Do Religions, Governments, the Law, Medicine, and Universities really destroy Spirituality, Liberty, Justice, Health, and Knowledge respectively, as Gandhi claimed? Read this book and find out the Truth for yourself!
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THE OLD BOYS' CLUBTHE MAHATMA'S "5" TRUISMS
By HERMAN A. HALLER
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2008 Herman Haller
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWHAT'S WRONG WITH RELIGION, ANYWAY?
Everything, unless you are God from whose perch somewhere in the cosmic clouds the universe looks just fine as it is! Of course, if you are a pantheist, then god's perch is everywhere, which only shows that the Almighty is quite willing to accommodate all of his children's expectations with regard to himself. But since we are no gods and are bound by this Earth's dualism and relativity - you know the ups and downs, the good and the bad, etc. and this all without any absolute benchmarks to gauge things by - religions themselves as far as we are concerned really don't look that good with lots of unknown and seemingly unknowable factors, to boot, which, of course, have become the domain of theology or the abracadabra of religions' priesthoods.
Now, it may help you if I told you right from the start to get things on the right foot, as it were, that I myself do believe in god or what one so generally understands by this term, and I am not embarrassed to say so, since I buy in fully in what Sigmund Freud told us about our instinctive notion of the soul's immortality. And if we cannot imagine to disappear altogether just because our bodies pack it in, then obviously, there must be some final authority in the great beyond that caps it all off and whom, in lack of a better term, we simply call 'god'. And since I am already in the confession mode, let me also mention that there is circumstantial evidence - I utterly despise the antiquarian's terminology of 'incontrovertible proof' - that once upon a time and this as recently as in ancient Egypt's time reckoning, science, religion, and philosophy were all one and the domain of the priests and initiates of the temple. Naturally, we know all from history class of Isis and Osiris and their son horus, but what I really want to do in this connection is to draw your attention to this tripartite discipline which for us nowadays is certainly a strange combination of three seemingly unrelated subjects. Yet the implication of it all is that religion obviously was then of a scientific nature and not the mumbo-jumbo everyone distrusts nowadays and modern science ignores altogether; and that philosophy, unlike the West's armchair philosophers like Descartes, reflected intellectually on the realizations and discoveries of those science-priests investigators [no theology then, you can be sure, since methinks this "science of the divine", as its literal meaning has it, was the brainchild of the so-called dark ages and as such bare of any scientific foundation and divine inspiration].
That the foregoing paragraph is not as clear as the cursory reader might think it is, is due to the fact I somehow started at the end rather than with the beginnings of things. But unless you want a "Religion for Idiots" book or one written for "Dummies" which more often than not pretend to be an absolute beginner's guide, but then fail to define even the basics properly, my approach is better, for here you have the whole story already in a nut-shell with the ensuing pages only expanding and explaining and commenting on the subject matter and this conveniently for the reader's pleasure and further understanding. Thus kindly bear with me and "everything will come out in the wash" perfectly, as the saying has it. After all, we are all the children of our divine father which art in heaven and as such already potentially in the know. So, let's not get side tracked in our left brain hemisphere-thinking exclusively! We also have intuition or as they say in Buddhism "make use of both the doctrines of the head and of the heart" and be a balanced human being worthy of the designation "homo sapiens" or "man of wisdom" [incidentally 'man' comes from the Sanskrit "manas" meaning mind, to think, etc. so that the designation 'man' refers to the species "man the thinker", which naturally includes both sexes, allowing one to use the grammatically male form at all times without slighting the fair sex one iota].
Now, to recapitulate : man's holy trinity of "Science, Religion, and Philosophy" always existed in cultures sufficiently advanced to allow for their perusal. Religion itself or some basic form of it existed, no doubt, since the beginning of mankind just as today the shamans and medicine men are the religious instructors of even the most savage of tribes. It seems thus, that god looked after his children since the most remote times and that none was ever forgotten. However, back to our modern reality.
The main problem modern man faces in understanding even the most basic concepts of religious lore is that we have been brainwashed by modern science into believing that first of all our most ancient ancestors were the great apes; secondly that cave-man was our first human predecessor and thirdly that man's evolution is linear from the most savage [cave man] to the most civilized i.e. twenty-first century human inhabitants of this globe [us]! A most likely story for the deluded and gullible, but not one that is borne out by the actual facts.
If we look at the bible, a risky undertaking at best because of its symbolism and its authors' unknown pedigree not to mention its many revisions, mistranslations, what have you, that add to the overall confusion. But, if one is careful, certain facts can be ferreted out even from Genesis despite its nursery rhyme resemblance and strange contradictions. Yet, Chapter 2 clinches the point we wish to make, namely that with the creation of Adam [verse ] which predated the arrival of the animals [verse 1], it was obviously impossible for the great apes to become our ancestors!
Chapter 2/ - And The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Chapter 2/19 - And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them : and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
Of course, to accept Chapter 2, verses 7 & 19, we have tacitly agreed with the great number of bible thumpers, that the bible - the holy scriptures of the Jews and Christians - contains the truth and nothing but the truth, in short it is divinely inspired and can be taken at face value if we ignore the one or other interpolation, translation error, etc. etc. I feel to go along with that except that even if we had a "pure" rendition of that book, its above mentioned symbolism alone would make it highly suspect to read it like an average novel. Just take for example "The Seven Day Creation Myth" whose "divine days" fooled man for the last three thousand years until modern science put an end to this "literal" nonsense by revising its time table in terms of untold millions and even billions of years. And it was not until the publication of Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species" in 1, that the church had to finally abandon their premise that God had created the earth precisely at :00 A.M. on October 2, 00 B.C., and that all species of living creatures had been created then immutably fixed within their respective species [that Chapter 1 of the bible reports the above in reverse order ie. animals before man, is also noteworthy].
Having thus disposed in a rather quick way with the myth of our ape ancestors, we are of course not out of the woods yet, since the "theory of evolution" and "evolution" itself is a universal phenomenon that operates both in the microcosm and in the macrocosm and within the animate and inanimate kingdoms of nature. Science is doing a fine job in discovering stunning facts both astronomically in the cosmos at large and anthropologically here on earth, but, because of their narrow approach they have failed so far to pull all the facts together into a meaningful whole. Why they [modern science] have no qualms, for instance, in postulating the gradual evolution and blending into one another of the various kingdoms of nature viz. the mineral kingdom -> vegetable kingdom -> animal kingdom -> human kingdom, but stop short of the kingdoms lying above us while they spend ungodly sums to contact higher, extraterrestrial civilizations, beats me! Or do they believe in their narrow mindedness that the higher kingdoms referred to in the various religions are all hog-wash [which in fact they do]?
Why not hypothesize, that is to formulate a proposition as a basis for reasoning, without any prior assumption as to its truth, whether the Christian angels or Hindoo devas are, granted, fanciful representations but representations all the same of something that might escape our present day knowledge and understanding?
Take for example the lowly caterpillar who has heard the rumour of the existence of some most marvellous creatures which some claim to have seen on occasion - the occasion being when a butterfly alighted on a flower to sip its nectar but seemingly disappeared as abruptly as it had appeared since flying is an incomprehensible faculty on part of the narrow-sighted caterpillar. It's a miracle, said another, but he too was laughed at as a dreamer or worse! But, such are our modern scientists with their supposedly open mind? Gimme a break!
Now, to get back to the ape-man debacle, it is interesting how the members of the scientific community change their tunes in order to suit their purposes. It was not too long ago that some social scientist talking on the radio about something I can no longer remember what, referred to man's ape ancestry in an 'en passant' fashion like you or I would refer to the given wetness of water. What motivated this gentleman to speak like this, I could not fathom, since quite inconsequential to the subject matter under discussion, I thought at the time. Perhaps, he had promised his wife before he left for the radio station that he would make a point of it 'come hell or high water'. Well, neither of the two happened but he got it in anyhow!
The reason why I found this statement so out of order, was, of course, my own experience back in the sixties - I was then already a 'mature' student - when in Anthropology class in Canada's largest university, our teacher explained that some million years ago the tree of evolution forked with one branch leading up to the great apes the other to man. The last common ancestor we had in common with the later apes, according to this professor, was an animal that somewhat resembled today's tree shrew! Since I read the same account in our textbook and found same quite logical, I assumed it to be official science. Well, never assume for religious fanaticism can often win the day especially in the bible belt of the mid-western U.S.A.
As far as theories are concerned, in the absence of evidence to the contrary but strongly supported not only by circumstantial but also by experimental evidence, such theories then are usually accepted as 'factual' although sometimes the term 'theory' is kept in the heading; the two most famous examples for that are "The Theory of Evolution" as published by Darwin in his magnum opus "The Origin of Species"[a most meticulous work, by any standards] and Einstein's "Theory of Relativity". That some my accept the latter as pure science but Darwin's as one still open to speculation, makes sense, especially if you are a physicist or mathematician and we shall go into this at once when putting an end finally to this stupid argument who is right - the Creationists or the Evolutionists? which reminds one of the glass of water that is either half full or half empty depending upon ... yes, what? and which riddle was solved instantly by the little girl who stated that the glass was [still] half full, when she had drunk the first half of it for starters! Too bad, we don't have her name and e-mail address, for she surely would solve for us quickly the medieval logicians' problem [theologians, of course] of 'how many angels can dance on a pin's head?
"Creationists vers. Evolutionists": did it ever occur to the latter that in order to have evolution we must obviously have something first that can evolve? But once a thing is created, it is automatically subject to change or evolution! Thus, creation and evolution are in a way the two sides of one and the same coin; yes/no? yes, and yet matters are not that simple because evolution is based on fossil evidence and of fossils of no longer living species. This is one point; the other is that the legendary "missing link" between man and ape is not the only one that is missing. Practically, or so say the experts, there are no "links" between any of the species which form the evolutionary chain!
How they come to this conclusion, I don't know, but the fact remains that the various species in such a chain seem to have evolved one out of the other in the sense that the higher evolved ones are more complex editions of the lower, less complex ones. In short, the various evolutionary chains, for there are many! consist of ever more complex individual species in such a chain which, however, are discrete or isolated from one another just like the perls on a woman's necklace. Are we dealing here therefore with individual or discrete acts of some kind of creation, and if so, why the similarity between them and their gradual complexity as we go up on the evolutionary ladder? Are there, perhaps, even other factors we have to take into consideration? We shall look into these phenomena later on for sure, but for the moment, I am sorry to say that orthodox religion does not furnish us with this information.
Now, to the other two bones of contention, namely that of our cave man ancestry and that of the tacitly accepted linear progression as far as man's evolution is concerned, can be dealt with simultaneously since belonging really to one and the same story.
If we think of cave man, Neanderthal Man obviously comes to mind at once and the last Ice age that ended approx 0,000 years ago and during which he supposedly lived. Although more modern research has seemingly refined and thus also more complicated the story of "homo sapiens neanderthalensis"- it is strange how the Latin classification always gives the experts and layman alike the conviction of authenticity! - I still remember my high school years back in Austria when we were told with the voice of authority that - and listen to this - Neanderthal Man was unearthed where? well in Neanderthal, of course, a small valley east of Duesseldorf, Germany. And although "The Columbia Viking Desk Encyclopedia" on my bookshelf speaks of 'skeletal remains' that were discovered in 16, we from over there and closer to the place of action knew, of course, that the fossil that was found, consisted only of the left, lower jaw bone of some humanoid specimen.
As I indicated above, more related discoveries brought many more details later on to the anthropologists' attention, but when I was in high school the lonely jawbone completely sufficed to reconstruct the entire pre-historic man complete with receding forehead, etc. and, believe it or not, his inability to straighten his legs because the knees simply couldn't be made to stretch completely. And all that from the left lower jawbone! Amazing, wouldn't you say?
But, to stay with our story of cave man ancestry. The other day I heard over the radio some scientist from California speak about what conclusions some extra-terrestrials would draw about our present civilization, if after some nuclear wipe-out, they would land here on our planet let's say some ten or twenty thousand years after the catastrophe.
Obviously, the mighty skyscrapers of Manhattan would have crumbled into dust as the giant bridges across the Hudson and East Rivers would have long ago been reduced to iron filings and washed out into the Atlantic, etc. etc.. But, when those explorers from other worlds came by chance upon some former Indian Reserve, some of the teepees and clothing were found strangely preserved because of the soil's acidity [or whatever], and similarly some decorations made of bone or even stone survived the overall destruction. Needless to say, no rifles or tomahawks or other metal utensils, since all corroded long ago and vanished without a trace. Official report to the mothership: "no life forms above lower animal kingdoms; indication, however, of now extinct humanoids of stone-age development." "Beam me up Scottie, no intelligent life down here!" [taken verbatim from a sticker I saw once on a panel truck's rear window].
But, more to the point: what our anthropologists consider today as our ancestors most likely were social outcasts or people that became separated from the mainstream of society because of natural disasters or other such calamities. Just think of the Great Pyramid at Giza with the Sphinx. Built supposedly by twenty thousand slaves over a period of over twenty years as a tomb for some pharaoh now some four thousand years ago. Did you know that some excavating was done around the Sphinx which strangely enough not only showed water marks at its exposed base but also traces of at least two restauration attempts hundred of years apart to protect its monumental integrity from further water damage?
Excerpted from THE OLD BOYS' CLUB by HERMAN A. HALLER Copyright © 2008 by Herman Haller. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
Religions destroy spirituality....................19
Governments destroy freedom....................217
Our legal systems destroy justice....................277
Medical practitioners destroy health....................301
Universities destroy knowledge....................337