In a conversation, recently, I made an interesting statement:
“When a belief system is imposed upon a people there is a tendency for some thinking to become delusional.”
I first became aware of this after looking at the “weird” claims coming from the U.S. and Britain. In particular, I speak of the claims of oppression, tyranny, and rights violation in just about everything under the sun . . . you name it and it can be molded into a form of oppression! The people who really brought this out, for me, are called feminists. For some examples of some of the bizarre claims they said see my “Thoughts on the absurd claims of feminists“. The effect of these “weird” claims is that they basically fashioned a world view where society is nothing but oppression, tyranny, and rights violation particularly by whoever is in power. Living in the U.S., I saw this point of view everywhere, even to the point of paranoia. In the U.S. the American Constitution became heavily used to “justify” these claims. This became particularly strong during the cold war causing a particular ‘cold war interpretation of the Constitution’, which created a distorted and warped view of it and what it means. The result is that the American law became warped to fit these warped ideas, such as the ridiculous lawsuits we’ve been seeing (see my article “Thoughts on the cold war interpretation of the U.S. Constitution: distortion “in the name of the Constitution”“). Basically, these points of view have created a false and erroneous view of people, society, government, and the world. Its also created false and erroneous interpretations of conditions and realities. In addition, its caused a lot of blind and ridiculous accusation and blame which turned a lot of innocent people into “bad” people. In short, I could see that it was delusional (that is, its not founded on the real world but something they created in their minds). In short, this means that many political and social beliefs of Britain and the U.S. are really a form of delusion, something fabricated in their minds, creating conditions and enemies that don’t really exist.
Looking at it closer, I began to see that it seems to have a lot to do with an imposed belief system which started a process of thinking that slowly became delusional over time. This imposed belief system happens to be Christianity. Tracing it back I could see a progression much like this:
- Christianity – the idea that the people are the “body of Christ” by the imposed belief system of Christianity.
- Democracy – the “body of Christ” idea turned into a political system.
- The democratic idea of oppression, tyranny, and rights violation – the paranoid and delusional idea that everyone and everything is trying to take something from us, the people, and that we must protect ourselves from this ongoing and endless threat, usually by some political and legal means.
In other words, it shows how an imposed belief system slowly, over time, turned into paranoid and delusional beliefs that do not really reflect the real-world situation. In effect, people become “victims of their own thinking”.
“Imposing” means the putting of a foreign belief system upon a people that do not already have it. In other words, its a belief system that does not reflect the peoples life, ways, conditions, and lifestyle. Because of this, it becomes something more like an intrusion. In this way, it can become very disruptive and damaging. More often than not, the people have to try to “reconcile” their life to the new foreign belief system. In many cases, this is never fully accomplished. In this way, there often develops a “dual belief society” in these societies: two separate belief systems running side-by-side. One effect of this is that it can divide a society, even to the point of civil war. Its not uncommon that tensions are created that exist, perhaps, for centuries.
The “dual belief society” can cause conditions such as:
- They continue side-by-side indefinitely and don’t conflict.
- They tend to blend together or are somehow merged.
- They conflict with each other.
- They can cause a slow deterioration of the society. In effect, the two belief systems actually cause a deterioration of both belief systems (it appears that this is what happened in Western Europe as a result of the Christian conversion).
In short, an imposed belief, and the “dual belief society” it creates, tends to have a dramatic impact on the society, even to the point of undermining and destroying it. Because of this, the effects of an imposed belief system cannot be underestimated.
“Delusional thinking”, as I use it here, means the taking on of a conception of the world that does not fit into the actual conditions one is in. Its like a tribe, living in the rainforest, trying to live the same way Eskimo’s live, or a poor person trying to live as if he were rich, and such. In other words, there is little, or no, correlation between ones idea or conception of life and how one is really living. The effects of this can range from just something out-of-place to insane claims. Its effects can also range from good to bad.
When a belief system is imposed it generally has little or nothing to do with the people and their lifestyle and may be so out-of-place that it doesn’t fit in at all. In this way, an imposed belief tends to create a form of thinking that slowly becomes “delusional” because it does not fit in. In addition, the imposed belief forces people to start to take views, attitudes, and interpretations that do not fit their situation and life. As a result, what is created is something like a “misguided belief”, a belief that does not match their situation and life. One could say that “delusional thinking is really a result of a misguided belief caused by the fact that the belief originated from somewhere else under different conditions”. This causes something like a “belief mismatch”. This fact shows that belief has certain qualities such as:
- The belief itself. This refers to the belief and what it says.
- The conditions that inspire it. This refers to the realities and situation that make the belief relevant.
- Being ‘conditions centered’. This refers to a quality of belief where the belief “implants” a person into their life and makes them an active part of it. In other words, its the quality that makes belief relevant, meaningful, and purposeful in their life. ‘Conditions centered’ entails things like: an inner connection (something that hits deep within a person) and life connection (that refers to a connection with actual life and conditions). In this way, ‘conditions centered’ is like a “bond” between ones condition, ones self, and ones belief.
When these do not “match” there develops a mismatch and an inconsistency. In addition, it shows that there is a great interplay and association between these different qualities. In many ways, much of life is trying to reconcile and balance all three qualities. There seems to be this association:
In an ideal situation the belief matches the conditions and, accordingly, it supports the ‘conditions centered’ thereby “implanting” the person in life. This importance of belief and conditions shows that the ‘conditions centered’ is a reaction to belief and conditions. That is to say, it is a reflection of their association. Typically, if there is an inconsistency between belief and conditions we tend to “modify” our belief to match. In this way, we are always modifying and adjusting our belief to the conditions of our life. This process actually goes on throughout our daily lives and is a part of growing and living.
But if the inconsistency between conditions and belief are not dramatic enough there is a tendency for the ‘conditions centered’ attitude to remain making it seem as if the belief and conditions are consistent but in which they, in reality, are not. This happens a lot with ‘formal belief’ or a belief that is socially based (such as religion, cultural, or political belief). Since imposed belief is generally a belief of this nature (such as in the Christian conversion) it often takes this quality. Because the ‘condition centered’ does not alter, as it normally does, we can call this the ‘conditions centered deception’.
When a mismatch happens it is a result of an inconsistency between belief and conditions. The belief generally does not match the conditions. But the ‘conditions centered deception’ makes it seem as if a consistency continues. The net result of this is that there develops a detachment and alienation between belief and the conditions but with the illusion that their belief still “implants” them in life. This is the tendency to delusion, of thinking that whatever you believe reflects that actual conditions when they actually don’t. In this way, the imposed belief becomes like a false viewpoint taken as true. In a way, its like a slight “tricking” of the mind.
Some of the bad things that “delusional thinking” create include:
- It forces a specific form of interpretation of things.
- It is out-of-context.
- It causes a misinterpretation of things and life.
- It creates a warped view of things.
- It does not reflect ones self and society.
- It does not reflect the actual conditions.
- It creates a superficiality.
- It creates alienation.
- It creates fabricated conditions, abuses, conditions, etc. that actually do not exist.
As a result of all this, there develops a tendency to false and erroneous viewpoints and attitudes. This can become so excessive, even, that it can create a whole false image of the world (as I’ve seen many Americans take).
THE POWER OF THOUGHT . . . BEING “THOUGHT FIRST”
Delusional thinking shows the power of thought. It shows a tendency to think that if one thinks it then its automatically true. This is what I call being “thought first”. This means that thought dictates their world. In other words, what they think determines how the world appears to them. Because of this, what they think becomes what matters, not what really is.
Initially, though, societies take on a “world first” orientation. This means that the world dictates their thought. That is to say, their thought is in relation to what the world does. To put it another way, their thought is a reaction to the conditions of the world and is, accordingly, in response to it.
Imposed belief tends to force the “thought first” orientation upon a people. This is because the imposed belief is a thought. As a result, it requires thought for it to be effective and work. Generally, people tend to take a “world first” or “thought first” orientation. In other words, people do not take both but one or the other. Because of this, the “thought first” orientation, that is created by imposed belief, tends to displace and replace the “world first” orientation in people. In this way, imposed belief tends to create a tendency of thought and thinking which turns into a more abstract viewpoint. In this way, people move further from the world. This causes a tendency to be removed from ones conditions, seeing the world in a more distant way. As a result, the “thought first” orientation tends to place more emphasis on ones thought, or belief, than on ones conditions. This tends to further help the ‘conditions centered deception’ even more causing a greater tendency to delusion.
With the prevalence of imposed belief in the world today, most everyone now takes a “thought first” orientation. As a result, most people are no longer taking a “reacting to the world” orientation or “world first” orientation. Because of this, its easier for people to go into the fantasyland world of thought. People who are “world first”, on the other hand, tend to have the reality of the world to “temper” and “discipline” their thought and belief. As a result, they tend to not go into a fantasyland world but remain more rooted in their world and conditions. Being “thought first” does not have this “tempering” or “disciplining” quality. It shows how powerful thought can be in ones view of the world and how it can actually “override” the world and its conditions. A person can think something is going on when nothing is, in actuality, happening.
Interestingly, delusional thinking can create a sense of “utopia” with the new belief. This is precisely because it is delusional, a fantasyland world of thought, something one see’s only in their mind. As a result, you can create whatever world you want. This effect can create quite a pull on a person, almost like a drug or intoxication, and can even suck people into the imposed belief system. Once this happens, though, they are in a “world of thought”, not a “world of the world”. After that, it easily becomes pie-in-the-sky after that. In fact, I tend to believe that one of the things that helped the Christian conversion is this “utopia” tendency of pie-in-the-sky thinking. It gives the imposed belief system a “good” and appealing quality.
FORMS OF BELIEF
Imposed belief also reveal some interesting things about belief. It reveals two forms of belief:
- Naturally appearing belief.
- Imposed belief.
Naturally appearing belief
This is a belief that has come about in a people after living in specific conditions for a period of time. Typically, it is the product of generations and even hundreds of years. It originates from things like living conditions, social relations, and experience. In this way, it is a “natural reaction” and, accordingly, a “natural byproduct” of their way of living. As a result, it is a belief that hits deep in a person and tends to be true to the person and their life. Because of this, it tends to be spiritual or religious-like, as well as traditional.
But, because it is in reaction to the world, and so “world first”, it is actually rather weak. In other words, there is an inherent weakness in the “world first” orientation. This is because its “base”, so to speak, is in the world, not thought . . . the thought is secondary. Because of this, thought becomes weak in nature as the thought responds to the world. As a result, any change in the world or conditions changes the thought. This makes it so that any imposed belief can cause great disruption and problems for naturally appearing belief. With the weaker tendency of thought an imposed belief can easily topple it and destroy it (which it often does). This ease of destruction has even been used as an argument that the imposed belief is “correct” and “better” than the naturally appearing belief.
Because these belief systems are imposed upon a people they are not naturally appearing and, therefore, do not originate from things like conditions, social relations, and experience. In short, it does not originate from THEIR way of life and experience. In effect, it implants what can be described as artificial conditions, social relations, and experience. In so doing, it tends to create an artificial way of life as well as an artificial conception of the world. Its more superficial qualities tend to make it rely more on things like logic and intellect and abstract though. It also tends to use mass mentality, as it is being imposed upon a people, which tends to create a shallower belief in things.
Its not uncommon that imposed belief tends to lead to idealism – the glorification of ideas – and the worship of intellectualism. In other words, imposed belief tends to cause a glorification of what thought can do. In this way, it actually leads away from any “real” belief. Things tend to revolve around thought and ideas as well as the idea that these thoughts are “right” and not in any actual belief. Because of this, the emphasis becomes centered around “proof” that makes sense intellectually or as a thought. This just moves everything further from belief and reinforces the “thought first” orientation. This over-emphasis on thought has plagued Christianity since its beginning. Its also plagued democracy, one if its products, as well.
DELUSIONAL MENTALITIES . . .
A number of mentalities have created particular forms of delusional thinking:
- Inventions, discoveries, etc. – the modern world
- Learning and education
- The mass media
In the history of Europe (and its derivatives, such as the US) one could very well say that Christianity is the “mother of all imposed belief”. It came in such force that it has had far and wide manifestations and, in a way, set the pattern for many other forms of imposed belief. As a result, Christianity reflects the most “imposed belief”, probably, that there is. This fact shows that Christianity is at the source for many forms of delusional thinking. This isn’t because Christianity caused it or is delusional by nature, but because the Christian conversion created conditions that have led to it. That is to say, Christianity is not inherently bad or wrong . . . its effects just happen to caused some problems associated with imposed belief. Some examples of Christian thinking that have become a basis for delusional thinking include:
- The idea that life is misery. This made people think life is misery and that the past is miserable which isn’t necessarily true (see my articles “Thoughts on the myth that the past is miserable” and “Thoughts on how the ‘enlightment’ was motivated by the failure of Christianity“).
- The idea that everything not Christian-based is bad. This made people think other religions are bad and wrong.
- The idea of free will (sin is a result of choice and one suffers as a result).
- The idea of the ‘body of Christ’.
- The idea of a savior.
Many of this would carryover into the next form . . .
Many traits of democracy have origins in Christianity such as:
- The idea that we are all oppressed.
- The idea that life is misery so we need to “vote” for good government.
- That the people are everything (the body of Christ).
- That democracy will save us (democracy replaces Christ as savior).
- The importance of voting and the glorification of choice (free will).
These all have origin in Christianity. In this way, one can see that democracy, really, is an offspring of Christianity. In some respects, democracy is Christianity turned into a political system. In this way, many traits of Christianity, and the imposed belief system it is, would carry over into democracy.
Inventions, discoveries, etc. – the modern world
All the new inventions, gadgets, discoveries, etc. that have been created are another form of imposed belief. After Christianity it is probably the most common imposed belief. Its imposed things upon people in many different ways:
- Materially (the use of machines, gadgets, etc.)
- Knowledge (that is, in how you view the world)
- In the doing of things (the way in which things are done, from travel to cooking)
In this way, the modern world has caused the most varied and extensive forms of imposed belief. Many of its effects are not rooted in an actual belief but in changing the world and how we do things (such as materially and in doing things). As a result, it has even gone further than an imposed belief system. In this way, it shows that there are really two forms of imposed belief:
- The spoken belief.
- The non-spoken belief.
An imposed belief system (such as Christianity) is a form of the spoken belief, as it is rooted in words and, therefore, thought. Non-spoken belief is a reflection of how one relates with the world without words. In other words, the “non-spoken belief” appears as an attitude, perception, or doing. This brings a whole new level to imposed belief, as well as a new power. Being unspoken, it is often hard to “put into words” and define. This is one reason why people have a hard time defining the problems caused by the modern world. How do you describe the effects of an unspoken quality that changes ones attitudes, perceptions, and doing of things? Its not as easy as it sounds.
Learning and education
In actuality, most learning is a form of imposed belief. When we “learn” we have an imposed belief imposed upon us. In some respects, one could compare learning and education to a form of “conversion” having qualities and similarities to the Christian conversion. There is a lot of truth to this.
Interestingly, though, a lot of learning and education never really become a form of belief meaning that they never develop the ‘conditions centered’ or “implanting” of a person in life. It remains an idea only. This is because most learning and education remain an ‘abstract idea’ for many people. This is also why a lot of people forget what they learn: it is an idea only, it never develops a belief (a ‘conditions centered’), and it does not reflect their life conditions. As a result, its forgotten.
But there is a point, with some people, where learning and education is more than that. Its taken as a belief and, therefore, becomes, an imposed belief. What’s often the case is that this is a voluntary imposed belief. In other words, people voluntarily impose the belief upon themselves. In some cases, this can cause problems for people. For example, its not uncommon that learning and education tends to alienate many people from life . . . they live in an abstract world.
The mass media
The mass media has caused a whole new wave of imposed belief that is almost unreal. Its effects are generally similar to learning and education: a voluntary imposed belief. It seems to be more wide-spread and extensive because its more accessible. In addition, it tends to be more blind. Many people tend to take the mass media as gospel and truth, too, making it more of a tendency to become an imposed belief. Because of this, it is causing more of a tendency to delusional thinking.
Mass media, also, has developed a quality of a vacuum as it tends to suck people into it. We could speak of this as the enticed imposed belief, as it entices us to look at it, whether we want to or not. Once looking at it though, and being exposed to it, there is often a tendency to take it on as a belief, often unconsciously. This shows a condition that when we are enticed into a belief we tend to be more inclined to believe it. This is because the “enticing” makes it “personal” . . . its not just a thought. Because of this, it affects a person more deeply. Typically, though, it only affects certain qualities in a person. In other words, the enticing pulls specific “strings” in a person making it more limited in its effects. In some respects, this can cause a tendency to delusional thinking because it affects only that quality in a person and not the whole person. As a result, it can cause a part of a person to believe one thing and another part believe in something else.
This all reveals that there is a lot more to belief than it at first seems. It reveals things such as:
- That there is a close relationship between belief and ones conditions.
- That belief has great impact on how we are “implanted” in life.
- That belief affects us deep down as a person.
- That belief affects how we view the world.
- That belief can become detached from our conditions.
- That the “how we believe” can affect our interpretation of things (such as, it can become delusional).
These tell us to watch a number of things, such as:
- Be careful of what you are exposed to, absorb, and learn.
- Keep a watch on your belief.
- Be aware of your conditions and live according to it.
- Be careful not to be sucked into things.
I tend to feel that now, more than ever, we need to watch our learning, our thought, and how we live as well as what we believe. Things, such as these, are now a cause for a lot of unhappiness, alienation, and despair in the world today. This is because belief has such a great impact on life.
Copyright by Mike Michelsen