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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %HUMAN CONCEPTION UNIVERSE COSMOS CONFLICT STRIFE 950927 Our lives reflect our conceptions of the universe. Early human tribes found themselves in conflict with each other over limited resources, and in conflict with other species over limited resources. There was a natural human tendency to view "others" as "enemies", and those who "cooperated" or "conformed" as "friends". Even now human families, schools, organizations, cities, states, nations, and religious organizations tend to view "others" as "enemies" and those who "cooperate" or "conform" as "friends". As humans grew to conceive divine beings in the forms of "gods", the "gods" were conceived to engage in conflicts with each other. The "gods" reflected the nature of the conflicts among humans. As the number of "gods" has declined, conflict has been concentrated in the fewer "gods" because the amount of formal conflict still reflects the amount of conflict among humans and their conflicting ideals and values. Most monotheists are not truly monotheists; i.e, they do not believe in the existence of just one god who created the universe and who is without rival--- because most monotheists still conceive their gods to reflect the amount of conflict among humans. If there is conflict among humans, in order to have that conflict reflected in the transcendent order of the universe--- there must be at least two "gods" in conflict with each other; and all the human conflict must be reflected among the few remaining "gods"; maybe only between two remaining "gods". It follows from the above that there must be a "good god" and another "god" in conflict with the "good god"; i.e., we conceive God and the Devil to be in conflict with each other in order to reflect the conflict among humans. In human conflicts things are arranged so that it is quite clear which side each human is on. Battle lines are clearly drawn. People who do not want to engage in battles are cast into conflicting roles---even though they do not want to take sides. Refusing to take sides is a clear sign that the peace-lover is supporting the other side, a traitor. Traitors are put to death to insure that there are no members of the "other" side among us. Even though "death" may not be a literal physiological death, it is effective nevertheless. "Dead" people do not lead significant and meaningful lives in their communities. They exercise little power. In keeping with the above the most important decision each person makes is to decide on which side to fight, on the side of the "good god" or on the side of the "evil god". Virtually all people conceive themselves to have chosen to fight on the side of the "good god". Virtually no people come forth proudly to announce that they have chosen to fight on the side of the "evil god". Many people, however, accuse "others" of having chosen deliberately and willfully to have chosen to fight on the side of the "evil god"; because they have accepted the above conception of the nature of the universe and of human relationships within the universe. People who suggest that the above conception of the universe is misleading are quickly identified as people who have chosen to fight on the "other side"; on the side of the "evil god". Such people are usually crucified in one way or another by the "authorities". They are peace- makers who do not show ultimate respect for "our side's" laws, commandments, rules, regulations, prohibitions, proscriptions, prescriptions, taboos, inhibitions, repressions. Such people promote chaos, lawlessness, disobedience, irregularities, rebellions, etc. Such people are traitors to "goodness". "Good people" must fight to exclude such "evil people" from our "good society" to purify the ranks of the "Faithful Soldiers" who are marching on to war against the army of evil soldiers of the "other side." Humans have often projected their conflicts onto the heavens and onto the armies of conflicting gods in the heavens. Such projections do not help in any way to resolve the conflict among humans. Such conceptions of the nature of the universe tend to promote conflict and encourage highly intelligent people to invent more destructive technologies to use in the service of such misleading conceptions of the nature of the universe. Thus scientists and technocrats have become reflexive participants in the non-objective processes of waging war against "others" who have chosen to be in the service of the "Evil God". It is time to stop conceiving the universe in traditional ways. It is time to realize that the conception of ourselves as having chosen to serve the "good god" and others as having chosen to serve the "evil god" is misleading; leading us and others into personal and communal disintegration at our own hands. We need to focus our attention upon what we can do to promote personal and communal integrity through being true to ourselves and others, in open and honest dialogue in the presence of security which is known as the freedom to be safely vulnerable. We need to give each other the freedom to be safely vulnerable; rather than to throw threats, sticks, clubs, rocks, arrows, boulders, bullets, missiles, smart bombs, and ICBM's at each other. Our technical inventions do not achieve security for us; they lead us towards personal and communal disintegration. It is time to wake up to the fact that our life- styles reflect our conceptions of the universe, and that our conceptions of the universe reflect the conflicts in our life-styles which we refuse to let go of. Thus we project into our futures the conflicts which have been present in our pasts. It is all so futile! The key mistake takes many forms and can be pointed to in various ways. 1. Believing that in its foundations the cosmos lacks integrity. 2. Believing that there are "good gods" and "evil gods". 3. Believing that there is a "Good God" and "The Devil" who is the "Evil God". 4. Believing that the most important choice is the choice to fight in the Army of the "Good God", and so to fight against the "Evil God" and His Army. 5. Believing that is very important to identify who are the evil soldiers who are fighting on the side of the "Evil God". 6. Believing that we are good soldiers marching into good battles in the service of the "Good God". 7. Believing that the improvement of "standards for the detection of evil people" is a good service to the "Good God". 8. Believing that exposing "evil traitors" in our midst is a good service to the "Good God". 9. Believing that being in open and honest dialogue with "Evil Soldiers" who are in the service of the "Evil God" is traitorous to the cause of the "Good God". (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================