I get why there’s a strong secular resistance to religion. Their concern is obviously social power and control which religion inevitably gets whether or not we vilify religion and its icons. This is because religions are the vetted vehicles for safe passage into the metaphysical. This means that our social recognition of reality rests solely on the religion of the time, not on an objective approach to mysticism itself. Therefore Richard Dawkins will speak against some sort of God reality, and he will always argue against a system that confounds his reason. Who can blame him for his atheism?

He feels by accepting possibility of a mystical realm (and I loathe to use this word), then he has to divorce himself from a fact base reality. I have no problem with Dawkins since as far as I’m concerned we can only believe in what we experience for ourselves. Unfortunately the system around mystical experiences is fraught with symbolic power controls that have blocked science as well as committed extreme harm to millions. Just for chucks and giggles, let’s look at the pros and cons of accepting a discussion on the possibility of religious (v. the mystical yet non-religious) approaches that can contribute to solutions for social problems. We can begin with a quote from the first two paragraphs of a final paper I wrote for my class on India in 2008:

“Symbols have consistently proven useful by both secular and religious institutions as powerful triggers that harness community purpose and obedience. In 1993, Sheldon Pollock, a former Professor of Sanskrit and Indic Studies at the University of Chicago, explored a tragic example of this in his essay, The Ramayana and Political Imagination in India. Apparently, the Ramayana was used to inspire events that resulted in the deaths of 3,000 Indians through “communal” rioting across India at the end of 1990-91. The riots which began in October of 1990, were apparently ignited when BJP’s president, L.K. Advanti, rode a Toyota truck that he had turned into Rama’s Epic Chariot, from Somnath in Gujarat to Adhoya in Northern India. To support Mr. Advanti, the Vihva Hindu Parishad (VHP) stated in court documents that “Rama is an immemorial object of worship basic to Hinduism and this worship was being impeded by the presence of a mosque built on the site of his birthplace.” (261)

It would seem a paradox then that even though the VHP stated their reasons for this violence were religious, many of the military trained youth that manually demolished a mosque on 12/6/1992 claimed themselves to be atheist. Even so, instead of shocking India, these events gave the BJP enough notoriety to become the ruling party in India from 1998 to 2004. In response, Pollock asks what the symbol of Rama’s Epic Chariot represented so that someone could change an apparent heroic tale of love, loss and recovery from the classic past to so greatly empower a vision for violent modern political tactics. (262) In his research of the symbolic power embedded in the Ramayana, Pollock found a key around 1200 A.D. when a king suddenly became Rama setting precedence for these popular religious tales to be used for secular political purposes.”

The professor for my class was not impressed with my writing skills so he gave me a B+ on this paper. He said he would have given me a B and felt he was being generous, but the way I handled ideas were far superior than students who got As because of their sublime writing techniques. Go figure. It would seem to me that the idea is far more potent than skill. It’s the idea that makes wars and peace. And religions come from ideas. This is the same professor who said in front of the class that mysticism without a religion is dangerous. And yet look at this example. How was Rama’s symbolic chariot not lethal? Hitler utilized the swastika, an ancient Indian religious symbol, to signify ultimate power that re-created ideals and social policy in Germany in the middle of the 20th century. How was this not lethal?

I get it. The Enuma Elish was found by Austen Henry Layard in 1849 and is thought to have been developed around 18th – 16th centuries BCE gives us an amazing Babylonian worldview that raised their chief god, Marduk to a status greater than all the gods. As you read this amazing document, it is clear where Elohim of the Semitic Book of Moses came from. Even after 150 years, though, Academics ignore the implications of the Enuma Elish and leaders of Monotheistic churches discount it. Why? Those of us who are uninitiated into particular faiths read the Bible too and wonder who this God is? The Great I. The Creator of the Earth and all that’s in it. Why is this of concern? Because the regulation of individual human rights in the 21st Century is still in the hands of this Marduk character because He is our Creator. His name changed after the Hebrew tribe took him with them as they moved away from their captors of thousands of years and settled in Israel on the Eastern side of the Mediterranean.

But this was a virtual cauldron of simmering cosmologies. Persia overruns Israel and begins the first Jewish Dispora wherein the Hebrews decide to commit their oral tales to writing so there would be an anchor to their national heritage as they wandered the world. The Book of Moses was written between the 2nd and 5th centuries BCE. In the beginning, Elohim is plural and Elohim talks a lot about “US” throughout the first books of Genesis. He also tells his tribe that He’s a jealous god.

Marduk (The Father) mixes with Mithras (the sun god born on December 25th) and thus Jesus and a long tradition of good vs. evil and sex becomes a moral issue. 800 years later,Emperor Constantine conquered Emperor Licinius and stopped the Roman persecution of Christians in 323 AD.

But there is yet a final piece. As I said, the 5 Books of Moses was important for the Jews to stay connected with each other and Israel, but even more important was the Law. The Law that came down from a LIVING GOD (which I have no doubt He is) made it important to separate themselves from the Myth. (see Gershom Scholem, On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism, 88). What becomes ironic is the Kabbalah as it manifests the shadow of the Jewish non-mythic mindset after European Middle Ages carries in the Kabbalah the Sumerian Hieros Gamos, the manifestation of man in his maturity as he joins with the dark and separate Shekinah in the 9th and 10 Sephirots to bring him back to the Spirit God and void in the 1st Sephirot after his orgasm.

This insistence that a Jesus, saturated in Mythic proportions is justified, is carried forward and now the harbinger of moral law and the ultimate “cock block” for over 2000 years and few even so much as blinks an eye. On page xx in her Introduction to “The Origin of Satan” Elaine Pagels says that after years of research, she has found “Whether illiterate or sophisticated, those who heard the gospel stories, or saw them illustrated in their churches, generally assumed both their historical accuracy and their religious validity,” and they do this without looking back… and that’s my point.