The journey of knowledge from benevolence to instrument of oppression.

Through early human history we know, via centuries of hard work on the part of archeologists and anthropologists, that the subject of our spirituality and our spiritual reality occupied a great deal of our ancestor’s time and energy. Early humanity recognized that there is a spiritual aspect to our existence and some endeavored to understand it. The early explorers/discoverers in this field were called shaman, witches or witch doctors, sorcerers, seers, healers/medicine people, or prophets. They were, as far as we can tell, regarded with a mixture of appreciation, reverence and/or fear. As with the abuses that go on with every other area of specialization of knowledge and skill, some most likely tried to use their unique knowledge to bamboozle others into giving them an inordinate amount of the wealth and power to be had in their tribe/town/city/country.

As time went on, some began to organize the knowledge, myths and superstitions around our spiritual reality into collections of guidelines, doctrines; rules, even laws. The results were the origins of religions. Those occupying the seats of influence and power within the religions became known as priests or priestesses. Ceremonies were/are prominent features within the churches which formed around the doctrines. Often special titles, clothing, icons, utensils, and other paraphernalia became used as symbols of the authority of those who were deemed worthy, or sanctified, within the religion. Again, depending upon the variables at work at any given time/place, they could be regarded with appreciation, reverence and/or fear. And again, as with every area of specialization of knowledge and skill, some wielding the specialized knowledge within the religions saw ways to use the general public’s relative ignorance of the subjects at hand to distort the teachings and bamboozle the public into giving them inordinate amounts of wealth and power.

The tools and trappings of the religions became symbols of power. Gradually “what” was said was given little serious scrutiny as “who” said it become increasingly important. Truth was determined by the speaker, not the content. As time went on, the religious texts and doctrines came under periodic review by those wielding authority within both the religious and the political power structures of the time. Subsequently, the texts and doctrines began to be shaped to accommodate and to serve the aspirations and agendas of those in power rather than to reflect the original spiritual goals, revelations and understandings. The original goals, revelations and understandings which the original seers, saints and prophets had embraced.

In this process truth took a backseat to political utility. While the truth of genuine spiritual knowledge always points the way to health and well-being of all humanity and in fact all life, the goal of the editing taking place resulted in replacing that knowledge with material oriented to the establishment and perpetuity of the power and wealth enjoyed by those holding the reins of power.

In summary, the observations those adept at perceiving spiritual matters were of great importance to early humankind. As time went on the exploitative value of being seen as a spiritual authority became apparent to those with aspirations of power and wealth. Subsequently, religions, which sprang out of the original esteemed spiritual teachings, have too often became vehicles, directly or indirectly, supporting the subjugation of people and the accumulation of great power and wealth.

There is the proverbial saying that “power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely” Which expresses the observation that, as a person’s power increases, their moral sense diminishes. One does not have to look far in our world today to find proof that there is truth in this saying. Are there those, men and women, who are strong enough in their moral grounding that they can resist all temptation to abuse power, to attempt to increase and maintain their positions via the perversion of knowledge and systems? I believe such individuals exist. However, it seems that, if they have attempted to do so, they haven’t been particularly successful to date at gaining the worldly positions which would bestow the benefit of their wisdom upon us all. I imagine for such morality to exist in high positions of power, it requires more than one individual working together to reinforce such values in the face of the agents of greed and deception which would undoubtedly be aligned against them.

By this time those in high positions of worldly power have refined a method for the acquisition and retention of that power. This method can be clearly seen in the establishment of religious power/authority, and, with some examination, can be seen to be in play in other important and influential cultural arenas, such as the press (media) and education. It goes like this:

  • The practical, benevolent value of an area of knowledge is established organically by grass-roots adherents/practitioners.
  • As awareness of the area of knowledge grows, it attracts the attention of those who control the reins of political/economic power. Those in power assign agents/agencies to comprehensively study it.
  • The area of knowledge is evaluated for it’s utilitarian values, it’s potential economic value, and it’s potential as tool within the arena of political power.
  • On the basis of that evaluation an orthodoxy of the field of knowledge is proclaimed. That orthodoxy establishes tenets which may be manipulated by the power elite to increase and consolidate their wealth and power rather than merely reflect the content and/or goals of the original practical, benevolent knowledge.
  • Those who attempt to revive the original content and/or intent of the body of knowledge are given a derogatory label, largely ignored by the “system” at large, and often censored. Depending upon how much the powers-that-be deem to be at stake, those involved in the departure from the orthodoxy may find themselves aggressively persecuted.

As time went along the beginnings of what we call science today began to emerge. There had always been those opposed to the doctrines of the various organized religions for various reasons. The reasons could be trivial or substantial, true in nature or complete flights of fancy. But whatever the reasons, such opposition was often not viewed lightly by those in power within the religion(s). Penalties for expressing or acting in opposition to the religion(s) could result in anything from being looked at askance by other community members to being burned at a stake. Or any of numerous other penalties. To offer opinions or information which ran contrary to the official religious doctrines was to engage in heresy. And those who were engaging in systematic, methodical observations of our world, forming hypotheses which could be tested, the early scientists, were often the recipients of the disapproval, if not the wrath, of the religious authorities. Copernicus and Galileo are two of the more well known men of early science who suffered the displeasure of the religious authorities of their day.

In short, gradually the observations and persistent realities described by those using scientific methods could no longer be denied. The world is round, not flat. The universe does not rotate with the Earth at the center. The sun is the central celestial body in our solar system, etc., etc. Religions began to lose their self-proclaimed position as primary franchise holder on the truth. One might think this would be some cause for celebration; that new, more reality based, understandings of our universe, or our world, were coming into being. However, what was taking place was also a threat the authority, the power, the religions and their political associates enjoyed. Science was becoming a new, popular, authority among the people of the world.

What we are seeing in the world today is an all-out attempt by the elite powers-that-be, applying essentially the formula given above, to appropriate “science” in the same fashion that religion has been appropriated for centuries. The “ordained”, the “high priests” are being selected and introduced. The outliers, the new heretics, are being identified, censored, defamed. The orthodox doctrine, with big pharma at it’s hub, is being proclaimed and the call to worship is being spread far and wide.

Image: (c) solarseven http://www.fotosearch.com, Caption: Author

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