Monday July 27, 2020
97 Days until the election on November 3rd
177 Days until the Inauguration on January 20, 2021
In this screed I will explain all.
I have recently been taking a closer look at ancient Egypt. Whenever I do this I am struck by one thought, “Didn’t anyone ever say, ‘Hold on, how long have we been doing this? Is there any evidence that it is working?’ “
And in a greater sense can’t you ask this of any belief system? (Ie Cult, religion, horoscope, astrology, etc.)
This is where, for me, I get into what I’ll call ‘The Duality of Belief.” Or “Yeah, we know it’s crap, but we’ll do it anyway just in case.”
Most of the pyramids and tombs of Egypt were robbed. Many in ancient times. Much was done to thwart robbers. There is evidence that some of these robberies were inside jobs. That is to say the robbers knew where to go and what to avoid.
So what does this say about their belief system? Maybe, I should make that plural: systems. They worshipped bulls, crocodiles, hawks, lots of things. Did their worship of these animals or of the dead pharaohs bring them anything? Did it change anything?
I often wonder about the Christian concept of death and afterlife. It’s not your body but your soul that goes to heaven. But where exactly is that?
I often see people crying at funerals or at someone’s death. They are comforted by other folks saying, “They are in a better place now.” Are they? Or is it like the little boy who woke up half way through the explanation of Easter and said, “Nope, once you’re dead; your’e dead.”?
It seems to me that that young man had a better grip on reality than all those good Christians.
We also know that Jesus wasn’t always the son of god. That came years after his death. He was one of many guys wandering around the Levant pissed off at the Romans. He probably said he was the messiah and that he brought good news. What he meant was “you all can rise up and get rid of the Romans.”
The Romans did what they do in those cases. Round up the followers and the leader and kill ‘em. Paul slipped away and made it to Rome where he cranked up the PR machine. The rest, as they say, “Is history.”
How Jesus became God is another story. There are things we know for sure. Like he wasn’t born in Bethlehem. That was written one hundred years after his death to make him more appealing to a certain segment of the Jewish population. And, he didn’t raise Lasurus from the dead. That is an Egyptian folk tale. They took out the name of the pharaoh and put in the name of Jesus.
So why is it that we as a species are so willing to believe despite no evidence of it being true? There are explanations in conspiracy theory. Why do outlandish idea about deep seated conspiracies exist, and seem unwilling to die? You might ask the question about religion in the same breath. Psychologists have pointed to a need for closure, for an explanation, something to hang onto, to believe in.
I recently put up a meme saying tax the church. The meme said if we did our taxes would fall to 3%. Whether that is true or not is a big question in my mind. Some pointed out that if their church was taxed it would “go out of business,” maybe they said fail. I forget. Really? Huh. Not a very strong belief I guess. To those I would say, “Hey, look with your decreased taxes you can give more money to your church, and leave me out of it.”
So this idea of death and where do we go after we die has been an idea that spans cultures. There is the idea that the king lives forever, up in the stars, or somewhere. Yet, there is no evidence that any of that is true. The fact that robbers would break into the pharaoh’s pyramid suggests that there were some that weren’t too worried about going to hell or wherever bad people go. When I see people crying at funerals and being told that their loved one is in a better place I think they know that yeah maybe, but maybe not. As that little kid said about Jesus and Easter and rising from the dead, “Uh huh, once you dead. You dead.” Has more resonance for me as the years go by.
Now we get to the universe. How big is it? Really F*ing big. When did it start and from where? It seems to have started from everywhere all at once and it’s getting bigger. Can that happen? Yes, no, maybe. Yeah. I believe so.