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STUDY: RELIGION IN DECLINE, OR SOMETHING ELSE GOING ON?

I ran across this very interesting article at physorg.com:

Religion on the Verge of Extinction in Many Countries: Math Study

Well, we're all used to such studies being paraded and trumpeted every few years, usually by people or groups that would like nothing better than for religion to die completely. While I don't often comment on this subject on this site, this article intrigued me, because, looking at myself and using myself as a "basis of interpretation," I think perhaps the authors might be both onto something, and yet, missing something.

They seem to be onto something by their insight that social networking may be propelling the "extinction" of religion(and the religion in question, given the countries concerned in the study, can only be Christianity). The reasons, to me, seem to be clear from their premise itself: social networking allows those of similar mindsets to exchange ideas - oftentimes "heretical" ideas - quickly and easily, and it drives the "social discourse" at a speed faster than conventional religious apologetical methods of response can keep pace with.

But they seem to be missing something as well. Everyone on this site and the readers of my books know of my academic background in theology, and of my one-time strong connection to the world of Eastern Orthodoxy. I have, as most people are also aware, moved beyond or away from all that, to the extent that even discussing theological matters, for a variety of reasons, is very painful and difficult for me.

One reason that I, like many other people, have moved away from our former religious affiliations is that, in my case, I grew tired and dissatisfied with the stock-in-trade answers of theologians and apologists to things. I found myself unable to rationalize the moral, ethical, apologetical implications of some of the things I was finding, and found myself thinking that any further connection in an official way with "churchianity" as I like now to call it, would simply have been hypocritical under the circumstances.

I suspect many others are in a similar position: entertaining questions that increasingly are not being answered; lives being basically "run" by pastors, ministers, priests or rabbis: obey this rule, watch this date and time and don't do this and don't do that, while the larger questions being raised by alternative research go increasingly unanswered, except by the "specialist" who can only insist on his knowledge of ancient languages and insist "it just aint so, and you've got to trust me." Well, that's the point: no one, in today's age, is in a position to thump the credentials of their office, their autority in a church or religious or academic temple, and insist that people trust them.  That, to my mind, is one reason religion is losing its ground: people are thinking for themselves, and it will only increase.

But for those thinking that the spiritual aspect of mankind is going to die and usher in a new golden age of materialism, think again. In my experience, those seeking answers that genuinely satisfy them and who, as a result, are abandoning or at least questioning their religious affiliations and authorities, are not, in my experience, abandoning their question for spirituality, for spiritual fulfillment and meaning.  They are, as one person told me, literally stepping outside the box, and taking the blinders of dogma off, so that they can be free to ask the questions, and pursue the answers, freely.

55 thoughts on “STUDY: RELIGION IN DECLINE, OR SOMETHING ELSE GOING ON?”

      1. LOL…now I wanna know…cuz maybe I know, but dont know it as ‘the old friend’! or especially if I dont know!

        Dr. Farrell, I havent read your books yet unfortunately as I came to this site and am made aware of your work b/c someone sent me this link. My passionate interests lie in the areas of your research and studies tho, so I certainly will be looking into reading your material.

        And I might add that of all the sites I’ve been to, I find those commenting here to be knowledgeable, intelligent and wise as well.

  1. May I humbly suggest (unless you are already familiar with his work, which you may very well be) Pierre Tehilard de Chardin’s work, which was all published post-humously. In particular, the amazing The Phenomenon of Man.
    It is light-years ahead of anything else I came across regarding all things religious and particularly Christianity. In fact his absolutely original and fresh approach was extremely uplifting and personally, having been an atheist more than half my life, this work is probably what I would say the most influential I have read in terms of defining an aspect of Christianity removed of all dogma that I find beautiful and helpful. de Chardin was one of the most unsung geniuses of our time, right up there with Nikola Tesla.

    1. I read most of de Chardin, I thought (and still think) it is mostly
      quasi mystical emotional garbage with fancy words like noosphere
      and tangential often a tip off you are dealing with a crank.

      While he had a good point that Christ in His Incarnation made all
      creation holy (to some extent), mostly his Cosmic Christ idea
      and evolution, though it may save some people compromised by
      the cult of evolutionism, to keep hanging in with Christ, it is also
      potential New Age conveyorbelt.

      There is good reason to believe that he was part of the Piltdown
      Man fraud. and Peking Man may be another case in point.

    2. “in terms of defining an aspect of Christianity removed of all dogma’
      dogma is such a nasty sounding word. but while a house of cards has
      been built on the core doctrine of the Nicene Creed so that salvation
      supposedly depends on obedience in all things to the pope of Rome,
      or schismatic patriarch of Rome, to be more precise, and all kind of
      stuff, the core doctrine incl. issues of full humanity and full divinity
      of Christ, and He being the only interface between Creator and creation,
      is all to do with things He Himself taught to His Apostles. The canon
      of scripture was based on what was accepted as from the Apostles,
      and was settled by practice, long before a final statement forbidding
      the use of later fraudulent material was issued in a Council later than
      Nicea I. Just read St. Irenaeus of Lyons AGAINST HERESIES online,
      and you will see almost the entire canon of NT is in use c. AD 150,
      and the original documents he mentions as still in existence housed
      in some churches probably like Ephesus and others in Anatolia now
      Turkey in his day, which ensured accurate copying and transmission.

      the idea of Christianity as strictly a product of oral tradition is nonsense.
      And it is an effort of RC and EO to establish themselves as the sole
      arbiters of Tradition while the early Fathers all quote Scripture and
      point to it like a bunch of evangelicals. Sure it was oral for a few years
      until the Apostles wrote it down.

      The lack of reference to the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 in
      any epistle, shows all were written before that, and notes were
      undoubtedly circulating before back to when Jesus spoke. John’s
      Gospel is reputedly c. AD 90, and without mentioning the destruction
      of Jerusalem cites most of its action there, almost like appealing to
      a nostalgia for it. But Scripture has to be read not in pieces but in
      entire gospels and epistles all at once like any other literature. Only
      then can you get the picture which incl. alleged contradictions and
      their resolutions, not to mention the issues of paradox (like the
      number Pi, which is really paradoxical).

      Anybody ever try to work out Pi in quarternion?

    3. Tehilard-de-Chardinism with its neologisms, pseudo-science, evolutionism, and material (evolving) God has quite gone out of fashion. As it should have since it is closer to Theosophy than Christianity. The biggest problem is that it is incoherent. Malachi Martin–I believe it was in the “Jesuits”–provided a devastating critique of its theosophy–and a more recent, and perhaps more devastating critique has been provided by Wolfgang Smith.

      1. When understood correctly Dogmas are not obstacles, they are supports like stairs with hand railings that provide a foundation and point of departure to any authentic higher order spiritual life.. They provide a safety that keeps one from falling into the abyss. That some do not get beyond the dogmas and exoteric practices does not negate their necessity in the overall economy of the spiritual life. The myth of plenary esoterism fostered by New Age creeds is that you do not need this exoteric foundation, safety, and point of departure. Such is the broad path that leads to perdition. This message is conveyed by every revealed spiritual tradition. No saint or authentic spiritual master will tell you otherwise.

  2. Joseph,

    I’m totally fine with you no longer identifying with Orthodoxy. Your relentless pursuit of the truth at whatever the cost makes you a grade-A hero in my book.

    That having been said, I ask your forgiveness on behalf of anybody who has offended you, cut you off, ignored you, or not accepted you for who you are, especially on behalf of those who have done so in the name of fidelity to Jesus Christ. Please forgive them, and me, a sinner.

    Michael

    1. Well… uhm… I haven’t completely disassociated from Christ. It’s just that my views are…. oh, I guess more approximate to some form of Ptolemaic Gnosticism than anything else now. But thank you, I appreciate the kind words. Thankfully no one recently has ignored me, cut me off, offended, or not accepted me for who I am, but that is largely because I severed all connections with the ecclesiastical world about ten years ago, and for precisely those (and other) reasons. Anyway, thank you Michael, for the kind words.

      1. Thank you Dr Farrell for this comment. I have been curious about your stance on this for some time, and funnily enough I am probably coming to a similar general view as your own if from a practically opposite initial point of view (I was atheist for more than half my life). I am not sure why, or rather, I am not sure how to easily verbalise it coherently, but I think it is a true source of human good when one can recognise a kinship of thought in another human being, and I think this is quite necessary particularly in the so-called, “modern” world.

  3. Religion and the internet both exhibit the signs of some kind of alchemical operation.

    I wonder if they are connected in some ‘false alchemical’ knot?

    Thoughts Joseph?

  4. Here is something I stumbled upon, which seems to imply hyperdimensional
    stuff in the Old Testament.

    Old Testament Orthros [Matins] Reading
    ‘The Reading is from Isaiah 26:21-27:9

    For behold, the LORD is coming forth out of his place to punish the inhabitants
    of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed upon
    her, and will no more cover her slain. In that day the LORD with his hard and
    great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the
    twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.”

    Look at that last again, “Leviathan the twisting serpent,…..the dragon that is in
    the sea.”

    Now why kill the last of the poor sea monsters, ocean going dinosaurs (yes,
    good reason to think they still live, http://www.stagevu.com and look for dragons
    dinosaurs as search terms, two very interesting documentaries are there, one
    secular seemiing one religious)?

    But animals of a fiercesome sort have been used as metaphors in Scripture
    before, so something similar, but not the same as, the serpentine type seagoing
    dinos is at issue here.

    A desert saint is reported to have commanded a demon to “twist out of him!”
    and in my experience, entities can swirl and curl trying to get in or hang on.

    So Leviathan here, would refer to the fallen angels, satan aka lucifer and his
    false light, and the whole pack operating in a hive mind perhaps, taking a
    snaky, sneaky, but also sometimes direct way, and “is in the sea” as if there
    aren’t demons on dry land?

    But if “the sea” is that fluid ether matrix underlying land and sea……..

    http://goarch.org/chapel/lectionary_view?type=OT&code=78&event=876&date=3/30/2011

    1. I made an earlier comment about the possible physical domain of Leviathan or water dragon or demon, but I also think of the idea of ‘twisting out’ possibly as ridding some unwanted genetic/DNA ‘helix’ component by some method of ascension/energetic vibration adjustment.

  5. I remember in Alan Watts’ autobiography where he insinuates the present Epispical (cant spell) Church over in England is nothing but one social network where a certain class of people can get things done. What, spirituality – what a silly idea, We’re the offspring of the Roman Senatorial Class posing as proctors or cardinals of the church. I like that one.

    I get a kick out of your mention of going to conventions and hearing the same old stuff over and over again, (a real Hamlet’s Mill or ground-hog day at the beach) Complaining about social internets and religion when over thirty years ago Alan Watts had it spotted correctly. I have to laugh for I once heard on campus a saying that goes something like this cliche. I’ll probably get it wrong but I am only a half-fast wit at the most and you readers will know what I mean. “All knowledge is a form of Plagerism.” By this you probably can spot the ontologist and archetypal psychologist when the mood strikes him.

    Something new under the Sun nowadays! I once heard from a philosophy professor long ago that “If You can come up with a Question no body’s ever asked then that’s your ticket fo fame and riches ” His cynical attitude is – it’s all been asked before. I am guessing around pre-socratic times. Maybe. I don’t know because I don’t have the time to go back and make-up for an improper education. One has to teach themselves or it never gets done.

    I don’t mean to leave you with the impression Farrell’s writings are the same old hat. It may be the torsion or twist he focuses on isn’t quite the tale or interesting way to “approach” some very difficult and I mean difficult material to grasp but what a fascinating way to go! (How does one grasp or get a grip on non-local space when there are no sides or any essences allowed. That’s one thought that’s busting my torsh!) After a first reading of Babylon’s Bankers and The Cosmic War and a definite plan to buy GGG in the near future I have The Philosopher’s Stone lying on the arm of my potato-couch. Last night I approached the book as if it was some kind of occult magic force. Gees, I am getting a little over-imaginative. Dumbfounded as Farrell said. Am I looking at just a book in my hands or do I have a magic mirror in my hands looking at myself wondering whose the brainest of them all, ha, ha! (I really found the Scrouge-McDuck sitting on his pile of gold depiction really funny/accurate and too the point. Ok, children, time for some playground physics lessons – merry-go-round = centripual forces, see-saws = torch and leverage measurements, swings – negative and postive ions at a distance and lets not forget the monkey bars – grid systems with the added memory we were once primates (?) Ah, if we could only have the minds of children! What a world this would be?

    1. Matthew 18:3 Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

      1. if you follow the belief that Judeo-Christian religious beliefs have some basis in Egyptian and Sumerian beliefs, and that those civilizations are derived from much earlier civilizations of Atlantis and Lemuria (and those perhaps from yet even earlier ones), it could follow that in these earlier civilizations not only were our angelic creators who performed the genetic mutations for our hybridization and also prior to that the giants/Nephilim; that also they at some point actually lived in the water. The Cthulhu in HP Lovecraft’ sci-fi is a mythological beast that was much like Leviathan and lived in the ocean. As Lovecraft had a little knowledge about the supposedly mythical Lemuria in the Pacific or Atlantis in the Atlantic kinda makes sense. It is said Cthulhu is later tied to Celtic mythology which shows ties to Egyptian mythos and both show ties to the legend of Atlantis. In Celtic mythology there is a race of red-haired giants, the Tuatha de Danann. Of course, almost ever culture has these legends that are very similar. And I must apologize if this reply comment is coming in under the wrong comment–first time I’ve used this site. The comments I’ve read thru so far are fabulous! I agree with many of them and see common ideologies here– a good sign I believe one of you said. 🙂

  6. Good example of why it is tricky to discuss religion.

    It has been shown conclusively that Christianity is a concocted tale, and virtually all the Old Testament is taken from other, far older stories, mostly from Egypt and Bablyon/Sumer. It is evidence of someone’s desire to manipulate, obfuscate, and hide the truth, and little else. The doctrines of this religion have been cobbled together over the centuries, and have varied wildly during that time. Most of the interpretations which modern people think of as Christianity are very recent and strongly motivated by economics and politics. The brutality, barbarism, and sheer bloodlust of that history is unmatched, with the possible exception of communist China (100 million killed in their “revolution). “You shall know them by their works….”

    As for Yeshua ben Joseph, (Jesus’ supposed real name), there is virtually no solid evidence of his ever existing – no tax/property records, varied historical accounts, nothing. As he is explained to us by Christianity, he simply did not exist. Virtually all of the characteristics which supposedly make him “divine” are borrowed stories from other, older, borrowed stories. The Jesus we know is fiction. That is demonstrable.

    “Evil spirits” can be banished quite effectively by shaman/priests from any number of traditions – Daoists and Tibetan lamas are far better at this than any Westerner I have witnessed. Focused energy of particular kinds will repel beings irritated by those energies in just the same manner as one would scare off a wild animal with loud noises, fire, or physical threats. Again, these are just shadows of forgotten understanding – convoluted layers of symbolic/energetic interaction no longer clearly understood or perceived.

    The energy universe is just like a physical jungle or sea – there are vast numbers and types of living entities, and some of them, as with tigers and sharks, think we look like lunch. There is nothing “magical” about that, it is simply the nature of things. Just because they might do us harm does not mean they are evil, any more than a robin is evil for eating a worm.

    The whole idea that “gods” are magical beings is a distortion deliberately foisted upon us for the clear agenda of control. The ancient texts which mention gods (small g), treat them as physical beings. (Powerful and not very nice ones, at that – for the most part, anyway.)

    Whatever intelligence created the Universe is so far beyond anything we could comprehend, it is pointless to do more than just speculate in wonder. That intelligence is certainly NOT an anthropomorphic being, especially one with the intelligence and maturity of a spoiled child, much less a need to be worshiped – which we clearly recognize at our own simple level as being a sign of mental illness. “A jealous god..” is a contradiction in terms, at least as we understand gods today.

    The fact that all revealed religions are anti-nature, highly discriminatory, and follow distinctly human feudal systems of thinking, behavior, and organization is clear evidence that they are constructed ideas created by persons no smarter or spiritually developed than are we. Again, a “god” who cannot behave better than I is certainly no being deserving of worship, regardless of the power he wields.

    The energy to which we refer as “spiritual” is simply another natural function of being. Just because we do not understand how it operates or how to manipulate it, does not make it “magical” or some sort of “gift” from some specific being or set of beings, any more than x-rays or radio 150 years ago. Any sufficiently developed system of energetic practices is capable of producing effects we would call miracles – not because they are magical, but because they give us some small access to powers of being which are our birthright, and exist for all.

    Either the rules of existence operate in some universal fashion or they do not. If they do not, then all bets are off, because one will never be able to observe, learn, or predict anything. This is demonstrably not the case.

    If, on the other hand, they do operate in some universal fashion, then just because a being has its life energy focused at a different part of the EM spectrum, or is an inhabitant of a higher level of geometry does not make it better, more spiritual, magical, or evil, and certainly not deserving of worship. Respect and civility, perhaps, but worship is a function of mind control and slavery, and serves no healthy purpose.

    Faith in things one cannot prove, demonstrate predictably, or experience directly is unhealthy, irrational, and virtually always used to distort and lie. It is the tool of tyrants, despots, and madmen. True spirituality is not served by parroting dimly understood lies. True spirituality is an exploration of life and our connection with the Universe in a consistent, all-embracing manner, wherever that may lead. Deism teaches that a rational mind and the Universe are enough to reach understanding of ourselves and the Universe in which we find ourselves. The idea that a creator would choose (irrationally) to reveal itself to some and not others is silly, and obviously designed to serve human political/ego desires.

    Our Western civilization is simply a constipated cargo cult, run (badly) by people with little wisdom, charity, or love, and even less understanding.

    Are you Tesh or Sevateam? (Obscure Dr.Who reference – The Face of Evil, a story quite germane to the topic of religion.)

    1. Nothing of what you say has been shown conclusively at all. Sounds like
      you are being fed the superstitious nonsense of out of date ignorant people
      who happen to be atheists or theosophists.

      as for choosing some and not others, according to The Bible God was
      originally known to all, but they insisted on going their own egotistical
      ways. The choice of Abraham, like the choice of Noah, was geared to
      the recipient’s liklihood of response. Why waste time with people who
      are committed in the wrong direction? And the presence of Bible similar
      stories in mythology, merely shows that the pagans retained a warped
      version of vague memory of history, and the warping was likely on
      purpose by the founders of polytheism in the first place.

      the incoherent blather of the pagan stories, pales beside the precision
      and simplicity of the Bible history.

      Whether Western civilization is a constipated cargo cult or not is irrelevant,
      Mesopotamian and Egyptian and Hindu civilizations were cargo cults also,
      the Hindu even more constipated than others with its caste system once
      that froze into place all its intellectual accomplishment stopped.

      Christianity is not exactly well represented by Western civilization, nor by
      the nominally Orthodox ratbag barbarian scene in slavic countries either.

      get real.

      And don’t think I haven’t read the same stuff you read, as I have said elsewhere,
      this is the sort of thing I used to swear by, and now I swear at it (now that I
      know better).

      As for Jesus not existing, that was a short lived conceit in the 1800s, until
      there was just too much evidence He DID exist (or rather, exists), and the
      atheists had to give up that and the “12 crucified saviors” nonsense, until
      100 years later even the educated were ignorant enough it was worth flying
      this nonsense again. As for similarities between Christianity and paganism,
      the latter had horked primeval truth but twisted it (hence triads of gods,
      which are not the same as tri-unity), and a researcher in India, a Christian,
      has gone into great detail showing how most of the similarities between Christ
      and pagan false gods, is not to be found in records dating from before Christ,
      but only after Christianity was so established, that pagans were adopting
      some things to compete with Christianity. The book is titled Hinduism a
      Christian Heresy (which is taking it way too far) or something similar and
      is on scribd.com and elsewhere.

    2. I agree leave to leave theology out, there is so much confusion in it. the Gospel came to end religion, got captured into a dialectic of the old testament school and made into a political . and Jon i can personally share after being into deep gnostic and higher cabbalistic sciences at one side, and a practicing Daoist and eastern medicine for 20 years now. – The level of good and evil in regard to the Gospel and that of the shamanistic traditions are vastly different concept. My relation with Christ is personal, and I feel disdain looking upon religion and Christianity. And how often do we need to hear this ignorance it not being a proof of his earthly existence while 40 contemporary historian wrote of him and a whole book testify of him a whole world moved by him for 2000 years for his actual teaching and living of values and truth. This was never a discussion until this reprobate age. His life and teaching does not rest upon the Tanak. it uses it as a schoolhouse, it puzzle me also. remind you that the name YHWH has been found in ancient south America also. Let us stick to investigating the philosophical and scientific implications. when we know more maybe than we can address this issue better instead of opinions. Faith and Hope is something that lives in once spirit and shapes our character, not an academic dispute.

  7. creatine sausage

    thinking for thems-elves? the one thing i MUST disagree with you MR.Farrell.
    hence the term …..the eaters…..th-eaters.

  8. define -‘religion’
    a way of life? dogmatic rituals and prescribed thoughts? identifying the self with a larger group for ego ?
    I think everyone has a different idea of what religion is.
    It seems to be dominated by males that like power and costume jewelery.
    the reason it is in decline is that it is not pertinent, and we are sustained more by our own insights than by the suited employees of any given franchise.

    1. Here is a thought, How can anyone take seriously “a man wearing a dress who claims an invisible being is talking to him”?

  9. My feelings about orthodox religions usually anger people, so I, too, stay away from much discussion in that area, unless I specifically want to torque someone’s gator in a non-trivial fashion.

    The path I have followed led me to more shamanistic, experiential kinds of spiritual practices, and I have concluded that Daoism is the only organized (well, more or less) spiritual system which I find worth embracing. Having reached a level of analysis through deism that all “revealed” religion is a con game, my spiritual seeking is now a blend of shamanistic/Daoist connection with Nature (reality), but with a healthy dose of rationality and what science is actually useful (and not a revealed religion of its own). As Bruce Lee said, “absorb what is useful.”

    In the studies which brought me to finding JPF’s work, I sought to ask a few very simple questions – mostly about why certain trends in societal control existed, and what if they were lies – and these questions led me to an understanding of how virtually everything we think about spirituality and religion, and even how we frame our investigations of those subjects, have been deeply manipulated for thousands of years, with clear purpose and direction. Our very concepts of “gods,” “God,” soul, spirit, reality, and so on have been carefully honed and manipulated to the point where we must really take a huge step outside ourselves and our society just to get clear of the programming. Science fiction has been especially helpful to me in cleaning the filters.

    I do not think I am alone in this. I know that many people are seeking for truth about life, the Universe and our place in it, and a combination of the best in both scientific and spiritual thought is the direction we must necessarily go – a true Unified Field Theory, or Theory of Everything. But theses must be honest, truthful and clear-minded perspectives for it be anything more than just another turn of the wheel.

    Of course, there are those in power who realize this, and are deliberately co-opting these honest desires and unfolding changes into a strange blend of environmental tribal fascism which is but another “revealed religion,” with the “prophet du jour,” Weird Al Gore trying to hog the pseudo-religious spotlight.

    I understand now why Daoist hermits left mundane society and went off into the mountains where they could be with Nature and work on their spiritual progress unimpeded by social fad and peer pressure. The foolish repetition of idiotic behavior, cycling back over and over again, wearies one, and is a colossal waste of time and energy. Unfortunately, in today’s world, there are no longer safe mountains into which one may retreat.

    1. let us consider the legacy culture concept Dr. Farrell introduces.

      it is flawed, missing parts, and garbled, with various real people recast
      as gods and overlapping confusions with I recall reading somewhere,
      the various Mesopotamian city states having their own versions of events
      to favor their city states’ gods as they gained alternately control.

      (It is possible, that in all of that one transmission line had the correct
      version of events, and that the last heir of that family was Abraham. In
      all the garbling going on, there is a deity named Ea, who though classed
      as descended from other deities, is mentioned as being fearful to the
      demons, who are often friends with the other deities. Sounds like back
      then, someone did a number like the gnostics did, bumping The Father
      down a few notches and positing some higher source that did not
      create the physical universe. Ya or Yahweh is the south semitic version
      of Ea. Notice that it is Ea who is credited with warning Utnapishtim, the
      Mesopotamian version of Noah.)

      Somewhere within all that garbled reportage, is going to be some
      historical fact.

      now, among all the reports of wars between gods, is going to be
      sandwiched the actual revolt, failure and fall of the angels who decided
      to be evil.

      It is an experience within shamanism that there are highly deceptive
      and evil entities out there. Where did they come from? There are
      others who are better at making nice than others. They all run from
      a focussed exorcism conducted in Jesus’ Name. Repeatedly it is
      observed, in history and in recent missions, that places infested
      with demonic activity cease being infested when the Gospel is
      established and prayer to Jesus is frequent. So much so, that after
      a while rationalists arise who argue that none of that stuff ever
      happened because it isn’t happening now. (then some people start
      messing with the occultism thing, and it starts happening again.)

      There are also plants and chemicals which are inimical to some
      extent to spirits, I wonder why? maybe Someone so designed
      them to help those who were short on faith or didn’t even know
      about Jesus and the rest of The Trinity.
      That doesn’t mean that every priest, minister or the pope is accurately
      representing Christ. It does mean, that the liklihood that any prophets
      of the sort you can follow who are starting a movement is legitimate
      is low to zero.

      And any guy in a dress who claims an invisible being is talking to him,
      except for the claim that a few times in his life this may have happened,
      is probably lying or crazy. None of the standard guy-in-a-dress crew
      claim this anyway. They point to words from the Invisible Being in
      The Bible and His influence in shaping tradition which can also become
      garbled because humans are shaping it too. Ergo the importance of
      written material.

        1. “Or maybe the bible is part of the garbled tradition”

          Well, let’s look at this. Firstly, though it contains history back to the time
          of the Great Wars of men later written up as gods, and of God against
          the rebel angels, and of various others ET or otherwise, the vast majority
          of its action takes place AFTER these events.

          It is interesting, that these events are given such short shrift. Lets face it,
          most of what came before The Flood, and during any time of genetic
          experiments and weaponizable weird physics recoveries, is nothing most
          need to know about and reproduce.

          In Daniel, we see that the entirety of the acquisition of knowledge and all
          exploration and accomplishment of the past 300 years or more, is
          written off in one sentence: “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge
          shall increase.” Daniel 12:4 second half of verse.

          Likewise, we see brief mention of what may have been centuries or
          even millenia of action, on and off world, in the statements regarding
          conditions before The Flood, and since giants were in the earth in
          those days and after, it may be that some action occurred again after
          The Flood.

          but we are not called to admire these people, so the temptation is
          removed by brevity of mention. We need to know this, but not all about
          this, or not until now, when we might take it as a cautionary tale, and not
          something to revive.

          Supposing the one family retaining a correct
          set of records was that of Abraham. There is a striking simplicity and
          paucity yet incredible effectiveness of communicating maximum information
          for minimal speech.

          maximum effect for minimum effort is a martial arts principle, also elsewhere.
          So some great source of wisdom is involved.

          you could posit that there were more extensive records, incl. some errors,
          back of the materials that were slung together to make Genesis, the
          creation story fits the fossil record pretty well, and if you interpret night
          and morning as fade out one scene, fade in another, then it is like you
          are being shown the process of creation in shorthand, as it would appear
          to a hypothetical viewer on the ground at the time. Let’s say that’s a series
          of visions given to Moses, or Abraham.

          Now, all of The Bible comes to us from literate people, Abraham, cuneiform;
          Moses, hieroglyphic; everyone else, phoenician, proto hebrew and later
          scripts. then persian and roman and greek. There is no time when the
          deposited record has an “oral tradition” break that can be garbled,
          without a written backdrop to check it against. the Scriptures are viewed
          as holy, and not to be tampered with, even though that shows a low status
          origin for a people or contains otherwise embarassing materials. This
          puts a brake on changes other than accidental scribal error.

          Stuff that is problematic is such when taken out of context and ignoring
          the language and ignoring statements that put sharp limits on some things.

          The New Testament, rooted in a event The Resurrection no one has been
          able to refute, looks back to points in the Old Testament as predicting all
          this, and further posits a religious or spiritual, whatever, concept, that must
          be true, because it rebukes the overweening pride of mankind, that we can
          do it without God’s help, and posits also a God Who will lower Himself to
          our level and shows love and humility like no false god ever did, and
          compassion, as well as command and lordship.

          So whatever garble may be in the picture, it doesn’t impact the core
          doctrine or moral points, the latter from OT to NT going against the
          attitudes that have created the present world problems and possible
          technological dangers, and also forbade taking interest on loans for
          the most part, and demanded a year of release when all debts were
          cancelled, every 7 years and every 50 years.

          And, yes, maybe some of the events spoken of in Psalms and some
          prophets point to events of a hyperdimensional sort, but can’t The One
          Who resides outside time and space, and made the space time matrix
          itself, the etheric soup, whatever, do some of this Himself?

          I don’t buy the idea, that Exodus’ events can be written off as “natural,”
          since you don’t see indications of world wide disasters of the same
          sort at the same time, and the surgical precision of taking out only
          the first born, and only where the Passover Lamb’s blood was not on
          the door lintel, can’t be ascribed to anything natural.

    2. Yes Jon, we have fallen about as far from the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Life into the Tree of Knowledge as we can without some sort of natural cosmic correction I believe.
      Cycles… all life ( or experience) is ‘cycles’.

      And also all knowledge is ‘facets’.

      The Truth is the energy state at the center point of those cycles and in the center of the prism or diamond w/ its facets.

      1. oh forgot to add…that Truth I believe is the energy of LOVE, Agape love…free, unrestrained, unconditional, not binding, flowing, not conceptual, pure creative atomic energy, ever-growing and evolving, expanding…Bliss; that to me is Truth, Christ concsciousness

  10. Beautiful blog comments, Joe.

    As a teacher of Judaism for five years, I too have been finding it harder and harder as the years go by to 100% or even 50% believe in what I have to teach children, and find myself at a crossroads with religion- but in full harmony with spirituality.

  11. Honestly, I experience great freedom as an Orthodox Christian. After many years of pained searching through “new age” and eastern spirituality, vague protestantism, and even 6 years in a Roman Catholic community, as Orthodox for the past 12+ years I have noted a new depth in prayer, and for myself an end of basic theological dead ends and contradictions. The key is an opening participation in the Life of Christ. This is not to say I am at one with a rigid and literal interpretation of the Old Testament (I see symbolic truth in much of it however) – but such questions are not essential to Faith, a faith which grows within a living relationship. There is nothing anti-intellectual in this faith, but abstracted ‘intellectualism’ in and for itself, outside of the breathed context of the whole, is generally defensive, rigid, and self serving.

    1. I love people pick and choose the parts of their religion to believe and follow as if it were a buffett.

  12. I have read all of Dr. Farrell’s books except the latest two, they are
    on order. I have been in this game of religion and God and whatever
    incl. long ago semi denying Him and studying occultism instead, until
    I got a good scare that sent me back to The God of Abraham for
    several decades now.

    Religion can be abused for control purposes, and in some places is
    pretty well co-opted by such. however, there is a core of doctrine
    that is delivered from Christ Himself to the Apostles, and from them to
    their immediate successors. This is ignored at risk, and a special
    blessing/empowerment seems to be transmitted by some ordination
    regardless of personal worth and possible misapplications.

    St. Paul refers to the Church as “the pillar and ground of the truth,”
    i.e., as a temple or housing of the truth, not the truth itself.

    Worst case scenario, no faith is left on Earth only phones going through
    the motions for social presentability and such advantages as can be
    had where there is a legal requirement for this to go on.

    Nonetheless, the liturgy if not messed with much, the Scriptures,
    keep intact the truth, which someone bumbling into it might accept and
    voila, the faith is alive again as far as living humans are concerned.

    Jesus did raise the question in Luke, whether there would still be faith
    on the Earth when He comes back, and left the question unanswered.
    Nonetheless, the mystical church or ekklesia, the assembly of the
    believers, exists in heaven alongside Christ anyway. God knows who
    are His.

    The business of thinking for yourself, then, would be the business of
    reexamining details, not core. Christ rose from the dead, establishing
    His credentials thereby.

    Now, for instance, you take the fasting rules. St. Basil the Great somewhere
    is quoted as saying he would take one egg a day if I recall correctly during
    Great Lent. Obviously the standards have been tightened up. A canon
    denounced the Armenian (not yet then monophysite) interpreting no
    fasting on weekends as allowing meat, eggs and cheese on Saturdays
    and Sundays during fasting seasons, but no fasting means NO FASTING.

    The only totally binding fasts, are Wednesday (mourning for the conspiracy
    against Christ, a good time to examine yourself for sneakiness as an end
    in itself or preferred style), and Fridays (mourning for Christ’s sufferings for
    us), and Holy Week, the last week of Great Lent the only week in which
    Saturday is properly a fasting day.

    Guess what I eat on weekends, especially given my slow recovery from a
    borderline vampiristic condition that had me racing to raw liver and raw
    ground beef as red fresh as possible, just for doing without meat Wednesday
    and Friday years ago when I started this, but even so, St. John Cassian
    said that it was traditional to not fast on Saturday because you might be
    stressed from fasting all week.

    I would add, Saturday was when Jesus was beating up and crippling the
    devil in hell, a good reason to celebrate by not fasting.

    And Sunday? the day Christ rose, a little Easter/Pascha each week. Definitely
    not a day to spend fasting under normal conditions.

    It seems to me, that such theological reasons, and the lack of such strictness
    in the earliest records like the Didache, trump any later developments.

    After all, its all about Jesus, not the bishops. Not to disparage bishops per se.

    1. Concerned Friend

      “The business of thinking for yourself, then, would be the business of
      reexamining details, not core.”

      Uhh, thinking for oneself would involve re-examining even the core of assumptions and beliefs one takes for granted.

      1. No kidding. Also notice she was scared back to religion rather than making an well informed and intelligent decision. If Christianity were true, you would not be rewarded for taking the safe position of “believer”. In fact, Revelation specifically singles these people out “who are lukewarm”.

  13. Since we are on the subject of religion, a few thoughts to share. As a Buddhist of more than twenty years I have read your research with great interest, especially with the speculation that many of the ancient texts from religion, the occult and mythology etc are an encoded deep physics. I have for a long time considered something similar, based on my understanding of deep Buddhist principles and beliefs.

    A good example is Buddhism posits the belief that the universe is like a vast ocean. Each wave or ripple is a manifested life form, with its own unique character. However, all these waves are connected at root by this vast ocean, despite superficial appearences of differences and separteness. When we die our “life” merges back into the ocean. Buddhists chant (pray) and tap into this vast ocean of life, our deeper enlightened self that is one with the universe. In other words… we chant and use sound/vibration and mental intent to resonate to this base frequency of the universe and thus “gate” energy and wisdom into our lives. A remarkable implication of this, about the nature of the physical medium itself, is it is much more than just mere energy – it is alive and spiritual! Thus we are hyperdimensional beings. Another implication is that ALL matter, even inanimate objects, are alive.

    1. And finally…… these texts thus refer to encoded physics AND a path to enlightenment – perhaps mutually inclusive?!

  14. Speaking from the perspective of someone who is unchurched, I can tell you that I crave the ritual and fellowship of a church community. The problem I have is there never seems to be anything behind it. The biggest problem I have with “churchianity” is that they keep changing God so that he stays politically correct. In some denominations God may change His mind 30 years after the general population but change His mind He will.

    1. yeah, I noticed that too. But part of that is corruption of the churches,
      or of those who preach and call the shots, and a lot of the laity, and
      part of that is recovering something lost.

      when the churches go pro abortion and pro gay (not in terms of
      accepting someone who is renouncing the practice and needs advice
      and encouragement to live a celibate life but in terms of accepting
      the perversions as okay), when it sides with overt racism and rabid
      materialism and greed aka laissez faire big money capitalism, then
      it is showing corruption. when it get gaia-fied to the point of allowing
      pagan deities in the church, it is corruption.

      but when it takes note of ecological issues, safety control of property
      and construction issues, equal pay and sexual and racial equality,
      and opposition to child abuse and wife beating, that is not God
      changing His mind, but someone noticing things that God had already
      said some things about in The Bible (as distinct from some things
      taken out of context and ignoring the rest of what He said), that the
      churches had been ignoring hitherto.

      Sometimes this appearance of God changing His mind, is a case of
      the churches going into corruption and apostasy, God’s mind has
      not changed, people have.

      Other times, it is a case of the churches achieving repentance from
      unaddressed sins, some of them even preached as virtues at times.

      1. So if you agree with the way a church has said that God has changed his mind then it is the Church just catching up with what God REALLY meant. If you disagree then it is evil people misinterpreting God’s word for personal gain.

        1. no, not if I agree or if I disagree. read what I wrote again CAREFULLY.
          If you go by the whole wisdom of God, not just cherry picking it, you
          get something that is not going to fit with anything like perfection on
          any part of the political spectrum. There are specific statements about
          what God likes and doesn’t like, which incl. safety measures like put a
          fence around the edge of your roof so that no one falls, if they do anyway
          you are without guilt, but no protection and they die, you got a major
          problem. Care for the less able, do not put a stumblingblock in the path
          of the blind. Do not oppress the poor and helpless, and a tenth of your
          increase must go to feed the poor and support the teachers of the
          faith, do not harvest twice over your trees or land let animals and anyone
          who walks in have this, the perimeter of your agricultural property is
          for anyone who is hungry, but they cannot take a load away with them,
          only eat and pass on by. All debts cancelled periodically whether paid
          off or not.

          It is the calvinist materialistic type teaching that created churches that
          ignore all this, and scream communism! every time there is legislation
          to correct for the results of this.

          God doesn’t change His mind, it is people who ignore some parts and
          cling to other parts convenient to their lusts.

          Those who worship property ignore that no one owns anything ultimately,
          everything is on loan to us, and The Landlord wants it used constructively.

  15. If anything we may be at the end of a cycle of materialism. Religion may well be dead but God is too ubiquitous and yet too elusive to ignore.

    Enjoyed watching your Camelot interview today Joseph. I’ve an increased fascination now with Martin Bormann now.

  16. This raises a point I often refer to that is over looked, the difference between spiriuality and religion (and not just the organized type). Spirituality is about inner knowledge, an understanding that no one can give you and cannot be taught. It seeks to understand how and why. Religion, science included, seeks to TELL you how it is and there js nothing to be done but simply believe. While the two have accidentally overlapped out of coercion in the past, the two are really unrelated.

    Further complicating the.problem is that ancient cosmologies have been lumped in with religion, which really muddies the water.

    What you said is the key. When people think for themselves ALL religion goes by.the.wayside. As the quote goes, “Religion can never reform man, because religion is slavery.”

    1. if religion is slavery, so is dedication to inner imaginings. there is nothing
      we have that is not given to us, if we are smart, God gave us brains. If
      we have gained IQ by some self training and altering of how we think, God
      gave us the ability to do so.

      In my experience, religion can reform man or woman, IF put to action
      incl. internal overhauls with God’s help. Insights and more self control come,
      but you have to be dealing with the True God, YHWH and belief to be of
      “use” has to be the sort that affects your behavior.

      I have been on all sorts of trails in my life, and all roads do not lead in the
      same direction.

      Meanwhile the spirituality crowd can’t get their stories straight on what is
      reality, and would have you spend bookoo bucks on the latest New Age
      craze.

      Get a load of this for lots of laughs and insights, and last heard from or while
      he was writing all this, he wasn’t a Christian so you can’t charge bias.
      Read all the archives from the start. Hilarious.

      http://mysticbourgeoisie.blogspot.com/
      aka Numinous Lunacy & the Sanctimonious Narcissism of the New Age

      1. Christine, you seem to be confusing god/creator with religion. The two are not connected except in name and by false claim. Religion when it isnt preserving old secrets, is always about control. Read Babylons Banksters.

  17. Concerned Friend

    I truly believe that materialism and spirituality can co-exist, regardless of how various “elites” attempt to polarize us into one camp or the other, and then provide no answer to the cognitive dissonance that many hold in regard to both of these concepts, i.e. “how can I enjoy my iPad knowing Jesus said that the way into heaven is to give up all my belongings?”

    1. easy, use your iPad to watch Christian programming, and to do
      communications like transfer contributions out of your bank to
      charity! The important thing is to not be attached to your riches, if
      you have any, and put them to work for God.

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