- Religion and Philosophy»
- The Role of Religion in History & Society
'We Don't Need Another Hero'
Neo, The 'One', the Savior in the Matrix trilogy
The Savior Story is Universally Timeless
For over five thousand years, the psychological operating system of human beings has been powered by a program called the ‘savior meme’. A meme is the psychological equivalent of our biological genes. Memes are latent cultural ideas, thoughts and beliefs that are activated generally by repetition, until they become part of the cultural DNA.
"Hero-worship is strongest where there is least regard for human freedom." ~ Herbert Spencer
Hero Worship - The Cultural Lowest Common Denominator: "In relation to people, they are the simplest group in a population. They have the simplest opinions, the simplest views and the simplest lifestyles. They are the unsophisticated (which is not correlated to the amount of happiness they have - in fact, living a simple life may make you even more happy than living a sophisticated one). Because these people do not think as much as a sophisticated person, they tend to be more naive and more gullible to gut feelings, and the ingrained culture and social laws that are around them. Their trust is easily earned."
Often called the 'silent majority', the lowest common denominator (LCD) brothers and sisters among us tend to see religious and cultural myths as literal truth. That Jesus was literally 'born' of a virgin, or that George Washington literally could not tell a lie about chopping down the cherry tree. Not that the LCD are intellectually deficient. They are emotionally attached to the myths and stories as they are, they do not want or need to peel back the layers, to see into the tales metaphorically, to make connections to their own personal lives with the hero's journey.
The ancient global savior legends are numerous, and at the foundation of a majority of cultural and religious myths. Those ancient savior myths were intended to pass down truths from generation to generation. They were stories with philosophical, cosmological and intuitive wisdom. These stories were layered with meanings that revealed themselves as one grew in life experience. Astronomical and Astrological knowledge was passed from generation to generation by legends and myths played out by celestial characters given human attributes.
We Battle Our Own Self-Created Beasts
Cultural Mythologies That Bind
has some astoundingly enlightening teachings on the power of culture and myths, the hero's journey, and how ancient stories and epics are actually metaphorical, dramatized descriptions of one’s own inner journey to genuine self-actualization. All the colorful epic battles with serpents, 'devils', monsters and demons, signify our inner journey, encountering our fears and resistance to change. All the savior heroes from Jesus to King Arthur, from Odysseus to Hercules, from Horus to Odin, are relations to our own personal challenges. The stories were meant to typify one’s own inner struggles with monsters of our own cultural creation. Joseph Campbell
About five thousand years ago, coinciding with the rise of imperial nation-states, the cultural savior-hero stories started to be manipulated into the personality cults of emperors and tyrants. These nation states starting with Egypt's later dynasties, and passed to Greece, then Rome, which perfected the personification and projection of the savior hero onto the ruler of a nation. The people became as children seeking protection and having their needs provided for; while Caesar, the authoritarian hero father protected and fed the 'family'.
Towards the end of the classic Roman Empire, between 300AD and 400AD; with Rome's influence waning and being challenged, Rome morphed into the Holy Roman Empire. Rome psychologically maneuvered an earlier movement that was growing among the masses called; "The Way", a personal method of discovering ones inner divinity and power, this 'way' was taught by a man named Jesus of Nazareth. Rome twisted Jesus' teachings into a savior-sacrifice cult that inspired its believers to project their own divinity and power onto a fantasy savior-hero story of Rome's creation. The people were dependent on Rome once again; not for protection and providing sustenance, but for salvation from spiritual hell and damnation. The Holy Roman Empire became the richest, most wide reaching and powerful empire known to man, and remains so till this day.
You are The Hero of Your Life
Being Your Own Beloved
"To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment." ~ Eckhart Tolle
Humanity is emerging from a long dark night of ignorance and domination by men full of their own fears. Many people are awakening from the fear of their own minds; people are re-discovering the inner journey and freeing themselves from the constricted culturally imposed stories of limited resources, fear of the foreign others, and are embracing self-sufficiency spiritually, psychologically and physically. We have realized that we are the saviors we've been waiting for. No politician, religious figure, or extraterrestrials are coming to 'save us'. Not saying that extraterrestrials don't exist, but they're probably waiting for us to grow up. Waiting for humanity to stop projecting our own innate divinity and sovereignty onto fantasized religious figures, or politicians that supposedly have all the answers. We are not born into this world to worship another, we shouldn't be responsible to a system that extracts your self worth, and reduces you to service to it.
When humanity sufficiently matures, we will create systems that serve us, not vice versa. We will be beholden to our own hearts, conscience, and each other. Not obligated to who the preacher, politician, or who the man on the television says we are.
The next hero-savior story that you read, internalize it; it is an inner self portrait, with all the characters, passions, drama and humor that is your life. It is the story of you.
You Have A Purpose
'It' Is In You...Yes, You
“You enter the forest
at the darkest point,
where there is no path.
Where there is a way or path,
it is someone else's path.
You are not on your own path.
If you follow someone else's way,
you are not going to realize
your potential.” ~ Joseph Campbell
Time To Be
Personalize your favorite myths and stories. The journey of Odysseus is in you, you are Moses symbolically parting the Red Sea of life's difficulties...In your alone time, you are Jesus spending forty days in the desert, facing your greatest adversity, yourself. You are Osirus, reborn of Horus' dismembered body, gathered by Isis, Isis is also you. You are Neo, learning from Morpheus, resurrected by Trinity, yes, you're Morpheus and Trinity too.
But as Joseph Campbell says...'we are to make out own path in the dark forest of life.' The hero/saviors of those myths are simply demonstrating that it can be done. You will surely die, die to your old fearful self, but as those heroes have shown us, death is not the end, it is the beginning.
One Love, Thank you for Reading
© 2015 Duane Townsend