fit.  In exercising this natural right,  we have the obligation to behave in a moral, honorable manner,  just as we have in the exercise of any other power.  And it is true that some animals show noble attributes of loyalty and compassion (dogs and monkeys, for example).  Unfortunately, some people will always abuse animals,  just as some people will always abuse other humans.  PETA is not doing too well itself…..  from 1998 to 2011,  PETA killed over 27,000 animals in its care,  or 95%, at its headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia.  They have their excuses for this,  but the great hypocrisy speaks for itself.  PETA kills 95% of the animals put into its care.  Aside from this gross failure,  the animal rights movement may be justified in trying to halt true animal abuse,  but it is wrong in trying to deny the natural supremacy humans have over animals.  The animal rights extremists are the ones who are going against the fundamental laws of nature,  trying to replace those laws with their own false atheistic values.

If they want to extend the Golden Rule to all animals,  let them start with the hungry lion pictured above,  and we will see how long they survive…..  HERE, KITTY, KITTY, KITTY!

The members of PETA are fanatics, who are trying to equate animals with people.  But most liberals try to do the same thing within the limits of the human race, to make all humans equal in all ways.  This is just as insane as what PETA is trying to do.  They end up rewarding weakness and punishing excellence.  People are vastly different from each other, in every aspect.  Every aspect of human life exists on a scale or a spectrum of difference, and we must learn to recognize and honor those differences.  Considering just the physical aspect of human activities,  take a look at this video of extreme sports.  You will see people doing amazing things that you CANNOT do,  amazing things that you probably could not do even if you practiced for years.  You will see different people with very different talents,  who could not do the amazing things that others are doing in the same video.  A video like this is an incredible thing,  because you can experience the same visual effects as the person who is doing the incredible deed and taking all the risks.  You can sit on your fat ass,  in complete safety, in front of your computer screen, in your little bubble of artificial security, guzzling soda or beer,  and watch other people do marvelous things in the real world, handling high levels of energy and risking injury, but avoiding injury, because of their incredible skills.  These people function on a different level,  a higher level of physical and mental intensity,  and you should respect that.  I am running out of superlatives,  so just  take another sip of your soda or beer, lean back, pat your fat belly, click on the video, and see if you agree with me…..

If you happen to like that video, there are a lot more extreme videos that I have collected here:  https://goldenmeantx.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/philosophy-in-motion/

…..You should feel amazed after watching that video….. you should feel energized after watching that video…..  everything in that video is excellent and exceptional, and worthy of respect and praise, in my opinion.  But that is just my own stupid, misguided opinion…..  many other  people in the world are condemning  such extreme activities as dangerous, irresponsible, wasteful, excessive, or even criminal.  I know people who have that opinion, and who gloat when someone gets hurt doing something extreme, saying the person was stupid to be doing that, and they deserve to get hurt.  I, on the other hand, feel extreme sorrow and sympathy for the person who was hurt, because they were trying to improve their own physical skills, and by implication, the physical capabilities of the entire human race.  They were trying to do something on the cutting edge of human capability, and sadly the edge cut them.  I respect them greatly,  but other people I know belittle them and condemn them, which upsets me immensely.

Our modern, insulated, cushioned, insured and restricted society has mostly lost touch with reality.  We have lost our ability to face the forces of nature and master them.  Our ancestors had to do this every day.  But now, we are mostly insulated and protected from the raw forces of nature, and when we see other people challenge those forces and master them, we do not truly appreciate it.  We have lost our respect of excellence.  We no longer respect risk, we ridicule it.  As I wrote above,  we end up rewarding weakness and punishing excellence.

The people who condemn extreme sports, are those people who have no personal skill or interest in such things, but WHY do they choose to condemn their fellow humans who try to advance the limits of human achievement?  What sort of bizarre bigotry is this?  It is indeed a form of bigotry, just as ugly as racial bigotry.  They could certainly use a generous helping of the Golden Rule in their consideration of this matter.  I do not condemn them for their dislike of extreme sports,  but I do say that their condemnation of extreme athletes is selfish, blind and cruel to an extreme degree.  Who is right, them  or me?  Is the act of risking injury to achieve excellence sheer madness,  or sheer genius?  Take your pick, and prepare to fight for what you think is right…..  And this is just an argument about sports.  There are drastic differences of opinion in politics, economics, culture, religion, morality  and every other subject in the world.

Those differences are extremely important, because collectively they define both our weakness as individuals and our great strength as a group.  True justice recognizes all those differences,  instead of trying to ignore them or condemn them.  True justice tries to discover all those differences,  and give them all proper consideration,  like discovering all the proper variables in a mathematical equation.  In math and in justice,  an equation will not work,  unless all the proper variables are discovered and included in the equation,  and given their true value.  The fool is not the equal of the wise, nor of equal value, though they both may have equal rights under the law.  Again, as Aristotle said, “The worst form of equality is to try to make unequal things equal.”  To take that idea to it’s highest level of importance,  I would rather say:  the worst form of equality is to try to make EVIL the moral equivalent of GOOD.  But that is exactly what many people try to do.

This is an age-old flaw of humanity.  I would say that it is a basic problem in the universe,  wherever sentient beings possess intelligence and free will.  Before Aristotle,  writers of the Bible warned against a reversal of morality,  in the great struggles of the Hebrew people:  “Woe unto them who call evil good, and good evil;  who put darkness for light,  and light for darkness;  who  put bitter for sweet,  and sweet for bitter!  Woe unto them who are wise in their own eyes,  and prudent in their own sight!…  Who justify the wicked, but deny justice to the innocent.”  (Isaiah 5:20-23)

And as an aside,  to clarify,  you or I are incapable of applying perfect justice to ourselves or anyone else.  Only higher metaphysical beings (God) could approach being able to do that.  You or I cannot apply perfect justice to ourselves or anyone else,  because we do not know all of the qualities, factors, and variables that are at play in our lives.  Many things are hidden from us,  things that are crucial to our lives,  things that we desperately need to know,  but we cannot discover.  It is as if we walk about in a thick fog, or as if we live in constant dark with no hope of sunrise.  This is not like the liberal philosopher John Rawls’  “Veil of Ignorance” I discussed above.  That is an artificial, willful ignorance;  a socialist philosophical gimmick which creates more injustice than it remedies.  I am speaking here of our unwilling ignorance of our true nature and true origin,  as individuals and as a species.

It is as if we are all gladiators and victims thrown into an earthly arena surrounded by one-way glass,  not remembering anything that happened before we were thrown into the arena,  and not knowing that a huge crowd of people are seated beyond the one-way glass,  watching us perform as we fight and die.  Some of us desperately want to know what happened before we were thrown into the arena,  and desperately want to know what lies beyond the one-way glass,  but we are kept unwillingly ignorant by unknown forces.  Because of the unknown qualities, factors and variables at play, creating unwilling ignorance and massive uncertainty,  perfect justice cannot be achieved by us.  But we are capable of justice when crucial facts are known.  We can, and must, take heed of the obvious moral inequalities between people.  We can, and must, take forceful action when immoral people attack and destroy.  Their evil actions pierce the cloak of uncertainty,  and they must be countered immediately.

All people ARE NOT moral equals, and the differences are drastic.  Some people are like angels, other people are like demons.  Some people are creators and builders, others are destroyers.  Some people give endlessly to others, others take endlessly from others.  Some people nurture and liberate others, others dominate and enslave.  And  when these moral opposites interact, the Golden Rule fails to accomplish anything good.  If the angels, builders and givers follow the Golden Rule alone, it is a great tragedy, for it works to the great advantage of the demons, destroyers and takers.  The Golden Rule allows the evil people to dominate, enslave or destroy the good people.  It allows evil to destroy good;  it allows hate to destroy love.  The evil people have no love;  they have no virtue;  they have no regard for others.  Therefore, the evil ones feel no guilt and no shame when they harm others.  When they dominate or destroy, they enjoy the feelings of power it gives them.   The passive  Golden Rule, taken alone, followed by good people,  is a moral mandate for self-destruction.  If you are one of those pacifists who follow the Golden Rule above all else, please wake up and see how you are working against your own best interests, how you are enabling evil, and how you are working against the highest interests of humanity.  I consider this to be the most devastating problem facing humanity, in all of history, among many other lesser problems.  The evil ones among us, who do the most damage, are far outnumbered by legions of pacifists around them, who allow the evil people to do that damage to us.  Every dictator in history, every schoolyard bully, is surrounded by crowds of people who could stop the dictator or bully, but who choose not to.  One of their reasons or excuses is the Golden Rule, in some form, as if that is the only rule we should follow.  That is why I am devoting so much attention to this issue of moral reciprocity.

The Golden Rule is not the complete principle of moral reciprocity.  Instead, the Golden Rule should be regarded as a moral contract between people of generally good moral character.  When we falter or fail to honor the contract fully, by becoming angry or greedy, then those we have wronged may bring us back into compliance with the Golden Rule by reminding us of it in their words and deeds.  Even if others are sometimes unfair, dishonest, insulting, or disrespectful, we should remain fair, honest and respectful of them.  The Golden Rule works well among ladies and gentlemen who desire to remain civilized and honorable to some degree….. among people who have a functioning conscience….. but many people do not have one, and science now calls those people psychopaths and sociopaths.  Finally, for once, science is beginning to serve a useful moral purpose….. sort of.

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According to Dr. Martha Stout, author of The Sociopath Next Door (2005), psychopaths and sociopaths have no moral conscience.  Stout says they have no empathy for humans or animals.  They can fool anyone, even family, spouse, friends and co-workers.  They can do literally anything, any harm, any betrayal, any crime, and feel absolutely no guilt or shame.  They cannot (or will not) love other people, but regard others as pawns or objects for their own use.  From her research, Stout sets the number of sociopaths at  four percent of American society, or  1 person in 25.  The number could be much higher, because sociopaths are so good at concealing their true nature.  Also, it is unclear whether this number includes psychopaths or not.  So the chances are high that you do have a sociopath or psychopath next door, across the street, in your own family, or in your workplace.  Dr. Stout gives these people an excuse by saying that they have a “mental disorder”, which needs treatment, but she also mentions that therapy sessions will not work on them.  Therapy sessions help most people, but not the sociopath.  The sociopath will just see the therapy session as something to be manipulated, and the therapist as someone to be deceived.  They will talk to the therapist as if they have been reformed, but keep doing the same immoral things, and even take pride in the fact that they have fooled the therapist.  Stout takes care to avoid calling these people willfully immoral or evil by choice, but I think that is exactly what they are.  They are immoral because they want to be immoral, because it is the method they have chosen to get what they want from other people, to dominate other people, and to make other people do what they want.

As a quick note, in the literature of this field, it seems that the labels “sociopath” and “psychopath” are similar and pretty much interchangeable.  One researcher may prefer one label, then another researcher may prefer the other.  They both describe the same type of person, perhaps with a slight difference in the degree of their “disorder.”  Whatever their differences, it seems that every sociopath and psychopath is a potential thief or murderer, if it fits their agenda, or if they become angry enough.  And lesser offenses such as lying, cheating, betraying, infidelity, embezzling, swindling, spousal abuse, child abuse, friend abuse, sexual abuse, substance abuse….. these are done routinely without qualms.  Abuse in general, of any and all kinds, instead of proper use, is the lifestyle choice of the psychopath.  But they are excellent actors, chameleons, and mimics.  They can be stunningly charming and generous at the beginning of a relationship, and they can put on this act for a long time, but that is simply to gain your trust, so that they can dominate or abuse you later.

Some sources stress the sameness of psychopaths and sociopaths, while other sources stress their differences.  One website’s description of the difference between psychopaths and sociopaths, concerning violence, is as follows:  “A psychopath’s outbreaks of violence are erratic and unplanned.  After an erratic act, psychopaths can be easily identified as they generally leave behind a large trail of clues.  It takes sociopaths years to plan acts of violence and revenge and that is why it is very difficult to catch them.  Their each step is carefully planned so that their crime goes undetected.”  But this same website  http://www.diffen.com/difference/Psychopath_vs_Sociopath  diagnoses both categories as having an “antisocial personality disorder”, as their basic malady.  It would seem to me that both sociopaths and psychopaths are essentially just willfully evil people, who differ in intelligence.  The psychopaths are the stupid ones, and the sociopaths are the smart ones.

The presumptions of psychology are amazing and amusing.  When a psychologist diagnoses that a disruptive or predatory person has an “antisocial personality disorder”,  it is the same as looking at a glass coffee cup that is broken into pieces,  and then proclaiming that it has “broken glass disorder”.  Any fool can see that the coffee cup is broken, that it’s “order” has been “dissed”.  What we need to know is:  exactly how did the coffee cup become broken,  who is responsible for breaking it, can it be put back together, and how can we prevent our coffee cups from breaking in the future?  Human psychology is complicated by the fact that, unlike coffee cups, humans can break themselves, by choosing wrongly or poorly.  And we are highly resistant to taking responsibility for our wrong choices, but that is the key to improvement.  If psychologists do not acknowledge the supreme power of choice and free will, they will never discover how the human coffee cup becomes broken.  But this is key to my point:  some “broken” people do not regard themselves to be “broken” at all.  They are conducting themselves exactly as they wish, and probably consider their personal philosophy to be superior.  Consider an Islamic terrorist, who regards his religion / philosophy to be supreme, and wants to kill everyone who does not agree completely with his religion / philosophy.  Psychologists need to realize that a predatory person is not “disordered” at all, but is actually acting very orderly, according to their predatory value system.  If psychologists do not address that predatory value system, and if they do not acknowledge the predator’s free choice of that value system, then they will not truly change the predator.

Some sources (such as the website above) say that psychopaths do not experience emotions, other sources say that psychopaths cannot properly process their emotions.  This is all nonsense.  The writers of these sources need to read more, and think better.  Every human experiences emotions, because they are hard-wired into the body / mind interface, through millions of years of evolution and / or intelligent design, to enhance our chances of personal survival.  Neurologists such as Dr. Antonio Demasio can insert an electric needle probe into our brains, push a button to deliver electricity, and make us laugh or cry or rage on demand  (Looking For Spinoza, 2003).  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant%C3%B3nio_Dam%C3%A1sio    I was astounded when I read this….. I did not want to believe it, but I managed to,  because I have a great respect for truth and reality,  and science has an annoying way of finding them,  although in a limited and piecemeal fashion.  They could do this electric stimulation of emotions  already in 2003, and have no doubt made more progress since then.   This is scientific proof that everyone with a brain has emotions, whether they want them or not.  Then, in my opinion, everyone processes their emotions through a voluntary moral filter, or a moral position that they have chosen, that determines how they will react to those emotions.

For example, when you are treated badly or violently attacked by someone, it will give you the instant emotions of  fear and anger.  You have no choice in experiencing the fear and anger.  It floods your mind, and it triggers changes in your body, such as an upward spike in your heartbeat, a surge of adrenaline and a narrowing of vision.  Your body is preparing to deal with the threat presented by the other person, and your mind is swept clear with a wave of fear and anger.  But you then have the choice of how to react to the fear and anger.  You can quench the anger, or you can let it grow.  You can strike back immediately, you can retreat immediately,  you can plot long-term revenge, you can withdraw completely from that person, or you can engage with them and try to help them.  But if you choose to nurture the anger, preserving that initial spark of anger and coaxing it into a raging flame of hatred, which will reach out to destroy much later, then that is entirely your choice, no matter how stridently you try to blame others.  But psychologists deny this, and join right in with the blame game and pity party.  I have seen reports of “scientific” behavioral studies, in which the researcher interviews a murderer.  Incredibly, the researcher will listen to the murderer’s story, and then look for ways to sympathize with the murderer, and give us the reasons that the poor murderer was just a victim of circumstances, such as an abused childhood, or a lack of emotion, or an inability to process strong emotions.

Here is a prime example of a liberal researcher’s  mindset.  This prevalent error of modern psychology concerning moral responsibility is well illustrated in a single writing by Gary Watson,  as reported by John Kekes (1997) in his book,  Against Liberalism,  on page 49.  In Responsibility and the Limits of Evil (1987),  Watson writes about serial killer Robert Harris, a particularly vicious murderer.  Watson provides a graphic and gruesome description of Harris’ murder of two boys.  He then describes, equally shockingly, the brutalized childhood of the murderer.  Then Watson agonizes:  “the murderer both satisfies and violates the criteria of victimhood.  His childhood abuse was a misfortune inflicted upon him against his will.  But at the same time, he unambivalently endorses suffering, death, and destruction, and that is what one form of evil is…..  Our ambivalence results from the fact that an overall view simultaneously demands and precludes regarding him as a victim.”  Watson hesitates to call Harris evil because the evil he caused was in some sense traceable to the evil that was done to him.  Harris was certainly an agent of evil, but perhaps he was not an evil agent.  Watson explains: “The fact that Harris’ cruelty is an intelligible response to his circumstances gives a foothold not only for sympathy, but for the thought that if I myself had been subjected to such circumstances, I might have become as vile…..  This thought induces not only an ontological shudder,  but a sense of equality with the other (Harris):  I too am a potential sinner….. Admittedly, it is hard to know what to do with this conclusion.”

What just happened here?  A gross violation of logic and judgment, otherwise known as common sense,  just happened.  Watson, who is a scientist and professor, supposedly seeking and teaching the truth, supposedly an intelligent man, somehow blows a fuse and makes himself the moral equivalent of a serial killer,  which brings him to moral and intellectual paralysis, reaching a conclusion that he does not “know what to do with.”  The reason Watson is stymied with his conclusion, is that the conclusion is completely wrong.  As I wrote above, the fool is not the equal of the wise, and here the murderer is not the equal of the professor, nor the other way around.  Watson is almost certainly not the “potential sinner” that he thinks he is.  Almost certainly, he would not have made the same choices Harris did as a result of childhood abuse.  It is hard to understand how any person as intelligent as Watson could even think this way.  It is a view of the human psyche that is self-contradictory and self-defeating.  It makes the human mind a victim of all forces,  and a master of none.  It results in the empowerment of evil, and the paralysis of good.

I hardly know how to begin the objections to Watson’s outrageous view.  First, this evil man Harris was abused as a child, not murdered.  Abuse and murder are vastly different acts.  So how can his childhood abuse, by itself,  justify or explain murder?  Simply, it cannot.  He always handed out a great deal more punishment to his victims than he got himself.  This is a classic mark of evil.  Second, Harris was abused by his parents, not by his murder victims.  If he was going to murder someone because of his parents’ abuse, and if he felt that his parents were evil, then logically he should murder his parents, if he had any remnant of fairness left in his soul.  Third, his parents were not the only source of Harris’ moral education.  He attended school, he had teachers who did not abuse him, he had childhood friends and their parents to confide in, he had the opportunity to observe that abuse is not condoned in society, he had the opportunity to ask for help against his parents, and as a last resort he had the opportunity to run away from them.  Fourth, as he grew up and left his parents, his moral reaction to his childhood abuse betrayed his evilness.  A person choosing goodness, having experienced abuse, will acknowledge the evil of abuse and will vow never to abuse anyone.  They know how bad it hurts, and they will refuse to hurt anyone like that themselves.  A person choosing evil, having experienced abuse, will foster the anger and resentment it raises in them, will admire the power of the abuser, and will vow to abuse others even worse than he or she was abused.  Fifth, there are multitudes of other people who experience childhood abuse, and the vast majority of them do not choose to commit murder because of it.  Watson frets that he may have become as vile as Harris, and as weak as Watson is, he may have;  but most abuse victims do not.  With these points in mind, it is obvious that the young child Harris freely chose his course to be evil, and was fully responsible for that choice.  So when the adult Harris commits murder he should be held completely responsible for it, and should receive no sympathy from liberal researchers or philosophers or judges.

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The abuse a child is subjected to, does not serve as valid justification for any later evil.  More likely, it awakens the evil choice developing in the child, and gives the child a handy model to carry out his or her own evil.  The abuse also gives the child a supposed excuse for anything evil he or she does later.  It may help explain the background of why the person chose to be evil, but the choice remains supreme, and the person must be held completely and solely responsible for it.

Far from conducting objective science,  these liberal researchers, such as Gary Watson above, are engaging in pacifist fantasy, believing that 1)  the murderer is a moral equal to themselves,  2)  the murderer has some unfortunate disability, such as a strange “inability to experience or process emotions”, and  3)  the murderer is a victim of circumstances, such as a severely abused childhood, which caused him to become a murderer, as if he has no choice in the matter.   These are false beliefs based upon the researcher’s personal and institutional philosophy, a liberal pacifist philosophy, that has taken on the qualities of a humanist religion.  But instead of making criminals accept full responsibility for their crimes and repent, these humanist priests in white lab coats are helping criminals avoid responsibility and find excuses.  And their beliefs make them easy marks for the lies and manipulations of the criminals they are studying.  Any researcher who does not recognize our hard-wired emotions on the one hand, and our complete moral choice of how to react to our emotions on the other hand, is wasting their time, and wasting our money if they receive government grants.  Worse, they are literally aiding and abetting the worst kinds of criminals in our society, by providing moral support to the most immoral people.  They are weaving a thick blanket of moral equivalence, and throwing it over the entire human race, weighing down and suffocating those who are good,  providing cover of darkness for those who are evil,  and shutting out the light of clear moral logic and judgment.

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Further, this mindset is an extension of the Golden Rule, which could be stated,  “think about criminals as you think about yourself” or “excuse murderers as you would excuse yourself.”  In this way, the Golden Rule becomes an anchor, to weigh us all down to the depths of human depravity and weakness.

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There are other books about psychopaths, such as Without Conscience by Robert Hare (1993), Women Who Love Psychopaths by Sandra L. Brown (2010), and Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work by Paul Babiak (2007).  There are more books, but they all say psychopaths are suffering from yet another mysterious “disorder,” and they refuse to assign psychopaths any blame for being willfully immoral or evil by choice.  We have to use our God-given intelligence and common sense for that, as always, when dealing with the liberal psycho / medical establishment.  They deal with the physical, the chemical, the biological, the observable….. as science must.  But science is therefore limited, and scientists lose sight of that.  They cannot see the human will, and the supreme power of moral choice in our lives.  They cannot distill will and choice into a test tube to study.  DNA and hormones affect our bodies, but they do not control us.  In fact, recent genetic research has determined that our thoughts, choices and experiences influence which genes are switched from dormancy to active duty.  Some research even indicates that our thoughts and experiences can actually change our genes and our DNA.  See The Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton, PhD (2005).   Something like this has to happen, for the theory of evolution to work.  Most scientists will balk at the idea that genetic change could happen so fast, but there is evidence emerging to show that it does.  Even apart from such evidence, I am convinced of this idea:  For every weak-willed person who lets DNA or hormones control them, there is a strong-willed person who does not.  Then, above and beyond the human will, there is the metaphysical.  Scientists ignore the metaphysical, spiritual elements at their peril.  For if we are metaphysical beings with immortal souls, then the soul is the driver and the body / brain is just the current vehicle we are driving.  If the driver is sick, changing parts on the car or adding fluids to the engine may repair the car, but it does nothing to help the driver.  Likewise, if the soul is sick, or willfully evil, then treatment of the body / brain will have little effect, and could even make the problem worse.

So far, as pathetic as it may be, the most promising approach to helping psychopaths seems to be a “management” plan, managing their “disorder”, that tailors a series of immediate rewards or incentives that are given to the psychopath for completing worthwhile tasks or projects.  An elaborate “token economy” is created in the treatment facility, whereby tokens such as poker chips, cigarettes, candy, or admission to social events are offered as rewards for good behavior.   Scientists have spent untold money and resources to come up with this treatment, but parents of difficult children have been doing this forever.  This is also similar to training dogs by giving the dog an immediate food treat for doing what the trainer wants.  But in the case of psychopaths, one wonders if perhaps the psychopath is just taking what is offered by these silly scientists, until a more lucrative target comes along?  If you want to explore this subject yourself, here is a good place to start, which is an excellent summary article concerning psychopaths, written in 2003:  http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Identification+and+management+of+psychopaths+in+court-mandated…-a0100485285

When I read articles like that, I keep wanting to tell the scientists to put the sociopaths and psychopaths into Army basic training, or Marine boot camp, with drill sergeants who would quickly find ways to force these unethical self-worshipping people to genuinely reform their immoral values, or to put them in prison, where they belong if they will not reform.  The military is very good at the process of turning self-centered punks into disciplined team players.  The military can take street criminals and turn them into good soldiers, who can become good citizens when they return to civilian society.  The scientists would be horrified at the methods of the drill sergeants, and would probably condemn them.  But that would be a serious mistake.  Military trainers have a much longer history, with much more experience,  much higher standards, and much more serious consequences for failure than psychologists.

I predict that Dr. Stout and her colleagues will find no “cure” or effective treatment for this so-called “disorder.”  They are wasting their time looking for one, because the psychopaths and sociopaths are acting very rationally and orderly, according to their chosen value system (which worships the self and subordinates or sacrifices all others to the self).  They consider their value system to be superior, because it gives them the most options and greatest advantages over others.  Their immoral values must change, before their attitude and behavior changes.  But their value system is highly resistant to change,  as Dr. Stout has discovered  in her attempts at therapy, though she attributes the difficulty to a brain disorder, or genetics, or an abused childhood.  Psychologists think they can train psychopaths to act ethically, like training a dog to sit and fetch, without changing their unethical value system, without holding them personally responsible for their value system.  I don’t think this will work, because when the psychopaths run into unexpected stress, danger, or tempting opportunities, they will quickly revert to their old predatory ways and values.  But if caught, they will loudly agree that they are helpless victims of a “mental disorder”, as the psychologists insist.  The psychologists are doing a great disservice to humanity, by providing cover for the most unethical and evil people among us.

To put it a more colorful way, there is no back door into heaven for a rapist with raging hormones, or a murderer with a brain tumor, or a psychopath with bad genes, or for a psychologist with secular liberal pacifist beliefs.  We are ultimately responsible for what we do, for good or bad.  We are also partly responsible for the evil we allow to happen, by our inaction or withdrawal from it.  Two famous quotes address this issue:

The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it.
— Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
— Edmund Burke (1727-1793)

And here is another one I found:

He who does not punish evil,  commands it to be done.  — Leonardo da Vinci

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Let us leave the stuffy halls and clinics of psychology, and return to the real world for a breath of fresh air, even if it is the air of a raging storm.  The moral contract of society is violated and destroyed by those who do not even acknowledge it, like these sneaky sociopaths,  or worse…..  hardened criminals.  In real life, on the street, in the dark alley, off of the therapy couch, it doesn’t really matter whether a sociopath is willfully evil or not.  When these bad actors break the moral contract of society, and show us their hand by using force or violence, their force or violence must be reciprocated.  Ideally, it should be reciprocated immediately, in the moment of the attack, by the victim or any witnesses.  This is the missing half of moral reciprocity, the essential companion to the Golden Rule.  This is not a re-hash of the ancient Sumerian and Hebrew law of “an eye for an eye.”  That was a punishment for crime after the fact.  Neither that law nor The Golden Rule can bring law to the lawless aggressor in the act, or enforce morality upon the immoral.  We must articulate another Rule to accomplish that.  I propose calling that other Rule the Iron Rule, which calls for the immediate termination of evil behavior by its victims or witnesses.  But the above quotes come from people in many different religions and cultures, who see no need for any other Rule.  There is a great need for another Rule, which I will now continue to explain.  It is incredible to me that I have found no other writings doing this, and yes, I have been looking.

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Sociopaths, psychopaths, manipulators, liars, thieves, criminals, dictators….. these types of people take a heavy toll on their victims, on society, and on themselves.  They are highly disruptive to the growth, maturing, and work of our souls, as well as their own soul.  If we follow the Golden Rule and deal with them passively, they may slowly change.  More likely, they will not change at all, or even get worse, because they will misinterpret our passive behavior as submission, or as support.  But the disruption they are causing continues, or even increases, because by dealing with them at all, our lives are being disrupted, our happiness is being destroyed, and our resources are being drained.  Our soul’s work or life’s work is being delayed or destroyed, and so is theirs.  Dealing with these disruptive people in a passive way simply allows the disruption to spread, until someone decides to deal with them in a more decisive, aggressive way.  Then there is a chance to stop the disruption, and to allow everyone to get back to the high calling and work of their souls and lives.

Black Hole swallows a Star

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You may say that dealing with disruption and helping “troubled” people learn to stop causing trouble IS a high calling, and a worthy cause to devote one’s life to.  That is very true, but if you choose that high calling, you need the right tools for the job.  Science has now finally discovered what wise people have known for all time:  some people have no moral conscience, delight in harming and disrupting and dominating everyone around them, and they are almost impossible to change.  The psychopath will simply take advantage of your passive love and kindness, to manipulate you, dominate you, and take your money.  The psychopath is like a black hole in space, sucking in all the love and kindness, using it to grow larger and more powerful, without changing.  When it grows large enough, the black hole can even suck in stars and destroy them, using their mass and energy to grow ever larger.  Like a black hole, psychopaths will not change, and you are wasting your passive love on them.  They will use all the love, money and resources you give them to grow more powerful, and they will not change.  They are willfully evil, and loving them passively is like casting pearls before swine, which Jesus taught us not to do (Matthew 7:6,  from the Sermon on the Mount).  Actually it is worse than casting pearls before swine, because the pigs will trample the pearls into the mud, where we might retrieve them later.  But the psychopath will pick up the pearls, take them to the pawn shop, and cash them in.  So don’t waste your pearls on these people.  Different tools are needed to deal with psychopaths and sociopaths.  Those tools are vigilance, firmness, intolerance, brutal honesty and aggression, with decisive physical force held in ready reserve.  Some people call this “tough love.”

Like a black hole in space, willfully evil people are destructive, unrelenting, unchanging, unrepentant, and all-consuming.  Every kindness you give them, every dollar, every morsel of food– every time you forgive them, or give them the benefit of the doubt– every time you support them or vote for them– they use these offerings to increase their power and diminish yours.  They are playing a very different game than the rest of us, with no “Golden Rule.”  Like the black hole, the only “rule” psychopaths follow is to consume everything and everyone within their reach, to serve their own purpose.  The Golden Rule works to strengthen them and weaken you.  The greatest difference between a black hole in space and a psychopath is what makes the psychopath even more dangerous:  A black hole cannot pretend to be a star, to attract us in with false light, brilliance and warmth.  But psychopaths can and do pretend to be a good person, a great person, even a holy person, to attract us close enough to feed on.

What if we had a psychopath or sociopath for president?  Or prime minister, secretary of state, attorney general, senator, etc.?   I think it is very likely that leaders of countries are often psychopaths or sociopaths, perhaps more often than they are good leaders who really care about the freedom, empowerment, and prosperity of their people.  As I wrote above, sociopaths may be the willfully evil people who are smarter than the others.  Psychopaths and sociopaths possess different degrees of intelligence and different talents, just like everyone else, and an exceptional sociopath would easily be able to deceive enough voters and accumulate enough money and powerful supporters to be elected to the highest position in any country.  I think our current president exhibits some definite sociopathic symptoms, and he was in great need of some “tough love” in the recent election, but sadly for us, he didn’t get enough of it.  He has been described in the media, by several credible sources, as being a “narcissist”, which is a much older term than psychopath or sociopath, but it means about the same thing.  But that is a different topic, which is addressed here:   https://goldenmeantx.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/hello-world

Or in this incredibly accurate post by a psychotherapist: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/06/a_shrink_asks_whats_wrong_with.html

the_constitution_mattered_bumper_stickerHis incredible arrogance, and his incredible danger to America, is summed up in this one ominous comment he made:  “The Constitution is often a reliable guide. But in some cases, we know better.”  He says this about the most crucial document that founded our country, and that HE SWORE AN OATH TO UPHOLD.  What he truly thinks,  what he cannot say aloud,  is likely even more extreme.  He should be thrown out of office for this one revealing comment,  which proves his betrayal to his oath.  Instead, he is re-elected by the foolish half of the country,  and we have to endure his assault on the Constitution and our freedom for another tragic 4 years.  But let us return to the subject at hand;  how to deal with psychopaths and sociopaths.   Suffice it to say here,  that a psychopathic or sociopathic president would do tremendous damage to our country, until enough good people saw through all his  deceptions, cover-ups, manipulations and veiled power-grabs, to remove him from office.  He would urgently need  to be introduced to the aggressive side of moral reciprocity.

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However, we see by the above quotes that the passive side of the moral principle of reciprocity (the Golden Rule) is greatly honored by the leaders of most religions and cultures throughout history (and their followers), while the aggressive side of the moral principle of reciprocity is rejected and ignored.  In my opinion, the Golden Rule taken alone is an incomplete moral principle, like a bicycle with one wheel.  A skilled and persistent rider might get to his destination on a bicycle with one wheel, but most riders will not, and it is so much easier to just put the other wheel on the bicycle!

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The above quotes are from highly moral and spiritual men who have dedicated their lives to their beliefs, and become highly respected for doing so.  But in doing so they have, in effect, removed themselves from the normal daily activities of common people, and removed themselves from the physical battlefield of conflict between good and evil.  I have been a soldier and an officer in the US Army, and I understand the moral conflicts of the battlefield.  Can you imagine Confucius or Buddha or Jesus as a general, or even a lowly grunt, on the front lines of World War Two?  Or  Korea, or Vietnam, or Iraq, or Afghanistan??  If they were a lowly grunt, and if they followed the historic teachings they have given us,  they would not be willing to follow the orders of their superiors and kill the enemy.  They would be a great danger to themselves and their fellow soldiers.  If they were a general, it would be a complete disaster.  Their loving passive values would get them and their armies quickly defeated, and evil would win the day.  The cries of agony from the slaughtered soldiers and their families would rise to heaven, but to no avail.  Or,  perhaps,  heaven has devised a method to deal with gross injustice on earth after the fact, in the spiritual world.  After we have been slaughtered on the battlefield, or tortured and killed by a monster such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, or the psychopath next door, perhaps our spirits can be healed.  Perhaps the spirits of our tormentors can be restrained or banished to where they can do no more harm.  I urgently hope and trust that is the case.  But even if that is the case, it does not help us here and now.  It seems that the passive leaders of our earthly religions cannot effectively deal with the gross injustice of earthly life and earthly strife.  They tell us to look to heaven, and sacrifice our own earthly welfare to anyone who ventures to take it from us.  But I ask you, why should known evil be passively allowed to triumph over us, at any place or time?  Why should we allow evil to defeat us, when we could defeat it and stop it from harming more victims?  Does this really make any logical or moral sense?  I say that it does not make any sense, in this world or the next.  Jesus said that the kingdom of God is all around us.  Why should we sacrifice any part of that holy kingdom to evil?  Our earthly lives are part of our spiritual lives, and we should not allow our earthly lives to be crippled or preyed upon by evil, regardless of what happens in the afterlife.

Our spiritual leaders have chosen love and compassion as their personal way of life, which is a form of emotional detachment from conflict, and they have rejected the application of violent force for any reason whatsoever (Mohammed was an exception, but he will be dealt with in another blog).  These outstanding mentors have unfortunately become moral extremists, in the direction of peace and non-violence.  They are perhaps incapable of violence, just or unjust, so they fashion a philosophy that condemns all violence.  They teach an idealistic philosophy, in the hope that all people will someday share the ideals of goodness.  But if that is the assumption of these religious men, I think they are very wrong.  We will never have a society in which all people share and practice the ideals of goodness, morality, and ethics.  We have had thousands of years, and many different religions with the same basic idea of passive reciprocity, and they have all failed miserably to stop evil from running rampant in the world.  In fact, most of them have contributed to the evil running rampant in world history (Crusade or Jihad, anyone?).  Today, we face religious horrors such as cults, suicide pacts, suicide bombers, massive purges, oppression of women, Islamic Sharia law, Islamic honor killings, Buddhist detachment from reality, Hindu castes, and Christian priests who sexually abuse children.  I do not fear God,  if God is love.  But I am terrified of religion,  when it turns into oppression.

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The passive leaders of most religions are missing the active side of moral reciprocity, and most of them even seem to condemn it.  That is highly ironic, because their survival as extreme pacifists is only made possible by the noble warriors, brave police and bold citizens who protect their society, who do not hesitate to use the active side of moral reciprocity, in the defense of goodness.

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Philosophers also teach the principle of reciprocity.  Immanuel Kant’s famous Categorical Imperative (“Act in such a way that the maxim of your conduct can be willed as a universal law”) is the best example from classic philosophy.  The last six quotes above are from various Greek philosophers, including an interesting quote from Aristotle, centuries before Jesus voiced his version of the Golden Rule.  But in modern times, pacifists of all types are clamoring for our attention, and the passive Golden Rule is still their mantra.

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  Spiritual guru Deepak Chopra, in his book The Third Jesus (2008), gives his thoughts on the Golden Rule: ”When I was a child in India, I first heard about the Golden Rule from the Christian brothers who had traveled from Ireland to run our school… taken literally, the Golden Rule requires you to treat an enemy as an equal, which means in essence that you can have no enemies… it’s human nature to fight back when attacked… but Jesus made no such allowances.  Many of Jesus’s most famous words defy human nature in this way.  Turn the other cheek… resist not evil.”  Deepak goes on to champion the usual pacifist misconception of fighting evil, belittling it as revenge or punishment:  “The moment someone is branded as evil (terrorists, Nazis, mass murderers, pedophiles, and so forth), the natural reaction seems to be revenge;  we assume that despite Jesus’s urgings, we have every right to exact punishment.  The current War on Terror is based on this notion.” Deepak is very wrong on this.  It is indeed human nature to fight back when attacked, and in this case human nature is right.  Deepak seeks to condemn and oppose the nobility and courage of human nature, when it disagrees with his pacifist philosophy.

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But contrary to this popular pacifist misconception, the War on Terror is not “revenge.”  Waged properly, it is the best of human nature.  It is simply our attempt to look for, find and stop the evil activities of terrorists and their sponsors, BEFORE they commit their horrendous acts of destruction.  It is prevention, not revenge.  This is human nature at its finest, not its worst.  Finding and stopping evil people is the essence of justice, and perhaps the most important activity in the world.  It is far more important than seeking punishment after the damage is done.  It is far more effective to stop a tyrant before he gains massive power, than being forced to wage war against the tyrant after he gains massive power.  In accusing us of wanting “revenge,” Deepak fails to give us a way to stop criminals from planning and committing their crimes.  It is not “revenge” to  capture or destroy a rabid dog before it bites us, and it is not “revenge” to stop a dedicated evil person while he is planning to attack us! And it is certainly not “revenge” to pursue and kill a mass murderer after he has committed the murders, after he has avoided our efforts to find him and stop him before the crime.  It is not revenge, it is justiceDeepak is completely wrong on this issue.  WE DO HAVE “every right to exact punishment”, which Deepak argues against.  But to go further, to reach the moral ideal, we have something far more important than a moral right to “exact punishment”, we have a moral obligation to terminate active evil, and people like Deepak refuse to see it, until the evil is happening to them.  Spiritual leaders and “gurus” like Deepak are cultivating a moral near-sightedness, even moral blindness, in their followers.  They have no solution for the termination of evil, so they choose not to see it, not to fight it,  or sometimes deny that it even exists.  And of course, they choose the historic teachings that support their position, and ignore or oppose all the rest.

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Deepak’s pacifist refusal to recognize or resist our enemies will not prevent those enemies from beheading him or blowing him to pieces, if they choose him as a target.  And we should not stop the terrorists from killing him, for that would be an immoral act of “revenge,” according to him.  So I must let Deepak die, literally and figuratively.  His arguments are lifeless and foolish to me.  Deepak’s pacifist philosophy is a flawed Eastern version of the extreme pacifist philosophy of Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher, who I severely criticized in another blog article (The Philosophy of Falsehood).  https://goldenmeantx.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/the-philosophy-of-falsehood/

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Prophets and philosophers are not the only worshippers of the Golden Rule.  Even brilliant neurologists get into the act.  Dr. Antonio Damasio wrote an amazing book, Looking for Spinoza (2003), reporting the latest neurological research and discoveries, which impressed me greatly.  But Dr. Damasio went too far, trying to expound on the morality of human behavior, and how it affects our minds.  He addressed the issue of harm.  He proclaimed that:

“good actions are those that…..do not harm other individuals.  This injunction is unequivocal.  An action that might be personally beneficial but would harm others is not good because harming others always haunts and eventually harms the individual who causes the harm.”

Really, doctor?  So it is not good to expose a liar, to stop a thief, to interrupt a rapist in the act, to kill a murderer in the act?  Every time a policeman arrests a criminal, he is disrupting and harming that criminal’s life.  Every time a judge throws a criminal into prison, he is committing serious harm against that individual.  Every time a moral person uses force to stop an immoral person, the immoral person is being harmed in some way.  So according to Damasio’s proclamation, every policeman, every soldier, every judge is engaged in activity that is not good.  Damasio’s version of the Golden Rule condemns law enforcement, judicial power, and military action as harmful and evil, as not being “good actions.”

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This definition of “good actions” is incredibly naïve, and ignores the universal human problem of how to stop other people who have no qualms about harming others.  If society followed this “injunction,” our civilization would crumble into anarchy, with no one willing to enforce laws or repel attacks.  This attempt at moral principle is very noble of Dr. Damasio, but the scientists should stick with science.  Here he has given us a new commandment even stricter than the Bible, but at the same time more selfish, saying:

Thou shalt not harm anyone for any reason, for thou wilt harm thyself.

But Damasio does not say how to deal with people who ignore his great commandment.  Some people will always choose harm, abuse and violence as their way of life.  Some people enjoy such an immoral lifestyle immensely, getting high on the feelings of power it gives them when they abuse or destroy their victims, getting rich from the loot they take, and they consider it far superior to a moral lifestyle.    Damasio’s idealistic commandment completely prohibits defending ourselves against these people (“this injunction is unequivocal,” he says).  When a criminal attacks us, we are not to defend ourselves by harming him, because our harmful deed will haunt us forever!  I have news for the good doctor….. I would be proud to eliminate a criminal predator from this world,  and save all his future victims from harm.  Here is a scientist incapable of dealing with the realities of evil, who equates all harm with evil.  This is similar to the generic liberal pacifist condemnation of all violence, but Damasio takes it to an even greater extreme.  Damasio could have taken one of the above quotes, from Socrates, as early philosophical support for Damasio’s view:  “It has been shown that to injure anyone is never just anywhere” (Socrates, The  Republic). But Socrates was just as wrong 2300 years ago as Damasio is wrong today.  This is just one of at least two major errors that Socrates made in his philosophy.  This is a highly flawed view of moral reciprocity.

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Likewise, all pacifist principles of moral reciprocity are flawed, because they do not instruct us how to deal with evil, or worse, they tell us to treat evil with kindness.  They require us to treat everyone with kindness and passive benevolence, regardless of how others deserve to be treated.  Teachers of the Golden Rule, who say it is the only moral rule we need, are wrong.  They represent moral extremism, which must be tempered and moderated.  The dominance of the Golden Rule has accomplished much goodness in human history, but it has also caused untold harm in human history, because it has two very harmful effects.  First, the question of merit is totally removed from human relations, and second, evil people are not stopped or punished.

In conflicts of will, the issue of merit must take precedence.  Which party in the conflict deserves to win the conflict?  Which party is conducting themselves in a more moral or ethical way?  If both parties were sufficiently moral, there would be no serious conflict in the first place;  there would be only discussion and resolution.  So if there is a conflict at all, then the morally inferior party has crossed the line and should be corrected.  That party in the conflict who is morally superior, should prevail in every way over the party who is morally inferior (I do not presume to offer the details of moral superiority or inferiority….. if you have read this far, then I am confident you have a good idea for yourself, and your idea is just as valid as mine).  In my view, the moral superior has an obligation to take the necessary steps to prevail in the conflict, while doing the least amount of harm to accomplish that.  This is the quickest way to demonstrate and reinforce the fact that the values of the moral superior are indeed superior.  Then, equally and crucially important, it is the obligation of the moral inferior to realize his or her mistake, learn from it, repent, and reform.  I have been on both sides of this scenario, and it works very well.

In fact, most religions require us to realize our mistakes and learn from them.  For example, this is a theme running through the Book of Proverbs in the Bible.  A typical verse says:  “He who refuses and ignores instruction and correction despises himself, but he who heeds reproof gets understanding” Proverbs 15:32.  The moral superior is the one providing instruction and correction and reproof, which the moral inferior must heed, for any progress to be made.  This ideal scenario is difficult to carry out in real life, because usually both sides will think they are the moral superior.  The psychopath or sociopath, in particular, may argue that he is following this exact scenario, but he has hi-jacked  it to serve himself, and he knows that he has done so.   When both sides say they are morally superior, of course, one side is either lying or delusional or psychopathic.  Usually both sides are committing moral sins or errors, but one side is more in error than the other, thus needing more correction.  If both sides are honestly seeking improvement, the issue of superiority will be resolved, to the benefit of both sides.  Sadly, this rarely happens, because our egotistical pride prevents us from honestly deferring and bowing to our moral superiors.  We can argue forever about what constitutes moral superiority, but the vast majority of us will agree that it does exist, and we can recognize it, in spite of the efforts of modern liberalism to prevent us from doing so.  Not only do we recognize our own position on the moral spectrum, but we are pretty good at recognizing those people who are below us and above us on the moral spectrum.  The Golden Rule taken alone, followed blindly, prevents us from putting this moral, spiritual sensing to good use.

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I am not the first philosopher to criticize the Golden Rule.  Rogue philosophers such as Nietzsche threw it out along with all other traditional ideas of morality.  Nietzsche considered pacifist Christianity to be a philosophy of the weak, the cowardly, and the impotent; though Nietzsche worshipped power and strong will to an opposite extreme.  But I am not “throwing out” the Golden Rule.  I am accepting it as valid, but incomplete.  It is not the complete expression of moral reciprocity, as its supporters argue.

Plato (left) and Aristotle (right)

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A far greater philosopher also did not support supremacy of the Golden Rule.  My favorite philosopher  Aristotle (384-322 BC) hinted against the concept in his great work Ethics.  Aristotle argued for a Golden Mean of virtue, not a Golden Rule or a rigid moral rule of any kind.  Dr. Mortimer Adler expanded on Aristotle in an address to a church in Aspen, Colorado in 1991, saying: “…..the Golden Rule by itself is vacuous, empty of meaning;  by itself it does not tell you how to behave towards others or how to conduct your life..…but it does contain one true moral insight, namely that any sound rule of conduct must be universal– applicable to all human beings everywhere…..this is a question that Aristotle answers in one way and all other moral philosophers answer in the opposite way” (from The Mortimer J. Adler Archives on The Radical Academy website).  I think what Dr. Adler means is this: the Golden Rule by itself does not specifically mention passive benevolence or any other type of behavior.  It just instructs us to act in a virtuous and reciprocal manner (but this takes the Golden Rule out of its religious context, which does require passive benevolence).  As for Aristotle, he was clear on virtue.  Virtue was a moral excellence that avoided extremes of weakness or excess, but did not avoid hard work, risk or danger.  Sadly, Aristotle was not so clear on reciprocity.  However, there is a key quote I have found attributed to Aristotle concerning moral reciprocity:  We should behave toward friends as we would wish friends to behave toward us.”  This is the only “Golden Rule”  I have found, in all of world history, that operates only among “friends,” who we can assume to be ethical people;  which allows for a different moral principle to operate towards our enemies, who we can assume to be unethical people.  This is the only assumption we can make about the meaning, considering Aristotle’s keen insight into ethics and his interest in the pursuit of virtue.

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The pursuit of virtue requires one to be courageous, and it also requires one to be just.  Courage is a virtue that addresses a quality within oneself, while justice is a virtue that addresses qualities within others.  Justice requires us to consider the issue of merit in our dealings with others.  Justice requires us to ask two questions: what do others need;  and what do others deserve?  Everyone needs help in one form or another, at various times.  But who deserves our help more, the poor starving widow and her children, or the poor starving murderer who made her a widow, who killed her husband for the gold wedding ring on his finger?  Which one merits our help?  This is a simple question with an obvious answer, but the Golden Rule would have us treat them exactly the same, with love and kindness.  If the known murderer asks us for help first, and we share our last loaf of bread with him, what will we give the widow when she finally recovers from her grief and knocks on our door?  We will have nothing to give her, except sympathy, but sympathy is not food.  We are out of food, but being the good people that we are, the virtuous followers of the Golden Rule that we are, we invite the widow into our hovel and offer her some water to quench her thirst, which is all we have.  She is grateful for the water, and for the sympathy.  As she drinks the water, we begin to talk, to be a friend, to help however we can, for we are followers of the sacred Golden Rule.   But when the widow discovers that we just gave our last loaf of bread to the man who just murdered her husband, and stole his gold wedding ring, she might be just a little upset, don’t you think?  You could try to justify your helping of the murderer, but you cannot justify it to this grieving, starving widow.  You thought you were doing “the right thing,” but it turns out you were doing exactly THE WRONG THING.  The Golden Rule would require us to give the murderer our last loaf, even if we knew he was a murderer.  But in helping him, we are helping and rewarding evil.  Whenever resources go to nourish or reward evil, a gross injustice occurs.  The Golden Rule allows, evens demands, this injustice.  It allows evil to win the hard-earned money and resources of others, even when it is intended as charity or welfare.  It allows evil to do this over and over again, without end.  All the evil person has to do, is ask for it, and they will be given it!  To me, this is moral insanity, and moral blindness.

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In the subject of crime, a similar picture emerges.  There is now much evidence that most criminals follow career patterns, returning to criminal activity throughout their lives.  This idea is really no more than common sense.  People who use the tactics of mistreating, cheating, abusing or attacking others for their own personal gain, have not reached that position lightly.  It is a clear choice of lifestyle; it is a basic moral choice; it is a basic part of their personality.  They are psychopaths or sociopaths, without conscience, because they willingly choose evil.  But the Golden Rule does not recognize this.  Every time a person attacks us or commits a crime, the Golden Rule requires us to give the person what they want, forgive them for taking it from us, and not retaliate or defend ourselves.  Jesus told us to forgive our tormentors 70 times 7 times!  (But he seemed not to forgive the moneychangers in the temple, as he drove them out).  If an evil person can find enough victims who follow the Golden Rule, then he or she is assured a long life of successful abuse and crime.  Incidentally, this general religious doctrine of unlimited forgiveness, implied in the Golden Rule, couples smoothly with the atheistic liberal failure to recognize and oppose evil.  Liberal juries and judges give hardened criminals light sentences, and release immoral monsters from prison to prey on us again and again.  I already wrote an article about this tragedy in American society:  https://goldenmeantx.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/why-do-the-guilty-go-free-like-casy-anthony-lady-justice-is-becoming-blind-deaf-and-dumb/

Together, pacifists of religious, secular and atheistic dogmas are allowing all kinds of evil to triumph over goodness in our society and on our planet.

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For the peaceniks of both religious and atheistic stripes, I have a little parable.  The human race is divided into predatory types and prey types….. think of us as wolves and sheep.  Some of the wolves have grown into guard dogs.  Sheep can grow into guard dogs too, but it may be more difficult than a camel passing through the eye of a needle (Bible verse, Matthew 19:24).  So most of them remain sheep.  It does no good to teach the sheep to be kind and gentle, while the wolves howl and run in packs.  But that is what the sheep bleat to each other and to the wolves and to the guard dogs, to be kind and gentle.  You can imagine what the wolves think of that.  The Golden Rule, if observed by the sheep, literally “serves” only the wolves.  And the sheep had better pray that their guard dogs do not follow the Golden Rule when confronted by their wild canine cousins.  Liberal, peace-loving guard dogs would spell doom and disaster for the sheep, for the dogs would give the wolves a sacrificial sheep to appease them, every time the wolves appear, and wolves are hungry every day.  But in the real world, the sheep need not fear, because unlike humans, dogs are not smart enough to invent moral rules to override their trusty instincts.  Some sheep-herding dogs will fight to the death to repel a wolf or coyote from the herd they are charged to protect.  Good dogs can put humans to shame with their outstanding loyalty, obedience, bravery, and self-sacrifice.

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Compassion is also not the exclusive domain of mankind.  Most species of mammals exhibit nurturing behavior within their family or group, and some will even risk injury or sacrifice their own well-being for others.  In a fascinating experiment reported by Antonio Damasio in Looking for Spinoza (2003), Rhesus monkeys were used.  Their cages were rigged so that when one monkey took his portion of food, a monkey in a cage next to him got zapped by an electric shock, and cried out in pain.  The monkeys abstained from pulling a chain that would deliver food to them, if pulling the chain also caused another monkey to receive an electric shock.  Some monkeys would suffer themselves, not eating for days, rather than cause another monkey to suffer.  And the monkey was most likely to show such compassion for another monkey who was well known.  The monkeys who had previously been shocked themselves also showed more compassion.  So here we have scientific proof that some animals are compassionate, more compassionate than many humans.  It would be very easy to argue that these monkeys are following The Golden Rule, without the benefit of ever reading or hearing about it.  It would also be very easy to argue that some monkeys are the moral superiors of some humans.

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Other experiments were conducted on humans.  In one famous experiment at Yale University in 1961-1962 by Stanley Milgram, subjects chose to shock their victims with powerful electricity.  One person, the “learner” was rigged up with electrical wires, and another person in another room, the “teacher” was shown how to work the controls to shock the “learner,” and control the level of shock.  The “teacher” was required to ask the “learner” certain questions, and either reward them with praise or punish them with shock.  Two-thirds (65%) of the study subjects chose punishment, and steadily increased the level of shock, up to 450 volts, even when they were told that the shock was very painful.  The cries and grimaces of the “learner” confirmed this.  Imagine their surprise when, at the end of the study, they were told that there was no electric shock at all, and their supposed victims were actors who were in on the study.  So here we have scientific proof that some humans are assholes, with no compassion at all.

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.Another chilling study may give some insights to the prisoner abuse committed by Americans in Iraq at the Abu Ghraib prison.  In 1971, psychologist Philip Zimbardo conducted a test at Stanford University.  He paid $15 a day to 24 well-adjusted male college students, to have them play the roles of prisoners or guards in a laboratory “jail” for two weeks.  The experiment started, but Zimbardo had to stop it after just six days.  Some of the 12 guards quickly turned sadistic and abusive, while most of the 12 prisoners became despondent and withdrawn.  The “guards” were verbally abusive, and forced the “prisoners” to do things like clean toilet bowls with their bare hands and do excessive numbers of push-ups.  Secret videotapes revealed that the “guards” escalated their abuse of prisoners in the middle of the night, when they thought no researchers were watching and the experiment was “off.”  In a book chapter Zimbardo wrote, he concluded that ”the Evil situation triumphed over the Good people.”  In this writing, Dr.  Zimbardo was engaging in a type of moral optimism,  reasonable in the upbeat American year of 1971,  which is proven wrong, when you look at these photos of the infamous crimes of the American guards at Abu Ghraib prison, just 35 years later.

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I would submit that this is an erroneous conclusion by Dr. Zimbardo, and that the “Good people” were not really so good after all.  They were just good at acting and deception.  The abusive “guards” were immoral and unethical; potentially evil people who were suddenly given the power or opportunity to exercise that evil.  Worse yet, they ENJOYED the abuse of their power, doing it for their own pleasure when they thought no one was watching.  Further, there was no inherently “Evil situation” in the experiment.  There is no evil in the situation of imprisonment itself, as long as the prisoners have had a fair trial, and been convicted by an ethical judge, following ethical laws.  Clearly, the evil came when the guards chose to violate their duties, and to commit the crime of abuse against the people under their authority.

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I have seen this type of abuse before, especially in the Army.  There are many ways to command.  Some of them are abusive;  some of them are supportive.  It all comes down to a single question.  Are you the type of person who uses authority to weaken or destroy those under you, or who uses authority to strengthen or build those under you?  It is very much a personal choice.  To me, it represents the difference between evil and goodness.

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The other guards were moral weaklings who just went along with the abusive guards.  This is despicable.  It disgusts me more than the evil of the abusive guards.  It is even more appalling that the voluntary “prisoners” in this experiment would sheepishly endure such abuse, without fighting back or walking away.  Remember, this was just a laboratory experiment on a college campus.  These “prisoners” were being seriously abused in a mental and emotional way.  Isn’t this the most common form of abuse in society, that we have all experienced in real life?  But this wasn’t “real life,” it was an experiment, and the students could have done anything they wanted.  They could have fought back, they could have rebelled, they could have told the guards to screw themselves, they could have told the professor they wanted out.  But no, they just bowed their heads and let the abuse continue.  This illustrates my conviction that the evil of one is strengthened by the weakness of many.

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So, science has shown us that animals can be compassionate when we do not expect it, and that humans can be cruel and yes, evil, when they don’t have to be.  Sometimes, the instincts of animals serve them better than our human intellects serve us.  The Golden Rule, taken alone, is an example of this human failure.  The Golden Rule, taken alone, promotes an immoral peace by sacrificing justice.  But justice should never be sacrificed, because it is far more important than “peace.”

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Such passive rules of reciprocity as the Golden Rule are wonderful, as long as everyone respects them and actually tries to follow them.  But common sense, and the reality of everyday life, and the headlines of our newspapers, tell us that everyone does not respect them.  A significant percentage of human beings think only of themselves, and many of them even take great pleasure in harming or destroying the rest of us.  According to Dr. Martha Stout, the percentage of sociopaths is four percent of American society.  Many other criminals are predatory without being classified as sociopaths, and many other unethical people are abusive and predatory, without breaking laws.  To them, the Golden Rule is for weaklings and fools.  What are we to do, when we treat another person with kindness, and he viciously attacks us?  If we continue to treat him as we wish he would treat us, he will destroy us.  Or he will enslave us and drain us of all our resources.  If we follow the Golden Rule, we are required to offer no resistance, and treat him as if he were the nicest person alive.  We are to treat good people and evil people the same, with equal love and compassion. But this is voluntary moral blindness.

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While we are operating blindly with the Golden Rule, if the person attacking us exercises his freedom of will in order to block or destroy our freedom of will, he wins in the game of life.  In the physical game of life on this world, the master wins over his slaves, the manipulator wins over his victims, the con artist wins over his dupes, in short….. the predator wins over his prey.  In other words, he who violates the Golden Rule wins, and he who follows the Golden Rule loses.  But we are not animals, so this should be intolerable to us all, regardless of what may or may not happen in the afterlife.  We should not sacrifice ourselves in this life, or in any part of our lives.  Evil should not be passively granted victory in any arena.  Does the triumph of evil over goodness ever serve any useful purpose?  (Actually, the answer is yes, and that purpose is motivation, as when the sacrifice of a religious martyr motivates his followers to follow his teachings, but that is another subject in itself, and it has already been done for us, by many religious martyrs in history).  I say that the triumph of evil over goodness should never be passively allowed to happen, as the Golden Rule allows it.

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Sometime, somewhere, somehow, many of us are opposing evil, or it would conquer the universe.  Enough people are opposing evil on this Earth, or the planet would have been permanently conquered by evil long ago.  But evil controls many local areas, and governs many large countries.  Believers say we should leave the opposing of evil to God.  But they also say God gives us free will, for evil or good.  I say we should all use our free will to oppose evil, every time, everywhere, and by any means necessary.  Otherwise we are wasting God’s gift of free will, and simultaneously allowing others to abuse that gift.  I say that evil should never be allowed to triumph over goodness, not even in any small or temporary way.  On the other end of the scale, when evil humans are forcefully threatening the lives of others, the evil ones should be killed without hesitation, if that is what it takes to terminate their threat, if they ignore or resist all lesser actions.  Further, exposed evil should never be allowed to enjoy ANY freedom of action and freedom of will.  All the traditional moral principles of reciprocity fail to address this problem.  They foolishly give evil people full freedom of action and freedom of will, without opposition.  They do this in the belief that the evil people still have a conscience, and will eventually be shamed into seeing the evil of their ways.  This is a poor gamble.  The good person is betting everything on the slim chance that a raging tiger will turn into a purring kitten.  Evil people are evil because they have decided that it is the best way to get what they want.  They know it is wrong, and they don’t care.  They are now called psychopaths and sociopaths, as mentioned near the beginning of this article.  They view others as fruit to be plucked and consumed, not as fellow sprouts from the tree of life to be respected and honored.  They will do what they have to do, in order to take what you have, whether it is possessions, knowledge, dignity, freedom, or life.  If you willingly give it to them, so much the better for them.  If you willingly give it to them, you are making a serious mistake.  You have simply made it easier for them to achieve their vile objective.  Supporters of the Golden Rule will argue that no one can steal your dignity from you.  That may be true, but this is of small comfort when evil steals from you everything else of value.

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For example, think of the millions of prisoners in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.  They may have kept their dignity, but they lost everything else.  They lost their freedom, their loved ones, their homes, their possessions, their money, their hobbies, their health, their happiness, their leisure, and their lives.  The Nazis saw it as their duty to abuse and destroy the weak, in a ruthless and twisted form of natural selection.  In many death camps, the Nazis specifically tried to destroy the dignity of their victims, humiliating them in devious ways for months or years before they killed them.  I would argue that the Nazis DID take or destroy the dignity of their victims.  The twisted slogan of the death camps, “ARBEIT MACHT FREI,” meant “Work makes you free.”  The crushing labor and starvation would eventually “free” you from your miserable life, by killing you.  The Nazis put this slogan at the gates to the death camps.

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I personally stood before, and walked through, one of these gates at the Dacchau death camp,  and it was a moving experience,  on many levels.  As I stood looking at those words,  in a bitterly cold winter wind,  biting right through my coat,  I imagined the millions of doomed prisoners who trudged through those gates at gunpoint,  looked up at those words on the gate,  and perhaps finally realized the full extent of the twisted evil of their Nazi tormentors.  Then I imagined the thousands of American soldiers who walked through those gates,  looked up at those words without understanding them,  but then saw the horrors behind them as they advanced into the camp,  to save as many prisoners as they could.

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Those prisoners who were saved, were saved by the application of irresistible violent force by the American Army and its Allies.  They were saved by the courage, sacrifice and lifeblood of brave warriors for goodness.  They were not saved by the application of the Golden Rule to their Nazi oppressors.  They were saved by the killing of their Nazi oppressors.  If the Allies had not come to save them, they would have surely died.  As for those millions who did die in the camps, their efforts would have been better spent trying to kill the Nazi soldiers who came to drag them from their homes.  It is better to die nobly and quickly in defense of one’s home and family, than to die slowly in the despair, misery and filth of a prison camp, especially if you manage to take one of the thugs with you.  If only one-sixth of the six million who died horribly in the prison camps had succeeded in killing or wounding one Nazi soldier, the Third Reich would have been deprived of one million soldiers.  This would have been a very significant influence on the outcome of the war.  And to paraphrase Franklin D. Roosevelt, it is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees, for those who love freedom.  The extreme philosophical view that the Nazis could have been “disarmed by love” (this has actually been argued by at least one philosopher) is unbelievably naïve and absurd, when one understands the principles and realities of evil.

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On a more theoretical basis, what happens when evil people attack good people, who firmly believe in the Golden Rule?  Of course, many things can happen, but each side has two basic choices.  The good people can continue to follow the Golden Rule, as they certainly believe that they should, as they have always been taught by their spiritual leaders.  They can try to “disarm their enemy with love.”  In this case, the evil people can either 1) press their advantage, and have their way as long as they want, robbing and raping and terrorizing, even to the point of destroying the good people, or 2) they may be influenced by the passive benevolence of their victims, and have a change of heart.  That rare miracle is the desired goal of those who preach the Golden Rule.  This only has a chance to work if the evil people let the good people live, for a long enough period to observe their saintly behavior.  But the good people of the Golden Rule in our hypothetical situation have another choice.  After recovering from their shock, their disbelief that the people attacking them could be so unfair, so selfish, so irrational, so cruel; after much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth; after asking that eternal question “WHY ME” of themselves and of their God and finding no good answer, they can abandon the Golden Rule and oppose the evil attacking them.  In this case, the evil people can either 1) continue to attack against stiff resistance, risking to destroy the goods and resources they wish to take over, and risking to be destroyed themselves, or 2) they can break off the attack, leave, and search for more willing victims who won’t forsake their Golden Rule.  Or a third possible outcome, which we can consider as a bonus, is that the good people succeed in defeating the evil people, in which case the evil ones will be destroyed or punished.  The great tragedy of this scenario is that the good people must either follow their belief in the Golden Rule and give evil what it wants, or experience great distress and torment in tearing themselves away from their cherished belief, in order to oppose evil.  And if they do finally choose to oppose evil, prompted to do so by its predatory acts upon them, they start their opposition from a strategic disadvantage, for their enemies are already among them and in control.  Throughout history, this problem has plagued followers of the Golden Rule.  Countless victims of evil have restrained their urge to fight back, and bravely turned the other cheek, when their bravery and help were sorely needed by those who did choose to fight back.  Instead, the passive ones beg the noble fighters to stop, perhaps even denounce them, perhaps refusing even to give the fighters moral support.  Why are the passive ones seemingly so stubborn and blind to moral reality?  The answer is: these brave but passive victims are simply following the extreme “Golden Rule” teachings of their belief system, which promises eternal reward for obedience and threatens terrible eternal punishment for disobedience.

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When I hear a religious speaker express any version of the Golden Rule, such as “love your neighbor as you love yourself”, I want to shout: “WHEN MY NEIGHBOR KILLS ME AND MY FAMILY, AND HE IS COMING TO KILL YOU, THEN WHAT WILL YOU DO?“  If he does not defend himself, he will die a quick death, while reciting the Golden Rule to his killer.  The Golden Rule will make a nice engraving for the speaker’s tombstone, while the murderer happily moves on to his next victim.  Why is it that most spiritual leaders give us great advice on how to treat others in peaceful situations, but give us lousy advice on what to do when others attack us?

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There are many reasons for this, some innocent and some not so innocent.  Some religious leaders are preaching the Golden Rule because they sincerely believe it to be the greatest moral rule, as the founders of their religion decreed.  Other religious leaders in history have preached the Golden Rule as the rule for the masses, but have not followed it themselves.  Instead, they use their power to oppress, imprison, torture, or slaughter those who disagree with them.  For these vile religious hypocrites, the Golden Rule is a valuable tool to keep the people passive, easier to control, and easier to relieve of their money.

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Throughout history, there is a disconnect, an incompatibility between all spiritual leaders who preach benevolence and non-violence, and the rest of the human race, who have to find a way to survive and fight back in the face of malevolent evil.  The Golden Rule does not give them what they need to preserve goodness and defeat evil (for those of you who are thinking of the success of Mahatma Gandhi, I will deal with that later, in another blog).  To put it bluntly, the Golden Rule doesn’t work by itself, and cannot work by itself.  It is an essential half, but only half, of a general moral basis for goodness.

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What we have here, with the topic of the Golden Rule, is one of the most basic moral misadventures in history.  The Golden Rule is used as a tool in a con job and a cover-up of epic proportions.  The con job is presided over by some of the most well-meaning and highest-honored people among us.  It is the most classic case of wishful thinking perpetuating it’s own grave error.  What is this grave error?  The moral principle of reciprocity is not fully expressed by the Golden Rule.  There is a neglected side of reciprocity that is suppressed by those spiritual and political leaders who philosophically disagree with it.  It is the missing half of all the above quoted principles of reciprocity.  When goodness is not threatened with destruction, it can afford to act with passive benevolence.  But goodness must act to preserve itself when it is being destroyed.  This is our natural right, even our responsibility.  We must also consider merit and justice when we consider what other people need and ask for.

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The famous “problem of evil” has been addressed by every philosophy and religion in history, even if their way of addressing it is to deny it.  Others say evil exists because God grants us free will.  But this doesn’t help us deal with evil directly.  When our own property, life or society is threatened, the Golden Rule is useless.  To solve the “problem of evil,” we need to deal with it in a hostile, forceful way.

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When the dragon of evil is crouching on our doorstep or our neighbor’s doorstep, we cannot invite it in, we cannot ignore it, and we should not let it get away.  When evil is present, we need different principles to oppose it.  This almost requires two separate sets of moral values: values to be followed in the absence of evil, and values to be followed in the presence of evil.  The various “Golden Rules” of reciprocity tell us how to act in the absence of evil, among people who are not evil.  We need a moral principle of reciprocity to guide us in our response to people who are evil.  Of course, such a principle already resides in the mind of every human being with a moral backbone, who is concerned with the application of justice in human affairs.  I would call it “The Iron Rule” of reciprocity, and this is the way I would express it:

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The Iron Rule (neglected companion to the Golden Rule):

Every act of evil must be opposed by those who observe it or learn of it, and countered with an equal or greater force.

Before the pacifists voice their automatic condemnation, let me clarify: The word “force” here does not equate to “violence.”  Depending upon the evil that one may observe, “force” may simply be speaking or writing words, applying influence or pressure, maintaining a presence instead of leaving, withholding resources from an evil, withholding information from an evil, or encouraging others to unite in solidarity against an evil.  The pacifists do these things all the time, most recently and visibly with the “Occupy” movement, which also engaged in much law-breaking, bigotry, theft, car-burning, vandalism and assault….. not to mention massive littering, pissing, crapping, and humping in public parks, while denying the rest of the public the use of our parks.  So the pacifists follow the Iron Rule in a limited, twisted, distorted fashion.  They object when others follow it rightly, because they have an erroneous view of the definitions of “evil,” “peace” and “justice.”  They are philosophical failures.   They are often much closer to “evil” than those they denounce and attack.

Now, after my use of the word “evil” dozens of times, and after using it as the subject of a moral rule, you will be wondering about my definition of “evil,” if you have read this far.  As a reward for your mighty struggle, I will be happy to oblige.  The famous philosopher Ayn Rand was accused of excessive “moralizing” in her books, especially the use of the word “evil.”  Rand defined evil as the violation of human rights, an excellent definition.  Human rights are a liberal sacred cow, but still she was criticized by liberals for overusing the word “evil”.  I suspect that I would surpass her, in an equal amount of writing.  Maybe this will help compensate for all the times extreme liberal, New Age and Oriental writers do not use the word “evil” when they should.  Most modern writers are far too forgiving and too reluctant to make judgments.  The non-judging liberals are very upset with people who do make judgments, such as President Reagan describing an “evil empire” and President Bush describing an “axis of evil.”  I applaud these presidents for their accuracy and courage.  But my abundant use of the words “goodness” and “evil” are not because I want to make everything black and white.  They are used as general terms, because I want to leave the precise definitions of goodness and evil up to the individual reader.  I use these words with general definitions to avoid going into too much detail.  My general definitions deal with behaviors, without delving into metaphysical considerations, though I think there are deliberate metaphysical intentions behind good and evil behaviors.

I define goodness as: the active pursuit of knowledge, love and justice, in equal parts and equal priority, which to me is part of the “pursuit of happiness”.  I define evil as: willful, unjustified acts of aggression or destruction against the body, property or dignity of another person.  These evil acts always involve abuse and predation of other people or their property. Therefore:

In this article, whenever you see the word “evil,” you should see it as shorthand for “willfull, unjustified, abusive and predatory behavior against other people,” which is already shorthand for the definition I just provided.  Thus, a simple four-letter word becomes an abbreviation for a lengthy 16-word phrase, which you would really get tired of reading over and over…..

Evil could also be considered the underlying will, intent, thought or choice that leads to the unjustified predatory acts.  Every human action is preceded or triggered by thought or choice.  Every evil act is guided by an evil intent to harm, or it may not be truly evil.  The definition of evil can become very complicated and controversial.  But I have confidence in my readers.  I trust the average person to be able to recognize goodness and evil, and to apply them as they choose to their own lives.  It is my conviction that we generally know quite well whether we are behaving ethically or unethically.

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It is easy for most people to recognize evil for themselves, even when they are embracing it (though they will not admit it).  But it is very difficult to define good and evil, or to formulate precise moral principles for everyone to follow.  As Aristotle taught in his great works of ethics, it is impossible for ethical theory to deal with too much detail.  It is only possible to establish general principles that will guide us into a “habit of virtue,” if we are willing to be guided.  Aristotle had a supreme wisdom here: the willingness to be guided is important, as it indicates a humility already gained by making mistakes and recognizing them as mistakes.  Our mistakes allow us to recognize evil in ourselves and others, if we are paying attention.

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After reading this article, you will have a pretty good idea of what I think goodness and evil are, but they can never be completely described.  They are not solid absolutes like rock, they are fluid intentions like water that flows into the pores and cracks of the human experience, capable of the lightest trickle or the mightiest flood, capable of nourishing life or destroying it.

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In our interactions with other people, basically, goodness is the intent to help, and it will find a way to help, if that is possible, no matter what the difficulty.  Basically, evil is the intent to hurt, and it will find a way to hurt, no matter what the difficulty (and it is always possible to hurt others). That is the nature of intentions, when they are strong enough.

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Contrary to naïve liberal arguments, opposing evil with force does not make good people just as bad as the evil people.  Contrary to naïve religious arguments, opposing evil with force does not violate the spiritual laws of God, or the moral laws of man.  Evil people using force are motivated by hate, lust and the desire to destroy or dominate.  Good people using force are motivated by love, justice, and the desire to protect.  Force is a tool, and by itself is morally neutral.  Lightning– pure force with no mind– cares not whether it strikes tree or rock, saint or murderer.  The Golden Rule follows the requirements of love, when force is not needed.  The Iron Rule follows the requirements of justice, when force is needed.  Love and justice are like the inseparable two sides of the precious coin of Goodness; they are different faces of the same greater virtue.  Each one should be practiced with the other behind it as a foundation of support.  Love and justice support each other, and each one prevents the other from excess.  Love extended to others without justice is foolish and self-defeating.  Justice extended to others without love is brutal and cruel.

I would go so far as to say that JUSTICE and LOVE are the proper elements of “yin” and “yang”, that ancient Chinese philosophers interpreted as “shade and light” or “masculine and feminine” or “hot and cold” or “fire and water” or “heavy and light”.  The Chinese philosophers used these charming, seemingly wise contrasts while they tried to philosophize that evil is not really evil, that evil is necessary for goodness to exist, that evil must be tolerated while the mysterious forces of the universe contend with each other, represented by endless swirls of black and white that morph into each other, like a cosmic blended ice cream, in some vague path of spiritual progress.

The ancient Chinese sages were likely just extreme pacifists, like most other men who dedicate their lives wholly to religious / spiritual pursuits, and so they mistakenly identified some violent activities of justice as evil, just like modern extreme pacifists do.  There were also plenty of episodes of real evil swirling around them, as different factions fought for the control of China, and committed endless atrocities against each other and against their subjects.  Many episodes of real evil provoked reactions of violent justice, seeking to terminate the evil, which could also be violent.  Ancient China was a very violent place, with centuries of warlords, emperors, invaders, and slaughtered peasants.  For their time, the Chinese military forces were the best in the world, and their tactics were extremely ruthless.  Genghis Khan conquered China, and then became China, and his monstrous philosophy survives in China to this day.  So in their philosophy, the Chinese sages attempted to incorporate their idea of “evil” (which was really often the activities of justice) into a blend with “good”, because it seemed that the two concepts could not be separated in human events, nor in humans themselves.  But this was wrong, and the Chinese monks who developed martial arts such as “kung fu” to combat evil, had a much more realistic approach to religion and philosophy, even if they paid lip service to the traditional doctrine of “yin and yang.”   To my mind, JUSTICE and LOVE fit the concept of “yin” and “yang” much better than the attempted re-definition and justification of evil, that many of the Chinese sages were attempting to pull off.  While it is true that the human psyche is complicated, and each of us have our “dark side” of potential evil, the definition and concept of evil should remain separate and unblended from goodness,  so that it can be clearly recognized and opposed.  JUSTICE and LOVE better fit the yin / yang concept of masculine / feminine, hot / cold, fire / water, hard / soft, harsh / gentle, heavy / light, etc., with both of them being essential elements of goodness.

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If, as I maintain, love and justice are inseparable components of goodness, then the Golden Rule and the Iron Rule are inseparable moral rules of reciprocity.  If only one is followed and the other suppressed, goodness is distorted beyond recognition.  Working together, they enable goodness to flourish, and to stamp out evil wherever and whenever it may occur, before it can gather irresistible power.  The addition of Iron to Gold makes goodness whole, and gives us a concept of goodness that is self-sustaining and self-enforcing.  It gives followers of the principle of moral reciprocity the permission and the means to enforce that principle upon the evil people who choose to violate it.

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This principle, the Iron Rule, seems to go directly against the teachings of Jesus, Buddha, Lao-Tzu and other prophets.  In Matthew 5:39-40, Jesus is reported as saying: “I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.”  This teaching to “resist not evil” is passivity and pacifism in the extreme.  It tells us to be voluntary and willing victims, in the hope or belief that our loving sacrifice will change the heart of our persecutor.  In some cases, this strategy may soften the heart of a borderline criminal, who still has a partial respect of ethics.  But this strategy will not work against the hardened self-interests of completely selfish, predatory, evil, or psychopathic persons….. such as the Jewish and Roman persons who had Jesus executed by nailing him to a wooden cross.

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I have serious doubts about the authenticity of this particular teaching of Jesus, which urges us to extreme pacifism.  I think the Bible, as it comes to us through dark centuries and dark agendas, was flawed, misinterpreted, censored, and highly manipulated by powerful people who sought to pacify the masses.  In the first 3 tortured centuries after Jesus, the sacred “orthodoxy” of fledgling Christianity was up for grabs, along with all the power and money that would bring.   In the year 325 AD, Emperor Constantine sought to settle the bitter conflicts between Christian factions in the Roman Empire.  He called the Nicaean Council of 325 AD, and summoned 1800 bishops to attend, providing them with royal transportation and lodging to make the trip.  Already intoxicated with the power newly given them by the Emperor, at least 300 of the bishops eagerly attended the Council.  The bickering bishops argued for weeks, with each faction trying to defeat and condemn the other.  One rational participant called them “a synod of blockheads.”  When one side finally won, the losers and all their writings were condemned, along with many old writings about Jesus, which had been as highly regarded by many Christians as the Bible is today.  Entire books were banned from the official Bible and ordered to be burned, because they did not support the “orthodox” view of Christian belief that was hammered out at that incredible meeting.  And it is crucial to take note that 1800 bishops were invited, but only 300-350 attended.  The monumental decisions of this historic synod were made by a small minority (17% to 19%) of Christendom’s bishops.  But you can be sure that the more power-hungry, the more dominating, the more manipulative, the more “psychopathic” bishops were there.  And they would tend to want submissive, passive flocks of sheep-like believers that are easier to control and to relieve of their money, so they would have argued for doctrines that would achieve that goal, like the Golden Rule, which they had no intention of following themselves.  Greedy, domineering, tyrannical Christian clergymen were already a big problem, and they would become a much worse problem for the next 1000 years, engineering the bloody nightmares of the Inquisition, and becoming one of the key motives behind the Protestant Reformation.  This is just one example of the reason I wrote above that the Golden Rule is “used as a tool in a con job and a cover-up of epic proportions.”

If every good person followed the extreme passive teachings in the New Testament, the world would be ruled by greedy bishops,  criminal gangs, evil tyrants, con men and unethical lawyers.  Robbery would become unnecessary; a thief could knock on your door and demand your TV; you would gladly give it to him and throw in the DVD player, too!  If the thief asked for the keys to your car, you would gladly hand them over, along with the title!  Can you imagine what would happen if an unreasonable, psychopathic neighbor sued you for a thousand dollars, and you gave him two thousand dollars, before the court trial began?  And you told him you are following the teachings of Jesus?  And this was publicized?  You better have an unlimited supply of money, because you might become the target of hundreds of requests, demands and lawsuits.  Your life would be ruined.  One cannot reconcile this type of pacifist morality with justice, unless metaphysical forces are at work to provide justice for us, which is exactly what orthodox Christians and other believers tell us.  Sadly, history and current events show that they are wrong.  Metaphysical forces are NOT preventing most injustice in our world.  Justice is rare, injustice is plentiful.  Whether we consider child abuse,  wars, genocidal exterminations, street crime, religious persecution or politics, evil people are not stopped by any metaphysical force.  Evil people are stopped only by the forceful opposition of other people.  Justice is not provided for us by God or karmic force.  We have to enforce it for ourselves.  This is the difficult part of free will.  Free will comes with tremendous benefits, and huge potential harm.  Free will is given to us, but justice is not.  So you must choose either the pacifist Christian teaching or the Iron Rule; you cannot have it both ways.

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Outside the hallowed halls of religious pacifism, in the secular world at large, the Iron Rule has been described and acted out in popular media for thousands of years in myths, folk tales, books, poetry, theater, and movies.  This is for a very good and simple reason…..  The triumph of justice over evil attracts the most fans and sells the most tickets.  Most of the greatest novels, operas, theatrical plays, and movies have incorporated the Iron Rule into their stories, with whatever twist the author chooses to give it.  Any story in which goodness forcefully triumphs over evil illustrates the Iron Rule.  Even extremely liberal/pacifist Hollywood producers and actors are hypocrites, pumping out movie after movie in which the good guys use violence to defeat the bad guys.  They may say they do this for the sake of “the story” or to enhance the intensity of emotions, or to be true to history, but those are all delusions.  Everyone wants to see goodness defeat evil, and most of time, the Iron Rule is the only thing that will deliver that.   For after all, the central point of the Iron Rule is that the reciprocal use of force is the only thing that will defeat the bad guys.  Of the 50 highest-grossing movies of all time, only 7 of them are non-violent, and most of those 7 are cartoon movies for kids:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_films.   Some kids’ movies depict violence, such as the Shrek and Ice Age movies.

So, even the anti-gun, anti-war, peace-preaching Hollywood liberals cannot escape this crucial fact of life:  If you tell a realistic story to depict the struggles of human life against evil, real or fictional, and if evil is defeated, the Iron Rule will be the philosophical hero of that story.  But it is largely an unsung hero.  The Iron Rule has been poorly addressed by philosophy.  I admit I have read only a small fraction of history’s philosophical works, but I have read a few different historical reviews of those works, and I have never seen this point made.  Philosophers seem to be preoccupied with other things.  Most of them today have liberal agendas, which ignore, suppress or denounce this vital principle.  If they address the opposition of evil at all, they say we should negotiate with it, or counsel it, give it therapy, drug it, sympathize with it, or even cooperate with it, and not use force.  These are all variations of the Golden Rule.

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The Iron Rule is long overdue to receive proper philosophical attention, and this is my challenge to others to give it that attention.  Help me support it, or provide more convincing arguments against it.  So far, the philosophical and religious arguments I have heard against the Iron Rule fall far short.  Negotiating, studying, counseling and turning the other cheek have their place, but that place is not the opposition of evil.  If there were no need for the Iron Rule, then we would have no need for laws, lawyers, police departments or military forces.  Either we need it, or we don’t.  If it is right, everyone should practice it;  if it is wrong, no one should.  For this is the most basic level of moral value for intelligent beings.  History shows we have needed the Iron Rule in the past.  Many liberals, New Agers, and religious leaders imply in their teachings that we don’t need it now, or shouldn’t need it in the future, or it is not needed in Heaven.  I say the Iron Rule is necessary wherever intelligent beings have moral choice, everywhere and forever.

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The Iron Rule is obvious, and it has wide support in the world (though it also has much opposition).  But the Iron Rule has a corollary that is perhaps not so obvious, and that has much less support.  That corollary is:

First Corollary to the Iron Rule:

The closer one is to the evil act observed, the greater moral obligation one has to oppose that evil.

This corollary to the Iron Rule has partial support in our laws.  That is why the driver of a get-away car can be judged to be just as guilty as the bank robber.  The driver is judged to be an accessory or accomplice to the crime of robbery, not only because he assisted in the robbery, but also because he failed to stop the robbery.  The driver certainly had the best opportunity to stop the robbery, since he had full advance knowledge of the robber’s plans, and was in the closest proximity to the robber, both before and after the crime.  But what of the people in the bank? Let us say that the robbery happens during business hours, and the bank is full of employees and customers.  The robber has to threaten a bank employee, to get the employee to gather the money for the robber to take.  Does not this employee become the robber’s accomplice, just as much as the get-away driver waiting outside?  The employee is an unwilling accomplice, but the objective result is the same.  The employee actively helps the robber steal the money.  The get-away driver may also be an unwilling accomplice, threatened by the robber in some way.  Is not the employee also in an excellent position to stop the robber?  He or she has just gained full knowledge of the robber’s intentions, and there is a bank full of people, potential allies, to help stop the robber if only the alarm is quickly raised.  But let us say the robber has a gun.  The employee risks his or her life to yell out and alert the bank full of people.

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That is, of course, why the laws of society do not require the employee to yell out or refuse to cooperate with the robber.  Because the average person is unwilling to tolerate much risk, our laws do not require us to tolerate risk.  Thus the moral weakness perpetuates itself, and becomes institutionalized.  The authorities may even encourage the employee to cooperate with the robber, and many companies may even fire the employee if he or she tries to resist a robber, especially if the employee resists with a gun.  In doing so, the authorities are generally supporting the Golden Rule and violating the Iron Rule, even if they do not realize they are doing so.  They are also holding society to a low standard of morality and virtue, and that standard is getting lower all the time, thanks to liberal philosophy.  The liberals, who worship peace, despise violence and recoil from risk, have pushed our laws in that direction for at least the last 50 years.

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When moral weakness, specifically cowardice here, is sanctioned in society, it encourages and enables the immoral ones.  Would a bank robber stroll confidently into a crowded bank, if he thought that most of the people in the bank would turn against him, even risking their lives to stop him?  Of course not!  He may be evil, but he is not stupid.  He is counting on the moral weakness, or cowardice, of the general populace.  So which came first, the robber’s boldness or society’s moral weakness?  It is the moral weakness that came first, lowering the standards of conduct and law, boosting the confidence of criminals.  In such an environment, the bold criminal has a great advantage, and the lone citizen who decides to oppose him is at a great disadvantage.  He is likely to be deserted by his fellow citizens, who run away or stand frozen in fear or apathy.  He is even likely to be punished for opposing a criminal.  That is the disgusting social environment we find ourselves in today.

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But logic and objective morality bring us to a different conclusion, and a higher standard.  The bank employee, because of his or her full knowledge of the robber’s intentions, and his or her close proximity to the robber in the act of the crime, has the greatest moral obligation to oppose the robber, regardless of risk.  The employee may not have the courage to honor that obligation, but the obligation still exists.  As each person in the bank becomes aware that they have a robber in their midst, they then share in the moral obligation to stop him.  As more people become aware, the odds of success in stopping the robber increase.  If all of the people in the bank become aware of the robber and they all try to stop him, their success is virtually guaranteed.  If they fail to stop him, then they allow him to succeed in his crime, and they allow him to escape to succeed in an unlimited number of future crimes.  That is a great cost to society, and a great harm to an unlimited number of future victims.

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Apply this logic and objective morality to other situations.  If enough people followed it, it would virtually eliminate a certain type of crime, that being crime committed in public in the presence of a lot of people.  No airline jets could be successfully hijacked, no crowded banks could be robbed, and no women could be mugged on crowded city streets.  The World Trade Center towers destroyed on 9/11/2001 would still be standing, and many other infamous crimes could not have happened.

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Now, apply this logic and objective morality to the crime of tyranny, and apply this cost to an entire country, continent, or planet.  You will begin to see the great cost of following the Golden Rule and ignoring the Iron Rule.  Every tyrant in history has crowds of people around him who could have stopped him cold, but chose not to.  That is a tragedy greater than the tyranny itself.  The tyrant is just one man who has become immoral, but he cannot succeed without the moral failure of millions.  Regardless of their reasons, they have failed to honor the Iron Rule and its corollary.  They will pay dearly for their failure, and so will many others, at a greater distance, who are less guilty.  Generally, the greater their distance from the evil, the lesser their knowledge of it, and the lesser their physical ability to oppose it, the lesser their guilt in failing to oppose it.  But the tyrant will oppress or abuse them just as eagerly, along with the more guilty.  The murdered victims in the conquered provinces are just as dead as the tyrant’s enemies in the capitol city, who failed to try to stop him until it was too late.

The valiant warriors among us live by the Iron Rule.  Soldiers in all branches of the military, and our brave domestic protectors in all branches of law enforcement, all understand and follow the Iron Rule in their daily work.  The best of these warriors and protectors have both the Iron Rule and the Golden Rule written into the very fabric of their psyche and soul.  In their duties, they see both the greatest evil and the greatest suffering from that evil.  They are ready to take life and give their own lives to oppose evil.  When that is done, if they survive it, they are also ready to give from their heart and from their meager resources when they see others in pain and need.  Soldiers in Vietnam and Iraq gave of their money and time to help local hospitals, schools, and orphanages.  In my own military service, I have seen and heard countless examples of this finest quality.  These are very brave, compassionate men risking and losing everything to save people who are less worthy than themselves; people who may even condemn them for what they are doing.  I salute these men as the finest human beings who ever walked on this planet.  They are supreme philosophers, and they have reached the right conclusions.   If everyone shared their moral values and bravery, we would live in paradise, for tyranny and war and organized crime would never have a chance to get started, in nations or neighborhoods.  Their values are forged from the finest gold and the hardest iron.  What they have in their hearts is much more valuable to our species than any prophet or priest or professor.  We are proud of our “modern” civilizations with sharp divisions of labor and expertise.  This allows most of us to ignore the worst evils, and never have to deal directly with them.  But without the warrior and policeman, the priest and professor would not have a safe and secure society in which to practice their crafts.  All too often, the priest and professor denounce the very people and values that gave them a soapbox to stand on.  But the rest of us should not expect the warriors and policemen to carry our own burden of responsibility in society.  We should all be ready and willing to enforce the Iron Rule whenever and wherever we find the need for it, in our daily affairs.

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I would also say that the Founding Fathers agreed with the Iron Rule, for they gave us the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution, which give individuals our greatest tools against evil.  From free speech to deadly force, from a sharp tongue to a loaded gun, we have the whole spectrum of action available to us to counter evil.  Evil persons take these freedoms for themselves anyway, so it is crucial that the government empowers its good citizens to respond in kind.  This is what the Founding Fathers intended, regardless of the modern liberal efforts to distort and misinterpret that intent.

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The Catholic Church also gives, at least, token lip service to the idea of the Iron Rule.   In the Encyclical Letter on the Value and Inviolability of Human Life, from the Evangelium Vitae dated March 25 1995, Pope John Paul II writes: “Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the State.  Unfortunately it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life.  In this case, the fatal outcome is attributable to the aggressor whose action brought it about, even though he may not be morally responsible because of a lack of the use of reason” (bold italics added).  So we have now come full circle: Just like the non-religious scientists at the beginning of this article, the Church will not hold the psychopath morally responsible for being willfully evil.  Note that we have a “grave duty” to defend others, but “only a right” to defend ourselves alone.  It is “only a right” for individuals because the previous paragraph of the Encyclical Letter (not shown above) emphasized the doctrine of self-sacrifice.  Essentially it says we may defend ourselves, but Christ-like self-sacrifice is nobler, so to be like Christ we should not defend ourselves, but we may defend ourselves if we feel the debased urge to do so, and then feel guilty and inadequate for the rest of our lives.  The Pope waffles between the Golden Rule and the Iron Rule, but gives the Golden Rule the edge.  Still, the Pope was doing pretty well until that last point about responsibility.  He says we may defend ourselves from aggressors, but we may not hold them morally responsible, because they do not reason well.  But of course, they reason quite well, from an evil point of view.  But the Pope is reluctant to acknowledge an aggressor’s evil.  Why?  This is a concession to the large liberal pacifist faction in the Church, as well as a strange general religious reluctance to pass judgments on people with bad behavior.  Perhaps not so strange, for after all, Jesus did say in Matthew 7:1: “Judge not, that you be not judged.”  (Not as well known, suppressed by churchmen, but perhaps more important, is Jesus’ teaching in John 7:24: “Judge not, according to the appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”)  So the Pope says we can kill aggressors, but we cannot judge them as being morally responsible.  He is not historically consistent, for in most of the Church’s history, the Church passed judgment on millions of heretics, then formally handed them over to the State for execution, and took all their property, and threw their family out in the street to starve.  The modern Catholic Church is not responsible for the Inquisition, but it needs to realize the horrendous evil it has done for most of its history, instead of ignoring it.  The policy of forced ignorance has not worked out too well with the legions of priests who are sexually abusing children, but at least the Church does not condone abuse, as it did condone the Inquisition.  But all that aside,  I’m sure the Pope was very proud of his clever modern compromise in the Encyclical Letter above, trying to satisfy both the conservatives and liberals in the Church.

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To summarize, this basic principle concerning the opposition of evil, the Iron Rule, should be considered just as important as the Golden Rule.  They are different sides of the same coin of goodness.  They are both supported by logic and objective morality.  They are both already present (to some extent) in every person who is trying to live a moral, decent life.  They are both part of the same moral principle of reciprocity: one is passive, the other is active.  One represents love, the other represents justice.  They should both be taught together in classrooms, and they should both be preached together with equal emphasis from pulpits.  The sad fact that this does not happen, is one of the major failings of both religion and philosophy in our American culture.  Religion and philosophy are both being directed to other moral rules and principles, such as moral equivalence, cultural diversity and extreme pacifism, that either destroy cultures from within or allow cultures to be destroyed from outside.  This moral problem needs a lot more discussion, and both “The Golden Rule” and “The Iron Rule” above can be incorporated into a larger universal moral rule, or imperative. But that is for another day.