Reading the God Virus by Darrel Ray has brought me into a new level of understanding, and concern for our state of being as humans. Ray uses the viral metaphor to enumerate what religions do to keep and maintain the ideas energies of a religion going. The equation is simple it is a circle of behavior and abuse and thus it is an addiction. It fixates our perception in a manner controlled by the virus and the super vectors (a vector is a medium of transferring the virus, for malaria it is a mosquito, for religion and god it is the priests and ministers)… The virus cycles and cross connects all over our culture. I will focus on Christianity, but the application is everywhere the same in all religions where submission to the god is required.
First and foremost we are spiritual people we are wired that way through memory development and creativity. For me this comes down to the fact that we sit in awe and wonder in and for the universe. This awe is founded on the mystery of the unknown. As we grow and develop our awareness and consciousness, we try to unravel and figure out this awesome place we find ourselves in. This has led to stories and emotional responses to the stories of awareness. Most are responses in fear. The stories, which we pass down (vertical infection) come from our parents our elders but also they come from our culture (horizontal infection). This occurs when we are very young and susceptible to the download of this programming. We are open to the programming through the existential fear of being, the initial point of becoming who we are differentiated from the great flow of life. Rational and clear understanding of what is happening has not developed in our awareness by this time… this develops later. And often it ends up in service to the virus instead of freedom or evolving awareness.
The virus that is most commonly shared is the god/religion virus which is founded on the following circle with numerous variations of story. Being that the young child is completely open with no defenses to this virus between 4-7 years old, this virus becomes implanted and begins to run its course. It will run without disruption or thought unless threatened at some point. Here is the cycle:
- I am not worthy, or worthy of this gift of life and thus I am not enough. … Guilt is the key ingredient.
- If I believe in the god/religion story, I will be forgiven for my unworthiness or whatever I do wrong, and I will be rewarded. Often this reward is far off into the future.
- So I hypnotize myself, through the ceremony and rituals into feeling better (forgiven) and return to my life. This high is very addictive and it includes music, repetition and trances of all kinds. The Salvationist paradigm has a strong influence here with its own solution.
- Then off we go back to life and I do something that is wrong by the precepts. This may be a natural act, like sex, food, or the like, and the whole thing resets to number 1 again. (Have you ever noticed how much you have to give up to participate in the religions… there is a reason – to keep you coming back and feeling good)
Each element is well developed in a religious organization. And there are weak and strong variations of the virus in our culture. The weak ones are most insidious, the strong can easily be seen as a “necessary evil”… When a culture is threatened with serious change and must adapt, the strong, fundamentalist forms of the virus rear their ugly heads and start to seriously take up arms. Meanwhile most of the time, the weak version runs in the background all the time and feed the stories we tell ourselves daily.
What is interesting is the average person does not question this cycle, they are addicted to it. It is like food, or air. They can’t live without it. Now let us recall the new age…. We all thought that these interesting rediscoveries of mystical traditions and systems of spiritual belief was new. But not really, they are old. Unfortunately they are old with a renewed influence of the virus. Where did it come from, inside the ones who thought they were escaping their religions! The new age was and often is another variation of the same viral cycle. We may change the story, but the energy is still the same. We feel unworthy, we meditate, we hypnotize ourselves into a controlled altered state and we return to our lives feeling good, often more superior (we got the right answer this time) and go off until some stress occurs like doing something wrong, or existential guilt or god forbid (I’m kidding) have sex, food or fun. You see the new age is not new, it is a variation of the same old thing. Unless we eliminate the virus, the same thing occurs. And this applies to all sorts of supposedly new versions of archaic things, shamanism, entheogenic revivals etc etc etc… the virus is still running!
Tribal spirituality being conquered by the western dominant virus often adapted to that invasion and took on attributes in direct contrast to their traditional beliefs and then called this new state traditional. There is the story of the Hawaiians who wore little clothing and had no concept of marriage. Which worked great for them, no sexual guilt at all. Their religion and spirituality surrounded food which was a ritual way for communities to gather. The western Christians came to Hawaii and decried that they were offending god, get those cloths on, and marry up! Hawaiians said no, the Christians said you will be punished… and small pox, for which the Hawaiians had no natural immunity, provided the ultimate stress… The Hawaiians have worn clothing and married ever since… converts all… even in their native spirituality. They adapted. I am not advocating that something evil is going on, I am advocating that it is a pattern of infection… and it is a virulently strong process that has conquered the world. All we had to give up was our natural wonder and awe living in balance on the earth….
If we are to evolve and return to a more natural balance with the earth as our number one provider and in balance with her, we have to ask the logical and difficult question… is this programming working? Are we in reality going so far against nature and our natural balance that the only thing to do is end up where the programming says we will end up… in an ultimate battle between all these variations of the virus – on the plains of Meggido… (arm-Meggidon)…
What does the antivirus look like? It’s worth asking, our evolution may depend on it.