Time & Ego: Judeo-Christian Egotheism and the English Industrial Revolution

Spread the Word

By Claudiu A. Secara

© 1998 by Algora Publishing.

All Rights Reserved


No portion of this book (beyond what is permitted by Sections 107 or 108 of the United States Copyright Act of 1976) may be reproduced by any process, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, without the express written permission of the publisher.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data —

Secara, Claudiu A. (Claudiu Adrian), 1949-

Time & ego: Judeo-Christian Egotheism and English Industrial Revolution / Claudiu A. Secara. 2nd ed. p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 111-[115]) and index.

ISBN 978-0-9646073-2-3 (trade paper: alk. paper) — ISBN 978-1-892941-39-8 (eBook) 1. Duns Scotus, John, ca. 1266-1308. 2. Psychology, Religious—History. 3. Industrial

revolution. I. Title.

BL53 .S42 1998

190 21 00698325

Printed in the United States

1. History as God

1. There are times of solitude and longing when simple being, existing, brings no wholeness, completeness, to one’s individual life. Those are the times of anguish and anxiety, when the animus alone cannot prevail. In such hours of torment, survival is possible by the will of the genie within — but it is a senseless pursuit since self-preservation is its only purpose in carrying on.

2. Matter converted into biology supersedes fleeting history — as organic enduring memory. One’s existence is not mere passage in blood and flesh; it is permanence through its living species, past, present and future history. We not only remember yesterday’s events but we live as the embodiment and the destiny of our ancestors and, as well, as encrypted memory of our future generations.

Furthermore, as spine evolved into mind, we ceased to be mere biological creatures. Conscious of our double nature, mortal and eternal, we affirm our nature as concretization of the transcendental. The eternal was extricated from the body and given fantastic existence. The passage of time became an existence in itself. Becoming took the name ‘God’ –– passage of time that exists permanently.

3. It is commonly said that in order to understand the present, one has to look into the past; and it is for this reason that history is taught in schools. In the age of quantum physics, considering time relative to space, matter, values, etc., has been reduced to a cliché. However, from a different perspective, time may be seen as the consciousness within which we live. We act consciously relative to a cause and effect relation, which is to say, in relation to time and remembrance.

4. The conviction that there is a constancy and order in the universe gives objective validity to established propositions of knowledge: “Napoleon died in 1821,” “2 x 2 = 4.”

The truth as independent of the subject is what positive science aspires to. The relativist interpretations of sophists and dialecticians are possible only as long as their own relativist postulates are thought of as absolutes. Relative to the circumstances, truth is absolute in its determinations: Napoleon died in 1821 relative to our calendar, but, given the calendar, 1821 is the absolute year of Napoleon’s death.

Limited by the circumstances of its contingency, one’s truth is another’s error and the subjective agent is the absolute arbiter. It follows that the subject is the absolute truth.

5. Subjective arbiter par excellence, what man is in his world is what the world is at all. His will and his desires, his needs and his wants are all that his world is about. His world is the only world, is the whole world, is the world. He is the world. Ergo, the world is a creation of a free subject. Subjective thought — man’s thought — is indeed absolute.

His world is the world of liberty, since it is ruled by his own free will alone. His desires are his only necessities as his will is his only necessity. What he wants is his necessity. Ergo, his liberty is his necessity.

6. Given his internal necessity, however, man is deprived of the very essence of his external liberty; he is the slave of his own needs. In this sense man’s internal nature is revealed to be nature itself. His liberty is nature’s liberty. Thus, nature’s liberty is his internal necessity, dictating his free will.

Nature acting within man is still nature acting in perfect freedom from man. The liberty is nature’s; the necessity is man’s. Man is subservient to his free nature. His nature is transcendent to man and, as such, his own nature is the divine.

7. But man, we know, is a social being. It is mankind, one can say, that is prisoner of social necessity. As an individual, man is still free to determine his own fate. To live or to kill oneself is an individual choice, as is the decision whether to kill others. As an individual, man has the absolute power of death.

Sovereign over death, man is sovereign over life as well. He is the only being in the universe that procreates other humans. In flesh and blood, he produces mankind. It follows that it is he who originates and incarnates the social being, created and shaped by his demiurgic powers. Producer of human society, the free individual also originates his own social chains. Social laws and institutions are man’s will objectified into the enslavement of society; the social oppressions of the many are the manifestation of each man’s freedom.

8. There is a demiurge out there, in every individual, ready to clone into a social multitude of beings. Every individual is a society within itself, capable of reproducing new generations of the social entity. Every individual is the patriarch of his own social constituency that starts with him.

As individuals, humans bring forth other humans. The inception of life takes place day after day and on a mass scale. Each such act is the procreation of individuals by the individual. It is the inbreeding of the subject. Man is the originator of social individuals. That is to say that man creates the social body as well as its structures through the mastery of his creative forces.

In other words, man’s sovereignty in generating social bondage is an act of self-determination.

9. Organic reproduction of the human cell, individuals, which is to say, the primordial individual redivivus, is the overcoming of time by means of reincarnation, i.e., transcendental mnemonics.

Culture and tradition are forms of collective memory; the sense of identification with the primordial act of birth. Genesis is the essence of immortality. The urge to rise up and make our lives last is our deepest longing and that is why, by carrying along the cult of and the respect for our ancestors, we measure our progress and feel comfort and wholeness.

10. Subject to contingent destruction and haphazard perishability, the individual is restored as both personal (specific) and impersonal (immortal) through the social. Blood and flesh, we are the historical first individual. Not just a community of individuals, we are the one primordial individual. We are the historical first man, which is our creator. The original man is within us. And we have a free will of our own because our free will is the original will affirmed in us.

Supreme will and originator, the individual is the social, while community is only the personification of the holistic man.

11. We gain ourselves by carrying on our genealogy. Each individual’s parents and their parents and their parents’ parents demand the right to live through the individual’s personality. There is noise sometimes and quarrel among one’s internal voices and it takes deep reflection and self-perception to bring out the internal harmony which is one’s own identity.

By contrast, loss of the psychic root is the drama of mental illness, when the question “Who am I?” holds no answer.

12. Harmonizing the inheritance of various inner voices into one individual is the difficult process of maturing through education and self-knowledge. In the end, one finds in his unique being the same pattern of the universal man as everyone else. He is all of his ancestors. We all are only the latest descendant of the first man. Every individual is the first ancestor of the generation to follow.

But who is that one, our first and our common forefather and primogenitor?

In Search of the Ancestor

13. Born out of the bleeding placenta of our incubator, we know where we came from. Our parents themselves came the same way. The tribe one belonged to was set off by the founding father; the great hero and patriarch was the founder of the older nations. Since time immemorial, kinsmen have granted high esteem and godly elevation to the great mythical ancestor. Multiracial nations have created an allegorical father. The most complex civilizations have elaborated a religious father. The West found it in the ‘Son of God’.

14. The cult of Christ emerged in the hinterland of Judea at the time of the Roman conquest of Israel.

Encroached and threatened by the new world of Mediterranean cosmopolitanism, Jewish artisans and traders, fishermen and tax collectors were inescapably confronted with living the drama of the estranged local cult of the tribal father. Thus it happened that the people of the chosen tribe living in the internationalized Greco-Roman world were the first to arrive at the heart of the contradiction between the nature of the individual, the tribe and the world.

In the end, in Christ, mankind recognized itself to be one family of one destiny. For the first time, a tribal ancestor was replaced by the concept of mankind’s common salvation.

15. The notion of a unique God, proclaimed first by King Akhnaton in imperial Egypt, emerged after a long process of rationalization of the question of man’s destiny. Before it came to be identified with the Biblical notion of a Jewish god, the attributes of the universal fathering Being underwent a long metamorphosis. It finally converged the many gods: from the god of this river and the god of this tree, to the god of all rivers and the god of all trees. This was already a radical avant-garde accomplishment. In Christ, the notion of a unique creator was now reinforced by the idea of collective responsibility and immortality.

16. By the end of the second millennium BC, an ongoing revolution was taking place in the economies of the river civilizations. With populations expanding incessantly due to the successful cultivation of the riparian lands (Egypt alone grew from 50,000 people in 5000 BC to 6 million by the year 2000 BC), new demands for locally scarce resources and goods rose to unprecedented levels. Salt, for one thing, and spices and raisins, were unavailable in Egypt. Grain was still plentiful, but Lebanese cedar was much in want in the barren hills above the Nile as well as on the banks of the Euphrates.

Within such an economic environment, the emergence of large-scale trade both required and made possible a new social constituency at the core of the Middle East geographic triangle, bridged through the land of Israel. There, business and the trades took on a life of their own.

Statutes regulating one’s occupation, special privileges in support of specialized work, connections with kinsmen living in far away lands preserved across generations, skills in literacy, mathematics and bookkeeping, new systems of politics and social interrelations — all shaped the outlook of that nation’s business philosophy.

Eventually, the priestly cast and the engineering corps, the military elites and the imperial aristocracies, all of the ancient structures of the surrounding grand riparian civilizations collapsed. Only business and the trades moved on along the expanding boundaries of the new Mediterranean civilization. And so did the idea, initially developed in collusion with the ancient imperial dynasties’ quest for everlasting recognition, of the imperative of salvation through the management of time.

17. That momentous event, the consecration of the concept and practice of transcending the here and now, for the collective economic benefit, is preserved to this day in the biblical story of Joseph.

Within a single generation, from among many similar tribes — “We are shepherds, sir, just as our ancestors were,”[1] Jacob introduced his son Joseph to the king of Egypt. A new household name emerged due only to one man’s new approach to living in time, thinking historically. Joseph advised the king to accumulate grain in good years: “Take a fifth of the crops during the seven years of plenty,” and “store it up in the cities and guard it” as a “reserve supply for the country in the seven years of famine which are going to come on Egypt.” He was right, indeed. The years of famine came but the future proved to have been overcome already in the past and locked out of existence. This holistic perspective on time brought an unprecedented success to the kingdom of Egypt as well as to Joseph personally. “Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for the king. Every Egyptian was forced to sell his land, because the famine was so severe; and all the land became the king’s property. Joseph made slaves of the people from one end of Egypt to the other. The only land that he did not buy was the land that belonged to the priests… So Joseph made a law for the land of Egypt that one-fifth of the harvest should belong to the king.”[2]

The dividend earned by the king paid off his confidence in Joseph and brought Joseph’s clan to preeminence as well. “The Israelites lived in Egypt in the region of Goshen, where they became rich and had many children.”[3] They “built the cities of Pithom and Ramases to serve as supply centers for the king,”[4] and they became “so numerous and strong that they [were] a threat to [the king].” “In case of war they might join our enemies to fight against us,” years later a new pharaoh feared.

18. In attempting to define the religious content in the story of the old covenant, one finds it more difficult to identify what it is rather than what it is not. If one seeks to point to its underlying transcendental theism; if one aims to isolate the supernatural sacred story; if one searches for theological themes and beliefs in divine revelations; if one expects to find the voice of cosmic conscience; if one looks for the worshipping of the mysterious, the unworldly, of the spiritual or the divine; if one probes into the practice of animism, shamanism, idolatry, or divination; if one combs through its messages of theological revelation, theosophy, or the cult of the ancestors; if one examines its teachings of dogmatics, hermeneutics, mystics, hagiographics, revelations, exegesis, or patristics; if the existence of God is to be scrutinized through the religious idea of a metaphysical God — one cannot find that God in the story of the Jewish God.

The kingdom of the Judaic God and the pursuit of the Judaic happiness are earthly, ephemeral and godless. “The Lord your God is bringing you into a fertile land — a land that has rivers and springs and underground streams gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land that produces wheat and barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and honey. There you will never go hungry or be in need. Its rocks have iron in them, and from its hills you can mine copper. You will have all you want to eat, and you will give thanks to the Lord your God for the fertile land that he has given you.”[5] “Then all will go well with you, and you will become a mighty nation and live in that rich and fertile land.”[6] “You will lend money to many nations, but you will not have to borrow from any; you will have control over many nations, but no nation will have control over you.”[7] “The Lord will give you many children, many cattle, and abundant crops in the land that he promised your ancestors to give you. He will send rain in season from the rich storehouse in the sky and bless all your work, so that you will lend to many nations, but you will not have to borrow from any. The Lord your God will make you the leader among the nations and not a follower, you will always prosper and never fail if you obey faithfully all his commands that I am giving you today. But you must never disobey them in any way, or worship and serve other gods.”[8]

In the land of the profane god, one must obey the laws and the commands of the profane book of wisdom. And, most of all, one must not worship either gods or idols, that is, not recognize or believe in the sacred nature of any gods!

19. The anti-religious nature of the old covenant, above all, is the rejection of worshipping. For there is nothing out there or up above — no wood, no stone, no light that can be legitimized through acts of worship. God is Cause and Effect, is Law, is Reason, is Time.

It was at this moment in the Middle East’s history that the question of moral reasoning (what is good) superseded religious dogmatism (that is idolatry), and practical philosophy superseded the belief in metaphysical worship. “[Reason] — and [Reason] alone — is your God. Love your God [Reason] with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”[9]

Synthesis of Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Semitic, Persian themes, all coming from within the Middle Eastern cultural paradigm, the Judaic books of wisdom — a mixture of pragmatic philosophies exposed through a series of historical anecdotes, witty fables and prodigy characters in the same vein of folksy theater as the Arabian Nights’ story of Noureddin written many years later — hold up thought and reason against superstition and idolatry, consecrating the supremacy of positive knowledge over belief in religious magic.

“You may wonder how you can tell when a prophet’s message does not come from the Lord [Reason]. If a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord [Reason] and what he says does not come true, then it is not the Lord’s [Reason’s] message. That prophet has spoken on his own authority, and you are not to fear him.”[10]

Here, one comes as close as possible to positive knowledge and empirical testing. The quest for true knowledge is not so much a religious question as a practical one (Marx).

20. Scholars who compare the ancient Biblical texts with proven historical data find that the chronologies of the writing and of the events described therein are out of synchronization more often than not. We can surmise, for example, that the book of Genesis was edited ulterior to many of the fundamental texts of the Septuagint, in approximately 500 BC, after the Babylonian captivity and return, because of the heavy infusion of Babylonian mythology.

Absorbing themes from various earlier myths and other sources, recast into a continuous story of one people in pursuit of one aspiration driven by one grand design, the Old Septuagint gives the reader the superior feeling of witnessing the vivid history of the unfolding of a unique plan. The unity of the articulated assemblage of fables, narratives, conjectures and speculations from different times was made possible by one singular and dramatic act: the mystifying covenant with god to worship no god.

True, this epic poem is chronicled in scenic episodes described as matter-of-fact conversations with god––god conferred with Abraham under the “sacred trees of Mature, as he was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the hottest part of the day”; it spoke with Jacob “beneath the oak tree near Shechem,” two hundred years later, and again addressed Moses from behind the flaming bush, some five hundred years later. The impression is overwhelming — it gives the irresistible illusion of both a religious and a historical experience. Yet, the powerful subtext, substance, and nature of the message is instead negative, it is set against previous clan protectors, the snake, the golden calf, even the fire bushes, Baal, or Ishtar. Those were to be rejected and repudiated in favor of the faceless, the nameless, the impersonal and unique concept of godlessness and truth.

We know very little about the time Jacob’s descendants spent in Egypt. They arrived as one of the roaming tribes of the Aramaic nation, and they left their country of prosperity, four hundred years from the beginning of their social ascent, as an emancipated nation. Most of all, they rejected by then and left behind the hitherto prevalent and all-inhibiting idols of the mind.

The Egyptians, by their refusal to accept the new teachings, were left captive to obsolete beliefs. Yet, and contrary to its own revolutionary spirit, the insurgent liberation from the idols of reason was being made in the name of a new religion. The negation of religion became a religion in itself.

21. Gad saying: “Do not worship any gods!” is atheism in a religious interpretation. The Messiah addressing the crowds: “In the name of god, do not worship or believe in worship!”is philosophy in popular interpretation.

Christ against Christ

22. As we know, the Laws and the Commandments were the guidebook to the practical God. Where, one might ask, is the divine God? What is the religious way of reaching godly goals, or the divine of one’s life? Reading again the book of god, where is god to be found?

In miracles? — True, there were recorded miracles, such as the story of Sarah giving birth at the age of ninety. But the miracle itself is never the point. The point is life on the terrestrial land of fertile Canaan.

In prayer? — True, prayers of glorification and thanksgiving were offered, and solicitous prayers as well. But the prayer itself is never the action and the message. The plot and the drama come from the secular story of the living passions.

In occult pronouncements? — True, there were records of face-to-face encounters with the divine. Yet these personal encounters were never occult; everyone had to know about the matters being discussed with the heavenly messenger, they were expressed openly in public squares for the entire community’s benefit, read aloud to the crowds.

In power emanating from the high clergy? — True, the Old Testament is full of prophets and seers. They were the central leaders of the Judaic intellectual class, yet none of them was part of a religious establishment; neither were they priests, shamans, rabbis, or sacerdotal high clerics, theologians or spiritual princes. There was no practice of magic, no incantations, occult rites, necromancy or thaumaturgy, no astrology, hypnotism or witchcraft, no fetishism, spiritualism, black art or mystic rituals. No transcendentally or supernaturally possessed individuals were central figures — just simple folk with a commonsense wisdom.

Artisans in the understanding of human psychology, rather than masters; moralist novelists and writers of historical drama, they brought poetry and story telling, fiction and allegory, parable and character description, tile art of literature, in other words, to the level of moral philosophy. Poetic characters made social science with artistic means.

“Poetic characters,” in the words of Giambattista Vico –– the essence of the “Heroic Age” stories –– appeared “out of the need of human nature to explain itself while still incapable of isolating the forms and the attributes of things through the act of abstraction.”[11] “There is a certain feature (says Vico) of primitive nations, namely, that they don’t know how to advance from concrete to abstract. Unlearned of flow to abstract the general attributes out of concrete objects, they would rather indicate the latter and thereby the farmer, that is, the attributes themselves through the respective objects. The Latin grammars contain many examples.”[12] And then further: “One can say that in legends and fables, nations have, crudely, described the principles of this world of science; and, helped by rationalization as well as by maxims, that crude world of science has been rendered intelligible by the reflective thought of learned men.” “…The poetic theologians were Me senses, while the philosophers were the intellect of human wisdom.”[13]

23. The high brow revolutionary poly-atheism [apolytheism] (the rejection of supernatural powers) soon became ego-theism — worship of One, oneself. The intellectual dimension of non-religious higher philosophical understanding has been corrupted into a new religion of monotheistic self-worship. God as deity was now the chosen people as god.

This new religion made out of anti-superstition, a superstition in itself, and a fully developed institution of worship, was created and cultivated.

A well-established class of servants of the forbidden gods, as well as entrenched special interests, made empty phrases out of the revolutionary teachings. Priests, Sadducees, Pharisees, Teachers all busily debated the nature and the validity of the new rules. Worship of the secular reached its paroxysm. The un-worldly spirit made a full religion out of the worldly.

Now, interpretations of the un-interpretable functioned as the equivalent superstitious belief in the pagan interrogations of the auguries. Long successions of fortune-tellers and false prophets came to populate the land of the latest god. Public displays and rituals stood out as the practices of a new-style faith while literal interpretations of the sacrosanct texts would obscure both their meaning and their spirit.

It was about time for a second revolution.

24. “Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. I have not come to do away with them but to make their teachings come true.”[14] A new hero stood up, for a moment, to the newer religious bureaucratic establishment. The “heroic character”, once again, brought the principles of rational philosophy and ethical life to the forefront of human consciousness. Jesus articulated an anti-religious position and a humanistic manifesto. He, too, would be sacramentalized and idolatrized while still alive, and after a martyr’s death.

25. Ambitious men have a shared, sometimes hidden, desire for fame and glory.

Fathering new teachings on god and his designs on earth always seems to fascinate the great dreamers and more than one life has been spent on such pursuits. Would-be founders of new religions act out their own belief in religious engineering. Many still believe that mass conversions to virtually any form of superstition are possible. In that case, having at hand a great communicator of popular simple-minded prejudices, backed up by astute crowd hypnotism and an organization to spread the last word of wisdom, making up some newspaper story of persecutions, an occasional fabricated martyr and a new religion product could be thought out as designer made by any ingenious entrepreneur.

Yet, as long as the aim of creating a religion is a religious one, the result is only “religious”. The true religions were, at their very core, anti-religious movements. The true religions were indeed atheistic.

Christ was second after Moses, in our tradition, to rise up in a fundamental way against the fetish spirit, the spirit which nurtures only religious monsters.

Humanism as Religion

26. In the panoply of man’s teachers, Christ had an unparalleled influence. Why is that? What makes the story about him so unique? What is Christ’s overriding message, what is the essential message of the New Testament, its central idea? Is it the teachings of Christ, and if so which ones? Or, is it what is implied by the deeds of Christ, and if so, once again, which ones? Is the symbol of Christ, as a mythical figure, the message, and then, what does his symbol represent?

There are at least three major levels of communication embedded in the writings of the New Testament, skillfully melded into one story yet strikingly distinct from each other. One story comes from third party witnesses and their story about Christ. The second story is in his actions: healing the terminally ill, multiplying the loaves of bread, walking on water — still not unlike some traditional exorcist and occult magician. The third story is Christ’s own words — his parables, teachings, lessons.

On the first level and by all accounts, what is known as Christ’s divine nature — his birth and death, and especially his resurrection — is related to us by later writers in the Gospels. These myth-tellers were not historians in any sense. As embodiment of a myth, Christ is what he has been made to be.

On the second level of interpretation, there are ways to rationalize and make sense of his acts of miracles only when interpreted as “concrete descriptions” of some “poetic intellectual thinking,” which brings us to the third level of Gospel exegesis.

It is what Christ says that has the most insightful historical value, because what he tells his fellow men is a meaningful extension of the Hebrew spirit of his times, good Hellenistic philosophy, and free thinking, all blended together into one new set of principles. “They teach man-made rules as though they were my laws! You put aside God’s commands and obey the teachings of men,”15 he quotes Isaiah,16 and few in his audience seem to understand the basis of his rejection of his fellow countrymen’s uncritical belief in old ideas.

Socrates announcing the death of the tribal idols and subjective falsehood is the closest figure, in antiquity, to that of Christ.

“What is the most important commandment of all?” he is asked. His answer as recorded by his chroniclers is: “The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”[15]

27. One needs only to read his words through the eyes of modern social science to capture the revolutionary sense of this proposition. The concept of objective truth is outright seditious incitement to self-liberation from fallacy, mendacity, and human vanity. It is antiestablishment.

Here, the concept of god is like the concept of order and law, objective knowledge and science, as opposed to falsehood, irrationality, superstition, and ignorance. There is a natural order in this world — is the underlying message. The law of the universe is the law of nature, of existence, the law of being. True thinking is love of the whole truth, of the universal truth. Only religion is idolatry of self, belief in man-made, self-made fetishes, in subjective truths.

God is omniscient, omnipresent, all powerful — the reason in things. Metaphorical philosophy — nature explained through the act of nature itself — Christ’s intellectual discourse takes the form of poetic fables. Notice that he has not a single word on the matter of the attributes of some supernatural reality. Knowledge and understanding of things and belief in oneself are the proof of the mastery of the powers of mind. Seek and you will find, believe and you will be powerful. And above all — know thyself.

28. The pedantic mind, prisoner of his own fetishes, sees only opposites: soul or body, spirit or matter, science or religion. In fact, in presenting the notion of a unifying supreme being, Christ makes no distinction between the sides of our existence, soul and heart, spirit and body, will power and love — they are equally invoked as ways of acknowledging the laws of the universal being.

29. One basic tenet of modern dialectical materialism is the enunciation of the unity of opposites as in the identity of one into another. A more complex understanding of the dialectical philosophy of nature is given by the natural law of the identity of one into many. A still higher understanding is the notion of metamorphosis, transformation and evolution: one of many.

Identity in diversity is recognized as the underlying premise in any universal judgment such as when one announces that all swans are white (all A are B). The general attributes of things (white, in this case) have identical existence and it is easy to believe that they might also have real existence outside and independent of the things themselves. The color white is an attribute independent of any particular swan so that one can unintentionally fall on the slippery conviction that it can be extrapolated into an independent existence. Hence the scholastic assertion that universalia sunt realia.

The philosophical notion of becoming is magic explanation of how A transforms into B. Metamorphosis takes place in Time. Time is a three dimensional perspective of a flat world. Circular becoming is the negation of negation. The spiral of becoming is the negation of circular becoming. One seed grows into a mature plant which carries the many seeds of its fruition. The real thing is neither the seed not the plant, it is the process of transformation, the process of becoming the other one. The real thing is an abstraction. Things are really processes. Hence: Nomina sunt realia. What is real is a description.

The model of the living being illustrates best the dialectics of transformation. Things are living organisms. The Earth is Gaia. The universe is a Spirochete. The whole is a symbiosis of the larger infinite Being into the smaller infinity of beings (Nicholas Cusanus). Parts of the whole, they are living wholes unto themselves.

For the nineteenth century philosophy of dialectics, the concept of WIRY in contradiction was the representation of a simplified bipolar model of nature: the magnetic unity of positive and negative. It was a dialectical philosophy of the electrical age. Life as assimilation and disassimilation, society as master and slave, knowledge as science and religion.

A bipolar dialectic, however, is only one particular slant on the multifaceted philosophy of dialectics.

30. The idea that soul is body, that spirit is matter, or that science is religion is still not above the bipolar notion of dialectics. The opposite idea, that religion is science, is no less traditional dialectics. Yet, understanding that atheism is religion also, or that religion — the uncritical belief in subjective metaphysical constructs is the very basis of our intellectual rational assertions, is taking dialectical philosophy one step further.

31. Modern exegesis of the history of religions brought to larger circulation the view that scientific novelty and advancement in knowledge becomes, in the course of time, outdated representation. Science becomes religion as dead science. Or, science becomes religion for ignorant, non-scientific minds.

Nevertheless, the view that science itself is theism — that is, belief in objective absolute causes; as much as theism is atheism — that is the rejection of subordination to an external authority; that religion is fetishism — namely that one’s scientific premises are his idols; that idolatry is the affirmation of one’s individuality — as in the belief in the subjective power of knowledge, etc., has unexpected consequences.

32. We still tend to make judgments based on semantic assumptions, words as thought realities, not unlike old scholasticism. The French Revolution, for instance, was argued in the anti-feudal concepts of human rights, as the Russian Revolution was worded through anti-capitalist notions of labor power. The use of terms such as human rights or proletarian power, reflected in the lexicography of the time, misses the universality of the human drama. Prometheus against Zeus, David against Goliath could as well be thought of as human rights movements, or proletarian movements. They asserted their human rights and they rebelled against social enslavement, against fear and idolatry. They stand as symbols of the eternal struggle of the underdog against the authority, of sons against fathers, of God against Devil.

Yet, by the logic of revolution itself, it follows that the underdog turns into the new authority, son turns into father, God turns into Devil. We have now a continuation of the same antagonism, only the terms have changed: authority against the underdog, fathers against sons, Devil against God. God turned into Devil. God is Devil. God himself is godless.

This is a plot in a myriad of plots that plot. God is everywhere. God is godless. Godlessness is godly.

33. Philosophically, Christ is the iconoclastic god and as such he is godless. Center and kernel of the power that emanates from him, 11e is the father, Alpha and Omega, the One and the negation of the Other. He is atheist because he is the divine. He is divine because he is the unique One. We are all unique, ergo we all are Christ.

34. Historically, Christ is the individual that came from within Judaism’s philosophical religion and impressed his countrymen with his teaching of submission to no religious authority. They were in awe, expecting a political Messiah, but they were confronted with Jesus’ own anti-Christ spirit — ancient interpretation of what modern-day philosophy has more elaborately defined as dialectical materialism.

35. Throughout the Gospels, there is a strikingly recognizable story in the struggles of the courageous man confronting old habits, hypocrisy, plain stupidity, powerful economic influences, entrenched interests, even the house of worship’s self-appointed men (later on, sadly, reenacted in his own name).

Listen to the story of his poetical philosophy:

36. Man, his life, his needs, his self-interest, should be recognized as the central issue for man:

“The Sabbath was made for the good of man; man was made for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Mark 2, 27-28.

“What does our Law allow us to do on the Sabbath? To help or to harm? To save a man’s life or to destroy it?” Mark 3,4.

The standpoint of the old materialism is “civil” society; the standpoint of the new is human society, or socialized humanity. Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, X.

37. Natural laws govern the objective world, independent and outside of man’s subjective thinking.

“The Kingdom of God is like this. A man scatters seed in his field. He sleeps at night, is up and about during the day, and all the while the seeds are sprouting and growing. Yet he does not know how it happens. The soil itself makes the plants grow and bear fruit: first the tender stalk appears, then the head, and finally the head full of grains. When the grain is ripe, the man starts cutting it with his sickle, because harvest time has come.” Mark 4,26-29.

“What shall we say the Kingdom of God is like? What parable shall we use to explain it?. . . A man takes a mustard seed, the smallest seed in the world, and plants it in the ground. After a while it grows up and becomes the biggest of all plants. It puts out such large branches that the birds come and make their nests in its shade.” Mark 4,30-32.

The question whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory but is a practical question. Man must prove the truth, that is, the reality and power, the this-sidedness of his thinking in practice. The dispute over the reality or non-reality of thinking which is isolated from practice is a purely scholastic question. Marx, Theses on Feuerbaell, II.

38. Believing in one’s self is believing in man’s creative forces in an intellectual as well as practical way:

“He would not speak to them without using parables, but when he was alone with his disciples, he would explain everything to them.” Mark 4,34.

“My daughter, your faith has made you well.” Mark 5,34.

“Don’t be afraid, only believe.” Mark 5,36.

“He was not able to perform any miracle there, except that he placed his hand on a few sick people and healed them. He was greatly surprised, because the people did not have faith.” Mark 6, 5-6.

“Have faith in God. I assure you that whoever tells this hill to set up and throw itself in the sea and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. For this reason I tell you: when you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for.” Mark 4,22-24.

Feuerbach wants sensuous objects, really distinct from the thought objects, but he does not conceive human activity as objective activity. […] Hence he does not grasp the significance of “revolutionary,” of practical — critical, activity. Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, I.

39. Knowledge is empirical perception of things, seeing and listening, and is the intelligent, logical and rational use of mind powers:

“You are no more intelligent than the others. Don’t you understand? Nothing that goes into a person from the outside can really make him unclean, because it does not get into his heart but into his stomach and then goes on out of the body.” Mark 7, 18-19.

“For from the inside, from a person’s heart, come the evil ideas which lead him to do immoral things, to rob, kill, commit adultery, be greedy, and all sorts of evil things; deceit, indecency, jealousy, slander, pride, and folly — all these evil things come from inside a person and make him unclean.” Mark 7, 21-23.

“ ‘Take care and be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.’ They started discussing among themselves: ‘He says that because we don’t have any bread.’ Jesus knew what they were saying, so he asked them: ‘Why are you discussing about not having any bread? Don’t you know or understand yet? Are your minds so dull? You have eyes — can’t you see? You have ears — can’t you hear?’” Mark 8, 14-18.

“The disciples were completely amazed, because they had not understood the real meaning of the feeding of the five thousand; their minds could not grasp it.” Mark 6, 51.

Social life is essentially practical. All mysteries which mislead theory into mysticism find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of this practice. Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, VIII.

40. The universal character and validity of true knowledge proves the unity of nature and its laws:

“Whoever welcomes in my name one of these children, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes riot only me but also the one who sent me.” Mark 9,37.

“Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” Luke 10,16.

“As Jesus was walking in the Temple, the chief priests, the teachers of the Law, and the elders carne to him and asked him: ‘What right do you have to do those things? Who gave you such right?’ Jesus answered them: ‘I will ask you just one question, and if you give me an answer, I will tell you what right I have to do these things. Tell me, where did John’s right to baptize come from: was it from God or from man?’” Mark 11,27-30.

Feuerbach, consequently, does not see that the “religious sentiment” is itself a social product, and that the abstract individual whom he analyses belongs in reality to a particular form of society. Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, VII.

41. The preeminence of the Godly truth is to be understood as the preeminence of the objective truth over the ideas of socially dominant classes’ truth and their vested class interests and false ideologies.

“Teacher, we know that you tell the truth without worrying about what people think. You pay no attention to a man’s status but teach the truth about God’s will for man.” Mark 12,14.

“When they arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus went to the Temple and began to drive out all those who were buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the stools of those who sold pigeons, and he would not let anyone carry anything through the Temple courtyards. He then taught the people: ‘It is written in the Scriptures that God said, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for the people of all nations.’ But you have turned it into a hideout for thieves!’ The chief priests and the teachers of the Law heard of this, so they began looking for some way to kill Jesus. They were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.” Mark 11,15-18.

The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it. Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, XI.

42. Learning and acquiring knowledge is an ongoing process; it is keeping up with the times and historical change, with the evolution of society; it is answering one’s own social challenges, dealing with the reality of the historical present time and not worshipping of the past:

“Now, as for the dead being raised: haven’t you ever read in the Book of Moses the passage about the burning bush? There it is written that God said to Moses, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is the God of the living, not of the dead. You are completely wrong!” Mark 12,26-27.

Feuerbach resolves the religious essence into the human essence. But the human essence is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In its reality, it is the ensemble of the social relations.

Feuerbach, who does not enter upon a criticism of this real essence, is consequently compelled:

(1) To abstract from historical process and to fix the religious sentiment as something by itself and to presuppose an abstract — isolated — human individual.

(2) The human essence, therefore, can with him be comprehended only as “genus,” as an internal, dumb generality which merely naturally unites the many individuals. Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, VI.

43. The word, law, universal and objective Reason, is God and it is not observed or attended to by religious rituals but by following the commandments of living rationally:

“Well done, teacher! It is true, as you say, that only the Lord is God and that there is no other god but he. It is more important to obey these two commandments than to offer on the altar animals and other sacrifices to God.” Mark 12,32-33.

“Teachers of the Law, who like to walk around in their long robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplace, who choose the reserved seats in the synagogues and the best places at feasts. . . they take advantage of widows and rob them of their homes, [they] teach men [to] swear by the gold in Temple, [to] swear by the gift on the altar. . . You hypocrites! You give to God one tenth even of the seasoning herbs, such as mint, dill and cumin, but you neglect to obey the really important teachings of the Law, such as justice and mercy and honesty.” Matthew 23,16-23.

The materialist doctrine that men are products of circumstances and upbringing [ . . . ] forgets that it is men who change circumstances and that it is essential to educate the educator himself. Hence, this doctrine necessarily arrives at dividing society into two parts, one of which is superior to society.

The coincidence of the changing circumstances and of human activity can be conceived and rationally understood only as revolutionizing practice. Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, III, 44.

The proof for knowledge is sought in a practical way by experimental methods and it is not an abstract or untested imitation of affected scientific manners:

“You may wonder how you can tell when a prophet’s message does not come from the Lord [Reason]. If a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord [Reason] and what he says does not come true, then it is not the Lord’s [Reason’s] message. That prophet has spoken on his own authority, and you are not to fear him.”[16]

“Teacher, we saw a man who was driving out demons in your name, and we told him to stop, because he doesn’t belong to our group.” Mark 9,38.

“For false Messiahs and false prophets will appear. They will perform miracles and wonders in order to deceive even God’s chosen people, if possible.” Mark 13,22.

Feuerbach, not satisfied with abstract thinking, appeals to sensuous contemplation; but he does not conceive sensuousness as practical, human-sensuous activity. Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, V.

45. Knowledge is reason, reason is divine power, is godly, and so is the man who exercises knowledge in the eyes of the ones who don’t have it:

“Again the High Priest spoke to him, ‘In the name of the living God I now put you under oath: tell us you are the Messiah, the Son of God.’ Jesus answered him: ‘So you say.”’ Matthew 26:64.

“They all said, ‘Are you, then, the Son of God?’ He answered them, ‘You say that I am.”’ Luke 22:70.

Feuerbach starts out from the fact of religious self-alienation, of the duplication of the world into a religious, imaginary world and a real one. [. . .] For the fact that the secular basis detaches itself from itself and establishes itself in the clouds as an independent realm can only be explained by the cleavage and the self-contradictions within this secular basis. Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, IV.

46. The question of truth is the question of being human. For man, only truth has reality and power:

“You say that I am a king. I was born and carne into the world for this one purpose, to speak about the truth. Whoever belongs to the truth listens to the.” John 18:37.

Man must prove the truth, that is, the reality and power, the this-sidedness of his thinking in practice. Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, ll.

47. The question of truth? With this question the metaphysical Eastern religion arrives at the gates of Western philosophy; Greco-Roman rational philosophy takes notice for the first time, as recorded by written history, of the poetic Jewish mind. The rational-skeptical Pilate finds the issues that strain his learned prisoner’s mind to be familiar and yet still approached with a naive dogmatism. He looks down upon the young true believer from his own nation’s centuries-old rational wrestlings with the metaphysics of truth:

“ ‘And what is truth?’ Pilate asked.” John 18:38.

With that we enter the poetical Middle Ages.

48. Christ spoke to the people in his audience about themselves and their earthly existence, and they conjured him up as an unearthly creature. He pinned them to the wall of shame and mocked their endless foolishness, and they fell deeper into their mindless self-righteousness. He deplored their inner wickedness and hypocrisy, and they condemned him for apostasy and heresy. He challenged them to think; they prayed and pleaded for their salvation in the name of their self-interest.

49. A remarkable common-sense view of nature, life and truth strikes the unencumbered mind when it reads with an open eye the desperate effort of that man to tell his people how to live with an intelligent approach to their destiny on earth. They took a literal interpretation of his subtle spirit of dialectical thinking and entirely obscured his message.

He spoke in allegories about the powers of the mind and man mastering nature’s elements, its forces and demons; and his people swore they saw him one day walking the seas. He pointed to the hill above the plain, domesticated and developed under the tending hand of man, and they swore he had ordered the hill tumble off the reef. He spoke in parables, and they looked for fantastic apparitions.

He told them that spreading the wisdom of understanding is like the yeast that makes the dough grow from within itself, and they said he fed thousands of stomachs with one loaf of whole grain bread.

He cited the miraculous in the quotidian, the miraculous found in the seed of the germinating grain, in the grass sprouting from the earth’s crust, in the unfolding of the mustard tree, in the lilies flowering in the fields, in the wind and the rain, in all the wonders of the Kingdom of Life, and they were concerned with how to reserve a place in the Kingdom of death.

He asked them to see and to hear and they beheld him in disbelief and were disturbed by hearing their own inner voices and outer whispers of condemnation.

He saw liberation from the chains of greed, deceit and jealousy through self-restraint and dignity — and behind the words of truth they sought some sort of hidden insiders’ message offering better terms for trading their life, in a transactional way, for a better deal with God.

He said, don’t ask whether the truth comes from God or from man, the question itself is silly since man is the son of God, man is a product of nature. They questioned man’s freedom to question.

He told them that performing miracles is not proof of truth; anybody astute enough can learn that skill; and they founded his supernatural ontology on the art of magic and deceit.

He lived in flesh and blood on the streets of the cities and walked the roads and the fields of Judea, and they made him an unearthly abnormality.

He was teaching modern science; they worshiped a spectral creation of feverish minds.

50. One Gospel or another, one story more or less, the generations followed, all mixing truth with falsehood in such a way that verity and religion, idols and heroes, high aspirations and fallacies would establish their patterns under new names. And a good cause was defended for the wrong reasons.

35550cookie-checkTime & Ego: Judeo-Christian Egotheism and the English Industrial RevolutionShare this page to Telegram
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments