Ignore Moods, Ignore Minds.


It seems to me that some of Wittgenstein’s views on religion boil down to him trying to say: There is an emotional logic which accompanies “religion”, but it doesn’t reduce to geometric logic(Compare with Pascal, three centuries earlier: “Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison n’a point”… Heart has its reasons, that reason does not have.)

One has to talk precisely, and with discernment: religious beliefs come in two different types: secular and superstitious.

Football is a religion for its fanatics, so is patriotism (doing like one’s fathers), so is the Republic (consider Republican Rome and the heroes who gave their lives for it)… Then there are beliefs like monarchism, or Confucianism, nearly a superstition. Then there are outright superstitions. Superstitions believe extraordinary things, which, as their label denotes, stand above (reality), like blind love for the god who wants to kill children, or the prophet who flew on a winged horse to Jerusalem, or the hummingbird god, etc.

So one should distinguish between superstition based religions and religions based on tying up together again (re-ligare)… without any superstitious element… call the latter secular religions.  

There is a huge difference, an unfathomable abyss, between superstitious religions and secular religions. The latter has a reference: the genus Homo. The former, superstition, refer to the inhuman: god. Superstition based religion asks to believe, all the same, in something unbelievable: it asks to commit to a faith in… irrationality. Once one has left irrationality at the door, one has committed the greatest fraud and sacrifice against human nature. Then everything else is permitted, such as killing the innocents. It’s no accident: that was the aim. Consider the Tangut empire, a Buddhist empire (destroyed by Genghis Khan). There the slightest fault was punished by death.

This is the main interest of superstitious religions for potentates: teaching the subjects to leave reason at the door, robbing them of their free will. In the Tangut empire, the top dogs had the right to have sex with all and any brides (Genghis Khan didn’t like that).

Wittgenstein seems to have suggested that logical expression in different groups can be connected to different emotions. For example “God is Great” means “the universe is great” for the followers of the Abrahamist cults. Indeed.

But Abrahamist emotions at their peak were much stronger and nefarious: when in full control, the Abrahamist cults killed dozens of millions or more, burned libraries, 99.9% of books, eradicated most science, terrorized populations and thinkers for many centuries, throwing civilization off its tracks.

For example in the Thirteenth Century 4 to 5 millions Cathars  got exterminated by the Papacy, in several countries, down to the last person. And all their books. The reason to mention the Cathars is that they were hyper pacifist, to the point of vegetarianism (some of them ate fish, though…) Cathars rejected all wealth and materialism. There were Cathars all the way to Constantinople, where the faith got established long before it was in France. There were female Cathar bishops (“parfaites”). Many were tortured, burned alive by the sexist Catholic male chauvinist pigs. (Cathars were “Christians”… but not Catholic, thus exterminable according to Roman emperor Theodosius’ decrees of 380 CE…)

Cathar Parfaite (a Cathar bishop) flogged prior to being burned alive. Thirteenth Century Catholic amusement. Catholics, who detested women from the start, hated the gender equality of the Cathars. The Cathar ,

The holocaust of the gentle Cathars by Catholicism illustrates perfectly the insane cruelty and power obsession of the Catholic sect.

So the Abrahamists  don’t just mean “the universe is great”, when they say “god is great“. They mean: “I have decided that my god is so great He gave me a reason to kill you, if you don’t submit to me”. One can see this logical emotion at work in Arabia and the Middle East, to this day. One saw this logical emotion at work in the Americas.

One of the conquistadores ordered the massacre of the nation west of the Aztecs, which was at always been at peace with Spain. He thoroughly explained his cynical usage of religion. He said, his true aim was not at all to impose “Christ”, but not to leave a free, strong, fully armed, technologically advanced, smart Native American state in Mexico. Religion was just a pretext, he shrugged, when he wrote his justifications in his old age.

Believing in nonsensical stuff fabricates neurohormones and a way to use the brain in common: it fabricates inhuman robots all programmed the same, subscribing to the defense of the organization (the “faith”).

Jesus rose from the grave” is not just fake news, it is a way to have similarly twisted brains in common. It is goose stepping in a common robotization of the mind, the most basic way to build a human community. It can be efficient. Hence the Catholic Church is the world’s oldest institution.

What Wittgenstein may have tried to say, is that there is emotional logic, and humanity crucially depends on it. Logic is not just all about the games languages play.

The evidence is strong: axons are the wormholes of the brain, carrying information far away and speedily. They incarnate geometrical logic. However they are built from neurohormonal topology… the emotional logic! The emotions, the moods!

One can ignore moods, but they rule minds.

Patrice Ayme



Note 1: the preceding was a comment on a murky essay in Aeon: “Wittgenstein and religion In the case atheists vs religious belief, Ludwig Wittgenstein is called to the stand. Whose side does his testimony serve?” The title says it all: Wittgenstein was full of mumbo-jumbo. However, his family was one of the top plutocratic families in Austria-Hungary, so he was like god to English plutocrats, Bertrand Russell and his ilk. And, generally, in the plutophile Anglosphere, Wittgenstein and his rocky wit still has divine status….


Note 2: The essay made a big deal of an old Christian quandary: trying to deny the existence of god by pointing at evil is only a problem if one believes that “god” is a good god. But assuredly, the god of the old testament is worse than the worst human tyrants, so it’s both devil and the good lord. Building on this, Islam postulates that Satan and Jinns exist… apparently independently of Allah. In the Qur’an, Allah is asked why, and He replies: mind your own business, understanding this is beyond you, humans.

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12 Responses to “Ignore Moods, Ignore Minds.”

  1. SDM Says:

    Superstitious religions- if you don’t believe, then you lack that essential element- faith. Abandon reason and critical thinking to be one of the faithful. Why are so many willing to do so even if not at the point of death? And what does that tell us about humanity?


  2. G Max Says:

    Beyond us humans? As you point out, they cut heads just because they want to, and believing their God is the greatest allow them to do that in good conscience
    Never heard of that story in Mexico, would you mind giving more details? Came blank on Google


  3. Nathan Daniel Curry Says:

    Ha. This is classic Patrice. The abrahamic tradition includes Islam, Christianity and Judaism. There are at least 20 000 denominations in the Christian Faith.

    But to find a human being who knows how to interpret those mystical traditions is rare. I’ve never met a churchgoer who got it. And so you speak of this vast cultural scene as a cult and confuse the power of allegory with the failings of the “world of Caesar” and you mirror your own descent into judgment of a judgment.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The Roman empire failed in a cascade of failures, starting with plutocracy unchained. The catastrophic stage started with emperor Constantine’s invention of Catholicism. Constantine was a butcher, an assassin of his family, a mass murderer of all the Egyptian priesthood.

      The terminal stage was reached when Roman emperor Theodosius I made heresy potentially a capital crime, at the pleasure of the emperor. Then things were as I said. Facts, not classic Patrice. Catholicism is a culture, just like Nazism, and related to it.

      Remember the 5 millions Cathars killed by the Catholics. I descend when I stoop down into Catholicism and Nazism, right… But someone has to do it… Catholicism is not just a cult, it’s the forerunner of Stalinism, in the sense of one man inventing a metaphysics to serve himself.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nathan Daniel Curry Says:

    The 23 Sutra of the first chapter of the yoga sutras says:

    Faith colors perception. What we have faith in creates limitless possibilities.

    Just because a fool uses a spade to kill a man does not mean a spade cannot be used harmoniously to til the earth. Just because fools rush in where angels fear to tread doesn’t mean that the mystical dimension of myth is lost. It is there to those with the ears to hear, with discernment.

    Joseph Campbell listed the four reasons for mythology as:

    Myth basically serves four functions. The first is the mystical function,… realizing what a wonder the universe is, and what a wonder you are, and experiencing awe before this mystery….The second is a cosmological dimension, the dimension with which science is concerned – showing you what shape the universe is, but showing it in such a way that the mystery again comes through…. The third function is the sociological one – supporting and validating a certain social order…. It is the sociological function of myth that has taken over in our world – and it is out of date…. But there is a fourth function of myth, and this is the one that I think everyone must try today to relate to – and that is the pedagogical function, of how to live a human lifetime under any circumstances.
    Joseph Campbell,


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Mythology, just like faith, is not an option, it’s a fact, something which can’t be avoided. So to celebrate mythology is exactly like celebrating logic, or discourse, or culture… or breathing. Yeah, right…
      Not all mythologies are the same. I don’t think Aztec mythology gets the People’s vote, at this point. Nor does Theodosius I’s Catholicism, with his punishment of heresy by burning alive (something historiographically traced to Saint Paul… A burner of books and libraries, and would-be incendiary of people themselves, lest they stray from Saint Paul’s mythology)


  5. Nathan Daniel Curry Says:

    Nathan Daniel Curry Campbell reduced mythology to one question:

    What is talking?

    Is it wisdom? Pride? Insight? Ignorance?
    And it does it through the stories of gods and heroes.

    The mystical meaning of Jihad is to overcome your anger and negativity. That’s the holy war within.

    Now you go read Neville Goddard’s talk on the crucifixion and there you have a dynamic interpretation of the meaning of the myth. Just like species myths come and go and myths are suited for the time. Look at South Korea after the war. Massive influx of money, english teachers, American missionaries and Christianity. It has Ten Commandments. Quite similar to Confusianism in terms of moral order. But you aren’t ordered to do your mother in law’s dishes as a wife – in Christianity (whenever she wants it). So Christianity spread to South Korea and grew exponentially. Many folk of Jewish roots and Protestant and Catholic in the developed world took up Buddhism. Carl Jung mused to a medicine man in Africa that he loved Africa the most of all the places he had visited on earth. The medicine man said he should move to Africa. Jung responded that he was a medicine man in his culture and among its mythos he plied his trade.

    The British and French fought over the Middle East. It was mostly camel and goat herders. Especially camels where Wahhabism came up. Such societies are often warring Chieftains. And as Campbell said three buildings have defined the world:

    The temple
    The state building
    The skyscraper

    The temple is the domain of priests built around charismatic leaders or the myths associated with them.

    The state house is the political power. Saudi is split between the two – with the latest crown prince radically reducing the power of the temple.

    And then there are the skyscrapers that power big oil.

    Do the investigation into Wahhabism and you find the justices that believers believe govern.

    Including medieval practices.

    Similarly there is abuse of power in St Paul’s instituted legacy. I was once in Ecuador and I visited the cathedral in Quito. On one side of the courtyard was a monastery and on the other a nunnery. They found a secret passage underneath. Full of 1 foot coffins. All the babies that the nuns conceived with the monks. Aborted secretly. So many crazy things are done in the name of religion.

    But myth is part of the deeper process of self confidence and guidance in the world of mirrors where faith is found, seeded and planted.


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