Yet so many people don’t “get” that. All utopias rely on it, though. Being human, we have chosen over the millennia to fear each other and hate each other rather than acknowledge how much better the world would be if we only allowed love for one another to rule our hearts and minds.
Most religions lay claim to leading followers to a path of enlightenment, presumably one of love for others in the form of basic human caring. Why, then, are religious people so bent on hating those who disagree with them? Seriously, how much sense does it make for a religion to claim the likeness of an all-loving god while making non-believers conform to their beliefs with no regard for free-will? Without free-will, what’s the point of being human?
Ah, the questions no one dares to ask!
The other dilemma is that many religions believe it is the absolute and only right path to eternal life. The problem is that too many people are so busy looking to their next life that they’re totally missing the point of this life.
What are we really here for? To wage wars against one another? To put despots into power over us for the sake of feeling protected from “the enemy”? Why have we given up our sovereign right to rule ourselves? Have we forgotten what “government of, by, and for the people” means?
We the human race have such tremendous potential if only we could stop fighting ourselves.
Ask yourself basic questions, and all of this ranting makes sense. Why would anyone treat a stranger differently from a loved family member? Can you think of anything positive with which that question can be answered? We are so quick to be suspicious and distrustful when given no reason other than fear. Love cannot be born out of fear. Approaching all people with an open mind and an open heart is how we begin to heal the human race. We are ultimately all reliant on one another for survival. It is only the predators among us, within our own species, which keep us from realizing our full potential as a species and a race. It is those who divide us with words and actions designed to prey upon our fear of dangers and death, which only cause irrational reactions to threats we permit to exist because we allow our “leaders” to create them.
Anything that divides us is inherently a false idea. A false idea is one which relies upon the perpetuation of certain myths. Racism, sexism, nationalism, and – to be honest – many religions are examples of things we humans allow to divide us, and are themselves false ideas.
I know this notion will offend many people, and I can only plead that I am being open and honest, and am sincerely in pursuit of such dialogue as I type this. If my calling out of false ideas offends you, I encourage you, as a member of your tribe, to take some time to reflect on why you’re offended. Dig deep. Keep in mind, most responses will probably come from religious people or someone coming to their defense. I respect this. I encourage it. Also remember, dear reader, that I am also a former lay pastor in both the Seventh Day Adventist Church and an Independent Baptist Church in conservative small-town New England.
Human history has entered a cyclical pattern. It wasn’t always so. Before “civilization”, we humans lived in tribes. Tribal living requires a different approach to life. It is communal because the tribe relies upon each other and cares for one another as a huge extended family. As agriculture took hold some 7500 -10000 years ago, tribes gave way to smaller familial units at the same time that the idea of local commerce took shape. Agriculture is required for shopping in a town market, otherwise there is no market. That said, agriculture allowed for such mass food production that people who didn’t farm had time to develop specialty work, such as jewelry making, art creation. and musical instruments. Such specialization was the spark that started a market economy, not entirely different from capitalism today at its roots.
This market economy represents the force which would create the social stratification we live with even today. Some will say that the free-market economy that started 10,000 years ago works just fine. Tell that to the millions of people starving to death. The idea that there are not enough resources to feed every last person has been thoroughly debunked:
“Earth produces enough food for the nearly 6 billion people alive today. In fact, if everyone adopted a vegetarian diet and no food were wasted, current production would theoretically feed 10 billion people, more than the projected population for the year 2050.” (Population Reference Bureau, Washington, DC. Copyright 1997.)
We can produce enough everything for the world. Electricity through Tesla Coils. Tesla wanted to give the human race electricity for free. Instead, his ideas were squashed for a model that could make money for investors, something Tesla wasn’t interested in. Capitalism kicked in, and we’re paying for it.
Without Tesla’s free electricity, people around the globe continue to go without the very technology that would bring them rapidly into first-world status. Without free electricity, water pumps don’t turn on for people in remote places around the globe — because there’s no profit to be had in bringing electricity to them — and so irrigation for many such places is an impossibility.
The myth of scarcity is what drives the world financial markets, and companies and corporations know this. The more scarce or rare an item is, the more it is monetarily worth. That is why diamonds supposedly cost so much – they’re mythologically rare. That’s why people shell out thousands upon thousands of dollars for “the” diamond for whatever occasion. But then there are the facts:
How large is the diamond industry?
Diamonds are one of the world’s, and specifically Africa’s, major natural resources. An estimated US$13 billion worth of rough diamonds are produced per year, of which approximately US$8.5 billion are from Africa (approximately 65%). The diamond industry employs approximately ten million people around the world, both directly and indirectly, across a wide spectrum of roles from mining to retail. Global diamond jewellery sales continue to grow, increasing three-fold in the past 25 years, and are currently worth in excess of US$72 billion every year. (World Diamond Council, “The Diamond Industry Fact Sheet”, diamondfacts.org)
This myth of scarcity applied to everything. And rest assured, it is a carefully crafted and cared-for myth foisted upon the human race through historical reiteration after reiteration and constant indoctrination that “this is just the way it is”. Yes, it is that way. And we are a race divided against itself because of it. Of course, there are plenty of other things that divide us, and those myths — those false ideas — need to be exposed and replaced with the reality we can have if we just love each other as one tribe — the tribe of humanity – and one race — human race.
And we still don’t see the vicious circle. We humans must be remarkably stupid. How disappointing for us! We can create the most destructive devices our race has ever seen – blow up entire countries! – but we cannot seem to lift ourselves out of the madness of fighting amongst ourselves when there truly is no reason for any of it. What is ultimately the motivator that keeps us divided? Religion– something no one can prove, yet so many people have died for.
Is it any wonder, then, why Karl Marx suggested a world without religion would be a better world from a purely pragmatic standpoint? What he failed to recognize is the good that can come with religion so long as no one religion dictates to everyone else. It is religion’s too-frequent need to dominate that creates upheavals.
It makes sense why the American Constitution promises freedom of religion. Only by making all religions equal could any one religion be kept from dominating the politics of America. By so enshrining the “wall of separation between Church and State” — as Thomas Jefferson called it –, the Constitution encourages Americans to remember why so many of our ancestors came to the U.S. They didn’t come to suffer the torments of a divided nation. They came to make a stronger, united people who shared the value of basic human dignity. That dignity can be achieved if we stop expecting others to believe as we believe, and instead move wholly (and, for many believers “Holy”) in the direction of love as most paths of belief call for.
That means we must mature as a species. We must, for our own sake, mature to meet the demands our changing environments thrust upon us in response to our growing population, impacting the biodiversity of our ecosystems, dumping pollution as if it doesn’t matter… The denials must end, and we must grow up to meet the demands our new environments thrust upon is, abandoning all myths to meet the technological and natural changes we face.