What Is This “Holy Spirit”?

Actually what the Bible says about this “Holy Spirit” is nothing like what the christian churches tell us.
Over 38,000 estimated versions of christianity, and each of them claim to have the “Holy Spirit”. But here’s the problem logically, if the “Holy Spirit” is the spirit of truth: In any set of conjoined propositions, if one proposition is false, the whole set is false.
If we look logically at the more than 38,000 versions of the “true church” and their versions of the “Holy Spirit”, we would logically have to conclude that, as part of the one true church, they would have to be false, since they would contain false propositions.

None of them can be correct, because if you multiply error, you just get more error. In continuation of my last two essays, we can see that the Bible focuses on two “covenants” from God:
1.The promise, made between God and Abraham
2. The law, given at Sinai.

Many have assumed that the creation of the nation of Israel was actually fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham, but in fact, they are not!

The promise made to Abraham, and the law given to Israel, actually represent two separate covenants!

Notice that Jesus brings up this subject with Nicodemus in John 3. In fact, he is speaking of two births. Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit”(verse 6). Two births, one of flesh, one of spirit.

People assume, quite naturally, that Jesus is referring to all people who are born. After all, we’re all born of “flesh”, right? W e reach that point when we “accept Christ”, and then we may be baptized and “born again”.

That, however, is not what what Jesus meant. As explored earlier, the phrase translated as “born again” is actually “born from above” , from the Greek word “anothen“. In fact, Jesus was saying “unless a man is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God”.

That’s what baffled Nicodemus. He was familiar with the terms “born again”, since the Jews had practiced baptism along with circumcision for converts to Judaism. Once circumcised and “purified” in the baptismal waters, the new convert was “born again” as a Jew. Yet here was Jesus telling Nicodemus that he, Nicodemus, would have to be born of “water and the spirit”.(verse 5)

Is such a birth a matter of freewill choice? If so, why didn’t Nicodemus realize it? If it is there for all to choose, why was Nicodemus blind to it? Jesus said to him “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?”(verse 10).
Here was a man who was a rabbi, a master of Israel, and had no idea what Jesus was talking about.

What exactly did Jesus and his disciples “see” that Nicodemus could not(verse11)?.
The next scripture is most interesting: Verse 13:
“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the son of man which is in heaven”.

This is in regard to Ephesians 4:9, but it also points back to the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 30:11-12:

“For this commandment, which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it and do it?”

Jesus was referring Nicodemus to that very scripture. The truth was there, written in the commandments, in the law, and no man had to ascend to heaven to get it. It was there for anyone to see, but Nicodemus missed it. If Nicodemus, a master of Israel, missed it, why would we think we have any better understanding than he did?

Paul even refers to this in Romans 10:6-8. “The word is nigh(near) thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that is, the word of faith that we preach”.

What “word”? The same one to which Jesus referred in conversation with Nicodemus; the Old testament. It was there for all to discover if they looked. There is a birth of ‘flesh”, and a birth of ‘spirit’, and both are recorded in the Old Testament.

It is very simple: the birth of “flesh” is the birth of the nation Israel at Sinai. Tat is one covenant with God. The birth of the “spirit” is the birth of Isaac, who was born of promise to Abraham.

How do we know this? Paul explains it clearly in Romans 9:7-11:
“Neither because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children, ‘but in Isaac shall thy seed be called’.”

A key verse, right there. Those born as Isaac are born of the promise. Switching to RSV, verse 8, we see:

“This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are reckoned as descendants”.

Notice the implications of that statement. The children of the promise are  both descendants of Abraham  AND the children of God!

So Jesus came as fulfillment of the law, but his baptism represented, not the birth into Israelite law, but the birth of the promise given to Abraham! In fact, the birth of Isaac to Abraham was merely a kind of “down payment’ on the promise, with Jesus being the fulfillment.

What Paul is clearly saying here is that the nation of Israel was never a part of the promise given to Abraham. The creation of Israel at Sinai was for a completely different purpose. They were the birth of “flesh”.

So, if the children of the promise are “reckoned” as children of God, what promise are we talking about?

Next verse: “For this is what the promise said, ‘About this time I will return and Sarah shall have a son’.”

Verse 11 brings it into focus: “Though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad, in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works, but because of his call”.

In Galatians 3:29 we see this: “And if you are Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise“.

If one is baptized, one is ceremonially “born again” into that same promise as Isaac. But here’s the catch: you can’t choose it. It is simply not a part of human decision-making ability. It is not dependent on “works”, but on the guarantee that God made to Abraham.

Notice also, Galatians 4:28: “Now we brethren, as Isaac was, are children of the promise.”

Did this promise have anything to do with what Isaac did? No, because Isaac wasn’t even born when it was made. Isaac was foreknown, predestined to be born, and called by name in advance of his birth! Isaac fulfilled the conditions of Romans 8:29-30!

Does that mean a few go to heaven and the rest go to hell? Of course not. Paul clearly refutes this in Romans 11:32.

Look at Galatians 4:29: “But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh(Ishmael)persecuted him who was born according to the spirit(Isaac) so it is now”.

The birth which Jesus represented was the birth of promise to Abraham, a promise that did not include the covenant with Israel at Sinai. The birth of Isaac is a birth which was forenown and pre-planned, as written in Ephesians 1:4:”Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world.”

Certain inividuals are chosen to be servant/leaders in a kingdom here on earth. They are foreknown, predestined, and called, as Isaac was. And they are NOT part of the world religious or government systems. When you are baptized, you are born in to the hope of that promise, free of all human authority systems. You have the right to claim that freedom by your faith.

“Hell” And “Due Process” Of Law

Within the concept of due process, as stated by the 5th amendment and SCOTUS, is the ancient idea that no man can be made to accuse himself. Borrowing from the writings of the Jewish rabbi Maimonides, SCOTUS has declared that the 5th amendment right against self incrimination has its origins in the Bible(Miranda v Arizona, footnote 27).

Jon Lilburne of England demonstrated this truth, leading to the destruction of Star Chamber judgement in England, pointing often to the trial of Jesus himself. As we see in John 18:19-23, Jesus demanded that the high priest provide witnesses against him, proving that he had in some way violated law. This was never done.
Verse 20:

“I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort, and in secret have I said nothing. Why asketh thou me? Ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I have said”

Jesus exercised his right to face his accusers(Isaiah 50:8), and protection of God(Isaiah 54:17), thus becoming an example for all those accused of lawbreaking, or “sin(1 John 3:4)”.

Within this example, we see Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas echoing this principle of protection from God(Miranda):

“The principle that a man is not obliged to furnish the state with ammunition against him is basic to this conception….[The state] has no right to compel the sovereign individual to surrender or impair his right of self defense….A man may be punished, even put to death by the state; but…he should not be made to prostrate himself before its majesty. Mea culpa belongs to a man and his God. It is a plea that cannot be extracted from men by human authority. To require it is to insist that the state is the superior of the individuals who compose it, instead of their instrument”.

Law historian Leonard Levy writes:

“The framers understood that without fair and regularized procedures to protect the criminally accused, liberty could not exist. They knew from time immemorial the tyrant’s first step was to use the criminal law to crush his opposition”.

Applying this idea to the concept of “hell” as taught by Christianity, we see that Jesus demanded that his accusers provide actual testimony that proved he had indeed “sinned” by breaking the law. In fact, no proof was given, and as the Jews admitted to Pilate, “It is not lawful for us to put any an to death(John 18:31)”.

From this we have the separation, as Blackstone pointed out, between civil law(Roman law) and “common law”, which recognized the authority of “God, reason, and nature”. The Jews could not lawfully put any person to death without direct proof, unquestionable, that the accused had committed a sin worthy of death. If they did so, by the law of Deuteronomy 19:19, they were guilty of the sin with which they accused the person. Therefore, it was unlawful for them to put Jesus to death by “hanging on a tree” without bringing the “curse” upon themselves.(Galatians 3:13, Deuteronomy 21:22-23).

As you see in verse 23, “…for he that is hanged is accursed of God”. This is in reference to Leviticus 18:25, which curses the land itself on which Israel lived, if they hanged a man from a tree. Consequently, it was important that Jesus be “laid to rest’ that very day on which he was hanged.

Paul, therefore, pointed out that Jesus was “made a curse for us”(Galatians 3:13). By leaving crucifixion to civil(Roman) law, the Jews avoided the responsibility of putting an innocent man to death by their law.

The Jews, therefore, can technically argue that it was civil(Roman) law that put Jesus to death, and not God’s law.

This would mean that if Jesus paid the penalty of law, which was death, he paid the penalty of civil law, which had hanged him “on a tree” by law. Civil law, in accordance with Justice Fortas’ statement, had no authority to compel any person to confess guilt, and federal law IS civil law. Therefore, we have the understanding of the 5th amendment that “[no person] shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”.

Due process of civil law? No, common law, which Justice Joseph Story shows plainly in his “Commentaries” is recognized as “due process”. Story takes his conclusions from English Chief Justice Coke, who equated common law with due process. Since Jesus had paid the penalty of civil law, any accused person had the right of common law procedure to defend himself against accusers, which included protection of God and the right to face accusers, as Jesus himself had demanded.

How far does the principle of the right against self incrimination go by Biblical law? Notice Jude 9:

“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil for the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said ‘The Lord rebuke thee’.”

Notice, however, in describing “the devil” and his “angels”, in Jude 6, we see:
“And the angels which kept not their first estate(proper domain) but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgement of the great day”.

We see from this that God has “reserved judgement” on even those beings. Even the archangel, therefore, could not bring accusation against Satan, as God himself was the judge. “The Lord rebuke thee”.

In 2 Peter 2, we see this parallel of Jude. Verse 10:

“But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptious are they, and self willed, and not afraid to speak evil of dignities”.

Does this mean we have no right to speak out against human government? Next verse, 11:

“Wheras angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord”.

Who DOES bring accusation? Well, hebrews 2:14:

“Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he(Jesus) also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil”.

How is it that Satan exercises this power of death? Matthew 4:8-10, and Luke 4:6-8. Satan ruled over the governments of the world, and offered world power to Jesus, who then told Satan that “thou shalt serve the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve”.

We see from Biblical example AND the statement of a Supreme Court Justice(Fortas) that the state may accuse, but has no power to compel any person to admit of any guilt. it is “between man and his God”. We also see, from Biblical example, that not even archangels have this power of accusation(2 Peter 2:11).

The state has no authorization to condemn anyone by its own laws.

If the state acts as accuser, being under power of Satan, we see the nature of those people who serve it, in 2 Peter 2:12:

“But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption”.

The state cannot justify condemnation of any man for breaking a “victimless” law. The state is no more permitted to such accusations or punishment than the archangels mentioned in 2 Peter and Jude.

Notice further the description of these folks in 2 Peter 2:18-19:

“For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from those that live in error.
“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are servants of corruption, for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage“.

if they are “again entangled” in these laws and doctrines, they have created their own bondage(verse 20). Civil law(Roman, laws of men), cannot exercise punishment simply by virtue of the law itself, since Jesus died and paid the full penalty for us.

These are not people, but those who serve a combination of “beast(government) and false prophet(church)”. It is interesting to note that Ayn Rand, an atheist, referred to them in similar terms; “Attila and the Witch Doctor”, the combination of “faith and force” without reason and logic.

We now know mathematically from Godel’s theorem and Turing’s halting problem, along with other mathematical proofs, that it is simply impossible, by human reason, to put all truth in one package. Every attempt to do so results in “undecidable propositions” or “self swallowing sets” of logic. By attempting to establish human authority, we become “entangled” in what Douglas Hofstadter(Godel, Escher, Bach), calls “tangled hierarchies” of human authority.

Such absolute authority cannot be established by either church or state, leaving us with Jesus’ admonition in Matthew 24:23.

So who is condemned to hell(hades, or gehenna)?

They are named in the book of Jude, verse 6. The devil and those who followed him in rebellion. They control the governments of the world, and they enslave those who wish to be part of that system, including both church and state. For whom is “everlasting fire” reserved? “The devil and his angels(Matthew 25:41)”.
Those who follow human laws and human reasoning that condemns men by the authority of “victimless crime” deceive themselves, seeking punishment for others “as brute beasts”, condemning that which they do not fully understand.

You are free, now, today. You need not enslave yourself to human reasoning or even religions(Matthew 24:23).
Ralph

Why Religion “Deadens” Us To Physical Truth

“…we begin to seek our coherence from the conceptual system rather than from reality itself and our embeddedness in it”. ___Philip Slater

Once an entire culture begins to react and seek coherence from a conceptual system, it begins to move from an individual dependence on reality. The more it moves in that direction, the more it will be forced to rely on law enforcement and control of the population in maintaining its identity. Those who deviate become a threat to the conceptual system, which, if not capable of enforcement, may point to a God or Gods of such power as to punish any deviant. Such a God or Gods will depend on informants that seek to escape the wrath of God(s) on the culture, so every action that is questionable will either be avoided or performed secretly. Secret acts, however, demand a God who can read our thoughts.

This in itself may tend toward a militant culture, and the more such a culture loses its ability to react and adapt to its environment, the more it may tend to select “scapegoats” in order to please the God(s) that bring misfortune on it. Sacrifice becomes a focal point of cultures that gains in size and population.

This also tends to support a “mechanical” mindset, the need to ignore feedback from the environment in order to preserve the “sacred” hierarchies of the culture. The more ritual and ceremony observed, the more the people are focused on ancient and “holy” ways of the forefathers.

This may begin a process of “deadening” in a culture, as they will ignore environmental feedback in favor of the ways of the forefathers of that culture. There is yet another aspect pointed out by Slater:

“A machine-like response in the face of danger had no value until men began to make war on each other”.

Those more mechanical, wrote Slater, prevailed over those less so, and an evolutionary trend developed toward machine-like cultures that were male dominated. This also had an accelerative effect in evolution. Those systems that were most successful in war-making could overrun whole territories and impose their will on those more responsive to local environments. Male dominant cultures could overrun female dominant cultures. But this occurred as individuals responded more to the “internal circuitry” of the culture than to the external feedback of their physical environment. Sacrifice was not only important in the culture, but necessary in large numbers of men who fought for the “greater glory”.

Religion, government, and war, were mutually supportive, as the people put their individual lives second to the goal of power and influence.

In light of this, there is much talk of a “Narcissistic” society. The word “Narcissus” comes from the Greek mythology of the man, Narcissus, who saw his reflection in water and was so enamored of it that he could not separate himself from it. Marshall McLuhan, in Understanding Media, points out that “Narcissus” comes from the Greek narcosis, or numbness.

McLuhan writes:

“This extension of himself(Narcissus) by mirror numbed his perceptions until he became the servomechanism of his own extended or repeated image….He had adapted to his extension of himself and had become a closed system“.

There is a hint of this in Godel’s theorem, since Godel, in trying to determine of mathematics was complete and consistent, had to develop “language” that were self referencing, a decision process that “mirrored” the system of math itself, a number system that replaced the axioms of the mathematical systems, so that “numbers operated on numbers”.

Once this was developed, Godel then demonstrated that in any consistent axiomatic formalization suitable for number theory, there are not only undecidable propositions, but the system can neither demonstrate completeness nor consistency. The system was, as Godel demonstrated, a “servomechaanism of its own repeated image”, and had no way of “deciding” if it was correct or not, producing statements that existed as correct, but not provable within that system.

A warring culture, extending itself as a “servomechanism of it own extended image” proved its “truth” on a tautology: it was successful because it was successful. Even if it was a “true” system, it could demonstrate neither completeness nor consistency within itself, but had to aim at perpetual self consistency in order to survive.

A s Slater points out, this need to extend oneself into the environment is known as Narcissism, but the very name “narcissism” comes from “narcosis” or “narcotic”, which acts to “numb” oneself to his/her own environment. Not only does a person extend him/her self, but the need to continue extending, to find “completion” is never satisfied. The more you “have” the more you “want”.

The reason why this need cannot be satisfied is because the body seeks equilibrium or homeostasis in order to survive. McLuhan writes:

“Medical researchers like Hans Selye and Adolphe Jonas held that all extensions of ourselves, in sickness or in health, are attempts to maintain equilibrium. Any extension of ourselves they regard as ‘autoamputation’, and they find that the autoamputative strategy is resorted to by the body when the perceptual power cannot locate or avoid the cause of irritation”.

That is, we seek equilibrium by linear organization according to sight. We learn to visualize, to “order” events in cause-effect relationships, and we then can find “meaning” by that process of visual organization. The world, then, is “seen” to function according to cause-effect relations we establish by logic and reason.

Slater gives us yet another insight into this:

“When man invented the machine, for which there is no external model in nature, he invented it in his own image. The machine does not come from nowhere–it mirrors man’s mechanical head. The human is the only animal programmed to ignore the very feedback that it is simultaneously programmed to utilize, which is why only a human can make an animal, or another human, neurotic or crazy”.

This ability to respond to “internal circuitry” rather than external environment comes from our unique symbol-making ability. It is, perhaps our greatest strength, but as Slater writes:

“…attached to this strength is a fatal flaw, built into the species at the start–a capacity to disregard significant feedback in favor of inner symbolic circuitry”.

If this flaw is built in at the start, it suggests that the human is “created” as an android or robot, at least in regard to the mental processes of his/her own brain. There are no “whistles, gears, and pulleys”, nor any evidence of electronic circuits, but the brain itself seems to be built on the principle of “representing” the universe in terms of symbolic cause-effect relations. perhaps a “hologram”.

McLuhan writes on the conclusions of Hans Selye and Adolphe Jonas:

“While it was no part of the intention of Jonas and Selye to provide an explanation of human invention and technology, they have given us a theory of disease(discomfort) that goes far to explain why man is impelled to extend various parts of his body by a kind of autoamputation….the central nervous system acts to protect itself by a strategy of amputation or isolation of the offending organ, sense, or function. Thus, the stimulus to new invention is the stress of acceleration of pace and increase of load.”

As McLuhan sees it, technology and invention are adaptations to stresses created by the environment, and and an attempt to re-establish equilibrium or homeostasis with that environment by “extending our bodies” through technology and invention.

You can begin to see how such ideas as “going to heaven when we die”, or the idea of a “soul” apart from the body, which we can finally “see” when we have rid ourselves of the body, seems to be a logical extension of human technological impulse.

Next I will explore the effect of alphabet as a technology affecting the eye as organizer of reality.

Why Religions Are Wrong(All Of Them)

“…qualitatively there is no discernible difference in content between a culture and a psychosis” __Weston la Barre

“The only difference is quantitative–if many people share a symbol system, it is a culture. If only one does, it is a psychosis. Both are independent of reality and both provide specious solutions to security problems….if many people believe a lie, its power to allay anxiety is immensely heightened thereby.” _Philip Slater

Culture, by creating converts or believers in one systematic process, allows each individual to insulate him/her self from the harshness of reality. We gather, in small groups, for security. Two or more together can face reality with greater sense of confidence than one alone.

Slater writes:

“The notion that people begin as separate individuals, who then march out and connect themselves with others, is one of the most dazzling bits of self mystification in the history of the species. Through this mystification we make ourselves vulnerable to manipulation by essentially mechanical forces.”

Seeing ourselves as disconnected individuals united by technological and mechanical means, is to assume that we are originally united by the rules we formulate, and this is not so. Epigenetics has uncovered the realization that we are united by ancient biological forces that drive us toward unity, the need not only to reproduce, but to replicate ourselves as much as possible. The problem is, once cultures grow to a size in which they can ignore both instinct and surrounding environment in favor of “internal circuitry, or internal logic, to quote from Slater, “A connection is broken, a balance wheel lost, and the system becomes capable of exponential growth, of robot-like movement, of running amuk”.

That, essentially, is the condition described in the “Tower of Babel” account (Genesis 11). The realization that the people would begin operating by their own internal “circuitry” and logic was made apparent in verse 6: “….and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do”.

In referring to Weston La Barre, Slater writes:

“There is no natural selection among ideas and beliefs. Millions can believe the same falsehood for thousands of years.”

That which survives, survives. This works for evolution, because evolution assumes we are embedded in a larger environmental system that causes us to react to feedback from our environment. But once a culture begins to respond to its own internal circuitry, to its own internal logic, it may expand exponentially in total disregard of the surrounding environment, or other people who may thrive in that environment. It becomes growth for growth’s sake. “Nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do”.

This, of course, takes me back to my earlier essay regarding the “gray goo” of nanotechnology, and the process by which we may stop ourselves from going too far. If we start accepting things because “all those people can’t be wrong”, we’ve already gone wrong in our thinking. The balance wheel is broken, and the system can run amuk. As Slater points out:

“…we begin to seek our coherence from the conceptual system rather than from reality itself and our embeddedness in it”.

Viewed in this fashion, the warning against ‘false Gods” is not about choosing among conceptual realities, but learning to adjust and organize ourselves according to a process of feedback that keeps us grounded in reality, or “nature’s God” to refer to Jefferson’s statement as well as Blackstone’s reference to “God, nature, and reason” as the foundation for law.

Slater has seen and written of this process as well:

“When organic(instinctual or natural) response is deadened, the readiness to react to external messages still remains. In the absence of the original channel, others will be used. Authoritarian submission is one such channel, with symbolic authorities(traffic lights, signs, written instructions) being increasingly substituted for personal ones as the anesthesia progresses. Another channel is ideology: that is, a general instruction which has been internalized and from which specific rules for behavior and attitude can be logically deduced”.

As you see, this ties in to earlier essays regarding the “numbing” of numbers, and the introduction of the alphabet as a linear form of communication(more on that later). We are “deadened’ to instinctual and individual responses in favor of external messages offered by the culture. As you can see, religion can easily develop from this process, but not just one religion. Many religions can spring from collective forms in which people choose cultural messages over instinctual messages. Since there is no natural selection among ideas and beliefs, there is no “off switch” until and unless the culture simply dies from its own overextended growth(overspecialization) in which the culture or species reaches a “bottleneck” in which it can no longer adapt. Rather than speciate into smaller groups, a human culture will seek to adjust its failing conceptual system and more desperately seek answers from a system that has failed due to its overspecialization. It accelerates its destruction by trying to do the same thing, only with greater intensity, as we see in our banking system today.

Slater writes:

“Humans deprived of community can become, in a sense, ‘imprinted’ on rules, machines, ideologies, and bureaucratic structures.”

Our banking system has become one in which it focuses on its internal “circuitry” and issues “money” on its own bureaucratic decision-making process. it can only eventually fail.

Why We Have Religions

From Slater:

“A traditional culture is full of distractions. One cannot deal impersonally with the environment or follow out an internal program in the mechanical linear way we are used to doing in the West. One is caught in an intricate web of ties that pull one back and demand an examination of how every new act interrelates with everything else”.

I think that life had to first evolve from this operational necessity. A rapid interchange of information at all levels(I use “levels” here because it i simply most convenient for my expression).

In James’ “Painful truth” page, under “Ralph on Everything”, I explore this development in regard to what is known as the Cambrian Explosion.http://www.hwarmstrong.com/ralph_haulk_part_2.htm#cambrian

What I point out in that essay is that during the Cambrian explosion, a number of different species appeared, and the mechanism for the development of each species occurred because sexual reproduction helped to provide for the immunity that created each separate species.

Until that time, viruses and bacteria entered “willy nilly” in constant exchange for host bodies to replicate themselves. I proposed this theory several years ago, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it became the dominant theory now known as the “Red Queen” hypothesis. This ties back to Slater’s introductory quote, because communities, in their beginning, operated the same way, with a necessary exploration of all new interconnections.

Biologically, each organism recorded the information contained in the DNA of each virus and retained it in a kind of database that allowed for recognition.

That is, in fact, the basic function by which the immune system operates. When a viral or bacterial invader appears, the organism must identify and recognize the invader, “tag” it, and neutralize its overall effects. This ensured that the same invader will not create chaos by constantly affecting the integrity of the information built by the organism’s DNA. So, in parallel with Slater’s statement, first you have the process in which all new information is examined and “cross referenced” by each participant in the system, and then the system(or community) gradually “tags” that information and neutralizes it. That is, it simply stores it in a database for future reference, as the organism stores “junk DNA” which is actually former viruses that have remained within the organism.

Dr. Sharon Moalem, in “Survival Of The Sickest“, a study of DNA and epigenetics, makes this statement in regard to sexual attraction:

“Even sexual attraction has a connection to disease. Why is the scent of someone you find sexually attractive so alluring? It’s often a sign that you have dissimilar immune systems, which will give your children wider immunity than either of their parents.”

With a wider exchange of DNA “ideas”, each organism gradually selected a process by which specific “ideas” for reproduction were coded sexually. Sperm provided environmental information, and the egg was “charged” with that specific information, creating a mixing and matching of DNA that would act to screen out future DNA that had already created genetic disturbance.

Communities, essentially, began the same way, with a “willy nilly” interaction of ideas across a limited geographical spectrum, and each idea was cross referenced by the members and applied in ways that ensured survival as a community. Within ancient societies, sex and culture were recognized as connected, since each member, especially of the males, went through a “rite of passage”, which generally represented passage from boyhood to manhood. Puberty.

With this entrance into social/cultural responsibilities, a method was obtained for “screening” new information that would be destructive to the reproductive success of the tribe or community. It is likely, from this approach that “levels” did emerge, with different orders of hierarchy to direct the function of the society.

This leads to what I think is the next insight:
Intelligence, both as an individual and culturally, springs from needs of the immune system.

Deception, for example, occurs at the cellular level of an organism. As Dr Moalem writes:

“Many types of streptococcal bacteria exhibit a phenomenon called molecular mimicry in which they display characteristics of human cells in order to trick the immune system”.

In cultures, the idea of a trickster or ‘deceiver’ is part of the religious ritual/ceremonial culture.
“Satan and his angels may appear as ministers of light”.

Consequently, cultures preached against deception, protecting the integrity of the system against those who appeared as “good” but were really “evil”. Males were to recognize and do battle with “evil” and maintain reproductive integrity by following careful ritual.

This ritual is little different than sexual reproductive rituals that animals undergo in finding mates. Species often protect the integreity of that particular species by very intricate “dance” that allows recognition between two of the same species, especially when there are other related species that are of little difference other than the mating rituals they perform, as in some species of crabs that share close environments.

Viewed in this fashion, community as described by Slater’s opening quote would be “natural”, but it would be just as “natural” to gradually develop structured defenses against “deceivers” at all levels within any community.

It is quite likely that religion as we recognize it is nothing more than a conceptual process by which we developed a “pattern” in our minds of a deceiver who battles a protector. We align ourselves with this “protector” by carefully obeying specific commands that accompany the survival strategy.

This also aligns with Dawkins’ notions of the “genetic replicative algorithm”. If a gene is to successfully replicate itself, it will seek to minimize change within its immediate environment. A strategy of the replicative algorithm, therefore, would be to control the environment as much as possible, so that excess “decisions” are not necessary. The “prime directive” of the gene is to replicate, and all strategies that maximize that ability will gradually be selected.

We can apply this at both the genetic level and the cultural level, which means that, in any culture, the natural tendency is to minimize options. The defensive strategies of the culture will be come ever more complex in its protection of its own replication, as it will “unconsciously” in robot-like fashion, operate from a “will” that no loger represents the best options of its members, as we are seeing today in our corporate centralized culture.