Therapy Culture leading to Barbarism - Why we need to be Repressed


In my view, the vast masses of society were repressed. Feudalism was a pretty brutal system (but necessary for the time).
I don’t think it’s possible to separate religions from the societies that created them. Christianity was the “glue” that held together European civilization and gave hope to a population in a brutal world. It also kept the arts alive and drove innovations like the printing press (I believe the first book Guttenberg printed was the Bible).
I don’t think Christianity created oppression of women or men or children. I think another religion in its place would not have changed anything. Hinduism had the caste system and Islam … (I don’t want to get sidetracked into the Islam debate). Historically, Christianity is inseparable from the advancements of the cultures it was enmeshed with. Music, the concept of “rights”, and so on are products of Western Civilization and also Christianity. And surely there are hundreds of others.
Other religions have also provided similar things according to their time and place.
It’s possible since you listen to Bill Maher that you assign his views to me as a surrogate. I watched his anti-religion movie and partially agree and partially disagree.
Christianity and other world religions have benefitted their respective societies and also have quite a bit of negative contributions. As time has progressed in my lifetime, I have seen the negative grow and the positive decline. That’s my opinion. Or more accurately, religion has been less able to accommodate “the quickening” of societal changes as they accelerate year by year.
I used the time frame of 2,000 years to explain why in the English language we cannot even begin to express certain ideas accurately. I was not comparing the two time periods, so you are inaccurately describing my point there.
It is, however, valid to compare the 1950’s or 1900’s to today when the article under discussion is literally making it’s case with ideologies and theories of those times. If someone brings up Freud, then Freud is open game.
If the article says this: prompted by what we have come to regard as the unrealistic, unhealthy, and oppressive moral prohibitions inherited from Christianity. But because, for Rieff, these prohibitions are a core part of our psyche, therapeutic culture can only ever lead to their transgression or negation, never to their genuine overcoming. it’s unreasonable for you to assume I am somehow unbalanced, impartial or emotional because I present my opinion in opposition to that view.
You presented a discussion topic, and then make up all kinds of stories around me personally when I present my opinion on the same matter being discussed.
Did the article also present a “fair and balanced” view and devote some time to the good points about the “therapeutic culture”? Not really. Do you yourself ever in any of your posts also do what you are asking of me? Have you ever made a post outlining “anything of value, goodness beauty or humanity” of the left?
Why am I held to a higher standard than you hold yourself to?
I can describe the positive contributions of Christianity to the degree the they were significant in a historical sense.
In modern times I recognize that people may get great benefit for themselves from Christianity. To each their own.
But honestly, you crossed the line of mutual respect and “live and let live” with this article first. It proposes that all society should be reverted back to being repressed - because Christian Beliefs.
If you present an article using religious beliefs as a reason why society and myself as a member of this society should return to being repressed - are you joking? I shouldn’t present an opposing view? I shouldn’t point out the obvious flaws in reasoning in the article?

Again, the topic you presented ironically is that “therapeutic culture” (transformative?) is the "anti-culture and in opposition to everything “good” and will result in “barbarism and chaos”. His solution is to return society (including me) to the paradigm of good and evil (virgins and whores, if you prefer). That’s the basic premise of the article you presented.

If you want my personal opinion - modern Christianity can easily unlock one level of transformation but increasingly restricts further levels. That’s just my opinion, but again - I don’t try to convert people to my system of beliefs and I’ve probably only mentioned them once or twice in here. If people are in their Christian world I respect that - until they try to delegitimize my world. The article you posted was trying to present the theory that we should end my world and return to a repressed (and Christian) world - and it’s completely fair to present ideas in opposition to that.


@Julia248 Thanks for filling in the picture around my statement that psychology has been largely interested in the individual and interiors. I would supplement my initial comment by also adding that there has been some cross-over between psychology and sociology in the 50-60 years since Rieff began publishing.

@FermentedAgave I may be unaware, but I don’t know of any incidents of AOC’s trauma history having interfered with her doing her job. I don’t think her job description included running and hiding from an angry mob at her place of employment, so I do give her a break if she says that particular experience frightened her and re-triggered earlier trauma.

I understand and share some of your concern about government leaders being “fit” for office.

There have been some hind-sight kinds of studies using historical records, including medical records where available, which have lead to the postulation that nearly half of all U.S. presidents suffered from mental illness at some point in their lives, with about a quarter of them displaying clear symptoms while holding office. It is documented that both Nixon and Kennedy took prescription medication for anxiety; Nixon and Ulysses S. Grant were possibly alcohol dependent and Franklin Pierce died of liver cirrhosis due to long-term alcohol abuse. Of course, we don’t know with certainty how any conditions may have affected their ‘job performance.’

And of course, there is Abraham Lincoln, who some consider the greatest president “ever.” The historical record tells us that Lincoln suffered with deep depression that caused him to “take to bed” for weeks at a time. He contemplated suicide.

If you’re interested in reading about pols/government officials and mental illness, here is a link to an article:
As the article states, the stigma around mental conditions/illness prevents many people not only from “coming out” about it, but also from getting treatment.

I would be skirting the obvious if I didn’t mention Trump, who many people (Democrats and Republicans alike) see as narcissistic in a clinical sense, grandiose, and whose lying certainly seems pathological. Whether or not Trump experienced any inner psychic distress (other than in relating to others), that these traits/conditions affected and are still affecting the country is the view of many. I know you are not convinced of this, or that you haven’t been able to acknowledge it, at least not at this site, and that’s fine; I have no interest in arguing about it.

As for the developmental lines and multiple intelligences: multiple intelligences is a phrase used by some of us to cue people who may not be familiar with Integral’s lines of development, cue them to the general idea that there are different areas of human intelligence or strength or ability or skill, or different traits to be considered as a part of an individual’s make-up and unfoldment. I was a bit sloppy in how I constructed that sentence you’re referring to.


Hi @LaWanna Thanks for the mighty thoughtful post and I do very much enjoying our dialogs :slight_smile:

I much prefer “lines of development” over “multiple intelligences”. Lines of development stands on it’s own. Multiple intelligences seems to be conflation of the classic definition of intelligence (cognitive, linguistic, etc) with personality traits (extroversion/introversion, etc) or physical capabilities. This is in no way to denigrate a dancer or athlete’s skill or hard work, as an example, but athletic ability is already well understood with it’s very own “sciences”. That’s my concern with so much of the neo science redefinitions we see that seem to be an attempt to break from centuries or millennia of knowledge development.

I don’t want this to slide by so let’s get this out of the way for about the 10th time. Do I think #45 was a narcissist? It’s highly likely. At the very least he is very high on the “self confidence” trait, which has it’s benefits particularly when coupled with his systematic and multi-systematic generative thinking and perhaps most importantly decision making ability. Let’s not leave out - brash, offensive, cringe-worthy. To round out my “coming clean on Trump” section, personally I didn’t like Trump the person and didn’t vote for him in 2016. What I do like about Trump is he’s “ready to get the job done” mentally, emotionally and physically, surrounds and engages himself (by and large) with an extremely capable team, and most importantly understands who he works for.

As to the “psychic distress” of the country that Trump caused, we could go round and round on correlation or causation of the “Trump Phenomenon”. But Trump is no longer in the White House. It’s a bit of a head scratcher what exactly is the hold up with the Leftists implementing their promised “Post Trump Bring Everyone Together” nirvana. The Left is in a dominant position with controlling votes in the House, Senate, and White House. The only thing the Left has to do is dot their I’s and cross their T’s to insure that they aren’t violating Constitutional Law or authority overreach to keep the Supreme Court out of play. That’s really not much limitation in our Liberal Democracy. Or they can stack SCOTUS and then do literally anything they want.


It’s a published article Ray. Of course they have an “angle” or “agenda” or “bias” or whatever you want to call it.

I was simply asking you to explain (calling you on your shit so to speak) with the following statement. Now that you’ve clarified, I “think” your statement was simply another Ray the Provocateur in action.

I do have to say that my understanding of your view on Christians and Christianity seems like a fixation on “worst of the very worst” and comes across as dark and twisted.

Just to give you a bit of historical context on Christianity, in my non-scholarly understanding, is:

  • Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus - and Saint Joseph - there was a fair amount of raping and pillaging and perhaps sleeping around going on back in the days. How better to “transform” a man’s biological desire to have and raise his own children when women are having another man’s child than to have the foundation story for the religion to be based upon an “illegitimate” birth? This is in transformational contrast to your paradigm of virgins, whores, mothers, nasty women, milfs.
  • Sex - Reality is if a woman and man have sex, they just might have a baby. So the aspirational teaching that if you do have sex, then make sure it’s with someone that you would want to raise children with (won’t be a slut). This fulfills our biological desires to father our own children, but in the chance that she’s carrying someone else’s baby, see Virgin Mary. Likewise for a mother, it means the father of your child will be there to help her raise the child.
    You can call this “sexual repression” if you like. I would perhaps view it more as “don’t be an idiot, keep your pants on” even when your biological urge is to drop trou every time an attractive woman walks by.
    IF, JUST IF, we were to consider a “sexual developmental line” where at the base endpoint we have a hardened penis and an engorged vulva, what might be “higher levels” on this sexual development line?

Time Relevancy:

  • As @Julia248 pointed out, the Christian Church was founded with the backdrop of Red/Amber societies. Ray, I think this aligns with your statement that Christianity can help people/society develop to a point, but likely hinders development to higher levels - i.e. society has developed since founding. My view is that Christianity may have some of the same foundational texts, rites, icons, precepts but has in fact changed right along with society/cultural development from it’s founding 2000 years ago. I think the confusion for Progressive / Post Modernist / Integralist is that they use, as an example, “Literal Mythic” interpretations that may or may not have been the interpretation 2000 years ago as a way to invalidate where Christianity, Churches, and Christians are today in order to justify “let’s do something new”. Even Ken in his “Goes to High School” cast guffaws Christianity’s “Mary, Virgin Birth” origin story, then rolls right in to extolling the virtues of Hinduism and Buddhism. So it’s understandable to see the Disciples carry on with the Guru’s justifications.


I know it’s convenient for you to believe this - because I see you returning to your old ways after just a couple of days.
You want to have enemies. You want a crusade against Liberals to focus on so you don’t have to deal with your own shit.
This is the second time I’ve seen you come close to breaking out of your own unhealthy cycle, only to drop back into it.
The problem here is all yours. I don’t even really think about Christianity much as a thing until you present an article where Christianity is central to the thesis - and you can’t discuss Christianity without getting triggered by people who disagree with you - but you continually bring it up, begging to feel abused when others laugh at your absurd beliefs and then you can feel abused and justified in seeing everyone with any kind of left or centrist as a collective enemy to continue your crusade against.
Then you project your own baggage onto everyone else.
If it was me, then it would only be me - but you are triggered by everyone. Somebody rolls his eyes in a video and this triggers you into projecting that everyone else - and not you yourself - are just blind “disciples” , lol.

If you are interested in why I think Christianity hinders development at higher levels - you might ask me and we could have a rational discussion rather than you just making stuff up and pulling it out of your ass to fit whatever narrative suits your crusade. Since I haven’t said it and it’s far from a standard or popular theory, you aren’t going to guess it, lol.

Make up whatever story you want. Talking to you is a complete waste of my time. Engaging with you in any kind of discussion is a waste of time because you can’t separate the subject being discussed from your own fragility. You lack faith in your own beliefs, and deep down you know you don’t even believe what you want to believe. To distract yourself from the impossible task of deepening your own faith, you attack whoever engages in discussion with you and does not completely agree with you.


Hey Ray, Why do you think Christianity hinders development at higher levels?
As a precursory note, I will say that I do think Christianity has enabled the current pinnacle of human development today and continues to enable development to higher levels. It’s just that these levels are not religion-free as well as minimally or anti theistic expansion of centralized authority. Yes, I think development is continuing to happen.


I think the first thing I should ask - are you interested in discussing the topic or engaging in conflict?

I don’t really care what you think. You can have your opinion and that’s fine.
If you are interested in exploring a different point of view we can exchange views.
If on the other hand, you are doing what you normally do and just want something to feel offended about and against - I have better things to do with my time.

In any case - it’s Friday - as has been my habit the past few months, I can’t be bothered to sacrifice my valuable weekend leisure time engaging in pointless arguments that lead nowhere.
On Monday I’ll log back in and see where the discussion has morphed and if it’s still relevant I’ll post my opinions on the limitations Christianity places on development - particularly cleaning up.
Until then - there are several hints in what I already typed for a clever person to figure it out.


Have a great weekend Ray.


@FermentedAgave, my writing wasn’t clear. What I meant was that secular law develops and religious laws do not - but I didn’t mean that I think religious laws should replace secular law even if they are developed. It’s confusing because I used the word ‘law’ for both. I meant that religion has moral rules to follow, and that the combining of morality and religion can be helpful for people at early stages of moral development. I don’t think the rules of religion should ever replace secular law.

As an aside, it was the case for a long time with Christianity that religious law replaced secular law, the church and the state were combined and Christianity had authority over the state, as you probably know.

With the idea of people at the postconformist stages (green and above) refreshing amber moral codes within religions, I would say the advantage is they can see far more of the differences between people, and can make it so no one at those stages is oppressed - they can get rid of all the sexism, racism and homophobia from these religious texts. Being at amber doesn’t mean people have to be oppressors or oppressed. Although people will interpret things from their own stage, making it clear that sexism, racism and homophobia aren’t tolerated, and certainly aren’t a part of their religion, would make it a much better situation for everyone.

However, because altering these millenia old religions is also problematic, it might actually be much better to teach spirituality rather than religions. Additionally, amber doesn’t have to be religious, and for the majority of people in most developed countries now it isn’t.


I think weve seen secular and religious heirarchies vary in influence over times. Just as now we seem to be oscillating between promotion of pure secularism and balanced secular/religious.
Its good to focus on specific areas such as enforcable laws (fines, imprisonment) and morals/morality. In western cultures, religions are a choice. A consequence might be family or community osticization but you can simple choose another community that you like.
I would say that I dont see how the government/secular can provide the the social community or psychological foundation that religions have always provided. In other words its not just the moral codes or rituals.
As secularism attempts to replace the domains of religions through taxation, legislation and enforcement wwill it translate to better lives for humans?


I agree, it’s important to seperate out morality and law. It’s also important to separate out morality and rules - whether those come from secular law or religious rules.

If religion were to stay, then it would need to be updated to remove/ignore the aspects that are sexist, racist, homophobic etc. I would say that although it’s a choice whether people participate as adults (though it’s also difficult to break away from a community, and seems especially so when they will think you’ll be eternally dammed if you do), children are often made to participate by their parents/guardians in these religions - this actually seems like a potential human rights issue (on the less serious side) to me because the religion has the potential to erode their sense of self if they are, for a example, a girl or lgbtqia+.

There are many community organisations that aren’t religious, and many that are spiritual rather than religious. There are also those which include many aspects of religion without it being religious, for example, one of these in the UK is

It’s not a case of religion being replaced by taxation, legislation and enforcement. These two areas are seperate.

If religion were to dissappear, I think there would be a gap from it, but I think this could be replaced by spiritual organisations, or non-religious spiritual ministeries, or other community organisations. But I dont think anyone is going to make religion dissappear in its own right, especially anyone at the green stages and higher. The practice of these religions might just gradually stop or the religions be adapted.


Christianity has played a fundamental role in the positive evolutionary aspects of Occidental culture, such as the European renaissance, but there are also fundamental problems with it achieving authentic spirituality. We’ve touched on some of these concepts before.

  1. Human exceptionalism, man-made-in-God’s-image, is the because-God narrative that purportedly explains the cosmos. The because-God narrative of Christianity must invariably spawn its opposite, the not-God of neo-Darwinian evolution by dumb luck. And it too, is a dead weight that blocks progress in the life sciences. The other Abrahamic religions, with their own manifestations of exceptionalism, don’t fair much better. Islam’s male-exceptionalism (misogyny) and Judaism’s Jew-exceptionalism (Zionism, distinction between jews versus gentiles) spawn their own dualities in anti-realism. But more generally, the notion that humans have souls and that non-human animals do not is a Grimm’s Fairy Tale that might make believers in the Abrahamic religions feel self-satisfied, self-righteous and superior, but it closes off any deeper appreciation that might be had for understanding our true natures. The Abrahamic religions are a stark contrast to those of Eastern religions, such as Hinduism or Buddhism. These religions, with their authoritarian and political inclinations, aren’t perfect, however. Hinduism’s cast system and Buddhism’s filial piety are symptomatic of cultural imperfections that could be improved upon. But they do provide more realistic, less anthropocentric perspectives on how life works.

  2. Despite its reliance on the Creation narrative, Christianity has a solid foundation in fundamental spiritual truths; for example, as expressed in the teachings of Thomas Aquinas, who is regarded by some as among the greatest of the world’s philosophers. But many Christians take their bible too literally, and this is the antithesis of spirituality. Explaining reality in the context of God as Creator doesn’t explain anything at all. Empty void has within it the predisposition for creation (the virtual particles of the quantum void), and conjuring a Daddy-in-the-Sky to explain our existence, again, hobbles efforts to arrive at a more realistic interpretation. I have lost many a Christian friend by countering that nature does not require a Skydaddy to explain the cosmos.

  3. Liberalism has diverged markedly from its authentically Liberal origins. It’s now a pagan religion replete with idolatry, chanting, groupthink and over-defining. Its taboos include sexism, racism, Islamophobia, homophobia. Liberals are the contemporary scolds that we’ve usually associated, in the past, with fundamentalist conservatives. Liberals say they want equality, but when they forbid bigotry, sexism, homophobia, racism, etc, they are oblivious to the projection that drives their unliberal narratives. In their prohibitions, they exact the boundaries, re-asserting their bigotries anew, in stronger form, in the spirit of projection. What they do not understand is that they have failed to relieve themselves of the bigotry of their shared culture. I recall a buddhist koan explaining that the harder you pursue your goal, the more elusive your goal becomes. Contemporary Liberalism is pagan-level bigotry with all kinds of prohibitions. Cancel culture wants to ban free speech. They want to outlaw speech that they disagree with, as hate speech. Hate speech? Projection much? Who are the real haters? Witch burnings manifest anew to accommodate the ever-burgeoning categories. And here we come to the problem with contemporary atheism… within its spiritual void, it can only ever be pagan. The Christian bible makes references to the idolatry of pagans worshipping golden calves. Contemporary Liberalism’s golden calves include LGBTQ, “diversity”, feminism.

An alternative to scolding and banning is mutual respect. In its most authentic manifestations, Christianity was about that. Agape, love they neighbor. This is NOT what Liberalism is about. Liberalism has morphed into a hateful movement of fundamentalist scolds.

Same, old Same-old. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Feminism is just old-fashioned chivalry repackaged anew in a Liberal narrative. And instead of men offering to serve The Matriarchy out of the goodness of their dumb, gullible hearts (men dying in wars, men providing for families, are forms of sacrifice, in case it needed to be said), it’s feminists demanding compliance, to make up for all those millennia of imagined “patriarchal oppression”. Except they don’t call it chivalry. They call it “equality” and “respect for women”. And the masquerade continues, from absurdity to absurdity with no end in sight.

Bottom line: I accept that Christianity, interpreted appropriately, has much value to contribute to our evolving cultures. But it carries too much anthropocentric Creationist baggage. I think that a synthesis of Christianity with our semiotic sciences and Eastern religions will be far more productive, and the more appropriate way to go. It is important to factor in culture, what culture is, and its role in integrating the self with culture. The culture is the thought. I think that our new synthesis will be in a better position to incorporate these concerns.


Lot’s to unpack here.
I think what I’m reading is that the government (secular) should literally dictate (fine, jail, disband) any group that has any “community guidelines” since these would be considered exclusionary, biased, anti-someone/some group and therefore should be “illegal”.

Should it be legislated that the S-He’s Global Community of Transexuals must allow both the Sisters of the Poor with their 12 students along with the Black Lives Matter Men’s Group join their Mediterranean Rainbow Cruise for Inner Peace and Harmony, or face fines, jail time, or group disbanding? Should the Trans community be “allowed” to reserve the local park and hold their Annual Transsexual Picnic and Dance Contest with only those that “opt in” to their ethos in attendance? Should the Church of Lesbo’s be “allowed” to teach that humanity was created when 2 Lesbians and a Non-Binary Transexual all conceived simultaneously from Divine Immaculate Conception to found the human race?
I know these may sound like absurd examples, but I fail to see how we can legislate religion without risking tyranny of the Administration.
With separation of religion and state, the St. Mary’s Mother’s of 5-7 year old group can hold their own Halloween bake sale and event meanwhile the Church of Lesbo’s can hold their own no-weenies themed costume party.

Children and Parents: My parents committed human rights violations against me when they stopped my allowance once I started my own lawn mowing business, forced me to practice for violin lessons that I didn’t want to take any more, and study to make good grades for the entirety of my K-12 enslavement. There was massive oppression (turn down that music, go to bed, turn off the lights), abuse (withholding my physical freedom), indentured servitude (my house, my rules, rake the leaves, clean up your room), thought control (no comic books until homework is done), hypocrisy (no drinking our wine even thought we drink wine) and outright slavery (you will finish raking the leaves before dinner and don’t start them on fire again with the neighbor kids - leaf raking and no fires were a bummer). Did I tell you about the time my parents grounded me when it was my sister’s fault or that mom yelled at me because she was going through menopause or that Dad cussed at me for smashing his thumb when we were pounding plant stakes into the ground?

Do meetings open with a ritualistic prayer, moment of silence, or community “welcome”? Do meetings end with a small ritual? Is there any kind of hierarchy and who determines agenda? Are meeting times regularly scheduled? Do you have recommended readings or activities? Are their shared beliefs?
What’s the difference between a spiritual organization that’s non-religious and a spiritual organization that is religious? :slight_smile:

I would claim that the Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or Zoroastrianism practiced today is likely quite a bit different than that practiced in 610 AD, 0 AD, 1984 BC, 572 BC, or 917 BC. If the practice is actually considerably different wouldn’t that make each of them an adapting, progressing, growing, expanding, shrinking, stopping over time hierarchy? But is this “progress” just not happening at the rate some people would like. Is there any value to having hierarchies that are more stable, less reactionary than the latest election cycle? Or do we want our latest election cycles to also dominate every heirarchy we interact with, development shared concepts and visions with, derive our sense of belonging and community with?


You are missing the point. I’m saying the church can be harmful for children who are forced to go. That’s the only reason I can see for it not to exist.

This isn’t an equal comparison at all. If it was said or insinuated that the only roles you as a man could have were virgin; father, while being in a relationship with another man; or whore to other men, that would be more of an equal comparison.

Also, if any of these organisations were harming anyone’s individually, e.g. saying it was wrong to be male, then that would also be a problem.

This isn’t what I was talking about. Parents having fair rules isn’t the same, though I’m sorry for any difficulties you experienced as a child when your parents did behave unfairly or were angry towards you.

I dont know much about this organisation, but it’s an example of what could/does exist.

Here are a couple of articles describing differences between religion and spirituality:


I agree, they have changed, but e.g. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are still based on the same books, and people at the mythic level will take it’s messages literally.

I don’t really know enough about these last questions to answer.


I’ve read the two articles contrasting Religion and Spirituality. Without getting into very basic errors, they both take a very “flat” and highly incomplete view of Religions and a very “rich” and presumptive view of Spirituality If these are the basis of peoples beliefs about religions vs spirituality I can see the confusions. I particularly liked Chopra’s use of a Krishna Baghavad Gita quote as spiritual, but not religious.

This actually illustrates the point I was trying to make for separation of Church and State. We, at least in the US, can choose literally any religion we want - Satan worshiping, Earth Mother, multitude of Islams, multitude of Christianities, Main Stream Yoga and Meditation, or none at all - without State intervention. But of course, the Main Street Yoga likely will expect it’s adherents to practice yoga, perhaps pay dues, not try to change the group into an MMA group, etc… Whatever the “common bonds”, those define the community itself.

I was pointing out that, at least in the West, we already have the freedom to do whatever we want with whomever we want. Only twist that can get in the way is that whomever I want to do what I want to do with also has to want to do it with me. As soon as we lose separate of Church and State, the state can then mandate with threat of property siezure (fines, confiscation) or imprisonment that the Trans Cruise has to admit Bubba’s Hunting Club, which effectively destroys the Trans Club from having their own church, club, cruises. Likewise, Bubba’s Hunting Club now has to let the Anti-Hunters with Noise Makers join their hunting trips. It’s a quick devolution into complete dominance of everyone’s lives by State bureaucracy.


I find it very strange that I agree with @steljarkos on “big picture” items, but completely disagree on many of the details and how we each arrive at the same conclusion.

Rather than deal with “why Christianity is Wrong” or “Why Christianity Doesn’t Make Sense”, my list is limited to “Why Christianity Limits Development at Higher Levels”
Here is my list:

  • Original sin. You are bad. Not just superficially, but at the core of your being. You were born into sin and your progeny will be born sinners. Babies are sinful.
  • Dependency. According to Christian Religions, the only way out is the 7 sacraments. Reduced to two in Protestantism. Baptism and Eucharist. You cannot “DIY” salvation in Christianity as in other spiritual systems. You have to join and return every week or at least semi-annually. It’s not just that Christianity says the only way to salvation is through Jesus - it’s that each flavor of Christianity says the only way to salvation is their specific flavor and there is no other way except through their organization. Contrast this to Buddhism, Taoism or other Eastern Mysticism, and probably many other traditions - where Devotion to the organization is one option, but not required. You can be a monk and devote your life 24/7, come to gatherings, or just read the manual and DIY. DIY salvation also has varieties - out in a cave in the wilderness, or “part time” devotion for those who have to work and live in a community.
  • No real methodology. There are many things required in Christianity that Christians just don’t know how to do - like prayer. When I was growing up I mostly heard prayer as a kind of bargaining with God or request for special favor or intervention. The strangest was prayer in a football huddle. “God help us win” or “God, we are engaging in reckless behavior but please intervene so that we do not get hurt”. At the dinner table or evening prayer people get a bit more into blessing others and expressing thanks - but even then they’d put in some low key intervention requests “God, please forgive all the sinners (everyone who does not agree with me)”. There is no “manual” for Christian Prayer as there is for various schools of Meditation, for example. There is also no real explanation of how to become good. Just commandments. In or out, all or nothing. There is no understanding that transformation is a process as with any kind of behavior modification. Again, this is in contrast with other spiritual practices where it is understood you can be on a range, and you are given practices to assist you in attaining the next level.
  • Conflation of Religion and Spiritual practices. For Judeo-Christian-Islam traditions, religion = spirituality. It’s very difficult for people from these religions to understand that valid spiritual practices exist outside of religions, and that a spiritual community can be completely nondenominational.
  • Externalization of Evil (the devil). In a kind of schizophrenia, Christianity first believes everyone is a sinner, but also believes the Devil / Satan causes people to sin, and following God causes people to not sin / commit evil. As a result, not a lot of self-analysis happens. It’s very difficult to accept one’s own shadows (clean up) when they are seen to be caused by an external actor. This is where we get into the whole culture war thing. “Those people make me angry so they are bad.” Rather than “Those people make me angry so therefore I have to look inward and see why they are triggering me.” The latter leads to higher levels of awareness and performance while the former leads to lower levels of dysfunction until we as a Nation are where we are today, and will descend further as long as we externalize “Evil”.
  • Femininity. Western culture just does not understand femininity in the same way that other regions of the world do. Of course there are exceptions and thankfully they are growing, but Christianity has doubled down on the unwillingness to understand. As a result we get the movement and term “Feminism” - which people in the west love to be against and externalize their anger towards. Westerners are socialized to believe that masculinity and femininity cannot exist in the same being. In the United States, a man who acts feminine is a faggot. A woman who is masculine is a dyke. A transexual has no right to exist. Notice the hate in the modern language the West has created to describe people who combine masculine and feminine characteristics. And again - rather than looking inward and finding some kind of balance within themselves of the masculine and feminine - Western Society and and particularly Christian organizations externalize their anger and sees queer as “evil” and the cause of all society’s problems, even when there is zero sex involved, lol. A grown adult man might just want to dress like a lolita or he might love “My Little Pony”, for example and be completely heterosexual - but society automatically sexualizes his choice of wardrobe or community and Christians jump to the conclusion that it is “wrong”.
  • Ignorance that “Higher Levels” even exist. In other languages with other traditions of Spiritual practices, there is a Lexicon to describe specific levels of spiritual attainment and how to know when those levels are achieved. One example is “Samadhi”, which might be considered to mean “enlightened” if it is maintained constantly, but it’s also possible to go into and out of “samadhi” for a brief period of time, which I don’t consider “enlightened”. In Christianity this might be equivalent to being “Born Again” but as we all know, people who are “born again” rarely walk the path of Christ 24/7. This is because they did not do the prior stages of spiritual development of pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation). These in turn were taught / achieved through yama (abstinences), niyama (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breath control). Finally, it’s possible for a person to voluntarily leave the body. Many of these voluntary deaths have been documented. We can question and conjecture what is going on with this, but again the concept just doesn’t exist in Christianity at all.
    Before we go on - I don’t think that this is the ONLY way to get to “The Kingdom of Heaven” (Enlightenment) - it’s just that Christianity doesn’t have a methodology to achieve it step by step. It’s kind of like a “sink or swim” approach to learning to swim, and unfortunately most people don’t learn a healthy attitude towards “water” this way.
    I think it’s easier to obtain something or develop into something if there is a specific way to do it and if that is broken down into manageable stages.
    I also think it’s easier to move along a path when the landmarks on the map actually resemble what is in reality, and a lot of times the Christian map says “here be dragons”, or “edge of the world” while other spiritual traditions have much more accurate maps of reality.


I too agree with much of @steljarkos post right down to the very end where it’s all about semiotics, not that semiotics doesn’t have value just as Eastern religions have value.

@raybennett - I’m really sorry for whatever you went through growing up, but your understanding of Christianity is very immature if not outright malicious.

Let’s look at each of your statements in a perhaps Integral viewpoint.
Original Sin - Think of this as a warning that your Ego and Shadows are an innate part of you. They are always there to rear their ugly heads. Be vigilant across all quadrants and all zones.

Dependency - You might be mixing up the Sacraments with the Commandments. Christianity has a “code of conduct” with “thou shalt not’s” that regardless of IQ or developmental Altitude can be understood. So yes, someone at an Orange or Green or Teal development level sees these Commandments as amber or red or literal mythic. THAT’S EXACTLY the point since Christian Churches look to engage with and support spiritual development for the entire population, not a select few that are intellectually gifted.
No Real Methodology - Show up, keep your mouth shut when reading Scriptures, pray before meals, be in conversation with others of your faith sounds a little like a methodology. I do agree that many of the Christian branches are very light on Methodology, but then again you can cherry pick others that have rituals out the wazoo.Just as their are “good Episcopals” there are “amazing Buddhists” and in-name-only Muslims.
Conflation of Religion and Spiritual practices. - What if we are spiritual beings living in a material world? What if how you live is one of the most spiritual practices available? I don’t know any Christians that don’t think you can have spiritualality outside the “faith” or spiritual experiences at the drum circle or sports bar. But as KW says, so “practices” have better efficacy.
Externalization of Evil (the devil) - I don’t know what Churches you have been involved with, but mine is all about “discerning externally” (friends you keep, activities you practice, …) as well as “internal discernment” on where your heart is, if your ego and/or shadows are running the show. But I will grant you that discerning external peoples intent and motivation is of particular interest today. Is most of it mean spirited from Christians? Not really. But there is enough discernment now to “Resist” those that want to utilize hierarchies for anti-Christian behaviors (teaching minors to get abortions would be a two-fer example).
Femininity - I’m not a female, but as I’ve pointed out the origin story for Christianity holds Mary, a woman who gave illegitimate birth to the Son of God in the most holy of spaces. For the rest of your diatribe I’ll ask “compared to what?”. Is all of your ranting actually about Christianity or about humanity in general? How’s life for Hindu women in Indian or effeminate men in China or Buddhist women in Thailand or gay Muslim men in Pakistan? Again you paint with an extremely broad brush that’s woefully inaccurate.
Ignorance that “Higher Levels” even exist This might be the case in the branch of Christianity that you grew up in, but in the branch we practice in there absolutely is the notion of “development” both as an individual and as a community. Does anyone mumble “Teal with a wing of Red” or “MGM” or “Orange”, of course not.

I absolutely agree that it’s much easier when the map is simplistic and well defined. That’s one of the things that drew me to Integral Theory. If we look at “rubber on the pavement of life” it gets much more problematic. IT itself isn’t making much impact. But what about Buddhism or Hinduism? Sure the religious practices have much merit, but when you look at the practice of and society/cultural impact both Buddhism and Hinduism have a very mediocre track record once you wander outside the beautiful Ashram or Temple and into the domain of “humanity’s living conditions in the real world”.

All mental rationalizations and critiques aside, where in the world do you want your daughter to raise your granddaughters?


Definitely Central Europe (where she is). Alternate location for the Zombie apocalypse or WW IV is Hawaii.


You are nothing if not completely predictable.
Malicious? lol.
You specifically asked me for my opinion - which I was reluctant to give and considered my response for three days to just make 100% sure I had very little emotion when I wrote.
My upbringing was 30-50 years ago, lol. I came to terms with it at least 20 years ago. It wasn’t actually bad. A lot of good memories but trying to put lipstick on a bull is absurd.
Your own words show more malice than mine towards the Christian methods, lol:

I humorously hear you in the voice of Arnold Swartzeneger when he played Conan and answered “What is Best in Life”.
If you constantly see any disagreement with your ideology as malicious - the problem is 100% you, but you try to invent a story where it is not you.
I know you enough that you are someone who likes to ask questions - LOTS of questions. Surely this approach of “don’t ask questions” chafes on you, but rather than look at that you determine that I am being malicious, lol. I won’t “shut up”, will I? Deep down you probably know this is not just - I can say whatever I want but you have to “shut up”. Neither can liberals be forced to shut up - It must be maddening how unjust that is that you have to shut up but myself, Liberals and others do not shut up and do ask questions. So malicious of us.

Ranting - another emotion you are projecting outward. Did you forget you asked me to post my opinions? lol
The topic was Christianity, specifically. That’s the question you asked me. You did not ask me to voice my opinions on humanity in general.

All predictable, repetitive and circular. Start a topic - get offended by the replies - use that as a reason to continue the crusade against Liberalism, real or imagined.