RELIGION: a culturally transmitted psychiatric disorder

Religion is a psychiatric condition, whereby a mentally distorted belief model is sustained in juxtaposition with the pragmatic model of day to day experience. Those individuals with the condition usually function very effectively in the circumstances of ordinary daily existence but when confronted with uncertainty or unusual events like birth, death, catastrophe or exceptional good fortune, are able to seamlessly switch their operational model from that of daily reality, to one constructed from a disarray of psychic rubbish. The religious model is most usually perpetuated around the delusion that humans are of intrinsic cosmic value, and that they possess a dimension which is usually called spirituality. Religion is a state of human conceptual incoherence which manifests itself when the transience, inequities and random indifferences of a chaotic nature are confronted. It is an existential model, the principle absurdity of which is usually the unsubstantiated assertion that there is some form of life after death... be it resurrection or reincarnation or whatever. Because of an emphasis on the relative unimportance of 'this' life, there is a case to be made that religions that promote such a view represent in fact a psychiatric denial of life. A primary diagnostic symptom for aggressive monotheistic religions is their intolerance. In severe cases it can be fatal for all those nearby individuals who do not have the affliction.

For power-seeking individuals with a grasp of the vulnerability of such a mental condition, a religious system is also a means of exercising control over others. A model that offers simplistic life solutions as a reward for unquestioning compliance, and a group support system that gives a measure of security to the individual in the face of political and social power, is actively promoted by a few self-assured proponents to enhance the scope of their personal influence. The religion becomes a social control system of rules, beliefs and behaviours, that exchanges a sense of purpose and group security, for monetary contributions and a deference to one or more individuals who assume the power of domination and control. Whatever the supposed ethical or altruistic motives of the original religion are, inevitably, the social manipulators will seize upon the capacity of the religion to control the behaviour of the adherents, and contrive circumstances to their benefit.

Even those religions which promote prayer and meditation to excess are not less delusional than any other extreme activity. They suggest that by indulging in a meditation-prayer process it is possible to become at one with the universe. Exactly the opposite is actually what happens. By concentrating inwardly and inducing a feed-back loop of self-awareness, the individual proceeds down the pathway of excluding the universe. Their ego expands outwards to become their universe. They become a beacon of ego-centricism to themselves. Reality and participation in nature is eating and having sex and raising children and growing vegetable and exploring life's potential to the full. Pursuing the enjoyment of any activity... especially that of introspective meditation... to the exclusion of all else is no more meritorious or commendable than it is for overeating.

The disorder is nurture-infected by one generation on the next. The social bonding which occurs between human generations, because of the long period of up-bringing, usually creates an insuperable impediment for the new generation. For a new individual to revolt against the imposed infection belief system, the possibility of social rejection is considerable if not certain. Where an individual actually has an option, they can extricate themselves from the infection site and live elsewhere, thus acquiring an opportunity to make new friends and colleagues, and participate in an alternative social structure. Many individuals however do not have this option. They conform to the edicts of the controlling authority, or suffer rejection, persecution and even death. Where there is the luxury to be able to rail against the stupidities of religion, the righteous railler needs to retain the awareness, that whilst such behaviour may not have significant consequences for themselves, nevertheless, for many other individuals, the rejection of ones nurture beliefs can have quite devastating life consequences.

Gardening is an effective and cost-efficient therapy. It teaches that nature is not fair and does not compensate for unfairness. It teaches that life is only an opportunity and that death is an end. It teaches that if you grow too many vegetables and you give them away... it will not be a loss.