Knowledge, the Forbidden Fruit

Intelligence and knowledge get a sizeable amount of negative press in the “sacred” texts of western cultures.  Man’s existence, as the priest or prophet authors see it, has no other purpose but to submit and obey to what is claimed to have been “revealed” to the varied authors of man-written texts which are declared by them to be “holy.”  It almost seems as though God inserted a brain into man’s head simply to keep that emptiness in the skull from an annoying whistling in the wind.

Take the instructions supposedly given by God to Adam and Eve; they were commanded to not eat of the tree of knowledge! (Genesis 3:3)  So why would God have placed such a tree in the garden landscape at all?  No one seems to pay attention to the impication in Genesis: Adam and Eve, while in the garden, had only one taboo placed upon them–not to eat fruit from either of two trees placed in the center of his garden.  As anyone with half a brain could have foretold, they goofed, and so God tossed them out.  The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge symbolizes sexual awareness, the pivotal hub upon which all matter-life is defined and invigorated.  This natural energy is thus portrayed by conniving priest-authors as “the Fall of Man”–the so-called “original sin,” which just happens to mire everyone in inescapable “sin.”  This no-win situation provides the pulpit-cons with life-long career opportunity. 

All that God wanted, so the authors imply, is that man should simply submit and obey: God would communicate any further instructions through occasional revelations that he would pass on through a series of selected representatives.  Thus in Judaism it became virtually impossible to think or act or express faith outside the revelations of Torah, which is set forth as “law” with every detail of daily life specified!  To even question the rationality of some primitive aspects of those “laws” is implied to be soul-damning; all that can keep you in God’s good graces is to submit.  Now the extra sticky part of this setup is that ever since, according to pulpit guides, God has relayed his instructions to man only through a broken line of revealed taboos and implied threats.  Man is still expected to obey and submit via those self-proclaimed representatives, and man is never permitted any personal association with the Creator.  Something smells.

That commandment of submission proved so successful with the Hebrews’ revelations that it also became the strategy upon which Christian and Muslim faith systems were built.  The motto for each is identical: “Faith before knowledge!”  Under this rule whole libraries of knowledge have been reduced to ashes–for God’s sake, of course.  It is strange, therefore, that each of these interrelated corporate style faith systems should focus so intently upon their own priest-written books rather than attempting to guide by use of intelligence on how all beings could live more productively and peacefully by attempting to understand each  other.

It is much easier of course, especially for the alleged representatives of God, to define their belief by who they hate rather than to define positive refining values that can promote self respect.  Attention rarely labors over the detail that if a seeker cannot adequately define exactly what they believe in, that uncertainty loudly signals that they are insecure in what they profess.  It is alaming therefore that our personal connection to the Life Principle (God) is so often negatively approached in so many “holy” books such as in (OT) Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Ezra, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and also negatively expressed in (NT) Matthew, Luke, Ephesians, Romans, Titus, 1 John, Hebrews, and Revelation.  And the promotion of needless but cultivated hatreds (acts of ignorance) are also embodied in many pages of the Quran.  Consider: even the words Muslim means “to submit” and Islam means “submit.”  Like the Torah and the New Testament, the Quran does not place much emphasis on wisdom, tolerance, mercy or other positive qualities that truly benefit this matter-life experience.

We will here look at only a couple of OT examples of holy hatred, for lingering too long over such propaganda tends to agitate the mind and imbalances one’s sense of right and wrong.  Proverbs 6;16 lists “…six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination to him.”  The things that are subsequently listed by the priest-author certainly cannot be assessed as ethical behavior, and so what is listed are actually extreme negative social interaction practices.  To frighten followers into ethical conduct (which not ethical) the author assures them that the Creator turns livid over, 1) a proud look; 2) a lying tongue; 3) hands that shed innocent blood; 4) a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations; 5) feet that be swift in running to mischief; 6) a false witness that speaketh lies; and 7) he that soweth discord among brethern.  (It was from this list that Pope Gregory 1, “the Great” [590-604 CE], elaborated over the “seven deadly sins.”)  Not one word is offered suggesting that we should seek intelligent perception.  And in Ecclesiastes, chapter 3, divine insight is pretended by musing that everything has its appointed time, actually listing “a time to kill” (3), and “a time to hate” (8). 

In the New Testament, Luke 14:26, it is avowed that Jesus instructed followers, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own soul, he cannot be my disciple.”  Could the alleged “only begotten son” of the all-embracing Life Principle really say such a thing?These words put into Jesus’ mouth by the authors are the very principles that are routinely utilized in cult exploitation, for this imposes the orthodoxy of submit and obey.

Claims of divine “revelations” upon which the bulk of western world’s faith system observances have been built are shown to be suspiciously devoid of any serious awareness of observable universal facts.  Nowhere in holy word, for example, is there any recognition that this world is but a tiny part of galaxy, or that other galaxies exist, or that comets, asteroids and meteors often jostle the heavens and could threaten Earth.  To paraphrase St. John 21:25: “And there are aslo many other things…the which, if they should be written every one…even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.”

The result of these man-concocted faith systems is their tendency to exalt only themselves by routinely focusing on the modest differences and the dissimilar features and characteristics which give life its radiant range of creative representation.  The creative unifying force in which all life is expressed is routinely imagined in “holy” accounts to be mainly concerned with the dilemmas of only one small representation of human species in one small region on planet Earth, and that force allegedly favors only their particular faith system.  Such a narrow understanding of  life and spirit’s significance in relation to the rest of the universe has resulted only in cultivated hatreds which only encourages indulgence in persistent and unnecessary conflicts. 

Reason and knowledge are seriously limited when self-serving faith systems labor to impose preconceptions of any kind over people’s interactions with each other.  In structured faith systems, for example, seekers are indoctrinated and continuously conditioned with claims that it is only through their particular dreamed up rites and rituals that one can attain favoritism from the Creative Life Principle.  Seekers are deliberately made blind to the fact that the observable universe and nature do not reflect that severely restrictive disposition in its excess and diversity and variety of life throughout Creation. 

When the Life Principle, i.e. God, is imagined to be in man’s image, there is scant room provided for mankind to ever attain its highest potential.  Since each and every man-conceived faith system has a true history of past indulgences in each and every one of the “sins” which their holy word condemns, followers would be much wiser to pay attention to the basic principle of science; Question Everything.  Pretending that a mystical power aids only their particular faith system for exerting control over this material world’s tribulations becomes questionable when the claimed omnipotent, omniscient deity alluded to has to rely upon the puny combative actions of mere man to fulfill his wishes.  Such argumentative procedures practiced by rival faith systems do not jibe with their claims of their deity’s divine capabilities. 

The declared especial access to that Being which the varied faith-system merchants profess to provide has a tendency to nudge simultaneous feelings of alienation in followers, for try as they may to abide by their faith systems’ instructions, there is always the sense of never quite touching higher potential.  Too often the result is the confusion of faith which becomes expressed in crusades of senseless acts of violence and hatred which is indulged in for no other reason than to impose their limited concept of “God” upon everyone else.

The faithful are skillfully kept distracted from the knowledge that evil does not really lie in wait in the variety and diverse expressions of life nor in any of the differing forms of awe and reverence for the Life Principle.  One’s moral fiber is plunged into crisis, however, when they are led into a conceit of spirit which is crafted upon the belittlement of knowledge.  This becomes glaringly apparent when those man-invented faith systems continue to leave the world around them in shambles.

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