The label called ‘Religion’
Mortals have to fear one thing most: ‘Death’ and the mystery behind it. Who dies and what is left behind. If dead is left behind then who had died. Curiosity is the human nature. Only monkeys are more curious than humans. The curiosity about death, coupled with the fear gives way to the need for looking beyond out daily routines, which is our only known reality. Any mysterious person who is not afraid of death or who has some explanation, attracts our attention immediately. They are mystics. Those who dare the mystery and do not get dared by it.
Better still is any dream merchant who will sell a convincing story about after life and assure a better life and a better after life. They are the managers of Organised religion.
What mystic says to one person is not of universal application. No communication, consisting of few words, can be complete or of universal application. But good commercial Managers sell the words of mystics by creating an organization which would accept money under a tacit or surreptitious promise of taking care from supreme level or Godhood. They sell esoteric-ism. Most rather all of it, is a myth.
The word religion has become a dirty word. Word religion used to denote “philosophy about life and death”. Now it has become a shop for buying desires aka welfare in this life and after life. Here are more thoughts about Philosophy and Religion.
I think I must wake up, beware and be saved from the ultimate deception of life.
Great Plan Victoria. Keep it up. Let me know the progress through your blog. All the best.
Thank you, Sandeep. I enjoy engaging in discourse with you and Lew. You both are deep thinkers and inspiring. Here’s my latest video. I just uploaded it on YouTube. I produced it to reinforce my next blog entry. Thanks for watching.
I appreciate the follow. All the best to you as well. =)
Sir, Lewis I entirely agree with you. If we do not fall asleep in our thoughts, nothing unwanted ever happens. This dialogue within critisizing, comparing and justifying is the process in which we get lost and actions happen.
This is really an interesting discussion you and Victoria are having. I always keep a note pad near-by when I’m reading you guys so I can check out the names and references. Both of you have so much to offer. Will have a chance today to check out your music.
You always have kind words. But I will agree Victoria has immense knowledge about various aspects and it is a delight to have our own view tested through some solid debate. I am sure she will bring some more link to prove her point.
You have fertile imagination. I do not think that Coolidge Effect has anything to do with greed. Sex is something altogether different. Accumulation of wealth is a different matter.
However assuming that your drug works. But can you go and give it to someone? Has any person complained to any Doctor, seeking help that he is a religious guru who robs people and asked for help? It may be helpful in bulima but in greed it is impractical. We can not go to Rome and give this drug to eveery one and we can not go to any religious place and tell people to get up and take the drug.
Amphatamine was such great help once? So were many other drugs.
“You have fertile imagination”
I beg to differ, and I’ve got scientific evidence backing my opinion. We must understand the mechanism behind our actions, our behavior. We are organic beings. Greed is related to dopamine (reward). Sex is related to dopamine (reward). Anticipation is related to dopamine (reward). Dopamine is vital for survival but too much can hijack our brain’s reward system.
Quote from Harvard Business Review: “By using magnetic resonance imaging studies, the Harvard researcher Hans Breiter and his colleagues have found that the craving for money activates the same regions of the brain as the craving for cocaine, or sex, or any other instant and intense pleasure.” http://blogs.hbr org/schwartz/2010/10/dopes-and-dopamine-the-problem.html
Greed = too much dopamine. Too much dopamine can disrupt normal cognition and emotion, leading to gross errors of judgment, imperviousness to risk, egocentricity and lack of empathy for others. We see little change in our world because we fail to understand the root causes of behavior and blame it solely on ‘character’. This belief comes from being indoctrinated, thus we keep spinning our wheels. Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. How profoundly true.
“Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self-evident” ~Schopenhauer
But Victoria, I had already assumed that the drug works. Who will bell the cat? Who shall be the receipient?
Sandeep, for some reason I’m not able to reply directly under your comment. You said: “But Victoria, I had already assumed that the drug works. Who will bell the cat? Who shall be the receipient?”
But your initial response was:
“I do not think that Coolidge Effect has anything to do with greed. Sex is something altogether different. Accumulation of wealth is a different matter.”
I wasn’t indicating that the Coolidge Effect had anything to do with greed. I was pointing out that both sex and greed are associated with an addictive neurochemical, which is backed by empirical data.
Who will bell the cat? Those who make the effort to spread awareness regarding root causes. IMO, religion and philosophy have failed through the centuries because they did not have the technology we have today recognize root causes, primarily related to our environment, especially our cultural environment. They’ve addressed the symptoms which is why little has changed..
Who will be the recipient? Humanity. As you are fully aware, knowledge empowers us. It provides the opportunity to implement changes in our cultures that will help prevent or curtain behavior that is disadvantageous to our species and the planet. Knowledge nurtures compassion, empathy and compassion.
Bell Hooks wrote: “For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?”
We address the environment first. As Psychologist Phillip Zimbardo so eloquently stated. “It’s not the bad apples, it’s the barrel.”
Correction: I said “Knowledge nurtures compassion, empathy and compassion.”
I meant to say “Knowledge nurtures compassion, empathy and forgiveness.”
Thank you for your gracious comment. So far, what I’ve read in your blog is most refreshing. I resonate with many of your insights. I just finished reading your posting “Hall of Shame”. I agree that many humans tend to be greedy, but child development studies show that being selfish is innate, necessary to a degree in order to survive. However, I think greed ultimately stems from culture which can encourage dopamine addiction. I produced a video that addresses come causes of neurochemical addictive behavior, including religion, status, and power. It primarily focuses on the dysfunction in America’s political arena, but the same can be applied to our religious institutions and political arenas worldwide.
There is evidence from neurological studies, as well as child development studies, suggesting humans are intrinsically prosocial, empathic. Again, culture plays a major role in fine turning prosocial behavior. If we live in a culture that suppresses our need for connection with others, and devalues care-giving, then society becomes dysfunctional. Primate studies show that a baby monkey can have all it’s physical needs met, but if it doesn’t have contact with others, positive contact, (bonding) the monkey can become mentally ill and even die. The brain atrophies. This has also been demonstrated in humans.
We need each other. That’s the beautiful side of selfishness. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Sandeep. I’m Victoria. I look forward to reading more of your postings.
We are glad to have your company and your lucid expositions with unique eloquence.
Actually we are divided in expression by same language. First about selfishness. There can be no self without selfishness. But there is vast difference between selfishness and greed. It appears I failed in my attempt to highlight the difference. What we need to sustain ourselves is selfishness. But we crave to possess to satiate our various psychological fantasies, big or small, noble or bizarre, is greed. Further accumulation of money beyond one’s need is unambiguously greed.
I will look into the other facts and try to become more wiser. However pleasing it may be to think that greed is a disease but that takes us away from truth. If we accept the fact that we are greedy and remain conscious of that fact at all the time, we can certainly rise above it. As regards medicine, I am always skeptical about that because even after research for past several centuries, Allopathic medicine could not create medicine which could speed up healing process and people die everyday for lack of time.
Anyway thanks for sharing so much information.
Hi Sandeep. Thank you for your insightful reply. You said:
“But we crave to possess to satiate our various psychological fantasies, big or small, noble or bizarre, is greed.”
You used the term “satiate”, and I think you are spot on. The problem is, many people will never feel satiation because they lack the understanding that it is anticipation of something, not the thing itself, that gives a greater neurochemical reward (dopamine). So they think that the more they accumulate, the more satisfaction they will feel. That helps explain why people, who are financially wealthy, are still not satisfied and want more. They become addicted to the surges of dopamine that anticipation brings. The same can be said about religion and sex. Many people prefer novelty over the expected when given the choice. Have you ever heard of “The Coolidge Effect”? http://www.reuniting info/science/coolidge_effect
Our minds work so much alike even though we came from such different cultures. (Of course, we came from the same Source!). I like what you said about acknowledging greed, accepting it, and then rising above it. This reminds me of a stance I have taken toward “sin” which was such a powerful notion in my fundamentalist religious upbringing. I just accept that we are all “sinners” (in that we are separate from our Source) and we are prone to “sin”, sometimes heinously. I have come to just accept this and am seeking to rise above it and not allow this “sinfulness” (or “separateness” or “egotism”) govern my life.
You eloquently described death anxiety, and those who prey upon the fears of others, often for filthy lucre’s sake. Sometimes people need to delude themselves to cope with uncertainty, and in doing so, they are rewarded with neurochemicals, e.g., dopamine, which reinforces their delusions. Quite an insightful post. Thank you.
I am reminded of this video. IMO, the ending bears truth that organize religion has yet to grasped. http://youtu.be/9nnwvoH-4XI
Sir, I am eternally grateful for your input for I know that I was not completely astray in my thought. Please keep sharing.
Oh I so enjoy your postings! I really appreciate your thoughtfulness. Marx was right, “religion is the opiate of the masses.” And it is perilous for people like myself to deign to exercise faith without waking up and find oneself up to his halo in opium! And I liked the notion the other day of religion as an “infection.” On a related note…somewhat comically…a local fiction writer once wrote in a novel, “Christianity is the salt of the earth. Everything’s dead where they’ve been.”
And I enjoy your comment. About ‘salt’ same can be said of every organized religion. Thanks for taking it in correct perspective.