Historical Development of Patriarchy and Dualism in Religion
Some people have much difficulty in changing one of their paradigms when that paradigm makes them feel superior and secure. This can make them appear completely irrational and willing to perform atrocities. This was noticed by German Christian theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was jailed and eventually killed by the Nazis:
“The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison)
Paradigms and Mental Frameworks
(July 3, 2022) Having all the facts in the world is useless unless the relevant facts can be found when needed. This requires a mental framework or model (paradigm) for working with acquired facts. If new facts cannot be fitted into a person's existing paradigm they will tend to ignore those facts making them seem stupid to others. Consequently, each person needs to develop as general a paradigm as possible by getting a broad education.
Paradigms are difficult to change. In science paradigm changes are what make scientific revolutions different from normal science. Paradigms are heavily influenced by the culture one is born into and ones emotional needs, especially the need to belong to a powerful group. These deep emotional needs can make paradigms very sticky and resistant to change.
Paradigms were brought to public attention by Thomas Kuhn (1922–1996) in his 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. His account of the development of science held that science enjoys periods of stable growth punctuated by revisionary revolutions. This was the time when the geologic theory of plate tectonics was replacing the old static land bridge model which was resisted for a long time by the academic establishment geologists. While they could not contradict or explain away the gathering evidence they just ignored it. A later generation of establishment geologists did the same thing by ignoring the growing data about an asteroid impact destroying the dinosaurs and especially the data and calculations from physicist Louis Alvarez. This is why physicists generally have a low opinion of geologists.
Today another such revolution is occurring but this time in historical linguistics in which the prevailing establishment paradigm about the primacy of Geek and Hebrew is being challenged by Alphabetic Akkadian. Again the primary tactic is ignoring the evidence.
Lordification and Downgrading the Divine Feminine
(March 24, 2023) The earliest texts show deities were mainly labels for clusters of divine powers which could be optionally personified. This is perceptheism. Lordification is the process in which these deities came to be seen only as human-like beings as part of a royal court. Deities became “living gods.” Old divine powers then became a different class of beings called "spirits."
Lordification started with the rise of nation states. Distant kings (usually male) came to be seen as just as powerful and just as capricious as nature powers.
The ancients were quite wise with perceptheism. In the absence of identifying visual information people are identified by their personality, that is, their unique cluster of powers as triggered under certain circumstances. Sumerian and Akkadian even had grammatical noun endings to indicate whether a deity should be seen as a person or as a power cluster.
This perceptheistic principle continued to exist in Greek philosophy. For example, principles such as “wisdom” (“sophia”) could be personified as the goddess “Sophia” or seen as the power of wisdom. Ancient people originally had no division between gods and spirits.
Lordification advanced at different rates in different parts of the world as it correlates with the rise of king led empires and national rivalry. It was first seen in Sumeria with its intense rivalry between city-states. The Sumerian word for lord and lady was “Nin” so after lordification most deities were titled with it such as Nin.lil (Lord of Breath) as the epithet for the original Mu’ulil (one who sprouts breath, probably equivalent to Druid Su), and Nin.gal (Lady of the Chalice or the under-dome) for the original Erishkigal (Druid Kate or Hekate). The classic example of lordification is found in Egyptian deity art which started out as representing deities as animals, then as people with animal heads, then completely as people.
Lordification changed deities into capricious human beings with all the emotional defects of humans. This caused lordified deities to be feared because they could be jealous, petty, and greedy. In order to please a deity in order to get something, priests and rulers had to plead, cajole, beg, and bribe. The ultimate bribe was child sacrifice. The greatest fear was that some deity somewhere would be offended by actions people did not even know tehy were doing. This fear of the deities is why the idea of a savior and easy forgiveness of sins became popular during the classical era.
(July 3, 2022) Dualism began innocently enough with an observation of nature by the Persian Pagan priest Zoroaster around 850 BCE. He believed that conscious sensations were either inherently good or inherently bad as evidenced by odors which seemed to be inherently good or bad. Because conscious sensations represented the motion powers off the Ancient Pagan Paradigm this meant those powers were inherently good or evil. Therefore, these two sides were at war with each other. Because this duality broke the original eternal unity of the divine, the end of times must have an apocalypse which reunited the two halves back into the eternal whole.
This observation about conscious experiences is perfectly reasonable yet it is now known from neuroscience to be false. Good and bad valuations of any conscious sensation turn out to be genetic and are something separate from the underlying conscious sensation itself. This is easily demonstrated with laughing gas in which the patient can feel everything but doesn’t care and thus finds everything funny.
By 600 BCE Zoroastrianism and its dualism had been adopted by the future kings of the Persian Achaemenid empire (559-330 BCE). As that empire spread west its dualism affected Greek and Jewish culture. As it spread east it affected Hindu culture. Everything started to be perceived as either good or bad. The middle ground of neutral rationality and uncertainty was eliminated. People perceived the world as either good or evil, us or them, left or right, saved or unsaved.
With dualism, the divine space was by definition “good.” Thus, the physical world became “evil” and everything which supported the physical world's continuation become evil. This led to the idealization of celibacy and the appearance of monks and nuns for the first time in history. This also led to the unsolvable conundrum of how a good God could create an evil world. Deliberately ignoring of such fundamental questions produces an inherently irrational culture where questioning is suppressed and silent hypocrisy is accepted. Cultish behavior is never far away.
Mainstream classical culture became dualist with its traditional nature based spirituality becoming mostly known as Stoicism. An anti-dualist reaction against Stoicism was Epicureanism (305 BCE and after) with its teaching that pleasure is not evil.
Mainstream Jewish culture became dualist AND apocalyptic as represented by the Pharisees. The anti-dualist reaction to that is represented by authentic teachings of Jesus with his anti-Pharisee teachings about the importance of the emotional inner being (love) and magic.
Hindu culture almost became dualist but did not probably because the dualist Buddhist empire of Ashoka did not last long. Buddhism defines people's personal goal as that of escaping this bad world by merging into the good divine space. The Hindu anti-dualist text is the Bhagavad Gita with its lessons that good and evil are not always distinguishable.
Empires loved the dualist modification of lordification because the emperor could portray himself as the good guy fighting evil. Consequently, most popular religions today are dualist and were spread by empires. Christianity was spread by the Roman Empire, Islam was spread by the Arabic Empire, and Buddhism was spread by the Indian empire of Ashoka 268 to 232 BC.
Dualism in Zoroastrianism
(July 3, 2022) The dualist consciousness idea is first detected in the earliest Zoroastrian scriptures (Yasnas) known as the Gathas where the phrase Spenta Manyu (conscious thought flow) is associated with dreaming. The phrase Spenta Manyu is compared with its opposite Angra Manyu meaning “Angry Conscious Thought Flow” with “angra” related to English word “anger:”(Yasna 30, verses 4-5) Once those two Manyus join battle, a man adopts life or non-life, the way of existence that will be his at the last; that of the wrongful - the worst kind, but for the righteous one - Vohu Manah [Good Thought]. 5 Of those two manyus, the Angra Manyu chooses to do the worst things. The Spenta Manyu chooses Right, he who clothes himself in adamant (“the hardest stones”); as do those also who committedly please the Lord with genuine actions, Ahura Mazda. (West 2010)
Yet Zoroaster did not really like the consequences of his dualism because it meant splitting the Divine realm into Good and Evil halves at war with each other. Thus he came up with the end times idea which would reunite the two halves into an eternal whole:(Yasna 43, verse 6) At that bend (the end times) where thou comest with Thy Spenta Manyu, mindful in dominion, there, with Vohu Manah [Good Thought], by whose actions the flock prospers with Asha [Rightful Order], Armati [Honor] announces to them the verdicts of Thy wisdom which no one deceives. (West 2010)
The spirits of nature, the daevas now became evil because they could not discern between Good and Evil. The religious culture of Zoroaster was fully lordified with the result that Divine powers were now thought of as impersonal spirits instead of as deity which could be optionally personified. This word became “devils” in English. As shown below, all those who follow Evil powers (druj) were to be killed and those doing the killing will be favored by lord Mazda.(Yasna 30, verse 6) Between these two (Good and Evil) the very Daevas fail to discriminate rightly, because of delusion comes over them as the deliberate when they choose worst thought; they scurry together to the violence with which mortals blight the world. (West 2010)
(Yasna 31, verse 18) Let none of you listen to the wrongful one’s [the druj, the evil spirits] prescripts and teachings, for he will give house or manor or district or region into chaos and ruin; so cut them down with the axe. (West 2010)
(Yasna 33, verse 2) He that does evil to the wrongful one, whether by word or thought; or hands or instructs his comrade in goodness, such men will be prompt to His will, in Ahura Mazda’s favor. (West 2010)t the apocalyptic end times the evil will be punished because those in the service of Good Thoughts will be given the power to deliver the evil into the power of the Good:
(Yasna 30, verse 8). And when the requital [that is, the end times] comes for their misdeeds, for Thee, Ahura Mazda, together with Vohu Manah [Right Thought] will be found dominion to proclaim to those, Lord, who deliver Wrong into the hands of Right. (West 2010)
Yet Good thoughts can also lead to the kingdom (dominion) of God (Ahura Mazda) on earth. Jesus seems to adopted this idea without the dualism:(Yasna 31, verse 6) It will go best for him who knows and speaks my truth, the prescript of health, right, and continuing life, what he increases for Him through Vohu Manah [Good Thought], that is dominion for Ahura Mazda. (West 2010)