Saturday, September 25, 2010

Get a Leg Up

As I mentioned in the previous post, you're going to see a lot of snippets from The Evolution of God by Robert Wright!
There is in the world today a great and mysterious force that shapes the fortunes of millions of people. It is called the stock market. There are people who claim to have special insights into this force. They are called stock analysts. Most of them have often been wrong about the market's future behavior, and many of them have been wrong most of the time. In fact, it's not clear that their advice is worth anything at all.

...Nonetheless, stock analysis is a profitable line of work, even for some manifestly inept practitioners. Why? Because whenever people sense the presence of a puzzling and momentous force, they want to believe that there is a way to comprehend it. If you can convince them that you're the key to comprehension, you can reach great stature.

This fact has deeply shaped the evolution of religion, and it seems to have done so since very near the beginning...
Let's face it. Most people like the idea of getting a leg up in life. We crave the inside dope, so that we can manipulate life into the way we want it to be. While others toil away, we want a path that is greased for us. We want to stand on the pinnacle of the mountain without actually having to climb it (and deal with those nasty callouses).

Since this trait seems to be nearly universal, there always are people who want to take advantage of it. So, as Wright points out, they set themselves up as experts, individuals with inside knowledge that they are willing to share with you and me...for a hefty price! That price can be in earthly wealth, mindless obedience, self-loathing and a host of other things.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the Grand Mystery of life, it turns out that these self-anointed experts don't truly possess any inside knowledge. In reality, they stumble around in the dark just as much as you or I do! The elixirs they sell simply are placebos dressed up like holy water.

1 comment:

  1. You summed-up the predicament of Human Society nicely;it's always been the case of "the blind leading the blind". The "mindless obedience" is just a by product of everybody's insecurity and anxiety over life. So,they handover their lives and minds to others,instead of accepting and allowing the natural unfolding of events.
    Too many ask themselves,"what should I do",when they should probably be asking,"what's the problem"? Of course,in reality nothing is wrong.It is,what it is.It's a matter of acceptance and nonresistance to the flow of things.


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