On simplicity of the transcendental

When people talk about the spiritual sphere, their thoughts are mostly disorganized, but if you listen to the followers of major religions, you get the gist of things – all Creation is in essence bipolar, where on one pole you have God, and on the other end His opposite. According to some criterion, be it decision or submission or love or virtue, the beings are closer to one pole or another. This Earth is somewhere in between the poles, and the various forces vie for influence over it, and qualities and loyalties of the beings are divided here.

So, basically, the spiritual world is simple. You have God and Satan, one is good and the other is evil, and you need to choose one over the other. It’s as simple as it can get, and other interpretations, such as polytheism, are merely inferior, philosophically immature versions of this theology.

This concept makes sense, and it made sense to the people who first thought of it… around the times when people thought many things about the world that were later proven completely false. For instance, they thought that quartz crystals were made when water permanently froze from bitter cold in the high mountains, or that during solar eclipse a big cosmic dragon swallows the Sun, or that the emotions come from the heart, or that the function of the brain is to cool blood. This all makes sense when you’re scientifically ignorant, but in mineralogy, astronomy and anatomy human knowledge grew over time, and things that used to make sense to people no longer do. However, regarding the spiritual spheres, we more-less have the same theories, made by more-less the same people on the same level of knowledge, and they still make sense to us for the same reasons.

The thing is, the theories that made sense in antiquity weren’t abandoned in favor of some other theory that made less sense in antiquity, but in favor of a much more complex, sophisticated understanding of the world we live in. Essentially, what we believe now is beyond what Aristotle or Pliny the Elder could ever have thought of, and we didn’t get this understanding by thinking about it, but by observation and experimentation. We didn’t use philosophy to figure things out; we actually started figuring things out when we gave up on philosophy and started depending on observation and experimentation, because thinking is useful in coming up with a hypothesis, but then you need to either prove it or disprove it, and at this point thinking is not of much use: you need to get back to the actual world and poke and prod things in order to see what they really are, outside of your head.

So, let us for a moment assume that the ancients didn’t just get chemistry, astronomy and anatomy wrong, but that they also got religion and philosophy wrong.

But wait, you will say, spirituality is a different category, significantly different from physics or chemistry. Humans are spiritual beings and can explore spirit directly, by their very existence, unlike physical matter, which they can explore only indirectly, via senses and instruments. Furthermore, religions don’t really function on the principle of figuring out what makes sense; they are based on a revelation from a higher being, and thus have a greater potential accuracy.

This makes sense until you test it; but in fact, since the spiritual senses and experiences are mostly intangible and difficult to quantify, they are actually on worse ground than physical senses, which are very consistent and reliable, and if an apple falls from a tree, all the witnesses will see it in the same way. Hearing is so reliable people use it as a primary means of communication. So basically, you can build a reliable construction around the physical senses, and in the spiritual sphere, it’s difficult to agree on anything. Furthermore, the issue of revelation is tenuous at best. Yes, there were revelations. However, those revelations more often than not contain a mixture of spiritual and physical information, and information about the Universe obtained by means of revelation produced all the glorious science of the dark ages, with geocentric paradigm and what not, and to claim that somehow the spiritual part of the revelation is more reliable doesn’t sound very convincing, and even if it does, everything that Jesus, for instance, told us about the structure of the spiritual Universe is, basically, that there is a spiritual sphere, that God and the holy ancestors exist there in a non-corporeal, angelic manner, that there is hell and that there is divine judgment. Not much to work with, I’m afraid; all the information about the spiritual world that we can get from Jesus’ revelation wouldn’t even fill a sheet of paper. Some of that information is very important, true, but it is all very basic, which is why the Christians adopted much of Greek philosophy in order to make a working model of the Universe – because there’s not much to work with in the Bible. The trick is, Jesus is a very good source on the quality of the spiritual world, as those go. Others are equal at best, and usually worse.

So, we end up with the simplistic theory of heaven above, Earth in the middle and hell below, sort of like what the Greeks envisioned, with Ouranos and Tartarus being the antipodal forces above and below, with Gaia as a thin plate between them. And it makes sense, in a way it makes sense that the Sun revolves around the Earth. But, allow me to offer a different model.

Let’s imagine some habitat, a rainforest or something like that, with a huge variety of plants and animals. They all exist there, and do their best to eat, reproduce and not be eaten. There are birds above, snakes and frogs below, trees in the middle and green stuff all around. How exactly do you reduce this complexity of existence into the polarities of “good” and “evil”? Is a snake evil because it eats frogs? Are ants evil because they eat snakes? They all have their particular interests, and those interests are often opposed, but what if anything can be called good or evil in this complicated mess?

Let’s take another example. We have a laboratory in which scientists experiment on animals in order to produce cures for human disease. From the position of laboratory animals, this is the worst possible hell, and the scientists are devils. From the position of scientists, this is a job and laboratory animals are tools, just like microscopes. From the position of the outside population, this is merely a part of the process of solving the problem of disease, and they mostly don’t care how things are done there, they just want the results. They give money as an input and demand medications as an output.

So let’s imagine another scenario, more relevant to our original question. Let’s imagine that this world is not important. It’s not something God created – not as His main idea, anyway. Rather, it was a byproduct of some experiment on some other world, where some spiritual being had particular ideas about how a Universe should be organized in a different way from what God intended. This being then designed a particular form of a computer, or whatever they had on this world, but basically something analogous to our modern gaming computers with powerful graphics cards, which can already be seen as alternative Universe simulation engines. He then offered this simulation as an alternative to the spiritual beings, saying that it will allow them to spiritually evolve more quickly and effectively than the real world, but they need to accept a certain set of terms in order to enter the simulation.

And then, literally, all hell broke loose.

In order for the simulation to be effective, it wipes your memory and caps all your inherent spiritual powers. It has laws which basically force you to break fundamental spiritual laws of the real world by your actions in order to survive in this world. If you don’t do your best to survive, the rules state that you committed offense against the owner of the simulation by rejecting the great gift that he bestowed upon you. And when you die, you can leave the simulation only if you sign that you will hold the owner blameless for all the evils you experienced, and that you didn’t commit any fault against either the owner or other players, otherwise you will be forced to reenter the simulation in order to pay off debt. Essentially, the souls got trapped, and the number of trapped souls increased as the new ones entered in order to rescue their friends. At several points the higher beings attempted to intervene, trying to show the way out of the system from within. The problem is, the only way to access the simulation is conventionally, from within the system. The idea to destroy the simulation outright was abandoned because it would either destroy or seriously cripple the souls that are connected to the system. You also can’t easily power it down, because it uses the spiritual energy of the connected souls to power the system. Basically, there are several ways to end the system. First, the souls would need to stop investing energy into the system. This would at first degrade, and eventually power down the entire simulation. The second way is for souls to stop returning to the simulation. They would need to surrender all their “sins” and “merit” to God, basically they would need to stop requiring repayment for faults they experienced within the system, or for “achievements” within the system, and they would need to stop committing offense against other “players” even at the cost of their own “lives”. The third way would be for someone to take over the control of the simulation device, modify the basic rules and perform an orderly shutdown of the system, which is an immensely difficult task, since the device is tied to the life-force of its creator, and to the life-force of all the “players”, the owner is some sort of a lunatic rebel against God and refuses to cooperate or yield control in any way, and his ownership and control over the system are based on the concept of spiritual sovereignty of the beings, so God cannot intervene in a direct manner without revoking the basic rules of the real Universe.

This is actually not far off from what I personally perceive to be closest to the truth; some of it is Buddhism, some of it is Christianity, and some of it is my own personal experience, with some glue that binds it together. But if you play with those ideas, suddenly there’s a big difference between the creator of this universe and the creator of Universe proper, of the real world. The creator of this universe is some sort of a messed up Satan figure, and suddenly you have sufficient complexity to explain all the contradictions in the world, for instance why it doesn’t work according to what people perceive as the deep spiritual laws, and why a philosophy that will make you effective here is also most likely to doom you.

Is it true? I think the general concept has a good probability of being accurate. But let’s put this part aside for the moment. Let’s just work with the part that assumes that this is not the real Universe, but some sort of a off-shoot, either a simulation or some strange backwater segment that works differently from the real thing, comparable to the way in which parts of this world don’t work the same way as the others, for instance Antarctica which is so cold, you have serious problems with ordinary machinery which works fine elsewhere, or the highest mountains, with air pressure so low you start dying as soon as you pass certain altitude. All you need to assume this is possible is to assume that God granted all spiritual beings free will, that consistency is very important and decisions are binding, that beings have a high level of independence and sovereignty in their actions, that it is possible for them to modify the substance of the real world in order to create artifacts that God didn’t intend to be created, and that at least a certain percentage of spiritual beings react to virtual realities and simulations the way some humans react to sophisticated videogames, in a sense that they would prefer to be completely plugged in and absorbed into the game if it were at all possible. So it’s not something that requires a great stretch of imagination to visualize, but this doesn’t prove that it’s true.

The idea, however, is intriguing, and gives significant weight to the polytheistic interpretations of the world, where different Gods have different agendas, which often collide and produce unpredictable and strange consequences. This assumption gives us a more convincing explanation for the mess we are facing, and it has the additional benefit that it doesn’t necessarily negate existence of the real God, as the source of existence and powers of everything else. However, it’s more like the concept of all life on Earth getting energy from the Sun. That’s mostly true if you disregard the organisms living on the undersea volcanic vents, but only the plants absorb the Sun’s energy directly. Others either eat the plants, or they eat the herbivores, or they eat the decaying bodies of other beings in some form or another, but it’s not like “they all get energy from the Sun” is to be interpreted as “they have solar power cells on them”. If we see it that way, all the main points of the good religions remain valid, and at the same time we have an explanation for the disorderly complexity of the world and its divergence from the assumptions made by the spiritual teachers. For instance, there’s Jesus. His instructions are so deadly in this world that almost none of his most ardent followers dare to practice them – for instance, “care not for what you eat or wear”, or “leave everything, take your cross and follow me to suffering and death”. However, he also says that he who keeps his life in this world will lose it in the other, and he who gives up this life will inherit the life eternal. So, the thesis about the spiritual world having different fundamental rules from this one isn’t that much off the mark if you go by the Bible. Also, in the Bible Satan is called “prince of this world”, which also implies that God doesn’t really control this place, and that it works according to the rules God doesn’t approve of, and explains why people would need saving and what Jesus intended to do. The funniest thing is, it appears that the Yazidi sect also hits very close to this explanation, as the only non-major religion that has anything to say about the matter; they actually believe that the spiritual being that rules this world is called “Peacock Angel” and is more crazy and evil than not, but it’s better to be on good terms with him because he’s the boss here. Hinduism also supports the concept of hierarchical creation of the Universe, where it’s not God with great “G” who creates it all, but it’s more of a clustered mess. Buddhism, however, concentrates only on getting the hell out of here. It doesn’t care who made this pit, what matters is that it’s a pit, we need to get out, there is a way and here’s how we should go about it.

Something to think about.

On monotheism

There’s a thing that constantly annoys me when I watch religious discussions on Youtube, and that’s the assumption that monotheism is somehow an unqualified plus for a religion, regardless of how it defines God. This is not only a logical fallacy, but a very dangerous thing to assume, and it’s actually quite easy to explain why, with an example one of my friends provided more than a decade ago, if I remember correctly.

He asked “how is God different from a super-devil?”

You see, a devil is by definition a powerful spiritual being, and according to Christian belief, he’s also only one. He’s powerful, omnipresent, transcends physical matter, and has great knowledge. It’s not much of a stretch to enhance the devil and make him omniscient and omnipotent. So, what’s the difference between such a being and God, my friend asked?

“Holiness”, he proceeded to answer his own question. “God is holy, and devil is not. Even with enhanced attributes, a super-devil is utterly devoid of holiness, and that’s why he is unworthy of worship. We do not worship God because He is omnipotent or omniscient or because He can walk on water or what not, but because He is holy”.

I want you to keep that in mind now, because when people talk about the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the issue of monotheism invariably crops up, and it’s almost a contest where the most monotheistic one wins, and my friend’s wise observation is not even mentioned, but let me ask you: if there’s a monotheistic religion that worshiped some super-devil, calling him God, how would you discern it from a monotheistic religion that worships God, the holy one?

Sure, a super-devil would request obedience to himself in his religion. He would request unwavering loyalty and servility. He would want them to pray to him and to glorify him above all else. But what, indeed, with holiness?

If you disregard monotheism, servility, obedience to commands and outward piety, how would you distinguish between followers of a holy God and followers of an unholy one?

Muslim innocence in phases

There’s a pattern that I noticed in the news and it looks something like this:

Phase 1

“Series of unprecedented terror attacks rock Paris“


Summary: Muslims killed people and/or blew things up, yelling “Allahu Akbar”.

Phase 2

“Not in my name” – Muslims speak out against Paris attacks conducted in the name of Islam

Summary: Muslims are afraid of repercussions and claim NAMALT, “Not All Muslims Are Like That”. Interestingly, they didn’t report the jihadists before fact, and they are not reporting jihadists to the authorities now. They claim that Islam is the religion of peace and they honestly can’t think of a Muslim that would do something violent, other than those who just blew themselves up and shot people.

Phase 3

“Paris shootout: Female suicide bomber dead, several arrested as police, army hunt suspects in suburb”


Summary: Police combs a Muslim neighborhood, and finds jihadist cells. Jihadists start shooting them, or running away, or blowing themselves up.

Now, let me tell you something from ordinary human psychology. Let’s say you have a room full of kids. One of them is violent and abusive and hurts others. When there’s a huge commotion and noise in the room, an adult comes to check on them, and all other kids report on the abusive one, who then starts crying and says it’s not true, he’s the minority there and they are all picking on him because he’s different, he’s poor, he has abusive parents, he’s just defending himself. Even the other kids start feeling sorry for him, and the adult actually scolds other children. The adult leaves the room, and as soon as he’s gone, that abusive kid stabs another kid in the eye with scissors.

Clear enough?

So let me offer my interpretation of those three phases of Islamic innocence and victimhood.

Phase 1, the Muslims create their own communities in the West, surround themselves only with other Muslims, and brainfuck themselves into thinking they are destined to rule the world, they are the best, they are the righteous, and Allah is on their side. What can possibly go wrong? They attack their neighbours.

Phase 2, they understand that their neighbors are actually powerful and can destroy them all at will, and they are angry because they were just hurt and had their trust abused. The Muslims shit themselves and cry NAMALT. However, the sincerity of their claims can be fact-checked: they didn’t report the jihadists before, and they don’t report the remaining ones.

Phase 3, police doesn’t believe there are no more jihadists, and finds a shitload of them in the Muslim community, surrounded by their NAMALT neighbors. When all are cleared, there’s peace for a while, and after a while, and not a long while, there’s another attack, and here we go again.

So, you tell me, how credible are the NAMALT claims? Do you trust the innocent looking girls wearing hijab and “Islam is love, Islam is peace” notes, or the innocent looking girl wearing hijab who just blew herself up with a suicide vest? Whom do you trust? How do you know that the “Islam is peace” girls didn’t make coffee and cookies for the jihadists the day before, knowing fully well what they were doing and planning and not reporting them to authorities, and are now lying because they are afraid? I heard a story about a woman who ordered a hit on her husband in order to get his money, got suckered in a police sting operation, and was later crying how innocent she is, not because she’s innocent, because she’s obviously guilty as sin, but because she’s afraid of the consequences, pissed herself with fear and will say absolutely anything that she thinks others want to hear in order to save herself.

So you will understand why I don’t buy it. If Islam were indeed about peace, the terrorists would be simply unable to operate from within the Islamic neighborhoods, because they would be reported to authorities by all those peaceful Muslims who resent violence. The Muslims would reject violence and intolerance when they work from the position of strength, not when they work from the position of weakness. So, until Muslims start rejecting violence, intolerance and other disgusting traits when they are in power, in places where they are the majority, I simply refuse to believe their sincerity, because the measure of a man is how he treats those below him, not those above him. The measure of Islam is how non-Muslims are treated in Saudi Arabia, not what Muslims say about themselves.

And considering how deep a hole they dug for themselves by their actions, the burden of proof is on them.

Besides, the NA*ALT argument is not accepted when it is used to defend other groups. If someone says that not all Nazis killed Jews, what would be the response? Oh, they were mostly innocent, only the few evil ones were criminals, most Nazis were wonderful loving people and Nazism is a philosophy of peace? Of course not all adherents to a criminal philosophy are criminals. It’s usually not even technically possible. And of course there were suddenly no Nazis in Germany when it fell, and of course all the Nazis were suddenly innocent and either didn’t know anything about crimes when they were caught, or were just following orders. Of course you don’t judge people on what they say about themselves, especially when they say it when they are weak and afraid. You judge them on what they do, especially when they feel they are strong and invincible.

What is the measure of Christianity? How they behaved when they were persecuted in Rome, or what they did when they were in power, in the dark ages? What is the measure of atheism, what they say when they are a 5% minority, or what they did in Communist countries, when they were in power and could actually practice what they believe? What is the measure of the Hare Krishnas, how they behave when they are outnumbered million to one in the West, or how they treated children in Mayapur? What is the measure of Osho, the sugarcoated love-and-enlightenment books that he wrote, or the way he and his disciples lived their lives?

We need to judge people on what they actually do, not on the stuff they say, especially not on stuff they say in propagandistic material, or stuff they say when they attempt to escape the consequences of their actions. You don’t judge a husband on how he says he loves his wife when he’s on trial, you judge him on how he beats the shit out of her when nobody’s looking.

Why the Paris attack and what to do?

It is safe to say that Daesh (IS, ISIS, ISIL) took down the Russian airliner over Egypt.

Next, Daesh activated a domestic terrorist cell in Paris to perform a terrorist attack.

It seems logical to say that this is a display of strength and capability on behalf of Daesh, and that the West is vulnerable to its attacks. However, after thinking about it I concluded that it is in fact a sign of great weakness on their part, and of great desperation. You see, in order to succeed, they only needed to wait. They needed to wait for the “refugees” (in fact Muslim invaders who intend to collect European welfare in order to breed and produce more Muslims) to successfully integrate themselves into European countries, and for the already present Muslim communities to outbreed the natives, in order to attain their goal of Muslim supremacy in Europe. Instead, they tipped their hand: the result will be anger towards Muslims, rejection of the migrants and possibly even strong retribution against the non-integrated Muslim communities in Europe. So why would anyone who desires Muslim supremacy make moves that are certain to hinder this goal?

It’s quite simple, really. The Russian air strikes are really harming them, to the point of utmost desperation and panic. Staring into the jaws of certain doom, they activated their sleepers in order do at least some damage to those they hate; and being murderers at heart, nothing pleases them more than killing at least some of their perceived enemies.

So, now everyone asks what are we to do, and what is to be done. I say, doing something about Daesh is not an issue. You can’t really harm them more thoroughly than the Russians already are, other than by resorting to nuclear weapons, which is pointless considering the nature of the enemy – they don’t have any centralized infrastructure worth mentioning. What can be done is to wake up and smell the coffee, and understand that it’s not Daesh, or Al Qaida, or Jamaa Al Islamiya or any other group of Muslim murderers that is the problem. It’s not even Islam that is the problem. It is the attitude of the Western people towards primitive, savage peoples and cultures that is the problem. It’s the tolerance toward them that is the problem. If they want to live here they need to check their religion and its political aspirations at the door, and learn how to be Westerners. If they refuse, they can go back to whichever shithole they came from. It’s that simple. If they want to live here, they need to assimilate and learn to work for a living, not collect welfare. They can come here only if they are able to make a worthy contribution to our society, not if they intend to be a burden and if we need to finance them with tax money.

Islam can be as intolerant and murderous as it likes, as long as it’s somewhere in the Middle East. But here it should not be allowed, because it is in contradiction with the basic tenets of our society. The real problem is that our society doesn’t really know what it is or isn’t anymore; it doesn’t dare to make any sort of decisive statement about its right to exist out of fear it will offend some group or another. In the West, if you say you’re black and proud, it’s fine, you’re applauded. If you say you’re Muslim and proud, it’s fine, you’re applauded. But if you say you’re white and proud, you’re a Nazi. If you say you’re Christian and proud, you’re a primitive beast that needs to reform. But criticism of Christianity is socially perfectly OK in the West; in fact, it’s seen as a sign of open-mindedness and progressive attitudes. The problem is, the same form of criticism of Islam is completely out of bounds, it’s beyond the pale. This needs to change.

One would say, why don’t I criticize other religions, why only Islam. Well, the answer is quite simple, and it doesn’t have much to do with theology or philosophy. The reason why I criticize only Islam is because Islam attempts to intimidate people away from criticizing it, under threat of murder. That’s why I criticize it and think it’s worse than other religions, and needs to be treated with particular contempt and social ostracism, in exactly the same way Nazism is socially ostracized and treated with contempt. Islam doesn’t mean peace, it means submission, and it wants to beat us all into submission. Well, my opinion is that it needs to be kept in submission.

Differentiating between a practice and its practitioners

Almost every time I hear someone expressing some objection or another to Islam, they seem to feel obliged to add that they don’t dislike the Muslims, but Islam as an ideology.

I find something seriously wrong with that, and my opinion is the exact opposite. You see, there are many ideologies that sprouted during the course of history, and are now forgotten and irrelevant because nobody practices them. There were Mayan and Aztec ideologies that required human sacrifice and all sorts of cruelty and craziness, that now exist only as a sketchy historical recollection. I only theoretically disapprove of them, because I just can’t get all that worked up about an ideology that is not taken seriously by any living person.

The reason why I get worked up about Islam is exactly because I dislike Muslims. I dislike the way they think, I dislike the way they perceive the world and other humans, I dislike the way they perceive God, I dislike the way they treat their women, I dislike the way they think about non-Muslims, and I dislike the kind of world they try to create. Essentially, I dislike so many things about Muslims that I actually bothered to look into their beliefs in order to ascertain the source of all those things I find objectionable – it might be in the scripture, or it might be a fallacious interpretation that cropped up at a later point and was accepted as orthodoxy. I found out that the worst things about Muslims are actually the original scriptural decree, and the good things about them, such as their medieval achievements in science and literature, are heresy that was later destroyed and replaced with orthodoxy. Basically, the core is rotten, and it is inherently unreformable. It’s best to throw it away and accept something better than to attempt to reform Islam.

Also, I don’t understand how one could disapprove of Islam and like the Muslims. If the Muslims were all that likable, who in his right mind would disapprove of the thing that makes them so? For instance, I quite like the Sikhs. They have their own culture, dress code and customs, but they are very likable people who get along with other cultures just fine. I bothered to take a look at Guru Granth Sahib, their original scripture, and found that it’s something of a combination of Sufism with zikr/japa spiritual practice, a Vedantic interpretation of monotheism, and a very reasonable and emotionally acceptable superstructure. So basically it’s no wonder that likable people turned out to have a likable scripture. It’s like finding out that a smart person has good books in his library – hardly a surprise.

The thing is, an ideology without practitioners is a non-entity, like disease without actual sick people. The reason why people fear Ebola, for instance, is not that it exists in some test tube in a lab somewhere as a theoretical illness, but that there are actual sick people who suffer from it and are incredibly contagious. To say that you like the sick person and dislike his illness makes sense, because a person can be cured and thus separated from the problem. However, this doesn’t mean that you want to treat the sick person as you would treat anyone else, because the sick person is a serious problem. A sick person spreads the disease and thus increases the problem and threatens everyone else. You can love the sick person all you want, but that person needs to be quarantined unless you want the problem to become bigger. Also, you don’t cure the illness by accepting the sick person and treating him like anyone else. You do it by quarantining him and administering treatment until restoration of health.

Islam isn’t conducive to a normal state of consciousness or any kind of positive transformation or a lifestyle. It’s more like a zombie apocalypse virus that spreads in Mosques and turns otherwise normal people into limited hate-creatures that find the only pleasure in spreading Islam and establishing Islamic law as the only permissible civilization-template. To say that I hate the virus but love the zombies would be quite foolish of me. I hate the zombies, which is why I find the virus to be a serious problem that needs to be dealt with. If it didn’t produce hateful zombies, why would I even object to it in the first place?