Religion isn't just a belief, it is an experience. What you are experiencing may be a complete
illusion or delusion of reality but you are still experiencing it. When a person feels
filled with the Holy ghost, that persons body is experiencing a hightened state of sypathetic
system arousal, and is experiencing a state of euphoria. This person of course attributes
this experience to God and points to this experience as evidence of god as nothing but
could could possibly cause this feeling. Of course when one is first deeply infatuated
with someone they feel the same way. Psychology has found that many things have the same effect
on people, and with the god helmet that causes spiritual experiences when magnetically stimulating
the temporal lobe, the rarety and use of spiritual experiences as evidence for god really has
little to no impact. But people tie the experience to their beliefs.
I remember watching the movie Avatar. I though it was one of the most amazing things I had
ever seen. Other people watched it and thought it sucked or they had focused on the fairly
clicheic plot line. It was hard for me to believe that there were so many critics. Had
we watched the same movie? Well yes we had, They had watched it on a regular movie screen,
I had watch it as my first movie in 3D IMAX. In 2D the brain is fairly passive, there is
little experience of interaction. This is the reason why using TV as a baby sitter or
those baby einstein videos have shown to have a negative effect on childrens IQ, as babies
need interaction to stimulate their brains to learn. 3D wakes up the brain and makes
it feel more interactive. They watched the movie, I had experienced the movie.
Religion is no different. Religion has been so successful because it has figured out ways
to experience something and from there you are just naturally open minded to what ever
is taught. Islam is an interesting example. In Arabic, the qu'ron is very poetically written.
Special Imams are taught methods of recitation of the quron for greater poetic impact. The
beauty of the verse can completely cover the shallowness and hypocracy of the actual text.
When read in another language with the poetic elements removed, the quoron becomes a completely
different book. Music is another way to experience something
that covers the actual message but makes you feel good, many hymns are beautiful to listen
to, but if you read the hymn at face value it can surprise you how different it is from
how you perceieved in through music. A lot of why you like a song is the memories
associated with the tune. For me lyrics have always be secondary to the music. I have asperger's
so its hard to get into new music and and I play and replay the same tune over and over
again, however I may miss the point of the song because I don't correctly hear they lyrics,
and in my brain a lot of lyrics are nonsensical poetry to me which is fun. Now that I no longer
listen to country and no longer have positive connotations associated with it, I find myself
shocked as to the amount of cheating and destructive behaviors it promoted. If we could separate
some of our good feelings from some of our held beliefs and look at it logically we might
be shocked as to what we claim to believe, but we don't because we don't want the good
feelings to be destroyed. To an outsider reading the bible it seems
shallow, stupid or brutal. They probably wont get why anyone would follow it literally,
much of the stuff in it is just bad. The same is true with when I read the qu'ron, I have
no emotional or experience level and no memories attached to it so it just sounds like any
other ancient book with a brutal deity who tells you every other verse in hypnotic rhythm
that the Allah will not forgive you and will punish you if you don't obey him.
Crowd hypnosis and other magic tricks are also used to allow the parishioner to experience
the religion. Many megachurchs and televangelist preacher use well know illusionist tactics
to stimulate people into hyping the experience. Other skeptical illusionists are keen to point
these tactics out. A new book that is next on my reading list is called “Sleight of
mind”, showing how neurologists are teaming up with magicians to find out how the brain
is tricked. Aside from magic tricks used by illusionists
there is yet another way to increase the feeligns of the experience. Much of it is just a slight
change in language or dialect.
Yarrrr matey, she be a comely wench
Aye, top o' te mornin to ya
Now that I have offended nearly all of my subcribers, with my complete and utter abuse
of their language or accent, I will explain why I did this. There is a point to it. Lanugage
and accent are part of our life. Another persons language and accent takes us out of our reality.
It feels exotic exciting, or just plain fun. Its why there are reenacters (harck! Forsooth
verily and huzzah!), why we find accents sexy or romantic (Bonjour, ma belle cheri) and
more importantly why some elements of religion are so strongly held (verily). The 2 I can
think or right off the bat are the king james only group of christians, or the majority
of islam in general(Dawahfilms). Islam claims that the only way you can truly understand
or appreciate The koran is if you understand arabic. However the majority of the muslim
world do not speak arabic, much less read it. Ibn Warrik a former muslim professor makes
the point that just about every 5th word in the qoran is ridiculously ambiguous and entire
schools with overly complex methodologies to determine what the words mean and even
they can't agree on most of it. Ibn Warrick and a few others have proposed that the actual
quoran was actually initally written in ancient syriac which is a cousin language of old arabic,
as the book makes a lot more sense with little ambiguity. He has had death threats on his
life for this. Jews love using hebrew, as communally binding them and giving them that
sense of spirituality. They even resurrected this dead language to be the official langauge
of Israel as their languages were so varied. The King James version of the bible was the
first version translated into english. It is to date one of the most innaccurate translations
we have however the people who translated did an excellent job of making it sound very
poetic. Because of this loyalty to the poetry some people are certain that every other bible
is a doctored copy by the catholic church to spread satans lies.
When you fall in love with a language or culture you really want to be a part of it as much
as possible. This is why the klingon language was made. However religion can highjack this
and instead of falling in love with the culture you fall in love with pieces of the culture
tied to a religion. Instead of trying to understand the culture, you try to understand the religion
and the culture is now a beautiful mystery. You assume that the culture was just like
yours even if it was completely different. Buddhism does this with chants and mantras.
They understand that repetition or specific unusual phrases can take you out of your normal
reailty. Although theirs is to relax you and help focus your mind. This is the reason why
spells in magic worked, because they got the mind off of reality making things seem supernatural.
.What all of these little tricks are used to get the mind from watching or reading a
religion to experiencing it, waking them up to the shallowness, hypocricy or brutality
is pointless. Mind you this new generation coming us is slated to leave their religion
at a rate of 80% before they are 30. This shows that multimedia has seriously weakened
the effect of religious experence. The kids see it all in their video games and movies.
They are told that is not real, then they go to church and get told, no this is real,
they are going to start questioning it. As technology hits more nations more of the young
population will begin to question. With the rise of the internet atheists are beginning
to pop up in many islamic countries to the point that the Saudi Government is beginnging
to view it as a potential threat. When high level multimedia is available to everyone,
the ability to use old parlor tricks to keep people from questioning will be useless. Sadly
advertising and politics are getting heavily into the multimedia ring and becoming the
new unquestioned religion for many. If religions want to keep their grip on their people they
had better upgrade the bible or the qu'ron to 3D interactive cinematography and. maybe
make the 12 disciples giant blue aliens just for good measure.