The New Commandments



It is written that our greatest god first introduced his laws to humankind with the command: Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me. Such an introduction is clear evidence to me that these must be the words from a deluded human mind, and from this I think it only reasonable to deduce that god was also invented by such minds.


Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me is simple religion-speak for: I am the best god, this is the best religion and therefore its members are the best of all people. Perhaps it’s time for humanity to move on from words that sow the seeds of derision, conflict, judgment and egotism.


I suspect a few explanatory words are called for before one attempts any new beginning, and it’s these humble tomes presented herein which speak of such a rebirth – a new genesis. Anyone with even the smallest amount of honesty must surely recognize that our ways of old - our ancient archetypal stories founded upon our fables, folk lore, unfounded superstitions, lies and beliefs have bought us to this pivotal moment in history of the human condition.


Could it be time for us to advance by upgrading our notions of what exactly is good and what exactly is bad relative to life today? Is the ever-greater power of nature warning us to mend or modify our ways or face annihilation? Is debate on such a topic useful or even allowable today? These are just some of the big issues which should be in all thinking peoples’ minds. They’re in mine, and so I feel it not so unreasonable when I dream of the day when we will vanquish our worn out isms to a special purpose built museum somewhere wherein they can be trawled over by academics and philosophers and held up as examples of human folly in which ego, conflict, conceit, self-interest, blind faith and just plain stupidity ruled.


If we really want more of the same we simply need to stick to our many isms – our unfounded faiths, as that is precisely what we will receive. When it comes to religious beliefs, whenever they are challenged, banging ones head harder upon a stone wall will only result in even more injury. The challenge or threat still remains.


If you’re a person who feels humanity deserves more then why not contemplate a completely new start – a rewrite of our stories wherein our new heroes present us with new guidelines which speak universally irrespective of race, color, customs, culture and religion. Join the debate. Be one of the first to try them out. Raise these issues with your friends and others as this is what this essay strives to achieve. Encourage people to think for themselves.


The first commandment in Christendom orders that: Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me. This is religion-speak for: ours is the best religion because we have the best god which means we are better than you. Isn’t it time we rise above these deadly, divisive, ego-centric and primitive notions? Look at what such an ideology, which drives all the major religions, has done to us. Do we really want more of the same religious and sectarian violence and bigotry? Do we all really want to be held at ransom by the escalating violence and tensions in the Middle East and elsewhere – violence which has nuclear weapons poised and aimed on most sides?


I’ve dispensed with the religion-speak and labeled the new commandments below “suggestions” since we have all sought suggestions in the past on how to solve particularly stubborn problems and when a suggestion is offered it is up to our free choice whether we choose to accept or decline the advice offered. So, in such a spirit, proceed with the suggestions accordingly and remember if we want more of the same we need simply cling to our old isms. No one is telling, commanding or threatening anyone whatsoever.


This is meant to stimulate debate. It is also a work-in-progress. The suggestions will never be etched on stone tablets and secreted away in a mythical box-like container (Ark of the Covenant) never to be seen by human eyes. They are not even divine revelations from some invisible god. Instead, they are distilled from the thoughts and ideas of the many wise and thinking folk that I have had the pleasure of crossing paths with in my 64 years journey upon this planet. They are also distilled from some of the words of the world’s greatest thinkers of a bygone era and whose golden words are so easily accessible to everyone – an era when thinking for yourself was seen as something to be cultivated and admired as opposed to today’s appetite for blind acceptance and outsourcing ones thinking. Here, there is no room for blind faith, only its antidote – the pursuit of wisdom, knowledge and debate.


So why bother offering my suggestions in the first place? And by what authority do I do so? Well, firstly I don’t claim to have all the answers, or any for that matter, but I do feel my message herein is compelling. Secondly, as a concerned and reasonably informed member of the human race I feel I have every right to voice my opinions, suggestions, and concerns. It’s what some humans do. And thirdly, I was once deeply involved in a religious group for 15 years and for around 10 of those years I was their second-in-command of a very large group or congregation. You are invited to read a full account of this involvement in my e-book All The Emperor’s Men or my essay on How I Escaped Religion. So, from a once-deep religious involvement I feel I speak with certain degree of authority.


“How arrogant and conceited I am for striving to outdo god with new commandments” I hear some say. Well, no, I don’t see it that way since I don’t believe in the gods, but I do strive to live a spiritual life wherein I constantly struggle to attain a life in balance with nature with ever-growing joy, wisdom and knowledge. I take full responsibility for my actions, my thoughts and my beliefs since I am able to separate spirituality for religion.


Okay, enough of my musings. Lets give the suggestions below a road test.


WARNING              WARNING              WARNING


Please be warned that the new commandments listed below have not yet been tried or tested on humankind at large. Use with caution and common sense! Possible side effects could include: sudden outbreaks of kindness, justice, equality, prosperity and feelings of wellbeing. Be warned.


Suggestions For A Better Life


I.      Thou Shalt Have No Gods Whatsoever.

Not surprising, one is urged here to consider an existence without an omnipresent and invisible god bearing down upon ones life. These unseen gods which much of humankind is addicted to are simply human inventions. The term ‘gods’ could also have an even broader interpretation to include, but not limited to: obsessive attachments, e.g. consumerism, narcissism, egotism, religious-isms, the excessive pursuit of great wealth and power and an unhealthy allegiance to unproven ideologies and beliefs. To some folk the aforementioned could easily become false gods as in the end they do not make people happy: instead they enslave people.


II. Know Your Place Within Great Nature And Learn How To Safely And Creatively Live

Within Its Powers and Laws.

Come to terms with the truth that it’s great nature that ultimately rules supreme. Defy these rules and you can easily come to grief. A simple example of transgression could be someone challenging nature’s universal laws of gravity. No matter who you might be, saint or sinner, if you fall or jump from a great height death or serious injury is inevitable. A similar transgression could be the adding of too much carbon dioxide and methane gas, etc, into the atmosphere.


III. Always Strive To Seek That Which Is Good.

Practise seeing the positive in all people and situations. See them as opportunities to nurture your mind and spirit. Become a ‘glass is half full’ person. Of course, if someone or a situation is simply too gross just turn away and leave great nature to take its ultimate course. Warning: in today’s world such situations, etc, seem to present themselves all too often making it very difficult to practice this consistently. Here, I often struggle against becoming disheartened. Seeking the good that our planet has to offer could also include a love of nature and the arts.


IV. Respect And Always Further Promote The Rights And Opportunities Of Women.

Since half the world’s population is female it seems unbelievable that women in most countries are still treated as second class citizens being denied equal opportunities, equal rights and often persecuted and abused in all manner of unspeakable ways even though this is illegal and against the laws of great nature. What a disgrace and a wasted opportunity for the advancement of the human race. I suspect that women would rarely wage war or want to lead religious movements. Men, don’t be fearful, move over and let them in. The protection and proper nurture of children would also be included here. They are our future.


V. Do No Harm To Others.

Depending upon the situation, and other possible influences, we should avoid all types of harm to others including cruelty to animals. Assuming it is understood that murder, violence and deceit are considered harmful we could expand here to include offering assistance with the aforementioned. Some examples could include, but not limited to, most forms of military offensives. Since we still live in an imperfect world certain defensive military actions are still probably essential for the greater good. Other examples of harm could include unfair financial and banking strategies which result in great gains for those institutions and great losses for the populace. There are many other examples too numerous to mention here, but reflection upon what the results of our actions could be is required here. Our actions will be in accord with our respect and understanding of the laws of great nature.


VI. Seek Wisdom, Knowledge And Fair Debate.

As we grow wiser our decisions and actions should bear more fruit as we follow the laws of great nature more closely. Be more discerning in the books, entertainment and information we absorb. Let these be fertilizer for our

mind and soul.


VII. Take Responsibility For All Aspects Of Our Life.

This suggestion involves the practice of thinking for oneself, forming ones own opinions and being true to oneself. This could eventually result in living our lives more usefully by doing good work, having a good occupation, good interests and useful community involvement. To achieve the aforementioned we must therefore maintain good health by good diet whilst also maintaining freedom of thoughts, actions and choice. It could also include our being prepared to change our minds and opinions as new information or evidence, etc, becomes available.


The End/The Beginning.


Garry Greenwood.


For a copy of the author’s e-book ALL THE EMPEROR’S MEN


For a free copy of the author’s recent essay HOW I ESCAPED THE RELIGION INDUSTRY


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