Thursday, May 24, 2007


We Americans are self help junkies. We have been ever since Ralph Waldo Trine sold over 2 million copies of his best selling book in 1897, In Tune With the Infinite.

A few years later, American Psychologist William James spoke and wrote about ‘the religion of healthy-mindedness’ as the only uniquely American religion. Later Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller promoted the power of positive thinking.

Even orthodox Christians have gradually and smoothly transitioned over to this gospel of self help. Yes, they still work in “Jesus died for your sins” in order to erect the facade of the old time gospel to cover their biblical self help philosophy, but the majority of today’s most popular Christian chu rches and TV programs are about self improvement. They tell you how to attain better self esteem, how to organize your finances, have better sex, successfully raise your children, build a prospering business, eat nutritionally and heal your body. Joyce Meyers, Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes are three of the hottest Christian preachers in the country, routinely speaking to thousands in person and millions on TV about living successful lives. They preach a gospel of self improvement and personal success, in the name of Jesus of course. I do wonder if they ever stop to reflect on the fact that Jesus owned virtually nothing, was a convicted felon and crucified as a failed Messiah. No matter…the facts aren’t important.

In New Age circles, we have The Secret, recently lauded by Oprah and Larry King. This so called ‘secret’ is the latest in a long line of slickly packaged and brilliantly promoted programs to control the Universe and get what you want from it. The book portrays a neutral Force which functions as a vast trinket-filled spiritual shopping mall just waiting to be manipulated by our thoughts to give us what we want. It is called the Law of Attraction and promoted as a ‘science’. It is interesting to note that the word science is used these days to automatically give dogmatic credence to everything from toothpaste to religious teachings. If scientists say so, it must be true.

Modern medical science has given us amazing technology. However, Scientism is science given the unexamined dogmatic authority of the old Medieval church, the officiants replete with special robes, healing symbols and the all-healing holy sacraments.

The Secret teaches that like attracts like – and that if you fill your mind with poverty thoughts and feelings, you will attract more poverty, but if you change your thoughts to prosperity, you will attract the same. Few stop to think that real scientific experimentation has discovered that opposites attract, not smilar objects. If you place the two positive poles of a magnet together, they don’t attract, they repel each other. The Chinese Tao Te Ching applies this true science to the realm of spirit and arrives at a very different conclusion than that of The Secret.

As it acts in the world, the Tao
is like the bending of a bow.
The top is bent downward;
the bottom is bent up.

It adjusts excess and deficiency
so that there is perfect balance.
It takes from what is too much
and give to what isn't enough.

Tao Te Ching 77


The other secret is that we are not completely in control and cannot manipulate the Cosmos. We live in a very large Universe; we sometimes call It Nature. We may forget that Nature/The Universe has it’s own Wisdom – not just for assembling and dissolving clouds and solar systems, but for humans too. That drives many of us self-helpers a little nuts. Remember, the American chant is, ‘we will not be victims, even of the gods!’ The Greeks had a word for this, hubris.

To be a victim is the worst thing that can happen in this age of control via spiritual techniques and psychotherapeutic systems. We will pray, think, counsel, affirm, speak the word, medicate, meditate and do any number of steps and procedures to be in control of our lives. We hate the idea of ‘being done’ by someone or something else. That is why we prefer our Gods and Goddeses to be harmlessly ancient and docile. Conservatives want them to be bound in holy books they can safely interpret. Liberals want them to be impersonal forces or pliable energies that can be customized like designer clothes.


This is the era of liberation and rights. Nearly everyone is somehow oppressed, abused and fighting for rights and empowerment. There are vociferous groups everywhere proclaiming it is time that they be heard and honored.

And I say, “Good for you!” Stand tall, take control, stop being victims and take responsibility for your life. Be assertive, be creative, be positive and speak your truth. Utilize the power of intention and be in control of your own destiny. Act. Assert. Say 'Yes" to life! Do not be a whining victim. Stop making excuses, stop blaming Mom and Dad, the President, the Pope and price of gas!

However, let me just toss in a simple, and unpopular, reminder - namely that this philosophy of self help, personal control and positive thinking can take us only so far. The other secret is that there is a Realm of Invisibles – sometimes called Gods, Goddesses, Jesus, The God, Intelligences, the Stars, Daemons, Fate, Guardian Angels, canonized Saints, Destiny, Providence, Necessity and a host of other titles which have been assigned throughout human history.

And guess what. They DO us. Yes, we are being done; we are being made, we are being chiseled, carved, molded, guided and nudged along. I am not suggesting Calvinistic predestination or some sort of Stoical puppeteering, making us nothing more than manipulated objects. I am suggesting that we exist in a Universe of soul-making, something like that spoken of in the Tao Te Ching - where there is a bending of your personal life-bow to adjust excess and deficiency in the various experiences of life. The string will not fit snugly onto your bow and prepare it to fire powerful arrows unless both ends are equalized through the variety of events we will encounter in our time on earth.

Each individual and each culture is moved along a path allowing the Yin and the Yang, Chaos and Order, Positive and Negative energies to swirl around us in order to cause progression and expansion.

The relatively new science of Fractal Geometry demonstrates that our soul-making experiences are similar to what we see in tree branches, cloud formations and weather patterns. None is the same and the little twists, turns, coalescences and dissolutions are uniquely unpredictable to each organism, growing it downward, upward and outward.

Sometimes we are exalted like gods and other times we are squashed like bugs. Sometimes we experience richness, beauty and brilliance – others times we experience poverty, ugliness and stupidity. Most of us spend much of our lives walking the Balance Beam somewhere in between the two extremes, no matter how much we try to control and manipulate events. The Universe isn’t worried about being politically correct or ‘fair’ by human standards. Meteors and tsunamis arrive at the most inopportune times, rearranging geography, yet also containing the seeds for the new creative order. Similarly, disasters strike each of us emotionally and intellectually via dreams, imagined and actual diseases, depressions, addictions and a host of other phenomena over whose arrival we have no control. Like Job, our spiritual consciousness may be pristine one day and the next we are suddenly bowled over by some unexpected and ‘undeserved’ disaster. The supple bow bends, and years later we find that the string fits better and the arrows fly straighter.

I am not stating this as dogma. In fact, I don’t necessarily always like what I’m discovering. I often prefer and want more control, I want to manipulate the Universe to make me wealthy and healthy, and I want to know more about why and how it works.

But after years of living life and examining psycho-spiritual systems that try to explain the ‘whys and hows’, this universal process of soul-making just seems to make the best sense of the scanty data. Either there is some Realm of Invisibles making soul beyond the plethora of observable events of daily existence, or the universe is totally off the hook and out of control. The various universal mythologies agree that some Psychic Realm, like an artist chiseling marble, is alternating between harsh hammer blows and soft puffs that remove bits of dust. There is some sort of telos or end. It seems that all objects in the Universe are part of a soul seed that has been buried deeply in the soil of Psyche, is cracking apart, rotting, sending root tendrils down into dark realms, growing little shoots into the gorgeous light and awaiting the full blossoming of what will be some great flower.

Yes, we have some control. We get to discover our talents, individual propensities, gifts of genius and personal visions – and we get to use something like The Secret to create a purposeful life. Yes, we get to set intentions and affirm the Good.

But we must balance that out by realizing we are also being intended and affirmed by The Invisibles, by Guides and Intelligences beyond our agendas. This paradoxical dance is beyond understanding.
Perhaps the Tao Te Ching states it best when it says that the Tao (Soul):

…adjusts excess and deficiency
so that there is perfect balance.
It takes from what is too much
and gives to what isn't enough.

Those who try to control,
who use force to protect their power,
go against the direction of the Tao.

Tao Te Ching 77

Friday, May 18, 2007



I saw a comic strip on Easter Sunday, 2007, of a little girl sitting in church, squirming and obviously bored by a theologically esoteric sermon. In the last frame she looks up at her daddy and asks, ‘When does he get to the part where Jesus meets the Easter Bunny?”

This can be seen in many ways, two of which might be:

1. A poke at the secularization of Easter where the historical Jesus is all but forgotten.

2. A child’s detachment from organized religion and attachment to the fun of a fictional Easter Bunny.


When I read the comic, I saw the importance of myth, and the neglect of it in our culture. For me, Jesus and the Easter Bunny stood for two prominent points of view in this culture regarding religion and spirituality. One view sees Easter and Jesus as a Fact of History, the other sees Easter as Fictional Fun. Fact and Fiction, those are the two choices most of us are given. You either believe the traditional dogma, or you don't. I see a third option, but first, what are the Fact and Fiction options?


This side is presented by those we often call Orthodox Christians, including Catholics, Evangelicals and others like them. They are adamant that Jesus was a historical figure, that his crucifixion and resurrection were literal, observable, reportable events.

When I was in seminary, I held this position. I studied apologetics, a discipline that attempts to give reasonable and rational answers to the tough questions about the historicity of the Christian message. I had some very intelligent instructors who gave evidences and arguments to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus not only existed, but that his death, resurrection and ascension could have been observed and reported by a Dateline or 20/20 correspondent. These folks are almost frantic to compete in the arena of secular rationalism, using the human brain and empirical criteria to validate the Christian gospel as credible, historical fact.


On the other side, there are the skeptics, the Secular Humanists, the Marxists and Atheists. These folks are just as adamant to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that dead men don’t come back to life and that miracles are impossible. Richard Dawkins is a recent representative of this point of view with his book The God Delusion. Dawkins joins a long line of western skeptics and anti-supernatural apologists, going back to the 18th century philosopher David Hume. Hume argued brilliantly against the probability of supernatural miracles.

These skeptical folks marshal evidence to demonstrate that an empirical validation of Christian miracles is ludicrous. It is not my intention here to examine the two positions. For that I suggest you read Hume and other skeptics, and then read C.S. Lewis, John Warwick Montgomery and others like them for the Christian side.


My purpose here is to state that I have read deeply on both sides and have found the strictly rational evidence to be a best inconclusive and psychologically irrelevant. Now that will sound horrifying to my Christian friends and perhaps evasive to my skeptical friends. But the truth is that I can find pretty good reasonable points on both sides. But neither is intellectually compelling or psychologically satisfying. I have held both positions very dogmatically at various points in my life. I was once an uncompromising Evangelical apologist bent on proving that Jesus rose from the dead. I had a list of twelve arguments, ranging from an inexplicable empty tomb to the radical conversion of the Christian-hating Saul of Tarsus who became the Christ-loving Apostle Paul. I then found those arguments to be only rationally probable to a degree, and offset by the fact that dead men don’t typically come back to life, and that many other religious traditions have miracle claims validated by dozens of eyewitnesses.

I also saw that the people who appealed to their version of 'reason' always had a position to prove and often a job to keep. Evangelical apologists were almost always pastors, professors or persons with occupational and community roots sunk deeply into their theological gardens. Skeptics were also typically either invested financially, or were bitter ex-‘believers’ who were angry at how they had been victimized. Few of these so called objectivist rationalists on either side were detached from the outcome of their positions.


Today I find little psychological or spiritual satisfaction from either point of view. Both of these sides assume that the human brain can penetrate psychic phenomena and posit true or false statements about events that transcend rational inquiry. The so called gospel is a psychological experience that contains elements of fact and fiction, like falling in love. That is what myth is, a little fact and a little fiction and whole lot more of something else.

Unfortunately, the term ‘myth’ has come to stand for fiction in our culture, so to talk of myth often loses many readers to prejudice. Most humans assume they have only two choices, fact or fiction (myth). But we have more than two choices, and we do not need to choose between historical fact and historical fiction.

I like the example of falling in love as similar to myth. When you meet someone and have the experience of ‘falling in love’, and notice that I said experience, there is a curious amalgam of fact and fiction. The object of your love actually exists in some form as fact, but the object you fall in love with exists only in your personal psyche. When you try to tell parents, friends and others about the object of your inexplicable bliss, they see only a body or some emails from that person. Most of us have been met with blank stares when we share our experience of the ‘dreamy’ other, because that other is a myth, existing only in the fantasy of our imagination. It may puzzle us that others can’t see what we feel since our very real lover is in the flesh, has a face and voice. Some may even try to talk us out of the infatuation as they see flaws and behaviors that we cannot in the other. Yet some will see something of the ‘dreamy’ side of the wondrous other and understand to some extent your mythical obsession. But none will get it like you do at the psychic or soul level – that is myth. It attempts to articulate what is experienced, felt, encountered at the soulful level. It is more than just emotion, but it includes emotion. It is acquaintance, intimacy and awareness beyond mere facts - yet the experience is not fictional. It is very real.

The word ‘myth’ is derived from the same word as ‘mute’. Mute means to be silent. Myth is in an attempt to tell what cannot be told. Myth and mute are related because both recognize the limitations of mere logic and language. It is beyond reason, beyond words and beyond empirical observation or literal explanation. But that does not make it false or fictional.


Another example comes from our dreams. Are they fact or fiction? In some ways both, and yet neither – they are mythical. They actually occur. We awake with sometimes bizarre images and situations, sometimes embarrassing and often puzzling. The creatures and situations may include temporal and spatial impossibilities in waking life. Yet they are vividly real and psychically affective; that is, we not only feel them, but may be deeply impressed upon us and we may be deeply affected by them. They can guide or haunt us for hours, days or years. We may have physical symptoms, ranging from erotic to erratic. Few would try to argue that dreams are fact or fiction, but somewhere in between.


This third way of myth is sometimes illustrated in what has come to be called the mandorla. The word ‘mandorla’ is Latin and means almond. It is the almond shape we observe when two circles overlap.

Many religious traditions use this symbol to portray experiences and significances beyond the two usual circles of fact and fiction. It might be the Buddha or the Christ in the mandorla, those psychic experiences that transcend human reason or human non-reason. Literalists, both orthodox and skeptical, get stuck in one circle or the other and seem to be incapable of seeing that there may be states of reality, or psycho-spiritual experiences beyond either fact or fiction. This middle ground is called ‘myth’. Is it true? Yes. Is it false? Yes. And it is something more.

Sometimes the mythical symbol shows up as a door. A door is neither the inside (fact) nor outside (fiction) of the dwelling, but in between the two (myth). Like a mandorla, the door navigates between and through realms. It is the third way, the empty space, the invisible portal. The author of John’s Gospel called Jesus a door and a gate.

The Chinese Tao Te Ching speaks of doors and windows as spaces that critical for a house. These ‘empty spaces’ are the third and often ignored element. Sometimes the third way is a road or path which is neither the beginning nor the end, but the middle path or third way, like psyche between fact and fiction. So one could say that myth is both fact and fiction, truth and lie.


Picasso realized this when he said, “Art is a lie that tells the truth.” A piece of affective art can transform a mere objective fact into a powerful experience with odd lines and exaggerated colors. Poetry and music do this. We have these mediums because rational facts and fictions are too limited to speak to psyche.

Myth is a psychological experience that is too large for historical or objective journalism. A myth may contain little or much ‘historical fact’, but it always contains infinite ramifications which seize psyche. Facts, no matter how amazing, are always incredibly limited.


Did Jesus rise form the dead? Let’s assume there was a reporter present at Jesus’ resurrection, Geraldo Rivera with a microphone and camera standing next to Jesus' corpse in the tomb. Let’s suppose there was a flash of blinding light, that the burial shroud collapsed like a deflating balloon and that Jesus stood next to the reporter in a glowing body. Let’s imagine that the reporter shoved his microphone under Jesus’ nose and asked, “Wow, what was that?” Let’s imagine Jesus saying, “That was a resurrection. God raised me from the dead. I just got rid of the sins of the human race and am now about to ascend to God in Heaven.” At this point Jesus exits the tomb, begins to rise off of the ground like a soap bubble and disappears into the clouds. Now what?

We have our empirical event. We have a verifiable resurrection. So what?


Let’s suppose Geraldo shows the world what he caught on video and audio tape. The whole word sees the flash of light, the empty shroud, the living Jesus and the ascension into the sky. Now what? Can we factually prove what it all means?

I have yet to meet a theologian who can empirically prove what that historically verifiable resurrection actually accomplished or meant. When theologians, beginning with the Apostle Paul, attempt to formulate what it all means, they are entering into the realm of myth. I think Paul knew the meaning of the death and resurrection of jesus were beyond fact or fiction because he spoke of the ‘mystery’ of the gospel, and the ‘foolishness’ of the cross. Paul knew that he was giving metaphysical meanings or psychological interpretations beyond the evidence of the physical resurrection.

When western theologians, including our modern evangelicals, try to make the leap from the ‘empirical’ resurrection to the ‘fact’ of Jesus dying and rising to save original sinners from their sins, they have no objective evidence to prove any of that. For all we know, the resurrection was just a fluke of natural physics. Perhaps every once in a great while in the quantum universe, a corpse reanimates through the same sort of random collision of atomic particles that caused the first cell to form in the primordial soup. Or perhaps some supernatural being intervened and resurrected Jesus. Who knows? The point is that these theologians are using mythology when they speak of a substitutionary atonement and of a sacrifice that takes away the sins of the world. Show me a sin, prove original sin, show the place where the sin goes when Jesus died. Show me the effect of faith on a soul. Prove that humans were headed for hell and were saved from a place called hell. Show me the arrival of the new birth and the Holy Spirit. Show me Jesus at the right hand of God. The fact is, none of this can be empirically verified. These are all theological assumptions, or psychologically derived ideas.


I am not denying that ‘something’ takes place when the death and resurrection of Jesus are discussed. I am not denying that countless millions have had life altering experiences in the name of Jesus of Christ. Clearly, many have and many still do have such experiences when they encounter the gospel. But to be fair, many do not. Something happens to some people through this story. Other people have similar experiences through other stories - Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Scientology, T.M. or L.S.D. Not all of these experiences are identical and some seem to be more beneficial than others, but the gospel is not the only means of psychic experience and spiritual insight.

To speak objectively, we must admit that there is a phenomenon of conversion or spiritual awakening that may arrive through Christ. I speak as one who had such an encounter. At the age of twenty, I read through the gospel of Matthew and felt compelled to ‘believe’. I underwent a psychic shift that I was not consciously seeking. It altered my mind and life course radically. I went from being an aimless, academically impoverished college student to an almost straight ‘A’ student overnight. My values changed, my emotions changed, my behavior changed. Something happened.

Like most humans, I immediately tried to explain the event. With the help of a fundamentalist pastor and Christian college, I adopted a theological structure that claimed to explain and contain the event and the experience I had undergone. As the years went by, I came to see that the psycho-spiritual experience was very real, but that most of the subsequent doctrinal explanations were human concoctions. I eventually left most of the Christian explanations, returned to the mystery and myth of psyche, and prefer the almond shaped middle space to being trapped inside the nutshell of Orthodox dogma.

I now speak of a third way; a way that honors fact and fiction, but a way that cannot be contained or explained by the puny human mind. It is enjoyable and necessary for some of us to attempt explanations. This is called philosophy or science. But our attempts never do justice to the depth of psyche.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

GLOBAL WARMING: Just More Human-Centered Ideology?

Occasionally a person finds a mentor in life who challenges and prods him forward, not always with easy ideas; but then prodding suggests some pain. Australian horticulturalist and theologian Robert Brinsmead has been one such teacher for me over the past twenty-five years. He guided me out of evangelicalism and taught me to inquire, think and challenge mainstream wisdom, whether conservative or liberal.

Please consider his 'unpopular' take on Global Warming:


Robert D. Brinsmead

“Nothing is so fervently believed as that which is not known.” – Montaigne

The claim that human behaviour is the main cause of climate change is called anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Although it has never been proven by any hard scientific evidence like germ theory, atomic theory or the theory of relativity, AGW is widely believed and sometimes defended with the kind of passion that was once used to defend articles of the Christian faith. AGW doubters are treated like heretics and lampooned for being “pre-Copernican Flat Earthers.”

Now that the AGW apologists have reminded us of the pre-Copernican world, we have to say that they have made a valid point in one respect: the current climate change debate does look astonishingly like a re-run of the battle of ideas in the sixteenth century.

At the dawn of the 16th century, Western civilization was locked into Ptolemy’s 2,000- year old cosmology that put the earth at the centre of the universe. Complementing this puny, earth-centred cosmology, was a worldview based on the Genesis story of creation, the Fall of man and Paradise lost. As interpreted in Augustine’s doctrine of original sin, it meant that mankind was wholly responsible for the human condition and the deteriorating state of the earth. This kind of belief created a lot of self-induced guilt.

Whenever the tension of guilt is unresolved, people are easily manipulated or motivated to do wacky and even dangerous things. In Medieval times they often blamed the Jews, witches or heretics in their midst for calamitous events. To offset a guilty conscience, people did bizarre and eccentric things called supererogatory works. The breaking point was reached when the Church began to sell indulgences to people in lieu of requiring them to change their sinful ways.

When a monk nailed a protest against the sale of indulgences on the door of the church, it started a revolution that liberated the Christian West from a lot of its chronic guilt and navel gazing. About the same time a complementary scientific revolution was afoot. Against the consensus worldview of their day, and in the face of extreme opposition from the Church, Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler began to dismantle Ptolemy’s earth-centered universe by advancing a new, helio-centric cosmology. The new cosmology eventually prevailed, and this led on to the Enlightenment, then to the age of science and a new evolutionary geology and biology.

The logical end of the Copernican revolution is the universe of the Big Bang. Thanks to the pioneering cosmology of these 16th century astronomers, we can now contemplate a universe comprising billions of galaxies, each having billions of suns in whose unimaginable supernovae heat was forged the elements found in a speck of star dust that became planet earth.

Against this background of planet earth’s rather inauspicious place in this vast universe of space/time, we now re-focus on the current debate about climate change. It appears that the mainstream view among scientists, politicians, churchmen, environmentalists and school teachers (especially) is that climate change today is for the most part caused by human behaviour. It is said that industrial development, economic growth and the pursuit of better living standards now threatens to destroy this planet with global warming. According to this view of things, humans have the power to stop climate change by changing their behaviour.

On all sides it is acknowledged that the climate system is incredibly complex. There are also a lot of vast things that influence climate - like the vastness of the oceans, glaciers, polar ice, water vapour and clouds carrying billions of tons of water from place to place. Then beyond this earth, our climate is influenced by the vast energy of the sun with its solar flares and solar winds. Then there are the variations in earth’s orbit around the sun as well as the well known variations in the tilt of its axis, all playing a vital role in climate change. Last but not least, cosmic rays are high-energy particles that stream out from exploding supernovae. It has been estimated that a 10% change in the number of cosmic rays penetrating the earth can change global temperatures by 1.3%.

It seems that the AGW school has pushed to one side all these big ticket influences on the climate, both terrestrial and celestial, to focus almost exclusively of one thing – a relatively minor greenhouse gas called carbon dioxide – CO2.

Carbon forms more compounds than all other elements combined. All life is carbon based. As far as all plant life is concerned – from the microscopic algae that live in the sea to the giant trees that grow in the Amazon rainforest - CO2 is the gas of life. As Roger Revelle, the grand father of our modern greenhouse science and also the famed mentor of Al Gore, said:

“Increased CO2 in the air acts like a fertilizer for plants ... you get more plant growth. Increasing CO2 levels also affect water transpiration, causing plants to close their pores and sweat less. That means plants will be able to grow in drier climates.”

A legion of recent experiments have demonstrated beyond any shadow of doubt that a CO2 enriched atmosphere promotes plant growth, increases agricultural production and promotes a greener planet.CO2 enrichment also ameliorates drought by enabling plants to survive with less water and in harsher conditions. The evidence is also written large in the geological record how a lusher earth flourished when the atmosphere was enriched with much more C02 than it enjoys today, and without causing any harm to earth’s biodiversity.

One would think that with all this evidence for CO2’s greening benefits, the Greens and their fellow environmental travellers would be talking C02 up instead of talking it down, or worse, being paranoid about it. The bottom line is that they are biased against something else far more passionately than they are biased toward the greening of the earth. They are biased against economic growth, industrial activity and human technology, and they hate capitalism; but most of all, they are biased against people.

From the time environmentalism became an identifiable movement about 1970 – which makes it almost 40 years old – it has predicted one apocalyptic disaster after another. First it was the apocalyptic scare of mass starvation. This was followed by the scare about running out of resources such as oil, zinc, copper, lead and natural gas. Then there was the apocalyptic scare about a new ice age that was supposed to be signalled by a few years of global cooling in the 1970’s. Then came the new apocalyptic scare about acid rain. When that scare petered out, along came the scare about the hole in the ozone . Today, the mother of all environmental scares is global warming.

To understand the agenda behind raising one scare after another for the last 40 years, we need only look at what is common to every one of them. In every case the real enemy is not the threat of starvation, or running out of resources, or acid rain, or the hole in the ozone, or climate change. It has been a 40-year beat-up on the detrimental environmental impacts of human activity. It’s been like listening to the mantra of the pigs in George Orwell’s Animal Farm: “Four legs good; two legs bad.”

There has never been a scintilla of hard scientific evidence to prove that CO2 is a major driver of climate change. Then why do advocates of AGW ignore all the big ticket influences on climate change to concentrate on CO2? Elementary, Mr. Watson! CO2 just happens to be an industrial gas that stands as a proxy for human activity.

Let’s crunch a few straightforward numbers here to illustrate how the whole AGW exercise is like trying to burn down the house to get the mouse.

Greenhouse gas – so necessary to prevent temperature extremes making life on earth impossible – comprises about 1% of the earth’s atmosphere. Water vapour makes up 95% of all greenhouse gases; CO2 accounts for only 3.6%. 3.6% of 1% = 0.036% of the atmosphere or 360 parts per million. (Direct measurements indicate it could be closer to 380 ppm)

Human activity produces about 3% of all CO2 emissions. Micro-organisms, termites, cows, decomposing vegetation, respiring plants, volcanos, the oceans and other natural processes produce about 97% of the CO2 emissions.

The total human CO2 contribution to the atmosphere is therefore 3% of 0.036% = 0.00108% or about 10.8 ppm.

In terms of the total human C02 contribution to all greenhouse gases, this is 3% of 3.6% = 0.108%, or a little more than one part in one thousand.

What these numbers mean is that the AGW advocates are focusing almost their entire attention on a very tiny 0.00108% of the atmosphere or a tiny 0.108% of all greenhouse gases. In the words of climatologist Martin Hertzberg, “it’s the equivalent of a few farts in a hurricane.”

Let us now look at the arguments on the other side of this climate change debate. Just as it was in the 16th century, it is the cosmologists and the solar physicists of our day who are set to dismantle this AGW worldview that once again puts man at the centre of what is really a great cosmic drama. Included among these big-picture scientists are the geologists who, looking at the big picture geological record, say that both the degree and the rate of climate change today is entirely within the range of natural climate variability.

The cosmologists and solar physicists generally subscribe to the view that the oscillation of the climate from ice ages to warm inter-glacials is determined by variations in the sun’s radiance and magnetic fields, sun spots and solar winds, the well-known variations of the earth’s elliptical path around the sun, and variations in the tilt in the axis of the earth. Then on our solar system’s 143 million-year journey from one arm of our Milky Way Galaxy to the next, it encounters showers of cosmic rays from supernovae. When they penetrate the earth they play an important role in the formation of cooling clouds. (See Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder, The Chilling Stars).

Put down your glasses! The big-picture scientists, standing in the tradition of Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo, are bound to win this one again. There are no prizes here for guessing which side of the climate change debate is looking more and more like the pre-Copernican Flat Earthers!

Politicians and governments who talk about invoking policies to stop climate change (beware the ultra-expensive ones that could destroy our economy and way of life) are playing the role of a 21st century King Canute. It would be just as easy to stop the incoming and outgoing tide.

The prince of climatologists, Richard Lindzen, recently said that the current climate change hysteria has become “a tsunami of insanity.” Humans are being blamed again for everything from the disappearing green frogs to great weather disasters that have always stalked the earth. People are made to feel guilty when the bees mysteriously die, the migratory birds return too early or the coral reef shows signs of bleaching. People are being made to feel guilty about eating food that has generated too many CO2 emissions by long distance transport, flying to holiday destinations, driving to work, turning on an air conditioner, leaving on a light or even for using too much toilet paper – unless they have bought some carbon credits to offset their sinful carbon emissions. Shades of 16th century indulgences, indeed!

Friday, May 11, 2007


I have various female friends and acquaintances who routinely comment on the warring and violent nature of men. There is a cultural assumption that males are the cause of all violence and war. Such conflicts exist solely because men love war and violence. This stereotype goes all the way back to 5th century B.C. Greece as seen in Aristophane's play, Lysistrata. News programs often perpetuate this stereotype by airing the very popular programs about male abusers and male criminal activities.

Here is my response:



These days, there is an assumption by some that men are violent by nature. Some point to the 19 male hijackers that flew planes into the Twin Towers on 9/11 as proof that men are more violent than women by nature. It is ironic, however, that these same people rarely mention that all of the 343 firefighters who perished on September 11 by rushing into the burning, toxic inferno were males. Using the same logic, does that prove that men are more caring, loving, nurturing and compassionate than women? No. The common denominator uniting the male Muslim Terrorists and dead male rescue workers is not violence or war, but risk-taking. Males are risk-takers, and statistically save lives far more often than they destroy lives. Even the misguided hijackers saw themselves as liberators who gave their lives to free Islam from the Satanic Western ‘oppressors’. These so called male martyrs felt they were serving Allah, their mothers, wives and children.

War is not a male thing. Risk-taking is a male thing. The hormone, testosterone, equips the body and alerts the mind to take risks in the face of a threat to ones life or the lives and property they love. Males typically assert themselves not only when personally threatened, but also when women, children and property are in danger. Then there are the offensive wars when tribes or groups of people want more 'stuff' from another tribe or nation. Yet even in these situations, females and children are very supportive of the wars because they benefit from the ‘stuff’ acquired by the male warriors.

That is why this country has the Selective Service System. It is the means by which the United States administers military conscription. It entails registering all males between the ages of 18 and 26 with the system for the purpose of having information available about potential soldiers in the event of war. Notice that this is required of males, which one could argue is a form of gender discrimination in this era of so called 'equal rights.' The reason is that males are biologically equipped to be risk-takers - to protect, defend and preserve our freedoms. This subject is examined by Christina Hoff-Sommers in her exceptional study revealing discriminatory practices against our young boys in the public educational system: The WAR AGAINST BOYS: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.


Over 90% of all job related deaths occur among the male population because they typically take the more risky jobs that women often will not take. These are called the Death Professions. Chief among these are: Timber cutters, Fishers, Pilots and navigators, Structural metal workers, Drivers-sales workers, Roofers, Electrical power installers, Farm occupations, Construction laborers and Truck drivers.

In the past fifteen years, over 1,000 American males have been killed in coal mining accidents. These numbers have gone way down with the increase of required safety improvements. The numbers once were closer to what we find in modern China where over 5,000 men a year die in coal mines.

This is also one of the reasons men make more money than women. Women who do exactly the same jobs, make exactly the same wage, but fewer women than men will crawl into a mine shaft a mile under the earth or stand on the deck of an Alaskan fishing boat hauling nets in 30 foot waves and gale winds. The next time you use something made of plastic, aluminum, wood, steel or stone – realize that hundreds of male hands and bodies were put in harms way to mine, cut, melt, heat and shape the objects we take for granted each day. Of course women are involved, but generally, the riskier life threatening occupations which give us the majority of our modern conveniences come from male risk-taking.


While males almost always comprise the majority of fighters in times of war, both genders equally support and participate in the typical 'war effort'. Hitler's Germany contained thousands of very enthusiastic females who supported the Third Reich. The German Youth Movement was stocked with young enthusiastic Frauliens. One of the WWII Russian army's best squad of snipers was a female squad called Roza Shanina.

The American Revolution saw as many women as men supporting the war, with women doing the non-combat jobs. During the American Civil War, both Southern and Northern females provided a strong impetus for men to enlist and die by publically shaming males for unpatriotic cowardice if they did not. In World Wars I and II, American women filled the factories to make weapons, munitions and other needed supplies for the male troops. Both males and females have always been very supportive of wars that will make them more wealthy and powerful, or in the case of America, free. Historically, females in all cultures have favored the strongest fighters, protectors and providers for their children. An example is from Native American history: Many Indian mothers would not let their daughters marry a male suitor unless he could prove his acumen at war; it was common for a mother to ask the young man to show how many enemy scalps he had. Scalps were the modern equivalent of Letterman’s jackets or the gorgeous female giving the trophy to the winning risk-taking male – the most ‘valuable’ women were attracted to the most athletic males.

The major difference, when it comes to war, is that men are considered expendable because they are, well, male. Until recently, men were the only ones that went into combat. There is a movement toward gender equality today as more and more brave females are going into combat zones. However, they are given a choice as to whether or not they take a battlefield assignment. Males are not given that choice.

My son came home from Basic Training and said, “Hey dad, do you know what they call men in the infantry?” I asked him what. He replied tersely, “Bullet sponges.” Imagine for a moment that America was attacked and had to go to war, and that a series of posters or commercials surfaced advertising that only Blacks, Gays or Women were required to sign up and die in battle. There would be a justifiable outrage and storm of protest about the blatant discrimination. But when the male gender is singled out as being required to die, we don’t call it discrimination, we call it the Draft. Sadly, this stereotype of male as expendable war drone is perpetuated routinely in movies like Star Wars. Few even blink when cloned white faceless male troopers are cut down like summer hay, afterall, that's what men are for.


Furthermore, it shocks most people when they see that domestic abuse statistics are about even when gathered outside of police reports. Independent surveys and several university studies reveal that as many women as men abuse family members. Men infrequently report their abusers, and when they do, they are routinely doubted since 'women can't hurt men'. Dr. Martin Fiebert, from the Department of Psychology of California State University, has compiled an annotated bibliograhy of research relating to spousal abuse by women on men. This bibliography examines 155 scholarly investigations: 126 empirical studies and 29 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 116,000.

This culture tells boys that girls can't hurt them. Reports of female physical and emotional abuse against men and children often go unreported. But when surveys are done door to door, which have been done at least 40 times, the stats always reveal a 50/50 split. In fact, women abusing children is slightly higher than men. Furthermore, female violence is often done at the emotional and relational levels while boys focus on physical aggression.


Obviously my point is NOT to see women as MORE violent, or worse -- but rather to correct and stop the myth that men are the 'violent gender' and the cause of wars. As a man, I tire of being stereotyped based on misinformation and propaganda. Clearly,men are risk-takers. That does mean that you are likely to see more men involved in violent crimes, but it also means you are going to see more men involved in risking their lives to solve those crimes and bring the criminals to justice.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


“It is, to my mind, a fatal mistake to regard the human psyche as a purely personal affair and to explain it exclusively from a personal point of view.” Carl Jung


The knowledge that we are ‘awake, aware and at choice’ was refreshingly empowering to many of us when we first realized it. Like me, some of you came from backgrounds that taught you to be a victim. We lived as though we were powerless and being taken advantage of by every situation. Then we heard that we had the ability to choose our response to any and every set of circumstances - that we could change them or choose to gratefully accept them if we couldn't change them. We decided we would no longer be mute victims, even when hurt or offended. No one will ever take advantage of us or pull something over on us. But as with all psycho-spiritual perspectives, imbalance is dangerous. It seems to me that truth always has two sides. The fact is, sometimes life just comes apart at the seams and we feel out of control, no matter how many spiritual principles we have learned. Are we really always 'awake, aware and at choice' in an ultimate sense?


The word ‘ego’ is used often these days and in many contexts. I am using the word here to refer to our ‘identity center’, or that part of us that we most often display in public. This is my ego with a name, a certain style of clothing, my entertainment tastes, moral values, speech patterns, politically and socially correct behaviors, etc. Of course we may occasionally display other behaviors in private settings or with certain people, but ‘ego’ is the usual, fairly consistent center of our daily identity.

This ego-self is constructed through years of education and experience. Putting aside the intricacies of the Nature versus Nurture debate, this ego is the congealed result of DNA, parenting, peer associations and all things that go into the developmental stew that makes you, ‘you’.


Archetypal Psychology takes a position which says that ego is just one self in a psychological constellation of many selves. James Hillman says that each ego is really the Hero archetype claiming to be the King of the Hill, or Zeus reigning alone on Mount Olympus. It would have us believe it to be the only self.

Most psychological and religious models have largely neglected the many selves and made the ego the sole center of the individual psyche. We talk of healing ‘the self’ or saving ‘the soul’. You hear of ‘self image’ and ‘self esteem’, but never ‘selves images’ and ‘selves esteem’. This solitary ego emphasis has been reinforced by western religious monotheism which takes a dim view of anything ‘poly’ – polytheism, polygamy, polyamory, ‘poly-psychosis (multiple personality disorder, bi-polar, schizophrenia, etc.) and polyester suits. We prefer finding unity, unified theories, singularities, united states, united nations and work for the integration of all socio-religio, gender and ethnic differences in a ‘universe’.

In other words, we are suspicious of things that can’t be coalesced into a united center. As a result, there is a tendency to hold the ego-self as a little factory that may have some dysfunctional aspects, but is largely an intact little place. Therapy consists of fixing the disordered parts so that the ego can get back to functioning normally. Salvation is seen as rescuing or redeeming the self from bondage to sin and death.
In both views, the self is essentially a good core once it is healed or saved.

Archetypal Psychology on the other hand sees the ego as a temporary center, one of many such centers in a life time, that must be eroded or demolished so that another center or ego-self can replace it. These various centers are like the rings of growth in a tree. The tree may appear to be a single entity, but is really several seasons and a series of rings one around the other.

Life is primarily the succession of seasons or experiences that bring one ego-self to an end that another may replace it. Ignorance of this process creates incredible pain and confusion. These many deaths and resurrections, or new births, are at the center of all religious mythologies.


This brings me back to my initial paragraph about not being victims. Archetypal Psychology attempts to strike a balance between the individual as being ‘awake, aware and at choice’, and the universe being comprised of many archetypal energies which rise up from the depths of the unconscious to erode or destroy the old ego-center. The result, like that of a tree, is expansion, or soul-making.

This means that occasionally experiences enter our lives without our conscious awareness or involved choices. This perspective threatens the notion of the absolute ‘power of intention’, suggesting that sometimes our intentions are thwarted by a Higher Purpose – soul-making.

The nineteenth century poet John Keats addressed this notion as he found himself at the age of twenty-six dying of tuberculosis. Keats questioned the Christian notion of life as a ‘vale of tears’ requiring salvation, and speculated that life was a ‘vale of soul-making’. He suggested that sometimes our plans, made by the reigning ego-self, are completely decimated by archetypal powers that crush the old center through a devastaing experience.


The word experience comes from two Latin words and literally means ‘to seize out’; it is related to the word 'pirate'. An experience yanks something out, takes hold of an object and pulls it apart.

Ex = out
Perience = to seize (root of our words pirate and predator)

Experiences are events that literally come aboard the fixed and secure vessel of the ego-self, plundering and sometimes sinking the vessel. The cargo is removed, the ship sunk, leaving the Captain feeling dislocated, insecure and in a state of confusion. These kinds of experiences are a normal and necessary part of life as soul-making.

The archetypal energies or pirates conspire or work together to make soul. Soul-making is a higher priority than happiness, material wealth or physical health. This psychological approach suggests that dreams, fantasies, pathologies and various crises arise throughout life to make soul. Of course we have some personal control in this process, but not as much as we may think. Of course there may be just as many or more enjoyable experiences, but we don't typically go into despair when the ship is loaded with gold and sailing smoothly on a calm sea. And of course we will most often find another boat, meaning we will recreate another secure ego-self. We sometimes call this process reinventing ourselves, hitting bottom, getting a wake up call, or surviving a mid-life crisis, etc. It may involve a horrific divorce, a life threatening disease, fighting an addiction or surviving an accident or a criminal assault. Death is the ultimate devastating experience, and in this model of archetypal reality, even the archetype of death is a soul-making Agent.

The most important thing to remember is that there is nothing ultimately wrong. Like trees, we are meant to grow ego-rings or different centers through various seasons. Like trees, the old season ends, the old ring is completed and a new ring begins. Each of us has many lives and become many selves. If we do not know this, life may be intolerably hard. If we don’t know this, we may always be pursuing some elusive ‘mental wholeness’, or a final spiritual ‘baptism in the Spirit’ or some phantom solution that brings happiness and prosperity so we can be ‘finished’. There are many today who endlessly follow after Gurus, ministers, teachers, self help programs, 'secrets' and therapists in search of the elusive ‘Wholly Grail’. These teachers and programs make their money off of convincing people that they have the solution to the problem.

People often turn to religion or drugs when the center begins to disintegrate. Karl marx spoke of this when he called religion 'the opiate of the masses.' Marx failed to realize that Communist ideology, or any socio-political ideology, may also serve as an opiate of the masses.

Our churches, for the most part, do not prepare people for this psycho-spiritual seasonal growth and ego decay. Most religious programs try to hold the single ego together with a systematic belief system or promise of some end time miracle.

So if your life begins to come apart at the seams, or your old world begins to melt like a snowman in spring, you have choices. You may listen to those who tell you that you aren’t taking your therapy or faith seriously, that Satan is taking hold of you or that your consciousness is weak. This kind of advice sets you up for chronic agitation, deep depression and suicidal thoughts. In fact, the archetype of sui-cide (self death) is actually a potentially helpful ally – because it announces, like a herald before the birth of Jesus, the death of the old ego and the arrival of the new. Unfortunately, some people hear only the literal part of the suicide message and take their physical lives because they don't know that the ego-demolition situation is normal and that it will pass. Say goodbye to the old ego-self, the old order, the old house, the old center, the old identity and step into the empty center. “The modern ego is so conditioned to take personal responsibility for everything that happens to it that it is hard for modern man to recognize religious realities even when hit over the head with them. Religious realities mean realities which are derived from an inner, purposeful, non-ego origin.” (The New God-Image, Edward Edinger, p.21)

In the Bible, when old ego-centers died, they sometimes changed their names. Abram became Abraham, Sari became Sarah, Jacob became Israel. Even ‘God’ evolved, or more accurately, the Hebrew understanding of God shifted as he went from Elohim , to JHWH to Jesus, to Holy Spirit.


After an old ego-center is destroyed, the center is empty. When the ego-center no longer holds, ones feelings usually vacillate between terror and ecstasy, excitement and dread. The emptiness opens a window into eternity and the sense of ‘this’ and ‘that’ disappears. The loss of the old stable ego can feel like standing on the precipice of Paradise or the abysss of Hell.

The Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book says ‘we may feel like the proverbial hole in the doughnut’ as some or all sense of ego and past identity vanishes. We awaken in the mornings wondering who we are and how we shall get through the day. As the Apostle Paul writes, ‘old things pass away and all things are becoming new.’ The Chinese Tao Te Ching puts it this way:

If you want to become full, let yourself be empty.
If you want to be reborn, let yourself die.
If you want to be given everything, give everything up.

Poem 22

So I ask again, are we always 'awake, aware and at choice'? My answer, today, is yes and no. Yes in that we may be aware that the archetypal Presences in the Living Universe sometimes brings us events out of our control. But no in that we do not always choose these events. Our current ego-self is not big enough or usually strong enough to let go of itself. The various egos are fortresses of stability, giving us a sense of permanence. This is not ego as bad or the enemy, but ego as limited and always on the verge of death in order that a new ring might grow. This is soul-making.

Monday, May 7, 2007


A friend recently asked me the following question:

What do you think of sin, grace and Jesus dying for our sins?


My response:

These are great questions.

I think ultimately they are unanswerable questions, and that 'salvation' or soul-making takes place in the process of wrestling with them, not by getting them 'right'. Most of our puny human brains can't even understand how a computer works, let alone these immense psycho-spiritual conundrums. You may recall that in the book of Genesis, Jacob's name was changed to Israel. The name Jacob means to deceive and manipulate. The name Israel means 'wrestling with God.' The name change took place as Jacob wrestled with the Angel of the LORD and his soul experienced a shift in consciousness. Jacob was transformed from being a secretive manipulator to an honest wrestler and open seeker.

When I was part of the Evangelical movement, I was a manipulator like Jacob, using my Bible and theology to control ideas and people. I would use my 'inspired' Bible to justify getting other people to see it and do it 'God's' (my) way. All dogmatic theologies and ideologies, whether conservative or liberal, are active or passive attempts at manipulation.

With regard to your questions, here is where I am today as guided by the Spirit of Truth that resides in us all:


Sin simply means to miss the mark, an archery term for missing the center of the target. Sin is always being redefined by people and societies, and be warned, you risk your life when you challenge the social and religious definitions of sin. Jesus redefined sin when he ate on the Sabbath and touched lepers. Jesus redefined sin when he defended the woman caught in adultery; Moses' God would have stoned her. People today are following Jesus' example by questioning homosexuality as sin, and by questioning other moral and ethical behaviors as sinful, like stem cell research and abortion. It doesn't mean a person is right when they question these things, but it does show that 'sin' is always being questioned by teachers like Jesus.

I personally believe that I sin when I do not live up to my inner call and internal sense of destiny. Spirit has called each of us to a place in life, and when we get still, we know that place. Just as the Spirit led Jesus to touch lepers and eat on the Sabbath, each of us is guided to follow our call even if it violates the boundaries of religious and social institutions. Sin is not primarily violating a list of rules, but violating your own inner knowing of your call to serve others with the gifts, desires and talents you were born with. The 'real' sinner is not so much the drunk or hooker, but the man or woman working in the prison of a cubicle to pay the mortgage as his/her soul withers away.


Grace is a way of seeing anew, not religious dogma. Grace is a radical spiritual hypothesis Jesus used to move people from the righteous Rule-God to the gracious Father-God. Grace is not a law, doctrine or teaching we apply. It is a realization, an awareness, an awakening to a Higher view of Reality - namely that Eternity (God) does not hate us, never has hated us and that God is not against us in this adventure called life. Grace bypasses justice and releases debts with no requirement for payment or remuneration. Jesus told many parables about this scandalous notion of grace taking precedence over legal Mosaic justice:

1. The 'unfair' practice of laborers working various amounts of time and all receiving the same wage.
2. A prodigal son squandering his inheritance and being welcomed home with no need for repayment or sacrifice; the fatted calf was slaughtered for a love feast, not a sin offering.
3. The unjust steward releasing men from debts to ingratiate himself to their favor.

Grace is the shift away from the metaphor of God as Judge and Executioner, to the metaphor of God as Father and Shepherd. Grace is the day we wake up and realize that human beings filled with self loathing constructed a God-Image and theological systems that required a Divine Judge and Executioner to kill something or someone to appease His anger. Grace is awakening to the realization that the pollution of Jesus' message came through humans, especially the Apostle Paul, who constructed a retributive theology.

This is a great question, and as you will see, I am going to answer no, and yes.

The God of Jesus never required a bloody execution in order to love human beings. Jesus spoke of a God that went searching for lost sheep, not a God Who slit the sheep's throat and burned it as a sweet scented offering. Jesus chased the animals out of the temple, calling the priests thieves for making a living through the practice of sin and sacrifice. To this very day, ironically, Christian priests and ministers are back in the temple calling people sinners and offering sacrifices! Jesus graciously cancelled all debts, Paul resurrected them and said the Law required repayment, and made Jesus the final Jewish sacrificial solution.

People like the Apostle Paul and Mel Gibson, filled with self loathing and unresolved demons, require a gruesome crucifixion to atone for their dark internal rage and their secret sinful fantasies which they simultaneously love and despise. When you hear stories of ministers like Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggert and Ted Haggard having secret sex lives, you understand the conflict in many Christians – filling them with a need to somehow kill that part of them that haunts their otherwise moralistic godliness. Carl Jung said that in the conscious Christian resides a Pagan unconscious buried beneath the surface. All humans are filled with divine chaotic darkness. It must either emerge into the light and be channeled into creativity, or it will erupt somewhere violently.

The horrific image of Jesus being arrested, violently abused and butchered by a loving Father was invented by humans with hearts filled with repressed fear, anxiety, internalized rage and self loathing. These were people hiding demons in the basements of their souls which they despised and want exoricised. This gospel story of a God who tortured, humiliated and murdered his son in cold blood was constructed by humans who hated what they found inside of themselves, feeling that they and the whole ugly human race deserved to be tortured for their lies and deceptions.

These people were often humiliated as children and hurt by adults through physical or emotional abuse. Many were taught in Sunday School or Catechism that they were born as original sinners and rebels filled with evil. They were taught that their natural human desires and feelings were godless. Shame and loathing increased. They had to invent a God that hated them as much as they despised themselves.
Show me a person who thinks he has to be scrubbed clean only by the 'blood of Jesus', and I will show you a person who is almost certainly struggling with hidden obsessions and shameful addictions. Only violence and death can scour away such putrefaction. Somewhere in their life is an inordinate craving and occasional acting out around food, gambling, pharmaceuticals, sex, alcohol, work or some veiled demon he or she will not confess and bring out into the open. Their self deprecation is alleviated by admitting that they killed God with their confusing and inconsistent behaviors. The sad irony is that typically these desires begin as very normal, necessary and natural desires.

They live in secrecy. Rather than come clean and admit their disgraceful secret, they prefer to project their shame and rage outward onto the horrific image of a Divine Father killing his innocent son drenched with their unrelenting sins and the sins of the whole despicable world. This way, they can simultaneously hate and crucify God for making them so sinfully weak, and then love Him for dying for their sinful weaknesses!


That being said, paradoxically the story of the crucified God can also be useful and necessary for these same self loathing people who need a divine parent that slaughter's his son for their wickedness. This message often brings them to a place where they can lay down their failures, weakness, self loathing and anger by placing their overwhelming emotions and their deep psychic pain on the crucified Jesus.

The universal appeal and success of this gospel of crucifixion reveals that many humans need this story to introduce them to a spiritual awakening. Through identification with this murderous image they can unburden themselves by letting their surrogate parent punish and kill the bad and disappointing child that they are. In Christ, they see an angry Parent punishing them for being such a bad little boy or girl. These people really see themselves as bad before daddy or mommy, deserving a whipping, humiliation and extermination. At this point, the gospel story is neither fact nor fiction, but a necessary psycho-spiritual drama for a very real and beneficial affect in the psyche.

Many alienated and distraught people are often moved to deep feelings of remorse and hope as they identify with the crucified Christ who embodies all of their failures, self loathing and internalized rage. By putting their face and sins on Christ, they experience a removal of guilt, a release from failure and a sense of satisfaction by being vicariously punished for their obsessive secrets and chronic sins. There is often a 'born again' experience. Something shifts in them, resulting in a change of heart that can last an hour or a lifetime.


But there comes a day, hopefully, when the gracious Father-God of Jesus dawns on them, and they can move beyond the bloody sacrificial cross developed by the New Testament Jewish legal theologian, Paul, to the debt cancelling God of Jesus. Jesus presented a radical new God Who loved people simply because they existed as humans, with their failures and successes, warts and blemishes.

But until that awakening, they must continue to vent their hatred via a God-Image that necessitates wrath, justice, slaughter and divine retribution. However, keep your eye on these folks, for they are furtive Jacobs filled with manipulation and deceit, hidden addictions and secret demons that will one day pop out like a jack-in-the-box. They are typically filled with gossip, hatred of those who are different and a need to control the world around them. You can bank on the fact that when a person requires his/her God to slaughter His son in cold blood, he/she is harboring some dark secrets and contains a locked vault packed with self contempt. They may speak of living grace, but they know only bloody justice.