A Return to Superstition?
NOTE: The Lord was impressing me to get this on the web just as fast as I could, so I was working feverishly to accomplish it. I got it done on the Monday just before the Heaven's Gate cult committed suicide. If there was ever an incident which proved to me the validity of what follows, that was it. I believe it was a confirmation from God that what follows is actually true...
I am an incessant reader - Ill read and re-read the back of a cereal box if thats all that is available - so its not unusual that I would read a wide variety of books. Over the last year or so, however, I have read four widely disparate books which, when taken together, have given me great pause for thought. This is because they reveal a widespread attack on critical thought - a pervasive call to return to superstition. It has occurred to me that this movement may be laying the groundwork for the return of Christ.
These four books are:
"What could these books have in common?", you might ask. Lets start with the first:
The Demon Haunted World. Carl Sagan occupied a special place in my heart - for years I was an avid fan and believed that he truly had answers for the nagging details of evolution and life in general. Without a doubt, Sagan had a brilliant mind; capable of intuition and imagination. Of course, as an atheist, I learned that when trying to explain away God, one must have a great and vivid imagination! Be that as it may, Sagan was a man of faith comparable to any Christian. That may sound like a strange statement, but his faith in the existence of extra-terrestrial life - despite the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever that it might actually exist - manifested itself in hundreds of millions of dollars spent on research which wastes money even as I write this. If enough Christians had as much faith as he did on this single matter, the world would change radically.
In this, his last book before he died, Sagan expounded the proposition that humans are intrinsically hallucinatory in nature. That is, we are "credulous" (believing with insufficient evidence) by our very nature, and prone to suspend critical thinking in such a way that we are incapable of discerning that we have done so.
To prove his hypothesis, he points out such tragedies as the witch hunts of the past, and such nonsense as the UFO phenomena of today. In both cases, humans "see" and "experience" things which are not really there (or believe that they see and experience them, which amounts to the same thing in a practical sense) and then act upon them as if they were real. This results in incalculable human pain and suffering (in the case of witch hunts) or a tremendous waste of time and energy (in the case of UFOs). Whatever one may think of witches or UFOs, the past performance of those hunting them is poor, so it is quite hard to dispute his contention that these were (and remain) largely illusory in nature.
The groundwork Sagan lays here is one of a scientific elite who are the only ones truly able to comprehend and act within the "true" reality of things: That which can be measured, quantified and neatly cataloged. Sagan, of course, held himself to be a prime member of this group. The rest of us (who believe in things untested or untestable by science) are the hallucinatory animals, though there is no way that we can know this because we believe in the things we "see". Anything based upon faith without proof is naturally suspect (no pun intended) and therefore useless as a basis for action (though of course we will continue to act on it anyway, since we dont know its not real). Its a true quandary to Sagan, who really offers little but the scientific method to fight this battle, and thats useless for somebody who is hallucinating, since they may hallucinate results as easily as seeing that the results dont match the hallucination.
Bottom line (according to the book): We belong to a species which cannot dependably know what is true, by the mere acts of seeing or touching or experiencing. Since that is how virtually everyone determines what they consider reality, we have a vast potential for widespread hallucinations and deceptions, and even scientists may now view these not as aberrations, but something "to be expected" - something that is part of the very innermost nature of the human species. So, a scientific foundation is laid to explain the deception that the Bible says is coming.
Who Stole Feminism? Ms. Sommers documents a widespread and increasingly successful attack on critical thinking by the current crop of gender feminists. Denouncing critical thought as "patriarchal", they wish to change the way in which we "know things" to a more "feeling" mode. In this mode, there are no concrete truths, but rather equal variations on a theme, with the truth being defined by how we "feel" about things. This would come generically under the heading of "other ways of knowing", which ways are described more fully in the book.
Along with this is a concerted effort to rewrite history in a subjective manner, displacing the achievements of men with imagined or inflated deeds of women. Let me say here that I consider myself an "equity" feminist in many areas, so I do not believe that civilization would have been able to survive without the very real contributions of women. The point here is that the large events in history were, for good or ill, mainly instigated and implemented by men. To blot out these realities with inflated deeds, merely because they were done by women, does not benefit reality.
Bottom line: Reality is malleable, according to the desires of the individual, and any attempt to actually quantify or test a hypothesis scientifically is automatically to be rejected as an attack on women - an act of meanness at best. This mindset not only allows, but promotes fantasy and deception as equal with truth. This is convenient, as it requires no measuring against a standard, and thus places the most bizarre theories on the same level as established truths. The book also documents a widespread, concerted and (most important) successful effort to change the curricula of America (at least) to accept and promote this damaging denigration of critical thought.
Slouching Towards Gomorrah Judge Bork attempts to show just how widespread is one particularly virulent and destructive manifestation of what Sagan describes in The Demon Haunted World: The modern liberal state. By embracing two mutually exclusive ideas - radical egalitarianism and radical individualism - modern liberals are forced to disassociate their beliefs and actions from the obvious and damaging effects of their inability to recognize the exclusivity of these two philosophies. Cause and effect are suspended for the sake of preserving the philosophy of self.
Allow me to interpret in the sense I am trying to illuminate: As society becomes more and more restrictive due to the lawlessness and violence which radical individualism engenders, and more and more confiscatory due to the increasing aggressiveness of the wealth transfer mechanisms that radical egalitarianism requires, do we see a widespread acknowledgment by the elite that their ideas are inherently unworkable? No, we see an increasing amount of propaganda promoting how much "freer" we are becoming, and how much more "prosperous" we find ourselves than in the past.
As one example, lets take the US national debt (including unfunded liabilities) of over 10 trillion dollars. That we have saddled future generations with this unpayable, enslaving debt is conveniently forgotten or pooh-poohed, since to acknowledge the immorality of such a debt would also immediately make immoral the proclivities of proponents to satisfy their own desires in the immediate rather than postponing satisfaction to when it can be afforded.
To examine the reality of the damaged and irretrievable lives cause by abortion, pornography, divorce on demand (which in my opinion needs to be called serial adultery - not serial monogamy), drug use, homosexuality and many other aberrations would require a change of focus from self to others (thus forcing an acceptance of actual responsibility), and this must be avoided at all costs.
To make this moral and financial Ponzi scheme work, a general denial of reality is required. In fact, those who do see the immorality of the scheme must be turned into ogres and mean, little people. One need only see the rank and unabashed bias of the mainstream media to understand that the fantasy is widespread and deeply rooted. So, the institutions upon which we rely for leadership and information find themselves actually making the situation worse because of pride and selfishness. The amount of effort to cover up the lie becomes greater and greater with each passing year, requiring ever more excesses, both individually (such as violence, pornography and abortion) and fiscally (such as the ocean of debt in which we are sinking).
Bottom line: The book shows, through copious and horrifying examples, the extent to which critical thought has been suspended in our society in order to deal with the obvious inconsistencies and incoherency of the modern liberal state. Denial of reality is now an institutional goal (even a necessity) of the political, media and financial systems of the nation and world. The stage is set for a last and terrible storm of deception. Which leads us to...
The Celestine Prophecy I largely ignored this book as just one more piece of garbage from the New Agers. Then, one day my wife and I were in the library, and she brought the book over to me, saying that she felt that I ought to read it. Reluctantly, I took the book home and started going through it. Much to my surprise, even though the fictional tale is told in an unremittingly (even punishingly) mediocre fashion; though the action is childish and the dialogue infantile, I was thoroughly engaged in this tale of a man searching for a "manuscript" in the mountains of Peru - but not for the reasons you might think.
First, this book would have been welcomed by me at one point in my life. As an atheist, the point of finding a life philosophy is not so much, "Is it true", but "Can I find a philosophy which promotes a moral, Christian life without acknowledging the deity of Jesus?" This book, like so many others, offers precisely that.
However, it also takes the relaxation of critical thought to a new plane - into uncharted territory, I would hope. The protagonist searches for this manuscript, which reveals nine spiritual "insights". The "insights" are ridiculous: Coincidences are nothing of the sort - we will them, and the "universe" responds to our desires (this is based upon a misrepresentation of quantum mechanics). Evolution is merely matter attaining higher and higher states of "vibration", with man as the pinnacle. "Human energy" is a distinct "something", which we can see, and when we compete we are draining it from others (the lesson? Dont compete for truth - arguments hurt the other person.) There are more, equally silly, which I will attempt to cover in a more lengthy review of this book at a later date.
What is so weird about this book is that it has been on the best seller lists for over three years. At the date of this writing, it is number 65 and actually rising! Now, I have been going to church for the entire time that this was going on; Ive been watching Christian TV, and looking at Christian web sites, but havent even caught a whiff of this. Maybe its just me, but this seems really strange. What makes it even more so is my dawning realization that this book is, in many respects, a reshaping of the Gospels and the teaching of the New Testament, but couched in New Age jargon. That may sound unlikely, but its true; implicitly in the largest part of the book, but then explicitly as the book lurches to an unlikely but welcome end. For instance:
|We are "born again"||"We have become a new person. We exist at a higher level of energy, at a level - get this - of higher vibration". (The Message of the Mystics)|
|"But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of." ... "Ask and ye shall receive"||"The text to the Fourth Insight [says that the Universe is] comprised of one dynamic energy, an energy that can sustain us and respond to our expectations". (A Matter of Energy)|
|"The truth shall set you free"||A direct quote from The Message of the Mystics|
|The book also puts into words the borderline blasphemy of the "Faith/Word" movement in Christianity - positive confession.||"Very simple", Pablo said, "The Seventh Insight says that fear images should be halted as soon as they come. Then another image, with a good outcome, should be willed through the mind. Soon, negative images will almost never happen. Your intuitions will be about positive things. When negative images come after that, the Manuscript says they should be taken very seriously, and not followed. For instance, if the idea comes to you that youre going to have a wreck in a truck and someone comes along and offers you a ride in a truck, then do not accept it."|
It (the analogy to the Gospel) gets worse and worse, and more and more explicit, as the book progresses. Be that as it may, the book finally gets to the point I had anticipated all along: The attack on Christ. Throughout the tale there is the underlying menace of the "CHURCH" which wont allow the "truth" to be told because it would undercut the basic position of orthodox Christianity. The more enlightened priests, of course, know that this isnt true at all - that it merely explains things in a "better" way. At the end of the story, we find that Christ was merely the first (or the most glaring example of) man who had "evolved" into the next step: The "Oneness with the Universe" which enables us to leave this plane and go on to the next.
Well, I expected the attack; I even knew it was coming, but it goes even further, and thats why this book is included in this article. According to this book, "the insights" had enabled the ancient Mayas to make the evolutionary leap which Jesus had accomplished, and the reason that their civilization had disappeared was because they had raptured themselves (Redfields word, not mine) out of the "natural", just as Christ did when He disappeared in the clouds. Actually, they "disappeared" to us (by vibrating at a higher frequency - hey I didn't write it!), but are actually still here. So, the groundwork is laid for the disappearance of the Church to be not only explained, but to actually be something positive - something that can be attained by all, thus obviating the need for salvation and the cross.
Bottom line: (apart from the attack on Christ, which is the true bottom line, of course): Dont evaluate logically - let intuition and circumstance be the guides to your behavior. From the few excerpts I have provided, you can see that the suspension of critical thought is promoted (I havent even touched upon the more egregious examples). We are to rely on coincidence and intuition - the more the better. The universe is acting through us and upon us, and if we dont think about it too much, its not really all that bad, is it? This returns us to a state of superstition which equals that of any primitive people, where circumstances are not to be analyzed, but blindly and blithely accepted as not only inevitable, but positive.
Please dont rush out and buy this book to see if I am correctly reporting its substance - go to a used book store. Theres just no sense in wasting good money on it, and further enriching the maniacs who are promoting this tripe.
In these four books, we see a widespread, seemingly disjointed attack on critical thinking, with science, government, societal institutions and the various branches of the media participating and promoting various aspects of this "return to superstition". But what does it have to do with the Second Coming?
Im not one to ponder too long or often on how soon Christ may return; I want Him to find me working when He comes, rather than getting complacent because I hope its soon. However, I am starting to wonder: In 1 Cor 13:8 - 10, Paul says,
"Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away . For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away . "
The Greek word translated "it shall vanish away", is katargeo (Strongs #2673) and is a word whose nature is absolute - I encourage you to look it up. Basically, though, it means "to make of no effect". When we look at knowledge today, we find that this is exactly what is happening in our society.
My question is this (and it is a question and not a statement): Might "that which is perfect" be close? Might this be what is spoken of in 2 Thess 2:11 "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie"? It seems that anything can and will be believed today, regardless of how much "science" is in the world. Further, it seems that knowledge is, in fact, being made of no effect, as Paul told us it would be when "that which is perfect" was near. Can it be that "knowledge" is the restrainer spoken of in 2 Thess 2? It seems clear to me that the delusion cannot come until and unless this restrainer is removed.
I would appreciate any thoughts or comments on this train of thought - am I way off? Does anybody else see this confluence of events as being significant in eschatological terms? Can this, if it is true, help us to pinpoint the times we are living in vis-a-vis the end?
Last, before claiming that Sagan, feminists, politicians or Redfield is or are "of the devil", or even influenced by him, remember that God sends the deluding influence - not the adversary. If this is part of it, then like everything else, it is from God.
For another interesting essay on a similar subject, you might want to check out Ray Bradbury - Prophet From God.
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Thursday, June 24, 1999