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This episode speaks to the catalysts that forged these new practices forward in a more expedited timeline than the local folklore, as well as discussing why these catalysts were so successful in ensuring that the adoption was more complete. However, we know the psychological impact was far more damaging, and has lasted for those lands of generations. However let us call the all-knowing all-father to guide our discussion to receive the wisdom.
Speaking to the physical factors that embedded the new practice of monotheism. Let’s identify some of the early church’s tactics of conquering the masses.
- Demonstrate to the leadership (kings, and other monarchy) the ability to control the masses with the guilt/shame cycle, forcing them to attend church on Sundays.
- Demonstrate to the leadership (kings, and other monarchy) the ability of incorporating the practice of collecting tithing to garner wealth.
- Finally, a reason to crush the opponents of your new found faith. Either by shaming, or by violence, the idea of giving the armies an underlying reason to destroy your neighbors.
These have been the tools that the early church used to embed their beliefs, and themselves into the evolving world of the time. Now, the road to enforcement hasn’t been easy, there have been those who would not submit to the wills of this new church leadership.
Through the infestation of these new “easy to digest” beliefs there have been several key factors that became an unintended consequence from the “conform or die” implementation that they chose to employ. So the salesmen of the time decided to alter their “pitch” to help the masses adopt the new doctrine.
- Most of the population of Germany, France, and Scandinavia of the time would have grown up hearing stories of the Germanic gods. Wooten, and his children, vanquishing all the ice giants. Therefore is was easy to supplement God, Jesus, and Satan as representatives within this new practice.
- Celebrations were easy too. Capturing Yule as their Christmas, spring planting as their Easter, and so on. Most of the symbolism transferred over as well. Decorated tree, gifts, and giving were but a few captured.
- Instead of offerings to the gods, the new church offered to be the middleman, accepting the offerings for their god, instead keeping the offerings for “the church”. In some locations, the church was controlled by the monarchy, thereby adding those offerings to the state coffers.
There were plenty more, but what secured its place in history, was the “iron glove” enforcement of its rules, and behavior control. This was demonstrated heavily by the church, and much of it still happens today.
- The requirement of forgiveness, and admittance of one’s sins to receive absolution of one’s sins.
- The public shaming of people who didn’t want inclusion. By outcasting, and in some cases, killing them, strongly encouraged “at-least” public displays of agreement.
- The private guilt was taught to the young, so that they grew up with this mental yardstick firmly embedded.
- The encouragement of paying for forgiveness, and encouraging the payment of 10% of one’s wages in “tithing” with the promise of returning it ten fold.
These any many other psychological impacts have caused irreversible damage to the underlying emotional stability of most humans throughout the lifespan of this belief. It has elevated the base level of emotional stability. The basic premise that the guilt/shame cycle provides a reduced value of self-worth. Multiplied over the average lifespan of a human, those little nagging thoughts of guilt build into a crescendo, that then causes a short circuit of the brain under extreme duress. This has been the bane of my spiritual counseling sessions.
Knowing all of this, how then does the church continue to draw in new attendees? More importantly, how can we break the cycle of guilt/shame? Well, much like my ancestors did we live by a simplistic code, consider you’re writing an imaginary journal throughout your life. When you are done with this physical lifetime, this journal will be on display.
There is plenty of hope of breaking this cycle of destruction and suffering that is part of the monotheistic approach.
- Realize that we are not born into any “sin” created by those who lived and died before us. This idea that we “owe” something to anyone just by being born is ludicrous. Whoever thinks otherwise is simply trying to stoke the fires of guilt/shame within your mind.
- Do not subscribe to the application of guilt/shame to yourself. While it is critical that we live an honorable life, just because someone feels that our actions may not be to their liking, should have no bearing on us. Obviously there are conditions at which guilt/shame applies, particularly with dishonorable deeds, however, more focus should be placed on repairing the event, and less on exploiting the guilt or shame.
- Finally, come to terms with the uniqueness of you, and realize that you have arrived exactly where you are supposed to be. You are in exactly the right spot, at the right time. Do not let anyone strip away the accomplishment that you are.
Having said all of this, we have chosen to live amongst a society, or community. This means that we subscribe to the rules and/or laws of that society. In an attempt to ensure we live honorably, the adherence to those laws or rules become an ingrained part of our honorable life. If your community has laws or rules against the activities you enjoy, than you must seek out another community in which they are permitted. There are some activities we might enjoy that there no longer is a community for, so we must seek to modify our desire for that activity to meet the society in which we assimilate into.
I can only begin to recount the number of individuals whom I have worked with that allow this guilt/shame to overwhelm themselves, thereby leading to depression, frustration, and/or anger. Let these attempts at psychological manipulation go. Live your life. Many individuals have said how they are tense when nothing is going on in their lives, and I remind them. Shame is the external function of degrading another in public, while guilt is the intrinsic version of that behavior control. A good practice to consider is daily meditation, as it could afford the opportunity to address, and release, these feelings of guilt you carry in your mind every day.