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Sunday Church Services for Human Animals

Now that my Nicki’s Indian Lamb Stew (pg. 78 of Chrissy Gower’s Paleo Slow Cooking) is in the crockpot for tonight, thought I’d head off to Animal Church for a while.

Remember: In the Animal Church, there’s no dogma. Its dual purpose is enlightenment through a better understanding of humanity by having better explanations for the social impetus of its memes (god, supernatural, contemplation, etc.), …and to poke fun of everyone who always gets all of that wrong, usually in the desire to remain blissfully ignorant.

The thing is, god memes are kinda logical. What’s frustrating is that the memes come to be taken and solidified literally in the roll of history…such that what may have been an admirable primitive “explanation” for the what and why of human existence and consciousness in the way back—providing the glue to hold an increasingly complex and potentially confusing social existence together—becomes eventually nothing more than abject ignorance based on fear and indoctrination via cycles of generations of regurgitation. It’s pathetically stupid. That’s where we are now, and have been for at least 100 years.

I first read Yasuhiko Ginku Kimura over 20 years ago. As far as I know, he’s the only eastern mystic fully studied and informed in western, Hellenic philosophy—even to include all the individualists, libertarians, anarchists. His integrations are insightful and valuable, I think. For example, here’s a 1999 essay on Ayn Rand’s ethics of selfishness: The Virtues of Enlightened Selfishness.

When you look at the reading list from my transformational programs, you will find books by Ayn Rand (1905-1983) and Lao Russell (1904-1988) side by side. These were two of the most powerful women of the 20th century, sharing almost identical spans of time in history. However, their philosophical outlooks are diametrically opposite to one another. Rand is an atheist and argues for the virtues of selfishness, while Russell is a theist and preaches the virtues of selflessness. People ask me how I can reconcile these two seemingly contradictory philosophical positions. A complete treatment of this question requires a formal philosophical treatise, but it will suffice here to state the following:

Ayn Rand is a philosopher of rare genius who nonetheless never had the experience of spiritual illumination of which Lao Russell was intimately aware through her husband, Walter Russell, one of the greatest spiritual illuminates in history. Rand’s philosophy, which is a rational philosophic integration of the facts of secular human experience, does not contain anywhere in its entire philosophic equations the experiential data obtainable only through spiritual illumination. Her system, Objectivism, is quintessentially rational, but does not include the realm of the transrational. In fact, being an arch-rationalist, Ayn Rand would categorically deny the cognitive validity of such “mystical experience” as spiritual illumination or transrational awareness or kosmic (cosmic) consciousness.

Rand’s philosophy is an attempt at constructing a rational theory of reality based solely on the absoluteness of reason and the evidence of the senses (a premise which ultimately breaks down in the kosmic awareness of Primary Reality) which can lead to the attainment of moral character and human happiness within the parameters of individuation and individuated identity. Her system, though incomplete, is consistent and coherent, giving us a rational foundation for living in the realm of life in which there is individuation, individuality, and the diremption (separation) between you and me–the realm of reality which constitutes what is called secular experience, within which we all exist as individual or individuated human beings.

~ Yasuhiko Genku Kimura Interview / Human Integrity

(11:49 run time. Show notes: 14,000 wars in the last 6,500 years. Lack of integrity has been constant throughout history—we’re just more aware. Integrity begins with knowing who you are. Lack of integrity comes from lack of self-knowledge.)

~ Yasuhiko Genku Kimura Interview / What is God?

(10:30 run time. Show notes: When you see god, ask what he is…he should know. Very interesting differentiation between involution and evolution.)

I’m well aware that generally, religion and mysticism have a logical place in the human historical experience. I don’t feel I have much need of it now, because I got a huge dose as a kid. I’ve spent a lot of years ridiculing it and poking fun of it. Nowadays, about half the time I want to ridicule it; the other half I’m happy to provide some ignorance curing enlightenment.

A final video, this one on the practical politics of the day, referencing back to the first video on integrity. This is from the Amazing, Funny, Fucking Brilliant! Remy, who in addition to the many YouTube’s he does on his own account, does some now and then for Reason.

~ Tap It: The NSA Slow Jam

I think it takes about 3 views to catch every single clever reference. My fav: “Text yourself about it, let us know how you feel.”

Go Remy.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

11 Comments

  1. Carole AKA CarbsaneR on June 24, 2013 at 06:59

    Cool vid, Richard, but not quite as cool as my kids video of Carbsane’s interview with Jimmy:

    (now with extra bunnies and chicken noises)

  2. Sean on June 24, 2013 at 04:21

    On a related note, Salon has gotten a real hard-on lately for trashing the ‘New Atheists’. Especially Hitchens, now that he’s not around to Hitch-slap his detractors.

    From this hit piece:

    What’s more galling for those who actually know something about Buddhism is the fact that Hitchens refuses to acknowledge its rich philosophical traditions. For example, the “Heart Sutra” and its many commentaries unite metaphysics and ethics with a profundity that the West would not begin to achieve until Spinoza. […] Nor did he take the trouble to learn about the secular Buddhism advocated by lay scholars like Stephen Batchelor, author of “Confession of a Buddhist Atheist.”

    Sam Harris points out that actually:

    Hitchens calls [Batchelor’s book] “honest” and “serious”, a model of self-criticism, and an example of the kind of ethical and scientific humanism “in which lies our only real hope”. The endorsement makes sense because Batchelor’s is an account of Buddhism for “this world alone”. His deployment of reason and evidence, coupled to the imperative to remake Buddhism and hold no allegiance to inherited doctrines, would appeal to Hitchens. And not just Hitchens.

    I consider myself a pretty moderate atheist and believe that atheism can be just as much a religion as formal religion, that a religious upbringing isn’t ‘child abuse’ in and of itself, etc (yeah, we’ve had our arguments over this). But I have no patience for this sort of posthumous ankle-biting from intellectual midgets who can’t even be bothered to check their facts. The big problem with the New Atheists is that they don’t follow the narrative of the Culture War. As White points out in the subheader of this article:

    I’m also an atheist and believe the religious right is a problem. But so is Hitchens’ intellectual dishonesty

    It’s totally cool to be an atheist and hate all those redneck Christian fundamentalists. But if one applies those same standards to other religions, as Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, et al, have done, then they are an Islamophobe, anti-semite, etc. Whatever the label, it’s a terrible, terrible thing to be. Those people are adding unnecessary gray to the clear cut black and white values of the Culture War.

    Fucking splitters!

    For this idiot to bash a dead Hitchens for intellectual dishonesty while being so intellectually dishonest (and just plain lazy) himself is not surprising in and of itself. But that he could get paid to do it by a supposedly reputable mag like Salon is damn pathetic.

  3. Richard Nikoley on June 24, 2013 at 06:48

    Wow, Sean. So much crap in that article. Of course, we see the same thing all the time, essentially: “you’re ignoring all the good stuff.”

    To that I propose that people mentally replace all the “sacred texts” with things like “The Book of Unicorns,” “The Book of Fairies” and “The Book of Avatars,” or whatever. Now, take all of that very, very seriously in 2013 and go write a slam piece on someone else’s effort to tell the world that it’s all basically a bunch of primitive rubbish.

    Were Hitchens alive today I would hope his response would be along the lines: “Please forgive me. Stooping so low and embarrassing myself to the point of writing a whole book challenging the bloody obvious is bound to have repercussions.”

    Did you catch the bit about capitalism being the most destructive force in history, using examples of high tech weapons and planes? Damn General Dynamics, Boeing and all the others for waging war and killing people as they do.

  4. SeanII on June 24, 2013 at 06:59

    I’m a VL at my local uni where we get a lot of Chinese students. About 5 years ago when you raise the topic of god with them, you got ‘Meh!’

    Last year I carried an ESL class and asked the students to give me a sentence with the word ‘happy’. One Chinese student jumped up, “I am happy because I am saved by my Lord Jesus Christ!”

    The students who make it to the UK are in many instances from professional families and I wonder if adopting religion is a ‘get ahead’ move. Won’t be the first time a country has done this, but China?! Jeez!

  5. Richard Nikoley on June 24, 2013 at 07:20
  6. Sean on June 24, 2013 at 09:02

    Oh shit, I missed that.

    To bring the case closer to home, is our own passionate approval of the most massively destructive social system in human history—capitalism and capitalist militarism—an expression of conscience? Even though our Predator missiles may occasionally (or regularly) fall on children, are we sorry that we have them? Or are we proud of our high-tech ordnance?

    I didn’t realize Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were capitalists.

  7. Sean on June 24, 2013 at 09:33

    I, for one, am glad to see Paula Deen publicly shamed and forced to grovel in a piteous attempt to salvage her career. These awful sorts of people deserve it. But at least she’s not accused of using the c-word.

  8. Richard Nikoley on June 24, 2013 at 09:56

    Ah, the hoist be her own petard angle, eh? Amen to that. Or, as a friend of mine always says: “I love to see a commie get it right in the teeth.”

  9. Sean on June 24, 2013 at 10:59

    Well, I don’t enjoy seeing anyone’s career destroyed by this sort of witch-hunting, unless it was actually someone who’s made a career out of this sort of witch-hunting.

    The fact is, Deen falls on the wrong side of this Culture War, she’s a white, overweight, rich, southerner who made a career our of cooking ‘comfort food’. All right-thinking people know them redneck crackers are all racist scumbags who nightly dream of lynching people of color. The fact that Deen actively supported Obama, invited Michelle to be on her show, that can be thrown down the memory hole because the narrative has spoken. Paula Deen is worse than Hitler.

  10. marie on June 25, 2013 at 20:43

    Sean, here’s another “pan-atheist” and therefore of course Islamophobe – though due to Tim Minchin’s rapid-fire delivery he seems to escape those lazily intellectually dishonest who already can’t pay adequate attention when things are spelled out for them slowly, with a map and pointers.

    Warning (!),
    quite appropriately “offensive” language –
    there’s a ten-foot c*ck and a few hundred virgins, anal sex, Ezekial 8, the Quran, Salvation by UFO, a watchmaker (by way of which he proves God’s a bum) and, and…. some really great piano playing.

  11. Sean on June 28, 2013 at 03:17

    Marie, nice.

    Also, like how he switches timing, very Zappaesque.

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