The Anti-Christ Psychosis

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The Anti-Christ Psychosis

I just noticed today that Nicolas Cage has signed on to star in an Apocalyptic sci-fi thriller called Left Behind, due for release next year. This is a remake of a 2001 film based on the first of a series of best-selling novels. These books, and the previous films, have been very popular with a certain section of the U.S. Christian audience. I haven’t seen any of them, but they appear to be based on a very literalist interpretation of The Book of Revelations. The rise of a seductive and powerful Anti-Christ occurs after all of the Christians have been taken off to a better place by The Rapture. The message is that you better hurry up and accept Christ as your personal saviour or you may be “left behind” in this horrific world.


This got me thinking about people who believe in this sort of thing. Apparently 13% of U.S. voters believe that Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ. This is not something which just affects a few guys wearing “The End Is Nigh” sandwich boards. So lets look at it both from a historical and psychological perspective.


The first five books of the New Testament were written to spread a message to anyone who would listen. They were not addressed only to those who were already believers. This is not true of The Book of Revelations. This book, like the epistles of Paul and others, was aimed exclusively at members of the established Christian churches of the time when it was written. It was a prediction about problems which were likely to occur within the Christian churches. And it was not to be taken literally. It was presented as a record of a dream. Dreams are not literally true, though they can contain valuable truths expressed symbolically. A beast isn’t going to come out of the sea with ten horns and seven heads. We don’t live in a Godzilla movie. (Anyway, how would you distribute ten horns over seven heads and not have it look like a mistake?)



So the warnings about false prophets are warnings about those who teach something false within the Christian churches. And the warnings about great tribulation when hidden secrets are revealed is a warning that the crimes of those who take the wrong path into a false form of Christianity will be exposed and that they will be greatly mortified by that revelation. Hence the book of “Revelations”.


The Anti-Christ is a symbol for something within Christianity. There are two basic ways to be someone’s enemy. One is to do something against them while they are alive. No-one can be the enemy of Jesus in this way any more. He died two thousand years ago. The only way we can be the enemy of someone who is dead is to betray their legacy. We are ourselves and we are the ideas or works we may leave behind when we die. If we make no claim to being Christians then we can do no serious damage to Jesus’ legacy, whether we be atheists, agnostics, wiccans, Muslims, Hindus, or anything else. To reject or even attack someone’s ideas still leaves them intact. I suppose, in theory, we could try to destroy the record of that person’s ideas, but in the case of the words of Jesus that would be a very big job. No, if Christ has enemies they are Christian enemies. There is no worse betrayal than to claim to represent someone while preaching the very ideas they abhorred. I think the warning that John gave in the Book of Revelations was a warning that some Christians would betray Christ by preaching intolerance and hatred in his name.


The central message of Jesus was that love is the thing which really matters. Love is God manifested in human affairs. We should even love our enemies. And we shouldn’t judge anyone if we do not wish to be also judged. He told his followers to love each other as he had loved them. Love is any form of communication characterised by openness, honesty, spontaneity and generosity. It requires that we accept the other person unconditionally and not try to exercise control, physical or psychological over them.



Jesus said nothing about homosexuality, promiscuity (as opposed to adultery which is the breach of a promise), abortion, voting for the Democrats, etc. If these are trespasses, then he recommended that we forgive them. He even asked God to forgive those who crucified him. There are clearly some Christians whose behaviour is in opposition to the philosophy preached by Jesus. The Anti-Christ is a symbol for this pathological tendency, just as Satan is a symbol for the pathological tendency of dishonesty, hence his being referred to as “the Father of Lies”.


The poet William Blake (1757-1827) viewed the Bible as a fictional document which was of interest because it depicted in a symbolic way the deep psychological conflicts which go on in the human psyche. He saw all the angels and demons as representations of internal psychological archetypes. And he used this same kind of symbolism in his own writing. In his poem The Everlasting Gospel he says “For what is Antichrist by those / Who against Sinners Heaven close.” He understood what the Book of Revelations was really warning against. By contrast his view of Christ’s message is summed up in a line from The Gates of Paradise : “Mutual forgiveness of each Vice, Such are the Gates of Paradise.”


Paranoia is an anxiety disorder in which we project the disowned part of our psyche onto others or onto the world around us generally. Belief in an Anti-Christ of the kind portrayed in Left Behind is a classic case of paranoia. We can see that such a literal figure is not what was intended by the author of the Book of Revelations. And we can see that many, if not most, of those who exhibit a belief in such an Anti-Christ also exhibit behaviour which places them within the category of the Anti-Christian that Blake described and the Book of Revelations warned Christians about.



If this belief can be seen as a paranoid delusion then it fits the definition of a psychosis. I know what it is to have a psychotic episode. I’ve had a few of them. They are characterised by irrational beliefs which are not supported by the evidence of the senses or, in some cases, a disturbance of the senses so that one hears or sees something which is not heard or seen by anyone else in the vicinity. The cause of this disjuncture with reality is an extreme state of emotional confusion arising from what is called a double bind situation. This is a situation in which we feel we have two options neither of which is acceptable. A case of damned if we do and damned if we don’t. An example given by the psychiatrist R. D. Laing was of a woman who had an absolute need to believe in the trustworthiness of her husband. When she came home and found him having sex with another woman she began hallucinating. There was no rational way for her to face her dilemma so her mind temporarily abandoned rationality.


Most cases of psychosis which are so defined are individual in nature. I had delusions. I behaved in bizarre ways. I was locked up in a hospital and given anti-psychotic medication. This is what normally happens as our delusions are experiences which are contrary to the experience of those around us. We may try to maintain these delusions but it is us against the world and the world wins, partly because the delusions are unrealistic and partly because the world outnumbers us and has access to a mental hospital and anti-psychotic drugs.


But there is also such a thing as a collective psychosis. If a whole bunch of people are caught up in the same double bind situation and there is a cultural precedent for the delusion they develop as a result then the world may not win, at least for a long time, as the delusion in each individual gets reinforcement by the others who share it.


Many Christians have a deep sense of ambivalence about Jesus. They need him desperately. They feel he offers them the only way to salvation. They need to be seen to be his supporters. This is central to their self-image. But, deep down, probably below the level of consciousness, they hate him. They hate him because he asks the impossible of them. He asks them to love everybody. And they feel, falsely, that he expects them to live a radically disciplined life. This puts them in a double-bind. They feel they must love Christ. But the more they try to love him the more they hate him. It is a negative feedback loop, and a double-bind. I think that one reason why the film The Passion of the Christ (2004) had such a powerful cathartic effect on some Christians, in a way which was distinct from their response to previous cinematic depictions of the story of Jesus, was because it provided an outlet for the hatred of Christ which they did not even dare to acknowledge to themselves. It let them share in the crucifixion of the man they felt, on some level, had crucified them. After all, the film portrayed very little of the loving message of Jesus and an awful lot of flayed flesh and spurting blood.



Of course, many Christians are not judgemental, nor are they paranoid. Many appropriately respond to Jesus’ message. They recognise that love and non-judgement are to be practiced with oneself as well as others, and they are able to live in the real world. These are the quiet Christians. The more of a song and dance someone makes about a belief the more they are trying to silence that contrary voice inside. It would not surprise me to find that Christian literalism or fundamentalism is something which has grown since Jesus day. They didn’t have science like we do, but that doesn’t mean that talk of angels and demons was always taken literally. You don’t need science to not believe in the literal existence of such creatures. You only need never to have seen one. And do we really think hallucinations were more common then than now? But poets talk in these kinds of terms all the time. It is possible that the key difference between now and then was that most people spoke poetically then while now we tend to speak literally. There is every reason to believe we are more prone to mental illness now than then. And in the area of religion this is especially true as the kind of double-bind I describe here has been with us for a long time now, spiralling further and further out of control.


So we can see that the Anti-Christ Psychosis is the projected fear of those who, on a subconscious level, know that they themselves are anti-Christ.


What will happen when this delusion collapses, as it inevitably must? This is what is warned of in the Book of Revelations as the time of great tribulation for many Christians. A time when people will feel so bad they want to die. There is no Hell in a literal sense. The warning that taking the wrong path would lead to a “Lake of Fire” is a description of the emotional pain of being confronted and exposed by the revelation that we were the thing we abhorred. The separating of the goats from the lambs describes what happens when the world at large can see clearly which Christians were real Christians and which were not.



I view Jesus not as a supernatural being and not as a religious leader, but rather as a psychiatrist operating through the medium of traditionally religious symbols and parables. I don’t think he performed literal miracles, in the sense of anything contrary to the normal laws of nature. But I do believe that he “cast out devils”. What is our image of the possessed individual? Linda Blair in The Exorcist (1973). What kind of behaviour does she exhibit when possessed? Lets forget about the Hollywood nonsense of green skin and spinning head. She is uninhibitedly sexual and she is verbally abusive and blasphemous. What do we repress within ourselves? Aggressive feelings toward others. Sexual feelings especially of a taboo nature. And, if we are religiously disciplined, blasphemous thoughts. What we see here, if we ignore the supernatural trappings, is the return of the repressed – the cathartic spewing out of psychological or emotional poisons. Exorcism has nothing to do with demons, it is what Freud called the Id – the repository of repressed angers and libidinous drives - which is being expelled. You’ve heard of speed dating? This is speed therapy. Transference, counter-transference and liberating catharsis all in a matter of minutes.


This is how I imagine it happening. Jesus is preaching when this angry man approaches him.


I’ve had enough of your hippy drivel you long-haired pig-shit-eating pustule on a whore’s cunt! I’d like to cut off your diseased cock and shove it up your mother-fucking asshole. I can’t wait for them to nail you to a cross. I’ll be there eating popcorn, you piece of shit,” he says. And then he falls to his knees with tears streaming from his eyes.


Jesus calmly places his hand on the man’s shoulder and says “It’s going to be okay. You’ll feel better now.”


It is the truth, and only the truth, which sets anyone free. This is not some mystical truth. It is the factual truth. So, while the realisation that one is a part of what was labelled the Anti-Christ by John in the Book of Revelations, may be a painful shock at first, akin to a dip in a lake of molten lead perhaps, it is really a liberating realisation. Christ forgave those who crucified him, so that loving element in the human spirit of which he was an expression will also forgive those who, through fear and confusion, turned against it. In truth, nobody gets left behind.


   

 

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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I enjoyed reading that.

I enjoyed reading that. Interesting take on things. I like it.

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I too

I too found that to be an enjoyable read. You seem to have the psychology of theism figured out quite well.

I remember when those Left Behind books came out.

I did a little poking around about the authors and the main proponent is this nutcase named Tim LaHaye.

He is a rabid activist that believes in the Illuminati controlling everything, hates the Catholic Church, hates gay people, truly thinks the end of the world is near, etc.

I personally would not touch one of those books nor watch the films, but there was even a video game that was spawned as a result of it. (Can't remember where the article was about that, but I remember the controversy it drew). Players can either convert their opponents or kill them.

The "enemies" in the game involve everyone who has not "received" Jesus Christ.

Funny thing about these books, was that in another article that I remember reading, most of the Catholics do not get raptured.

Strange how these Christians are all so divided up about which version of the Bible is correct.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Left Behind books

 I do have a friend who told me she was a fan of the Left Behind books. She isn't a religious nut. I don't know what her religious beliefs are. I've never asked. But I think the books may appeal to some people who don't buy the religious preaching but just like the whole thriller aspect. After all, I don't believe in that kind of interpretation of The Book of Revelations, but I love the Omen movies which are based on it and the last of which ends with [spoiler] a flying glowing Jesus defeating Damien Thorn. I suspect that the producers of this new movie (who are specialists in movies for the Christian market) are hoping that it will have cross-over appeal. Nicholas Cage will bring in a few people, in spite of his often dodgy filmography. What I suspect it will be is another Battlefield Earth. I've never seen that movie, but I know people who have a great fondness for it as "so bad it's good" treat. 

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Aussiescribbler wrote: I do

Aussiescribbler wrote:

 I do have a friend who told me she was a fan of the Left Behind books. She isn't a religious nut. I don't know what her religious beliefs are. I've never asked. But I think the books may appeal to some people who don't buy the religious preaching but just like the whole thriller aspect. After all, I don't believe in that kind of interpretation of The Book of Revelations, but I love the Omen movies which are based on it and the last of which ends with [spoiler] a flying glowing Jesus defeating Damien Thorn. I suspect that the producers of this new movie (who are specialists in movies for the Christian market) are hoping that it will have cross-over appeal. Nicholas Cage will bring in a few people, in spite of his often dodgy filmography. What I suspect it will be is another Battlefield Earth. I've never seen that movie, but I know people who have a great fondness for it as "so bad it's good" treat. 

To me, Battlefield Earth was one of those "so corny and goofy that it was good" kinda films.

I know where your coming from about your friend and also the Omen films.

I have watched more than my fair share of Satan/Christ type of horror flicks and found them to be somewhat enjoyable. I look upon it as "just a movie" kinda thing. The only time that I really get irritated with any type of film is when its message is just downright in your face type of stuff.

I have even enjoyed more than my fair share of horror flicks where the main character is an "Atheist/Agnostic/Skeptic" that ends up being FORCED to believe in the powers of darkness/light midway through the film.

I put those films in the same category as I do all fiction. For instance, I have an affinity for zombie flicks and I don't believe in zombies Smiling

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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I love horror films and,

I love horror films and, without supernatural elements, we would be limited pretty much to slasher films. 

Even with full-on supernatural religious stories it is possible to be moved by them because of what they say to us on a symbolic level. I find this with Oscar Wilde's The Selfish Giant. When I get to the end, where a child with nail wounds in his hands and feet, comes to take the Giant to Paradise, it makes me weep every time, even though I don't believe in a personal after-life and that kind of thing. But to me it is a powerful depiction of redemption. It is part of the brilliance of Wilde that he can take what, in other hands, would be maudlin religiosity and make of it something that transcends belief systems. But maybe I'm biased. I love Oscar Wilde. 

harleysportster wrote:
I know where your coming from about your friend and also the Omen films.

I have watched more than my fair share of Satan/Christ type of horror flicks and found them to be somewhat enjoyable. I look upon it as "just a movie" kinda thing. The only time that I really get irritated with any type of film is when its message is just downright in your face type of stuff.

I have even enjoyed more than my fair share of horror flicks where the main character is an "Atheist/Agnostic/Skeptic" that ends up being FORCED to believe in the powers of darkness/light midway through the film.

I put those films in the same category as I do all fiction. For instance, I have an affinity for zombie flicks and I don't believe in zombies Smiling

 

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Aussiescribbler wrote:It is

Aussiescribbler wrote:
It is the truth, and only the truth, which sets anyone free. This is not some mystical truth. It is the factual truth. So, while the realisation that one is a part of what was labelled the Anti-Christ by John in the Book of Revelations, may be a painful shock at first, akin to a dip in a lake of molten lead perhaps, it is really a liberating realisation. Christ forgave those who crucified him, so that loving element in the human spirit of which he was an expression will also forgive those who, through fear and confusion, turned against it. In truth, nobody gets left behind.


Your essay's a good read and you make some interesting points - Jesus being an early psychologist and acceptance rather than projection of our dark side being transformative, although these ideas aren’t new.


I can’t see how negativity being released from the ‘Id’ (Anti-Christ) can be proved either way and Freud and Jung went their separate ways over this issue.


It’s a pity you bring in Jesus’ concept of ‘unconditional love’ as this doesn’t exist in reality, or certainly not with human beings.  The idea we should love those who are cruel to us whatever they do?  No, when someone shows no respect for our boundaries (what we’ll put up with) it creates anger and resentment until we take steps to remedy the problem.
 

Oh, but Peggotty, you haven't given Mr. Barkis his proper answer, you know.
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Aussiescribbler wrote:I love

Aussiescribbler wrote:

I love horror films and, without supernatural elements, we would be limited pretty much to slasher films. 

 

And slasher films generally suck Smiling

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Peggotty wrote:It’s a

Peggotty wrote:


It’s a pity you bring in Jesus’ concept of ‘unconditional love’ as this doesn’t exist in reality, or certainly not with human beings.  The idea we should love those who are cruel to us whatever they do?  No, when someone shows no respect for our boundaries (what we’ll put up with) it creates anger and resentment until we take steps to remedy the problem.
 

Actually Jesus behaved like a real bastard throughout much of his life.

He wouldn't have been someone I would have wanted to follow and really did not seem all of that "loving" if you ask me.

Much like people like the Dalai Lama (who are so revered) are actually fraudulent pieces of shit in truth.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

Aussiescribbler wrote:

I love horror films and, without supernatural elements, we would be limited pretty much to slasher films. 

 

And slasher films generally suck Smiling

i'm a bona-fide romero zombie man myself: the ultimate rug being pulled out from under humanity's feet.

i say "bona-fide romero" because i can't fucking stand the sprinting zombie fad.  thankfully, it seems to have run its course.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:i'm a bona-fide

iwbiek wrote:

i'm a bona-fide romero zombie man myself: the ultimate rug being pulled out from under humanity's feet.

i say "bona-fide romero" because i can't fucking stand the sprinting zombie fad.  thankfully, it seems to have run its course.

Yeah, their have been some zombie flicks as of late that have really sucked.

When I think of zombie flicks, I think of the 70s and 80s Italian ones.

I too like the Romero films, all of them except for the Survival of the Dead one. I was disappointed in that one. I even liked the later installments of Land and Diary.

But, to me, nothing beats the original Night and Dawn.

For some reason, Night seemed the creepiest to me, even though it was in black and white and had the least amount of gore. To this day, that one gives me a creepy feeling.

The sprinting zombie thing did not satisfy me either. The idea of running zombies just seemed too stupid to me or something, but every single film I have seen with one of those types of zombies, has generally proven to be disappointing to me.

One that I saw recently, the name eludes me, that had the creeping type of dead that I found to be surprisingly entertaining, involved an army guy trekking through Africa while it is happening.  I swear I can not remember the name, but he teams up with an African army member and they are using this old junk truck to get to some hope of civilization.

Why I say surprisingly entertained is because there is a minimal amount of gore really, no real outright rip 'em apart and devour them scenes, but the suspense kept me watching and the fact that the creeping dead are always in the backdrop just added to it.

I know that a lot of zombie fans get pissed when I say this, but I have not been all of that impressed with The Walking Dead series either. I think most of that stems from the fact that I have come to hate all of the main characters (have not seen the latest season, only made it to the end of season 2). But, there is not a single character in that show that I am all of that crazy about. In fact, I knew that I was not  going to be watching it much longer when I found myself WISHING the hordes of undead would devour all of the characters.

Not that I really follow tv series much anyway, with the exception of The Americans, the show about the KGB couple in Cold War USA. Now that is one show that I refuse to be disturbed or bothered by anyone when it is on. In fact, I have even told people that unless it is a life/death emergency, do NOT call me or bother me when The Americans is on.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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I know it is risky using the

I know it is risky using the term "Id" as it comes from Freud's sometimes faulty concept of the nature of the psyche. But I find the concept a useful way for thinking about the negative feelings we hold inside. Surely all of us, at some stage, have "blown our top" and then felt a sense of relief for having got that out of our system. And I'm not saying that the Id is the Anti-Christ. What I'm identifying as the Anti-Christ is a specific mechanism (a form of character armour to use Wilhelm Reich's terminology) employed by some Christian's to repress the Id. For instance if the Id contains homosexual desires, and the Christian believes (falsely) that homosexual desires are against Christ, then he may try to control those desires in himself by criticising active homosexuals. The homosexual desire is not the Anti-Christ, the homophobia is.

As for "unconditional love" I speak of it because I experience it. We can be angry at a loved one. To me love is open, honest, spontaneous and generous communication. Anger is triggered when our psychological defence system is compromised in some way, but to express that anger can be a form of open, honest, spontaneous (if maybe not entirely generous) communication, especially if we are changed by the expression in such a  way that we grow closer to the object of our anger. The psychiatrist Theodore Isaac Rubin, in The Angry Book, expressed the view that we repress our anger far too much and that many married couples grow apart because they don't fight enough. They repress their negative feelings and this becomes a wall between them. I think that unconditional love can only grow out of an awareness that offensive behaviour is defensive behaviour. Once we realise that even Hitler did what he did because he was a deeply frightened individual trapped within an addiction to power, we can oppose the evil of his outward behaviour completely while loving the vulnerable human being trapped in the hellish prison of his character structure. Our ability to fight evil is limited by an inability to see through to its root source in fears learned in childhood. And when we have an understanding of the way that our defensive character structure works we have a better way of approaching the task of bringing healing to those who behave destructively.

Having said all that, I think that one of the mistakes which some people make is to try to love others unconditionally. It can't be done through an act of will because you feel that it is "the right thing to do". Our capacity for love is inverse to our feelings of fear in any situation. For a fearful person to struggle to force themselves to love is just a recipe for suffering. But if we can find reassurance and through self-acceptance can minimise our feelings of fear to only those times when we are in direct physical danger, then we will gradually find that unconditional love is the inevitable result. It is what we feel toward others when we are not afraid of ourselves or them. Now this doesn't mean we are afraid of someone who pisses us off, but we may be afraid of something in ourselves of which they remind us. I get angry at intolerant people all the time, but they remind me that I have strong repressed feelings of intolerance myself.

Peggotty wrote:

Your essay's a good read and you make some interesting points - Jesus being an early psychologist and acceptance rather than projection of our dark side being transformative, although these ideas aren’t new.


I can’t see how negativity being released from the ‘Id’ (Anti-Christ) can be proved either way and Freud and Jung went their separate ways over this issue.


It’s a pity you bring in Jesus’ concept of ‘unconditional love’ as this doesn’t exist in reality, or certainly not with human beings.  The idea we should love those who are cruel to us whatever they do?  No, when someone shows no respect for our boundaries (what we’ll put up with) it creates anger and resentment until we take steps to remedy the problem.
 

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Maybe I see in him what I

Maybe I see in him what I want to see in him, but I can't think of anyone but the money-changers and the Pharisees who might have had reason to call him a bastard.

Having said that, I have heard someone claim he was the cruelest man who ever lived because what he did and what he preached left those around him feeling so bad about themselves by comparison.

My feeling is that he didn't want to be revered and that he wasn't presenting a moral system. I think this is a distortion which was place on him after the fact. But this interpretation is so omnipresent in our culture that it took me about thirty years to deprogram myself from it, so to speak. I have never been a "believer". I always considered myself an agnostic. But I couldn't dismiss something in the story and teachings of Jesus. They spoke to me, partly in an inspirational way, partly in a disturbing way which I found condemning. If I were going to use mixed psychoanalytic terms, I saw in Jesus both a comforting reflexion of my animus (from Jung) and a frightening guilt-producing reflexion of my super-ego (from Freud). I didn't buy the magical element of course. So I had to grapple with Jesus if I were to make peace within myself. Wilhelm Reich, in his book The Murder of Christ, helped me to do this with his view that Jesus was a psychologically healthy (i.e. non-armoured) individual who became a victim of what he terms "the emotional plague" - the collective fear of a neurotic society directed against those (such as children) whose healthy state exposes their own unhealthy state. He felt that Jesus, if he were a healthy unconditionally loving individual, must also have been an uninhibitedly sexual erotic individual, and that the portrayal of him as someone who believed in "the sins of the flesh" and was antagonistic to erotic feelings, is a distortion by those who came after him and were afraid that Christianity, if it retained the sexually liberated nature of Jesus, might turn into a "brothel religion". These people had to disassociate Jesus message from this world into an ethereal world, because the natural conclusion of what Jesus actually preached is more like the hippy concept of "free love" if it is genuinely applied to inter-human behaviour in the real world. Once I had this concept to free me from seeing in Jesus a support for my own feelings of sexual shame, I could see him as a fully inspirational figure trying, within the context of the culture of his time, to spread the same kind of message that Wilhelm Reich did in his time, i.e. one of healing, love and sexual freedom.

And Jeremy Griffith helped me by making me aware that there was such a thing as a non-supernatural interpretation of the word "God". Griffith interprets "God" as "integrative meaning", but the important thing for me was to realise that those who talk about "God" may not always be talking about something supernatural. This gave me a new appreciation of people like William Blake and Carl Jung, and eventually led me to view myself as a pantheist. And now I also believe that Jesus was a pantheist. I know this may seem contrary to some of the things he said, but I believe that it is not just a supportable hypothesis but one which opens up a whole new and practical meaning to the various gospels. I'm planning to write a book about this with the tentative title - The Reality Matrix : A Pantheistic Interpretation of the Philosophy of Jesus.

I think the view of Jesus as a religious leader (in the authoritarian rather than directional sense) comes from the need of repressed individuals to identify him with their super-ego. To use his perceive authority as a mechanism for self-repression. I think it would have sickened him to think of people doing something so contrary to what he was advising. And yet he did express frustration at times that his followers didn't understand what he was trying to tell them, and in his talk of "the last days" he seems to indicate that he knows that, the human neurosis (to use my term) being what it is, people would only realise what it was that people like him were trying to say when things got so bad that no-one could any longer deny their sickness.

harleysportster wrote:

Peggotty wrote:


It’s a pity you bring in Jesus’ concept of ‘unconditional love’ as this doesn’t exist in reality, or certainly not with human beings.  The idea we should love those who are cruel to us whatever they do?  No, when someone shows no respect for our boundaries (what we’ll put up with) it creates anger and resentment until we take steps to remedy the problem.
 

Actually Jesus behaved like a real bastard throughout much of his life.

He wouldn't have been someone I would have wanted to follow and really did not seem all of that "loving" if you ask me.

Much like people like the Dalai Lama (who are so revered) are actually fraudulent pieces of shit in truth.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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 I have mixed feelings on

I have mixed feelings on Romero's zombie films, perhaps because I came late to the party. By the time I actually watched Night of the Living Dead there was no way it was going to live up to its reputation, and the same was true for Dawn of the Dead. I still haven't seen Day of the Dead. But my favourite of the series that I've seen is Land of the Dead. I think this is partly because I saw it in the cinema and partly because it has a kind of fun carnival atmosphere to it.

I agree about slow moving zombies being better. Lucio Fulci also has some awesome zombies, but unfortunately the films in which they appear are a little lack-lustre.

Have you ever seen Bruno Mattei's Hell of the Living Dead? A masterpiece of zombie trash.  Absolutely hilarious in places. 

 

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

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harleysportster wrote:One

harleysportster wrote:

One that I saw recently, the name eludes me, that had the creeping type of dead that I found to be surprisingly entertaining, involved an army guy trekking through Africa while it is happening.  I swear I can not remember the name, but he teams up with an African army member and they are using this old junk truck to get to some hope of civilization.

Why I say surprisingly entertained is because there is a minimal amount of gore really, no real outright rip 'em apart and devour them scenes, but the suspense kept me watching and the fact that the creeping dead are always in the backdrop just added to it.

I think that would be The Dead (not to be confused with John Huston's James Joyce adaptation). I just bought a copy of that for the library where I work. I'll have to try to find time to watch it. The problem with being responsible for a library film collection is that you end up with huge piles of DVDs sitting around the house which are due to be returned. 

I think there are also way too many zombie comedies. Some of them are good though. Apart from the obvious (Shaun of the Dead), I've really loved Dance of the Dead and Harold's Going Stiff.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

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Aussiescribbler wrote:Have

Aussiescribbler wrote:

Have you ever seen Bruno Mattei's Hell of the Living Dead? A masterpiece of zombie trash.  Absolutely hilarious in places. 

 

I usually catch flack for admitting this, but I actually happened to like that film. Smiling

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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An interesting take on Jesus

An interesting take on Jesus and Christians. I sort of skimmed over it after I saw the "Nicolas Cage" signing on to do the movies. I liked some of his earlier work but he has become another Keanu Reeves, a one dimensional actor.

On another note

I find that most people I talk to from a religious stand point are people who refuse to step out of the box. It's a comfort level they carry with them to "make it through the day". However, this strategy always breaks down and loses with each calamity. The end result is "it was god's plan" statement to blanket cover the situation, then block out their logical mind which is in the background telling them, "this is bullshit don't believe it" (<--- which they probably think is satan trying o trick them).

As for "Zombies", yeah any thing but the Romero movies suck donkey shit. The movie "28 days later" was a complete farce and "running zombies" aren't fucking zombies. I reject all these movies such as "I am Legend" which with "Will Smith" was a fucking awful movie (stupid fuck ruined a good story) and World War Z (which started with the 'Zombie Survival Guide" and went in to "this is how Hollywood wants it so I'll sell out".

Zombies are decaying. Their arms and other connective tissue slowly disintegrate and eventually they become shamblers. They eventually die out, but because they can't milk "dying zombies" they make them live for ever like TNT's "The Living Dead" which I refused to watch after the first season. It became a convoluted cluster fuck of bullshit sell out.

 

 


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Stepping Outside the Box

digitalbeachbum wrote:
On another note

I find that most people I talk to from a religious stand point are people who refuse to step out of the box. It's a comfort level they carry with them to "make it through the day". However, this strategy always breaks down and loses with each calamity. The end result is "it was god's plan" statement to blanket cover the situation, then block out their logical mind which is in the background telling them, "this is bullshit don't believe it" (<--- which they probably think is satan trying o trick them). 

I don't think that a refusal to step out of the box is unique to religious people. All of us, I believe, cling to comforting lies about ourselves or the world. If we are brave we dismantle these lies as we get older and more experienced, but it can be a scary process.

One comes across people who are wed to unfounded mechanistic ideas about psychology, who won't step out of that restricting box and examine more accountable holistic theories. An example of this is those in the field of evolutionary psychology who believe that all of human behaviour can be reduced to personal survival, breeding opportunities and aid to those who share our genes. This requires a denial of much of what we observe in ourselves and in society generally which cannot be explained this way. I came across this kind of thinking in Robert Wright's book The Moral Animal. He even claimed, based on some test some scientist had done, that we only feel guilty about something if someone else knows about it. I think this was supposed to prove that morality is simply an adaptation to allow us to succeed in a group environment or something. But how can a scientist possibly believe this? Has he never himself had a secret guilt? I have and I know many people who have. This is the tricky thing about psychology. Tell me anything about the breeding habits of the Guatemalan wasp and I'm liable to believe you. But tell me something about human psychology and it had better match my own experience or I'll call fowl.

The same applies to theories that mental illness is generally the product of genetic factors or chemical imbalance. I've experienced a number of forms of mental illness. I've studied my own experience of mental illness. And I've cured myself of most of my mental illnesses using cognitive processes. I also have spent a long time talking to fellow sufferers and their experience backs up my own assessment that most mental illness consists of unhelpful patterns of thought which we pick up from others or adopt as a way of dealing with the pressures of living in a profoundly neurotic society characterised by fear-based repression, particularly of the erotic. I find much to agree with in the works of Freud, Jung, Reich, Laing, etc. Now there is no doubt that brain chemistry is the mechanism by which the moods generated by the unhelpful thinking are manifested, and that pharmaceuticals can work as a bandaid measure providing a limited amount of relief.

I find that when I come in contact with people who have these "scientific" beliefs they will cling to them just as desperately as any religious person, rather than step outside the box and ask whether they might not be able to understand psychology better if they first admitted that they are deeply frightened alienated individuals themselves. Instead they try to reshape their view of reality to protect themselves from having to admit just that.

See, my signature was never meant to apply only to religious dogma, but to any rigid retreat from free thought.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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digitalbeachbum wrote:As for

digitalbeachbum wrote:

As for "Zombies", yeah any thing but the Romero movies suck donkey shit. The movie "28 days later" was a complete farce and "running zombies" aren't fucking zombies. I reject all these movies such as "I am Legend" which with "Will Smith" was a fucking awful movie (stupid fuck ruined a good story) and World War Z (which started with the 'Zombie Survival Guide" and went in to "this is how Hollywood wants it so I'll sell out".

Zombies are decaying. Their arms and other connective tissue slowly disintegrate and eventually they become shamblers. They eventually die out, but because they can't milk "dying zombies" they make them live for ever like TNT's "The Living Dead" which I refused to watch after the first season. It became a convoluted cluster fuck of bullshit sell out.

 

Are you referring to AMC's The Walking Dead ? Because I am like you on that one. After the second season, I got to the point that I absolutely DESPISED the characters and began to ferverently wish that the living dead would descend upon them and eat them all. Which is unusual for me, because while I happen to like zombie films, I have the same feelings towards zombies that nutcase Captain Rhodes had in Day of the Dead. "I DON'T WANT THEM TO BEHAVE I WANT THEM TO DIE ! YOU WANT ME TO SALUTE THAT PILE OF WALKING PUS ?." That type of attitude. So when I start desiring the main characters to be eaten by the dead, you know that I have to really despise the characters.

The only thing that I disliked about Land of the Dead was that ending line of : "They are just looking for a place to stay." crap. Fuck that. After he uttered those lines, they should have had Rhodes put a pistol to his head and say : "I AM IN CHARGE HERE NOW ! AND I WANT YOU OFF THE TANK." to which I would have then showed the main character (forgot his name) thrown overboard for saying something so stupid and being devoured alive. Final scene ? Rhodes : TRY LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO STAY NOW ASSHOLE ! Ending credits.

I too thought that 28 Days Later and I Am Legend were horrible and really did not consider them to be zombie films.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Aussiescribbler wrote:As for

Aussiescribbler wrote:
As for "unconditional love" I speak of it because I experience it.


I can’t know what your experience is but for me this seems unrealistic. Look at the word ‘unconditional’. Unconditional means without conditions or limitations.  If I experienced unconditional love I’d think I had a very big IF and that’s all.  I think a more realistic definition of love is accepting someone as they are without trying to change them.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to put some ‘conditions or limitations’ on the way they behave towards me and vice versa.


Aussiescribbler wrote:
Surely all of us, at some stage, have "blown our top" and then felt a sense of relief for having got that out of our system.


We all do it sometimes and I agree that feelings of anger, sadness, depression etc are right and human and that we shouldn’t deny feelings and be compassionate etc.  But there’s a difference between saying what you feel as opposed to being what you feel. What’s wrong with talking about your feelings instead of shouting them? It makes sense once you’ve owned and accepted where you stand to negotiate without putting the other person on the defensive with aggression. It’s our choice.


Aussiescribbler wrote:
The Angry Book, expressed the view that we repress our anger far too much and that many married couples grow apart because they don't fight enough. They repress their negative feelings and this becomes a wall between them. I think that unconditional love can only grow out of an awareness that offensive behaviour is defensive behaviour.


Really?  Unless they’re both extremely repressed I don’t think many couples go into counselling because they’re not arguing. There’s always conflict between individuals and the relationship will be about their communication styles and how they deal with it.


Aussiescribbler wrote:
Once we realise that even Hitler did what he did because he was a deeply frightened individual trapped within an addiction to power, we can oppose the evil of his outward behaviour completely while loving the vulnerable human being trapped in the hellish prison of his character structure. Our ability to fight evil is limited by an inability to see through to its root source in fears learned in childhood. And when we have an understanding of the way that our defensive character structure works we have a better way of approaching the task of bringing healing to those who behave destructively


I agree that understanding how fear affects behaviour helps us deal with those who can change but Hitler was a psychopath and they can’t change, largely because they don’t feel fear.


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I: Fearless dominance.  Fearlessness and stress immunity.  Associated with less anxiety, depression and empathy as well as higher well-being, assertiveness, narcissism and thrill seeking.


Hitler had plenty of unconditional love directed towards him so do lesser known tyrants - how can you be so sure (to quote the song) that all we need is love?


You say you feel unconditional love and therefore that makes it a reality.  This is a naked assertion which sounds pretty arrogant, in fact it sounds like a psychotic reaction to the universe and I don’t believe it.  This is not something you’ve found inside yourself but something you’ve willed on to yourself and everyone else.

 

Oh, but Peggotty, you haven't given Mr. Barkis his proper answer, you know.
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Love and Fear

Peggotty wrote:

I can’t know what your experience is but for me this seems unrealistic. Look at the word ‘unconditional’. Unconditional means without conditions or limitations.  If I experienced unconditional love I’d think I had a very big IF and that’s all.  I think a more realistic definition of love is accepting someone as they are without trying to change them.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to put some ‘conditions or limitations’ on the way they behave towards me and vice versa. 

I agree that accepting someone as they are and not trying to change them is a pre-requisite for love. But I see love itself as any form of communication characterised by openness, honesty, spontaneity and generosity. Now that doesn't mean I feel unconditional love towards everyone all the time. Things like fear and frustration impede my ability to feel accepting at some times and in some cases. And opportunities to communicate are not always there. But I feel that we are all expressions of a single entity, so what frustrates me is the barriers to open, honest, spontaneous and generous communication between myself and others. If someone is aggressive towards me, it frustrates me because I realise they are just too scared to open up. In my heart I am not rejecting of them, because I recognise that it is not their fault, but the barrier is there.


Peggotty wrote:
We all do it sometimes and I agree that feelings of anger, sadness, depression etc are right and human and that we shouldn’t deny feelings and be compassionate etc.  But there’s a difference between saying what you feel as opposed to being what you feel. What’s wrong with talking about your feelings instead of shouting them? It makes sense once you’ve owned and accepted where you stand to negotiate without putting the other person on the defensive with aggression. It’s our choice.

Yes. We should accept all of our feelings and thoughts unconditionally, though once we have accepted them we can sort through them and see what is useful and what is not. The more we accept our feelings and our thoughts the less we feel the need to act out or make a song and dance about them. But if someone is acting out and making a fuss then the way to help them is to help them to learn to be more accepting of themselves, as these behaviours are an overflow of their fight to not accept something in themselves.

As for compassion, that is projected self-pity. The only reason we are able to feel the suffering of others is by making a connection between their suffering and some kind of suffering we are experiencing ourselves. The fully self-accepting individual doesn't feel another's suffering. They get great satisfaction out of being helpful to someone who is suffering, but this doesn't require feeling the other person's suffering any more than we have to be dirty ourselves to feel motivated to clean the kitchen floor. If we are suffering from compassion then that is something we need to accept about ourselves until it heals. But it is something which saps our energy and thus our ability to be helpful. The loving individual feels warmth towards everyone but not their suffering.


Peggotty wrote:
Really?  Unless they’re both extremely repressed I don’t think many couples go into counselling because they’re not arguing. There’s always conflict between individuals and the relationship will be about their communication styles and how they deal with it.

It all has to do with the character armour. What you are talking about when you talk about communication styles is negotiations between two armoured individuals, i.e. two individuals cocooned in repressed anger. This is the common state for us, what I term "the human neurosis". In a love relationship two people grow trusting enough of each other to drop their armour to some degree. Love is inevitable between any two people who are not in the armoured state. What makes it difficult is that we are in this state most of our lives. We begin developing our armour in late childhood and adolescence, by adulthood is firmly in place.

The test for whether a couple have become divided by repressed anger is in how erotic their relationship is. Armouring is a barrier to eroticism. If a couple are having orgasmic sex most nights then they aren't going to need counselling, if they are not then it may be a sign that they could do with expelling their anger a bit more.

Peggotty wrote:
I agree that understanding how fear affects behaviour helps us deal with those who can change but Hitler was a psychopath and they can’t change, largely because they don’t feel fear.


PPI-R (Lilienfeld & Widows)
I: Fearless dominance.  Fearlessness and stress immunity.  Associated with less anxiety, depression and empathy as well as higher well-being, assertiveness, narcissism and thrill seeking.


Hitler had plenty of unconditional love directed towards him so do lesser known tyrants - how can you be so sure (to quote the song) that all we need is love?

If Hitler didn't feel fear then you couldn't intimidate him into changing. But intimidation is no way to heal someone.

Fear has two forms - active and passive. The passive form is what we usually think of when we think of fear. This is anxiety. If there is a threat and we are passive because we think we may not be able to deal with it, we feel anxiety. If we sense a threat and respond actively we may not feel fear, yet fear (a sense of threat) is what motivates our actions. If someone is violently hostile or if they exercise control over others through physical force or intimidation they are responding to a sense of threat, i.e. fear, even if they are not capable of experiencing anxiety. (Of course to know whether Hitler was capable of anxiety we would probably have had to place him in a situation in which he was powerless.)

Now I'm not saying that love could necessarily heal someone like Hitler, what I am saying is that what motivates me to try to see what his inner psychological situation might have been is love, and that this can be useful for knowing how to respond to such people.

I don't think the people's so-called love for Hitler was either love or unconditional. It was adoration, which is very different from love. Love is healthy, adoration is not. Love requires an absence of a power relationship. Where there is dominance and submission (in reality rather than the bedroom games of kinky couples) there is no love. And their adoration of Hitler was not unconditional. If he came onto the podium in pink spangled hot pants and said, "You know those Jews aren't so bad after all" the people would have lynched him.


Peggotty wrote:
You say you feel unconditional love and therefore that makes it a reality.  This is a naked assertion which sounds pretty arrogant, in fact it sounds like a psychotic reaction to the universe and I don’t believe it.  This is not something you’ve found inside yourself but something you’ve willed on to yourself and everyone else. 

I'm only speaking of my perception. I grant you perceptions can be misleading. How is it arrogant for me to say that I've experienced unconditional love? Someone who has taken LSD could say they have experienced the sound of colours. A person's individual perceptual experience proves nothing, but what is wrong in giving expression to it?

To say that I've willed it onto myself is a theory. I know it to be a false theory as it is impossible to force love, it is precisely the absence of force. I might force a delusion of having felt unconditional love onto myself, but if I were that delusional I would not be able to express myself so cogently and eloquently. As for willing it on "everyone else", how does that even work? I'm the only person over whom I have any control. Anyone who reads my words is free to agree with them or dismiss them as bullshit. It is enough for me that I've offered them. After that it is out of my hands, though I'm always happy to debate as that is, like all forms of creative communication, a form of love.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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wow, everybody jumped on the

wow, everybody jumped on the zombie train, so this'll be a scattergun reply to everyone.

1. i didn't care much for romero's reboot films (diary and survival).  for one thing, they broke the tradition of one every ten years or so.  two, they're complete nods to hollywood (imo).  i looooved land.  it was the last true classic romero.

2. fulci's films are fucking awesome.  zombie is a given, but city of the living dead and the beyond are the shit.  notice in those two films the zombies don't actually eat anyone; they're basically just a symptom of greater horror to come.  city of the living dead is great because it's basically a take on a very obscure lovecraft story ("the evil clergyman" )and the beyond has that awesome fucking scene where the protagonists actually walk through the gates of hell at the end, and it's a wasteland scattered with mummified bodies.

3. never seen the walking dead.  i'm sorry, i just don't trust that zombies can work in the medium of an open-ended TV series.  i think they belong in films.  maybe a mini-series.  one of the big problems for me is that a TV show will probably sooner or later explain the zombies, and i hate it when zombies are definitively explained.  in fact, i hate it when any evil is definitively explained.  for example, the original halloween series lost me when they explained michael myers as some kind of bullshit druid curse.  i don't like rob zombie's reboot either, because the explanation is too mundane: a horribly abusive family and bullying pushes adolescent michael over the edge.  i like john carpenter's original vision: a middle-class little boy from a good family just for no reason goes apeshit.  i also hated hannibal rising for the same reasons. 

4. i haven't seen the film harley mentioned about africa.  sounds pretty cool, i'll look for it.  nor have i seen that mattei film.  i'll look for it too.

5. 28 days later was an abomination.  those are not fucking zombies.  they're people gone mad.  i mean, how do they kill them finally?  they fucking starve them to death!  i also hated stephen king's cell, for the same reason.  everybody fucking called it a zombie book!

6. i'm surprised nobody's mentioned the return of the living dead series.  i've only seen the first two, but i loved them.  a lot of purists hate them, mostly because the zombies are intelligent and can talk, but they're great fun.  the first one especially has an awesome soundtrack featuring some pioneers of '80s punk.

7. i liked world war z the book.  i know nothing of the upcoming film.  anybody who has read studs terkel, especially the good war, will appreciate world war z more.  oh, and little correction: the zombie survival guide actually preceded world war z.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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I love The Walking Dead.

I love The Walking Dead. Second best show on tv, after Game of Thrones. I've always wanted a zombie story without a cliché ending (either everyone dies or a bunch of people show up with guns every single boring time). The Walking Dead is a real character piece, not the half assed shit you see in film.
I liked the original Night of the Living Dead better maybe, but it was special.

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Vastet wrote: Second best

Vastet wrote:
Second best show on tv, after Game of Thrones. .

Now Game of Thrones is one that I REALLY enjoy. However, I would put it as the second best show on tv after The Americans Smiling

However, I have always been fascinated with the Soviet Union and grew up during the whole Reagan/Cold War thing. So I think I have got personal reasons for not wanting to miss a single episode of The Americans.

The reason I put The Americans in the top bracket, is because that is the one show that I refuse to be disturbed when it airs.

Game of Thrones is one of those that I can pretty much catch on the rebound, even though that show is as addicting as hell and I have caught myself setting aside planning to watch it.

It has made me want to go out and read the Game of Thrones books, but my reading list of both fiction/non-fiction is so backed up right now that I wonder if I'll ever get to them all.

However, I have heard that Game of Thrones, the television series is as close to keeping a strict adaptation and staying true to the books more than almost any other.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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The moment I learned how

The moment I learned how many books there were I knew I'd be waiting quite awhile before I read them. I've made a personal call to never read the book before I watch the film. I can't read any of the books until the tv series is over. 7 years from now? lol. I'll read them all in a week too.

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Vastet wrote:The moment I

Vastet wrote:
The moment I learned how many books there were I knew I'd be waiting quite awhile before I read them. I've made a personal call to never read the book before I watch the film. I can't read any of the books until the tv series is over. 7 years from now? lol. I'll read them all in a week too.

One thing I like about reading the book after viewing any film, is that I do not have to form any mental pictures of the characters.

For instance, when I finally pick up the Game of Thrones books, I'll already be somewhat familiar with the characters and know exactly what they look like without having to form pictures of them.

I too would rather see a film first and then read the book.

Unless of course, it is like one of those many situations in my life when I have read the book and THEN the film comes out.

I read, No Country For Old Men, years before the movie came out.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Peggotty
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Aussiescribbler wrote:I'm

Aussiescribbler wrote:
I'm only speaking of my perception. I grant you perceptions can be misleading. How is it arrogant for me to say that I've experienced unconditional love? Someone who has taken LSD could say they have experienced the sound of colours. A person's individual perceptual experience proves nothing, but what is wrong in giving expression to it?

To say that I've willed it onto myself is a theory. I know it to be a false theory as it is impossible to force love, it is precisely the absence of force. I might force a delusion of having felt unconditional love onto myself, but if I were that delusional I would not be able to express myself so cogently and eloquently. As for willing it on "everyone else", how does that even work? I'm the only person over whom I have any control. Anyone who reads my words is free to agree with them or dismiss them as bullshit. It is enough for me that I've offered them. After that it is out of my hands, though I'm always happy to debate as that is, like all forms of creative communication, a form of love.

Thanks.  I exercise my right to dismiss your words as bullshit.

Oh, but Peggotty, you haven't given Mr. Barkis his proper answer, you know.
Charles Dickens


iwbiek
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harleysportster wrote: One

harleysportster wrote:

 

One thing I like about reading the book after viewing any film, is that I do not have to form any mental pictures of the characters.

i actually willed myself to stop doing that years ago and fiction has become sooooo much more enjoyable since.  i used to try to play books like movies in my head and it took so much effort.  i think it came from reading tolkien as a kid.  honestly, as an adult, and an english literature teacher to boot, i fucking despise tolkien.  his overdescriptiveness is just flat-out self-indulgent.

now i pay more attention to the language and let the words flow rather than wasting half my mind making floorplans of fictional buildings and putting faces and whole outfits on characters (i used to match characters with certain actors in my head), all of which i usually have to change anyway because later on i find some detail that conflicts with what i've carefully built up.  i used to get so frustrated with that.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:i actually

iwbiek wrote:

i actually willed myself to stop doing that years ago and fiction has become sooooo much more enjoyable since.  i used to try to play books like movies in my head and it took so much effort.  i think it came from reading tolkien as a kid.  honestly, as an adult, and an english literature teacher to boot, i fucking despise tolkien.  his overdescriptiveness is just flat-out self-indulgent.

Yeah. I wasn't never too crazy about Tolkien either.

iwbiek wrote:

now i pay more attention to the language and let the words flow rather than wasting half my mind making floorplans of fictional buildings and putting faces and whole outfits on characters (i used to match characters with certain actors in my head), all of which i usually have to change anyway because later on i find some detail that conflicts with what i've carefully built up.  i used to get so frustrated with that.

Hehe. I thought I was the only one that has had that problem.

There have been entire buildings and floorplans in books that look absolutely NOTHING like the pictures in my head and I was able to read them anyway.

I too, used to just pluck certain actors out of my head and use them, even when the details of the characters did not match up at all.

I used the entire cast of the Western series Deadwood, for the Robert McGammon books, Speaks the Nightbird Volume One and Two ( There are two more sequels, but I have not gotten to those yet). Anyway, the books are set in 1699 and plainly describes characters wearing tricorn hats, white wigs and make up, all the while I have got these Western looking characters matching everyone Smiling

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Vastet
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I find I have two different

I find I have two different states of reading. In one, the words are repeated in my head as I read them. I tend to be more analytical when reading in this fashion, but have a much harder time enjoying the story and becoming 'one with the book', so to speak. It takes longer to read, and I tend to get caught up assembling details. Great for research, bad for stories.
In the other the words just flow by like Niagra Falls. I don't exactly get a mental movie going, but there's a part of my brain giving me some imagery to work with as needed. To put me there, in the atmosphere created. I can miss little details easier, but the story comes together without any effort on my part.
Reading some authors freezes me in the first mode. Too much repitition or description makes it impossible for me to enjoy the story.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.