October 18, 2011

Human Government part 1: Chasing Eden

Posted in Government, Organized Religion tagged , , , , , at 12:39 PM by E. M.

Man was originally made for Eden.  And even though we fell from that position, we still long for the perfection of paradise.  In fact, I contend that man’s intrinsic desire to return to an Eden-like existence is the primary motivation for our actions, (both good and evil), and the root source of the world’s miseries.

In Eden, man had perfect fellowship with God, perfect fellowship with each other, and authority over creation.  That all ended with Original Sin and the fall.  Man is now born spiritually dead, our relationships are broken, and creation will no longer yield to our rule.  (All together now: “Thanks Adam!”)  The fall left us with a deep and abiding ache to get back what we lost.

God is not indifferent to our pain.  He wants us to be back in paradise with Him, and He has a righteous plan to bring it about.  But as a creature with free will, man can choose not to follow God’s plan and try to recreate Eden on his own.  However in a world that will no longer obey him, the only way man can attempt to reclaim Eden is by force;  forced fellowship with other men, and forced rulership over creation.  We call these attempts “government”.

The Third Dispensation was man’s first and most successful organized effort to recreate Eden in his own image, under the rule of Nimrod and Semiramis.  Instead of a connection to the true God, Semiramis elevated herself to godhood.  And as we saw in the last post, her heirs, the Mystics of Spirit, have carried her legacy forward.

Nimrod, on the other hand, ruled the world and the people in it through his strength.  He is the father of government, rulers, and politicians (for that alone he deserves a special place in Hell).  Babel functioned during its time because the people were of one mind and united in their purpose.  When God confused their languages, that unity was lost forever.

Flawed as it was, Babel was the closest to Eden that fallen man was (and could ever be) capable of achieving.  Since then, man’s comparative goal has been to recreate Babel.

Like the Mystics of Spirit, Nimrod’s philosophical heirs, the Mystics of Force, sought to rule over the new nations.  But instead of using religion, they used the sword.  Their goal was to recreate the unity of Babel by force.  Their method was the physical conquest and subjugation of men through war, occupation, intimidation, confiscation, and control.

We’ve known them through history by their various terms of rulership, from singular emperors and dictators, to oligarchies, councils, congresses, guilds, and ruling families.  The Bible simply refers to them as “kings”

The reason that Nimrod’s heirs can be considered “mystics” is because their ultimate weapon is the same tool of control used by the Mystics of Spirit – fear!  The Mystics of Spirit inspired fear of the spiritual, while the Mystics of Force relied on fear of the physical.

The Mystics of Spirit convinced people that disobedience to them would result in the wrath of the gods.  The Mystics of Force ruled by the threat of tangible retribution: war, executions, confiscation of land, denial of food and resources, incarceration, taxation, deportation, or social rejection and isolation (like being labeled a traitor or an “intolerant Christian”).

The goals of both groups of mystics have always been the same; the subjugation of others in order to create their own personal Eden – with themselves in the role of “God”.

As the Mystic of Spirit wanted men to be dependent on them as the replacement for God’s knowledge, the Mystics of Force want men to be dependent on them (and their government) as a replacement for God’s’ power and provision.  Governments seek to put men into a state of constant dependence on them, just as in Eden, Adam was in constant fellowship with God.

Because of their similar goals, the two groups of mystics have an adversarial, sycophantic, and symbiotic relationship with each other.  The Mystics of Spirit use the Mystics of Force to add muscle and physical intimidation to their machinations, and the Mystics of Force use the Mystics of Spirit to reinforce their physical rule by adding the subjugation of the minds of men to their subjugation of men’s bodies.

This is why kings often have priests and mystic councilors at court, who elevate the king to a level of godhood or divine appointment.  Or use religious retribution to discourage any challenge to the king’s edicts.

This is also evident in the rulers’ adoption of the clandestine and insular practices of the Mystics of Spirit, exemplified by “Royal Bloodlines”, political intrigue, and the various Secret Societies (both real and imagined), trumpeted by conspiracy theorists.

There have always been two hallmarks of the rule of the mystics throughout history:

  1. Comparative thinking that allows them to justify any means – no matter how evil or abhorrent – to their Edenistic ends
  2. Abject failure

Despite the best efforts of man, he can never overcome the curse of Adam.  Every attempt to rule the world ultimately fails.  Every empire, be it “holy” or secular, eventually collapses.

There is an intrinsic reason why kings and clerics can never successfully rule the masses:  the desire to rule doesn’t just exist in the few who appoint themselves kings and priests.  We ALL share Adam’s genetic predisposition.  ALL men desire to rule!  Thus men will only succumb to the subjugation of the mind or by the sword for only so long.  Then our inherent desire to be the kings of our own world leads to rebellion against the rulers.

In response, the mystics increase their tyranny, but that only increases the desire of men to throw off their yoke.  Eventually the masses rebel.  Civil wars, revolutions, and invasions are the result.  Then the one government is replaced by another, and the cycle of futility continues.

Man’s attempt to recreate Eden epitomizes the classic definition of insanity.  In spite of his unbroken string of failure, man keeps trying over and over, expecting a different result.  Such is the result of rampant brain damage.

If man was willing to be contrastive, he’d admit the glaringly obvious fact that he cannot govern himself perfectly, and only a perfect being could do so.  That kind of contrastive thinking could actually lead to world peace.  But such is not the case.

In the next post, we will conclude our examination of the Third Dispensation by looking at the defining characteristic of man’s nature that makes it impossible for us to be ruled by other men, but is intrinsic to our ability to be ruled by God – our individual uniqueness.

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May 5, 2011

Faith part 5: You Gotta Believe

Posted in Faith tagged , , , , , , at 10:01 PM by E. M.

UNBELIEF MAKES THINGS MORE COMPLICATED

The Second dispensation failed because the people of that era decided to only rely on the knowledge they had amassed during their lives.  They did not believe in anything that they did not have full knowledge of, therefore they did not believe in God.  They did not have faith.

The last few posts have dealt with the definition and application of faithreasonable faith is the willingness to rely on something that we do not fully know based on knowledge and experience. Now we need to look at the powerful result of faith – belief.

Every moment of our waking life is active.  We are constantly thinking, moving, acting, reacting, and making decisions.  When we act, we are performing that action based either on what we know, or what we don’t fully know.  There is no intellectual gap between knowing something, and acting on it.  However, when we don’t fully know something, the decision to act on it is based on what we believe about it.

Belief is the cognitive vehicle through which we act on that which we do not fully know. Belief, by definition, is based on faith.

Belief is absolutely necessary in order for us to live our lives because we do not know everything.  If we waited to have full knowledge of a situation before we acted on it, it would be impossible to ever get anything done.

If I want to go to the store to get some milk, I don’t know with 100% certainty that it is going to be a benign experience.  I don’t know that there is not a serial killer waiting outside my front door to lop my head off as soon as I step out.  There could be a three-car accident on the road to the store. The store may be cutting corners by getting milk from a herd with mad cow disease.

I’d need a Pentagon level of information and security details in order to try to have full knowledge of every possible contingency that could happen on my way to get milk.  But even that would not be enough.

It is not possible for us to know all the causes that could lead to all the possible effects, so I have to believe that the journey to get milk will be benign based on my previous milk buying experience and my knowledge that it is in the best interests of the store to provide me with an acceptable dairy product.

Why is belief so important?  The things you believe shape your mindset, your perspective, and your entire worldview.  They become the lens through which you view reality.  Belief is powerful because what we believe has a tremendous effect on who we are.

When we begin our lives as children, we have no knowledge or experience and (thanks to Adam and Eve) we have no connection to God.  Virtually helpless, we have nothing to rely on except irrational faith.  We believe everything we’re exposed to!

Generally the first thing of which we have we have real cognition is our parents and caretakers.  They are the first objects of our faith.  In an ideal environment, they would be our knowledge and experience guides, and would be there to mitigate our exploration of our new world.

But even the best parents are neither perfect nor omnipresent.  They will not always be there when we have a negative experience or get exposed to harmful knowledge.  In fact, they may be the source of much of the negativity.

What we believe during this time shapes our entire psyche.  Much of the science of human psychology is based on understanding and addressing the effects of these early beliefs.

If as a child you have a frightening experience with animals, water or heights (and no one is there to mitigate the fear), they could develop into life-long phobias and panic attacks because you will believe these things have inherent and omnipotent danger attached to them.  If your parents were unjust and contradictory in their behavior towards you, it could result in all kinds of relationship and personality disorders later in life.

It can get even worse as you grow up and begin to discover the philosophies that will shape your worldview.  Remember, beliefs are faith-based, which means if you have irrational faith, you will embrace irrational beliefs, which will result in an irrational worldview that will lead to you committing and justifying irrational actions and behaviors. (The preceding statement explains the existence of religion and political activists.)

But belief is also powerful because it is the key to healing all that psychological damage.

If the root causes of the damage to our psyche is wrong beliefs, then the solution is to replace those wrong beliefs with right (righteous) beliefs.  Its a matter of replacing your red jelly beans with blue ones.  Once again, it all comes back to contrastive thinking.

Remember, our psyche; the “real us” is spirit.  Replacing our wrong beliefs with righteous ones can heal and repair our spirit.  And where do we get the righteous beliefs to replace our wrong beliefs with?  From a source that is always and completely right and just.  God.

Belief in God can repair our spirits.  And since life is the ability to repair, belief in God can lead to eternal life.

The problem with the people in the second dispensation is that did not want to believe in God.  They wanted to believe that they could live without faith.  They believed that they could relay on nothing but their own knowledge.  They believed in themselves instead of God.  The inevitable result was death.

In the next post, we will wrap up our examination of the second dispensation by focusing on the famous event that ended it. What was the reasoning behind the Great Flood?  Why was it necessary to exterminate the entire population of the planet, save one family?  It’s a very controversial issue that we will take a look at next time.

December 13, 2010

Jonesing for Eden

Posted in The Dispensations tagged , , , , , , , at 7:49 AM by E. M.

This week, we conclude our examination of the first dispensation.  I will be the first to admit that this series went on a LOT longer than I had originally planned – not only because I had to take a break from posting for a couple of months, but also in the number of posts in the series.  I had initially planned to do only do 3 to 4 posts on the first dispensation.  As of this week’s post, I’m up to 14!

The reason for the extra time is that as I was writing each post, I kept realizing that there were more and more fundamental aspects of the Eden narrative that needed extrapolation in order for readers to gain a fuller understanding of all that occurred during this dispensation, and the wide raging implications of Original sin.

The purpose of this blog is to help the reader gain a better understanding of Christian philosophy, and as I was writing about the first dispensation, it became abundantly clear to me that it is not possible to understand Christianity without a thorough understanding of what happened in Eden and ALL the ramifications therein.

The bottom line is that if you don’t fully understand this fundamental and foundational information, you will not accurately understand God, the Bible, Jesus, or Christianity.  And without this understanding, you may be in danger of allowing false/comparative information to be put in the gaps of what you don’t understand.  This is the kind of thinking that results in contradictions, frustration, unbelief, and religion.

However, if you do gain an understanding of what Eden was, and what we lost when man fell, not only will you better understand God and His purpose, you will unlock the key to what is perhaps the primary motivation of all of our thoughts and actions.  The purpose of this post is to help give you that understanding.

As we saw in the last post, when Adam and Eve committed Original Sin, it not only resulted in their own deaths, but the death of their “kingdom” as well.  All of creation began to die.

Everything in the natural world was in harmony and order before Original Sin and the judgment.  There were no bear maulings, earthquakes, hurricanes, disease, or Reality TV.  But when the order that God established in creation was violated, chaos entered into existence and began to grow exponentially.

People blame God for natural disasters, going so far as calling them “Acts of God” and disparaging God’s character or existence when they occur. But they are not God’s fault.  They are part of the just judgment that Adam brought upon himself.  Adam intentionally gave up his rulership over nature.  Thus God does not, and cannot arbitrary cause OR stop natural disasters without violating justice.  He can only (justly) do so in response to justice (this is a complex subject that deserves its own post).

The term “Acts of God” should be removed from insurance policies and replaced with “Results of Adam”.

The first man and woman; the ultimate, unblemished expression of human perfection, were “optimized” for their existence in paradise.  As their descendants, our bodies and minds are also engineered for Eden.  Our bodies were designed to live forever.  Our minds have the capability to commune with the divine.  We were supposed to be the rulers of the world.  Creation was supposed to obey us.  The world was supposed to work for us.  We were supposed to live in perfect harmony.  We were supposed to be happy.

But we are not happy.  Our lives are not a perfect harmony, and the world is far from a paradise.  We are deposed monarchs, but we still have royal desires.  We fundamentally know that we are supposed to live in perfection, and nothing less than paradise will satisfy us.  In the depths of our souls, we expect to live in perfection.  But we don’t.  We suffer from Adam’s frustration.  And in our perpetual dissatisfaction we ask, “what’s the point?”

We all want to go back to Eden.  We desire that return to harmonious perfection with the same pervasive, all-encompassing, and unrepentant longing with which a drug addicts longs for his next fix.  This desire is the root of all our behavior.

If recapturing Eden is possible, we essentially have two choices in trying to achieve it: we can either choose God’s way or we can try to do it ourselves.

Without God, man’s only choice is to try to create paradise on earth.  What are all the various sociopolitical, utopian aspirations of men (imperialism, socialism, capitalism, communism, feminism, theocracies, etc.) other than the desire to create a harmonious social structure on earth?

And if this earth is all we have, then is it any wonder that people are willing to kill, die, lie, corrupt and destroy for the sake of their particular utopian goals?  If this earth is all there is, then the ends ultimately justify the means.

This desire for a God-less Eden is not just expressed in grandiose social schemes; it hits us in our most personal lives as well.  Our expectation and desire for harmonious perfection (and our frustration in never achieving it) affects the way we manage our careers, our homes, our families, and our finances.

It’s the reason many grow to despise the spouses that they once thought were “perfect” for them.  It’s why some parents drive their kids to reach a perfection they themselves were not able to achieve.  It’s why we drive ourselves to get better jobs, more money, or a more attractive spouse.  It’s why people are driven to lie, cheat, scheme, and betray to amass power.  Its because of the idea that if we just had “a little more” or if we could just make things “a little better” we would finally reach perfection.

When I compared our desire for Eden to that of a drug addict, I wasn’t just being metaphorical.  ALL of our addictions are rooted in our desire for paradise.  What is an addiction, (be it to a substance, or activity), other than a desire to capture, however briefly, an ecstasy, a beauty, an existential happiness that we cannot grasp in our reality?  Our desire for Eden is so strong that we will endure the destructive long-term consequences of addiction for a brief connection to a false transcendence.

Even if you don’t believe in the Bible, the record of human history should provide abundant proof that man cannot create paradise on his own.  Unfortunately the comparative thinking that accompanies Godlessness causes the brain damage that keeps those trying to create utopias from seeing their error.

So what is God’s solution to this problem?  God’s way is the meaning of life – Heaven.  To quote C.S. Lewis, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

God’s way does not involve trying to force-fit perfection into an imperfect world filled with imperfect people.  God’s desire is to redeem those of us who are willing, into new bodies with new spirits. The dispensations are a part of this process.

Once we are redeemed, all of creation will be redeemed as well.  In fact, the Bible says that creation is “jonesing” for Eden just like we are.  Creation longs for our redemption so that it can be redeemed.

Our desire for Eden shapes our lives.  How we choose to pursue that desire will shape our eternity

In the first dispensation, God addressed the question:  “if man was completely innocent, with no knowledge of good and evil, would he choose God on his own?”  The answer was “no”, and the result was death.  If the lack of knowledge did not cause man to choose God, what would happen if man were given an abundance of knowledge?  Does knowledge alone lead to God?  We’ll examine those questions next time when we begin our look at the second dispensation.

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November 20, 2010

A Tale of Two Trees part 5 – Eating Yourself to Death

Posted in The Dispensations tagged , , , , , , , at 4:02 PM by E. M.

THE EPITOME OF SHORT-TERM THINKING

This week we conclude our examination of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil by understanding why eating the fruit of the Tree led to death for Adam and Eve (and consequently, for all of us).

It’s easy to see what has become of humanity since the fall of man (just watch an episode of “Jersey Shore”).  But what were things like before Original Sin?

Before Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they were in a state of complete innocence.  They lived and thought only in the moment.  They “walked with God” daily and thus received constant direction from Him.  They never had to think about tomorrow or “what to do next”, because God was always there to tell them.  Their only obligation was to obey.

The Bible makes a point of saying that they were naked and unashamed. They didn’t know the implications of being naked because they never thought that far ahead!  They ran around naked and free in their naïveté without giving any thought to what would happen next.  They were like babies in that sense (or college kids on spring break).

So what happened when they ate from the Tree?  Well, as advertised, they gained knowledge of good and evil – of creation and destruction.

Does this mean that Adam and Eve did not know what creation and destruction were before they ate the fruit?  No, they knew about creation because God undoubtedly explained the origin of the world to them, plus Adam knew that Eve had been created.  They knew about destruction because they witnessed it on a small scale whenever they ate fruit from the other trees (“destroying” it in the process).

But the complete definitions of good and evil are creation and destruction in the long-term. That is what Adam and Eve gained knowledge of:  the long-term!

When they disobeyed God, they voluntarily disconnected themselves from His influence.   Their constant “life guide” was gone. They were on their own for the first time in their existence. They were no longer led by an intelligence that was always and completely right and just.  They had to figure out what to do next based on their own imperfect judgment and thought processes.

The human brain is in a constant state of creating and “rewiring” itself based on our thoughts and experiences.  This is most dramatically true with infants because their lack of experience gives them the most new neural connections to make.  As heretofore-innocent beings, Adam and Eve were in a similar position.

When they had to think long-term for the first time, brand new connections would have begun to form in their brains.  They began to process long-term cause/effect relationships and they started to understand the ramifications of what they had done.  They were able to imagine a future in which they were separated from God.  They became afraid, and they hid.

When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they began to see all the long-term implications of their nakedness – desire, sexual intimacy, joy, pregnancy, heart break, child rearing, guilt, jealousy, etc. (basically, they took on the opposite mindset of a kid on spring break).

When they experienced this flood of knowledge and the guilt associated with it, Adam and Eve committed the first religious act by covering their “shame” with fig leaves.

What was it about the fruit that caused this?  Did it have some type of “magical” composition?  Did it contain a deadly brain toxin (could this have been the origin of high-fructose corn syrup)?  No, I think that it was just regular fruit.  What made it significant was God’s command not to eat it, which entailed the choice to stop living with moment-by-moment direction from Him.  It was the choice that disconnected Adam and Eve from God, not the fruity goodness.

God told Adam that in the day that he ate the fruit, he would die.  How could God accurately make that prediction?  Because He knew the causes that would lead to the effects.  God knew that Adam and Eve were not always and completely right and just, so when they gained the knowledge of the long term and had the burden of decision, they would choose to pursue death by being comparative.

But God, being just, had to give them the opportunity to be contrastive – to repair their brains and live.  Instead, they predictably chose to be comparative.  They chose death.

And thus all of their descendants (us) follow the same pattern.  We are all born innocent, however, since we are born without a connection to God, we all quickly gain knowledge of the long term.  And since we are not always and completely right and just, we (like our original ancestors) choose to be comparative.  We all eventually commit Original Sin and our brains become wired to pursue death.  We damage our brains and compound and escalate that damage as we gain more experience.

But fear not.  All is not lost.  In the next post we will conclude our study of the first dispensation by examining the curses that God placed on Adam, Eve, and the serpent after Original Sin.  The curses are the source of many of the struggles we face today, but in the midst of the curses He pronounces, God also gives us our greatest hope for redemption.  Next time.

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July 26, 2010

Religion – Holy Brain Damage

Posted in Religion tagged , , , , at 6:49 PM by E. M.

Not only is Steve not contrastive, he’s a lousy parent

As an interlude to our examination of the first dispensation we’ve been looking at some of the terms that the Eden narrative introduced – the first being justification and in the last couple posts, the specific form known as “religion”.

Religion consists of actions we engage in to justify our wrongs and/or pay our guilt debt.  In last week’s abbreviated post, I showed how religion gains galvanizing strength by being a communal worldview as well as a personal justification.

Like all comparative thinking, religion is easier and more comfortable than the alternative.  Religion does not require objective, critical thought. In fact it discourages it. There is no need for independent thought when you have established dogma to guide your actions, and a high priest directing your mentality (and by high priest, I don’t just mean guys in ceremonial clothing.  Al Gore, Karl Marx, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, and Oprah count as the high priests of their particular sects)

It’s easier and more comfortable to keep following the rituals you grew up with and may have been in your family and/or culture for generations than to break with entrenched tradition

It’s easier to embrace a system that makes you feel good and superficially addresses your inherent knowledge that you are less than perfect, than deal with the idea that you can do nothing to be perfectly righteous on your own.

It’s easier to believe that this world is all there is and that you can perfect it (and yourself) by “saving” it via environmentalism or activism, than it is to see the world as fleeting and transitory.

It’s easier to believe that there is no God, and that Right and Just are effects of the universe instead of it’s cause, than to accept the idea that the existence of absolute Righteousness would require that we be accountable for our actions.

Because religion is a socially acceptable form of mass comparative thinking, it is readily and easily embraced.  Because it does such a good job imitating contrastive thinking, it is extremely effective at discouraging the pursuit of true righteousness. And because it encourages the vain comfort of self-righteousness (perhaps the most toxic form of comparative thinking) it is extraordinarily difficult to let go of.

But for the remainder of this post, I want to specifically focus on the damage caused by religion done “in the name of God”.  Performing works to justify yourself and slapping God’s name on it does not make it righteous.  In fact, its self-delusion because God specifically says that our works are unacceptable in relation to true righteousness.

So why do we do it?  Pride.  It is easier to take some credit for our righteousness than to accept our relative inadequacy before a perfectly righteous God.  If we feel that we have “partnered” with God for our righteousness, it makes us feel a little better about ourselves.  It gives us a little self-esteem and self-worth.  But a little pride is still pride.

The reason that religion is so damaging is that it associates itself with God while being in diametric opposition to God’s way to gaining righteousness! When non-religious people are exposed to religious adherents, their subconscious recognizes that religion is just another man-centered form of justification that damages the brain and really does nothing to alleviate guilt.  However, since religion clothes itself in divinity and falsely associates itself with God, people come to believe that God Himself must be as illogical, self-contradictory, hypocritical, comparative, oppressive and futile as the people who practice religion.  So they throw the baby out with the bathwater and completely reject all things called “God”.  Thus, they put themselves in danger of missing the meaning of life.

But it’s even worse for the religious adherents themselves.  At least those who use non-religious Justification of Man to deal with their guilt subconsciously know that they are merely rationalizing their wrongs.  They are under no theological delusions regarding the source of their justification.  The lack of guilt-satisfaction they get leaves them open to the possibility of being contrastive at some point.

But religious adherents are convinced (or have been convinced) that their religious efforts are required, needed, and/or appealing to God.  So when their Acts of Justification do not alleviate their subconscious guilt, religious adherents don’t get contrastive (because they think their actions are divinely inspired), instead they figure that they are not being religious enough!  So they get more religious!  They intensify their acts of justification.  They get more comparative!  It’s a vicious circle that escalates the more it’s practiced.

If the contradictory irrationality of Justification of Man causes brain damage, then religion is brain damage to the Nth degree!  This is how religious people can rationalize and justify suicide bombings, inquisitions, holy wars, holocausts, ethnic cleansing, etc.  This is how certain religious Jews in the first century justified the torture and killing of the Son of the God they claimed to worship.

But isn’t the Bible full of rules and rituals that people were instructed to follow in order to please God?  Next time we’ll wrap up our discussion of religion by looking at man’s first religious act, exploring why Biblical doctrine is often confused with religion, and finally, we’ll begin to see where atonement comes in.  Stay tuned.

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June 30, 2010

Justifiable Guilt

Posted in Terminology tagged , , , , , , , at 1:44 PM by E. M.

BRAIN DAMAGE RUN AMOK

We’ve been examining how the dispensations are God’s contrastive process of showing how His plan of righteousness is the correct one.  In the last post, we saw that Adam and Eve failed in the first dispensation primarily because they chose to justify themselves over God when they committed a wrong act.

Our history on earth is played out through the dispensations.  But why does it have to be this way? We’re human beings with a free will right?  What if we decide we don’t want to play God’s dispensation game?  Can’t we just ignore our wrongs and refuse to justify anyone?   (In other words, can’t we all just take on the mentality of politicians?)

Well, for better or worse, that isn’t really an option.  When God created Adam and Eve in His image, certain traits and knowledge about existence were irrevocably passed on to us.  For example, we inherently know that existence exists.  We know that contradictions cannot exist.  We know that every effect has a cause, and we know that the concepts of right and just are absolutes.

Though while we tacitly acknowledge that righteousness and justice are optimal, also we know that we are not always and completely right and just.  Therefore, we know that at some point we’ll screw up.

We inherently know when we do something wrong because our brains are wired to detect contradictions.  Even if we try to deny it consciously, our subconscious  (or “unaware brain”) still detects contradictions and inconsistencies whether we want it to or not.  Our subconscious makes sure we know when we do wrong by making us feel guilt.

We feel guilt because our inherent awareness of justice tells us that the “wrong” we just did unbalanced the scales and we’re on the wrong side of justice.  We’re at a deficit.  We owe something.  Guilt is our “you need to pay” alert.

But we don’t like feeling guilty, so we want to make it go away.  The problem is that we can’t make the “wrong” we committed go away (because it already happened), so the only relief from guilt that we can hope for is some kind of justification.

Justification is the act of rendering an action “just”.  If an action is justified, then it is considered fair and appropriate.  No one owes anyone anything.  The scales are balanced.

There are essentially two categories of justification, which I call the “Justification of God”, and the “Justification of Man”.  Justification of God means that we get justification God’s way by being contrastive and/or allowing God to guide us into righteousness.  We justify righteousness (God) over ourselves when we are wrong by acknowledging the “wrong”, and then turning from it and embracing “right”.  This is called repentance.  Repentance leads to “salvation” which is the process by which God renders us justified. We will examine salvation in detail when we look at the sixth dispensation.

But as we discussed earlier, being contrastive is painful, perhaps just as painful as the guilt we’re trying to get rid of.  That’s where “Justification of Man” comes in.  Justification of Man means we render ourselves just in spite of our wrongs.  When we justify ourselves, we are being intentionally comparative.  We create some rationalization for our wrongness that allows us to unilaterally declare that either the “wrong” we did wasn’t really wrong, or that we had a just reason for committing it.

Lets say, for example that I make a mean or hurtful comment to someone who doesn’t deserve it.  Instead of apologizing, I justify myself by saying that I’ve been under a lot of stress, or that I get irritable without my morning coffee, or that the remark wasn’t really hurtful and the person I offended needs to “lighten up”.

The problem is that Justification of Man is a contradiction.  The “wrong” really happened.  The scales are still unbalanced and a penalty is still owed, thus the guilt is still there.  Self-justification is self-delusion.

Although we can try (with great effort) to deny this reality with our conscious mind, we cannot fool our subconscious.  The subconscious only sees reality.  It is immune to our delusions, skewed perspectives, rationalizations, social constructs and irrational views. The subconscious is the source of our feeling of guilt because it always sees the reality of our wrongs.

Since our brains function according to electro-chemical feedback loops, this internal conflict between our conscious and subconscious minds can result in actual physical degradation of the brain.  So technically, when we engage in Justification of Man, we are intentionally causing ourselves brain damage (this actually goes a long way toward explaining the mentality of politicians).

There is one other category of justification that is a hybrid of Justification of God and Justification of Man.  In this form of justification, man acknowledges his wrongness and guilt to varying degrees, but instead of contrastively seeking God’s righteousness, man attempts to make things right by balancing the scales through his own efforts.  He tries to make his guilt go away and appease righteousness (God) by performing “good works”.  This type of justification is called “religion”.  In many ways, it is the worst and most damaging justification of all.  We’ll discuss it next week.

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