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If you think you know what the hell is going on, you’re probably full of shit

The above quote is from the American author, thinker, and countercultural icon, Robert Anton Wilson (1932-2007). He is best known for his groundbreaking work in the realms of philosophy, psychology, and conspiracy theory. Wilson's most well-known book, The Illuminatus! Trilogy, co-authored with Robert Shea, combined satire, science fiction, and conspiracy theories, challenging conventional thinking and celebrating the absurdity of existence.

It is worth noting that Wilson's writings, heavily influenced by Timothy Leary and the psychedelic movement, emphasized the importance of questioning reality, exploring altered states of consciousness, and promoting individual freedom. His Prometheus Rising and Quantum Psychology continue to inspire those seeking to expand their minds and challenge societal norms. Wilson's irreverent humor and intellectual curiosity have left an indelible mark on counterculture and alternative thought.

I came across the quote recently on the opening page of Jason Arnopp’s 2016 debut black comedy novel The Last Days of Jack Sparks, which in my opinion is a must-read.

For those who have not heard of Jason Arnopp, he is a British author celebrated for his contributions to horror and suspense literature. Born in 1974, Arnopp has crafted a diverse body of work spanning novels, screenplays, and journalism.

The Last Days of Jack Sparks, has garnered widespread acclaim for its unique blend of horror, humor, and metafictional elements. Arnopp's writing is characterized by its relentless pacing and innovative narrative structures, often delving into psychological and supernatural terrains. His talent for creating chilling atmospheres and complex characters has cemented his status as a prominent voice in contemporary horror.

Back to the Wilson quote.

Reading it, I could not help but think of Netanyahu and his band of merry men and women.

Is there enough toilet paper in the world to clear up the shit they have made? A rhetorical question.

In The Last Days of Jack Sparks, Arnopp’s character, Jack Sparks decides to debunk the supernatural. Jack laughs his way through a gruesome exorcism he is convinced is a fake, only to find strange things happening to him afterward. Nothing is stranger than the video uploaded to his website appearing to show a real ghost.

In debunking the supernatural, Jack Sparks questions the need for religion.

Challenged about his drug use, which he detailed in a prior book, Sparks maintains that “just like drugs, religion is for the weak”.

I am much taken by American politician, actor, and retired professional wrestler Jesse Ventura and his take on religion. "Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers".

Interesting thought?

So is religion for the weak-minded?

There is a great deal of philosophy to be found in religion, but with religion, everything is already set. All the questions are already answered and the ones that are not are usually unimportant and dismissed because God knows everything.

This is what separates theology from philosophy.

With theology, you have a set of principles already in place and built off from these principles, as if you are restrained in your bubble of thought that is blocked by other perspectives. With philosophy, you know nothing, and everything is up for review and discussion — the purpose in life, morals, existence, and the possibility of God.

Is religion for people who can not handle these thoughts?

People who can not handle the idea that they know nothing, people who can not deal with the lack of meaning in life, people who can not build their morals. Instead of dealing with reality, they look to religion where all the answers are already set for them, where they do not have to struggle with complex topics and concepts to grasp, and can just live happily believing that they are going to end up in heaven. It's like surrounding your mind with happy delusions, blocking yourself off from reality, pretending that it doesn't exist and only your perception of reality is the correct one.

Are religious people closed, weak-minded, and delusional?

Why are religious people open to being led, told what to think, and what to do, and generally have their lives managed for them? Are they incapable of free thinking?

Why is it impossible to have a productive philosophical discussion with religious people? By default, they dismiss all opposing thoughts, with the principle that they alone are correct rather than being open to another point of view. What are they scared of?

Simply put, you can never triumph in a conversation with a negative person. They only hear what suits them and listen to what are their responses.

The religious dogma, some calling it brainwashing, can also be found outside of established spiritual societies.

Take the case of North Korea, or to give the country its official name the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" (DPRK).

It’s laughable that the word ‘democratic’ appears in the country’s official name. There is zero democracy in North Korea.

There is no religion in North Korea other than the worship and adoration of the Kim dynasty.

The strict control and censorship of religious materials, including Bibles and other religious texts, in North Korea can be attributed to several factors:

1. State Atheism: North Korea officially practices a form of state atheism, where the government promotes the belief that there is no higher power other than the state and its leader, currently Kim Jong-un. The regime views religious beliefs as a threat to its ideology and control.

2. Control of Information: The North Korean government tightly controls information and propaganda. Allowing religious texts or materials from outside sources could introduce ideas and beliefs that conflict with the state's ideology and control over the population.

3. Suppression of Outside Influence: North Korea has a history of isolating itself from the outside world to prevent the influence of foreign ideologies. Allowing religious materials from other countries could lead to the spread of religious beliefs and ideas that may undermine the government's control over the population.

4. Perceived Threat to the Regime: The regime often views religious organizations and movements as potential threats because they can provide alternative sources of authority and community outside of the state. This is especially true for Christianity, which has a significant following in neighboring South Korea.

5. Human Rights Concerns: The ban on religious materials is also a human rights issue, as it infringes on the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. However, human rights violations in North Korea are widespread, and the government's priority has historically been to maintain control rather than protect individual rights.

It's important to note that religious persecution in North Korea is part of a broader pattern of human rights abuses in the country, which includes forced labor camps, political repression, and strict censorship of information. The situation in North Korea is highly complex, and access to accurate information about the country is limited due to its isolation and the regime's tight control over its citizens and external communication.

While I am not comparing North Korea’s outlook on organized religion with that of the Haridim or ultranationalists here in Israel, look closely and you can see many touchpoints.

And that is fear-provoking.

Given even more power, the Haridim and ultranationalists will create an Israel that mimics Iran and Afganstein.


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