Saturday, April 2, 2016

Nature Doesn't Lie

 I had a chemistry professor in college whose favorite sayings was, Nature doesn't lie. What he meant was that if the data that you gathered contradicted your pet theory, it was your theory that had to be modified or thrown out, not the data. He wasn't even dealing with superstitious people but graduate students who were still learning to think like chemists and scientists.

Meanwhile there are right-wing Christian zealots who attempt to throw out data that don't match their brain-dead ancient theories. They often argue that the data are sent to deceive us by scientists in cahoots with Satan. Some even dress up like scientists to award themselves doctorate degrees from faux institutions like the Institute for Creation Research.

Humanity has been constantly learning and nurturing its own Tree of Knowledge since it found language in the synergy among the Holy Trinity of (1) opposable thumbs, (2) a cerebral function for mapping the immediate surroundings, and (3) color stereoscopic vision. As language grew out of this symbolic mapping of the world, knowledge became communal in long-lived ongoing dialogs that outlived their discoverers. The oral tradition of stories embodied a people's knowledge until books came along.

Along with knowledge of the physical world, we have, with fear and trembling, worked out a sense of morality, and the arc of knowledge has led us out of stubborn egocentric stupidity, flat earth, grandiose geocentric solar systems, and a conviction that we are at the center of the universe. We have shed our absolutes and found greater truth in the relativity of being. Indeed, truth superseded grandiosity and egocentricity as a moral value.

Knowledge, by which I mean not "This is Saturday" or "My name is Mason" or "I'm hungry," but the greater facts that will outlive the individual, like "You can start a fire this way" or "These berries are safe to eat and tasty" or "This is how you make a book that will last" moved from oral tradition into print media. If texts identified specific individuals, those were typically heroes, divine embodiments of a culture's virtues. But generally the human thread in cultural writing focused not on a person but on the people, the collective consciousness of a nation. All this went first into carefully preserved epics told orally around the campfire. Then clay tablets and scrolls of papyrus and leather held the fragile truth, but finally we arrive at books.

Books, a medium beyond the scroll and the clay tablet, but beginning to be superseded by other electronic media, have long contained knowledge and the ongoing discussions of wisdom and morality. A truly moral person keeps abreast of the flux of knowledge, wisdom, and morals. Unfortunately, religious people of our day cling to an ossified snapshot of physical and moral knowledge from several millennia ago. The reason this happens is simple: the great powers have used religion as a system of controlling the people they colonize. Yet the religion used to colonize is not organic: it is imposed from without to assure that everyone is on the same page of the colonizer's agenda, and it is not permitted to change in the natural way that real knowledge does. As such, Control pits itself against nature in a war over truth.

Since power is vested in Control's need to deny Nature, we live in a world full of absurdity, not merely in, say, "think tanks" like the Institute for Creation Research, but throughout the very fabric of reality, which is constructed out of our shared language. Because mass media allow manipulation of language, our entire realities are modified so that the Colonial world becomes an absolute truth and Lies of Nature pop up everywhere like mushrooms in the forests of Washington.

To achieve real salvation means coming to terms with the most contemporary thinking because it satisfies our hunger for truth, wisdom, and morality.

Finally, let's take a quick look at the distinction between organic and official spiritual systems. Humanity naturally seeks its own expression of spirituality, which we can define as the relationship between individuals and the universe at large. The state has long used that impulse by usurping it and using it as a means of control. So if a culture is lucky enough to still contain vestiges of its native spirituality, then a comparative chart between the native culture and the external culture imposed by the usurpers would look, in part, something like this:

Native Culture
Alien Official Culture
Culture grows upward from the grassroots
Culture is imposed from the top
Culture comes from people
Culture comes from corporations
Invented it ourselves
Foreign and foisted upon us
Motivated by our own benefit (which is not necessarily monetary)
Motivated for the profit of others
Religion tends to be matriarchal, celebratory, and centered in the home
Religion tends to be patriarchal, controlling, and institutional
Female nudity is beautiful
Female nudity is shameful