I'm reading this great book that is really helping me to make some more sense of motivations of my own and others and this crazy reality.
Check out these meaningful chapter titles: God as the beginning, I am god, god out there, god as her/him/it, god as the group, god as orgasm and sex, god as death, god as drugs, god as the body, god as money, god as righteous wrath, god as compassion, god as war, god as science, god as mystery, god as the belief, the simulation, the model, god as the computer, god simulating himself, god as consciousness without an object, god as humor, god as superspace, the ultimate collapse into the black hole, the end, the ultimate simulation, god as the dyad.
"What I wish to do in this book is to give you enough samples to learn your own simulations of God, understand your own system of belief, and find out what is most important to you within yourself..." John C. Lilly, M.D.
Belief System: In a given person a belief system is that conscious/unconscious set of basic beliefs, assumptions, axioms, biases/prejudices, models, simulations which determine, at a given instant, decisions, actions, thoughts, feelings, motives and the sense of the real and the true.
A given person usually has several belief systems, which may or may not overlap, may or may not generate paradoxes, agree/contradict, control/be controlled by one another, be arranged/dissaranged, logical/illogical, be fixed/shifting.
From 'I am God':
The belief largely still held in the field of science - and by the community at large - is that on this planet man - the human scientist - is at the top of the heap - this with no investigation of the criteria on which this opinion is based. Such defenses, as "Well, if these other animals are so great, why aren't they building the way we're building?" put one's self in the "I am God" position where science, knowledge, and the other species are concerned.
"What I do, then, is the be-all and end-all on this planet. I have demonstrated this because I can destroy the others. In fact, now I have the capability of destroying everything on this planet, including the planet itself; therefore, I must be at the top of the pyramid of development. Therefore, the others are my prey and I am justified in killing them for purposes of my industries, my survival, or my warfare."
In this sense, then, the "I am God" position denies that there is any such thing as an essense, that there is any such entity. It denies that there is any connection between us and the other species; it denies that there is a any connection between us and the rest of the universe; it denies that there is a "God"; it denies that here is a Star Maker who has any knowledge of what humans do. This in a sense is the existential position, without religion and without the kinds of experiences about which I and others have written. In other words, in order to make one's self God in the sense of he who controls our planet, with nuclear power, chemical and biological warfare, and political means of exerting power within a very limited framework, one assumes God-like powers and believes there is nothing else but one's self and one's own species.
With this belief system, the be-all and end-all is humanity. There is nothing on the planet comparable to humanity. All other species are potential victims of the human species. There are no unknowns in communication with either these species or at-present-undiscovered species elsewhere in our galaxy. This view is quite as dogmatic and dangerous as the view of the Catholic Church during the inquisition, of the Mohammedans following Mohammed, of the hordes of Genghis Khan coming into Europe, or of Attila the Hun.
From 'God as him/her/it':
Of course one must examine very carefully the unconscious tape loops, the tape loops below one's level of awareness which could select who is to be his particular guru as God. In fact before seeking a guru, one should look to his motives. It may be that he is merely once again seeking a situation which he considers to be "ideal" - with mother or with mother and father or with a sibling. One's ideals generate what he considers to be virtuous behavior; it is wise to consider wether or not this "virtuous" behavior is really what one wants. One can behave for years in accordance with what he considers to be a virtuous mode, and then suddenly discover that the mode is anything but virtuous, that it is postulated not upon virtue but upon something else inside himself that he was unaware of. With the gain of proper experiences, a whole system of beliefs can fall apart and one may be left with a reconsideration of the whole basis of his total motivation and life-style.
If one wants to take the position of the Tao, he can say that these are learning opportunities which have been thrown his way as he followed the Way. One hears some Taoists saying, "Everything that happens is perfect as it happens: all lessons are to be learned as presented." In effect, this is saying that the spirtiual path is perfect of itself. This claim reminds me of a famous modern Tibetan spiritual leader who, when asked, "What is liberation?," said, "Liberation is freedom from the spiritual path."
From 'God as a group':
The galaxy itself may have groups that are watching and caring about what our groups are doing. It may also not. If we are going to project our patriarchal, and matriarchal, ideas onto the galaxy, we are probably going to make the same mistakes that we made in the past in regard to our planet. If we suspect that there are out there beings thousands of years ahead of our civilization who are going to rescue us from our own childish mistakes, we are probably setting ourselves up for a stunning surprise.
There are those who claim divine guidance and wish to pass messages on to the rest of us, messages derived from entities not human, from networks of communication not available to all of us, from direct personal contacts with other entities, spirits and guides way beyond anything that we have directly experiences on this planet. Such experiences have given rise to pronouncements about God; pronouncements about God Out There, pronouncements about God in Here, God as The Group, God as Her/Him/it.
We can see that in the future our regions of ignorance will be much larger than our regions of knowledge. We still do not know how, when, or where we are connected to other entities in this galaxy in terms of our modern science. We do not know how large a galactic group we are members of. Certain direct experiences I have had in isolation and others have had under similar circumstances seem to indicate that we are in contact with a much larger network than our current consensus science says we are. In this sense God as the Largest Group may extend far beyond our planet and even beyond our galaxy into the whole universe.
From 'God as the body':
...Once one has taken the spiritual path and achieved a certain experience with various far-out states of consciousness, he begins to expand his criteria of beauty into regions where, before they were almost forbidden. In these states of consciousness one's criteria are so expanded that anything and everything becomes beautiful and perfect. One pulls out of the human conditions and the necessity for survival of the physical being and moves into eternal spaces united with all other sentient beings throughout the universe. The impact of such experiences is so great that one's criteria of beauty or of sin and virtue are completely flipped. One goes through peculiar transformations in that what used to be considered beautiful expands to include many, many things that one might have considered ugly. Finally, the dichotomy "beauty and ugliness" disappears; one achieves a state of High Indifference in which he realizes that bliss does not come from the outside world, it comes from within. One elicits his own bliss, he elicits bliss in others. He realizes his own eternal nature and hence is no longer quite so subject to the survival programs of the biocomputer.
God as the Body disappears. One is no longer subject to the same kinds of programming that he was previously. The body is now part of a more immense God whose vastness encompasses the whole universe and all of one's higher states of consciousness. For example, in the old belief system of God as the Body, one's own death was unjust, catastrophic, a complete disaster. With the new belief system, death is merely a transition form, a change in state of oneself, a change in a state of being, a change of consciousness into a new, more expanded state, highly desirable and not as restricting as the state of consciousness which was tied to a body. Once can leave the body with joy, with a sense of completeness of his planetside trip, and go to whatever it is that one goes on to. God as Death is also gone.
From 'God as money':
For many people the possession of money is equated with God. The belief "God is money: money is God" is a powerful determinant of behavior in our Western society. According to the usual social criteria, the misuse of money by private individuals and by public officials is the list of sins against this God. Those who blatantly steal money without surrounding their theft with all sorts of legal safeguards, are subject to the severest penalties. Those who know how to obtain large amounts of money and who can hire sufficiently powerful law firms who in turn can influence the judges, can make a very subtle priest-like game out of playing with their God.
Public officials in charge of grants, of disbursement of government funds and of the collection of government taxes, similarly are priests in the church of this God. The taxation authorities have the power to examine the personal life of any individual citizen or of any corporation to find any heresies that have developed in the worship of this God. Rules for the worship of money as God are quite stringent and specific, like any of the litanies, rituals and belief systems of any church that has appeared in the Western wrodl. The new inquisition has powers of jailing (practically for life) those who do not adhere to the proper rituals, litany and paper work necessitated by this God.
Certain new privileges appear that were not present at the lower levels of money flow. One now has the best possible advice from accounting, auditing and law firms. He has become a member of the "privileged priests" of the God of Money. One can now be in competition with the other priests or in confederation with the other priests. Publicly one acts as if he is in competition, whereas privately he acts in cooperation with the other priests. They advise him on how to reduce his taxes to a microscopic level; on how to put his money in trust for his offspring; and on how to keep a low profile for the public media. He is taught how to use the media in the service of the Money God.
Also from 'God as money':
Already we are disillusioned with fixed litanies, fixed rituals of churches. The new software, as opposed to that of old churches, is more flexible, more adaptive, and more interesting. Some spectacular things can be accomplished in the inner realities with the proper human software programming. Telling people how to do things inside their own heads is becoming a new industry in which fortunes are to be made.