Thursday, March 14, 2013

Statistics and opinions and riots and......

They're doing statistics on people's religious views. The number of Muslims is outpacing the number of Catholics and so on. People are counted like sheep, not just in thousands and millions, but in billions. There's also statistics done, I would think, about how many atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, Hindus and so on there are worldwide, and how many of each group in various geographic regions.

Back in the Middle Ages, and perhaps even more so after the Reformation in the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, religious views and beliefs were a public and political concern. That's no longer the case; we live in a secular culture, which means that opinions of a philosophical or spiritual nature (or anti-spiritual for that matter) are private, personal matters. The question of what religion or philosophy a person identifies with is like what political party one votes for. Well now, the ballot is secret, at least optionally so, and the same is, or should be, the case with convictions and beliefs and soul-orientations. Besides, labels are bad and misleading things. I submit that nobody who volunteers such a label in surveys hasn't been thinking things through. Otherwise, we wouldn't get such preposterous claims that so-and-so many Muslim children are born here, so-and-so many Lutheran children are born there and so on. It makes one wonder how many agnostic and atheist children were born in the same countries or cities -- say, in the same year, -- as if those kids don't get to develop their own minds and do their own thinking when growing up.

That's why I decided long ago to defy all such labels and say 1) none of the above, or 2) none of your business; no concern of the public or of any institutes or governments. Who wants those stats and why?

Once upon a time, many years ago, I decided I wouldn't call myself an anarchist and not an anthroposophist either because I didn't fit any of those molds, so I coined a couple of new words, new terms: Anarchosophy and Tazism. And believe it or not, it didn't take long for certain people to write me emails and tell me what kind of views I should have in order to be an anarchosophist, so I had to ditch that too, my very own homespun label!

On my fb profile, however, I've still listed "Heterodox Anarchosophist" as my "Religious Views" and "Neo-Tazist" as my "Political Views" because nobody has proposed to understand any of that -- yet. And they're not supposed to. It goes like this: If you're ever questioned by the police or by intruding reporters or aggressive salespeople or anybody else who tries to control the conversation by asking all the questions, you should give them plenty of mumbo jumbo. That usually leaves them in total bewilderment, because they're use to hear "No comment" or "I wanna talk to my lawyer." And if you have some experience with anthroposophy, you can take this one step further by giving them anthro-babble. Believe me, they'll be at such a total loss you might as well be speaking an obscure Klingon dialect.

The problem is, people love to engage in small talk, to shoot the breeze, on every imaginable subject and shade of personal opinion and strictly private concerns, even when there are cops present who remember or even write down or record everything they say. And then the politicians get together and discuss how to influence or alter public opinion, as they call it, wherever they see this as expedient or necessary. It would be a lot better for the balance of power in the world if people would be much more reticent and reclusive and shy, to speak and act in such a way that those who wield power and influence can't figure out where they've got you, where you're coming from, what your paradigms are. In other words, keep your cards closer to your chest.

I can understand there are times when it's felt that people should show up in great numbers on the street in order to shout slogans to the rhythm of a drummer -- remember they used drummers on the battlefields too -- and fight with the cops, the riot squads, the Delta forces, which always stand ready to intervene, beat some of them up and haul them to jail. They often use horses. And I say, if the demonstrators were really well-organized, they should counter those horses with cattle, lots of cattle, and arrange stampedes. Right in the middle of the city, downtown. Now that's what I would have done, but I'm never in charge. I'm only being invited as a mindless follower from time to time, and I'm not into that sort of thing. It's like Carl Jung once said:
"Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself."

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