Why All Religions Are Ticking Time bombs--Updated 12/28/2011
Teach Children to Trust the Wisdom Within Themselves
Terrorists Are Made, Not Born
It's three days after Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, and almost everyday now there's news about sectarian violence. Not only does that mean religious violence, but specifically violence between different groups of the same religion. In other words, a religion fighting and killing its own people. Then, there's the story about a nine-year-old girl in Israel being heckled and spat upon by grown men of an ultra-orthodox Jewish belief, because she didn't meat their dress code, although she was modestly dressed by any other standard. These ultra-orthodox sects of any religion are not satisfied with having the freedom to live the way they chose, but are "hell-bent" on stealing the freedom of others and forcing them to live as they live. Although called "extremists" and "terrorists," these people really highlight the common time bomb that's buried just beneath the surface of ALL religions, ready to destroy whatever belief systems threatens theirs.
If there were any doubt about the incendiary nature of religious belief, the following quote says it all. Now, even the name of God is considered the rightful possession of one religion that is actually ready and willing to kill and destroy for it:
"Three churches were fire bombed in the Malaysian capital early Friday escalating religious tensions over the use of word “Allah” by non-Muslims, as government and opposition leaders joined to defuse the situation. As the majority Muslims angered over the decision last week by the High Court to let Christians use the word “Allah” while referring to God were preparing to hold protest during Friday prayers, a church in the suburbs was fire bombed around midnight." (http://beta.thehindu.com/news/international/article77778.ece) Then, there is Pastor Jones of a small Christian church of about fifty-eight people in Florida, who caused a global upheaval by announcing that he would hold a Koran burning to commemorate the anniversary of 911 this year, 2010. Even though he was finally dissuaded, because of his threat against the holy book of Islam, at least twenty people were killed in riots in different countries.
The insanity and very real danger of religious belief systems is now crystal clear. No religion is exempt, because all belief systems have the inherent potential for violent extremism, as history clearly teaches us. You'll also remember that the news was dominated for a weeks by the horrific slaughter of soldiers by one of their own, and on their on soil. The evidence is increasingly obvious that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood gunman, acted out of some kind of religious motive, either because he was defending his religion, or because he was bullied because of his religion. Here is clear evidence of the deep-seated, addictive force of beliefs in even the most highly-educated and highly-trained in our society.
There is increasing news from all over the world pointing to violence among various religious groups based specifically on the differences of their beliefs. Most recently, i.e. October 2010, a Catholic church in Iraq was stormed by Islamic extremists, and in the ensuing battle to free the hostages, more than fifty were killed. The group that claimed responsibility issued a statement saying that the purpose of the attack was to rid Iraq of all Christians. Christians in Iraq are now being advised by the head of the Catholic Church there to leave their own country for their safety.
If we are honest in our hearts, we know that most human beings are children in adult bodies. My daughter said it best: "Most people are impersonating adults." All we have to do is look around and see the yelling and disrespect at health-care town hall meetings, the parental violence at child sporting events, suicide bombers, other forms of terrorist activity, hate crimes, racial prejudice. These few are examples of the deadly effects of an immaturity that requires subconscious systems of beliefs to support that kind of behavior. We can't afford this immaturity any longer, because it is especially lethal in the small space that our world is becoming. We can all see how fast our world is getting smaller, how quickly we are becoming a global community, like or not. Blending a family isn't easy, because the most critical piece of putting together a blended family or global community are the belief systems that always separate us.
Babies are born innocent, and then are corrupted with belief systems. I could not help thinking of this as I looked into the beautiful, innocent face of my three-month-old grandson. He will grow up to be a balanced, integrated, wonderful human being, because his close circle will protect him from such destructive programing. Once programed, belief systems are such an integral part of who we are that they are barely visible on the conscious level. Every belief system is connected to some source of emotion. Because of this, every belief system contains the seeds of violence. There is no such thing as an innocuous belief system, just as there is no such thing as an innocuous gun or can of gasoline. Under the right circumstances, they can all destroy.
What is a belief system, and how do they affect the mind?
A belief is the acceptance of someone or something solely based on the word of another who is seen as having more authority.
A belief system is a cohesive, fixed set of beliefs that has a life of its own within a group and gives life to that group.
3. A belief system is not based on proven fact otherwise it would be considered knowledge; and so, by its very nature, it must be systematically defended and protected.
4. A belief system, at best, can only tolerate non-believers, because to do more would jeopardize its own integrity and existence.
5) By its very nature, then, any belief system is potentially divisive and volatile.
Religions, nations, and all other ideologies have systems of beliefs that are designed to govern and control the daily lives of the people who subject themselves to their influence. Because of this, the possibility that the nations of the world can actually develop a working relationship within the close intimacy in which we are increasingly finding ourselves is impossible without a fundamental change in how we understand our belief systems.
Belief systems have developed from the necessity of parental control to protect children in their early development. The human infant is the most vulnerable of mammals and must be protected for an exceedingly long time before it can defend itself. So, societies have developed systems of beliefs designed to control, guard and protect their young.
Unfortunately, these systems are generally not replace with the self-confidence of knowing that every individual has within themselves a self-actualizing ability capable of guiding and protecting them. From birth, children are systematically focused outside of themselves to seek experts for answers instead of helping them understand that they have their own. What happens is that individuals reach physical maturity without emotional maturity, and so continue to seek the guidance of outside authority commonly found in organized religion or government.This, of course, also makes them a lot easier to control.
The basis, then, of all belief systems is fear, the fundamental, subconscious fear that one cannot take care of oneself and cannot know what is for ones best interest. So, vast numbers of people continue to look outside of themselves for authority figures and a community of like-minded individuals guided by a system of beliefs that control them and make them feel secure and safe. It is also this fear that demands that a group's belief system be defended even to death, if need be, because without the belief system the group itself could not exist. So, we have the examples of the martyrs, suicide bombers, the Inquisition, and all the many religious wars throughout human history. One of those wars, the Crusades first fought in the tenth century, is still being waged today as a "holy war," only with modern, devastating weapons and with possible, horrible consequences for our global family. During the attack in Mumbai, India, where over a hundred and fifty innocent people were slaughtered, in newly-released audio, one terrorists is heard saying to other, "Today is a wonderful day, because you are going to heaven." How horrible to think that the human mind can be twisted to such an extreme by insane beliefs.
Belief systems are not necessary for balanced, integrated, emotionally mature individuals who know who they truly are and what they are really capable of. These people are the ones who know that every precise answer they will ever need in their lives is within them exactly when they need it. They know that they can protect themselves from danger and provide for their basic needs and more. They have no need to convince others to believe as they do, because they have no belief system to promote. They are capable of free and open relationships because they have nothing to defend. They live lives free of fear and the dangerous and demoralizing prejudice that, by its very nature, is hidden in every belief system.
It is time for us to reach maturity as fully developed human beings. We are the only species that has the ability to screw ourselves up; the only one that can become less than our nature allows. Albert Einstein said that we cannot solve a problem at the same level of thinking that created it. The good news is that there is a new mind already within us that can solve the problem. There is a way to use that new mind to consciously evolve and release ourselves from damaging belief systems we do not need. Then, we can stand together as emotionally mature human beings who are ready to mobilize our common resources to support, protect, and defend each other. This is true community and the kind of world that is in our future if we begin the process of cleansing our own minds of unnecessary belief systems and teaching our children how to use the natural wisdom within them.
For more information about the authentic power we already have and how to teach children to become balanced, integrated human beings, learn about the new model of the mind that can replace the old, outdated fearful one that feeds on dangerous, divisive beliefs to survive.
Copyrighted 2009, Stephen G. Scalese