The age old question of what is truth seems to be the proverbial question without an answer, but is that really the truth of the matter or is the truth of anything in some sort of a relative relationship to the person or social entity that raises the question in the first place? The essential drift of post-modernist thinking is that there is no such thing as the truth per se but rather many possible candidates for being thought of as the kind of relative truth that can never be thought of as being definitive in regard to anything other than perhaps the immediate question(s) at hand raised by any given factual type query. It’s the essential nebulousness of the post-modernist approach to truth that leads many to believe that such an approach respects the underlying quantum nature of the Universe given over to chance and/or the forever present forces of chaos that give shape to our reality through the means of chance that constitute the physical reality of the Universe.
Standing against this chance encounter with chance as the determining factor that governs ultimate reality is the quasi religious concept of creative chaos or intelligent design being the underlying factor that has used evolution as a means of creation. If one takes God out of this equation and considers such a prospect based solely upon the empirical evidence at hand, one then has a better opportunity to contain the facts to something relative to the discussion at hand. The epistemologies employed to get to the facts may seem strange to the uninitiated who are not familiar with certain bodies of work that are based as much upon a psychological or psychic perspective as upon the currently employed reductionist methods of today’s physical sciences.
So let’s get down to brass tacks and actual facts so as to better understand what we are talking about in the first place. Familiarity with the life’s work of such notables as Carl Jung and Teilhard de Chardin reveal the nature of a theory of sorts linking both the inner sanctum of mind and human consciousness with physical reality and the myriad of ways that reality chooses to express itself through what may appear to be the chaotic methods of chance but in reality are highly specific organizing patterns inherent in nature that Jung referred to as archetypes. Jung’s theory of Synchronicity was developed mutually with the physicist Wolfgang Pauli who had formerly been a patient of Jung’s at the Burgholzli Clinic. The fact that certain specific self generating patterns exist within nature was proven by Ernst Mandelbrot and his now famous self replicating Mandelbrot Equation that effectively replicates the action of living systems within any given closed environment such as exists here in our Earth environment. Jung’s statement that mathematics is the purest reflection of the unconscious mind, i.e. the mind of nature seems relevant in such a discussion as well.
The quantum Universe concept put forward as a result of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle seems to be at war with Einstein’s Universe where “God does not play with dice.” Dialectical thinking would reason that neither of these two Universal concepts are mutually exclusive and that when combined they represent the two poles of an objective/subjective reality that no one seems able to fully appreciate or understand completely but nevertheless have speculated about. These two poles of reality can perhaps be thought of as both an outer surface of matter that contains an inner core that emerged in the micro seconds after the Big Bang This is the theory of the origins of intelligent action inherent in matter proposed by Teilhard de Chardin. Over time measured in aeons this primitive factor of intelligence or memory inherent in matter led to the formation of consciousness best represented in our own era by the kind of human consciousness that we all take for granted without ever considering that such consciousness is not localized according to some theorists but actually a field phenomenon akin to magnetism.
The perfect framing of the question of “What is Truth?” put to the suffering Jesus by the Roman governor of Judea Pontius Pilot in the Gospel story of the Crucifixion represents the rational objective mind of Roman law as seen through the eyes of the story teller questioning the subjective inner psychic vision of the human being driven by the inner hidden meaning inherent in religious mythologies that form perhaps the mind of nature inherent in us by way of the unconscious mind that has its own way of making its presence known to the sensitives amongst us that in the ancient biblical culture of the Middle East formed the basis for the prophetic tradition. The two poles of the known epistemological approach to truth are neatly bought together by this Gospel parable that may or may not have had some actual connection to real historical events.
Science vs. religion is the way that this epistemological question is generally framed. There is little doubt that among those who assume themselves to be intelligent well informed people, science has won what is perceived as an entirely one sided debate. The active role of myths as a means to truth is defeated in the eyes of such people by the past oppressive history of organized religion that has in this one sided contest what can be thought of as a serious public relations problem. The power of myth however as the means to a kind of transpersonal transcendental truth that is not to be taken literally should not be discounted because of the past bad behavior of organized religion that bases its authority on the adopted myths of past ages that have less and less impact upon the human psyche of today. Such myths as constitute a legitimate spiritual or psychic experience are produced by and constitute the living archetypes that formed the basis of Jung’s life long speculations related to the unconscious mind and the subjective inner experience of the human psyche.
Myth as distinct from organized religion that for purposes of convenience lays claim to such is a different and distinct human psychic phenomenon that has nothing to do with the official statecraft that down through the ages has exploited popular myths by turning them into official dogmas as a means of solidifying state control over the masses. In our own era this phenomenon seems to be playing itself out in ways that expose organized religion for what it really is, i.e. a form despotism over the human mind and body that really has no usefulness in the modern era other than to continue to plague humanity with its utter irrationality and despotism. The ability of the evolving contemporary world civilization to come to terms with this irrationality imposed upon an often confused, psychologically disoriented, and demoralized working class will in all probability determine the future of the human race. It is not some non existent deity high up in the sky that will ultimately destroy humanity as suggested by the apocalyptic hallucinations of the Bible and Koran thumpers but human beings literally possessed by the demonic vision of God as the destroyer that they embrace as a kind of social and spiritual death wish that they seek to share and/or impose on the rest of us who have long since graduated from that particular backward and jejune school of belief.
The ignorance and backwardness of the masses can be thought of as a vital resource for ruling classes world wide that seek ever more desperately to exploit this time honored method of mass mind control for their increasingly brutal purposes. We in fact live in a new era where religion has replaced politics as the greatest source of dis-ease on the planet. This was a prediction made by the social psychiatrist Robert K. Lifton the author of Ideological Totalism back in the 1950s. A world order continually rocked by such backward religiously inspired conflicts is a world order in its final death rattle. There can be no mistake about that. It is the immorality of religion that is shockingly on display for all to see today. Indeed this shocking display brings into question the whole unexamined nature of morality and moral judgments. It also makes clear that religion as Professor Richard Dawkins points is an organized form of cruelty in spite of its grand pretentions to the contrary. It is a form of universal tribalism extended to fellow cult members who have no responsibility to share their synthetic tribal bond with those outside their particular faith community.
It is the discrediting of religion that will bring to the fore in the not too distant future a whole new way of examining this concept of morality. According to the French born Sufi mystic Rene Guenon/ Abd al-Wahid Yahya, morality as we know it is a completely invented Western concept that corresponds to nothing that is real but according to Nietzsche is the key ingredient in producing the slave mentality that holds the masses so affected in absolute bondage and serfdom. It is hard to argue with such a point of view when one examines the religiously inspired public obsession with what I would call gonad morality at the expense of any other much broader concept of right and wrong and the human responsibility for determining such in a rational way that is not prejudiced by the irrationality of religion.
A cursory examination of some of the facts related to the nature of gonad morality in contradistinction to a more authentic and real moral code might include the question as to why it has been determined by the US power structure to be an acceptable thing morally that half a million children in Iraq died as a result of the economic warfare referred to as “sanctions” but it warrants a life sentence in prison for someone such as the former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky who had what appears to be consensual sex of some sort with a few teen age boys in the shower room at Penn State. American society hysterically proscribes the later of these two behaviors but enthusiastically endorses and supports the former. Obviously this manner of so called “moral” behavior on the part of the American public has nothing to do with “protecting children” as the hysterical bible thumpers would have us believe and everything to do with sexual suppression which is the principle goal and purpose of organized religion in the first place because it perverts what sex researcher Reich called the natural “sex economy” of the individual. Religion is what the German psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich called it- “the anti-sex international.” Organized religion constitutes a social death wish based upon the unhealthy suppression of the normal healthy sex response in both children and adults. The increasingly apocalyptic vision of these organized death cults sheds light on the unhealthy nature of this sex obsessed morality that is no morality at all but just an anti-life force that itself constitutes one of the greatest threats to future human survival.
Perhaps it needs to be mentioned as well that according to Prof. Richard Dawkins author of The God Delusion that religion constitutes what he calls “organized cruelty” not only toward the members of any given confessional belief due to the kind of factor cited above but increasingly toward others who stand outside such increasingly apocalyptic cults that constitute a threat to the personal safety and well being of its cult of believers as well as those outside the cult. The obvious example of this in today’s news is the grotesque example of the cancer on Islam called IS/ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. Such manifestations as these of the cancerous growths on organized religions are bound to become more grotesque as they grow more common and accessible to the disaffected youth of the planet.
By adopting a Freudian perspective it could be argued however that Christianity as we know it as well as the other major religions of the world were historical necessities that were required to make the human beasts of a bygone era fit to live as civilized human beings capable of respecting if not loving other human beings such as themselves caught up in the new emerging civilizations of no longer independent city states but nations that required a new set of loyalties and social considerations. If religion was anything then it was a necessary social evil required to civilize the human beast in a way that left its marks only on the psyche thus preserving the physical body to do the work of building these new societies that broke down the old tribal distinctions in the various parts of the world were civilization seemed to be working and on the rise.
The suppression of the instincts of natural man was the price that had to be paid in order for civilization to work. Freud called this supreme act of suppression of the instincts sublimation and the reality of what this meant for man in the modern era became the subject material for Civilization and Its Discontents, one of the true masterpieces of psychoanalytic thought and the evolving science of psychology. It is the sublimation of the life force of the natural man into psychic channels that have value for the prevailing social order of any given era that enabled on the one hand social wealth to be created for the benefit of society but social misery in the form of neurosis to be the cost of such new found wealth for the natural man who now ceased to exist except in the deepest darkest recesses of the unconscious mind. A new creature was born out of this conflict between natural human instinct and the social needs of the many and the few who constituted this new thing called society that gave birth to civilization at the same time as it spelt psychic death for the natural man. The era of the Titans was over. The era of the Nibelungen had begun!
The great French prophet of the natural man by the name of Rousseau helped to open the floodgates of revolution in France in 1792 and in all of Europe more generally. The body and spirit of natural man was being resurrected in a way that would make sure that nothing would be the same thereafter. The modern era had thus begun in the usual inauspicious way, with the proverbial “shot heard round the world” and all the rest of the Jacobin violence that guaranteed that there was now no going back. The same morality play designed for the edification of the masses was performed in St. Petersburg in October 1917 with a similar christening in blood that took place in Encaterinburg indicating that here also in Russia there was no going back. Some of the energy of natural man had been released but in each case the old order began to assert itself in ways that bespoke the civilizational force of centuries and indeed ages that could not be turned back by a little bit of blood spilt even though the superstitions of the era indicated that such blood was royal.
The mentality of the slave and the serf still remained because religion still remained. It was the innate titanic energy of the natural man released through Rousseau’s revolution that became empowered by the new revelations of science that constituted the new god and religion of science that enabled the dawn of Friedrich Nietzsche’s superman to commence. The question that needs to be answered however is if the Nietzschian revolution of the superman is a revolution in human potential confined strictly to the one tenth of one percent of the human population that owns and controls capital? If that is the case then the old slave/serf order has once again reasserted itself. The religion of the superman quietly but confidently being embraced by the would be Wall Street masters of the universe can then be assumed to be the new form that Mithraism has taken in our own era that offers nothing useful to humanity other than the dawn of a new era of serfdom and economic slavery for the masses and the ability of the oligarchs of the planet to create themselves anew out of the materials supplied by science and technology. Such a possibility opens the door to the evolution of two different divergent stains of homo sapiens that over the speeded up time scale promised by technology will render two different and distinct species of something that can no longer be thought of as human.
One should not be confused by the disopian nature of this post-human future scenario that it can be in any sense redeemable by the social, moral, and spiritual standards of today. If such be the case then perhaps the enormous amount of capital and labor both physical and mental expended on the world’s various nuclear weapons arsenals may not have been wasted. This however is an altogether gloomy subject for present speculation and a less than healthy endeavor to engage in. The myth of progress as first espoused by G.F.W. Hegel a contemporary of the gloomy Arthur Schopenhauer portrayed the flow of human history as moving in one uniform direction altogether on a spectrum of ever increasing progress in all things.
Today there is a fair amount of evidence that suggests that Hegel’s positivism merely represented an entirely subjective viewpoint and the Zeitgeist of the times. Such a time was animated by the ever expanding nature of capitalist development that showered on Europe the wealth of the world bought home through the arts of commerce, empire, and the limited localized forms of warfare that prevailed in that era. In a very real sense there was every reason to be optimistic about the future and the human prospect for almost absolute happiness and contentment in that future era of unlimited progress. The World as Will and Idea as speculated upon by the gloomy but perhaps realistic Schopenhauer had much less to offer to the humanity of that era other than the triumph of the will in determining a human future that had nothing to do with progress or at least the kind of giddy self deluded vision of progress that was all to common for reasons both political and spiritual.
None of these mental speculations have any value however without an honest and forthright discussion and thoughtful consideration of the life’s work of the modernist social scientist and philosopher Karl Marx who according to some was not a philosopher at all but an economist and social scientist par excel lance whose life’s work changed everything and put paid to the glooming musings of Schopenhauer and his apostle Nietzsche. Marx as the most modern of economists defined history in a completely new direction that took the world by storm owing to the nature of the revelations revealed through his new science that has become known as Marxism because there basically is nothing else to call it owing to its uniqueness as a science and the methodologies employed by Marx to develop his science of economics and history to the point that he was able to.
The fact that Marx was no philosophizer in the strict sense of that term but a social scientist of the highest caliber put his life’s work on a whole different plane from those whose job it was to explain science to the uninformed and who had no problem with being labeled a philosopher. All the attempts of the lickspittles of the world’s various ruling classes to turn Marx into purely a philosopher have failed as it is only all to evident that Marxism is indeed a science no matter how incomplete or misappropriated it may seem to the total prospect of world revolution that the first three communist/socialist internationals set for themselves as the goal to be attained. Being a science based upon the positivist vision of progress embodied by Hegel in his A Philosophy of History, this radical new view of history was called historical materialism and indicated that all things human could be the subject of scientific speculation.
This was a prospect that was not at all enthusiastically welcomed by the master class whose parasitic existence was supported by the slave/serf morality promulgated by religious dogma. Indeed while the Roman Catholic Church had no issue with the Nazi regime of Adolph Hitler in regard to doctrinal matters and never threatened to expel from the body faithful Hitler or any of the other top Nazi officials in Germany responsible for the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity; the same generosity of spirit and good will did not apply to the followers of Marx who were anathematized from the start. Indeed it became the supreme mission of the Catholic Church under Pope Pius XII and his predecessor to defeat communism/socialism is all its possible manifestations thus indicating to all the world to see for themselves that Christianity as defined by the Vatican was not about human liberation but the continued imposition of slave/serf morality on the international working class in an effort to maintain in power the parasitic master class that the hierarchy of the Church was an integral part of.
The addendum to this is that the Roman Catholic Church had never been an absolutely monolithic institution but one where certain kinds of pushback from the various religious orders was to be expected and even tolerated by Rome. The French Communist Party as well as the Catholic Worker Party were both the result of an underground movement for radical social change within certain Catholic religious orders in France and elsewhere that were in sympathy with a Marxist perspective. The Liberation Theology of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s that played an active role in various armed Marxist liberation struggles in Latin America during this time frame was an indication of the fact that indeed a radical view of Christianity did exist within the Church during this period. So the question becomes not one of absolutes but rather more akin to Jung’s famous statement that psychologically speaking “over time everything tends to turn into its opposite.” If the dogmatic religious doctrines of another era that called themselves “Christian” were mere attempts to impose a slave/serf morality upon the populations of Europe and the Americas held captive by the ruling master class perhaps over time this master/slave class morality based upon a dogmatic version of state supported “Christianity” has in many way turned into its opposite and become useful to the masses as a means to their possible future emancipation from the structures of power imposed upon them by the contemporary version of crisis capitalism. One need not entertain false hopes that such a prospect may indeed come to pass but a critical examination the ability of the People’s Church to stand up to the dictates of Rome might reveal some interesting possible developments.
In regard to the post-modernist atheism of Friedrich Nietzsche, it should not be forgotten that in such works as Beyond Good and Evil, Ecce Homo, and most dramatically in Twilight of the Idols he claims that he and his philosophical clarifications about what religion really is, i.e. a social force directed against life itself; that such is the real essence of anti-Christ. This Nietzschian anti-Christ he explained was authentic natural man’s response to the slave morality imposed on humanity by the Christian churches and therefore the supreme element of their liberation from the despotism of religious irrationalism and dogma if properly understood. Nietzsche’s idea that reality resided in the human body and that proper attention needed to be paid to the body was in direct opposition to the asceticism of the church that had always taught that the human body was a source of temptation and therefore had to be mortified truth acts of self torture and self mutilation. The outright insanity of such an attitude toward the human body was continually stressed by Nietzsche.
The Christian myth regarding the resurrection of the human body in the end times seems to be suggestive of what is actually taking place today with an emphasis on new forms of physical culture and the public interest in physical fitness. The only question that then needs to be clarified is what is meant by such end time speculations that were part of the common parlance regarding early Christianity and have come into vogue again if not to use the methodology of myth to suggest to the human psyche of one era that that era that they knew and clung to would have an end and that a new era would be born either from the ashes of it phoenix like or that the old would simply give way to the new in the way that nature always renewed itself. That being the case one can see the sense of Jung’s statement that psychologically speaking over time everything turns into its opposite. The history of Christianity would be case in point for the truth of this. The anti-Christ would therefore be an image of Christ quite opposite to the early designs of apostolic Christianity that focused on the suffering and death epitomized by the crucifixion but rather on life and its fulfillment as well as a general resurrection of interest in the good health of the human body that we are seeing today.
The often too apparent inability of public intellectuals proselytizing the rationality of atheism seem pathologically incapable of looking at myth from either an anthropological perspective of the kind of psychological/psychoanalytic perspective pioneered by Jung and his many associates worldwide. It’s a shame and a real travesty that so many people in the social sciences and most especially the field of psychology have willfully chosen to ignore the life’s work of C.G. Jung and his associates over the years since his death in 1962. One has to assume that this is perhaps for political reasons but then again how could this be the case when the life’s work of Martin Heidegger is so ballyhooed within the ranks of academic philosophers and no one doubts the sheer genius of Werner Heisenberg the German physicist and one time ardent Nazi Party member who the inventor of Quantum Mechanics.
It’s all a mystery to me but I think that the reason why such renowned atheists and public intellectuals as Christopher Dawkins, Sam Harris, the late Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett have chosen to ignore Jung who is much akin to Marx by way of the unique nature of his genius is because of their worshipful attitude toward the physical sciences. As others have suggested it is a kind of sciencism that dominates their perspective which in the long run detracts from their work as public intellectually who really do have an important message that they are attempting to bring into a much larger public debate about organized religion. I think that people are interested in their message and that there is still a lot to be done in regard to dealing with the dangerous and life threatening irrationality of organized religion and the various cancers of such that have broken out on the world stage. These groups such as ISIS are an affront to our common humanity and need to be liquidated in the most expedition manner possibly. It is the West however and particularly the US national security state that is largely responsible for supporting such Islamo-fascists groups out of the expediency of the moment for purposes of regime change in the Arab/Islamic world. This is something else that I never hear the fab four of contemporary atheism mention in any of their books or speaking engagements. The blind spot that they have in regard to making such forthright criticisms of the policy of the West and in particular the leading nation of the West the USA that has used and exploited Islamo-fascism suggests a kind of moral cowardice on their part that needs to be criticized and critiqued.