There are very smart people behind religions: they make a good living off the stupid ones who follow them
Religion is irelevant here. Just accept 'smart' people manipulate other people and use whatever is to hand to do so. But how intelligent is that!
Apparently dumb people get apparently smart people to do what they want. Are you 'following' what does what you want for you? Are you free to want something else? A lot of people want what ultimately does not serve their best interests - or even their current joy and peace - and defend it to be 'right' rather than happy. How dumb is that? Isn't that all of us at some level?
Don't believe for a moment that intelligence is not fully operative in the Whole Show. What may not be apparent is that we all have various and conflicting purposes and strategies and goals that fit together exactly as seen or it would not be.
A unified goal is not a conflicted, disintegrating and fragmenting expression and so is a much more enjoyable way to take the ride that to play out the secret manipulating intent to get more for someone's less. So I equate that with true intelligence for it draws out a cooperative harmony rather than a smartass elitism that always hurts deep no matter how it is presented as 'winning' or 'special' or 'justified by the stupidness of the mob'.
I've never belonged or joined any religion - God is not in a cage of artificial scarcity demanding sacrifice in austerity and compliance with loss of liberty. That's the 'religion' of the deceiver in whatever host it can hack into as self righteous division etc etc
If we realised we are deceived - (not really stupid, just confused and unaware) - then we can wise up. But as long as we want to see 'them' or the 'other' as stupid, then we put ourselves in the sucker mode to thoughts that are manipulative and which hollow us out by letting them in.
Deception is a trick of the mind - thoughts in the mind. Watch the mind instead of accepting it as if it was yours, speaking for you. This is for free. Don't follow me! But if people walk together in learning - let it be.
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Well, I have to agree with you on several points there. To be honest, I don't see a lot of hope for this planet, or at least our civilisation on it (the planet itself will recover in time) - if enough of our history is preserved then perhaps we can at least serve as a lesson to some far-future civilisation...
might that seed the same thought virus in a new growth?
It is thinking that behaviour acts out from and the mind of man is sick but he thinks he is free! His 'free will' is a confusion of levels - as if freedom is at the level of effects. Our freedom is inherent in our Cause and the effects proceed naturally or automatically.
A conflicted mind is an oxymoron and yet such is the the virtual state of consciousness of humanity.
We are only really free to be what we are. If we try to be what we are not we can call that free will and defend it against all Reason.
To put this another way - we are not the mask or persona that is used and accepted as if it were real in mutual rituals of reinforcement of the idea of separated consciousness.
A separated consciousness USES relationships to GET. This correlates exactly with the state of the world that we co create.
It is not going to resolve at the persona level or via the persona mentality because all of that is about maintaining a control mentality over (one's) Life.