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That Great Chameleon, GOD
(God, The Idea) 1





One of the greatest problems with organized religion today is the static way in which its dogma characterizes God. One thing is certain; God is not a material creature. The only way we can approach God is with our minds.

I once wrote an essay to show how varied the images of God could be, “By What Name... God!”, there I characterized Him as “man’s eternal hope for something better”. This was a general characterization that showed how God could take on any form, since all our hopes depend on the particular self that creates them. No human is the same; a human is formed not only by his or her genetic makeup, but also by the environments it encounters in life. These environments, and the stress and strain they exert on the human psyche, define the human being. It is that unique human being that must fashion God according to his or her own image of just what God is for him or her. Here, is precisely where the “canned formula” of God, especially that one created by a nomadic people of obscure identity, found in organized religion’s dogma, fails, for it can never fill the void the individual human spirit needs for its own version of God in today’s world.

Even further, two other elements help create our picture of God: our society and our unconscious mind.

Our free societies today only emphasize the problems that a dogma based approach to God creates. That is why our society created a separation of Church and State. The one (Church or religion) deals only with ideas and beliefs, while the other (State) deals with behavior. The diversity of our free States and the societies they support show clearly how wise the Christ was when He also pointed out the separation between them 2 . Yet all Christian and Muslim Churches today, still merge them together in the mistaken (probably outdated is a better word to use here) interpretations of religions they held many hundreds (even thousands) of years ago in the secluded societies built on the religious governments of their day. That is precisely why the dogmas they both follow cause so many problems in today’s societies. The people of those times could not even fathom the free and open societies we have in this present time. This is a totally unsolvable problem until we realize the solution the (prophet or God) Christ gave us: love.

But what did religions do: they even distorted the meaning of love, so that it would fit in with the preconceived idea of religion they brought with them from the outdated dogma they worshipped!

Yes, in a way those dogmas became their Gods. By making dogma the proviso for the religious club, religion now became, it also became their God; and love was transformed into a contract that gave you a way to this stereotyped God. A canned God, you bought, in the package deal 3 religion now became.

But, as if this societal misfit was not bad enough, another unexpected bogey reared its ugly head to make even more trouble!

This bogey was the specter of the unconscious mind that these out of sync concepts produced in a modern world so incapable of coping with them.

At the turn of the twentieth century, these ‘bogies’ were discovered by Sigmund Freud 4 , who found a part of the mind not open to anyone, not even the particular self that owned it. He called this the ‘unconscious’.

The only warning that a particular self had that these bogies existed, were the existence of the unknown fears (anxieties) that they triggered when the taboo desires they contained began to surface. Thus, we humans were all, much more than we thought we were; beings that fooled ourselves by keeping hidden the things we could not face or deal with openly. The hypocrisy of the human psyche became known through the sicknesses it bred in some.

Not surprisingly, many of these taboos were caused by the same organized religions whose strict behavioral rules caused these unconscious guilts to flood the unconscious mind. Freud and his colleague Breuer met up with these in the flood of “Hysterias” that occurred in the late Victorian age in which they lived 5 . Later, a freer, more opened society made these particular diseases of the mind disappear. Similarly, today, the final vestiges of these unconscious bogies arise in the twenty-first century’s most pressing problem: bigotry – caused by religious rules unable to cope with the free and open societies the modern Western world has created.



The problems of Fanaticism

Fanaticism, like its cousin bigotry is the inflexible addiction to the notion that one is right in the ideas one holds; when God backs up those ideas, it becomes even worse, and ends in killings, resentments and even wars.

It goes hand in hand with the blindness of bigotry 6 . Together they create a combination that is immovable and set in stone. All the worse, because of the incongruence it presents to a world that is trying to do away with all of this, through fostering the notion of the responsible freedom of democracy. Like the greed of today’s economies that are trying to reverse this trend of true freedom, through creating an aristocracy of wealth; therefore, fanaticism is being used by the greedy to deceive people into the tyranny of the few they herald.

And organized religions fall right into the mold 7 , as they did in the middle ages, to foster the tyranny perpetrated by the, so-called, Divine Right of Kings 8 , and the poverty and misery it created.

But the Christ had actually found the way out from all of this, by practicing the true love 9 found in every heart, instead of the inflexible contractual love His own Church created from this genuine love. This contractual love that became the love of the new Church founded in His name, actually became a love that blinded one to all others’ views or opinions; and promoted fanaticism, instead of the true love Christ heralded that opened all humans hearts to all others through the understanding and freedom it fostered, in the innocence and acceptance into which it was born.

The result: freedom and openness became a type of slavery to the self; and the blindness of bigotry, and the addiction of fanaticism became the endless strife that persists in our time.

The solution to all of this is again the very solutions the Christ discovered: the practice of true love, not contractual love or judgmental love; and the removal of religion from the world of rules and regulations, which are the realm of government and society. Together, they will remove the bad effects the bogies of dogma have created 10 .








FOOTNOTES

To return to note's origin click the footnote number at left



1 The analogy here is with the Chameleon, an animal that can take on many forms, just as every person can think of God in the form best suited to him or herself.

I do not try to stifle or prohibit the devotion to either the Bible or the Koran in this essay; but I do foster the belief that both these books, as also the dogma of any other religions, be used not as answers to the problems of the world, but as books of questions that train the studious in facing their world with the true love both these books foster. The answers to life lie in no hard and fast rules, but in the flexibility and openness, and the ability to see into the hearts of others that true love promotes. The blindness that today’s religions have fostered have come about by using the dogma of religion to make the human into an inflexible robot, instead of a caring and feeling human being concerned with making this world into a place of harmony for all.

2 St Luke, 20:25.

3 See my essay: “Why? The Story Of The Package Deal.”

4 See: “A General Introduction To Psychoanalysis”; Sigmund Freud; Pocket Books; New York; 1969.

5 See: “Studies On Hysteria”; Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer; Avon Books; New York; 1966.

6 See the essay: “Religion: Is It Just Another Name For Bigotry?”

7 See my essay: “"In God We Trust"; Which God?”, an essay that shows the bigotry against atheists, even in a country where freedom is an unalienable right.

8 See my essay: “The Religious Club And Its Effects.”

9 See my essay: “The Concept and Primacy of Love”

10 See my essay: “Do We Need Organized Religion? An Answer For Today! ”





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Originally Published:

September 15, 2012

Revised:

July 4, 2014