Holding false beliefs concerning the nature of reality creates bias in the mind against 'common sense'. Perhaps the greatest flaw of organized religion is its tendency to deny each new advancement in human understanding. Once the the nature of reality has been demonstrated to be something other than the dogma seen in scripture, those who continue to believe scripture become at odds with reality, to the detriment of themselves and society
Evangelical Christianity and fundamentalist sects of Islam teach their followers that in order to understand the nature of reality - and therefore one's own spiritual experiences - one must first understand the Bible or Quran as "God's Words" - to consider everything written in Scripture to be truth. Fundamentalist Christians and Muslims both believe the Bible and Quran are literally books authored by God - wholly inspired texts that contain no error or falsehood.
This singular religious belief, more than any other religious belief, has the power to transform a rational minded person, endowed with common sense, into an irrational one - from a sound minded individual, into a disturbingly delusional one.
It is critical to understand that holding 'foundational' false beliefs concerning the nature of reality will dramatically impact one's thinking and even alter one's perception of reality. This is particularly true when a false belief has been embraced while under the influence of fear or when predisposed to 'want' to believe something is true.
An altered state of consciousness induced by embracing a 'false belief' crucial to one's understanding of reality.
Side effects include:
1. Inaccurate perceptions of reality.
2. Diminished ability for sound reasoning.
3. Mistrust / fear of those not holding the false belief.
4. Strong mental bias for thoughts supporting the false belief.
5. Strong mental bias against thoughts opposing the false belief.
Below are eight Common Sense Interpretations of some of the more cryptic sayings attributed to Jesus found in the New Testament.
These interpretations have been derived from the following set of metaphors pairings - which can prove useful when attempting to interpret other cryptic saying in the New Testament attributed to Jesus.
1. Eye - 'One's perception, one's understanding of something'
2. Body - 'One's conscious and unconscious mind'
3. House - 'The beliefs governing one's mind'
4. Kingdom - 'An interconnected set of beliefs, a philosophy or theology'
5. Son of Man - 'The enlightened individual, enlightened humanity'
6. Demon - 'A delusion, Those controlled by delusional thinking'
7. Angel - 'Insight, Those controlled by enlightened thinking'
8. Devil/Satan - 'Falsehood - Mind controlled by falsehood'
9. Hell - 'A state of delusion leading to mental and physical torment'
10. Heaven - 'The world as it should be, the perfect world'
1. Mark 4:24-25
Be careful if you attempt to interpret sayings attributed to me. The reasoning you use will be the measure of your success, and even more. Those who have sound reasoning will embrace rational assumptions leading to more understanding. Those without sound reasoning will embrace irrational assumptions which leads to diminished understanding.
NIV -"Consider carefully what you hear," he continued. "With the measure you use, it will be measured to you--and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them."
2. Matthew 23:15
Trouble awaits you who teach people to believe that everything written in the scriptures is true. You are self-deluded. You travel land and sea to win a single convert, and when you find one, you make them twice as delusional as you yourselves have become.
NIV - "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.
3. Matthew 6:22-23
How you see the world illuminates your mind. If your perception of reality is correct your mind becomes full of insights. If your perception of reality is wrong your mind becomes full of fallacies. Embracing a fallacy as you would embrace an insight makes the mind delusional.
NIV - "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
4. Matthew 5:29-30
If your understanding of God confuses or disturbs you, better to approach life without an understanding of God than have your whole mind thrown into torment. If your first hand spiritual experience confuses or disturbs you, it is better to discount or reinterpret that spiritual experience than have your whole mind subject to torment.
NIV - If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
5. Mark 3:22-29
Prominent religious scholars explained, This man dispels demons by Satan's power. So Jesus called them and answered using symbolic language: How can a delusion be dispelled by falsehood? Theology that is irrational or contradicts itself has no solid foundation. Minds governed by irrational, contradictory beliefs become unstable. And if falsehood can be demonstrated to be illogical it loses its power to delude the mind. The fact is a person whose mind is governed by strongly held beliefs can not be made to let go of their beliefs without first being forced to honestly question their beliefs. The truth you need to know is this: The psychological consequences of any sin can be alleviated. But while one holds a false belief concerning the nature of God the psychological consequences of that belief will remain forever.
NIV - And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons." So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man's house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man's house. Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin."
6. Matthew 5:17-20
Don't assume I intend to abolish scripture. I don't intend to abolish scripture. I intend to fulfill scripture's apocalyptic expectations. Because the truth is until scripture's apocalyptic expectations are met, those who have become bound by their belief in scripture will never be free of even the smallest details of the law. So, whether you practice and teach scripture's wisdom or reject it you can obtain a certain measure of enlightened understanding - accordingly. But unless your intellectual integrity exceeds that of those who believe and teach that all scripture is truth, you certainly won't find any measure of enlightened understanding.
NIV - "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
7. Matthew 5:27-28
You have been taught that wisdom dictates you must not be sexually unfaithful in marriage. But I tell you the heart desiring to own someone sexually is already unfaithful.
NIV - "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
8. Mark 14:61-62
But Jesus remained silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the chosen one, the son of the blessed one? And Jesus said, "I am, and you will understand the enlightened have first hand knowledge of established power and their light shines on the things that keep people from seeing the world as it should be."
NIV - "But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One? And Jesus said, "I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven."
Embracing the fallacy that the Bible or Quran are ‘God’s Words’, that these books contain no falsehood or contradiction, has made countless Christians, Jews and Muslims unwittingly delusional. No mind retains the ability to read and judge these books soberly or open-mindedly after embracing as ‘insight’ the belief that these texts contain no falsehood or contradiction. Fear of scripture often becomes the norm for the uneducated who embrace this belief and absurdity in one's reasoning is the logical outcome for those attempting to rectify the many contradictions found in these texts.
Each generation ‘God’s Word’ scholar reinterprets end times myths to fit current events and develops any tortured logic necessary to remain blind to the falsehoods and contradictions found in these texts. Less fortunate victims can find themselves ‘struck down’ by ‘God’s Word’ after reading some troubling passage; their mind suddenly seized with fear that God is, in that moment, judging them. These then become at risk for serious mental illness.
This fallacy is the root of all religious conflict. It strips people of their power for independent thought and inspires self-fulfilling fatalistic worldviews. The sociopath utilizes this belief to seize control of government and maintain systems of oppression.
Resist the temptation to embrace this fallacy when seeking insight into your own spiritual experiences.