Avoid inhaling demons.Read the warning label first. The package looked interesting. It read ”Daydream with the Devil. attention. contents highly flammable. handle with caution. verify peremption date. recycle with Lucifer. Save nature.”
He saw in his fame only a new cause for persecution. By may of 1762 Jean Jacques Rousseau had produced, within the space of two years, three of the most influential works of modern times. The authorities denounced him as a godless rebel and a destroyer of society. His former friends, the ”philosophes” , such as Diderot and Voltaire, while ostensibly deploring the attacks on him, privately denounced him as a monster of ingratitude, a hater of humankind, and a savage. They smelt blood and were rubbing their hands in glee. His eccentric ways and clothes and his reputation for godlessness drew upon him the hatred of the local population in the Prussian principality of Neuchatel to which he had escaped. In the town of Motiers, he was stoned by an aroused mob, and took flight to the Island of St. Pierre, in the lake of Bienne, in Bernese territory, from which he was expelled. He accepted David Hume’s invitation to join him in England, but that ended with another quarrel over metaphysics.
Rousseau’s merciless and unrelenting attacks on revealed religion and on the authority of the Church that drew onto him the moral equivalent of a fatwa from the Catholic Sorbonne in Paris and the Calvinist Consistory in Geneva. In Paris, ”Emile” was burned by order of Parliament and the book was officially condemned in the Netherlands and Switzerland. Rousseau was a cause celebre. His works began to appear as pirated edition reprints and he developed one of the first underground cult followings.
“For a long time now, religion in the West has been polarized between a democratic kind of faith meant for simple believers, and divine mysteries so high that hardly anyone can claim to know much about them. The vital connecting link between them, that of metaphysical religion, is all but lost…” ( Keys of Gnosis, Robert Bolton ). Rousseau’s invective was directed at the unwillingness of Christianity to accept an idea of a “metaphysical religion”. Christianity is a positivistic religion, which means its focus is on supposed events in history and the dogma associated with them. It asserts that man fell from grace through the sin of a historical figure called Adam, and that a historical figure called Jesus died on a cross, and rose from the grave three days later, and faith in the Jesus figure forming the essence of this faith.
Also it implies that a very literal belief in the creation story is needed, because of Adam’s role in all of this. Rousseau asserted that this creates a religious outlook which is so superstitious that it is tantamount to extreme credulity; The epistemological problems associated with miracles, the absence of criteria to determine their veracity, since they go against what we know of the laws of nature, and the dependence on blind faith to support the structure. Rousseau stated that since miracles are common in many religions, there is no reason to believe the Jesus miracle over others, except if you were to create the epistemological conditions centered around supposed Christian history, and thus be engaged in horrible question begging; no reason to believe that our original ancestors were Adam and Eve over those purported in other creation myths, and the creation story in Genesis was exposed as ridiculous, but necessary to believe in for the Adam character to be given the necessary significance. This is where the idea of a “metaphysical religion”, was like forbidden fruit, and a bitter pill the church preferred not to choke on. All incursions of the paranormal would be strictly controlled.
The argument of Rousseau is that these metaphysical principles allow our consciousness to grow and develop; our consciousness is in the process of always appropriating more and more knowledge, rather then coming up to the roadblock of superstition and credulity that is the public face of the Christian religion.The tipping point was Rousseau’s diversions into the foggy dawn of Eastern and pagan religions. That, being religions based upon metaphysical principles that the intelligence of man has an affinity towards rather than supposed historical events that can be interpreted as absurd and implausible and to some extent poetic license. Rousseau found them repulsive to the intelligence of man.
From the perspective of Buddhism, the metaphysical and phenomenological outlook in the paticca sammupada correlate very strongly with the Transcendental Idealism of Kant and Schopenhauer, which can be regarded as superior to the materialism that is still the common viewpoint. The runes of Nordic mysticism can be seen as extra dimensional principles which manifest themselves into this reality through natural processes. The only possible critique would be of speculative metaphysics, but then everybody outside of Hume could be accused of this, and that form of skepticism leads into many problems. Which was what the Vatican was most concerned with; widespread charlatanism with a form of delusional pop metaphysics doused in a sauce of radical paganism.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that someone might try to argue that some natural catastrophies are also due to human choice. Defense of theism, however problematic it might be, does not seem to address the evil resulting from natural catastrophies, ones that are not the result of human choice.It’s another step to take a present catastrophe and blame it on the people because of their ancestors’ actions. But Pat Robertson has descended to the occasion. To his discredit he says a, “pact to the devil” brought on the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Officials fear more than 100,000 people have died as a result of Tuesday’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Haiti.
Robertson, the host of the “700 Club,” blamed the tragedy on something that “happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it.”
The Haitians “were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever,” Robertson said on his broadcast last Wednesday. “And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. And so, the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.’
“History shows us that one constant we share among the sundry civilizations is the quest for the ground. Liebniz captured the essential nature of his search when he wrote the two principle questions of metaphysics: “Why is there something; why not nothing?” And, the second; “Why is there something as it is, and not different?” The questions of existence and essence!
The great derailment of modernity is in large measure the result of loss of the meaning of the ground of existence (aition) where reason (nous) has been limited/reduced to a closed existence defined by the terms: empiricism, reductionism, and positivism.
In denying the ground of existence we end up through a rather circuitous logic in arriving at a state of reality that excludes the “non-existent.” In order to answer those inquiries that constitute the essence and nature of man, to engage in the “ultimate science of action,” we must have some knowledge of the “ultimate ground.” And, while scientific empiricism has deformed human existence the truth is that those who refuse and deny God act as if they had an ultimate purpose, as if God existed, as if their lives made some “sort of sense immortally,” which, ironically, reveals the open existent nature of man.
…There is no doubt Rousseau had a neurotic personality. Even his persecution by the authorities can be largely ascribed to himself. The authorities had bent over backwards to help him escape the consequences of measures they themselves had been forced to take because Rousseau insisted, unlike most of his contemporaries, on signing his most subversive writings with his real name. After his quarrel with Hume, however, his self isolation and suspiciousness took on all the symptoms of paranoia. He was permitted to return to France on condition he refrain from publishing his writings. Despite some brilliant flashes of reason, these writings, such as his ”Confessions” , tragically reveal testimony to the growing darkness of mind; yet he was far from demented. The end of his life was found in a serenity, and a happiness in mere existence; the guiding principles of his own philosophy. He transcended his mania and found long periods of inner peace.
What Pat Robertson was railing against as ”Haitians” was a metaphor for a type of human being that resembled Rousseau; at least in the writer’s pre moral prophet period. That is, individuals lacking the drive and ambitions of more settled and responsible men, people who found their chief pleasure in the enjoyment of existence for its own sake, in daydreaming,in strolling through the countryside, in lying down under a tree. In other words, harmless people somewhat like amiable vagabonds.
The social ills experienced by Rousseau in Paris were very real. While more robust temperaments could adjust to them, partly submitting to the inevitable, partly seeking a remedy in practical action, Rousseau was by his nature compelled to change the entire system. Whether this was practical or wise is a matter of argument. It enabled Rousseau to penetrate to the very roots of modern man’s dilemma. Science and material progress had not made people happy. On the contrary, in their pursuit of false values, men had forgotten to learn from nature. Unlike a commanding pillar of the Pat Robertson view, Rousseau felt the causes of unhappiness could be blamed neither on God nor on human nature. Far from commanding man to submit to fate, God or nature had endowed him with the means to shape his fate. Nature to Rousseau did not appear cruel; only natural.
Esssentially, Rousseau had weaved the new social and psychological contexts into a similar narrative developed by David Baruch Spinoza with similar ostracizing results.On Pat Robertson on his electioneering of God , and the low-down on God as the greatest businessperson. There is one god, but he stuffs many ballot boxes. A Miracle? Jesse Duplantis, on God’s plan, or business plan:
”First, please note that CBN strategically placed Jesse Duplantis on their broadcast to serve a political purpose. The Robertsons have billion dollar business interests that greatly benefit whenever a Republican wins the White House. That explains why Robertson got behind Rudy Giuliani early on: he correctly figured that a more liberal candidate was his party’s best chance of holding onto the White House and furthering his businesses. Now that the situation in Iraq has calmed, perhaps the biggest burden that the GOP must carry is economic uncertainty. So, the very negative jobs report that was released on the day of the broadcast plays into the very mood that could result in an Obama presidency that would mean many millions less for the Robertson empire. So right after the story on the jobs report, out they trot Jesse Duplantis with a message that Christians have nothing to fear from a bad economy. A true and Biblical message, right? Not when it is perverted with the false Word of Faith/prosperity doctrine that Duplantis, Robertson, and fellow travelers push like drugs. Duplantis opens by telling people not to have faith in God’s plan for their lives and His ability to bring it to pass with His control of world events and history, but rather to have faith in “their seed.” Later Duplantis says, “Yes, the economy may take a downturn, but I can take the attitude that I will not participate.” That is New Age metaphysical teaching that people can create and conform a new reality around their thoughts, which in truth is nothing but denying and refuse to deal with the hard truths of life – the quickest way for a Christian to lose his faith – and is even a form of self brainwashing that can lead to madness. Strong delusion, indeed! Duplantis closes his politically and financially motivated apostasy lecture with an odd embrace of an unsophisticated form of the open theism heresy advanced by such intellectual leaders of the Pentecostal movement as theologian and megachurch past…( healtheland.wordpress.com )