Some contradictions of Spirituality

Standardized Transcendence

Spirituality claims that identically following and repeating the same ways and actions as have been already followed by millions of other people in the past, so that anyone (including stupid people) must be able to do it if just he tries, is the most divinely wonderful and extraordinary thing ever.

Well, I admit that there is something we can consider wonderful and extraordinary while it has already been done identically by a majority of humans. Namely, love and sex. But this rather is an extraordinary joy, that is something natural.
Logically, what is repeatedly done by large numbers of people since millenia with no progression, should be considered something selfish because there is hardly anyone else that it can benefit to. Thus, in particular (and despite some claims), marital love and sex are something selfish (unless questions of genetic evolution are considered).
What would more precisely be absurd, thus, is to give a standardized action (repeated by millions) with no resulting progression, to be something of moral value, that is, a value much beyond the actor's concerns.
In particular, marital love and sex is a high value, but this is consistent insofar as this is directly and individually measured and benefited.

The Focus on Intentions, or the Selfish Quest for Capitalizing Selflessness in One's Deepest Self

Spirituality consists in focusing one's attention and values on Inner Qualities. That is, on how good and pure can people be in themselves. Judging actions not in terms of their external aspects, but on their internal ones.

And assuming that this factor determines everything. Thus accusing other people that they must be bad-intended and thus bad in themselves because of how bad the consequences of their actions turned out to be (or seem in your eyes), refusing to understand that they could have been well-intended too ; but mocking, dismissing and not tolerating any criticism to oneself by considering that oneself is well-intended and therefore any criticism would be wrong (unfair). Not only in reply to people that (wrongly) accuse oneself of having been bad-intended, but also to those who were aware of the good intentions but wanted to point out something else, that is the understanding of the real consequences of actions in the external world.

Refusing to understand that the depth of intentions is a completely different thing from the effective consequences of actions. Ignoring that the main problems in the world comes from the fact that most people are well-intended but do the wrong things because they don't understand the consequences of what they are doing. Therefore practicing a double standard.
By focusing on the depth of intentions and the deep nature of the spirit, Spirituality is leading humans to a selfish quest. The quest for "inner selflessness" where only oneself is responsible for one's own deep being, assumed to be the whole of life, and where therefore the whole object of morality (which concerns how someone can be helpful to someone else) becomes empty.
But, if your intention is to focus your intention into developing the intention of developing the best intentions, then you are ultimately only caring about yourself. What is the good of a purity of intentions whose only purpose is to purify the deepest self of his author ?

Of course all people will reply : but good intentions lead to good actions. Sorry, this is technically false. In the real world and in practice, the best intentions often lead to bad actions because it goes together with the ignorance of the consequences of actions (and the ignorance of their ignorance, that is, the ignorance of the fact that some elaborate, scientific, nonspiritual understanding of the lowly material realities are very much needed in order for the effects of actions to match the intentions)

The Freedom to Choose Slavery by Mistake

It all seems that God holds human freedom as a supreme value. Problem : he seems to utterly fail at grasping the need of utilitarianism, i.e. strategical thinking, when pursuing moral values in general, and the value of giving us freedom in particular.
In my humble conception of the value of freedom, in order for freedom to be a genuine gift rather than a curse, it needs to come with reliable information on things : information on where each path is actually leading, in order for what we happen to choose (our means) to match what we meaningfully intend to choose (our goals).
But from all what I could hear everywhere on God's way, it all seems that God did not understand this. Now if I care to explain it to Him, will He understand ? that is a big question... I only see one hope here : while God failed at that, there is still a possibility to develop a technology for this purpose, of providing better information to guide our actions in coherence with our goals. Any web programmer willing to help ?

The Pride of Humility, and the Victory given to the Fake, the Fool and the Hypocrite

The fact is that the Spiritual system of values, especially the overpraise of humility, logically gives all value to supposed characters of the Self (that of selflessness), the "being instead of having", and necessarily makes these values objects of pride and vanity towards one's deepest person, which is precisely a program jailed in the wrong values which it pretends to oppose. It fucks up life, turned into a huge, hopeless game of self-contradictions, of who-wins-loses, as it feeds and depends on wrong and misjudging feelings of personal pride and the necessarily most violently insults (misjudgments) against who thinks differently (assumed to have a bad heart, etc), which it pretends to oppose, unlike science which has the safe neutrality of not being interested in matters of personal judgments dismissed as irrelevant to its study, but only in impersonal matters of how things work.

- It brings to a dead end or vicious circle that wastes the energies of intention over and over again at the expense of any other fruit; leads to the doom and psychosis of failure, those who seriously and wisely try to conform their life quest to the spiritual value of praising and developing the highest selflessness they can, by making them fail in this quest to selflessness by the very request to run after it.

- It gives a vain feeling of victory to the fools and hypocrites who are in fact far away from this goal. Not only the liars consciously only interested to give an illusion of virtue to the outside, but also some sincere but foolish people who get the feeling that they reach selflessness, as they are too foolish (either naturally or due to spirituality itself) to be able to grasp how far from this goal they really are.

Some spiritualities more or less avoid the last contradiction, in the sense that they honestly recognize the goal of their path, to be a selfish one. It would be a path to individual salvation.

However, such a claim is hardly tenable. Most spiritualities remain tempted to consider themselves as the heart of selflessness, in order to seem higher, because selfless goals naturally look "so much spiritually higher" than selfish ones. But they have to manage the contradiction between this theoretical principle of selflessness, necessary for them to see themselves as a "high spiritual value", and the practical reality their short-sighted actions with mainly selfish benefits, by their way of pretending that the individuality of the quest as they define it, and the impossibility to help others in it, would be a fundamental fact of nature which they deny responsibility of.

Then, if too seriously giving one's life to spirituality happens to lead one's life to destruction (deeply and irreversibly missing love or any other joy of life), it can provoke later reactions of legitimate anger against spirituality for the harm it created, which is the perfect excuse for Spiritual Masters to blame their victims for what they assume to be vices in the heart. Thus, if Spiritual Masters will find it right to blame you and consider that you "deserve hell for the badness of your heart" as you indeed appear so angry, it can be in reality for the very reason that you were so shy and confident towards them in the first place, and that such anger is the very last thing on Earth you would have ever naturally considered, but that you are finally forced to adopt by the unconceivable but real horror of the fact that Spirituality happened to persecute your life beyond any possible expectation.

The values of the heart... that cannot tolerate any different view.

I once had a kind of debate with someone who is so fanatical about that reason is the cause of all evil and cannot help to change the world, and that only spreading some "values of the heart" can be the way to change the world. I tried to explain that I have a plan to change the world by IT with the advantage that I only need a few people to work on it, while there are millions of people who insist on values of the heart and still, despite all their efforts the world has problems. You know what ? I have the impression that this person strongly despised me like an evil monster for the crime of arrogance of having such a plan which would have the very evil advantage of being more efficient than the only kind of works (those of the heart) which they are fanatical about... as I pointed out that the values of the heart can be great but I am sorry I find myself in duty to work at another level as I found myself more useful there, the level of technology and so on.... I was guilty of the crime of making division between the heart and... the ways to change the world.
Sorry I am not making divisions but distinctions here. Distinction between things I wished could coexist in peace. But that unfortunately need to be distinguished from each other in order for things to work well.
I have nothing against people who follow their path with the heart. I never tried to say they are wrong and need to change their mind or their way of living. I just wished to be tolerated in my way, and to say that sorry I am busy and therefore have no time to invest in other people's ways. But asking the "people of the heart" to tolerate that I may have a different approach to work on, seems to be too much demanding. I am not the one who divides. They are the ones who divide and create wars and intolerance, those people who are so fanatical about the "values of the heart" that they cannot tolerate anyone with different opinions.
Of course there would be less wars if all people in the world were thinking the same. No need to be a prophet to guess this. The problem is that, no matter whether you like it or not, there are people with different opinions, therefore the question is whether different people can coexist in peace even though they have different opinions. As for me I don't have the impression of having problem with people having other opinions as long as it does not lead to any harm (unfortunately, wrong opinions may also result in harm in some cases... anyway there is a problem here no matter whether you wish to tolerate them or not... but...). Now for the cases of less rational people for whom differences of opinions may lead to kind of bad feelings despite the lack of evidence of harmfulness of the other's view, do people of the heart have the solution to that ? If they do, then maybe, they should start applying that solution to themselves first. No, I mean, really. Not just by spamming other people with the tyrannical obligation to abandon all their current ideas and to join the exclusive belief that the only way to change the world is by changing oneself first.

Humanly Accessible Humanly Inaccessible Truths

A truth that directly concerns human life, especially if it is very important, should be accessible and thus provable by reason and observation, eventually through some hard work, with no need to take refuge if faith and trust requests.
Indeed, what has no effect on observations, is also (logically) of hardly any consequence on human life. Except that when there is an effect from some cause and it is observed, it can be hard to check the connection (correlation...) with its cause. To be meaningfully reported, effects do not only need to be observed but also sufficiently analyzed (for example with statistical studies) to distinguish them from other interpretations. So anything effective is observable even if the observational verification requires a lot of careful work. But religions deny the relevance of such a work and put forward instead some undefinable factors such as purity of heart or grace of God... criteria that have the convenience that it is always possible to claim and belief absolutely anything about them baselessly in order to conveniently dismiss any disagreement, whenever they find it... more humble to dismiss this way the research and testimony of others in order to please to what they see as (their) "God" in such or such circumstance.
A possible excuse of spirituality, is when they claim to deal with not human life but afterlife, and the way in which human life will affect afterlife. But such claims are therefore unfalsifiable (especially if not directly suggested by a systematic and impartial record of NDE testimonies). And if they are unfalsifiable, they should be honestly recognized as such. Or, do they deal with logical necessity on these matters ? If they deal with logical necessities then they should admit them as such, and develop systematic study of logic and rationality. Claims which are neither logically necessary nor based on observation, are mere speculation and should be regarded as such.

Whether they are to deal with accessible or inaccessible realities, spiritualities are fond of speaking about transcendental forms of knowledge, that is, knowledge not accessible (or at least not provable) by direct reason, but that requires either some form of miraculous method to be discovered, or a Word from God to specify what is true to humans that would have no other means to guess it.

Question: are these things only hardly acessible, or radically inaccessible by the scientific method (careful human logic + observation) ? If they are just hardly accessible questions, like the question of the existence of the Higgs boson, then we just need to set up teams of experts to set up the question in rational and verifiable ways, with no need to depend on assumed miraculous sources of these truths.

But the "radically inaccessible by reason" nature of some assumed truths, cannot be consistent with a proper ability to discern whether a given doctrine is indeed from God (for the case of theological spiritualities) or transcendentally assessed by any human means (for the case of agnostic spiritualities like Buddhism), as is required by its institutionalization (installation and propagation by the general public).
But if these truths are radically inaccessible or unverifiable by careful human methods, then, how can anyone pretend to get the proof that a given doctrine is indeed valid, based on higher sources as it claims to be ?

They believe that it is well-founded, because... they feel it in their heart and trust God to not let them in mistake... (themselves, yes, precisely personally, their own little person that is located at the center of the humility of the universe...)
In fact they also insist that the perceptions of those absolutely inaccessible realities, are at the same time trivially accessible to all; they even cannot consider any possibility of difficulty here, since it would be a blasphemy to suspect God of not letting His will and wisdom stay beyond the immediate reach of anyone "truly" searching (especially if they also believe that anyone not getting it properly will go to hell) where the question or measure of the authenticity of the search is itself undefinable and possible subject of continuous redefinitions and baseless speculations... therefore, since they observe their own sincerity but cannot measure that of others, for the sake of avoiding the sin of blasphemy (accusing God of not revealing himself to good other people) they obviously have to assume that anyone thinking otherwise is a villain bastard not truly searching for the truth of God.

Many spiritualities carefully turn around this question by relying on loopholes like assumed facts (miracles) disregarding their lack of verification, or blackmail (emergency of self-salvation that lets no time to honestly examine the question; culpabilization of doubt towards the Word of God).

The Duty To Be Always Satisfied With What Nature Gave Humans But Not With Human Nature

Religions teach people to be always satisfied with what they have, thus discouraging any work for progress there by the means of science and technology. But they do everything to despise human nature, to make humans guilty of anyone of their thoughts, guilty of any legitimate doubts and any natural desires, to say it would be wrong to not be happy of being in the shit. They say that the shit is good, while the only real evil, against which we should strive all our life, is the evil of being unsatisfied with the shit, as if this unsatisfaction itself was its own cause, while the shit that it is unsatisfied of, wasn't any problem.

Moreover, many religious people also say that science is worthless because it can "only" succeed to understand 99.99999% of the world, and this knowledge remains ridiculously worthless and something equivalent to total ignorance, for the only reason that it is not as good as 100%. On the other hand, based on blind faith, they see it much wiser to worship total ignorance as equivalent to the best wisdom and divine knowledge.
What can I say ? This is just wronger than wrong.

A matter of human needs, or a matter of divine will above them ?

Religions find a lot of their motivation in the need of humans, to get the feeling, even by mistake, that they are following a way that is... beyond any influence of their own needs and risks of human mistake.
When criticized, religious people usually express shock and complain being insulted, but it remains ambiguous whether it is an insult against them, as individuals, or an insult against their God. Politically they have to pretend that it is a personal insult to them as individuals, that it hurts their sensitivity. However (unless they really are heavily, awfully irritable people) their deep hidden conviction is that they consider it as an insult not to them but to their "God", or, equivalently, an insult to the thing that they confuse with God, that is, their chosen Bible and the claim that their Bible is from God (see irritability).

But the real fact is that their main personal enemy, which insults most badly their own feelings, their own needs, their own thoughts and possible research and discovery paths, does not consist in what opposes their main religious conviction; but on the contrary, it consists in their own conviction itself (which actually does not come from their own person, thought and research, but from the unfortunate circumstance of the influence and brainwashing they received from previous believers).
Because this conviction precisely consists in the idea that they must dedicate their life to continuously denigrate (dismiss, fight against) themselves, their own thoughts and understandings, their own perceptions, their own feelings and their own needs, explained away as trials and diabolic tricks (or expressions of personal rebellion against God when reported by disbelievers) whenever it appears to challenge what was assumed to be the divine revelation.
Still they do not stop insisting in diverse public speeches, when preaching to naive people, that the main reason why people should convert is that it is what they most need, and that all the miseries and lack of fulfillment of human needs would be caused by disbelief, that is, the lack of surrender of humans to this... giving up of all consideration to their needs, thoughts and experiences... and then once someone gave up his life and needs and then fell into misery and destruction of his life contrary to promises, the holy preachers either pretend to never have promised anything, or accuse the complaining person of being an evil bastard that failed to fully give give up his needs, or of having obviously followed a wrong path by wrong people, no matter what this path could actually be...

Of course we should distinguish between personal need and collective need: it would be morally right to give up the satisfaction of one's personal needs to better serve the need of others. However, beyond the call for this abstract principle that is so easy to mention as long as it remains a vain mix of words for nothing, if you check their real behavior more closely, you will notice that this nice principle has nothing to do with the real deal that religious people are actually trying to make. Instead :

See the contrast with the unholy work of science and technology :
Science and technology finally succeed to satisfy many human needs, but this is only a large-scale, collective consequence. At each step, the motivation is rather impersonal : it is about understanding how the universe works. It is not about satisfying your immediate needs and following your immediate impressions, It is not about what you will need for going to heaven either. Neither is it about obsessively fighting against yourself, against your own needs and against your own feelings. It is just not about yourself. It is neither sexy to your feelings, nor to the satisfaction of having the holy goodness to obsessively fight against them just because your feelings would be a sin against which you have to obsessively fight in order to reach holiness. Instead, science has a completely different logic, it is developed on a different level. So you have to give up your cherished care for the "being" and the deep souls, and start analyzing instead some boring, impersonal, lowly material stuff about the universe outside you, that may not look so sexy at first.
Still it is about very real things, which may eventually turn turn out to be extremely helpful to humanity in the long term. And it is also wonderful for the deep understanding it gives, and the greatness of the universe it describes.

A socially organized belief in the impossibility of social organization

 Religion is the most remarkably organized social structure, whose purpose is to indoctrinate people into the idea that there is no sense in expecting the world to be anything else than the disorganized sum of the individuals making it up, so that there is no other solution to society's ills than to blame human nature, both for creating these ills and for any idea of being unsatisfied with the results and of trying to solve them in any other way than this self-blame and "caring to change oneself first as the best way to change society", as if this method hadn't proved itself vain from the lack of results of the works of millions of people who already tried to follow that "lesson of how to change the world".
As if it wasn't insane to keep trying the same method (more precisely, the method of obsessively denying any possibility of a method) over and over again and expecting it to bring a different result.

The need of teachers paradox

Of 2 things one :
The problem is : if he is not naturally able to guide himself without teacher, then how likely is he to discern (guide himself to) the right teacher ? And by which method ? Based on reputation ? But what can a teacher's reputation be based on ? Those able to guide themselves without teachers aren't naturally interested with the question; those who needed a teacher may form an opinion based on what could be taught to them; but if they got a wrong teaching then they may form a wrong opinion as well about which teacher may be good, thus giving good reputations to wrong teachers. Because, while indeed some wrong teachings aren't able to (fallaciously) defend themselves (in the eyes of ignorant people) despite their falsity or baselessness (infalsifiability), some are; they propagate themselves in society based on this malicious quality of fooling people enough to not let them discern their falsity.

Unfortunately, many people in the world would need a teacher to guide them; but for this very reason they happened to be attracted to the wrong teachers, by lack of a proper social mechanism to select the right ones. They may have faith that if they are sincere in their search for guidance then God wouldn't abandon them to the wrong teaching. However this is actually not humility but pride, assuming their sincerity as higher than that of others, while the fact is, God actually abandoned many very sincere and dedicated people to follow diverse teachings which are mutually incompatible in their universal claims and therefore cannot all be right.
See another page commenting on the same topic.

Related : the need of a Bible

If people cannot properly guide themselves, the idea that a divinely revealed Bible is needed to guide them suffers the same incoherence as above stated, at least under the circumstances which currently apply (the lack of objective, compelling evidence of its divine inspiration).
Namely, if people did not naturally know what God wants of them, then how could they correctly discern which book is indeed divinely revealed or inspired for this purpose ? The whole project of trying to cure our ignorance by picking a book and expecting it to be from God cannot bring us any closer to the goal of reliability, by lack of ways to reliably confirm the divine origin of this "revelation". But if people naturally had enough divine wisdom or inspiration to discern this correctly, then they would not need a Bible anymore ; moreover, in the case a Bible could still be useful for some matters of convenience, they could also get the inspiration to correct and develop this Bible (without splitting into competing cults as they would have the ability to recognize and/or argue the validity of each others revelation) instead of just keeping the same one exactly to the letter but continuously disputing its interpretations.

Related : the contradiction of claiming to "have no teaching"

Someone wrote me "Now i am reading the writings of Robert Adams. His writings feel to me subtly. He's a very rational guy but makes a difference in relative and absolute terms and gives methods. He says that he is not a teacher, that he hasn't a teaching, that he as a person doesn't exist, that there isn't a universe only consciousness and that even that is only a word to say it".
My reply :
So he says the opposite of what he does, that is, he is making absolute nonsense and expects people to be fanatics of it. In my opinion : people not having anything to teach just need to shut up.

Related : the contradiction of "not forcing one's teaching onto others"

commented there in the paragraph about the "Buddhist method". Problems : even if some people following mystical techniques "found something" there that is somehow valuable, who can really:

So what kind of teaching or non-teaching do I offer instead, you may ask

I make many discoveries, moreover I am libertarian so I strongly believe that most people are very different from each other with very different needs so that not one way can fit all. Still I am not telling the bullshit of pretending I have nothing to teach. I do have teachings but at a higher level, that is, of interest:
NOT for these animals of spirituality just caring for their own person and how they should or need to think, feel or live, just obsessed about their need to change themselves into being more and more obsessed about measuring the selflessness contained and capitalized into the navel of their own self, how they need to change themselves first, and finally that way never going beyond that: just perpetually sticking into the obsession of only looking at themselves in a mirror and how they need to change themselves into more and more of the same self-changingness.
BUT for people interested to understand the universe and how the world works beyond their own person, and which actions objectively need to be accomplished in order for this planet to become a more decent world to live in. Actions that not all people can accomplish, but my point, which clearly departs from all spiritual teachings, is that, for a number of important things beyond the sense that people may naturally find in life without teacher, the question of what needs to be accomplished should be the first master question; then the question of who can be suitable to accomplish each needed mission should come second. So then if someone who knows about a task that needs to be done finds someone suitable to do it, there may need to be a teaching of what is this task and how to make it. But that teaching is not a gift, anything that someone needs to learn. It is about a problem of the world which needs a task to be made, and this task needs to find someone to make it (so, an existential need, not a universal one).
However I must admit, I also do think that a good course of mathematics can be amazing thing, and that it needs to be written as a number of people (don't ask me who is that !) need the opportunity to learn such things which they could not discover by their own means, for just the same reason that people may need to hear good music which they would not have been able to compose by themselves.

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