The Superman “S” Shield is the 2nd most recognizable symbol in the world. In only 75 years, it is on the verge of dethroning the Christian cross, despite a 2,000-year head start. How much longer until we, as a species, look to Superman as our common savior and ideal to live up to?
Religious tales and devotional practices that stem from them go back the entire length of our species’ history. In attempting to reach a state of imminent communion with one’s conception of divinity, we follow archetypal narrative patterns that create deep emotional engagement to religious characters and their endeavors. Holding these story forms in our minds, we are better able to hold ourselves to higher standards of thought and action.
A spiritual person is one who has adopted a permanent state of mind where he knows that there is no fundamental division between himself and anything else, or any other seemingly separate parts of the universe. He has set for himself a series of value judgments and lifestyle goals to live beyond the delusional distinctions that create unnecessary personal suffering and social strife.
Religious texts and practices, stemming back thousands of years and run through countless cultural and linguistic filters, are not necessary. Useful though they can be under the right settings, they are better off discarded. The goal of the spiritually-minded individual can be attained through conclusions formed from observations made in the present moment.
If all religious texts, myths, and devotions were to be wiped out in a single generation, they would eventually reemerge in some facet of human culture because they represent archetypes of underlying human development. For that reason, religious myths could be said to be inefficient and redundant, as there are now modern and emerging forms of the same archetypes of development in our books, movies, and other popular media. The goal of the spiritually-minded, modern, exceptional individual should be to find the form of these narratives which best suit his particular sense of emotional engagement. His artistic tastes must be satisfied if he is to gain the benefits of these spiritual forms.
Update August 31, 2017:
The day this episode was posted, the guest Riley made the following statements in a Facebook discussion regarding the interview:
“The more I think about it the more I’ve come to regret two concessions. The first being that it doesn’t matter if Jesus Christ never existed – for the scriptures says that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, and everyone who says otherwise is of the anti-Christ. The esoteric significance here is great and profound, and so I recant having made the claim that it matters not whether Jesus Christ came in the flesh, so to speak, for in a very real sense it’s all that matters – let them with understanding hear.
Second, I regret saying, or implying, that Superman is just as valid a mythological character as Jesus Christ. Truth be told, “mythological character” can’t really be applied to Superman, for although he’s endowed with certain, limited, archetypal characteristics, he’s in no way purported to be anything like a religious figure, that is, he’s not a figure by virtue of which one is reconnected to the divine – a prerequisite for any truly mythological savior.”
In the show notes at the end of the episode, Gregory discusses the effect this rapid ideological turnabout has had the lesson he learned about relgious mentalities and the solution to division and strife among dogmatic thinkers the world over. New content comes in at 1:08:12.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand:
The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis and directed by Martin Scorsese:
The Death and Return of Superman:
Carl Sagan’s invisible dragon in his garage:
Gospels that were left out of the Bible:
UCWG 034: Why Should Anyone Give a Damn About Spiritual Enlightenment? How Meditation, Meta-Cognition, and Linguistic Relativity Shape the Egoic Self: