Gods, Imagination, Machinations

Why did they create God? Answer: to feed the imagination. Discuss.

Alexi Helligar. And to build society.

Patrice: True, society needs a common mind, common logic, hence common gods, or, more generally, common myths, powerful enough. Nietzsche added: one interpretation of the gods for the commons, another for the lords.

Evelyne Le Formal: God is not created, HE is…

Alexi Helligar First of all, what makes God a “He”? Why the masculine fixation on God?

Evelyne Le Formal: Exact, maybe it’s “She”. Jesus is the Son of God, but God can be “SHE”.

Patrice: Or maybe it’s a bird. More exactly, a hummingbird.

I Fly, Fear Me

I Fly, Fear Me

Alexi Helligar: Secondly, which God are you referring to that is not created? Yahweh, Allah, Jesus, Shiva, Zeus, Mithra, Brahma? Evelyne Le Formal: GOD is GOD !! One of 3 firsts for what I believe !!

Patrice: To each tribe its own god(s). The French, like Rome, shall make do with a republic, to incarnate the tribal ideal, without further ado. Amen. My preferred god is Huitzilopochtli (pictured above). He exposes best superstitious religion for the criminal absurdity that it is. Huitzilopochtli ordered the Aztecs to call themselves Mexicas. A unity trick. However his obviously bloody tendencies gave all the pretext the Conquistadores needed to annihilate most of the tremendous Mexica civilization. Huitzilopochtli turned into death of his world.

Alexi Helligar There have been many many gods that have been created by humans. Why evidence outside of the Bible (which is a collection of stories and not evidence) is there that Jesus is any less an expression of human imagination than any of the rest?

A is A. This is true. It is symmetrical and symmetry is what I believe!!

Patrice: The sacred writings of Judeo-Christo-Islamism make clear that they are all referring to the exact same “God”. Using the word “Allah” is craftily alienating, as if “Allah” were different from Jesus’s dad. When the French talk about the god of the Americans, in French, they call it “dieu” in French, not “god”, or “dios”.

Alexi Helligar The belief in God is an empty vessel. Because it is empty people fill it with whatever they imagine. This, I think, is the core of Patrice’s comment. Of necessity, despite its critical importance in building society, imagination is a random and chancy process. This is why the belief in God leads to so many random and chancy actions, many of which are not rational and, in fact, very destructive. The mere belief in God (because God is essentially Imaginary) is not enough to filter sense from nonsense.

Evelyne Le Formal: Jesus is not an expression of human imagination, it’s historic !! He was an human boy ! But, you can doubt, if you don’t believe, than he is the son of God !!

Son Of God: Cute Yet Fake

Son Of God: Cute Yet Fake

Alexi Helligar: History is also imaginary.

Evelyne Le Formal: Cesar, Neron, Ponce Pilate imagination ? No, history !!

Patrice: We have extremely detailed records, from various sources, on the first two gentlemen. They are among the better known human beings, to this day. Incontrovertible proof of the existence of Pontius Pilatus was also found, such as an engraved inscription bearing his name in stone. Proofs of Jesus’ existence have been presented. They were all proven to be fake. A famous fake was the textile from Turin. Both the historical record and Carbon 14 date tightly concur about the date of fabrication of that shroud (part of it pictured above), in the 13C.

Imagination has to be fed, to provide the mind’s logic with what is called a universe. In particular, the mind can be fed the concept of omnipotence, most convenient to dictators. Monotheistic God, having no other gods around to hinder him, is omnipotent, by definition.

Christ is NOT, not at all, an historical figure, just a creature of the imagination, found in Saint Paul’s own mind, as he readily admits. Saul was a practicing Jew born a Roman citizen, from a born Roman citizen father, and a feared Roman prosecutor.

Saul wrote the following in 66 CE. “Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ He asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what to do'” (Acts 9:3-6). Somehow, that led Saul to change his name into Paul.

Evangels were written later (starting in 70 CE). Half of the New Testament stems from Paul and the people whom he influenced. Thirteen of the 27 books in the New Testament have been attributed to Paul. Half of the Acts of the Apostles deals with Paul’s life and works. Tellingly, some of Paul’s students claimed to have met Jesus in person (something Saul/Paul did not dare do).

The record of the arrest, trial and execution of several messiahs at the time of mythical Jesus is well recorded. None of them Jesus. One of these messiahs was condemned, and burned, in Rome. Another, the vicious Simon, was whipped to death in Rome. In all cases, thousands of the best and brightest were watching.

Jewish general Josephus, in his enormous work on the “Jewish war”, covers extensively the religious madness in Israel at the time, and its fanatical madmen. He never mentions Jesus. (The fact that Josephus mentions Jesus, in another work, 20 years later, seems to me a forgery: at some point the growing Christian community realized that they better make Josephus bear witness; the earlier work could not be that easily modified.)

Reading the Bible carefully, one can see that Jesus, would have been born towards Spring, four years or so before what became the official date. The story of Jesus is even more a product of the imagination than viewing Jehanne d’Arc as a good fanatic.

Conclusion: Christ, as a boy abandoned by his dad, is a myth. There is ZERO historical evidence of Jesus’ existence.

There is much more evidence for the existence of the much older Zarathoustra (a real, alive Babylonian philosopher/prophet). Or Buddha (an Indian prince). And Muhammad is, of course, a real historical figure. There is even direct evidence for king David and his son Salomon. Although they are 12 centuries older than the mythical Christ.

Yet, it’s easy to reconstruct what happened: the growth of myth from Saul’s inspiring vision to getting to view, quickly, the vision as fact. In the midst of a war-butchery, the Jewish war of 70 CE, that killed a million (that would have been roughly the proportional equivalent of ten million today), that’s not very surprising.

Religion was a huge business in imperial Rome. All religions were welcome in Rome, as long as they did not disrupt public peace, and did not call for human sacrifices. One could not make one’s religion popular without a great myth attached.

As it was, Christianism was able to grow quietly. Christianism was increasingly made similar to, not to say plagiarized from, the much older religion of Mithra, which was popular in the army. Christians made much of persecutions later (to justify their execution of millions). However, persecution, if any, was light. During Marcus Aurelius’ twenty year reign in the late Second Century, only six “Christians” were executed in Rome.

Around that time (180 CE), we know of the case of several high Roman politicians who announced that, during their retirement, they would write an Evangel.

At the beginning of the Fourth Century, emperor Galerius persuaded his three imperial colleagues to engage in forcing the Christians to pledge obedience to the empire. About 3,000 were executed, total, before Galerius, ravaged by cancer, rescinded the edict.

By then, though, Christianism was a state within the Roman state. Constantine decided to co-opt it, as part of his further fascization of Rome (311 CE). He even chose what the exact doctrine of Christianity: “Catholic Orthodoxy” ( that is “universal common opinion”).

The divisions of the empire that the church had used for its own governance (diocese) were even adopted as the new divisions of the empire. By 400 CE, the “founding father of the church” discovered, among other things, that it would be best to make Jesus’ birth coincidental to the enormous celebrations of the winter solstice known as the “Saturnials”, and to adopt all the traditions attached to it, from gift giving to cutting an evergreen and decorating it (a tradition documented in Greece, among other places, a full millennium earlier).

And then next came a real life philosopher-king, Clovis. Clovis threw the Goths out of Gallia, and built much of what became the Imperium Francorum spanning the core of Western Europe.

More importantly, Clovis renovated Western civilization with a Franco-German, Greco-Roman, Humano-Christian mix. Clovis recreated Christianism in a way compatible with the vision of the Franks (who had helped Constantine conquer the empire, but had stayed extremely hostile to religious fanaticism, attempting a whole succession of coups and civil wars, until Clovis was able to become the new Constantine, as far as north-west Mid-Terra was concerned.

A crucial part of the new mythology was made of continual references to contemporaneous (or quasi-contemporaneous) saints.  

And what of nowadays? Recent generations have been imprinted to feel that greed and fame were all the mythology they needed. No wonder revolution, the economy, and minds themselves are running out of steam. Exactly as intended.

***

Patrice Ayme

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15 Responses to “Gods, Imagination, Machinations”

  1. pshakkottai Says:

    Hi Patrice:
    ” “When Christianity came along, the old pagan religions did not die easily. Legends of chivalric quests for the Holy Grail were in fact stories of forbidden quests to find the lost sacred feminine. Knights who claimed to be “searching for the chalice” were speaking in code as a way to protect themselves from a Church that had subjugated women, banished the Goddess, burned non-believers, and forbidden the pagan reverence for the sacred
    feminine.”-

    “We need the Goddess in our lives to
    repair, to nurture and to heal. ” from

    http://www.uwf.edu/lgoel/documents/asacredfeminineinhinduism.pdf

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Virgin Mary was given a prominent position as a secondary goddess, precisely because, for no less than 7,000 years, the Cybelle-Great Mother cult had reigned over the Middle East.
      This being said, the originators of the Jesus myth were much more feminist than their successors (after 300 CE). Constantine (the imperial founder, viewing himself as the “13th apostle”) was extremely brutish, even by the standards of the imperial Roman government. He steamed his second wife alive, killed his son (although he was very popular and a very experienced general and “Caesar”), his nephew. This may have given an anti-woman bend.
      PA

  2. Colette Ayme Says:

    où est le Colibri?

    Colette Ayme coletteayme@aol.com

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      “Huitzilopochtli”, the chief Mexica god, veut dire “colibri”. Left handed hummingbird, or something like that. The exact meaning is still debated, but the fact it’s about a hummingbird (hence the feathers) is not!

  3. Lovell Says:

    Hi Patrice,

    I’m an atheist but somehow I still find Teilhard de Chardin’s ideas relevant.

    How is he received in his native France?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hi Lovell: I think Teilhard de Chardin’s ideas were well received by all. I never read harsh criticism of him (whereas plenty is available on roughly anybody else: Camus, Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Foucault, etc.)

      So it’s worse than that: nobody talks about him anymore.
      The guys who are in view nowadays are people such as Serre, the New Philosophers, BHL, Luc Ferry… And Badiou… And an entire army of semi-philosophers of sometimes great influence, some sitting at the Academy.

      The most interesting are BHL & Badiou (Badiou is trying to be as easy to understand as Derida…). BHL because that billionaire plutocrat is fully engaged, from brains to guts (lots of the latter). BHL may not be super deep, but he is very strong where Socrates was astoundingly deficient and cowardly superficial.

      I was the first (to my knowledge) to call for war in Lybia, but BHL followed a few weeks later, and he outright went there and picked up the phone to call Sarkozy, to set-up the entire war. Something about plutocrats: French presidents have eaten in BHL’s hand since 1980…

      But to come back to the subject at hand: nobody serious in France worries about the divinity anymore. I think that the inchoating implicit modern French consensus is that the Republic Ought to Be God.That does not mean there is no sense of the cosmic and the reverential (not to say referential). Whenever I get a chance to go to my Alpine redoubt, I go the local mini cathedral, 1,000 years old. And meditate a bit alone in the penumbra (I already brought my daughter there, as I did to Paris’ Notre Dame, & Aix’s Cathedral Saint Sauveur, sort of 2,000 years old! She loves cathedrals… She went to Roma’s San Pietro.). If it were a mosque, I would do the same (as I did in say, Isphahan).
      Man without metaphysics is only infantilism of the logic.
      PA

  4. Lovell Says:

    Patrice,

    Is Bernard Levy the French variation of C. Hitchens?

    If the French consensus is what it is now, then I think it’s entirely Teilhardian too. His mysticism came naturally out of his profession and I don’t blame him for it. But his opus, The Phenomenon of Man, has a lot of humanist creed in it.

    I think TdC is greatly misunderstood. And it’s because he tries to be philosopher, scientist, and priest all at the same time. His work is still on the List of Banned Books by the Vatican though.

    P.S.:
    I hope you enjoyed your mountain retreat.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Lovell: My mountain retreat was excellent, I learned humility at 10,000 feet, just trying to run around. I am not familiar with TdC’s ideas. All I know is that man is the breakthrough mental species, and that is bound to happen on those rare Earths that came to harbor advanced species (meaning scorpions and the like), and hanged around as organic havens for 300 million years after that. Not too many per galaxy, I am afraid…

      Although many people, most people, came to the Christian Church for the best reasons, Christianity, as conceived in the 4C, has been a disaster for civilization. The Franks changed that for six centuries (500 CE to 1100CE, first crusade). But then the Church went back to its roots, as much as it could, fighting protestantism thereafter, for another seven centuries… (By 1100 CE, the government was strong enough to not having to govern through the church. For example, the universities became independent of the cathedrals.)

      BHL is no Hitchens. The god wars in France have been over for generations. They are only resurfacing a bit with Islam. Islam is progressively getting the treatment Christianity and Judaism got. The big question is how to squeeze Islam pedagogically.

      Hitchens, although excellent, was never of the intellectual and other calibers of BHL.

      BHL is a super capitalist, a politician, a (very courageous, borderline insane) journalist, a normalien, a presidential adviser (many presidents), a public intellectual, and a “new philosopher”. I think I run philosophical circles around him, but, still, I take him very seriously. Although, as a billionaire, he never had to worry with academia, he is, clearly, one of the top leading philosophers.

      BHL has not hesitated to engage Badiou (and many other academics) in war. And often I must recognize he is right.
      PA

    • Lovell Says:

      Dear Patrice,
      I think the Vatican church is inherently evil. Its God-belief scam is just a cover for protecting its enormous wealth and its wealth generating business. It’s a fierce defender of the status quo and a leading proponent of the global conservative movement.

      It hates the glare of the Enlightenment because its dogma couldn’t stand intellectual scrutiny. And that is why maybe they excommunicated TdC, banned his books, and exiled him to China where, working as a paleontologist, he co-discovered the Peking Man.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        dear Lovell: the evil of the Vatican is a complex subject. The Franks (Charlemagne) made the Vatican powerful. Carlus Magnus outright gifted land to the bishop of Rome (who had just crowned him emperor, catching, of course, Charlemagne by surprise, or so he pretended).

        But one should not forget that, 2 centuries later, the Vatican was seized by a Muslim army, arrived by surprised from the sea. The Muslims were finally chased by a Frankish army. The final liberation of Italy-Sicily took another two centuries or so…

        So maybe the Vatican, complete with its criminal tendencies, ought to be seen as supplementary bulkward against Islam, craftily planted by the Franks, in the Asimov “Foundation” style… Just an idea…

        I did not remember TdC had been excommunicated…
        PA

      • Lovell Says:

        The Inquisition chamber in Vatican (Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith) issued a Monitum on him.

        Combined with the banning of his books, forced resignation of his teaching tenure at the Catholic Institute of Paris and the exile to China it was, for all intents and purposes, an excommunication.

        He was among the first in the hierarchy to endorse Darwin’s theory of evolution.

  5. Patrice Ayme Says:

    dear Lovell: the evil of the Vatican struck many, not just Bruno, Galileo. Many were burned.

    The first biology (a word he coined) research professor who advocated evolution (and demonstrated it with mollusks’ evolution), Lamarck, greatly admired by Darwin, died a broken man. No doubt the Catholics had a lot to do with it.
    PA

    • Lovell Says:

      The whole of humanity should be grateful for the vast array of thinkers. scientists, and innovators that France has contributed to the arsenal of human knowledge which made progress possible.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        The funny thing is that the Imperium Francorum is ancestral to modern France, but also all of Western Europe…. And thus the USA. or, even the UN… I harp a bit on that once again in my latest essay, GASSING EARTH…
        PA

  6. Unbelievable Comfort: No Brain, No Pain | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] This robust religion kept peoples subjected. However, when Cortez showed up with 2,000 super warriors, those the Aztecs terrorized were enthusiastic to levee huge armies to help the Spaniards with the Hummingbird God. […]

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