Friday, December 25, 2015


Do you agree that suicide bombers,
members of destructive religious cults,
political fanatics, drug addicts,
neurotics and depressed people
are bewitched by crazy beliefs and ideas?

Do you agree that many beliefs and ideas,
spiritual as well as religious or secular,
can create serious problems?

Do you agree that it is possible that also you are holding on to
beliefs and ideas that create problems for you
or for people around you, even though you're not aware of it?

Do you agree that it is difficult, but not impossible,
to let go of a crazy belief or idea?

Do you agree that the first step is to understand
that a crazy idea is just a crazy idea,
not the truth of the matter?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The map and the territory

You have a map that matches poorly with the landscape. Maybe it is too old. And you have a crappy inner compass that shows the wrong direction. But you don't want to get yourself a new map and a new compass because you're stubborn and stingy. Good maps and good compasses are expensive.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Only a stock market crash can save us

Ordinary folks across the world want cheap gas for their cars. We do not care if the planet becomes uninhabitable in fifty or a hundred years. We live here and now. Huge protests arise, both here and in poor countries if prices on gasoline are increased too much.

Only a tiny minority wants to limit their consumption and save energy. The overwhelming majority wants more of everything and as cheaply as possible. Farmers in Brazil and Indonesia will not stop clearing rain forests. They want to raise cattle or grow oil palms. Chinese and Indians will not stop burning coal. They need cheap energy.

Therefore it is totally unrealistic to expect a climate agreement in Paris which leads to a temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius. Politicians can negotiate till the cows come home; the great majority does not give a damn about their solemn speeches and declarations. The only hope for humanity is a huge stock market crash; that the current economic system collapses.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Human true nature

Selfish people usually come to the conclusion that human beings are 
selfish by nature. They see selfishness and greed everywhere.
It is normal to be selfish, they say. They believe that friendliness,
helpfulness and love are nothing but covers, a means to a selfish end.

People who are not completely selfish often think that a human being 
is a mixture of good and bad. They feel that they have a little devil
sitting on the left shoulder, whispering in the left ear, and a little angel
sitting on the right shoulder.

Ordinary decent men can be transformed into monsters when they are sent to war
and hardened criminals can repent and change their ways when they find Jesus.

Rabbits are fearful and lions are lazy but what are we made of, really?

Some people believe that human beings, deep down somewhere,
have a true, unconditioned nature, an essence, others believe that we don't.
They believe that we are in constant flux; that nothing in nature is unchanging.

I have no idea about these things. How would I know?
What is your take? What do you think?

Where did you get your beliefs from? Have you listened to a bunch of windbags
on YouTube and made their beliefs your own?  How do you explain that different
teachers have arrived at different conclusions?
Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and atheist teachers produce different explanations?
Why is that so? Have some of them misunderstood something?
What kind of people do you trust, and why?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Who are you?

You have a nationality. You belong to a group or a tribe.
You are a leftist or a rightist, a protestant, a Hindu, a something.
You have a professional role. You have an identity.You are a clown or a crook.
You are a looser or a smart ass. You are an actor in in a play, or in different plays.

However, your character is not You.
You are not Hamlet or Ophelia when you are alone in your bed.
You are not the good girl or the bad boy in the bathtub by yourself.
Who are you, really, when you're alone with yourself;
just sitting here, or lying here, reading this?
Who are you when you are not acting? Who are you, really?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Simply human

Religion is not just about beautiful words and rituals, community
and marvelous buildings. Religions have throughout history
also caused much anguish and sorrow: war, oppression of women and children,
witch-hunts and persecution.

Many political ideologies are similar to religions. 
It is possible to condemn atrocities that have been carried out by Nazis 
or communists, but it is not OK to say that Protestants, Catholics and Hindus
have caused immeasurable suffering in the world.

For the time being, it is Islam that causes the most problems. 
In Syria, Iraq and Yemen there is a war between Sunni and Shia Muslims.
In Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and many other countries, 
deeply devoted muslims are fighting terrible wars,
obsessed with the dream of establishing Islamist regimes
similar to that in Saudi Arabia.

In the seventeenth century, Catholics and Protestants fought
for thirty years here in Europe. But the conflict did not end with
the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The bitter conflict lived on.

The crusades, the genocides of indigenous peoples in the colonies
and slavery in the American south are other examples of atrocities
committed by pious Christians. 
The conflict between Jews and Palestinians is also a religious conflict. 
It is obvious that religious beliefs and labels can cause unspeakable suffering.

I think that we who are not religious, and who are not possessed
by any political ideology must be clearer that there is an alternative.
Perhaps this could be helpful for those who want to defect.
It is possible to live a good life without being a follower of any particular doctrine. 
It is possible to simply be human.

You don't have to be a Christian, a Muslim or a Hindu.
You don't have to be an atheist.
You don't have to be a neoconservative, a libertarian or a liberal,
a communist, a socialist, an environmentalist…
You can simply be a human being.

If you insist to cling to your particular religion or political doctrine,
if you can't give it up, then you must, at least, accept the idea of a
pluralistic, secular society and stop complaining about other peoples crazy ideas,
If you can't even do this, then you are a part of the madness.
Then you are fooled, bewitched, mesmerized.

Friday, October 9, 2015


Your heart is just a pump, your eyes are just camera lenses
and your ears are just ordinary microphones. 
Your brain is a computer and your mind is the software.

Your body is simply a machine, a robot,
organs and limbs assembled by the biological evolution.
These organs and limbs are made of atoms, mainly carbon, oxygen,
hydrogen and nitrogen. At a more fundamental level,
all these atoms are made of elementary particles.  

Your consciousness, your sense of I, is created in your brain. 
When you are anaesthetized before an operation your sense of I disappear.
You're gone. When you die, you're gone forever.

You are not a mystery. You are nothing but a machine.
To be alive is not a miracle. Modern science has it all figured out, practically.
Mystical experiences can easily be explained by modern neuroscientists.
A mystical experience is simply a hallucination, a delusion.

You have to be realistic, otherwise you'll go under like a ship in a storm
You have to have money. Someone has to bring home the bacon.

If a religion or spiritual belief system makes you feel less anxious,
or if it´s helpful to you in some other way, fine. Go for it.
But first you have to make sure that there is food in the fridge
so that your kids don't have to starve.

However, then what?
You have food in the fridge and a roof over your head, safe and warm,
with a nice family and friends. This is not enough. You need something more.
You need more money, more friends and more sex partners.
This is what life is all about.

If you have a million dollars, try to get a billion.
If  you have a billion, try to get ten billions.
If you don't want to come across as too greedy,
you can always get involved in some charity work or start to collect art.
Be realistic. Nothing but money counts, really.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Scientific and religious speculations

Maybe this universe is just one universe
among billions and billions of other universes. So what!
What difference does this idea make to you, in your daily life?

Maybe some part of me lives on after death, maybe angels and spirits really exist; maybe there is a God somewhere, or a bunch of gods. I couldn't care less.
I have much more urgent questions to deal with.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


The sense of self, the observer of thoughts that pop up,
is also created in the brain, I believe.

The whole world is created in our brains.
Your eyes detect certain wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation.
The optic nerves transport this information to your visual center.
There it is processed and an image is formed.
Sounds that you hear are created in your auditory center.
Smells are sensed by neurons in your olfactory center.
What you perceive as the reality
is simply electrochemical activity in your brain cells.
The 'here-and-now' experience is not the real reality,
it is just a fraction of it.
And, as I said, also the perceiver is electrochemical activity in brain cells.

Before life emerged, the universe consisted of practically nothing,
empty space with a few quarks and electrons here and there,
radiation, strange energies, electromagnetic fields and vibrating strings.

In the distant future, when life on earth has disappeared,
the material world, the reality as we knew it, will also be gone.
The party will be over.

Well, perhaps other life forms will develop in other parts of the universe.
Or, perhaps there are other life forms, right now, on other planets
that also create realities and hard facts. Who knows.

the brain is not some kind of receiver that picks up cosmic consciousness,
I believe.
The sense of self, the I, is gone at night
or when I am put to sleep before an operation.

Of course it is possible that the brain really is some kind of receiver
of cosmic consciousness signals. Maybe it is simply turned off at night,
much like when we turn off the TV-set when we are going to bed,
but I don't believe this is the case.
How would I know anything about these things? No one knows.

My mind, as well as your mind, is filled with beliefs, ideas and assumptions.
However, sometimes I manage to remind myself
that my assumptions, ideas and beliefs are just thoughts
that are created in my language center.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Delusions can be useful or useless

Reality sucks and then you die.
You have to find something that can make your life worth living,
Set up a goal for yourself, get yourself a hobby.
Do something.

The real world is horrible.
You have to find some kind of diversion,
a religion, a fantasy, a belief system, anything that works is OK.
Alcohol and marijuana are very effective.
A crazy love story, running, computer games, books,
long hours of hard work, partying, shopping...
Engage yourself deeply in something, social justice, the environment,
mindfulness meditation, a free market system,
whatever that works for you is fine.

You have to forget about the reality in order to survive.
You have to find a partner, you have to get something to eat,
you have to find a place to stay, you have to propagate.
This is the law of the jungle.

From time to time reality will intrude and you will break down.
After some time of grief, you'll have to pick yourself up and move on.

What else can you do?
Without a delusion, you're totally lost.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Dysfunctional beliefs

Religions and spiritual teachings are harmless
as long as you don't take them too seriously.

If you are fully convinced that Christianity is the only belief system that is true
and that those who don't like your interpretation of the Bible will burn in hell,
then you will create problems for yourself and for other people.
You have not secured an eternal life because of this belief.

If you truly believe in ghosts, astrology and evil spirits,
then you are nuts.

If you believe that egotism and greed must have free reign,
that a totally free market is the answer to all problems
and that the super rich should not pay tax
then you are contributing to endless troubles in the world,
climate change, pollution, exploitation.

If you truly believe that life is totally meaningless, then you have a problem.
You have a dysfunctional belief that has nothing to do with the truth.
Etc. etc.

The stronger your dysfunctional beliefs and convictions are,
the more problems they will cause.

However, when you realize that a belief is really just a belief,
a hypothesis, a bunch of thoughts, then you can relax a little
and you will feel better.

And if it should struck you that life may be extremely important
and that all creatures have some kind of incomprehensible purpose
then you will feel a very pleasant kind of relief.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I wish had nicer beliefs

I do not believe that any part of me will live on after death.
This is it. There will not be another show.

I do not believe that there is a future for humankind.
Homo sapiens will die out,
like millions and millions of other species have died out before us
in the biological evolution.

Our time on this earth has been about madness.
We are a mad ape species.
I do not believe that we will change.
I do not believe in spiritual awakening.
A few people here and there may experience a radical change,
they may give up drinking or stop smoking,
they may think that they are born again,
they may feel that they have woken up,
but the majority will not change.
The majority don't care a bit about global warming and pollution.
The majority wants cheap gasoline.
The majority will always follow orders.
The majority will always go to war and commit horrible war crimes
if the superiors tell them to do so.
The inferiors will always believe what their superiors tell them to believe.
(A superior man is also asleep, hypnotized by his beliefs 
If he wakes up he will not be superior to anyone else.
This goes of course also for inferior men. Inferior men are also hypnotized.)

I don't mind if you have found a private belief system
that gives you consolation and reassurance. No problem.
As long as your beliefs don't create to much trouble for me or for other people
you can believe whatever you want.
I don't mind if you believe in angels, ghosts, spirits or Santa Claus.

The organized religions, however, are often extremely harmful.
Followers of religions or different interpretations of the same religion
always seem to go to war to fight each other in horrible wars.
They do not just sing songs or bow down in a certain direction.
Today Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims are fighting each other in Syria and Iraq.
In the seventeenth century Protestants and Catholics were fighting.
Maybe it is our mad ape nature that is the cause of these idiotic wars,
not the religions. Maybe the religions are just excuses. I don't know.
Anyhow, the result will be the same.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Spiritual walls

Religious and spiritual teachers are building walls between people.
If you believe in reincarnation and I don't, you will feel questioned and threatened.

If you believe in an afterlife in heaven together with Jesus and I believe that I shall enjoy myself with 72 virgins when I die, then we will look at each other with deep skepticism here in this world.

If you define yourself as Sunni Muslim and I define myself as Shia Muslim, then we will be bitter enemies.

If you are falling in love with Matt Kahn's teachings and I still have no interest in spiritual teachers, then our friendship will crumble.

etcetera, etcetera

Who are you, without your beliefs, ideas and assumptions?

Friday, May 8, 2015

You will be blessed according to your faith

Not believing in Santa Claus is also a belief. Many of those who don't believe in Santa are like religious fanatics. They try to shove their faith down other people's throats. Neither Pol Pot, Stalin or Hitler believed in Santa. Isn't that telling?  

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Some believe they have been saved, others believe they are spiritually awake. Some think they are wonderful, others are convinced they are worthless and that they ought to kill themselves. Some believe they are superior, not because they are stronger or smarter, no,  just because they happened to be born into a family with money; others believe they are inferior. You are not the one you think you are.

Friday, April 3, 2015


We must learn to respect all the different religious faiths. Religious faiths are still extremely important for virtually all people here on earth. To question someone's beliefs is to question his or her soul.

We must learn to respect the IS, al-Shabab and Boko Haram. 
We must learn to respect the Hindus ideas about caste and the right-wing bigotry of the Christian fundamentalists. We must respect the Catholic Church's opposition to condoms. We must understand that if someone loses his faith he is like a skipper without charts.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Spiritual knowlede

In The Roman Empire, in the second century, there were almost a hundred different Gnostic sects. All these sects were at loggerheads. All were convinced that they had unique knowledge about how the world is designed. Everyone else was wrong. There were also many other competing sects, mystery orders and philosophical schools.

If you're looking for ancient words of wisdom to give weight to your spiritual beliefs, it doesn't matter what spiritual beliefs you have, you can find what you're looking for in the second century Rom.

You can also, of course, find proof that your beliefs are valid in ancient India and China. You can find spiritual wisdom everywhere in the ancient world, but you can't find it here, in your own world.


If you are listening to a guru, do not listen to what he is saying. Pay attention to what he forgets to mention. What do you expect to get from an Indian guru who forgets to mention the horrors of the caste system and the misogyny in Indian spirituality?

This applies also to western spiritual teachers who change their names to Hindu names. There is no perennial wisdom. There is only perennial nonsense.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A relaxed mind

Almost all people here on earth define themselves in ethnic, religious or political terms. Moreover, many of those who have no interest in ethnicity, religion or politics, nonetheless live according to a belief system, a belief system that they are not aware of. For example, they can be convinced that they have to climb the career ladder and become something great in the eyes of others, or they may be convinced of that life is utterly pointless. Not many people have begun to wake up yet. Almost all the people are in some kind of mesmerized state of mind.

To consciously opt out to be a follower of any religion or political ideology is extremely offensive to some people. In many Muslim countries this is a serious crime. You can be sentenced to death. It is better to keep this position for yourself, also here in the western world


It can be enormously painful to leave a religious cult. Many former cult members can bear witness to how painful it is to lose all friends. Sometimes they also lose their family. The emptiness and loneliness can be overwhelming. It can also be very painful to abandon a political or a philosophical ideology. It can be painful to abandon a destructive lifestyle. Even abandoning common everyday assumptions what life is all about can be painful. It is painful to wake up.

Why abandon a belief, an idea, a habit or an assumption if it is so painful? Isn't it better to follow the line of least resistance? Isn't it better to stay in your sect, church, or political party? Why complicate life so much? Why not just keep your beliefs, your drinking buddies and your family? Why not just stay in the warmth of your community?

Because, if you've come this far, there are no options. You simply can't stand to hear more drivel. You simply have to get out and get some fresh air.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


It doesn't matter which path you choose in life.
All paths lead to the same goal.

Friday, February 6, 2015


Materialism and spirituality are just words, mental concepts.
Reality itself is not material or spiritual.
It is impossible to talk about the true nature of reality without using words.
We will never know what reality is like, really.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dark thoughts

It's not just politicians and oil company executives who are reluctant to limit the carbon dioxide emissions. People all over the world want cheap gasoline. We also want pleasant room temperatures and cheap airline tickets. We don't want to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases

We also want cheap food and cheap clothes. That the production of cheap food requires toxic chemicals and terrible factory farms, and that cheap clothes require extremely low wages for the textile workers, is not something we care too much about. It's only a very small percentage of the world’s population who are trying to reduce their environmental impact and who are trying to avoid exploiting other people. Therefore I don't think there is a future for humanity.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


There are so many different kinds of Islam that the word Muslim can mean almost anything. There are also many different kinds of Christianity. There are no Christian ethics and morals. There are many different kinds of “Christian ethics and morals”. American right-wing Christianity and Liberation theology have nothing in common. Saudi Arabian Wahhabism and Sufism are totally different ways of interpreting Islam. It's meaningless to speak of Christianity and Islam. These words don’t mean anything. Being human, however, is to be human. To be a human being means something.

Designations, religious as well as political, can cause terrible wars and conflicts. These designations are not just covers to hide underlying motives. Sunni or Shia, Hutu or Tutsi, Catholic or Protestant, Serb or Croat, nationalist or liberal... A religious or political designation is not just a pretext to pick a fight. The designations are the causes of conflicts. We don't attack those who we believe are on our side, who describe themselves in the same way as we do. For those who live in Iraq the designations Sunni and Shia are extremely important, although all Iraqis really belong to the same group, humanity.

What distinguishes a Sunni Muslim from a Shia Muslim? What distinguishes a Jew from a Palestinian? Some believe in Santa Claus and others believe in the Easter Bunny? How can different beliefs be so enormously important?

Why is it so important with fictitious identities? Why is it so difficult to abandon a fictional character? Are you like an actor who doesn't change clothes when you go home after work? Are you sitting there on the commuter train as Hamlet or Ophelia? Why is it so hard for you to simply be human? Why is it so incredibly important for you to dress up and pretend to be someone else?

Is it possible for a human being, do you think, to not classify himself or herself, as something other than a human being? Is it possible to drop all religious or political identities? Is it possible to opt out? Why is it so difficult? I mean, you don't need to belong to any particular group in order to do the laundry or the dishes. Most of the day you totally forget about how you are labeling yourself. What makes it so difficult to extend this natural mindset to all of your day.

It's difficult to leave a destructive cult. I can understand that. You will lose all your friends. But it is possible. If you happen to be a Muslim it is even more difficult. A Muslim who wants to leave Islam is committing a serious crime and can be sentenced to death. The only option for him or her is to pretend to be a good Muslim, to go through the motions, to play a game, and try the best he or she can, to stay sane.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Fanatic Muslims create enormous problems in the world today, and it's not a matter of just a few mad terrorists. In Saudi Arabia and Iran they are in power, and in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Mali and Pakistan, they are fighting to gain power.

I have met many Muslims, throughout the years, which I have had the deepest respect for. I have also met many good people who believed in astrology. Beliefs are not that important to me. Religions and superstitions are harmless, I think, as long as no one takes them too seriously. The problems come with convictions. The stronger the conviction is, the more problems it will create. Blind faith and convictions are serious problems. I say no to both religious and political convictions. I say no to Islamic fundamentalism, Christian evangelical fundamentalism, neoconservatism and right wing extremism.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Metaphorical interpretations

When the Quran calls for war, it is often an internal war the text is referring to,
an inner Jihad against temptations and selfishness.

When Krishna urges Arjuna, in the Bhagavad Gita, to do his duty and go to war,
it should be interpreted metaphorically.

Jewish rabbis have always been forced to find metaphorical interpretations
to the extremely violent and dreadful exhortations from their brutal God.

Why was it so hard for the authors of the ancient religious scriptures to call a spade a spade?

And why do the scribes of today spend so much of their precious time to find decent interpretations of the ancient texts? What do they find there that appeals to them? Why don’t they just write new books where they would be able to spell out clearly what they consider is right or wrong?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hold on

You don't want to let go of your ego,
like a little girl who don't want to let go of her security blanket.