Baruch de Spinoza: Excommunication from the Jewish community
By John Waters
FLASHBACK: July 13-15 2011, New Jerusalem performed live at the Skirball Cultural Center
David Ives’ New Jerusalem stars Tony Award winner Richard Easton and Emmy winner Ed Asner.
The play follows young philosopher Baruch de Spinoza as he faces excommunication from the Jewish community for his provocative, subversive new ideas. With his special blend of cerebral language and wry humor, critically-acclaimed playwright David Ives gives Spinoza a chance to defend himself in a mock trial to the Jewish community and Dutch society.
The ‘absolute philosopher’, Spinoza, was a passionate advocate of rationalism, the idea that a man’s intellect is superior to his senses. Spinoza is at the center of the 17th century clash between religion and rationalism.
Spinoza’s metaphysics of God is neatly summed up in a phrase that occurs in the Latin (but not the Dutch) edition of the Ethics: Deus, sive Natura (“god or nature”): “That eternal and infinite being we call God, or Nature, acts from the same necessity from which he exists” (Part IV, Preface).
Spinoza, like all modern philosophers, was influenced by the changes brought about during the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages, through a twist of religious dogma, changed the orientation of mankind’s “dispositions and beliefs” throughout the western world, from worshipping the Earth/Gaea/Natura (Pantheism) to worshiping Jesus Christ, Allah and Yahweh (monotheism).
Until the Dark Ages, the populations of Pantheists (pagans) saw themselves as belonging to Nature (Natura) and the wider Universe. Until the Dark Ages, the pagan populations believed they were only a part of “creation” and that each piece played a significant role in the contentment and survival of the other. 
Then in the name of Jesus Christ, native peoples (pagans) were slaughtered along with the animals because they didn’t believe in Jesus Christ and therefore could not have a soul.
Christianity spread the belief that humans were now the greatest and most important part of Natura. Thanks to Jesus’ free gift of salvation, that whosoever believeth in him need not live in harmony with, or obey, the laws of Natura. The “good news” was that God wanted us clothed, fed and car-ed.
Does Life Have Meaning or Are We Merely Bobbleheads in Bubbleland?
John W. Whitehead, head of the Rutherford Institute, “a kind of evangelical Christian civil liberties union” is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law, social and human rights.
In his essay, Does Life Have Meaning or Are We Merely Bobbleheads in Bubbleland? Whitehead believes we have missed our purpose and the meaning to life because we didn’t listen to Martin Luther King Jr.
In April 1967, King said [W]e as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motive and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
John’s commentary: “We didn’t listen then, and we still have not learned: Material things don’t fill the spiritual void. People need more than possessions to give meaning to life.”
And the “more,” of course is religion, specifically Christianity. John believes we, as a nation, have lost our way because of a corrupt repressive government in the service of godless immoral secular humanism.
John’s mission is to promote Christianity and the ”good news”  with his work in social and human rights and he has an interesting insight re: our purpose:
“Are we all aimless beings, mere products of chance, here merely to consume, grind out a living and die? Or is there some bigger purpose behind the stage play we call life?”
“There are those who view us as mindless beings trapped in a spiritual void, cut off from both reality and the outside world, chasing fulfillment in “things”–consumer zombies imprisoned in a series of shopping malls. According to author and journalist Nicholas von Hoffman, Americans are “bobbleheads in Bubbleland…. They shop in bubbled malls, they live in gated communities, and they move from place to place breathing their own private air in bubble-mobiles known as SUVs.”
John, like Spinoza did not see the connection of the “mindless beings trapped in a spiritual void,” to putting humanity at serious risk due to “the dangers of climate change, water scarcity, dwindling fish stocks, the pressures on the land, and the extinction of species”, according to the GEO4, a massive United Nations report.
But he does ask, if “”Are we merely “bobbleheads” in Bubbleland? Or have we been programmed to be so?”
What if the “bobbleheads,” according to the GEO4, probably passed the “unknown points of no return” [environmentally], because they were programmed to do so when they were converted from Pagans to Monotheists? 
Spinoza could not envision mankind undermining the ecological structures of the planet. Although the agrarian economies in the 17th century had an environmental impact, the damage was negligible because:
- They practiced sustainable farming.
- The population had not reached carrying capacity.
- It was against the law not to grow HEMP.
The eco-friendliest plant in all of history was so important that King Henry VIII in 1535 and Queen Elizabeth in 1563 signed into law that every landowner must grow HEMP. In colonial America, you could be jailed for refusing to grow hemp (Hemp in Colonial Virginia, G. M. Herdon).
Hemp was a major crop until the 1920s, supplying the world with its main supply of food and fiber (80% of clothing was made from Hemp). Natural biomass from hemp could provide the planet energy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. (Major Crop Chronology of Hemp throughout history)
“The Cotton Manufacture of England (and subsequently, America) presents a spectacle unparalleled in the annals of industry, whether we regard the suddenness of its growth, the magnitude which it has attained, or the disaster to the environment the “wonderful inventions” to which its progress is to be ascribed.
Cotton in the 1700’s was rare: Whilst the writers of antiquity, both sacred and profane, abound in allusions to clothing made of wool, flax and hemp, there are scarcely a dozen sentences to be found in the whole body of Greek and Latin literature, and not one in Hebrew, referring to cotton.” (The Cotton Manufacture, Baaxitea by Jos Writftii, R.A)
Cotton, heavily dependent on fossil fuels and pesticides, allows us to wear the latest fashions while drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes at Starbucks pondering if an SUV or station wagon will make us look fat or if an SUV is a fat station wagon.
The birth of the textile industry marked the last time Earth would be in ecological balance. The Powers That Be (TPTB, The House of Rothschild) convinced the textile industry that we should wear clothes made out of the one plant that does more damage to the environment than coffee or tobacco…Cotton (Cotton Industry Running Down Myths And Misinformation, By Elton Robinson).
In the early 20th century, historians (such as Charles Beard) looking for the social forces they thought controlled history, emphasized industrialization and urbanization.
These were forces unleashed by the Industrial Revolution and the Textile Industry. By the mid 20th century, attention turned to the broader concept of “modernization,” which included industrialization, urbanization, psychological changes and changes in values. Eric Hobsbawm called “modernization” (Consumerism), “probably the most important event in human history” (Hobsbawm 1988, p. 46 Industrial Revolution, Berg and Hudson, (1992)).
Spinoza recommended a way of life that “acknowledges and appropriates the fundamental consequences of our position in the world as mere modes of the one true being.”
Mankind had free will: he could choose a way of life that acknowledges and appropriates the fundamental consequences of our position in the world and live a sustainable existence, or choose consumerism, way of life based on a belief that God wanted him clothed, fed and car-ed. Man’s existence as a consumer would weaken Natura with environmental damage and pollution. The Question of Questions
The world turned when the secret societies, beginning with the Knights Templar and the Rosicrucians (TPTB) armed with the lost knowledge of the ancient world, embarked (not so secretly) on a plan to use humans to weaken the earth with environmental damage and pollution. 
“According to the Egyptian priests that Plato’s informant had spoken with, Atlantis had a prosperous and sophisticated civilization before its demise. Advanced in science, it was also in possession of knowledge concerning both the geography and geomancy of the entire earth. Geomancy is the discovery and mapping of power places on either regional or global scales.” 
Ancient knowledge allowed the Knights Templar (and their successors, the Illuminati, The House of Rothschild) to see a future where consumerism would weaken Mother-Earth (Natura).
At the beginning of the French Revolution, kings, monarchs and the despots of our history books held supreme power. By the time it ended, the human rights movement replaced centuries of tyranny and oppression for the common man.
Roger Chartier writes in The Cultural Origins of The French Revolution, the popular notion that the Enlightenment caused the Revolution makes the mistake of post hoc ergo propter hoc – “after the fact, therefore because of the fact.”
Thus, Chartier and other historians without a 20th century environmental perspective of the middle class “trashing the planet” could not understand why the despots did not use their Guillotine and dispense with such a heretical movement.
Thank those kings, monarchs and the despots for not cutting off our heads, but blame them for the environmental damage and pollution, the forces of “modernization” caused once the “Third Estate” (97% of the east-west population) was liberated and became consumers, and then after World War II, hyper-consumers.
Spinoza did not live long enough to make the connection of “mindless beings trapped in a 20th century spiritual void” that, according to the GEO4 a massive United Nations report, put humanity at serious risk due to “the dangers of climate change, water scarcity, dwindling fish stocks and the pressures on the land and the extinction of species.” The report finds the planet in “dire environmental straits because humanity’s footprint [its environmental demand] is 21.9 hectares per person while the Earth’s biological capacity is, on average, only 15.7 ha/person.”
 Paganism represents a wide variety of traditions that emphasize reverence for nature and a revival of ancient polytheistic religious practices.
Paganism is not a traditional religion, per se but one of the common beliefs is the divine presence in nature and the reverence of the natural order in life.
Spiritual growth is related to the cycles of the Earth and great emphasis is placed on ecological concerns.
Monotheism and atheism (the opposite of paganism or pantheism) is almost universally rejected within Paganism and most Pagan traditions are particularly rooted in the revival of ancient polytheist religious traditions.
Indigenous populations of “savages”, pagans, traditionally and historically believed humans were created to be caretakers of the garden — Mother Earth. They held all things of creation sacred and respected Nature.
- Never take more than we need;
- Thank Creator for what we have or what we will receive;
- Use all of what we have;
- Give away what we do not need.
Had the pagan bobbleheads been allowed to live according to the divine idea that all things were equal and no animal, including man, held dominion over other parts of creation, we could not have passed the “unknown points of no return” [environmentally].
For many Pagans, maintaining balance between humanity and nature is also an important purpose of being human. Humans exist not merely to enjoy the bounty of the environment, but also to serve and protect the environment, not only for future generations of humans, but indeed for the sake of nature itself. Although such a values-driven understanding of life’s purpose is far from universally held within the Pagan community, for many this is an important part of their chosen spirituality. In a spirit of noblesse oblige, humanity’s intelligence and vision carry with them a responsibility to care for the well being of nature as a whole.
Finally, some Pagans do accept a metaphysical understanding of life’s purpose, derived from mythology and spiritual beliefs. Living a good life can create positive karma, which can lead to a blessed afterlife existence and/or a favorable reincarnation.
 The “good news” to Monotheists (Jews, Christians and Muslims) is that their purpose here on earth is to love God and accept the free gift of salvation and then it’s off to heaven.
 We passed the “unknown points of no return” because until October 2008, TPTB were using humans to weaken the planet with environmental damage and pollution. The Bank of the Fed is Closed…Forever
Until the Crusades the “bobbleheads” thinking was predominantly Pagan, that is the inhabitants believed they were only a small part of the whole circle of life and that each part of creation played a significant role in the contentment and survival of the other.
All of that changed beginning in 1096 when Christianity decreed that man was now the greatest and most important part of creation  and culminated in August 26, 1789 with “The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” (The Declaration).
The Declaration, the quintessential Enlightenment document written by Marquis de Lafayette gave mankind a sense of entitlement to the resources of the world. At the bottom of the text of the French Declaration (www.constitution.org/fr/fr_drm.htm), we read: “The above document was written by The Marquis de Lafayette, with help from his friend and neighbor, American envoy to France, Thomas Jefferson. Preamble. http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/chap3a.html
The Declaration contains many Masonic, Illuminist and alchemical symbols such as (starting from the top): the Eye of the Great Architect in glory, the Orobouros (snake eating its tail), the Phrygian cap (the red hat under the Ouroboros) and the fasces. Let’s not forget the two Masonic pillars on each side sustaining everything. Freemasonry and the Survival of the Eucharistic Brotherhoods by Mark Hoffman
In a documentary on Masonic monuments in Paris, Jacques Ravenne, a French author and high level Freemason said:
“The Declaration of Human Rights, which was created in France and gradually adopted around the world, was conceived, discussed and written in Masonic lodges before being released to the public. One can retrace those Masonic origins by the use of symbols, which bear little significance to the profane but are extremely important to the initiate.” http://www.erichufschmid.net/TFC/Rothschild-timeline-revised-excerpt.html
As you would expect John’s beliefs are consistent with most religious theology; that is you get to heaven when you connect with the higher power, and do good works by demanding that the resources of the world are distributed equally in the name of the deity that benefit humankind.
But in fact John’s humanistic view and importance of mankind can be found in every discussion of philosophy, psychology, spirituality and science since the end of the 16th century. All of them look to finding ways to bring mankind closer to each other and farther away from Mother Earth (Gaea).
Humanist/Biological – continue humankind through reproduction. Since the end of life is death, they argue that the creation of more humans is the most important thing and that the true meaning of life is our connection to others: biologically, socially and culturally. Otherwise humanity would cease to exist.
Hedonism/Freud – humans are here simply to just enjoy life and strive for a happy existence. Sigmund Freud, the Viennese doctor called this view the pleasure principle. Humanity is meant to experience maximum pleasure and minimum pain
Hedonism/Maslow The humanistic branch of psychology most associated with Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. Humanistic psychologists concentrate on individual potential and purpose in life.
Existentialists – Jean Paul Sartre said, “Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself.” In this view, personal freedom may be seen as having the potential of both positive and negative outcomes depending on the choices one makes.
Advance or help humankind – humankind should help end suffering and strive for equality and human rights for all people. Variations include, contribute to society through their work, and discover technological or other types of advances to aid in the positive progress of humankind or following their principles as their most important purpose in life.
Transhumanism – the meaning of life is to improve the human body by extending that life. Transhumanists seek mental and physical improvements in concerned with stopping the aging process. Transhumanist views hold that since life began through evolution, it is up to evolved humans to control and extend the quality of life.
Meaningless – Some people answer that there is no point in even trying to find the true meaning of life because the question is just so deep or they view life as an existence with no deep meaning attached to it.
Logical positivist – The logical positivist approach to the verification of something considered to be meaningful is that something must be able to be logically or cognitively determined to be true. Since the logical positivist verifiability criterion cannot prove the answer to the question what is the true meaning of life? Positivists tend to view the question as meaningless.
Nihilism – German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche’s view of nihilism voids human existence of having any meaning. There is no meaning to why we are here. Nietzsche considered Christianity’s concern with the afterlife stronger than its occupation with life on Earth, so he considered the meaning of life empty.
Illusion – French philosopher and scientist, Rene Descartes, asserts that life may not even be real, but rather may only be a dream. He questions the reality of our physical bodies. Some people hold the view that the true meaning of why humankind is here is the result of either accident or coincidence.
The philosophers, scholars and thinkers of the time, without a 20th century perspective on environmental damage and pollution, would not consider that the bobbleheads, former serfs and slaves until the French Revolution, were ”programmed” into shopping for stuff to trash the planet. Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité – Providence, Miracle or What Really Happened
 The Knights Templar: their origins go back to Solomon’s Temple, the Great Pyramid and Atlantis, have been associated with the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, a secret fleet that sailed the oceans, and an awe-inspiring self-confidence and known today as the preservers of knowledge and sacred objects.The Amazing Knights Templar By David Hatcher Childress http://www.newdawnmagazine.info/Article/The_Amazing_Knights_Templar.html Freemasons, Priory of Sion, Illuminati, Templars and Other Groups Explained by Jotter Scalems in Organizations, May 21, 2008
Atlantis Between 3113 BC and 1198 BC, there were the pass-by and eventual impact of the cometary object (called Proto-Encke) which destroyed the legendary island of Atlantis, located approximately 250 miles west of the Straits of Gibraltar. The Destruction of Atlantis, and Survivors of Atlantis, Frank Joseph
In his dialogues, Critias and Timaeus, Plato states that Atlantis sank beneath the waters following a great cataclysm 9000 years before his time. Until recently, the notion of a sunken island in the Atlantic was considered preposterous however recent geological, oceanographic, climatological and biological studies have conclusively shown that numerous islands did indeed exist in the Atlantic and other parts of the world in Paleolithic and Neolithic times. Sacred Geography in Ancient Europe, Martin Gray 2006, http://www.knowth.com/sacred-geography-1.htm
According to the Egyptian priests that Plato’s informant had spoken with, Atlantis had a prosperous and sophisticated civilization before its demise. Advanced in science, it was also in possession of knowledge concerning both the geography and geomancy of the entire earth.
 Geomancy may be defined as the discovery and mapping of power places on either regional or global scales. Evidence is accumulating which indicates that the mysterious Atlantis culture had mapped a planet-spanning grid of these terrestrial power points positioned with geometric regularity. This geomantic information, in various forms, later left its imprint on the sacred geographies of numerous other cultures. Globally occurring legends also tell of astronomer-sages who knew of grand celestial cycles, the existence of past cataclysms and the possibility of future ones. Geomantic power places would become, thousands of years later, the sacred sites of megalithic and succeeding cultures. The Magic Land ?by Martin Gray, http://www.world-mysteries.com/gw_mgray2.htm