Natural Equality

Religious pretentiousness has the self-delusional habit of refusing to recognize that humankind is but one species of mammal.  The eagerness to disassociate themselves from our distant relatives has inspired apprehensive men to invent convoluted notions of superiority and then practice that misconception as a religious truth. 

In the practice of organized religions the natural equality of all life is categorically denied—even though it is an equality that is easily proved by the chromosomal elements that all life forms share in common.  And herein is exposed a vital clue in solving the reason for the conflicts and bloody failures of organized religions—especially the western versions of “holy” truth.

Mammals vie for territory: it is the means of self-survival and species continuation.  And that territorial drive is reflected in the human clustering habit practiced as religion which, by extension, accounts for their attempts to impose themselves upon other through proselytizing.  Notions of spiritual exclusiveness are in direct opposition to experiencing life in concert with reason; that is to say, mutual respect.  Instead, all of man’s organized religions choose to concentrate on differences and magnifying them into gross distortions that continually attack and weaken the quality of man’s higher potential.

There have been great minds in the past, however, that have championed a deeper, more bonding understanding of man’s potential.  Unfortunately, wisdom is seen as a threat to a large segment of our species and so they are easily distracted and stampeded by the braying of fools that tell them they have elite status elsewhere.

The insolence and contempt for others that is often practiced today as religious “truth” has much in common with a school of philosophers known as Cynics founded by a  pupil of  Socrates named Antisthenes (144-375?  BCE).  The general attitude of the Cynics was to view everything in the external material world about them with contempt.  The nobler Stoic philosphy developed out of this in Athens around 300 BCE, and was introduced into Rome around 100 BCE by the Stoic philosopher Panaetius of Rhodes.  Panaetius had considerable influence on a literary group in Rome, and through them influenced Roman thought, especially regarding moral duties which served as basis for Cicero’s De Officiis.

Stoicism’s most distinctive aspect was in the attribute that we may evaluate as cosmopolitanism—the  sophisticated understanding that all men are manifestations of one universal spirit.  In that understanding the Stoics stressed living in brotherly love and readily helping one another.  Wealth and rank were recognized by the Stoics as purely external and transient, and therefore such things were regarded as virtually meaningless in social relationships.  Thus stressed was the recognition of the natural equality of all human beings—a wisdom that is sorely lacking in the three militantly organized religions that developed to distort the consciousness of the western world.

Stoicism prevailed widely in the classic Roman world, with metaphysics and pantheistic materialism being part of its ethics.  Material matter was regarded as passive (subject to man’s management) and was distinguished from the cosmic, animating principle that is active as life.  That sustaining energy-link out of that life principle was understood as constituting what religions refer to as ones soul.  The ideal followed by the Stoics was that man’s superiority does not lie in external objects, but exists in the state of ones soul.  Thus living in accordance with reason was expressed in the Stoic’s four cardinal virtues of–wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance.  This  reasonable approach honored in Stoic philosophy played a major role in Roman jurisprudence.

It is a historical fact, therefore, that well before the advent of Christianity, Stoicism accepted life’s unity (or natural equality) and believed in the brotherhood of mana tenet often praised in Christian adherence but haphazardly practiced. 

 That means that unlike Judaism, Christianity or Islam, the Stoics never pretended to be the especial darlings of the creative power.  Untroubled with rationality, Judaism, Christianity and Islam nonchalantly trampled underfoot any genuine thought to Natural Equality.

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One Response to “Natural Equality”

  1. I completely agree with you.

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