This post from yesterday attempts to challenge the crystallization of atheism in a general ‘belief cult’. It is the same dynamics that we see in religions/cults. But it has the difference that it is based not on a spiritual hypothesis but on the bad science/scientism that has taken over ‘secular’ thought so-called, and is reflected in darwinism and various other reductionist beliefs. To me this kind of ‘cult’, should it go mainstream, and it could with piedpiper charmers like Dawkins, the result will lead to instant regret. Forced on people if the future mainstream cult became educational/pseudo-scientific/therapeutic/ dogma, the result would lead to whole new forms of insanity. Buddhism in america is approaching that status, and I think that various writers on buddhist atheism, in a hybrid of buddhism and the new atheism, gave hints they entered therapy in a combo of buddhism/psychoanalysis, or whatever. The result I suspect from a brief encounter with a therapist decades ago was the therapist using the usual tactics of psychiatric cooercion to suggest the neurotic basis of a given ‘religious’ or ‘new age’ belief. That creates an almost sadistic double bind, and in the buddhist new atheist, I suspect, the result was the denatured buddhism without nirvana that is a toxic contradiction that will create neurosis, not resolved. It is a ‘stand up, sit down’ routineand shows two things, ancient and modern, out of sync. In my case, I was working in a psychiatric ward as an orderly, and entered therapy briefly because everyone in that situation was in therapy. My experience terminated almost immediately because I mentioned a new age subject (the new age movement was taking off at the time) and the line was drawn, the new age was out, one or the other, unstated but implied. So that was that. I left.
The point here, and we are really discussing how a new communismm might deal with religion, and also the therapeutic realm The attempt go past religion has ended in a privatized version of that that is very lucrative. Not a hard problem to solve, actually. On the agenda, next issue.
As to the short episode of therapy the result was destructive. Despite knowing better (and having read the complete works of Freud in college), the mindfuck ritual, ‘all religion is neurosis’ haunted me for a decade, fading away slowly for the nonsense it was. So I don’t exaggerate. So my problem wasn’t neurosis but covert insanity, carefully concealed.
The last generation has remorphed therapeutic contexts a dozen times over and new age therapists are numerous. That experience wouldn’t happen now. But the fact remains that the new atheists and many secularists can’t manage the issues of core buddhism. That, to me, is strange. This situation I suspect is eroding, or has eroded already, the integrity of the buddhist discipline. I am not even a buddhist, but the point is clear that the narrow brand of ‘secularism’ emerging is a hopelessly narrow and outlandish concoction.
There are a lot of ways to criticize buddhism, but challenging nirvana in the name of science is a bungled move.
In any case the legacy of Freud is not particularly profound and isn’t a solid basis for the critique of religion. Historical materialism, please note
If you have the stomach you can read the last thirty posts from The Gurdjieff Con from various sources, you will see that hopeless complexity of the religions of antiquity, and the coming insanity in trying to sort out those confusions will not be helped by stupid therapists, new atheists, or the secular humanists. The real problems of religion handed down from antiquity are mindboggling, and almost insoluble. Add the hopeless idiocy of most secular humanists and the insanity will be complete.