Prayer and pretending are tools of self-hypnosis. See how it contributes to a culture of hate and ignorance and what you can do to reverse this trend.
The Western worldview sees prayer as a part of their tradition. It is a public act that shows devotion. Pretending necessitates ignoring reality. It erodes our ability to use reason and common sense. People learn to defend their beliefs against any fact that contradicts their worldview.
The Western religions are the Abrahamic religions (1) of Semitic origin, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These religions are the rebranding of Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian mystery religions. Today these religions control the cultural narrative, with over 4 billion members combined. Because of their immense size, they have a dominant influence on the “cultural narrative.”
The Basis of Prayer and Pretending
Prayer is a concept that is a fundamental part of Western theology. It has become a socially acceptable act used to demonstrate acceptance of a higher power. This pretending tactic is crucial to the three major religions of the Abrahamic tree.
In Western thought, prayer is pleading for a higher power to intervene. In other words, you pretend you have an imaginary friend who can help. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains it well:
“An act of the virtue of religion which consists in asking for proper gifts or graces from God. In a more general sense it is the application of the mind to Divine things, not merely to acquire a knowledge of them but to make use of such knowledge as a means of union with God. This may be done by acts of thanksgiving, but the petition is the principal act of prayer.” ― The Catholic Encyclopedia (1911)
It is a magical process explained as mystical, mental, magical appropriation. Here’s how it works. One reaches out magically with the mind’s power via a mysterious, esoteric practice accessed via a specific formula. Depending upon the sect, it could be “calling on the name,” and it might include ceremonial cleansing “baptism” by water.
This mystical and magical process enables you to get the desired object. Magic is a process that provides salvation or other things via their imaginary friend’s preferential treatment. One of the primary goals is an afterlife of heaven. Other uses of this magic include healing and material prosperity.
People pray for various outcomes, from physical healing to winning football games. Here’s how it works. When healing occurs, the person who prayed gives credit for the healing to their imaginary friend. If the person dies, they don’t blame their imaginary friend for not intervening. Instead, they blame themselves for not being devoted enough.
The same thing happens concerning prayer and the football game. If you win, it is because your imaginary friend helped you. But when both teams are praying to the same imaginary friend for victory, what happens? The winners praise their imaginary friend. The losers blame themselves for not being good enough to win their imaginary friend’s favor. You never blame your imaginary friend for not helping. It is a logical fallacy that promotes a culture of illogical thinking.
Phenomenology, Prayer, and Pretending
As mentioned earlier, the Abrahamic religions aren’t new. They are the rebranding of earlier traditions from the Mediterranean region. These were the mystery religions of Assyria, Babylone, Egypt, and Persia. The initial branch of this tree is Judaism. It took all of its traditions from Babylonian mitigated dualism.
Christianity took Babylonian dualism and added the dying god traditions. Doing this helped to differentiate Christianity from Judaism. Islam spun off its interpretation from this compilation. These religions have their roots in the philosophy of Phenomenology. However, most people in these religions don’t know it. This unmentioned underlying philosophy helps perpetuate a culture of ignorance.
Phenomenology is a philosophy asserting that reality exists “only when” someone experiences it. If someone doesn’t experience it directly, then it doesn’t exist. The idea is that all things only exist when we perceive them with the senses. It is a philosophy that assumes humankind is at the center of creation and in control, whether that control is known or even recognized. In this philosophy, a select group of “chosen” people control all phenomena. It is a culture based on the supremacy of one group. This supremacy finds its basis in ethnic, racial, or religious sectarianism.
We can summarize phenomenology in answer to the philosopher’s question. Does a tree make a noise in the forest when it falls, and there isn’t anyone around to hear it? A Phenomenologist would answer, no, the tree would not make a sound if “I” weren’t there to listen to it. Because, for them, the tree does NOT exist until they experience it. Therefore, reality exists only through human perception and experience. If man perceives it, then it exists. If someone doesn’t perceive it or experience it directly, then it simply doesn’t exist.
Some leaders use this philosophy to rationalize their treatment of those less fortunate. They teach the unbeliever exists only for the benefit of the more worthy and wealthy, those who are “chosen.” The chosen people are worthy because they have a connection with Deity. Because their imaginary friend chooses them, they can justify their actions over the less fortunate. The unbelievers, who do not have this Divine connection, are less than human. They exist when the “chosen ones” weren’t around to experience them.
This kind of thinking makes it acceptable to exact unjust punishments on those not in the group. After all, unbelievers aren’t real people. They were just temporal beings. They existed for the use of the divinely appointed superiors.
A cult of self-appointed “chosen ones: underlies the fracturing of culture in the modern world. It spawns the war between Christians and Muslims. One side thinks the Muslims are unbelievers, and the other side thinks the Christians are infidels. Thus, they can kill each other with their imaginary friend’s approval.
We assert this philosophy is errant. We disagree with the view. Just because you do not experience something directly does not mean it doesn’t exist. We assert that everything in physical reality exists whether you are there to experience it or not. This includes all people, regardless of their race, social, or economic status. They are real and tangible, not just figments of imagination. We would hope that most people would agree that the phenomenologist’s view of reality is incorrect.
A Culture of Hate and Ignorance
It is a well-established point that facts and things can exist whether anyone believes in them. Belief is irrelevant to the factual basis of reality. The philosopher’s question, does a tree make a noise when it falls if there isn’t anyone around to hear it? If we apply our newest logical tool, a fact can exist whether anyone believes it.
So, yes, if the tree makes a noise when it falls, it makes a sound regardless if anyone is there to hear it. Contrary to the phenomenologist’s point of view, we assert that man cannot affect reality (physical or spiritual) by the power of his thought. Prayer and pretending are a worthless enterprise. It is merely pretending and putting on a show.
Pretending is a slippery slope. If you can believe your imaginary friend exists, then you believe anything else associated with it. This kind of thinking is what makes people lifelong customers of mythology. It can become an identity that blinds them to the use of common sense and logic. But, this is where the slippery slope becomes dangerous.
They use the argument against their philosophy to prove their imaginary friend exits. The argument is this if things can exist outside of my direct experience, so can God. Unfortunately, this doesn’t hold up to logic. We can prove other things exist outside of our physical sphere using physical evidence. But, the lack of evidence for Gods is not proof of their existence.
It uses phenomenology to support the efficacy of prayer. Then it uses the argument against phenomenology to support contradictions in its theology. For example, Western organized religion has an outward face of peace and religious holiness. But, its practices are biased, prejudiced, and discriminatory.
“Religious people claim that it’s just the fundamentalists of each religion that cause problems. But there’s got to be something wrong with the religion itself if those who strictly adhere to its most fundamental principles are violent bigots and sexists.” — David G. McAfee
Hate and ignorance go hand in hand. If you subject yourself to enough groupthink programming, you can substantiate any paradox. Many people are born into this type of thinking. They are subject to programming as children. This programming becomes the basis for skewed thinking. They learn to trust their spiritual leaders and shun any facts or opinions that threaten their worldview.
Others accept religion during times of crisis because people in crisis are vulnerable. They accept the illogical out of the need to find answers. They become customers and advocates for ignorance. They hope that prayer and pretending will provide solutions to their problems.
When they don’t get what they need, it is their fault. They did not pray hard enough. They did not pretend with enough intent. It teaches them to blame the unbeliever, the poor, because they are the ones causing their problems. This breeds hate and ignorance in equal measure.
Most people want a world where we live in harmony, peace, and prosperity. Instead, we live in a culture of inequity and inequality. Western thought bases the culture on leveraging many for the benefit of a few.
The philosophy of phenomenology justifies treating people as less than human. This is used to justify gender discrimination, ethnic and racial bias. It keeps this worldview in place by promoting hatred and ignorance. The root of this negative programming is mistaking mythology for facts. With regular exposure to groupthink manipulation, it perpetuates negative stereotypes and values.
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(1) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia