Paradox of Modern Man

Modern man with all his brilliant technological accomplishments inexplicably remains chained to myths and superstitions that still lie hidden beneath what are averred to be holy/spiritual truths.  The sciences that have revolutionized our species’ life patterns have done so despite the fact that the origin of life is even now not totally understood.  We praise ourselves as having entered into the space age and think we are meant to dominate it, yet we have only theories or theological speculations of how our celestial environment came into being.  But not even science, like man’s faith systems, is able to explain why life exists, what role we play in the universal panorama, or how an awareness of “self” interacts with that vast framework that is the universe.  And science also tends to mimic religious contentions that the entire universe is relatively systematic, that Creation was a one-shot deal–a big bang or a six day wonder–which the human species alone is capable of dominating through its ability of deductive reasoning.

Science, however, differs from faith system explanations of man in that their research and studies have culled and continues to cull and analyze the evidence which mankind’s ancestors pioneered.  Religious explanations tend to calculate man’s history–for their convenience–as being a scant few thousand years, but the in-depth scientific approach shows that our species with identical capabilities can be traced back for at least a million years.

The insistence of faith systems regarding a short term human history is made even more puzzling when modern man is lulled by them into accepting that what is referred to as “primitive” cultures nonetheless raised wondrous construction feats such as the Baalbek Terrace in Lebanon, the Great Pyramid in Egypt, and similar ancient pyramids in South America and the Far East.  These are structures that would tax even modern man’s capabilities.

Mystery, ceremony and magic rites were once the power hold ploys that ancient tribal leaders employed to maintain control over tribal members.  Commonly that privileged status was understood to be due to the tribal leader’s claim of being directly counseled by temperamental spirits.  We today recognize that manner of seeking protection as superstition and nonsense.   But just how advanced are faith system practices today that are conducted in great extent in much the same manner?  The heart and soul of any of mankind’s contrive faith systems also adhere to similar features which keeps those systems insulated from scrutiny, for they are practiced in fear of questions which they cannot answer.  When devout seekers begin to ask Why?  How? Where? When? Who? etc., the tribal-styled faith systems react in anxiety and distress.  Thus they advise that such questions are not supposed to be asked of pulpit performers who, as an alternative, counsel that true believers are to trust the Bronze Age priest-authors who were divinely certain that the Earth was the center of Creation.  The declared “revealed” wisdom offered by the power-seeking priest authors in antiquity simply does not stand as “omniscient” (all-knowing) comprehension against today’s scientific research and exploration.

As an example of superstition elevated to “religious” status, it is fully exposed in the Jewish ceremony known as kapparot (from Semite, akin to Hebrew kaph, meaning “palm of hand”).  Kapparot is an atonement ritual which is indulged in before the holiday of Yom  Kippur.  In the ritual (which requires a “donation” of a live chicken to the rabbi for the performance) a rabbi holds the live chicken above the donor’s head (gently of course) and recites a blessing.  The luckless bird is then slaughtered (according to Jewish dietary laws).  Why this ritual bloodletting of a hapless animal should inspire God to grant the donor reconciliation with God after having transgressed “his” covenants is murky at best.  On the other hand, every faith system has their atonement rites which are equally caked with peculiar stipulations that supposedly satisfies the Creator–like Jesus died for the sins of the world.  The superstitious prehistory tribal shamans would find such bloodletting to be praiseworthy.

So how spiritually advanced is modern man?  The human species, unfortunately, has been well schooled in deluding itself.  And our poor planet is beginning to show the strain and damage that mankind’s belief systems have fostered.  But the holy answer is not necessarily apocalyptic doom.  Man’s atonement rests in the release of taught “religious” (belief system) claims of exclusiveness with Creation’s multiplicity.  Humanity must face the fact that true freedom of spirit (meaning enlightenment) is not the true purpose of any man-concocted faith system.  If those formulated methods of faith indulgence were devoted to actual spiritual attainment and awareness they would seek to enlighten followers, not constrain seekers with made-up rites, rituals, scripted ceremonies and pretended exclusivity with a never-encountered judgmental god.  We might therefore conclude from such acts of pretense that only con-men have such needs for public exhibitionism.

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