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Luke and Western Civilization

Lorin Friesen, April 2023

This is the second part of a two-part, 550 page essay that interprets the Gospel of Luke as a prophecy of Western civilization. This essay assumes a basic understanding of the theory of mental symmetry. An introduction to this theory can be found elsewhere. The methodology used in this essay is described in the introduction to the first part. A similar 800 page analysis has been done of the Gospel of Matthew.

Table of Contents

Part 1

7:1-10 Faith of the Centurion. Rebuilding the American Army after the Vietnam War.

7:11-17 Jesus raises Widow’s Son. The Jesus movement.

7:18-23 John asks about Jesus. Christian conversion and counselling.

7:24-28 Jesus discusses John. Christianity becomes marginalized by society.

7:29-35 Declaring God Righteous. Evangelicalism and the Moral Majority.

7:36-43 A Sinful Woman anoints Jesus. Contemporary Christian Music.

7:44-50 Jesus compares Simon with the Woman. The church adopts contemporary Christian music.

8:1-3 Women support Jesus. Videogame consoles and personal computers.

8:4-8 Parable of the Sower. Developing and programming personal computers.

8:9-15 Parable of the Sower Explained. Recognizing personal computers are transformative.

8:16-18 Lighting a Lamp. IBM compatible computers.

8:19-21 Redefining Family. The video game crash of 1983.

8:22-25 Jesus calms the Storm. Soviet, Chinese, and American economic freedom.

8:26-29 Demonic Man in the Tombs. Conspiracy theories and the New World Order.

8:30-34 Demons enter the Pigs. The ‘eternal September’ of Usenet.

8:35-39 The Man gains a Sound Mind. The development of the World Wide Web.

8:40-48 Jesus heals a Woman. The megachurch.

8:49-55 Jesus resurrects a Daughter. The cognitive theory of mental symmetry.

9:1-6 Disciples proclaim the Kingdom. The meta-theory of mental symmetry.

9:7-9 Herod perplexed by Jesus. The dilemma of the megachurch.

9:10-17 Feeding the Five Thousand. The spread of the World Wide Web.

9:18-20 Peter says Jesus is the Christ. The dawn of the Information Age.

9:21-22 The Son of Man must be Reborn. A reborn meta-theory.

9:23-27 Losing or Saving one’s Soul. A growing, global, information economy.

9:28-31 The Transfiguration. Globalization and the internet.

9:32-36 Three Tabernacles. Visions of globalization versus global infrastructure.

9:37-42 The Son with Convulsions. Anti-globalization protests.

9:43-45 The Son of Man will be Betrayed. Globalization threatens culture and identity.

9:46-50 Greatest in the Kingdom. Disruptive innovation.

9:51-56 Samaritans reject Jesus. Developing countries and westernization.

9:57-62 The cost of Transformation. High-tech disruptive companies.

10:1-3 Workmen for the Harvest. Imagining virtual reality.

10:4-12 Entering Houses and Cities. Developing a culture of innovation.

10:13-16 Comparing Cities. The impact of the online economy.

10:17-20 Satan falls as Lightning. Social media both spreads and inhibits ideologies.

10:21-24 Revealing the Father to Little Children. Hi-tech integration and mental simplicity.

10:25-32 Loving God but not my Neighbor. 2008 Great Recession and the Tea Party movement.

10:33-37 The Samaritan as a Neighbor. Meditation achieves scientific respectability.

10:38-42 Martha and Mary. Trying to change the system from within.

11:1-4 The Lord’s Prayer. Universal tolerance as a kingdom of God.

11:5-8 Borrowing Loaves from a Friend. Bridging specializations through translation.

11:9-13 Ask, Seek and Knock. Functioning within an integrated understanding.

11:14-16 Casting out Demons by Beelzebul. Inadequate meta-theories.

11:17-23 Overcoming the Strong Man. Anti-scientific spiritual meta-theories.

11:24-26 Return of an Unclean Spirit. High-tech virtual reality enables stupidity.

11:27-28 True Blessedness. Trumpism and Making America Great Again.

11:29-32 The Sign of Jonah. Evangelical church wants God to judge society.

11:33-36 The Eye is the Lamp of the Body. Wokeism and intersectionality.

11:37-39 Washing Hands before Dinner. Restoring a ‘Christian worldview’.

11:40-44 Emphasizing Appearance and Impression. Conservative ‘family values’.

11:45-49 A Lawyer feels Insulted. Using legal tricks to appoint conservative judges.

11:50-54 Universal Rejection from this Generation. Transforming a concept of God.

12:1-3 Leaven of the Pharisees. Using social media to define ‘truth’.

12:4-7 Do not Fear Killing the Body. Responding to the 2020 covid pandemic.

12:8-12 Defending the Son of Man. Official support of ‘indigenous knowing’.

12:13-18 Dividing the Inheritance. Russian attempts to restore Soviet Empire.

12:19-21 The Rich Fool. 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

12:22-33 Seek First the Kingdom of God. Spontaneous beauty transcends technical thought.

12:35-44 Wait Patiently for the Master. Share appropriate truth to prepare for a coming transition.

12:45-48 Avoid Cynicism and do not Condemn Others. Attacking others will disqualify self.

12:49-53 Division rather than Peace. Paradigm shifts will separate theory from application.

12:54-56 Interpreting the Physical Environment. Scientific thought cannot analyze emotional subjects.

12:57-59 Temporary Free Will. Adopting new paradigms is only temporarily possible.


Part 1

Faith of the Centurion 7:1-10

The prophetic interpretation of chapter 6 finished with the end of the civil rights movement, the ending of the Vietnam War, and the start of postmodernism. Chapter 7 begins with the story of the centurion’s servant. Verse 1 sets the scene. “And when He had completed all His words in the hearing of the people, He entered into Capernaum.” When is used twice in Luke, it ‘assumes the preceding is something factual – and emphatically what aptly (predictably) follows’. What just preceded was the statement that obeying the paradigms of technical thought does not mean following academic methodology in a detached manner. Instead, one has to dig a deep factual foundation in order to survive the emotional onslaught of Mercy mental networks. What follows will build upon this principle.

Completed means ‘to make full, to complete’. And words refer to ‘a spoken word, made by the living voice’. Hearing is used once in Luke and is ‘used of inner, spiritual hearing’. People means ‘laity’. Thus, the technical speech with its paradigms has not come to an end, but what has come to an end is the non-technical speaking to followers at the spiritual level of mental networks. Saying this another way, the civil rights movement has left the realm of fundamental moral principles and turned into a combination of rebellion and bureaucracy. Quoting the first sentence of the Wikipedia article, “The civil rights movement was a political movement and campaign from 1954 to 1968 in the United States to abolish institutional racial segregation, discrimination, and disenfranchisement throughout the United States.” We are now at 1968. The civil rights movement is over. The assassination of Martin Luther King brought the moral, non-violent element of the civil rights movement to an end. Quoting from Wikipedia, “King was not comfortable with the ‘Black Power’ slogan, which sounded too much like black nationalism to him. When King was assassinated in 1968, Stokely Carmichael said that whites had murdered the one person who would prevent rampant rioting and that blacks would burn every major city to the ground. Riots broke out in more than 100 cities across the country. Some cities did not recover from the damage for more than a generation; other city neighborhoods never recovered.”

Enter means ‘to go in, enter’. Capernaum means ‘village of consolation’. This shift in focus is reflected in the beginning of the end of the Vietnam War. Wikipedia explains that “Johnson declined to run for re-election as his approval rating slumped from 48 to 36 percent.  His escalation of the war in Vietnam divided Americans into warring camps, cost 30,000 American lives by that point and was regarded to have destroyed his presidency... Vietnam was a major political issue during the United States presidential election in 1968. The election was won by Republican party candidate Richard Nixon who claimed to have a secret plan to end the war. U.S. president Richard Nixon began troop withdrawals in 1969.” (Almost 60,000 Americans died in Vietnam in 1964-1968. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is currently in its 425th day and over 180,000 Russians have died.) There was also a cooling of Cold War tension through détente. Wikipedia explains that “The January 1967 Outer Space Treaty and the July 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons were two of the first building blocks of détente. The first treaties were signed all over the globe. When Nixon came into office in 1969, several important détente treaties were developed.”

Verse 2 mentions the centurion. “And a certain servant of a centurion, who was valued highly to him, being sick, was about to die.” A centurion was ‘a captain of one hundred men’. Wikipedia relates that “Centurions were held personally responsible for the training and discipline of the legionaries under their command.” Servant means ‘a slave’. Sick is the adverbial form of ‘inwardly foul, rotten’. About to means ‘about to happen’. Die means ‘to complete, to come to an end’. Thus, this impending death is the result of something that is inwardly foul coming to its natural conclusion. Valued means to ‘hold in honor’. Putting this together, a highly valued slave of the military is about to come to an end because of some inward rottenness related to training and discipline.

This describes the state of the American army in Vietnam after 1968. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Open refusal to engage in patrols or carry out orders and disobedience began to emerge during this period... A practice known as ‘sand-bagging’ started occurring, where units ordered to go on patrol would go into the country-side, find a site out of view from superiors and rest while radioing in false coordinates and unit reports. Drug usage increased rapidly among U.S. forces during this period, as 30% of U.S. troops regularly used marijuana,  while a House subcommittee found 10–15% of U.S. troops in Vietnam regularly used high-grade heroin. From 1969 on, search-and-destroy operations became referred to as ‘search and evade’ or ‘search and avoid’ operations, falsifying battle reports while avoiding guerrilla fighters.” Summarizing, both the Vietnam War and the American army are on the verge of coming to an end because of inward foulness and rottenness in the ‘slaves’. But such ‘slaves’ are highly valuable to an army.

The centurion responds in verse 3. “And having heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, begging Him that having come, He might save his servant.” Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Jesus means ‘Yahweh saves’ and was previously mentioned in 6:11 where the scribes and Pharisees wondered what they would do with Jesus, which was interpreted as vested interests responding to post-second world war economic and political proposals. It is interesting that the name Jesus was not mentioned during the sections in Luke 6 corresponding to the civil rights movement. This may be because the civil rights movement was primarily a ‘sermon on the plain’ that attempted to eliminate inequalities, and it has become increasingly apparent in recent years that eliminating inequalities does not necessarily save people. Sent means ‘sent on a defined mission by a superior’. An elder is ‘a mature man having seasoned judgment’ and this is the first mention of an elder in Luke. This is also the first mention of Jewish in Luke, which comes from the word ‘Judah’ that means ‘praised’. ‘Jewish elders’ would represent the established leaders of society. Begging means ‘to ask on special footing’. Save is used once as a verb in Luke and means to ‘save all the way through’. Summarizing, the centurion is making a request to Jesus through Jewish elders to thoroughly save his servant. Applying this to the Vietnam War, the military is making a request to technical thought through established leaders to thoroughly save the American soldiers from their rotten state.

An article in the Armed Forces Journal describes this transformation. The article begins, “By 1973, when the last U.S. troops departed Vietnam, the Army was close to collapse.” The transformation was led by the established leaders of the Army. “The Army’s leaders took great risks in undertaking so comprehensive an overhaul of the service, down to its basic tactical frameworks.” This transformation involved a ‘thorough saving’ of the ‘servant’ that “affected every facet of service life, from redesigned barracks, training and communications gear to new uniforms and a replacement for the venerable ‘steel pot’ worn by soldiers since World War II.” This transformation was guided by the ‘comprehension’ that a ‘Yahweh’ of Teacher structure can ‘save’ individual soldiers. A military paper explains that “The implementation of comprehensive change requires an organizational entity with broad authority able to craft, evaluate, and execute an integrated program of reforms. In the case of the U.S. Army in the 1970s and 1980s, this organization was the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). To an unprecedented degree, TRADOC was able to ensure that changes in personnel policies, organizations, doctrine, training practices, and equipment were integrated and mutually reinforcing.” This is a significant step in the development of incarnation because it is functioning at the abstract level of ‘Christ’ in order to help the individual soldier at the level of ‘Jesus’.

The elders beg Jesus in verse 4. “And having come to Jesus, they were begging Him earnestly, saying, ‘He is worthy to whom You will grant this.’” Having come means ‘to be beside, to arrive’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. This is an appropriate term because one cannot really talk about ‘saving’ an organization whose ultimate purpose is to kill or be killed. However, this request did ‘arrive beside Jesus’ because the goal was to improve the condition of soldiers in significant and lasting ways. Begging is a different word than in verse 3 and means ‘to call to or for, to exhort, to encourage’. Earnestly means ‘with haste, diligently’. Worthy means ‘of weight, of worth, worthy’. Grant means ‘to furnish, to present’. The AFJ article describes this exhortation of worthiness from established leaders. “The Army’s most significant post-Vietnam reorganization was the establishment of the Training and Doctrine Command, which gave the service a powerful, four-star spokesman for the training base, for the protection and encouragement of the Army’s schools and for the re-establishment of fighting doctrine as the engine of change in the service.” Notice that a ‘four-star spokesman’ is ‘protecting and encouraging’ the development of technical thought through both abstract and concrete technical training.

Verse 5 describes the object of this help. “For he loves our nation, and he built the synagogue for us.” Love is ‘agape’, which refers to a Teacher-driven love. Nation means ‘people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture’, which describes Mercy mental networks of culture. Synagogue means ‘a bringing together’ and is being interpreted as some form of academia. Built means ‘to build a house’, the same word that was just used in the parable of the house on the rock. The AFJ article mentions Teacher-driven love of Mercy-driven culture. “AirLand Battle, incubated in TRADOC, was a doctrinal game-changer for the Army and the services at large, driving joint-service research and procurement for decades, and it was inspired by the challenge of defending NATO.” Wikipedia explains that AirLand “emphasized the close coordination between the Army and Air Force to produce an integrated attack plan that would use the land forces in a counter-blitz while air power, artillery and special operation forces stopped the movement of the reserves toward the front line.” This describes functioning in an integrated manner guided by a general plan in Teacher thought. The purpose was ‘defending NATO’—a group of Western countries joined by similar mental networks of Western culture. Finally, a major focus of TRADOC was ‘building a synagogue’. Quoting from the AFC article, “A system of schools for noncommissioned officers was established that became key in professionalizing the Army’s NCOs. The School for Advanced Military Studies was established at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and became a center for study of operational art.” Notice the establishment of both practical schools for teaching technical skills to noncommissioned officers and a theoretical school for ‘study of operational art’.

Jesus accompanies them in verse 6. “And Jesus was going with them. And already, He being not far distant from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, ‘Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should come under my roof.’” Going means ‘to transport’, which indicates movement accompanied by change. Far means ‘a long way, far’. Distant means ‘to have one thing by separating from another’. And house is explicitly mentioned. Sent simply means ‘to send’. And friend is ‘philos’ which ‘conveys experiential, personal affection’. Stated cognitively, a friend shares similar mental networks, which describes liking as opposed to agape love. Trouble is used twice in Luke and means ‘to skin’, which would represent imposing painful experiences upon Mercy thought. Worthy means ‘reach to, attain’ and is a different word than the ‘worthy’ of verse 5. (One would think that an accurate translation would translate two different Greek words into two different English words. The NASB also translates both as ‘worthy’.) Roof is used once in Luke, it means ‘roof’ and comes from the word ‘to cover closely’. And come means ‘to go in, enter’.

One author describes this sense of technical inadequacy expressed through friends that accompanied the formation of TRADOC. “The Army needed... a system by which training could be evaluated to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of individual instruction and unit exercises. In conceiving a new training system, TRADOC’s training community was heavily influenced by the evolution that had already taken place in the U.S. Air Force training management programs. Profoundly dissatisfied with its air-to-air combat performance in Southeast Asia... TAC [Tactical Air Command] had moved to an event oriented system that set standards for what each fighter squadron was supposed to be able to do and under what conditions.” Summarizing, the Air Force was ‘profoundly dissatisfied’ with technical skills that did not ‘reach to’ accepted standards. This technical inadequacy was conveyed to the ‘friend’ of the army, which recognized that it was not worthy to conduct technical training ‘under its roof’.

This led to a transformation in training methods. “From 1973 to 1977, Generals DePuy and Gorman provided the leadership for the development of a number of conceptually innovative approaches to training. It was during that period that instructional systems development, self-paced instruction, training extension courses, one-station unit training, a new school model, and several other revolutionary and evolutionary training programs had their origin. Basic to all the changes was the adoption of a training development and implementation process known as the ‘systems approach to training’ (SAT).” Notice the focus upon adopting new technical training methods in an integrated manner.

We saw in 6:48 that sociology gave in to emotional pressure when faced with screaming protesters. Using the language of verse 6, those protesters managed ‘to skin’ the technical thinking of Jesus. In verse 6, the friends of the centurion try to prevent ‘Jesus’ from being ‘skinned’ by ensuring that technical thought survives contact with emotional experiences. The author quoted above describes this emphasis. “Perhaps the most important of the new approaches to training were the Army Training and Evaluation Program, or ARTEP, and the Skill Qualification Test (SQT). The ARTEP was a new performance-oriented program for collective training which required unit elements from squad through battalion and their soldiers and leaders to perform to a standard, not just put in the training hours... Based on a train-evaluate-train concept, the program was structured to allow Army troops to train as they would fight, evaluate the results of their training, and use the lessons learned to improve training.” Notice that technical skills are being applied in a real life environment, and then evaluated to see if technical standards are being maintained.

Verse 7 continues, “Therefore neither did I count myself worthy to come to You; but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.” Count worthy is used once as a verb in Luke and means ‘to reckon as worthy, matching value to actual substance’. Word is ‘logos’. Healing means ‘healing, particularly as supernatural’. The word for servant is not ‘slave’ but rather means ‘a child under training’. (Both the BLB and the NASB use the same English word ‘servant’ for the Greek words ‘slave’ and ‘boy’. A few literal translations distinguish between these two Greek terms.) This transition from ‘slave’ to ‘child under training’ indicates a transformation in the view of a soldier from ‘slave of an officer’ to ‘recruit who needs to be taught professional skills’. And this new emphasis on training was developed by instructing subordinates to develop new programs guided by technical paradigms. The author quoted previously explains, “The need for modernization and greater efficiency in TRADOC school organization led to the adoption of a new school model in 1976. As a result of his awareness of the wide discrepancies that existed between what was known about modern educational technologies and what was practiced at TRADOC schools, General DePuy directed his staff to develop a new school model to replace the one that had been in use since the 1973 STEADFAST reorganization. His aim was, he said, to tum the TRADOC schools into ‘training factories.’ School Model 76 was based on the premise that the commandants would be responsible for the interface between combat developments and training developments.” Notice that the staff is being instructed to ‘develop a new school model’ based upon current paradigms of learning.

Verse 8 introduces a different concept of authority. “For I also am a man appointed under authority, having soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” Man is the word for ‘mankind’. Authority means ‘delegated power’. Appointed is used once in Luke and means ‘to place in a particular order’. Soldier is used twice in Luke and means ‘soldier’. This is quite different than Foucault’s assertion that everything is based in power. A modern army literally has the power to destroy cities and nations. But in verse 8, this power is being placed within the order of a Teacher structure and it is being recognized as delegated power. Foucault thinks that an officer is exerting power over soldiers. The centurion views an army as functioning within a system of abstract technical thought in which an officer delegates tasks to subordinates.

Looking at this in more detail, go means ‘to transport’ as does ‘goes’. Come simply means ‘to come’. Servant means ‘slave’ and do means ‘to make, do’. These three stages form a progression. The first stage is a ‘going that transforms’ of professional training. The second stage is a ‘coming’ of being placed within the structure. The third stage is the ‘doing of a slave’ in which one carries out some order. A traditional army focuses upon the third stage of telling slaves what to do. A professional army precedes this with two steps: First, a recruit is given professional training. Second, trained recruits are placed within the structure according to their professional skills. Third, the professional soldier is then expected to carry out orders in an intelligent and flexible manner. This idea of giving orders to trained individuals is expressed through the idea of the professional NCO. Repeating part of an earlier quote, “The Army’s most significant post-Vietnam reorganization was the establishment of the Training and Doctrine Command... A system of schools for noncommissioned officers was established that became key in professionalizing the Army’s NCOs.” A military book on NCOs summarizes that “As technical and functional experts, specialized practitioners, and advisors steeped in tactics, techniques, and procedures, NCOs/POs carry out both the art and the science of the Profession of Arms. Subordinates and commanders alike draw upon enlisted leaders’ expertise and experience to achieve mission objectives and depend on them as leaders and managers.” The centurion filled this role in the Roman army.

Going the other way, another article describes Russia’s lack of NCOs and where this leads. “Properly trained and empowered NCOs enable a unit to react more quickly in a dynamic combat environment... A functional NCO corps is also a prerequisite for conquering one of the Russian military’s most persistent problems: hazing. In the Red Army, brutal hazing – dedovshchina – was systemic. Originating in the gulags, dedovshchina’s rigid, seniority-based caste system came to dominate every aspect of conscript life. Senior soldiers subjugated, robbed, and brutalized junior draftees while officers looked the other way.” Going further, such an army will naturally turn into hordes of semi-human orcs. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Russian authorities and armed forces have committed multiple war crimes in the form of deliberate attacks against civilian targets, massacres of civilians, torture and rape of women and children, and indiscriminate attacks in densely populated areas.”

Jesus responds in verse 9. “And Jesus having heard these things, marveled at him; and having turned to the crowd following Him, He said, ‘I say to you, not even in Israel did I find such great faith.’” Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Marvel means ‘wonder at, be amazed’. Turned means ‘to convert by changing direction’. Following is based on the word ‘road, way’. Crowd means ‘crowd, multitude’.

Israel represents the institutions through whom God interacts with humanity. Faith means to ‘be persuaded’. Such great means ‘so great, so much’. One can see where this marveling comes from. The American army almost fell apart in Vietnam and was loudly protested by the crowds in America. Now this reviled instrument of death and destruction is proving to be a better example of Teacher-guided professional expertise than any Great Society guided by social science. At the same time that the military is becoming mentally weaned from the expression of raw power, sociology is becoming inescapably trapped by a fixation upon raw power and this fixation is spreading to the rest of the social sciences. I am not suggesting that a professional Army is the ultimate example of incarnation. As a pacifist Mennonite, I am very glad that I have never had to wield a weapon, and one of my primary goals is to find ways of transforming society that do not involve physical weapons. Going further, evidence suggests that the revitalized American army did not really learn from the Vietnam War but rather mentally suppressed it as an aberration. However, it is amazing to compare what the American army achieved with what the social sciences did not achieve, and it is terrifying to compare a professional Western army with the non-professional Russian army.

Going further, verse 9 compares the faith of the centurion with the faith of Israel. Literal Israel did show significant faith in this era by responding successfully to the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and the post-Vietnam rebuilding of the American army learned many lessons from the Yom Kippur War. In contrast, the symbolic Israel of the American church was not willing to ‘be persuaded’. Instead of using technical thought to rethink its structure from top to bottom, the American church responded to the social collapse of traditional society through the escapism of believing that God would magically intervene without humans having to do any rethinking or restructuring in technical thought. This fixation upon escapism expressed itself through a best-selling book on the Rapture. (The doctrine of the Rapture was discussed earlier when looking at 3:16.) Quoting from Wikipedia, “The Late Great Planet Earth is a best-selling 1970 book by Hal Lindsey... The New York Times declared it to be the bestselling nonfiction book of the 1970s.” And “28 million copies had sold by 1990.” Wikipedia explains that “It compared end-time prophecies in the Bible with then-current events in an attempt to predict future scenarios resulting in the rapture of believers before the tribulation and Second Coming of Jesus to establish his thousand-year (i.e. millennial) kingdom on Earth. Emphasizing various passages in the books of Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation, Lindsey originally suggested the possibility that these climactic events might occur during the 1980s.” There is nothing wrong with comparing ‘end-time prophecies in the Bible with then-current events’, because this essay is doing precisely that. But there is a world of a difference between cherry-picking ‘various passages in the books of Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation’ and going through entire chapters and books verse by verse in the original Greek in a sequential manner. And instead of concluding, like The Late Great Planet Earth, that God will magically remove all Christians from the necessity of using technical thought to work through their problems, this essay is showing that God guides the development of human technical thought in order to enable humans to use rational thought to work through problems. Saying this more simply, faith really means to ‘be persuaded’ and clinging blindly to the hope that God will step in through some Rapture does not qualify as faith—though such blind faith might inspire some legitimate faith.

Verse 10 concludes, “And having returned to the house, those having been sent found the servant in good health.” Returned means ‘to turn back, return’. Sent means ‘to send’. And the word servant means ‘slave’. The implication is that the Army does not change its basic nature and stop being an Army. Instead, it returns to its original home. Going the other way, Jesus does not go to the house of the centurion. The military does not become the prime expression of incarnation. And soldiers are still ‘slaves’ that have to follow the orders of their officers. But the slave is now in good health, which means ‘in good working order’—the American army started to function effectively again.

Jesus Raises Widow’s Son 7:11-17

Verse 9 concluded that the renewing of the military demonstrated more faith than the escapism of the Christian church. This section describes the transformation that happens to the Christian church. Instead of following a path of ‘being persuaded’ it experiences a different kind of renewal. Verse 11 sets the scene. “And it came to pass on the next day, He went into a town called Nain, and His disciples were going with Him, and a great crowd.” Next means ‘next’ and ‘day’ is implied. Went means ‘to transport’, and going with adds the prefix ‘together’ to ‘transport’. Town means ‘city’. Nain is mentioned once in the New Testament and means ‘to be pleasant or suitable’. Crowd means ‘crowd’ and great means ‘much, many’. Putting this together, a progression is happening. Technical thought is developing along the path to a pleasant or suitable society. Disciples of technical thought are developing as well and many followers are accompanying this progress.

A Stanford alumni article describes this mass movement towards a pleasant society. “During the 1960s, liberalism permeated American political life; it was in the very air, supplying the optimism and energy that allowed Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society Congress to declare war on poverty and inequality and believe they could defeat those historic foes of human happiness. But by the mid-1970s the liberal dream had died.” Notice the mass optimism that the civil rights movement will ‘transport’ society into a ‘city’ of ‘pleasantness’. However, something happens on the verge of entering this society.

Verse 12 describes this interruption of progress. “And as He drew near to the gate of the town, also behold, one having died was being carried out, the only begotten son of his mother; and she was a widow.” Drew near means ‘to come near’. Gate is used once in Luke and means ‘a large door, an entrance-gate to a city’. And town is ‘city’. Thus, technical progress is on the verge of making a transition into a pleasant society. Behold indicates that something new appears. Carried out is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to carry out’. Having died means ‘to die’. Only begotten combines ‘one and only’ with ‘offspring’ and is used in John to describe Jesus as ‘the only begotten’ of the Father. Son is explicitly mentioned. Verse 12 refers to the ‘only begotten son of his mother’. Widow means ‘widow’ and would represent female mental networks that are no longer supported by male technical thought. Summarizing, mental networks of female thought that are no longer supported by male thought have given birth to a single system of male technical thought. This male technical thought has now died and is being carried out of the city of pleasantness.

One author describes the nature of this death, starting with the interwar period. “Even as a relativistic, secular worldview had taken the place of the Christian/Enlightenment view, the older consensus on moral values was still maintained temporarily because of enormous common enemies—a Great Depression and two World Wars.... There was still great agreement across the political spectrum on what a good, moral life looked like. The original Civil Rights Movement led by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. had pointed to a higher moral law.... But by the time King was assassinated in 1968, very different forces were already at work. No leading cultural figures could point... to a higher law, or to the Bible. The Protestant establishment had given up their ability to do that. Everyone had assumed that secular, pragmatic, common sense reasoning would come to an agreement on social mores. When that failed there was no court of appeal or rationale available in any discussion of moral values. If someone called out injustice by saying: ‘What you are doing is wrong—because I feel it is wrong’ there was no answer for the rejoinder ‘But I do not feel it is wrong—why then should your feelings about this be privileged over mine? What right do you have to impose your views on me?’ Since our society had discarded any shared basis for moral values—religion and natural law—there was nothing left to unite us at all, no basis for a debate.” Summarizing the various steps, the ‘husband’ of ‘the Christian/Enlightenment view’ had ‘died’ during the early 20th century, leaving a ‘widow’ of mental networks based upon a ‘consensus on moral values’. This widow had a single ‘son’ of ‘a higher moral law’. But by the end of the civil rights movement, this ‘son’ had died because ‘no leading cultural figures could point to a higher law’. That was because of the widespread acceptance of Foucault’s (and others’) premise that ‘truth’ is merely an expression of power. Thus, any moral statement became reduced to ‘Why should your feelings about this be privileged over mine? What right do you have to impose your views on me?’

Verse 12 finishes, “And a considerable crowd of the town was with her.” Crowd means ‘crowd’ and town means ‘city’. Considerable means ‘adequate, sufficient’. Thus, two crowds are meeting. A large crowd is following technical thought and its disciples along a path of progress into the city. And a smaller crowd is leaving the city accompanying the death of technical thought based upon mental networks. describes these two crowds. “The 1970s were a tumultuous time. In some ways, the decade was a continuation of the 1960s. Women, African Americans, Native Americans, gays and lesbians and other marginalized people continued their fight for equality, and many Americans joined the protest against the ongoing war in Vietnam. In other ways, however, the decade was a repudiation of the 1960s. A ‘New Right’ mobilized in defense of political conservatism and traditional family roles.” Summarizing the meeting of these two crowds, on the one hand, the civil rights movement has turned into freedom for the marginalized and oppressed. The problem is that this equates ‘truth’ with power; freedom from oppression becomes defined as protesting against those who are using their power to impose ‘truth’. The end result is that every moral statement becomes reduced to a matter of personal opinion. On the other hand, this same equating of ‘truth’ with power is being viewed by the ‘new right’ as a death of the ‘one and only son’ of ‘political conservatism and traditional family roles’ that gave stability to society and religion.

Jesus responds to the woman in verse 13. “And the Lord having seen her, was moved with compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’” See means ‘to see with the mind’. Moved with compassion means ‘to be moved in the inward parts’. Thus, an internal intellectual grasp is being followed by an internal emotional response. Notice that this response is triggered by the mental networks of the mother and not by the technical thought of the son. Weep means ‘to weep aloud’ and was previously used in 6:21, which was interpreted as the oppressed of the civil rights movement. Thus, the initial response is to bring comfort to the emotional outburst.

One primary expression of this internally-motivated gut response of comfort was the ‘Jesus movement’. Wikipedia explains that “The Jesus movement was an evangelical Christian movement which began on the West Coast of the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s and primarily spread throughout North America, Europe, and Central America, before it subsided in the late 1980s.”

The Jesus movement gave birth to a genre of Christian music that attempted to convey an internally-motivated, gut response. Wikipedia explains that “Initially, the music tended to be relatively simple, as it drew largely on guitar-based folk and folk-rock influences. The message also seemed to be relatively simple, as the songwriters attempted to present the value of a Christ-centered spiritual experience without evoking the vocabulary or other trappings of ecclesiastical religion. Rather than quoting religious clichés or King James Bible verses, they used storytelling, allegory, imagery, and complex metaphors, often with a colloquial language that flustered conservatives.”

Jesus responds to the son in verse 14. “And having come up, He touched the bier; and those bearing it stopped. And He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, Arise!’” Come up means ‘to approach, to draw near’. Touch means ‘to modify or change by touching’. Bier is used once in the New Testament and means ‘a funereal receptacle’. Notice that Jesus does not touch the body but rather the container on which the body has been placed. Bearing means ‘to take up, carry’. Stop means ‘to make to stand, to stand’ and is interpreted as some source of stability in Perceiver thought. Looking at this cognitively, those who are supporting this dead system of technical thought are finding a new source of stability in Perceiver thought. Young man is used once in Luke and means ‘a young man, a youth’. Arise means ‘to waken, to raise up’ and is also used to describe arising from the dead.

The Jesus movement received such an energizing touch from technical thought. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Secular and Christian media exposure in 1971 and 1972 caused the Jesus movement to explode across the United States, attracting evangelical youth eager to identify with the movement... Explo ’72 was an event organized by Campus Crusade for Christ, held at the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas, and involved such conservative leaders as Bill Bright and Billy Graham. Many of the 80,000 young Jesus People attending Explo ’72 discovered for the first time these and other traditional avenues of Christian worship and experience.” Jesus telling a ‘young man’ to arise corresponds to the Jesus movement ‘attracting evangelical youth’. More generally, there was an arising of youthful doctrine of male thought. In the words of Wikipedia, “The Jesus movement was restorationist in theology, seeking to return to the original life of the early Christians... The theology of the Jesus movement also called for a return to simple living and asceticism in some cases. The Jesus people had a strong belief in miracles, signs and wonders, faith, healing, prayer, the Bible, and powerful works of the Holy Spirit.”

The son responds in verse 15. “And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and He gave him to his mother.” Sat up is used twice in the New Testament and adds the prefix ‘up’ to ‘sit’. ‘Up’ represents Teacher generality while ‘sit’ indicates a position of authority. Dead means ‘a corpse, a dead body’ and ‘man’ is implied. Began means to ‘commence, rule’. ‘Beginning to speak’ suggests that taking a position of authority is followed by making authoritative statements. Give means ‘to give’. ‘Giving to his mother’ would mean that the female mental networks are being regarded as the source of the authoritative statements.

Wikipedia describes the authoritative legacy of the Jesus movement. “Although the Jesus movement lasted no more than a decade... its influence on Christian culture can still be seen. Thousands of converts moved into leadership positions in churches and parachurch organizations. The informality of the Jesus movement’s music and worship affected almost all evangelical churches.” Connecting this movement with the previous mention of The Late Great Planet Earth, one academic article notes that “The Late Great Planet Earth was unarguably the Jesus Movement’s textbook. It appeared next to the Bible in almost every movement commune, church, or coffeehouse, and was responsible for drawing in converts.”

Verse 16 describes the general response. “And fear seized all, and they began glorifying God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen up among us!’ and, ‘God has visited His people!’” Seize means ‘to actively lay hold of’. Fear means ‘to flee, withdraw’. ‘Fear seizing all’ indicates that this voice of authority is generating an emotional response of personal inadequacy. Glorify means ‘to ascribe weight by recognizing real substance’ and is interpreted as an external expression of internal substance. ‘Glorifying the God’ would mean that this fear is directing attention to God in Teacher thought.

Continuing with verse 16, prophet means ‘asserting one idea over another’ And great is interpreted as Teacher generality. Risen means ‘to awaken, to raise up’ and is the same word that Jesus spoke to the young man in verse 14. Thus, the first response is a focus upon prophecy, emphasizing that God has started speaking directly to people. Visited means ‘to inspect, to go to see’. And people means ‘laity’. Thus, the second response is the sense that God is interacting directly with his followers.

Both of these responses were seen in the Jesus movement. The focus upon prophecy is illustrated by the fixation upon The Late Great Planet Earth, mentioned above. Stated more carefully, the idea of the Rapture described in that book was being asserted over other ideas. The concept of God visiting his people was also mentioned above in the quote from Wikipedia that described “a strong belief in miracles, signs and wonders, faith, healing, prayer, the Bible, and powerful works of the Holy Spirit.” Wikipedia adds that “Perhaps the most illustrative aspect of the Jesus movement was its communal aspect. Many Jesus people lived in communes. Although there were some groups, such as the Calvary Chapel movement, which did not live in communes, these remained more on the fringes of the Jesus movement.” Living in a commune can be interpreted as everyone being ‘seized’ by a fear that causes them to ‘flee and withdraw’ from society.

This spreads in verse 17. “And this report concerning Him went out in all Judea and all the surrounding region.” Report is ‘logos’. Went out means ‘to go or come out of’. Judea means ‘praised’ and represents the realm that is governed by mental networks of society. Putting this together, a new paradigm of prophecy and divine visitation is spreading throughout the realm of Mercy mental networks. Surrounding region means ‘neighboring’ which indicates that this new paradigm also spreads to areas that are related to the mental networks of society.

This section has focused upon the Jesus movement. As verse 17 indicates, this was part of a larger charismatic renewal characterized by ‘words of prophecy’ and a deep feeling that ‘God has visited his people’. Looking first at prophecy, one charismatic Christian website summarizes that “The advent of the charismatic movement among Protestants in 1960 and Roman Catholics in 1967 opened the door for a new flood of prophetic utterances in the thousands of prayer meetings and conferences that mushroomed around the world in the 1970s and 1980s.” Speaking from personal experience, I attended a charismatic church in the 1980s and heard many words of prophecy. Most of them were variations on the theme of ‘God loves you’. But I also encountered some legitimate ‘words of prophecy’ including accurate personal words spoken to me by total strangers. The feeling of ‘God visiting his people’ is encapsulated by the ‘baptism of the Holy Spirit’. Wikipedia explains that “The charismatic movement holds that Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the ‘sovereign action of God, which usually occurs when someone with a disposition of surrender and docility, prays for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in his or her life’... Those who have received Baptism with the Holy Spirit ‘testify that the experience brought them to a new awareness of the reality and presence of Jesus Christ in their lives’.”

This essay is based upon the premise that there are legitimate words of prophecy and that God continues to intervene in human history. The problem lies in viewing prophecy as a way to escape from reality and the intervention of God as an excuse to avoid thinking. This essay is showing an alternative approach that views prophecy as a guide to reality and the intervention of God as encouraging the development of thinking.

John asks about Jesus 7:18-23

The previous section was interpreted as a reference to the Jesus movement and charismatic Christianity. This interpretation fits the context because the next two sections will be discussing John the Baptist, who represents Protestant Christianity. Verse 18 begins, “And his disciples brought word to John concerning all these things.” Brought word means ‘to declare or report from’. John means ‘The Lord has been gracious’. Disciple comes from a word that means ‘mental effort needed to think something through’. The previous section described a charismatic renewal. This leads in verse 18 to a theological appraisal by the disciples of Christianity. Such theological appraisals can be found by googling ‘Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the Bible?’ or ‘Is prophecy relevant today?’ For instance, says about the first question, “Yeah, that’s a very good question which, unfortunately, as you know, has divided Evangelicals from Pentecostals. I personally believe that spirit baptism happens at the point of conversion for all Christians.” The article on prophecy observes that “For many, religious terms still evoke a background of arguments and preconceived notions... The spiritual gift of prophecy is one of those terms. While a biblical term, it sounds religious to the modern ear and could cause us to camp on whatever side of ‘Pentecostal’ or ‘charismatic’ we land on.” It is precisely for this reason that the term ‘Perceiver’ was chosen rather than ‘Prophecy’ back in the 1970s. (Katie Fortune told me that she came up with the term ‘Perceiver’. My brother Lane Friesen initially was not sure whether to use Perceiver or Prophecy but went with Perceiver because it sounded less religious. I met Don and Katie Fortune once at her home in 2012 and she told me that ‘Romans 12 spiritual gifts’ initially came from some theological book written around 1900. I have been unable to follow this thread further.)

The cognitive reason for this questioning is that the basic premise of absolute truth is that ‘truth’ was revealed to some group of special individuals in the past who wrote it down. Having a ‘great prophet arise’ today violates this premise. And there is a reason for this suspicion because absolute truth will only survive as long as the source of ‘truth’ is regarded as much more significant than personal identity. When some living person becomes regarded as a source of ‘truth’ then it is easy for absolute truth to turn into dictatorship. Consistent with this, Wikipedia observes that “some of the communes became highly authoritarian.”

Verse 19 presents the dilemma. “And having summoned a certain two his disciples, John sent them to the Lord saying, ‘Are You the coming One, or are we to look for another?’” Summoned means ‘to call toward oneself’. A certain means ‘a certain one, someone’ and two is explicitly mentioned. Thus, absolute truth is addressing this dilemma by embracing two different forms of thought. Sent means ‘to send’. Lord means ‘lord, master’. ‘Sending to the Lord’ would represent examining the mindset that absolute truth rules as a ‘lord’ over personal identity. Come means ‘to come, go’. And another means ‘another of the same kind’. Look for means ‘to await, expect’.

These words address a fundamental dilemma of absolute truth. On the one hand, studying the words of absolute truth, such as the Bible, will lead to Platonic forms of heavenly perfection. But on the other hand, these Platonic forms cannot become real because they are based in the words of a book that does not connect with reality, and they must not become real because personally experiencing some version of heaven will raise my emotional status relative to the emotional status of the source of truth, causing my belief in absolute truth to fade. Verse 16 attempted to overcome these two limitations because ‘a great prophet has arisen up among us’ connects the words of absolute truth with current reality, while ‘God has visited His people’ provides personal experiences of heavenly perfection. Both of these characteristics can be seen in The Late Great Planet Earth. In the words of Wikipedia, “The Late Great Planet Earth is a treatment of literalist, premillennial, dispensational eschatology. As such, it compared end-time prophecies in the Bible with then-current events in an attempt to predict future scenarios resulting in the rapture of believers before the tribulation and Second Coming of Jesus to establish his thousand-year kingdom on Earth.” First, ‘end-time prophecies in the Bible’ are being compared with ‘then-current events’. Second, Jesus establishing a ‘thousand-year kingdom on earth’ describes personally experiencing heavenly perfection. However, the underlying inadequacy of absolute truth still remains. Therefore, all one can do is wait expectantly and believe that Jesus’ kingdom is on the verge of appearing.

This makes it possible to assign a tentative identity to the ‘two disciples’ of John. One disciple focuses on the question, ‘Should one accept The Late Great Planet Earth version of expectant waiting or should one adopt another kind of expectant waiting that is of the same kind?’ An academic article quoted earlier describes this controversy. “Sometimes the book had the endorsement of church leaders. One person remembered, ‘This book practically replaced the Bible in the fundamentalist church I attended in the 70’s.’ In other cases, the book circulated underground among the young people, although it was roundly condemned by the minister. One reader explained that it helped create opposition between parents and elders and ‘truly Christian’ youth.” The second disciple focuses on the question, ‘Should one accept the charismatic claim that prophets have arisen and that God has visited His people or should one continue to wait expectantly for some future coming while living as respectable citizens?’ Wikipedia describes this controversy. “Jesus people often viewed churches, especially those in the United States, as apostate, and took a decidedly countercultural political stance in general. The theology of the Jesus movement also called for a return to simple living and asceticism in some cases.”

This essay is also comparing biblical prophecies with current events. But our analysis is being guided by rational cognitive principles based in a cognitive meta-theory that can be used to explain both Christian doctrine and scientific thought, making it possible to move beyond a mindset of absolute truth with its inherent limitations. And instead of hoping that God will finally step in to intervene in human society, this essay suggests that God has been intervening in human society and continues to do so.

Verse 20 repeats this question. “And the men having come to Him said, ‘John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, “Are You the coming One, or are we to look for another?”’” Men means ‘men’ which is interpreted as male technical thought. Having come means ‘to be beside, to arrive’ and was previously used in verse 4, which was interpreted as military thought coming close to the salvation of Jesus while still being fundamentally opposed to the concept of saving people. Similarly, male technical thought is being used in verse 20 but it is still based in a foundation of absolute truth, which is fundamentally opposed to the concept of critical thinking. This underlying assumption is reflected in the phrase ‘John the Baptist has sent us to you’. Sent ‘focuses back to the source, the one sending’. Thus, this technical thinking is consciously starting from the ‘John the Baptist’ Protestant belief, with its personal conversion based in absolute truth. (Mental symmetry suggests that the real personal rebirth happens when Mercy mental networks are torn apart and reassembled by the Teacher mental network of a concept of God during the third stage of personal transformation. What Protestant belief refers to as ‘being born again’ cognitively entails submitting Mercy mental networks of identity to a system of absolute truth that is based in Mercy mental networks of authority which are different than the Mercy mental networks of culture. Instead of following culture, one submits to the Bible. This can turn into a real rebirth, or it can turn into a kind of ‘diploma mill’ in which acquiring the certificate of being accepted into God’s school of character transformation substitutes for taking the classes and passing the exams.)

The actual question being asked in verse 20 is identical to the question in verse 19, which implies that the same religious content can be viewed from two different perspectives. Verse 20 makes it clear that the content is being viewed from the perspective of absolute truth.

Verse 21 describes what happens when a mindset of absolute truth comes to technical thought. “At that very hour, He healed many of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits, and He granted many blind to see.” ‘At that hour’ refers to something that is happening at that time. We saw earlier when looking at the moral improvements of Victorian society that absolute truth can coexist for a while with personal success because it takes time for personal success to emotionally corrode respect for absolute truth. This explains the reference to what is happening ‘that very hour’. Healed means ‘therapy’. Disease means ‘a chronic disease’. Many means ‘much, many’ which describe something widespread but not universal. Affliction is used once in Luke and means ‘a disease that carried a torturous level of pain’. Spirit is interpreted as Mercy mental networks and evil means ‘pain-ridden’. Notice the negative focus upon solving problems as opposed to a positive focus upon providing solutions. However, the problems that are being solved are long-lasting, deeply emotional, and spiritual. Thus, this focus upon problems is effective. The cognitive principle is that belief in absolute truth can start a person upon a path of personal transformation. The problem is that the personal benefits of experiencing personal transformation will eventually cause belief in absolute truth to fade, because when a person experiences success, then this raises the emotional status of self within that person’s mind relative to that persons’s source of truth.

Going further, blind means ‘blind’ and is interpreted as an inability to use Perceiver thought to analyze the environment. See means to ‘be observant’ and was previously used to describe seeing the splinter in another person’s eye. This is the first use of granted in Luke, which means ‘to extend favor, grace’ and is interpreted as help from Teacher thought. The cognitive principle here is that belief in absolute truth can lead to an understanding in Teacher thought that helps a person to see more accurately. The problem is that thinking too much about this understanding will again cause belief in absolute truth to fade, because whenever I think about absolute truth, this raises my emotional status relative to my source of truth.

The Christian conversion experience met technical thinking in the 1970s with the advent of Christian counseling. Wikipedia explains, “Christian counseling began between the late 1960s and early 1970s with the Biblical Counseling Movement directed by Jay E. Adams. Adams’s 1970 book Competent to Counsel advocated a Christian-based approach which differed from the psychological and psychiatric solutions of the time. As a devout Protestant, Adams believed that it was the job of the church to heal people who he believed were morally corrupt, but labeled by society as mentally ill. He rejected other models of counseling, such as the medical model, which gave clients a medical diagnosis based on a list of their behaviors or actions. Adams believed the lists of maladaptive behaviors listed under each diagnostic category were actually behaviors emanating from our volitional nature, rather than an illness. Maladaptive behaviors, he maintained, are a matter of sin and therefore subject to confrontation and education in God’s word, exhorting the client to choose behavior that is obedient to God’s word, thus removing the sin in their life.” This approach comes from the absolute truth of ‘John the Baptist’ because it advocates ‘obedience to God’s word’. It is a form of ‘therapy’. It has the negative focus of ‘removing sin’. It treats personal problems as ‘evil spirits’ based in pain-ridden mental networks of ‘moral corruption’. It believes that the ability to ‘be observant’ is ‘granted’ from God through ‘education in God’s word’. It has helped some people. And it attempted to address deeply painful issues that were ‘labeled by society as mentally ill’. However, it rejected ‘other models of counseling’ as ‘blind’.

More generally, the concept of being a ‘born again Christian’ became popular during the 1970s. Wikipedia explains that “The term born again has become widely associated with the evangelical Christian renewal since the late 1960s, first in the United States and then around the world. Associated perhaps initially with Jesus People and the Christian counterculture, born again came to refer to a conversion experience, accepting Jesus Christ as lord and savior in order to be saved from hell and given eternal life with God in heaven, and was increasingly used as a term to identify devout believers. By the mid-1970s, born again Christians were increasingly referred to in the mainstream media as part of the born again movement.” Notice the connection with the Jesus movement discussed earlier. Wikipedia clarifies what this term means. “Born again is a phrase used by many Protestants to describe the phenomenon of gaining faith in Jesus Christ. It is an experience when everything they have been taught as Christians becomes real, and they develop a direct and personal relationship with God.” This description is consistent with the cognitive idea that being ‘born again’ involves submitting Mercy mental networks of identity to a system of absolute truth that is based in Mercy mental networks of authority which are different than the Mercy mental networks of culture.

Looking at this cognitively, it has been mentioned several times that incarnation goes beyond technical thought to save people in Mercy thought guided by a concept of God in Teacher thought. This means that a concept of incarnation can be constructed from two possible directions. The scientific option is to go beyond objective, scientific specialization by including the subjective in Mercy thought and using a meta-theory in Teacher thought to bridge specializations. The religious option starts by using mental networks to represent imaginary people. A universal Teacher theory is interpreted personally as a concept of God. Technical thought is interpreted personally as a mental concept of Jesus. The salvation of technical thought is then applied to personal identity by ‘Asking Jesus to come into my heart and save me’. The problem with the scientific option arises when science insists upon being materialistic, because salvation will then be limited to improving people’s physical existence and any extension into the spiritual or religious will be rejected as being non-empirical. The problem with the religious option arises when a Christian insists that the Bible is the only source of truth, because salvation will then be limited to emotionally addressing subjective issues. A religious option that is rooted in emotional mental networks will naturally be better at addressing deep emotional issues than a scientific option that attempts to minimize emotions by remaining objective and specialized, while a scientific option that uses rational thought to build technical understanding will naturally be better at coming up with rigorous and positive solutions. The solution is to bring these two together by recognizing that both are referring to different aspects of the same concept of incarnation. But that will only happen if science lets go of its insistence upon materialism and religion lets go of its insistence upon absolute truth. Verse 21 focused upon the religious option. Verse 22 will describe the scientific option.

Jesus responds verbally in verse 22. “And answering, He said to them, ‘Having gone, relate to John what you have seen and heard: Blind receive sight, lame walk, lepers are cleansed and deaf hear, dead are raised, poor are gospelized.’” Having gone means ‘to transport’, which implies that this going needs to be accompanied by a change in thinking. Relate means ‘to declare from’ and is the same word that was used in verse 18 when the disciples reported to John what was happening. Thus, Jesus is not telling the disciples of John to change their report but rather to go through a journey that involves change and then make the report. Seen means ‘to see with the mind’ and heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’, which suggests that this report needs to be accompanied by internal comprehension.

What follows is a list that is different than the list in verse 21. Verse 21 described what absolute truth can accomplish. Verse 22 describes what is accomplished when this absolute truth is reformulated as cognitive or psychological principles. It starts with blind but receive sight adds the prefix ‘up’ to ‘observe’ and ‘up’ implies Teacher understanding. Lame means ‘deprived of a foot, limping’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Walk means to ‘walk around’ which refers to how ‘I conduct my life’. This was not mentioned in verse 21. The body rests on the feet and makes progress by shifting weight from one foot to the other. Similarly, the mind rests upon core mental networks and makes progress by shifting emotional weight between Mercy mental networks and Teacher mental networks. ‘Lame’ describes a mind that lacks one of these two kinds of mental networks. This describes absolute truth which ultimately bases its Teacher understanding upon Mercy mental networks of personal authority. Stated simply, ‘lame walk’ describes the ability to rest upon Teacher understanding independently of Mercy experiences.

‘Lepers are cleansed’ also goes beyond verse 21. Leprous means ‘scaly, leprous’ and comes from ‘a scale of a fish’. This would represent hard patches within Mercy thought, which describes what happens to Mercy thought as a result of absolute truth. Saying this more simply, absolute truth is serious business and gets offended easily. Cleansed means ‘removing all admixture’, which naturally happens when Perceiver thought builds connections of similarity between Mercy experiences as opposed to walls of truth and error. In contrast, verse 21 described therapy being given to incurable diseases and Mercy torture. Thus, absolute truth can heal deep emotional wounds, but it is actually applying a form of therapy rather than dealing with fundamental causes. Deaf means ‘blunt, dull’. Hear means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Thus, the emphasis is not upon physical hearing but rather upon mental comprehension. And this is not mentioned in verse 21. That is because one of the byproducts of feeling that the source of absolute truth is more important than personal identity is that one will feel that one cannot or should not think. ‘Who am I to question, let alone comprehend, the words of the expert?’

Dead means ‘a corpse, a dead body’. And raised means ‘to waken, to raise up’. This represents a true mental rebirth, in which Mercy mental networks of identity are put back together in new form after being disassembled by a Teacher understanding apart. Absolute truth cannot do this, because any attempt to live within absolute truth will eventually corrode the emotional basis of absolute truth. Poor means ‘to crouch or cower like a beggar’ and was previously used in 6:20 to describe the poor, which was interpreted as the state of the blacks at the beginning of the civil rights movement. Gospelized is an accurate translation of a word that means ‘to announce good news’ and is the source of the English word ‘evangelical’. This phrase ‘gospelize the poor’ was previously used in 4:18 which was interpreted as Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points after the First World War. Absolute truth proclaims good news to the poor as indicated by the label ‘evangelical Christianity’. But like Woodrow Wilson’s points, what actually happens is often less than what is preached. However, once personal identity has been placed within a mental map of understanding, then it becomes possible to place other people within this mental map in order to know what step is required to get from their current state to someplace better. This replaces overgeneralized slogans with real, incremental progress. For instance, this essay has been placing Western civilization within a map of cognitive development, in which progress is made one step at a time.

The pairs of verse 22 form a cognitive progression: 1) Perceiver thought learns how to observe the world intelligently. 2) This makes it possible for Teacher theories to become independent of Mercy experiences. 3) Teacher thought that functions independently of Mercy thought can reprogram Mercy thought to reflect Teacher principles of order and integration. 4) This will be accompanied by the feeling that ‘I am capable of thinking and comprehending’. 5) This leads to mental rebirth, in which personal identity ‘lives’ as an individual within an internal map of intelligent understanding. 6) One can then preach true good news that really takes people from where they are to someplace better.

These six stages are described in the order presented in verse 22 in an academic paper that analyzes the crisis experienced by social psychology in the 1970s. Putting this into the larger context, the paper explains that “Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, scholars in various corners of academia began to identify crises in their respective fields. These various crises were undoubtedly part and parcel of what one scholar saw as a larger crisis of academic authority, characterized by student revolt and persistent questioning of the power structures and professed neutrality of the ivory tower.” (The field of social psychology being discussed in this paper is different than the field of sociology examined earlier.)

Looking now at the six stages described in this paper, 1) Perceiver thought observes intelligently. “Data from social psychology gathered in artificial laboratory experiments ‘may relate very much to the motives and feelings and thoughts of subjects about their role in the experiment and very little to their lives outside of it’” (p.3).

2) Teacher theories become independent of Mercy experiences. “It was believed that social psychology had become too consumed with theories built on small, repeatable effects, resulting in theories with a very limited scope. This focus had resulted in a lack of integrative theories that could unite social-psychological findings and capture the complexity of social individuals in complex social systems” (p.4).

3) Teacher theories make rethinking of experience possible. “The language of Schlesinger, Kuhn, and Erikson may have provided social psychologists with a framework for understanding the state of their science and the critiques to which it had been subjected. It may also have provided them and their patrons with a perhaps paradoxical sense of reassurance” (p.6).

4) This builds confidence in the ability to think. “Others surveyed their colleagues to discern how prevalent the feeling of crisis had been in the discipline and concluded that the seemingly ubiquitous sense of crisis might in fact be attributable to a small group of prolific, but dissatisfied, social psychologists, most of whom had Marxist leanings. During this time frame, many authors began to add quotation marks around the word ‘crisis’ when it was used” (p.6).

5) Identity lives within a map of understanding. “Hales has also argued that artifact research on evaluation apprehension led to a rediscovery of the self in social psychology, infusing cognitive models with theories of self-management and self-esteem” (p.6).

6) This makes intelligent proclamation possible. “By 1983, most mainstream psychologists agreed that while there had been significant problems raised in the 1970s, these problems could be addressed without major changes” (p.6).

Summarizing, at the same time that Christianity was approaching psychology and emphasizing being born again, secular social psychology was going through a form of cognitive rebirth.

Verse 23 concludes, “And blessed is whoever shall not be offended in Me.” Blessed means to ‘become long, large’ and describes being successful at building Teacher theories. Offended is used twice in Luke and means ‘to put a snare in the way, to cause to stumble’. Mercy thought applies emotional labels of good and bad to people and situations. Absolute truth treats facts that come from a ‘good’ source as right and good, while treating facts that come from a ‘bad’ source as wrong and bad. Following the progression described in verse 22 will lead to many opportunities for absolute truth to get offended, because pursuing cognitive development often involves learning from people that are labeled ‘bad’ or becoming personally connected with experiences that are labeled ‘bad’. This response of being offended can be seen in the form of Christian psychology pioneered by Adams in Competent to Counsel. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Nouthetic counseling (Greek: noutheteo, to admonish) is a form of evangelical Protestant pastoral counseling based upon conservative evangelical interpretation of the Bible. It repudiates mainstream psychology and psychiatry as humanistic, fundamentally opposed to Christianity, and radically secular. Its viewpoint was originally articulated by Jay E. Adams, in Competent to Counsel (1970) and further books, and has led to the formation of a number of organizations and seminary courses promoting it. The viewpoint is opposed to those seeking to synthesize Christianity with secular psychological thought.” It should be added that other forms of Christian psychology developed in the 1970s that did not take offense at secular psychology. For instance, Wikipedia relates that “Sensing a need to offer advanced training in psychology shaped by a Christian worldview, in 1970 Dr. Narramore became the founding president of the Rosemead School of Psychology, now affiliated with Biola University.”

Jesus discusses John 7:24-28

The next section discusses the nature of John the Baptist. Verse 24 begins, “And the messengers of John having departed, He began to speak to the crowds concerning John: Departed means ‘to go away’. Messenger means ‘angel, messenger’ and was translated as ‘angel’ the previous fifteen times it occurred in Luke. Began means to ‘commence, rule’. Crowd means ‘crowd’. ‘Messengers of John’ would represent the mindset of absolute truth, and because John means ‘the Lord has been gracious’, this would include the idea of being transformed through submission to the lordship of absolute truth, as summarized in the description of Nouthetic counseling. ‘Messengers of John having departed’ indicates symbolically that Protestant Christianity with its absolute truth is itself departing from society. And the mention of an ‘angel, messenger’ implies that this departure involves a heavenly message of religious truth. Stated simply, society is starting to become post-Christian. This leads to a new view of Christianity in which one discusses the nature of ‘John the Baptist’ as an outsider looking in rather than as a participant who assumes Christian content.

When a society becomes post-Christian, then the focus will shift from assuming the absolute truth of the Bible and preaching this content to focusing upon the mindset of absolute truth and maintaining this mindset. Verse 24 finishes, “What have you gone out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?” Gone out means ‘to go or come out of’. Into means ‘to or into’. Wilderness means ‘an uncultivated, unpopulated place’. See means ‘to gaze at a spectacle’. This description suggests that the average person is no longer living in the absolute truth of Christianity. Instead, one now leaves normal life to gaze upon the spectacle of a Christianity that inhabits an area where people do not normally live. Saying this another way, one lives within a post-Christian society from Monday to Saturday and then goes to church on Sunday in order to sit in a pew and observe a spectacle about Christianity. One master’s thesis describes the growing separation of society from the morality of Christian absolute truth, “Moral flexibility and sexual permissiveness of the 1960s allowed for a surge in premarital sex, homosexuality, pornography, abortion, and drug use. The increases in these activities, previously socially unacceptable and illegal, allowed for more people to participate in lifestyle choices that Christians felt were decadent and morally inappropriate.”

Reed means ‘a reed, a reed-pen, reed-staff, measuring rod’ and is used once in Luke. These definitions all apply to absolute truth. It is a ‘reed-pen’ because it is based in a written record, it is a ‘reed-staff’ because one is ruled by this written record, and it is a ‘measuring rod’ because one uses this written record as a standard to measure other ‘truth’. Wind means ‘a gust of air’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Shaken means ‘to shake’ and was previously used in 6:48 to describe the house that was not shaken by the flood. ‘A reed shaken by wind’ represents a written standard of morality that is being shaken by the winds of secular thought.

The master’s thesis describes the growing fear that Christian morality has become ‘a reed shaken by wind’, relating that at “a charter meeting of the National Association of Evangelicals in 1976 Gordon Bacon, a leading member of ESAC, said that the mission of evangelicals should no longer be focused on issues such as world hunger, the arms race, and racial issues, but instead social issues like combating pornography, drug and alcohol use, abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, and the breakdown of family values and child abuse.”

We saw previously when looking at the shaking of social psychology that this shaking was just one specific example of a larger trend. Repeating an earlier quote, “Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, scholars in various corners of academia began to identify crises in their respective fields. These various crises were undoubtedly part and parcel of what one scholar saw as a larger crisis of academic authority, characterized by student revolt and persistent questioning of the power structures.” The ‘power structures’ of Christian absolute truth also experienced this ‘larger crisis of academic authority’ in the 1970s. This created a strong motivation to find absolute truth that could not be shaken by the ‘gusts of air’ of post-modern theorizing. Cognitively speaking, episodes of religious spectacle can recharge the Mercy emotions associated with the source of absolute truth that naturally fade during the rest of the week. Notice that verse 24 is stated in a negative manner. One is not seeking out religious spectacles. Rather, one is turning away from presentations of absolute truth that do not have sufficient potency to counteract the ‘reed being shaken by gusts of wind’.

This was a legitimate concern because the ‘reed’ of the evangelical left did get shaken apart by gusts of wind. Quoting from an academic article, “In the 1970s... the evangelical left held very real potential for political impact. Identity politics helps explain why it did not. In a series of ‘Thanksgiving workshops’... delegates divided themselves by interest – blacks to the race caucus, women into the gender caucus, Anabaptists to the economic lifestyles and nonviolent caucuses, and Calvinists to the politics and education caucuses. By 1975, battles over identity had completely overwhelmed the progressive coalition interest.” Summarizing, in the 1970s there was both an evangelical left and an evangelical right. But the evangelical left did not survive the ‘gusts of wind’ from secular society.

Verse 25 repeats the question. “But what have you gone out to see? A man arrayed in fine clothing? Behold, those in splendid clothing and living in luxury are in palaces.” Gone out is the same word as in verse 24 but see is a different word which means ‘to see with the mind’. (Both the BLB and the NASB use the same word ‘see’ to translate two different Greek words.) This suggests that the struggle turns from external to internal. In verse 24, the religious spectacle of the religious service was sufficient to reinforce the mindset of absolute truth. In verse 25, deeper doubts are starting to emerge that direct attention internally.

Man means ‘mankind’. Clothing refers to ‘an outer garment’, which is interpreted as social interaction. Fine means ‘soft, effeminate’ and is used once in Luke. Arrayed means ‘to enrobe, clothe’. Verse 24 used religious experiences to maintain an assumed standard of absolute truth. Verse 25 is turning to social interaction to maintain absolute truth. That is because the religious believer is realizing that behaving as a polite human in a ‘soft, effeminate’ manner does not maintain absolute truth. The result is that fundamentalist behavior instinctively becomes more rigid and more dogmatic.

The graduate thesis describes this Evangelical Christian rejection of social ‘softness’. “Another shift away from the Social Gospel was the defense of capitalism and a critique of the welfare state that conservatives like neo-fundamentalists began to promote as Christian values. These neo-fundamentalists advocated that financial success was a reward of ‘moral vitality’ and a ‘sign of godliness’. With this shift from a social agenda to a more selfish, materialistic agenda, fundamentalist Christians found themselves sharing values with secular, fiscal conservatives in the Republican Party.” Summarizing, the ‘soft’ social fabric of the ‘social gospel’ and ‘the welfare state’ is being rejected in favor of the ‘moral vitality’ of ‘a more selfish, materialistic agenda’.

Behold means that something has appeared. The second clothing is a slightly different word that means clothing in general. Splendid is used twice in Luke and adds the prefix ‘in the realm’ of to ‘glory’. Living means ‘to begin, to be ready or at hand’. Luxury is used once in Luke and means ‘feebleness brought on by self-indulgence’. Palace is used once in Luke and means ‘kingly, royal’. These terms describe a sudden realization that only those who occupy ‘palaces’ are living in the lap of luxury. This realization happened when the oil crisis of the 1970s brought an end to postwar prosperity.

In the words of one article, “The year 1973 changed everything. High unemployment and a deep recession made experimentation and protest much riskier, effectively putting an end to much of it. A far more conservative age came with the economic changes, shaped by fears of failing and concerns that one’s children might have it worse, not better. Across the industrialised world, politics moved to the Right – a turn that did not avert wage stagnation, the loss of social benefits such as employer-sponsored pensions and health insurance, and the secure, stable employment that had proved instrumental to the rise of a new middle class and which workers had come to take for granted.” Summarizing, the oil crisis of 1973 led to ‘a far more conservative age’ in which ‘politics moved to the right’ because the ‘new middle class’ lost the ‘secure, stable employment’ which it ‘had come to take for granted’. Prosperity was no longer something in which the average person participated. Putting this together, the evangelical left is disappearing, the evangelical right is becoming like the political conservative, and society in general is becoming more politically conservative.

Verse 26 repeats the question using the same phrase as verse 25. “But what have you gone out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one more excellent than a prophet.” This time a positive answer is given, first tentatively and then definitely. Prophet means ‘elevating one idea over another, especially through the spoken word’. What is desired is some person who can bring stability to the mind by focusing upon the appropriate message—a preacher who will preach sermons that are relevant to the consumer society. Notice that absolute truth has now turned into a version of charismatic Christianity, because both are looking for ‘a prophet that will rise up among them’. This works in the short-term, but in the long term it replaces belief in absolute truth with belief in the prophet.

More excellent means ‘all around, more than, beyond what is anticipated’. ‘More excellent than a prophet’ indicates that prophecy is being expected to do more than it can. Such an overexpansion of prophecy happened with the founding of the Moral Majority in 1979. Wikipedia explains that “The variety of resources available to the Moral Majority at its founding facilitated this rapid expansion, and included Falwell’s mailing list from his program, Old Time Gospel Hour. In addition, the Moral Majority took control of the Old Time Gospel Hour’s publication, Journal Champion, which had been distributed to the show’s donors... By 1982, Moral Majority surpassed Christian Voice in size and influence... The Moral Majority’s headquarters were in Lynchburg, Virginia, where Falwell was the presiding minister of the nation’s largest independent Baptist church... Falwell was at the head of the Moral Majority and maintained an advisory board, constituting the organization’s primary leadership. This leadership was drawn mostly from Falwell’s fellow members of the Baptist Bible Fellowship... With a membership of millions, the Moral Majority became one of the largest conservative lobby groups in the United States and at its height, it claimed more than four million members and over two million donors.” Notice how the personal status, congregation, leadership, magazine, and broadcast of a megachurch are being leveraged by the ‘prophet’ of Falwell to create a nationally powerful conservative lobby group. The success of this group shows the desire for something ‘more excellent than a prophet’. That is because the Moral Majority did not create something new and different but rather took the existing structure of a ‘prophet’ and made it larger than expected.

Verse 27 then looks at the bigger picture. “This is he concerning whom it has been written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’” Written means ‘to write’ and indicates a focus upon the content of absolute truth. The first phrase connects this new concept of a prophet with the content of absolute truth. Send ‘focuses back to the source, the one sending’. Messenger means ‘angel, messenger’ and was previously used in verse 24. Face means ‘the face’ and is interpreted as nonverbal communication. Prepare is used twice in Luke and means to ‘make exactly ready’. This describes preparing that is guided by technical expertise. Way means ‘a way, road’ and indicates following some Server sequence. Before means ‘before, in front of’. ‘Preparing your way before you’ suggests that the path for absolute truth is being carefully established beforehand.

One might think that evangelical Christianity becoming united with political and social conservatism would have nothing to do with any carefully prepared path, but this makes sense if one examines the cognitive role played by absolute truth. The post-Christian would claim that Bible-based Christianity has no further purpose, while the Bible-based Christian views this form of Christianity as the ultimate and final version of Christianity. However, absolute truth actually plays an intermediate cognitive role of education. The child who enters primary school has a mind that is based upon Mercy mental networks which is incapable of grasping abstract Teacher understanding. This is the basic premise of Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. The learning child is given textbooks and told that they were written by experts. Thus, education starts by viewing textbooks as written sources of absolute truth. Going further, studying a textbook can lead to the development of Teacher understanding, making it possible for the high school student to go beyond rote learning to critical thinking.

Looking at this historically, the scholasticism of the Middle Ages believed that truth had been revealed to ancient experts through the absolute truth of Greek and Roman manuscripts. The Scientific Revolution replaced the absolute truth of Greek and Christian revealed texts with the textbooks of scientific Teacher theories and scholasticism turned from teaching the ancient texts to teaching the textbooks of modern science. A form of scholasticism still exists today in the form of education and the preservation of knowledge through textbooks.

Applying this to Christianity, mental symmetry has been used to reformulate Christian doctrine and practice from a cognitive perspective. The extent of this analysis can be seen by perusing the wide range of theological and doctrinal topics covered in the mental symmetry website site. If Christianity can be reformulated as a Teacher theory of cognition and personal transformation, then this means that Bible-based Christianity is actually an intermediate form of religion that leads from the childish idols and gods of Roman society to a rationally formulated Christianity based in cognitive mechanisms. Thus, Bible-based Christianity can provide the long-term educational role of teaching and preserving the moral content of society and religion. This leads to the conclusion that this future role of evangelical Christianity became ‘prepared beforehand’ in the 1970s when it became equated with conservative politics and economics.

I know that the typical evangelical Christian would categorically reject this reasoning, but verse 28 provides a reason for this conclusion. “I say to you, no one among those born of women is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” Greater is interpreted as Teacher generality and is used twice in this verse. Woman means ‘a woman’ and represents mental networks of female thought. ‘Born of women’ would indicate a form of thinking that is based in mental networks. That describes absolute truth which is ultimately based in mental networks of respect for some source of ‘truth’. Saying that no one is greater than John does not mean that John is the most important, but rather that the absolute truth that comes from belief in the Bible has the greatest Teacher generality; it applies to the most situations. This essay is showing the extent to which the Bible can be treated as a textbook of Western civilization. Similarly, Christian doctrine and theology makes sense cognitively as a textbook of personal transformation. This leads to the conclusion that the content of the Bible has the most Teacher generality of any ‘absolute truth born of the mental networks of female thought’.

Least means ‘small, little’ and would indicate an absence of Teacher generality. Kingdom means ‘the realm in which a king sovereignly rules’. ‘Kingdom of God’ would mean the domain over which a concept of God in Teacher thought applies. Any Teacher theory based in absolute truth has a limited domain; it only applies to the subset of existence where the special book is being honored in some way. For instance, treating the Bible as a source of absolute truth limits its domain to the realm of Bible-believing Christians. Even a small theory that functions within a legitimate Teacher understanding of God applies more widely than the religious ghetto to which a holy book applies. Thus, even if the Bible really is the Word of God that accurately describes universal principles about God and humanity, the universality of these principles will only be recognized by going beyond a mindset of absolute truth. This cognitive limitation became apparent in the 1970s when biblical morality ceased to be the universal standard for Western society and became associated with a Bible-believing societal subculture.

Declaring God Righteous 7:29-35

Verse 29 describes a new concept of God emerging in some individuals. “And all the people having heard, even the tax collectors, declared God righteous, having been baptized with the baptism of John.” People means ‘laity’. Heard means ‘to comprehend by hearing’. Tax collector was previously used in 5:27-30 to describe the coal and steel agreement that lead to the founding of the European Community. Declare righteous means to show to be righteous, declare righteous’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Righteousness is defined as Server actions that reflect a general understanding in Teacher thought. Stated another way, one is behaving in a manner that is emotionally guided by the Teacher mental network of a universal understanding and/or concept of God. It was mentioned earlier that a theological distinction can be made between the justification of being ‘declared righteous’ and the sanctification of ‘becoming righteous’. Using the school analogy, justification acquires the ‘name’ of being a student enrolled in school while sanctification takes the classes and passes the exams of the school. Verse 29 describes something unusual which is God being declared righteous. This happens cognitively when people recognize that God acts within human history, because this connects human actions in Server thought with a concept of God in Teacher thought. Verse 29 does not say that everyone becomes righteous, that everyone understands righteousness, or even that everyone becomes enrolled in God’s school of righteousness. Instead, it states that people verbally declare God to be righteous.

The combining of Christianity with conservatism that happened in the 1970s was different then the concept of God and Country that drove World War I. The First World War was controlled by the machinations of the nobility. Those who had Mercy status within society chose to go to war and were supported by the church and technology. A monarchy is not a universal standard in Teacher thought; if one monarchy rules then another monarchy does not. Instead, a monarch is a person in Mercy thought who can choose how to behave. The religious right, in contrast, focused upon traditional American ways of doing things. Quoting from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Christian fundamentalists were alarmed by a number of developments that, in their view, threatened to undermine the country’s traditional moral values. These included the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the gay rights movement, the relatively permissive sexual morality prevalent among young people, and the teaching of evolution... In addition, the organization supported increased defense spending, a strong anti-communist foreign policy, and continued American support for Israel.” This may be a negative definition but it still focuses upon actions and behavior—one is behaving in a manner that is different than all of the other competing movements. This leads to the concept of a God of righteousness because God is being associated with certain forms of human behavior, certain social processes, and the history of some group of people. This can be universalized because it is possible for other countries to behave in a manner that is consistent with conservative Christian America. (We will see later that this changed under Trump and during covid.)

Verse 29 follows cognitively from verse 28 and this relationship became apparent to me as I was developing mental symmetry. I grew up in a Mennonite household that believed and followed the Bible as the source of absolute truth. Among other things, this formed a potent Teacher mental network of a concept of God. This concept of God felt emotionally threatened when I started to use mental symmetry to analyze Christian doctrines, because I was not basing my thinking upon the words of the Bible but rather starting from a cognitive model. This is a potent cognitive mechanism that will cause evangelical Christians to instinctively reject mental symmetry even if the content of mental symmetry is consistent with Christian doctrine. I found that the solution is to apply the principle of verse 28. A concept of God that is based in the words of a holy book actually has a very limited domain, which contradicts the concept of God being a universal being. Thus, using a cognitive mechanism to explain a religious doctrine actually expands the domain of a concept of God by bringing it outside of the religious ghetto to the rest of life. The fundamentalist Christian has to bring up some religious topic in order to talk about God. In contrast, I can now include God in almost any conversation because my concept of God is based upon universal principles. More specifically, such universality makes it possible for an essay on the Gospel of Luke to include both religious and secular topics.

The limited domain of a God of the Bible is not apparent when everyone within society accepts the Bible as a source of absolute truth. It only becomes obvious when most of society no longer accepts the Bible as a source of absolute truth and Bible-believing Christians find themselves marginalized by society. When a Christian concept of God becomes marginalized by society, then this concept of God becomes enrolled in a school of ‘character transformation’. I know that God has traditionally been regarded as unchanging and unchangeable, but we are not looking here at God changing but rather at a concept of God actually becoming what it claims to be. Stated simply, a concept of God that is based in the absolute truth of some book is not a valid concept of God, even if that book really is the Word of God. That is because God, by definition, is an infinite being, and absolute truth, by definition, is based in the specific words of a specific book. In the same way that being declared righteous is a significant transition in the path of personal transformation, so declaring a concept of God to be righteous is a significant transition in the path of transforming a concept of God.

Obviously, it is only possible to move beyond absolute truth to universal truth if what is being taught as absolute truth actually describes valid universal principles. That leads to the requirement of a God of righteousness. This is because universality is found in Server sequences and not in Perceiver facts. Science studies natural processes; it examines how the world behaves. Similarly, it is possible to find universal principles in how the mind behaves. This means that a key aspect in reformulating a concept of God is recognizing that God is righteous—one learns about the character of God by looking at sequences and behavior.

Summarizing, transforming an inadequate concept of God has two requirements: First, the existing concept of God must feel fundamentally inadequate. Teacher emotion comes from generality. A God of the Bible will feel inadequate when the Bible and Christianity are relegated to some small fragment of society. Second, an alternative, more adequate concept of God must exist, and discovering such a concept of God requires recognizing that God is righteous. The extensive order-within-complexity of modern technological society implicitly teaches the mind that humanity in Mercy thought is guided by universality in Teacher thought, while the machines and gadgets of modern technology implicitly guide the mind toward thinking about sequences, processes, and righteousness—because gadgets behave. Going further, the idea that God has been guiding American history was explored in a 1980 book entitled The Light and the Glory. I am not suggesting that one should regard modern civilization as God, but rather that modern civilization provides a sufficient framework from which one can analogically construct a more adequate concept of God.

Baptize means to ‘dip under’. ‘Having been baptized with the baptism of John’ would indicate a legitimate ‘conversion experience’ in which one ‘dips under’ the water of Mercy experience by finding existing Mercy mental networks fundamentally inadequate in some manner and then responding by requesting help from mental networks of absolute truth. Using theological language, one comes to Jesus as a sinner and asks for personal salvation. This ‘dipping under’ is necessary because the mind will only reach out to a different set of mental networks if existing mental networks have proved to be inadequate. Going further, in the same way that the emotional benefit that comes from enrolling in a school depends upon the emotional status of that school, so the emotional benefit of being ‘born again’ depends upon emotional respect for absolute truth. Saying this more clearly, if society loses respect for the Bible and if Christianity becomes marginalized, then believing that the Bible says that ‘God has forgiven my sins’ will lose emotional weight and be regarded as similar to my neighbor saying that ‘God has forgiven my sins’. This means that a Christian concept of God will become ‘enrolled within a school of transformation’ primarily within the minds of those who are emotionally dependent upon such a concept of God, because they are the ones who feel a sense of emotional loss when Christianity becomes marginalized by society. The solution is to recognize that the ‘baptism of John’ of being ‘born again’ depends upon cognitive mechanisms that function within every mind independently of human opinion.

Verse 29 adds that this effect will extend even to the ‘tax collectors’. This extension happened because of the concept of a ‘Christian America’. One author explains the progression that led to this belief. Quoting from the summary, “The belief that America is fundamentally and formally a Christian nation originated in the 1930s when businessmen enlisted religious activists in their fight against FDR’s New Deal... But this apparent triumph had an ironic twist. In Eisenhower’s hands, a religious movement born in opposition to the government was transformed into one that fused faith and the federal government as never before. During the 1950s, Eisenhower revolutionized the role of religion in American political culture, inventing new traditions from inaugural prayers to the National Prayer Breakfast. Meanwhile, Congress added the phrase ‘under God’ to the Pledge of Allegiance and made ‘In God We Trust’ the country’s first official motto... During this moment, virtually all Americans—across the religious and political spectrum—believed that their country was ‘one nation under God’... [But] religious leaders rejected this ‘lowest common denomination’ public religion, leaving conservative political activists to champion it alone. In Richard Nixon’s hands, a politics that conflated piety and patriotism became sole property of the right.” This quote describes the secular half of the ‘marriage’ between evangelical Christianity and the American right that was mentioned before. The evangelical Christian depended emotionally upon the concept of ‘the Bible is the Word of God’, while the American right depended emotionally upon the concept of ‘America is a Christian nation’. Thus, the ghetto-izing of Christianity affected not just evangelical Christians with a personal ‘faith in God’ but also the political right with a national ‘faith in God’.

Verse 30 qualifies that this realization is not universal. “But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the counsel of God as to themselves, not having been baptized by him.” Pharisee means ‘a separatist, a purist’ and would describe someone who regards following absolute truth as maintaining separation from the outside world. Lawyer means ‘an expert in Jewish law or theology’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Such a person already has a concept of a God of theology in Teacher thought. Counsel is used twice in Luke and means ‘a resolved plan, used particularly of the immutable aspect of God’s plan’, and verse 30 specifically refers to the counsel of God. For instance, this essay is discussing the ‘counsel of God’. Reject means to ‘un-place’, ‘to do away with what has been laid down’. It is used in Luke in this verse and four times in 10:16. Verse 30 does not say that these individuals have not been baptized but rather that they have not been ‘baptized by him’. The ‘Pharisee’ becomes mentally baptized by embracing the cultural mental networks of some religious community. Such an individual becomes emotionally protected from what is happening within the larger society, as epitomized by the Amish. Similarly, the ‘lawyer’ has mentally constructed a concept of God based in theology that is also emotionally protected from the trends of society. In both cases, the ‘battle’ of preserving an existing inadequate concept of God is won at the cost of losing the ‘war’ of transforming an inadequate concept of God.

Verse 31 provides a comparison. “To what therefore will I liken the men of this generation? And to what are they like?” Liken means to ‘make like, compare, resemble’. Men refers to humanity. Generation means ‘race, family, generation’ and would represent the people of some era. The second like is the adjectival form of the verb ‘liken’.

Verse 32 provides the analogy. “They are like to little children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, saying.” Verse 32 begins with another ‘like’. A little child is ‘a little child under training’, which suggests the school analogy at the primary level of teaching absolute truth to little children. Marketplace means ‘an assembly, place of assembly’. Sitting means ‘to be seated’ and represents taking a place of authority. Calling means ‘to call to’. One another is a reciprocal pronoun. In the previous section, everyone was declaring God as righteous. Verse 32 suggests that many groups who are functioning cognitively at the primary level of beginning students are publicly declaring their understanding of God in an authoritative manner. describes the childish calling to one another of the 1970s. “Seeking to fill their lives with meaning, [many] experimented with exercise, psychotherapy, health food, and alternative religions. In their search for spiritual fulfillment, many people began to follow the teachings of self-anointed prophets and spiritual gurus. Although some of these spiritual leaders were legitimate, others were unethical con men, using their followers’ financial contributions to fund a lavish personal lifestyle. A few were dangerous madmen, leading their unsuspecting believers to their death.”

Verse 32 continues, “We piped to you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.” Piped is used once in Luke and means ‘to play on a flute’. Dance is also used once in Luke and means ‘to dance’. Lament means to ‘mourn, lament, especially audibly’. Weep means to ‘weep aloud’. describes these two simultaneous emotional streams. “The 1970s were a tumultuous time. In some ways, the decade was a continuation of the 1960s. Women, African Americans, Native Americans, gays and lesbians and other marginalized people continued their fight for equality, and many Americans joined the protest against the ongoing war in Vietnam. In other ways, however, the decade was a repudiation of the 1960s. A ‘New Right’ mobilized in defense of political conservatism and traditional family roles.” The left was ‘piping’ the ‘tune’ of equality and expecting the rest of society to dance to this tune. ‘Equal rights’ qualifies as a ‘tune’ because it is a nonverbal expectation based in the Teacher overgeneralization of breaking down societal barriers. ‘Dancing according to this tune’ would mean behaving in a manner consistent with this nonverbal Teacher overgeneralization. Meanwhile, the right was lamenting the loss of ‘traditional family roles’ and expecting the rest of society to ‘weep aloud’.

Such ‘piping in order to get people to dance’ can be seen in American television at the beginning of the 1970s. Wikipedia summarizes, “As the 1970s began, the Big Three TV networks were rapidly re-engineering their lineups, noting that existing programs were not attracting the youth audience... To reflect the new social trends, television changed dramatically with more urban and edgy settings, and replaced the popular rural/country wholesome look of the 1950s and 1960s, seen as outmoded and unable to connect with young, educated urban audiences. This particular trend was known as the rural purge. Television was transformed by what became termed as ‘social consciousness’ programming, such as All in the Family and Soap, which broke down television barriers.” However, Wikipedia adds that people soon tired of ‘dancing’ to this ‘piping’ of social consciousness. “By the mid-to-late 1970s, viewers tired of socially responsible sitcoms. Former CBS head of programming Fred Silverman defected to struggling ABC started the trend of TV centred on sexual gratification and bawdy humor and situations, nicknamed ‘jiggle television.’ Jiggle TV shows included the crime-fighting television series Charlie’s Angels, which starred up-and-coming sex symbols Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, and Kate Jackson and the risqué sitcom such as Three’s Company.” The focus of ‘jiggle television’ is upon violating social standards with regard to body parts and bodily functions. A similar emphasis upon violating social taboos about bodily functions can be seen in little children, because research has shown that seven-year-old children ‘love fart jokes’. Thus, it is appropriate for verse 32 to talk about little children in the market, because ‘jiggle television’ could be regarded as the adult equivalent of ‘fart jokes’. In a similar vein, a simple glance at 1970s fashion is sufficient to demonstrate that childish thought was generating trends. Wikipedia explains that “In the early 1970s, Vogue proclaimed ‘There are no rules in the fashion game now’ due to overproduction flooding the market with cheap synthetic clothing. Common items included mini skirts, bell-bottoms popularized by hippies, vintage clothing from the 1950s and earlier, and the androgynous glam rock and disco styles that introduced platform shoes, bright colors, glitter, and satin.” I still have my first tuxedo from the late 1970s. The jacket has a wide collar of crushed velvet while the shirt has one inch frills. Looking more generally at this growing reluctance to dance or mourn, summarizes, “After Watergate, many people withdrew from politics altogether. They turned instead to pop culture–easy to do in such a trend-laden, fad-happy decade.”

Verse 33 provides an interpretation. “For John the Baptist has come neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’” ‘John the Baptist’ is interpreted as evangelical Christianity with its emphasis upon absolute truth and being ‘born again’. Bread means ‘bread’ and represents ‘loaves’ of intellectual knowledge. ‘Eating bread’ would mean acquiring new information in packaged form. Wine represents pleasant experiences of culture, and ‘drinking wine’ would represent enjoying the benefits of the consumer society. John the Baptist is doing neither, which represents a form of evangelical Christianity that focuses upon the Bible as opposed to scientific learning, and lives a conservative lifestyle as opposed to enjoying the new freedom of ‘hippie’ society. A demon is interpreted as the Teacher mental network that drives some fragmented habit. Putting this together, the fundamentalist conservative Christian is being written off as being motivated by strange habits. Notice that behavior which used to be the norm for American society is now being regarded as an aberration by society. This negative appraisal is partially because society has moved on and also partially because attempting to reimpose a mindset of absolute truth will actually end up imposing the opinions of some group of people upon society and not reestablish a mindset of absolute truth.

Verse 34 describes the alternative. “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a man, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and of sinners!’” Man means ‘mankind’ and ‘Son of Man’ represents an integrated technical system of humanity such as modern Western society with its technical infrastructure. ‘Eating and drinking’ means that this system is acquiring new knowledge and generating new experiences through research and development. Glutton is used once in Luke and means ‘glutton’. Drunkard is also used once in Luke and means ‘a wine drinker’. Thus, the consumer society is being regarded as excess consumption. Friend is ‘philos’ and describes someone with compatible mental networks. Tax collector means ‘tax collector’ and would refer to some official manner of monetary extortion. Sinner means ‘missing the mark’. Putting this together, people are forming a negative image of the consumer society and comparing it to either financially extorting the masses or else getting consumers to continue purchasing cheap, unnecessary gadgets. A Smithsonian article describes this shift in mindset. “During the Consumer Era, production boomed and consumerism shaped the American marketplace, which spread from cities to suburbs... This era marked a high point of American productivity and a high standard of living. But it ended with many Americans questioning the promises of consumer capitalism. As the economic engine slowed in the 1970s, productivity waned, wages flattened, and Americans faced an energy crisis that reshaped consumer expectations.”

Verse 35 concludes, “And wisdom was justified by all her children.” Justified means ‘to show to be righteous, declare righteous’ and was previously used in verse 29 where people declared God to be righteous. Wisdom means ‘clarity’. All means ‘each part of a totality’. Child means ‘a child living in willing dependence’. Putting this together, all those who depend upon clarity work together to turn clarity into Teacher understanding. This describes what happened during the personal computer revolution that began in the 1970s, which will be discussed when looking at chapter 8. For instance, one of the earliest computer standards was the S-100 bus, introduced in 1975. Wikipedia summarizes, “The designer... placed the existing components in a case with additional ‘slots’, so that the missing components could be plugged in later when they became available... He then looked for an inexpensive source of connectors, and he came across a supply of military surplus 100-pin edge connectors. The 100-pin bus was created by an anonymous draftsman, who selected the connector from a parts catalog and arbitrarily assigned signal names to groups of connector pins. A burgeoning industry of ‘clone’ machines followed the introduction of the Altair in 1975. Most of these used the same bus layout as the Altair, creating a new industry standard... The first symposium on the S-100 bus, moderated by Jim Warren, was held November 20, 1976... Just one year later, the S-100 Bus would be described as ‘the most used busing standard ever developed in the computer industry.’” Notice that this computer standard began with a cheap supply of military surplus connectors with arbitrarily assigned names given to the pins. But others could make ‘clone’ boards that worked with the S-100 if the pinouts and timings of this bus were clearly defined. This led very quickly to the S-100 bus being ‘declared righteousness’—an ‘industry standard’ that guided everyone’s behavior. Similarly, when the Apple II came out in 1977, its expansion slots became an industry standard, and the computer itself became a standard for writing Apple II compatible software. Notice that verse 35 happens after verse 34. Thus, the consumer society may have inherent shortcomings, but the technical industry required to produce consumer items inherently leads to clarification followed by the establishing of industry standards.

A Sinful Woman anoints Jesus 7:36-43

The next story happens within the home of a Pharisee. Verse 36 begins, “And one of the Pharisees was asking Him that He should eat with him, and having entered into the house of the Pharisee, He reclined.” Ask means ‘to ask on special footing, intimacy’. Pharisee means ‘a separatist, a purist’. And eating represents consuming intellectual food. Thus, some aspect of conservative thought is attempting to use technical thought to acquire information. ‘Entering into the house of the Pharisee’ means that this technical study is happening within the conservative subculture. ‘One of the Pharisees’ indicates that this story does not apply to all of the conservative subculture. This is the first use of recline in Luke. Roman meals were eaten by reclining at a table. This suggests that technical thought is occupying a fairly permanent position at the ‘table of the Pharisee’.

The story is centered around a ‘sinful woman’ who enters the house of the Pharisee. The identity of the sinful woman will be discussed later. Based upon that identity, one concludes that the specific ‘Pharisee’ appears to be Chuck Smith, the pastor of Calvary Chapel in Los Angeles. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Calvary Chapel’s rolling commentary-style of preaching kept the Calvary Chapels close to the text of the Bible and was readily understandable by many hearers. Calvary Chapel developed its own internal training early for multiplication of church leaders and pastors; by pioneering a more informal and contemporary style in its church practices, Calvary Chapel reached large numbers in Costa Mesa and expanded easily by adding many pastors and new congregations in many locations. The impact of Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel on evangelical Christianity is profound, widespread, and largely unheralded. Rather than being a teacher of systems and methods of growing large churches (elements of which frustrated him in his denominational experience), Chuck Smith taught his personal brand of leadership at pastors’ conferences which included one single male leader, who held the majority of the power, with a group of elders who served primarily as figure heads to reinforce pastoral authority.”

Comparing this description with verse 36, ‘eating with him’ is reflected in the ‘rolling commentary style of preaching’ that is ‘close to the text of the Bible’. A ‘house’ of separatism is reinforced by the ‘internal training’ of ‘church leaders and pastors’, while purity is reinforced through a ‘single male leader, who held the majority of the power’. (Unfortunately, this organizational purity has not always extended to moral purity.) Concentrating church power in a ‘single male leader’ relates to the principle mentioned earlier that restoring respect for absolute truth requires the imposition of personal authority. Notice that the ‘impact on evangelical Christianity is profound, widespread, and largely unheralded’ which means that one is dealing with a major movement within Christianity and not just some obscure pastor.

In verse 37, a sinful woman enters the room. “And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner. And she having known that He had reclined in the Pharisee’s house, having taken an alabaster flask of fragrant oil.” Behold suggests that some event has happened. Woman means ‘woman’ and would refer to the mental networks of female thought. In means ‘in the realm of’. Thus, ‘a woman in the city’ would refer to mental networks of civilization, as opposed to the separatist lifestyle of the Pharisee. Know means ‘apt experiential knowing’. Thus, this woman accurately knows from personal experience that technical thought is helping conservative thought to acquire information within the conservative setting.

Wikipedia describes such an entering of the house of evangelical Christianity by a ‘sinful woman’. “Jesus music primarily began in population centers of the United States where the Jesus movement was gaining momentum—Southern California, San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago—around 1969–70. Large numbers of hippies and street musicians began converting to born-again Christianity... In the aftermath of such conversions, these musicians continued playing the same styles of music that they had been playing prior to their conversion, though they now infused their lyrics with a Christian message.” Music is an emotional expression of the mental networks of female thought. Many ‘hippies and street musicians’ entered the ‘Pharisaical house’ of ‘born-again Christianity’ while continuing to play ‘the same styles of music that they had been playing prior to their conversion’ which expressed the ‘mental networks of the city’. Many evangelicals regarded such worldly music as ‘sinful’. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The music was described by many as worldly at best or as ‘the Devil’s music’ in the worst case. This latter position was held by conservatives such as Bill Gothard as taught in his Basic Youth Conflicts Seminars. These were some of the main factors that caused many U.S. churches to largely reject the movement and these artists at the time.”

Taken is used once in Luke and means ‘to bear, carry’. Alabaster flask means ‘a box of alabaster’ and is used once in Luke. Alabaster is a soft stone that is used primarily as an ornamental stone. This suggests a container composed of reasonably solid Perceiver truth. Fragrant oil means ‘an ointment made of olive oil and other spices’. Olive oil represents the Holy Spirit. A concept of the Holy Spirit is based upon Platonic forms of ideal perfection. Such Platonic forms require Perceiver facts, and alabaster suggests Perceiver facts that are sufficiently solid to form a reasonably stable concept of the Holy Spirit.

Wikipedia describes the initial spiritual focus of this ‘Jesus music’. Repeating an earlier quote, “Initially, the music tended to be relatively simple, as it drew largely on guitar-based folk and folk-rock influences. The message also seemed to be relatively simple, as the songwriters attempted to present the value of a Christ-centered spiritual experience without evoking the vocabulary or other trappings of ecclesiastical religion. Rather than quoting religious cliches or King James Bible verses, they used storytelling, allegory, imagery, and complex metaphors, often with a colloquial language that flustered conservatives.” Notice the ‘fragrant oil’ of ‘the value of a Christ-centered spiritual experience’ as well as the reasonably solid Perceiver analogies of ‘storytelling, allegory, imagery, and complex metaphors’.

Verse 38 describes the behavior of the woman. “And having stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with the tears, and she was wiping them with the hairs of her head.” Stood means ‘to make to stand’ and is interpreted as some source of Perceiver stability. Behind means ‘back, behind, after’ and is usually translated as ‘after’. This suggests taking up a subsidiary or supportive role. Feet represents the mental networks upon which the mind rests. Given the context, these would represent the mental networks supporting the absolute truth upon which evangelical Christianity rests. Weeping means to ‘weep aloud’ which indicates a public expression of grief. This word was previously used in verse 32 describes what the audience was not doing. Tear means ‘a teardrop’ and is only used in Luke in this story. Tears are moisture that fall from the eyes. If the eyes represent using Perceiver thought to analyze the environment, tears represent adding an emotional Mercy component to this Perceiver analysis, which also describes the mental trigger that causes actual tears to flow.

An LA Times article describes the initial supportive role of Jesus music. “There’s just something so pure about where it all started... There wasn’t really an industry or an agenda behind it. Just a bunch of hippie kids that experienced something and gathered in masses to sing their songs.” The article also describes the literal tears that were evoked by Jesus music when it first appeared within the ‘house of pharisees’. “Smith, a Bible-thumping conservative, was wary... The church was growing, though, and Girard and his Love Song bandmates Jay Truax and Tommy Coomes convinced Smith to listen to them play. In the sanctuary, they offered ‘Welcome Back,’ a breathtaking Beach Boys-inspired production about a fallen believer returning to God. Hearing the song, Smith later wrote, ‘The Holy Spirit just touched my heart. I began to weep, and I hadn’t even been anywhere!’... Within two years, Love Song would play as part of the Billy Graham-co-signed Explo ’72 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas before an estimated 75,000 people.” Explo ’72 was mentioned earlier when looking at the Jesus movement. This section focuses upon the music that emerged from the Jesus movement.

Wet means ‘to send rain, to rain’ and is only used in Luke in this story. This emphasizes the presence of a ‘liquid’ of Mercy experiences. Began means to ‘commence, rule’. ‘Wet his feet with the tears’ indicates that this adding of Mercy emotions to Perceiver facts is providing emotional support for personal identity. ‘Began’ indicates that this is something new which is giving this emotional expression a more authoritative role. Head means ‘the head’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Hair means ‘hair’ and is interpreted as intuitive thought, especially when combined with the phrase ‘of the head’. First, intuitive thought emerges as ‘strings of consciousness’ from the head. Second, Luke 21:14-18 specifically relates responding spontaneously and intuitively with ‘not a hair of your head should perish’. This hair is specifically referred to as ‘of her head’ which indicates that the intuitive thought is coming from female mental networks. Wiping means ‘to knead out’ and is only used in Luke in this story. Kneading is a mixing step in the process of making bread. This is happening within the context of eating in the house of the Pharisee, suggesting that this female intuitive thought is playing a role in helping people to process intellectual food.

Jesus music took on this larger role of helping evangelical Christians to mentally ‘knead’ their beliefs. Quoting further from the LA Times, “A half-dozen Calvary Chapel bands united in 1971 to create ‘The Everlastin’ Living Jesus Music Concert’... Fifty years later, ‘The Everlastin’ Living Jesus Music Concert’ is considered the Big Bang of contemporary Christian music — a collection of folk-inspired soft rock that, as it eased its way onto youth-group turntables across the country, cast a spell over Jesus-loving, mostly white baby boomers amid a generational shift.” Saying this symbolically, ‘Jesus loving’ people are going through a ‘generational shift’ in which the weight of their identity is moving from one foot to another. Jesus music is ‘wetting the feet’ of ‘Jesus-loving’ people through the emotions of culturally relevant music. And Jesus music used intuitive thinking and language. Repeating part of an earlier quote from Wikipedia, “Rather than quoting religious cliches or King James Bible verses, they used storytelling, allegory, imagery, and complex metaphors, often with a colloquial language that flustered conservatives.”

Verse 38 finishes, “And was kissing His feet, and was anointing them with the fragrant oil.” Kissing is actually the verb for ‘phileo’ love and verse 38 uses an intensive form. Thus, kissing represents verbally indicating that another person has compatible mental networks. ‘Fervently kissing his feet’ would represent being emotionally comfortable with the movement of technical thought within the ‘home of the Pharisee’. Anointing is only used in Luke in this story and means ‘to rub or smear olive oil on the body’. And fragrant oil is the same word that was used in verse 37. Notice that the woman has now become a source of anointing for the mental networks that support personal identity.

Wikipedia describes this transition from the movement of Jesus music to the industry of Contemporary Christian Music. “By 1973, Jesus music was receiving enough attention inside the mainstream media that an industry began to emerge. By the mid-1970s, the phrase ‘contemporary Christian music’ (CCM) had been coined... By 1976, it was apparent that a new generation of performers who had grown up in the church wanted to play non-secular pop and rock music for other Christians. By the end of the 1970s the term ‘Jesus music’ fell out of use as the movement was replaced by the industry.” Summarizing, Jesus music is ‘kissing the feet’ of technical thinking and becoming the ‘industry’ of Contemporary Christian Music. And CCM is providing a ‘fragrant oil of anointing’ for church performers who want to ‘play non-secular pop and rock music for other Christians’.

The Pharisee reacts in verse 39. “And the Pharisee, the one having invited Him, having seen, spoke within himself, saying, ‘If this were a prophet, He would have known who and what the woman is who touches Him; for she is a sinner.’” Pharisee means ‘a separatist, a purist’. Invited means ‘to call’. Having seen means ‘to see with the mind’. This sequence started in verse 36 with a pharisaical mindset calling to technical thought for understanding. This mindset is now seeing what has happened and is having internal questions. A prophet ‘asserts one idea over another’. Know means to ‘experientially know’. Who is a generic term for ‘who, which, what, why’. What is used twice in Luke and means ‘from what country’. Touch means ‘to modify or change by touching’. Sinner means ‘missing the mark’. Putting this together, a pharisaical mindset of absolute truth divides reality into right and wrong facts, locations, and contexts based upon whether Perceiver thought links these items to good Mercy sources or bad Mercy sources. Such a mindset maintains purity by avoiding aspects of reality that are labeled as wrong and/or bad. The Pharisee knows in verse 39 that the woman is bad and concludes that Jesus should use pharisaical thinking to know experientially that this woman is associated with a ‘bad country’. Because Jesus does not label the woman and her place as bad but rather is being influenced by the woman, the Pharisee doubts the verbal focus of Jesus.

One can see this logic, for instance, in a book entitled Baptist Music Wars. Quoting from the chapter on the history of CCM, “Founded in 1971, Maranatha Music was one of the first contemporary Christian music publishing companies. It was founded by Chuck Smith, Sr., of Calvary Chapel... The members of Love Song started out by playing songs they had written before they were converted, when they were walking after the god of this world. And when they started writing ‘Christian’ songs, all they did was add ‘Jesus’ to their old music... The hippies should have been discipled and biblically trained before they were allowed to minister to the churches through music. They should have been grounded in sound doctrine and taught Bible principles of Christian living, spiritual music, and separation from the world.” Summarizing, the author complains that Christian words are being slapped onto Mercy mental networks of ‘bad’ secular culture, and that these musicians were not taught proper respect for the absolute truth of the Bible. Going further, the book complains that this music “creates an emotional experience associated with a vague spirituality which is not solidly Bible based. There is no clear gospel message. There is nothing about sin, the cross, repentance, or biblical faith. Jesus didn’t die for our tears; He died for our sins.” In other words, the traditional Christian message of forgiveness of sins is being downplayed.

These are all accurate assessments—if one assumes that Christianity based in absolute truth is the ultimate form of Christianity. But we saw earlier that the evangelical message of ‘Jesus dying for your sins’ will lose much of its emotional impact when Christianity becomes societally marginalized. Saying this more bluntly, the average person in the 1970s who was handed a Baptist tract which said that ‘You are a sinner who needs to be saved by Jesus’ would probably reject this message as outdated religious fanaticism. However, many of these individuals would be attracted by the emotional appeal of CCM.

The next verses discuss the emotional intensity of a feeling of forgiveness. Verse 40 begins, “And answering, Jesus said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ And he says, ‘Teacher, say it.’” Notice that Jesus is verbally replying to the thought of verse 39. The implication is that much of this logic has be functioning non-verbally. Until now, the person was referred to as ‘the Pharisee’. This term is not mentioned again. Instead, the same person is now referred to as Simon, which means ‘to hear’. In other words, the emphasis turns from a lifestyle of separatism and purity to words within Teacher thought. Absolute truth combines these two because it uses Mercy mental networks of separatism and purity to overwhelm Perceiver thought into ‘knowing’ that the words of some holy book are true. Consistent with this focus upon words, the term ‘say’ is used four times. However, the third say (in ‘and he says’) is only used three times in Luke (twice in this story) and means to ‘bring to light by asserting one statement over another’, ‘literally, produce an epiphany’. This describes the shining of some Teacher theory. Thus, technical thought will lead to some epiphany within Teacher thought regarding words. Saying this more clearly, a mental shift will happen from preaching the absolute truth of the Bible, as the author of the Baptist Music Wars suggests, to a Teacher understanding of the emotional impact of words.

Verse 41 introduces a financial comparison. “There were two debtors to a certain creditor. The one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.” Debtor is used twice in the New Testament and means ‘a loan-ower’. Creditor is used once in the New Testament and means ‘a moneylender’. Owe means ‘to owe’. A denarius is a Roman coin. Other is ‘another of a different kind’. These are all financial terms, the sort of language that is used by the Contributor person and Contributor-controlled technical thought. A pharisaical mindset naturally thinks of sin as being connected in Mercy thought with ‘bad’ people, places, and events. Verse 41 describes a new Contributor definition of sin as owing a debt. I am not sure what 500 and 50 represent, but one can conclude that 500 is much larger than 50. However, it is clear that two kinds of forgiveness are being compared, one emotional and the other financial.

Verse 42 translates this financial comparison into emotional and moral terms. “They having nothing to pay, he forgave both. Therefore which of them will love him more?” Pay means ‘to give up, giving back, return’. Forgive is used three times in Luke and actually means ‘to exercise grace, freely show favor’. It is one of a family of ‘grace’ words that all refer to Teacher thought. These two debtors may have different debts of different magnitudes but they both are equally unable to pay, and both are receiving some freely given benefit from Teacher thought. However, the response is not the same. More means ‘great in number’. Love is ‘agape’ which refers to Teacher love. Cognitively speaking, the Teacher love of ‘exercising grace’ is acquiring greater Teacher generality by applying to more personal inadequacy.

A 2007 Master’s thesis uses economic language to analyze the emotional impact of CCM. It clarifies that “Although this study will inevitably make mention of the financial success of individual CCM artists as evidence of their popularity, influence and marketability, it must be stated that religious economic theory is not primarily focused upon matters of money or financial rewards, rather, this sociological theory of religious activity incorporates the language of economics to help explain the religious dynamics of a given society.” Going further, “In the open marketplace of religion anyone can open a church or start a religion, and, to that effect, they must compete against each other for attention. Churches or religious leaders who fail to offer a relevant, attractive religious ‘product’ are destined to fall behind those better suited to adapt to market demand.”

Simon answers this comparison in verse 43. “Simon answering, said, ‘I take it that he to whom he forgave the most.’ And He said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’” I take it is used twice in Luke and means ‘to take or bear up’. Thus, Simon is not just answering the question but coming to a conclusion and taking hold of this conclusion. Most is the same word used in verse 42 that means ‘great in number’. And forgave is the same word used in verse 42 that actually means ‘to exercise grace, freely show favor’. The normal word for ‘forgive’ that means ‘to send away’ will be used later in the chapter. Stated simply, in verses 42-43 Teacher thought is making people feel better about their problems; it is not helping people to move on from their problems. True forgiveness gets rid of the problem and ‘sends it away’. Rightly is used once in Luke and means ‘straight, without deviation’. Judge means ‘to pick out by separating’. In other words, financial technical thought is being extended in a legitimate fashion to emotional issues. Such an extension makes sense, because every economics textbook will point out that economic value is actually a shorthand for personal feelings. The textbook will then proceed to treat personal feelings in an objective manner as merely some financial number. This section is going the opposite way from financial numbers to subjective feelings.

One can use the school analogy to understand the ‘forgiveness’ of verse 43. Justification describes the Teacher emotion that results from enrolling in a school. Instead of being viewed by Teacher thought as a repulsive example of personal chaos, the student is viewed by Teacher thought as an example of Teacher order-within-complexity of the school curriculum. Thus, the actual identity of the beginning student has not yet changed in Mercy thought, but the emotional label in Teacher thought has changed. Contemporary Christian Music generates a similar emotional effect by combining Christian words in Teacher thought with secular musical style in Mercy thought. Wikipedia describes this juxtaposition, saying that many “find the concept of Christian pop/rock music to be an unusual phenomenon, since rock music has historically been associated with themes such as nonconformity, sexual promiscuity, rebellion, drug and alcohol use and other topics normally considered antithetical to the teachings of Christianity, especially organized Protestant strains of Christianity in the United States.”

The participant identifies in Mercy thought with the emotional style while simultaneously hearing the Christian words in Teacher thought. This implicitly ‘enrols’ inadequate secular identity within the verbal school of Christianity, leading to a feeling that is like the feeling of justification. Verse 41 talked about two sinners of a different kind. The one sin comes from thinking and behaving within the religious context in a manner that fall short of religious standards, such as ‘I should read my Bible more’ or ‘I should pray more’. The other sin comes from living most of the week within the secular realm in a manner that ignores the religious realm. This is a different kind of sin that is much greater. Contemporary Christian Music addresses this second form of sin by combining religious words with a musical style that resonates with secular, godless existence. Contemporary Christian Music does not solve the second greater sin by ‘sending it away’, but it does provide Teacher emotions that make a person feel better about the problem; it is a form of ‘freely shown favor’ from Teacher thought.

This process of ‘receiving grace’ through ‘Teacher love’ is shown by the standard musical segment of a church service in which ‘praise’ is followed by ‘worship’, leading to the term ‘praise and worship’. In the words of one website, “Praise is about God, worship is to God. Praise is opening up, worship is entering in. Praise is boldly declaring, worship is humbly bowing in the presence of a Holy God. Praise applauds what God has done, worship is honoring God for who He is. Some people would emphatically claim that praise is always associated with singing loudly to faster songs, clapping, dancing, celebrating, and thanksgiving; and worship is kneeling, bowing, singing softly, lying prostrate, eyes closed lost in reverie.” Looking at this cognitively, praise emotionally reinforces a concept of God in Teacher thought using attributes that generate Teacher emotion such as rhythmic movement, loud volume, large crowds, and bold declaration. Historically speaking, “A noteworthy musical impact of the Jesus Movement was the popularization of praise songs. These praise songs tended to be short choruses that were usually about attributes of God.” Notice the focus upon emotionally reinforcing verbal attributes of God in Teacher thought. Using praise to emotionally reinforce a concept of God in Teacher thought is then followed by worship in which personal identity emotionally submits to this concept of God. This personal submission is reinforced physically through ‘kneeling, bowing, lying prostrate’. ‘Eyes closed lost in reverie’ helps the mind to focus upon personal identity in Mercy thought, while the sensitive emotions of Mercy thought are enabled through ‘singing softly’. Summarizing, praise reinforces a concept of God in Teacher thought while worship accepts ‘freely shown favor’ from this concept of God in Teacher thought.

One might think that such a cognitive analysis reduces worship of God to mere emotional manipulation. But this essay suggests a different conclusion. Praise and worship is a necessary cognitive crutch that makes it possible for widespread Christian belief to survive in an era when a concept of God is going through a major societal revision. Behind all of this is the ‘real God’ who is leading society through the use of cognitive mechanisms. One article refers to this as a ‘worship fix’. “Worshipers have come to expect ‘a personal encounter with God during congregational singing,’ described as God ‘speaking into,’ ‘ministering,’ or ‘being real to me’... In a similar vein, some Christians use the language of ‘worship fix’ or ‘worship junkie’ to describe their craving for contemporary worship music.”

Jesus compares Simon with the Woman 7:44-50

Verse 44 then compares the emotional response of the woman with the emotional response of Simon. Applying this to the symbolic context, the typical evangelical church service is composed of musical ‘praise and worship’ followed by a sermon. The emotional intensity of these two components are now being compared. “And having turned to the woman, He was saying to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered into your house; you did not give water for My feet, but she wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.’” Such intuitive emotional intensity was described in the previous reference to praise and worship: “Singing loudly to faster songs, clapping, dancing, celebrating, and thanksgiving... kneeling, bowing, singing softly, lying prostrate, eyes closed lost in reverie.”

The emotional intensity of Jesus music is also illustrated by the lifestyle of the typical early CCM musician. One website reminisces that “Countless ‘Jesus musicians’ self-produced their own albums and started touring the few ‘Christian coffeehouses,’ festivals, and any other venues that would accept them. They drove long miles between gigs and often found themselves trying to make $35 in record sales and $24 in ‘love offerings’ last a week and a thousand miles... The vast majority of traveling Jesus musicians I met during this time not only genuinely loved music, but genuinely loved telling other people about Jesus. And I’ll admit it - sharing Christ through music can be very rewarding, almost addicting when you see lives changed and hearts reborn before your eyes.”

Woman means ‘woman’. Turned means ‘to turn’ and indicates a change in focus. This is the first time in the story that Jesus has acknowledged the presence of the woman. See means to ‘be observant’. Stated symbolically, the preacher is observing the mental networks being addressed by the music. One article compares these emotional responses, relating that many “Subjects reported that they found the music at worship concerts and youth conferences more engaging than the weekly singing at their own home congregations. Due to the professional production quality and an environment more conducive to bodily interaction, one young woman concluded that the singing she heard at a concert promoted more authentic self-expression than the singing at her church. Others viewed the worship at a conference as ‘more sacred than church’ because of the excitement of worshiping with thousands of anonymous fellow ‘pilgrims’ who have all gathered for a special purpose.” What is being compared here is church CCM versus concert CCM. Logically speaking, if pure CCM without any church has a greater emotional impact than CCM plus church, then presumably church minus CCM would have the weakest impact. Notice also the presence of Teacher emotions. ‘Worshiping with thousands of anonymous fellow pilgrims’ minimizes personal Mercy feelings while maximizing Teacher feelings of order-within-complexity. And Teacher thought feels good when there is ‘no exception to the rule’, which happens when ‘all have gathered for a special purpose’ of worshiping God. This purified version of Teacher emotion leads to a feeling that the worship is ‘more sacred than church’.

Enter means ‘to go in’. This story began with Jesus entering into the house of the Pharisee, indicating that technical thought is being used to evaluate and optimize the practice of a ‘marginalized Christianity’ that is trying to protect itself by being different than the world. Water means ‘water’ and represents the realm of Mercy experiences. ‘Water for my feet’ indicates Mercy experiences upon which personal identity can rest. A marginalized Christianity cannot provide these because it is functioning as a refuge from the Mercy experiences of the outside world. The rest of the verse uses the same terms that were used in verse 38 to describe the behavior of the woman: “Wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.” The first phrase describes addressing the emotional foundation for personal identity in a socially relevant manner. Addressing the emotional foundation is shown by the emotional behavior during praise and worship that was described above. This is done in a socially relevant manner by using musical styles from the secular world in which the worshiper normally lives.

One paper describes the lack of ‘water for my feet’ from traditional church and how the Jesus movement added cultural relevance, quoting a journalist from that time, “Most recently the movement has built along solid middle-class lines. Waiting in the wings was a sizeable corps of Sunday School regulars, raised by devout Protestants to obey authority and honor America, whose fundamentalist faith previously earned them more embarrassment than respect from their peers. When some of the hippest elements started embracing that faith, these more conventional Jesus people emerged proudly from their relative obscurity to join the cause.” Notice how the Jesus movement with its Jesus music is addressing the feeling of cultural marginalization of Evangelical Christianity.

This bridging is happening in both directions. On the one hand, the person who lives in the secular world can connect religious words with familiar culture. On the other hand, the fundamentalist who lives within the Christian subculture can connect emotionally with the ‘evil outside world’. Saying this another way, CCM provided a form of vicarious rebellion from a Christian ‘pharisaical’ lifestyle. One paper suggests that “Part of what may have made Jesus Music so appealing to the younger generation, at least initially, was that it offered youth the opportunity for a little rebellion, much in the same way the Jesus Movement did... This tinge of rebellion carried on over into Jesus Music, especially once adults began denouncing it. This gave Christian teens something which while fully consistent with their theology and worldview, let them feel as if they were rebelling against something. This may have influenced the popularity of Jesus Music, and the passion with which its supporters would defend it.”

Verse 45 mentions another comparison. “You did not give to Me a kiss, but from which time I came in, she herself has not ceased kissing My feet.” The first kiss comes from the word ‘phileo’ which indicates brotherly love. Looking at this cognitively, absolute truth does not really feel comfortable with technical thought—it does not ‘kiss’ it. That is because too much thinking tends to cause people to doubt absolute truth. Thus, episodes of rational thinking will be interspersed by interludes of re-submission to absolute truth. The second kiss is the form that was used in verse 38 which means ‘to kiss fervently’. Ceased is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to leave off in the middle’. Absolute truth alternates between using technical thought and preaching in order to avoid thinking too much. Contemporary Christian music can continue to apply directly to the emotional foundation of identity without having to take a break from trying to be professional. The end result is a continual stream of professional emotionalism. Looking at this in more detail, technical skill and emotional impact function symbiotically in CCM. Adding the technology of lights, sound, and special effects increases the emotional impact of worship in Teacher thought. And the Teacher impact can be increased by using technical thought to put together massive stage productions. Similarly, using technical thought to improve professional standards and polish musical skills also adds to the emotional impact.

Verse 46 continues, “You did not anoint My head with oil, but she herself anointed My feet with fragrant oil.” Oil means ‘olive oil’ and represents the Holy Spirit. Anoint was used in verse 38 and means ‘to rob or smear olive oil on the body’. ‘Anointing my head with oil’ would mean providing technical thought with paradigms of Platonic perfection within Teacher thought. Saying this another way, the marginalized church is not acting as a source of intellectual Teacher understanding that explains the secular world but rather attempting to protect itself from being overwhelmed by the secular world. Thus, one may get nuggets of wisdom from the pastor, but if one wants technical paradigms based in universal truth then one has to go to a secular university. In contrast, CCM—by definition—is continually copying the style and technique of secular culture and combining this with religious words. This can be viewed intellectually as ‘not anointing the head with oil’, but it can also be viewed emotionally as ‘anointing the feet with oil’. Contemporary Christian Music does not ‘anoint the head’ but it does ‘anoint the feet’; it applies Platonic forms of the spirit to core emotional issues. (In contrast, mental symmetry is capable of ‘anointing the head with oil’ by using a meta-theory to explain both religious and secular, both concepts and culture.)

Verse 47 concludes, “Therefore I say to you this: Her many sins have been forgiven, for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, he loves little.” Therefore is used once in Luke and means ‘favor which furnishes the reason to take action’ and is related to the word ‘grace’. Thus, what follows is not a logical conclusion but rather one that results from the impact of Teacher emotions. Forgiven is used twice in this verse and is the normal word that means ‘to send away’. Jesus recognizes that the woman has ‘many sins’. In other words, the musical style of the secular world is sinful, and copying this style creates a ‘woman’ who has ‘many sins’. Love means ‘agape’. Thus, the forgiveness does not come from the extent of the sin in Mercy thought but rather from the extent of the love in Teacher thought. We have seen several aspects of this Teacher love. There is the CCM itself which uses large crowds, strong volume, repetitive rhythm, professional production, musical expertise, and technical multimedia to increase the emotional impact in Teacher thought. And there is the juxtaposition of Christian words and secular music style that creates the emotional impression of a Christian message that applies to the secular world. These elements may be spiritually and cognitively inadequate, but the basic elements of personal transformation are still present: Teacher words supported by Teacher mental networks are being used to reassemble childish Mercy mental networks, making it possible to move on from problems and not just feel good about them. Theologically speaking, one cannot use a logical ‘therefore’. But cognitively speaking, one can use an emotional ‘therefore’.

Meanwhile, the typical fundamentalist preacher is not focusing upon how personal behavior falls short of biblical standards but rather about how secular society no longer accepts the biblical standards that the fundamentalist Christian still maintains. Instead of thinking, ‘I need to meet God’s standards’, the primary focus is that ‘Society needs to meet my standards’. Thus, there is not a strong sense of forgiveness because there is not a strong sense of needing to be forgiven.

Notice that the direction is different in these two cases. Worship is driven by Teacher love; fundamentalism is limited by its shallow feeling of sin. Worship is pursuing excellence, relevance, effectiveness, and integration in Teacher thought and this causes its many sins to be forgiven. The fundamentalist speaker feels that his behavior is superior to that of the world and therefore does not have a strong sense of falling short of any standard. The end result is a minimum of Teacher love. Stated more simply, the fundamentalist speaker does not feel any need to increase technical standards of scholarship and exegesis. In contrast, my quality of analysis has improved over the years as I become more aware of academic standards and have attempted to meet these standards.

The ‘sending away’ of actual forgiveness can also be seen indirectly in the amoral view of music taken by CCM. The paper quoted earlier summarizes that “Many of the Jesus People were separated from those in traditional evangelical and fundamental churches by their belief that music was ethically neutral; that it had no inherent morality. This view, which seems to be largely accepted in many evangelical circles today, was expressed in the ‘Christian Rocker’s Creed’: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all music was created equal—that no instrument or style of music is in itself evil.” One can interpret this belief either at face value as the statement that ‘music is ethically neutral’ or in the context of verse 47 as an ability to move on from the inherent immorality of certain styles of music. Historically speaking, composers have attempted to write music that reflects the words, driven by the assumption that music itself conveys a message. Wikipedia explains that “Word painting... is the musical technique of composing music that reflects the literal meaning of a song’s lyrics or story elements in programmatic music... Tone painting of words goes at least as far back as Gregorian chant. Musical patterns expressed both emotive ideas and theological meanings in these chants... Word painting developed especially in the late 16th century among Italian and English composers of madrigals, to such an extent that word painting devices came to be called madrigalisms.” Speaking from personal experience, I learned to play violin by ear in a charismatic church in the 1980s and over the years I have played violin in many ‘praise groups’. When I play I do not use the words. Suggesting that musical style is amoral asserts that it is impossible for me as a violinist to ‘say’ anything that has a spiritual or moral meaning. Going the other way, the Rocker’s Creed leads to the conclusion that it is ‘morally neutral’ when a hard rock ‘Christian band’ has screaming musicians covered in tattoos and wearing solid black playing massive distortion at maximum volume from guitars. (No I am not exaggerating. Google it.) Such a conclusion is demented. One concludes that the religious fervor of Jesus music, and to some extent CCM, have made it possible to ‘forgive’ the inherent shortcomings of the musical style. (The small church I currently attend uses musical style to distinguish between ‘Christian’ and ‘non-Christian’ music, guided by the premise that music conveys an implicit moral message. I often play secular—usually classical—pieces on the violin that emotionally reinforce the words being spoken.)

Verse 48 speaks directly to the woman. “And He said to her, ‘Your sins have been forgiven.’” Forgiven means ‘to send away’. Notice that the verbal statement of verse 48 follows the pragmatic realization of verse 47. This suggests that praise and worship becomes an accepted part of the established Protestant church because of its emotional effectiveness in dealing with feelings of personal inadequacy. In the words of Wikipedia, “Since the beginning of charismatic movement of the 1960s there have been significant changes to Christian worship practices of many denominations. A new music-centered approach to worship, known as contemporary worship, is now commonplace. This replaces the traditional order of worship based around liturgy or a ‘hymn-prayer sandwich’ with extended periods of congregational singing sometimes referred to as ‘block worship’. The worship has two parts; one in the beginning with music and the second part with sermon and Lord’s Supper.” Stated simply, the typical modern Protestant worship service consists of an episode of praise and worship followed by a sermon. Thus, instead of viewing the ‘sinful woman’ of CCM as a detraction from Christianity, praise and worship is now used to get the audience into a religious frame of mind to learn about Christianity.

The others at the meal respond for the first time in verse 49. “And those reclining began to say within themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’” The first who is a generic ‘who? which? what?’ while the second who is a generic ‘who, which, what, that’. Thus, the focus is not upon Jesus forgiving sins but rather that something is extending to the level of forgiving sins. In other passages where Jesus forgives someone’s sins the audience responds by accusing Jesus of blasphemy. But there is no such response in verse 49, implying that CCM becomes an accepted part of the typical Christian church.

Looking at this in more detail, began means to ‘commence, rule’. Recline combines ‘together’, ‘up’ and ‘to be laid’ and is a different word than the word ‘reclined’ used in verses 36 and 37. ‘Together’ suggests consensus, ‘up’ indicates Teacher generality, and ‘laid’ indicates coming to a solid conclusion. Within means ‘in the realm of’. And ‘forgive’ and ‘sins’ are the same words used in verse 48. This suggests that the other participants in the ‘house of the Pharisee’ are collectively coming to a theoretical conclusion in Teacher thought that an effective method of generating feelings of forgiveness of sin has been discovered. A merging of CCM into the traditional Christian message of ‘forgiveness of sins’ initially happened at Explo ‘72. Quoting from the master’s thesis referenced earlier, “The International Student Conference on Evangelicalism (the event’s official title) was a five-day event organized by Campus Crusade for Christ’s founder Bill Bright and geared towards high school and college students... The event comprised daytime seminars with the express purpose of instructing youth ‘how to witness effectively for Christ.’ The event’s true legacy, however, has proven to be its musical finale; the once-shunned music of the Jesus Movement was given center-stage and was ultimately embraced by mainstream American Christianity. Larry Eskridge credits the presence of Billy Graham as a key reason for the mainstream acceptance of the Jesus Movement music; he writes, “The fact that America’s leading evangelist could tolerate the movement’s hippie eccentricities undoubtedly eased its acceptance in many evangelical quarters.’ After Explo ’72, ‘churches started to accept the milder Jesus music, soon to be referred to as ‘Contemporary Christian music,’ though the rockier stuff was still suspect.” The purpose of evangelism is to encourage people to say ‘the sinner’s prayer’ and experience the feeling of ‘forgiveness from sin’. Explo’ 72 was a ‘conference on evangelicalism’ that taught ‘how to witness effectively’. Bill Bright developed the Four Spiritual Laws, and 2.5 billion copies of this booklet on forgiveness of sins have been distributed. Finally, Billy Graham was the Protestant icon of preaching forgiveness of sins. When ‘Jesus music’ shared the stage with Billy Graham, that indicated a general consensus that CCM played a major role in the evangelical Christian message of forgiveness of sins, and this was followed by a wide acceptance of milder CCM into evangelical Christian churches.

I should add on a personal note that I find much of the milder CCM to be emotionally and spiritually meaningful. While the words do tend to be theologically shallow and the singing repetitive, many good songs have been written. Similarly, Wikipedia observes that “Some songs now appear in more traditional hymnals.”

Verse 50 concludes, “And He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’” Faith means to ‘be persuaded’ and was previously used in verse 9 where Jesus complained that he did not find great faith in ‘Israel’. Saved means ‘to deliver out of danger and into safety’ and was previously used back in 6:9. Go means ‘to transport’ and is in the imperative. In means ‘to or into’. Peace means ‘to tie together into a whole’. Putting this together, sufficient rational thought is present to take people from where they are to someplace better. This is different than the typical conservative who attempts to preserve the past. Verse 15 does not say that CCM is a method of wholeness, but rather tells CCM to head in a direction of wholeness. CCM juxtaposes the words of Christianity with the Mercy culture of the secular world. This does generate real change. But CCM needs to ‘transport’ itself into something that goes beyond juxtaposing to integrating.

Women support Jesus 8:1-3

We looked at the ‘sinful woman’ of CCM anointing the feet of Jesus. The next brief section describes many women helping Jesus, which is interpreted as many forms of female mental networks supporting technical thought. Verse 1 establishes the context. “And it came to pass soon afterward that He was traveling throughout city and village, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. And the Twelve were with Him.” Came to pass indicates a natural progression. Afterward is used twice in Luke and means ‘in order, in succession’. ‘Soon afterward’ is more literally ‘in the realm of succession’. Thus, one is looking here at a cognitive sequence. Travel is used once in Luke and combines ‘through’ with ‘road’. This also describes following a sequence. City refers to civilization with its Teacher order-within-complexity of specialization and commerce. But village is also mentioned, which would represent more traditional society governed by Mercy mental networks of culture. Preaching means ‘to herald, proclaim’. Proclaim means to ‘proclaim the good message’ or ‘gospelize’. ‘Kingdom of God’ describes a realm governed by universal Teacher theories. This phrase was previously used in 7:28 to say that the least in the kingdom of God was greater than John the Baptist. The previous section looked at the evangelical subculture of John the Baptist. This section examines the kingdom of God that is starting to replace ‘John the Baptist’. The ‘twelve were with him’ indicates that this is a full movement with its own stages and aspects.

The first half of chapter 8 will be interpreted as the spread of personal computers which began in the 1970s. Notice the reference to personal computers. Computers involve highly technical thought. However, personal computers use the highly technical structure of computers to satisfy the emotional needs of mental networks. This interaction between technical thought and mental networks is going to be discussed. The development of personal computers qualifies as a ‘kingdom of God’ in several ways: First, an integrated circuit is an example of Teacher order-within-complexity that functions in an invisible manner at a microscopic scale that is totally different than normal human Mercy experiences. Moore’s law, proposed in 1975, predicted that the complexity of integrated circuits would double every two years. Second, integrated circuits are fabricated within clean rooms of incredible Teacher order-within-complexity where humans have to wear special clothing to ensure that they do not contaminate this ‘holiness’ with any dirt of normal human experience. Moore’s second law estimates that the cost of a fabrication plant doubles every four years. Third, computers are programmed using mathematical-like computer languages that they follow with inhuman perfection. Fourth, the precursor to the Internet was being developed (known as the ARPANET) which started connecting all computers together into a Teacher network of order-within-complexity that transcended personal location in Mercy thought. Fourth, the Teacher order-within-complexity of computers started to enter the home in the form of the personal computer. Verse 1 does not say that the kingdom of God has arrived but rather that it is being proclaimed as good news traveling through cities and through villages. Similarly, the computer revolution was being announced and proclaimed within the 1970s. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The public was first introduced to the concepts that led to the Internet when a message was sent over the ARPANET in 1969... In the 1970s, the home computer was introduced... As digital technology proliferated, and the switch from analog to digital record keeping became the new standard in business, a relatively new job description was popularized, the data entry clerk... In developed nations, computers achieved semi-ubiquity during the 1980s as they made their way into schools, homes, business, and industry. Automated teller machines, industrial robots, CGI in film and television, electronic music, bulletin board systems, and video games all fueled what became the zeitgeist of the 1980s. Millions of people purchased home computers, making household names of early personal computer manufacturers such as Apple, Commodore, and Tandy.”

Turning now to the emotional side of society, verse 2 mentions that women are present. “And certain women who had been cured from evil spirits and infirmities: Mary who is called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out.” Women refer specifically to women. Cured means ‘therapy’ and ‘usually involves natural elements’. Evil means ‘pain-ridden’. An ‘evil spirit’ is interpreted as Mercy mental networks that motivate self-destructive behavior. Infirmity means ‘without strength’. Putting this together, technical thought is being accompanied by mental networks that have been healed from harmful effects through therapy.

This feeling of being ‘cured from evil spirits and infirmities’ describes what is known as the ‘me’ generation. Wikipedia explains that “The ‘Me’ generation is a term referring to Baby Boomers in the United States and the self-involved qualities that some people associate with this generation... The phrase became popular at a time when ‘self-realization’ and ‘self-fulfillment’ were becoming cultural aspirations to which young people supposedly ascribed higher importance than social responsibility.” Going further, “Unapologetic hedonism became acceptable among the young. The new introspectiveness announced the demise of an established set of traditional faiths centred on work and the postponement of gratification, and the emergence of a consumption-oriented lifestyle ethic centred on lived experience and the immediacy of daily lifestyle choices.” In other words, mental networks of personal identity and culture that have gone through the ‘therapy of pain-ridden mental networks’ of the civil rights movement have now decided to pursue ‘self-realization’ and ‘self-fulfillment’ through a ‘consumption-oriented lifestyle’.

Mary represents the idea of following God by turning one’s back upon an idolatrous world and was initially interpreted as Renaissance humanism. Magdalene is mentioned twice in Luke and means ‘a tower’. ‘Mary called Magdalene’ would represent a mindset of escaping from secular culture through some ‘tower’ of isolated Teacher theory. A demon is interpreted as the Teacher mental network of some bad or worthless habit. Gone out means ‘to go or come out of’. The only other reference to seven demons in the New Testament is Mark 16:9, which also refers to Mary Magdalene. ‘Seven demons going out’ of Mary Magdalene suggests that a mindset of Teacher-based escapism is causing all cognitive modules to develop habits that are useless for reality. That describes fantasy and science fiction in which one creates an alternate reality with its own Teacher order and then mentally lives within this alternate reality in order to escape the real world. Verse 2 does not say that these demons are cast out or that there is some major struggle for change in personality but rather just mentions that they ‘go out’, suggesting that some method is found of externalizing the internal world of alternate reality.

The computer chip made such an externalization of alternate reality possible. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The golden age of arcade video games was the period of rapid growth, technological development and cultural influence of arcade video games, from the late 1970s to the early 1980s... made possible by new computing technology that had greater power and lower costs. Arcade video games transitioned from black-and-white to color, with titles such as Frogger and Centipede taking advantage of the visual opportunities of bright palettes.” Going further, Wikipedia quotes Steve Wozniak describing the impact that video games had on the design of the Apple II computer, released in 1977. “A lot of features of the Apple II went in because I had designed Breakout for Atari. I had designed it in hardware. I wanted to write it in software now.” The Apple II was mentioned earlier in the context of standardization. That discussion looked at the Teacher order that resulted from various kinds of electronic standardization. We are looking here at mental networks of escapism finding an outlet by using computers to program alternate reality. Stated more clearly, the ‘demons’ of escapism turned into useful technical skills of developing, programming, and using computers. And electronic standardization played an enabling role. For instance, one technical website relates that “In 1977, Atari released the Atari VCS, but found sales slow... However, the console included an external ROM slot where game cartridges could be plugged in; the potential was quickly discovered by programmers around the world, who created games far outperforming the console’s original design.” Notice how the standard video console with a standard slot provided a technical outlet for the mental networks of ‘programmers around the world’.

Verse 3 continues the list of women. “And Joanna wife of Chuza, a steward of Herod, and Susanna, and many others, who were ministering to them out of their own means.” Joanna is mentioned twice in the New Testament and has the same meaning as ‘John’ which is ‘the Lord has been gracious’. Chuza is mentioned once in the New Testament and means ‘seer or prophet’. Steward is used once in Luke and means ‘an administrator, one having authority’. And Herod means ‘son of a hero’. Susanna is mentioned once in the New Testament and means ‘lily’. Other means ‘another of a different kind’. Many means ‘much in number’. Minister means ‘to actively serve’ and is the source of the English word ‘deacon’. Means means to ‘already have, be in possession of’.

One can work out a possible historical interpretation for Joanna by putting together the various terms. The heroes were the generation that fought in World War II. The ‘son of a hero’ would refer to the children of that generation. In the words of one website, “Nine months after the end of the war, the sound of machine guns would be replaced by the cries of newborns. More babies were born in 1946 than ever before. The population of the United States would be 20% larger as compared to 1945 with 3.4 million new humans within its borders. This was the beginning of the era that would become known as the baby boom, and it was just getting started... This trend of between 3 and 4 million new Americans born every year would continue until 1964 when it would finally begin to taper off. By the time the baby boom ended, the 76.4 million Baby Boomers would make up nearly 40% of the U.S. population.” ‘Steward of Herod’ would refer to the material wealth accumulated by the baby boomers. And Chuza suggest that this steward is focusing upon the trends and progress of society. Finally, the wife of Chuza indicates mental networks that are being driven by these trends. And these mental networks are financing the development of technical thought.

Quoting from a 1992 government article, “The 1980s have been described as a fast-paced, free-spending decade, a decade of economic confidence and robust consumer spending... among the various goods and services discussed are many that have come to play an integral – indeed, to some persons and families, perhaps indispensable – role in today’s way of life: microwave ovens; videocassette recorders and associated sales and rentals of cassettes, tapes and discs; personal computers and associated hardware and software; childcare services; housekeeping services; and practices of meals away from home. Expenditures on most of these items increased, in many cases dramatically, from 1980 to 1990, as the growth in labor force participation of women spurred a need for more time-saving devices and a peak earning years of baby boomers provided the wherewithal to buy them.” Notice that baby boomers are spending significant money on new technology, driven by the mental networks that this new technology enables, such as watching movies, listening to music, and playing games. And the other two expenditures of child care and housekeeping that are mentioned also involve mental networks of female thought. What matters for verse 3 is that these mental networks are financing the development of technical thought out of their own means.

Wikipedia describes the ‘ministering out of their own means’ that happened with video arcade games. “The arcade boom that began in the late 1970s is credited with establishing the basic techniques of interactive entertainment and for driving down hardware prices to the extent of allowing the personal computer (PC) to become a technological and economic reality.” A similar sort of ‘ministering out of their own means’ drove the development of the Apple II computer. Steve Wozniak reminisces that “All the game features were put in just so I could show off the game I was familiar with—Breakout—at the Homebrew Computer Club. It was the most satisfying day of my life [when] I demonstrated Breakout—totally written in BASIC. It seemed like a huge step to me. After designing hardware arcade games, I knew that being able to program them in BASIC was going to change the world.” Notice how mental networks of escapism and social approval motivated technical developments that ended up ‘changing the world’.

The final person mentioned is Susanna which means ‘lily’. Lilies are mentioned in in Matthew 6:28 in the Sermon on the Mount (and also in Luke 12:27) and that was interpreted as a form of effortless, spontaneous beauty that exceeds the perfection of technical thought. That happens when one uses Teacher emotion to generate smooth and graceful behavior as opposed to using technical thought to generate flawless behavior. Similarly, the fashion of the 1970s was extremely spontaneous, attempted to be effortless, and provided a source of mental networks that supported technological innovation. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Fashion in the 1970s was about individuality. In the early 1970s, Vogue proclaimed ‘There are no rules in the fashion game now’... New technologies brought advances in production through mass production, higher efficiency, generating higher standards and uniformity.”

Parable of the Sower 8:4-8

The next section contains the familiar parable of the Sower and the Seed. Before examining this parable, we need to decipher how it should be interpreted. Verse 11 defines the seed as ‘the word of God’. This is normally interpreted as the evangelical message or possibly words from the Bible. But we have just seen that the Christian message has become marginalized and that a concept of God is becoming transformed. Thus, we need to be looking for seed that will grow to become a new concept of God. Looking at this further, word is ‘logos’, which is interpreted as the paradigm behind some technical specialization. Therefore, bringing Teacher order to many technical specializations would qualify as a ‘logos of God’. And the ‘kingdom of God’ has just been associated with the development of integrated circuits, personal computers, and the Internet. (In a similar manner, the parable of the Sower and the Seed in Matthew 13 was interpreted as the development of science in the 17th century.)

Verse 4 sets the scene. “And as a great crowd is assembling, and those from each town are coming to Him, He spoke by a parable.” Assembling is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to come together’. Crowd means ‘crowd’ and great means ‘many’. Thus, many individuals are gathering together a random manner. Town means ‘city’ which represents civilization. Coming is used once in the New Testament and adds the prefix ‘upon’ to ‘transport’. This suggests something related to movement that is accompanied by change. To means ‘moving toward a goal or destination’. By means ‘through’ when followed by the genitive. And a parable indicates an analogical relationship. As far as I can tell, this is the only time where it talks about speaking ‘through’ a parable as opposed to ‘in’ a parable. The implication is that the lesson of the parable is being learned implicitly rather than directly. This is consistent with interpreting the kingdom of God indirectly as the spread of computers. Stated more clearly, computers and the Internet are not a kingdom of God, but living within the era in which computers become developed and interconnected will indirectly teach lessons about the kingdom of God. Similarly, the people themselves may not be ‘transporting’, but computers are ‘transporting’, doubling in power every two years, and people will be moving ‘upon’ this transporting. And this indirect transporting is causing the crowds to gather together in the direction of technical thought, as more and more people find themselves impacted by the spread of growing computer technology.

Verse 5 describes the first option. “The one sowing went out to sow his seed. And in his sowing, some indeed fell along the road, and it was trampled upon, and the birds of the air devoured it.” Went out means ‘to go or come out of’. The word sowing means to ‘sow, scatter’ and is used three times in this verse. Seed is also derived from ‘sowing’. Fall means ‘to fall’ and is interpreted as heading away from Teacher generality. Along means ‘alongside of’ when followed by the accusative. Road means ‘way, road’ and describes some path in Server thought. Notice that nothing is said about the sower and the emphasis is upon the act of sowing. ‘Falling alongside the road’ would mean moving from theory to application alongside existing paths—entering a context of existing ways of doing things. One history website describes this mindset. “Why in the 1980s did so many people suddenly decide to buy a computer? The answer was initially educational: the spread of microchip-powered technologies in the 1970s brought prophecies of an information technology revolution that would overturn traditional life and work. Robots might replace industrial workers; word processors might take over from secretaries; even professional jobs in teaching or medicine might be replaced by expert computer software.” In other words, the abstract ‘information technology revolution’ is going to ‘fall’ into reality in a way that replaces specific Server functions: the word processor will replace the secretary; the robot will replace the industrial worker.

Trampled means ‘to tread down’. Bird means ‘winged’ which would represent the use of abstract Teacher thought. Consistent with this, heaven represents the realm of Teacher thought. Devour means to ‘eat all the way down’. ‘Walking’ represents the movement of personal identity. ‘Trampling’ would mean imposing the movement of personal identity upon the Server path. This then leads to ‘wings’ of Teacher theory within the ‘heaven’ of Teacher thought. Continuing with the history website, “There would be new opportunities in this ‘brave new world’, but those who did not learn about computers faced being left behind... It seems surprising today, but learning to programme for yourself was seen as vital for developing an understanding of how computers worked, and empowering people to control them. Across Britain people stayed up late into the night typing in programmes and hunting for the inevitable bugs in their code, as they gradually explored for themselves what computers could do.” Notice the chain of logic: 1) Word processors will replace secretaries and robots will replace workers. 2) I am ‘facing being left behind’ and my job is at stake. 3) I need to type programs into my Sinclair ZX80 computer (with 1 Kbyte of memory) because I want to be part of the ‘brave new world’. Notice how thinking about computers is being shaped by the assumption that computers will replace existing jobs with new alternatives.

Going the other way, the personal computer came into existence because Intel chose to go beyond replacing a specific function to constructing a general-purpose device. Quoting from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “In 1969 Busicom, a Japanese calculator company, commissioned Intel Corporation to make the chips for a line of calculators that Busicom intended to sell. Custom chips were made for many clients, and this was one more such contract, hardly unusual at the time... [Hoff, an Intel engineer] rebelled at building a special-purpose device when the technology existed to build a general-purpose one. The general-purpose device he had in mind, however, would be a lot like a computer, and at that time computers intimidated people while calculators did not... Hoff prevailed, and Intel proposed a design that was functionally very similar to a minicomputer... At first Busicom was not interested, but Intel decided to go forward with the design anyway, and the Japanese company eventually accepted it. Intel named the chip the 4004.” Summarizing, Busicom wanted a replacement for the specific function of a calculator. Intel suggested a general purpose computer chip. Busicom was eventually persuaded and the first microprocessor was developed.

Verse 6 describes the next alternative. “And other fell upon the rock, and having sprung up it withered through having no moisture.” Other means ‘another of a different kind’. Fall is a modified version of ‘fall’ used once in the Gospels which means ‘to fall down’. Upon suggests that this moving away from Teacher generality arrives at some specific destination. Rock means ‘a mass of connected rock’ and was previously used in 6:48 to describe building a house upon the rock. (Matthew uses the word ‘rock-like’.) Spring up means ‘to swell up’ and comes from a word that means ‘puff or blow’. This suggests some inflated theory within Teacher thought. Wither means ‘to dry up, waste away’, which is interpreted as objective Perceiver facts that have been drained of the ‘moisture’ of subjective Mercy experiences. This interpretation is supported by the word moisture which is used once in the New Testament and means ‘moisture’.

As with the first alternative, the abstract concept of computers is ‘falling’ from theory to practice and is encountering something within the concrete world that causes it to return to theory in modified form. In the first alternative, computers encountered the Server sequences of existing jobs. In the second alternative, computers are encountering the solid structure of existing Perceiver facts. One primary example of this was encountering the ‘Perceiver bedrock’ of objects and their ownership. Stated cognitively, Perceiver thought organizes Mercy experiences into ‘objects’ by looking for solid connections. Similarly, ownership uses Perceiver thought to make solid connections between objects and their owners.

The falling of computers upon the bedrock of ownership is illustrated by an infamous open letter written by Bill Gates in 1976. Wikipedia explains that “In the letter, Gates expressed frustration with most computer hobbyists who were using his company’s Altair BASIC software without having paid for it. He asserted that such widespread unauthorized copying in effect discouraged developers from investing time and money in creating high-quality software.” An academic article describes some of the issues raised by this letter. One response “took for granted that software could be bought and sold. Art Childs, editor of Interface, took a step back from this assumption and wondered if the abstract, semi-material nature of software was simply incompatible with commercialization altogether.” In other words, can one treat a sequence of words in Teacher thought as an object in Perceiver thought? Can one even think of ‘owning’ a computer program? One can own the computer and the physical media on which the computer program resides, but the program itself is simply an arrangement of bits.

The word ‘spring up’ occurs only four times in the New Testament, three times in this parable. A modified form of ‘spring up’ also occurs in verse 7 that is only found once the New Testament. This suggests a form of growth that is characterized by inflated Teacher theory. The response to Bill Gates’ open letter discussed this ‘springing up’ nature of computers. “The open letter very clearly explained the central problem facing aspiring software developers – high production costs and low returns – and sparked a torrent of creative thinking... If hardware vendors could increase the number of households with microcomputers, then software developers could sell enough copies of their programs to recoup their initial investment.” Looking at this ‘springing up’ more carefully, a computer program is hard to develop but easy to copy. Thus, a complicated computer program can be sold cheaply if enough people buy it. In addition, a computer network or networking program acquires value as more people use the same network or program. For instance, a messaging app is worthless if I am the only person who has this app. But if millions of people have the same messaging app, then the app makes it possible to communicate between all of these people. This means that a computer product has to be inflated in Teacher thought in some way in order to be successful and profitable. Thus, programs that took millions of dollars to develop are often given away for free today in the hope that many will start using the program. Compare this, for instance, with a tool such as a knife. The usefulness of my knife does not depend upon other people having similar knives. But the usefulness of my computer or my computer program is very dependent upon other people having similar computers and programs.

The question is how this ‘springing up’ will occur. Will it happen in a way that is ‘withered through having no moisture’ as a result of landing on the Perceiver bedrock of ownership? We saw when looking at the Apple II that early computer development was characterized by the ‘moisture’ of personal Mercy emotions. Quoting from the academic article, “In the hobbyist circles, programmers were driven by the social and technical pleasures of solving a tricky puzzle, demonstrating a new bit of hardware, and competing with one another.” Ownership threatened to ‘dry up’ this interaction. “Gates letter unsettled this idyll by asking readers to consider its limits. Were there types of software that would not or could not be written within the incentive structures of an informal gift economy?”

For instance, Tiny BASIC was an alternative to Gates’ BASIC that ‘inflated itself’ in a manner that preserved the ‘moisture’ of personal Mercy interaction. The academic article explains that “Tiny BASIC is remembered as an early demonstration of successful voluntary collaboration among microcomputer programmers, a precursor to the free and open-source software movement.” And Wikipedia explains that Gates’ BASIC ironically became a successful standard partially because it was copied so often. “The industry needs the hobbyists and this was illustrated by what happened eventually. When National Semiconductor, which made their own microprocessor chips in ’77 or ’78, decided they needed a BASIC ... they asked, ‘What’s the most popular BASIC?’ And the answer was Microsoft BASIC because everybody had copied it and everybody was using it.”

The goal of this essay is not to discuss all the ramifications of intellectual property. However, the academic paper quoted earlier mentions one interesting conclusion based upon Pittman’s decision to sell copies of Tiny BASIC for the low price of five dollars. “According to Pittman’s recollection, none of his fellow hobbyists... bought his version of Tiny BASIC, but a small blurb in Byte magazine brought in an overwhelming number of orders from other parts of the country, each with five dollars paid up front.” In other words, outsiders who are not part of the personal Mercy interaction are willing to pay a modest sum for software, and that principle seems to hold today for all kinds of digital content. In the language of verse 6, the outsider views the source of digital information as a sort of absolute truth in Perceiver thought. Summarizing, developing good software is enhanced by a ‘hacker’ culture of ‘homebrew development’. Asserting Perceiver facts of ownership will ‘dry up’ this personal interaction and transform computers and computer apps into an industry of objective ownership. The challenge is to find a way of developing software that rewards the developer without ruining the environment of development. Quoting from the academic article, Gates’ “open letter offered a useful metonym for the perceived clash of cultures between those who imagined a new economy for software and those who treated computer programs like any other commercial product to be bought and sold.”

Verse 7 describes the third alternative. “And other fell in the midst of the thorns, and the thorns having sprung up with it, choked it.” Other means ‘another of a different kind’. And fell is the normal word for ‘fall’. In the means ‘in the realm of’ and midst means ‘middle, in the midst’. Thorn means ‘a prickly plant’ and comes from a word that means ‘a point, edge’. Sprung up with is used once in the New Testament and adds the prefix ‘with’ to ‘spring up’ used in verse 6. Choked adds the prefix ‘away from’ to ‘choke’ and is used twice the New Testament. Putting this together, an inflated theory is also being developed but it is being colored by pressing needs that end up overwhelming the growing seed.

This describes a fundamental problem that became prominent about this time known as the software crisis. This was an indirect result of the development of more powerful computers. Wikipedia summarizes that “Improvements in computing power had outpaced the ability of programmers to effectively use those capabilities.” One university website summarizes the ways in which software development became ‘choked’ by ‘prickly points and edges’. “1. Frequently, software was never completed, even after further significant investment had been made. 2. The amount of work involved in removing flaws and bugs from ‘completed’ software, to make it useable, often took a considerable amount of time - often more than had been spent in the writing it in the first place. 3. The functionality of the software seldom matched the requirements of the end-users. 4. Once created, software was almost impossible to maintain; the developer’s ability to understand what they had written appeared to decrease rapidly over time.” The first point describes development being choked. The second point describe ‘prickles’ within the software itself. The third point refers to ‘prickles’ between the software and the user. And the fourth point describes ‘prickles’ between the software and the programmer. A 1994 scientific American article observes that the biggest problem is ‘prickles’ growing up with the developing software. “Errors will creep in so long as humans create programs. Bugs squashed early rarely threaten a project’s deadline and budget, however. Devastating mistakes are nearly always those in the initial design that slip undetected into the final product.” Using the language of verse 7, the ‘prickles’ of computer bugs ‘choke away’ the software when they emerge early, are not caught, and ‘spring up together’ with the developing software.

Verse 8 describes the final alternative. “And other fell upon the good soil, and having sprung up, it produced fruit—a hundredfold.” Other means ‘another of a different kind’. And fell is the normal word for ‘fall’. Upon means ‘to or into’. Soil means ‘earth’ which represents rational human thought. Good means ‘intrinsically good’. Sprung up is the same word used in verse 6, suggesting that Teacher inflation is a characteristic of growing this seed. Produce means ‘to make, do’. Fruit is a generic word that means ‘fruit’. Hundredfold means ‘a hundred times’. Matthew 13:8 mentions 100, 60, and 30, while Mark 8:9 mentions 30, 60, and 100. The implication of Luke is that there is either total success or no success. On one hand, software that becomes ‘choked off’ by various ‘prickles’ is ultimately worthless and has to be thrown away. On the other hand, software that successfully makes it through the path of development can be easily copied and distributed and will naturally be developed as a standard. The Scientific American article describes the extent of this ‘choking off’. “Studies have shown that for every six new large-scale software systems that are put into operation, two others are canceled. The average software development project overshoots its schedule by half; larger projects generally do worse. And some three quarters of all large systems are ‘operating failures’ that either do not function as intended or are not used at all.”

This is the only time that ‘intrinsically good’ is combined with ‘earth’ in the New Testament. (The parallel passages in Matthew and Mark talk about ‘attractively good earth’.) One does not think of rational thought is being intrinsically good or bad. ‘Intrinsically good earth’ would presumably refer to rational human thought that has no intrinsic flaws. The Scientific American article elaborates, “Althought software seems like malleable stuff, most programs are actually intricate plexuses of brittle logic through which data of only the right kind may pass. Like handmade muskets, several programs may perform similar functions and yet still be unique in design. That makes software difficult to modify and repair.” ‘Intricate plexuses of brittle logic’ describes rational human thought that lacks intrinsic goodness.

Verse 8 concludes, “Saying these things, He was calling out, ‘The one having ears to hear, let him hear.’” Calling out means to ‘give forth a sound’ and does not necessarily involve intelligent communication. Ear means ‘the ear’ and hear means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. ‘Having an ear to hear’ suggests being able to function with computers at the level of words and Teacher thought. Personal computers in the 1970s required such a level of understanding to use. For instance, computer programs would often be listed in BASIC within a computer magazine and one would have to type a program into the computer in order to run the program. ‘Let him hear’ suggests that it will become increasingly possible to descend from this level of interacting intelligently with the computer to a lower level of being either a consumer who knows what buttons to press but does not understand what is happening, or a manager who calls for features but does not understand the implications. ‘Calling out’ implies that people are aware of this problem but need to be reminded.

Parable of the Sower Explained 8:9-15

The disciples respond in verse 9, “And His disciples were asking Him, ‘What does this parable mean?’” Ask means to ‘ask appropriately’. Mean is the word ‘to be’. (The parallel passages in Matthew and Mark do not use this verb ‘to be’.) Thus, the followers of technical thought are trying to determine the fundamental nature of this parable. This makes symbolic sense, because the computer industry functions in a way that no industry has functioned before. Focusing upon ‘being’ also suggests a focus upon objects that exist. The first alternative in the Sower and the Seed assumed that computers would fit into the existing world of interacting and functioning objects. The second alternative assumed that a computer program could be treated as an object to be bought and sold. The Scientific American article describes the assumption of objects at a system level. “Many companies are lured by goals that seem simple enough. Some try to reincarnate obsolete mainframe-based software in distributed form. Others want to plug their existing systems into one another or into new systems with which they can share data and a friendlier user interface.” Replacing an obsolete system with another or plugging one system into another is fairly straightforward when dealing with real objects because objects have physical shapes. A mindset that thinks in terms of objects will conclude that such goals ‘seem simple enough’. But a computer program is not an object; it has no shape.

The next verses explain these four alternatives. Verse 10 provides an introduction. “And He said, ‘To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest, it is in parables.’” Given means ‘to give’. Know means to ‘experientially know’. Experiential knowledge involves Mercy thought. A kingdom of God is ruled by Teacher thought. We have just seen several ways in which computers and software function as a Teacher-based kingdom. An outsider may be able to verbally describe what this means, but only a disciple acquires an experiential knowledge of how it functions.

Mystery is used once in Luke and means ‘a mystery or secret doctrine’. Mysticism was discussed earlier in this essay. Mysticism requires a mindset of ‘mystery’ in order to function. That is because explaining ‘mysticism’ explains it away. In contrast, the biblehub definition for ‘mystery’ explains that the Bible treats mystery as what was ‘once hidden but now revealed in the Gospel’. What was being revealed in the 1970s was an entirely new kind of economy that had never been encountered before. The average person living in today’s digitally interconnected world has an experiential knowledge of such an economy. In the 1970s, this was something brand new. Rest means ‘the rest, the remaining’. In other words, the outsider—including the investor, the consumer, and the manager—had to use analogies to try to make sense of this new economy.

Verse 10 continues, “So that, ‘Seeing, they may not see; and hearing, they may not understand.’” See means to ‘be observant’ and is mentioned twice. Thus, careful observance is not leading to careful observance. This happens when one observes a situation through the wrong paradigm, such as treating ‘intellectual property’ as a variation of normal physical property, or thinking that integrating two computer programs is like connecting two physical objects. Hearing means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Understand means ‘to put together’. Hearing without understanding describes the lack of a proper paradigm, because a paradigm takes facts and puts them together. Going further, an inadequate paradigm will also lead to observing the physical world through the wrong set of mental glasses.

The explanation of the parable of the Sower and the Seed will go through the same four alternatives, but additional explanation will be added. This additional description can be used to check the accuracy of the interpretation given in the previous paragraphs.

The explanation begins in verse 11. “And the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” Seed means ‘a sowing’ and the same word was used in verse 5. Word is ‘logos’. ‘Word of God’ indicates paradigms based in Teacher generality. A computer is a ‘word of God’ in the sense that it is a general purpose device that performs a wide range of technical functions based upon the sequence of words that it is instructed to carry out, as illustrated by a smart phone that can function as a camera, a phone, a video recorder, a map, and so on. One might feel that it is inappropriate to relate a computer to the Word of God, but I suggest that the real problem is that absolute truth uses the wrong paradigm to approach the Word of God. This essay is treating the Gospel of Luke as a divine book that both transcends and guides human history, but we are not following the paradigm of absolute truth. Instead, we are seeing that Biblical prophecy is based in universal cognitive principles that function like the general equations of math—or like a general-purpose device such as a computer. I am not suggesting that the development of computers is the only valid interpretation of this parable. However, it does appear to be the prophetic interpretation and we will see in later sections how the development of personal computers has transformed people’s concept and experience of incarnation.

Verse 12 describes the first alternative. “And those along the road are those having heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, lest having believed, they should be saved.” ‘Along the road’ is the same phrase that was used in verse 5 which means alongside well-traveled pathways of Server sequences. Heard means ‘to comprehend by hearing’ and come simply means ‘to come, go’. Devil means ‘a slanderer’ and only occurs elsewhere in Luke in chapter 4 in the temptations of Jesus, which was interpreted as various attempts in the First World War to apply traditional culture to the new technology. Here too a totally new way of functioning is being slandered by existing culturally based thinking, because the assumption is that computers will merely replace existing functions within society without transforming society itself.

Word is ‘logos’. Take away means ‘to raise, take up, lift’ which is interpreted as Teacher generality (Matthew uses the word snatch away). Away means ‘away from’. And heart refers to Mercy identity. Believe means to ‘be persuaded’ and saved means to ‘deliver out of danger in it to safety’. The Greek is ambiguous and many translations including the NASB translate this phrase as not believing and not being saved, probably because that fits the standard evangelical interpretation that believing leads to saving. But the most literal translations like the BLB suggest that there is believing but not saving.

The language of verse 12 is strange because one normally thinks of slander as attacking some theory in Teacher thought. But verse 12 describes a form of slander that uses Teacher theory. What happens is that a limited application is replacing a more general application. This was described briefly when looking at verse 5 and will be examined in more detail here. A normal machine performs some specific function. For instance, a radio translates radio waves into sound. A computer can be programmed to perform the function of a radio. But as someone has observed, a smartphone replaces thirteen of the fifteen consumer devices advertised in a 1991 Radio Shack newspaper ad with a single object that one can carry around in one’s pocket—including a radio. The slander comes from treating a computer as nothing more than a radio. What happens mentally is that the ‘seed’ of a computer lands ‘alongside’ the ‘road’ of ‘functioning like a radio’, leading to the theoretical ‘lifting up’ of the computer as a ‘newfangled radio’. This sort of functional replacement takes the paradigm or ‘logos’ of a computer and ‘raises it away’ from the ‘heart’ of existing identity in Mercy thought, leaving existing Mercy identity intact. Saying this another way, a computer as a radio is not a disruptive technology. But treating a computer as a general purpose device that can function as a radio and also as countless other machines is disruptive because it threatens to transform the entire culture of existing electronic devices. For instance, “In 1998, RadioShack called itself the single largest seller of consumer telecommunications products in the world; its stock reached its peak a year later... By 2011, smartphone sales, rather than general electronics, accounted for half of the chain’s revenue.” In 2015, Radio Shack went bankrupt. In the short-term, it is culturally ‘safer’ to ignore and/or suppress the reprogrammability of a computer and merely replace existing machines with new functional equivalents. The result is ‘believing without saving’ because the computer is being used in a rational manner, but is not being used in a general manner that can save society out of its current state of machines with fixed abilities.

Wang Computers provides an example of such slander because it sold word processors rather than general purpose computers. It went bankrupt in 1992. A Seattle Times article summarizes that Wang “pioneered office-automation in the 1970s with its word processors, which allowed typists to correct, revise and rewrite before printing out a letter or other document. Wang’s green-tinted computer screens soon became a fixture in secretarial suites of major corporations, where they replaced typewriters and moved letter-typing to an era light years away from White Out and erasers... [But] the minicomputer eventually was edged out by the personal computer for many uses, particularly word processing... Wang faced another predicament. Its minicomputers are based on proprietary technology, meaning they cannot easily be connected to machines made by other computer companies or run software designed for other machines.” On the one hand, Wang sold word processing systems that were characterized by extensive Teacher order-within-complexity. But on the other hand, Wang ‘slandered’ the Teacher generality of computers by selling digital ‘secretaries’ rather than computers and by selling proprietary computers that could not interconnect with other systems.

Verse 13 expands upon the second alternative of treating computer programs as objects. “And those upon the rock are those who receive the word with joy when they hear; and these have no root, who believe for a time, and in time of testing fall away.” Upon means ‘on, upon’ and rock means ‘a mass of connected rock’. This same phrase ‘upon the bedrock’ was used in 6:48 to describe building a house upon a solid foundation that could survive postmodern questioning. What was positive there is negative here. Hear means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Joy means ‘joy because of grace’ and describes Teacher pleasure. Receive means ‘to receive in a welcoming way’. And word is ‘logos’. Root means ‘root’. Believe means to ‘be persuaded’. For means ‘advantageous for, toward’. And time means ‘opportune time’ and is repeated twice. Thus, people are being motivated by Teacher emotions to pursue some opportunity and they use rational thought for a while. Testing means ‘tempting’. A person may pass temptation but the goal of temptation is for a person to fail. Fall away means to ‘make to stand away’. In other words, one is finding a different source of stability for Perceiver thought.

The well-known Xerox PARC story provides an illustration of this verse. Xerox made its money through the intellectual property of the photocopier—ironically it made money from copying because copying was illegal. A business website mentions “The 1960 introduction of the Xerox 914 photocopier, an invention that improved office productivity in an amazing way. In fact, many years later Fortune called the 914 the most successful product ever marketed in America measured by return on investment... [because] you couldn’t buy one, you had to lease it and pay for every copy you made. The thing was a gold mine for years until the patents finally ran out.” In other words, Xerox managed to land solidly upon the bedrock of intellectual property. Xerox received the ‘logos’ of computers with great Teacher joy, setting up a research center known as PARC. Quoting from Forbes magazine, “On the July 1, 1970, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center opened its doors. Commonly known as Xerox PARC, the research center was set up as a division of Xerox Corporation and was given the mandate to invent the technologies of the future. At Xerox PARC great scientists, engineers and programmers were assembled and they set about the task of inventing the future of computing.” And they developed the graphical user interface and mouse that Apple turned into the Macintosh computer. Forbes adds that “Xerox’s failure to commercialize its own inventions was partly due to the disconnect between those ideas and its core business making copiers. Executives within the main business were disparagingly referred to as ‘toner heads’ because of their failure to see the commercial value in new inventions that were not directly related to photocopying or printing.” Using the language of verse 13, Xerox did not have a deep enough root in Teacher understanding. Therefore, when the time of ‘testing’ came then executives chose to stand with the existing corporate model based upon intellectual property rather than commit to the new technology of the computer. Ironically, the computer research of Xerox was copied by others because Xerox was so successful at preventing others from copying its copying.

Verse 14 examines the third alternative. “And that having fallen into the thorns, these are those having heard, and moving along are choked under the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and do not mature.” Fallen means ‘to fall’. And thorn means ‘a prickly plant’. Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Care is used twice in Luke and means ‘a part separated from the whole’. Rich means ‘abundance, possessions of many kinds’. Pleasure means sensual pleasure, it is used once in Luke and is the source of the English word ‘hedonistic’. Life means ‘biological life’ and is used twice in Luke. The more literal translations make a distinction between ‘cares’, ‘riches’, and ‘pleasures of life’ rather than treating cares, riches, and pleasures as attributes of life. Moving along means ‘to transport’. Choked is used twice in Luke and means ‘choked because joined with’. Mature is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘reaching the goal’ with ‘to carry over’. This describes a characteristic of computer projects, which is that they have to reach a certain stage in order to become useful. It is either all or nothing.

Applying these terms to software development, ‘care’ describes various components becoming disconnected from one another and not integrating. ‘Riches’ refers to the established company that does not need to develop a new product as opposed to the startup that must succeed or else go bankrupt. And ‘hedonistic pleasure of biological life’ describes the various perks and physical benefits that come with being successful. Putting this together, successful computer and software development during the early years of computers tended to come from small startup groups rather than large established companies. The cognitive reason is that programming successful software requires mentally holding many things together which becomes difficult to do if one is being mentally distracted by anything else than writing software. For many years, this described the typical Microsoft employee. In the words of one PBS program, “The average Microsoftee is male and about 25. When he’s not working, well he’s always working. All his friends are Microsoft programmers too. He has no life outside the office but all the sodas are free. From the beginning, Microsoft recruited straight out of college. They chose people who had no experience of life in other companies. In time they’d be called Microserfs.”

Many examples can be found of new companies developing successful computer programs and then failing to develop new versions as an established company. Looking at some examples mentioned in a book chapter, CP/M was the first operating system for personal computers developed in 1974. But it was replaced by PC-DOS, developed by a startup known as Microsoft which purchased an operating system from another startup. Microsoft and IBM cooperated to develop a successor to PC-DOS known as OS/2, but that failed. Looking at word processors, Wordstar became the standard on CP/M computers. But the 1984 successor to Wordstar failed because it was slow, clumsy, and limited. Wordstar was replaced by WordPerfect, which failed to develop a version that worked well in Windows. The first spreadsheet was VisiCalc introduced in 1979. But it was replaced by Lotus 1-2-3 which had much greater power and ease of use.

Verse 15 describes the final alternative. “And that in the good soil, these are those who, having heard the word, keep it in a worthy and good heart and bring forth fruit by perseverance.” Soil means ‘earth’ and the same word was used in verse 8. Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’ and word is ‘logos’. Keep means to ‘hold back, hold fast’. The first good and the ‘worthy’ mean ‘attractively good’ while the second good means ‘intrinsically good’ (the NASB and the interlinear provide a similar, inconsistent translation). As far as I can tell this is the only time that these two versions of ‘good’ are combined in the New Testament and they are applied to the heart, which represents personal identity. Bring forth fruit is used once in Luke in combines fruit with ‘to carry over’. By means ‘in the realm of’. Perseverance is used twice in Luke and means ‘remaining under’. Summarizing, the rational thought is attractively good and functioning in the realm of personal identity that is both intrinsically and attractively good. Paradigms are being understood and restrained and results are being carried across through perseverance.

That is quite a list of requirements. But it corresponds to a method of software development proposed in 2001 to deal with the software crisis known as agile development. Quoting from a university website, “The Manifesto for Agile Software Development states that the core values of agile process models are: 1) Individuals and interactions over process and tools. 2) Working software over comprehensive documentation. 3) Customer collaboration over contract negotiation. 4) Responding to change over following a plan.” The first point describes an intrinsically good heart. The second point describes attractively good rational thought. The third point describes an attractively good heart. The fourth point describes a ‘holding back’ of technical paradigms.

Looking at these requirements cognitively, ‘process and tools’, ‘comprehensive documentation’, ‘contract negotiation’, and ‘following a plan’ all describe natural aspects of technical thought. And a computer is an embodiment of abstract technical thought which translates verbal instructions into actions with technical precision. But a complicated computer program fails to meet the basic requirement for abstract technical thought because it cannot be precisely defined, and abstract technical thought requires precise definitions. In the words of one article, “We simply don’t know how to define software very well... Our inability to precisely define what is needed before starting to build the product separates software engineering from most other engineering disciplines... The translation from requirements, imperfect as they are, to specifications, and from specifications to implementation, is rife with ambiguities.” Stated most succinctly, software cannot be treated as an object because its ‘shape’ cannot be precisely defined. The solution is to replace technical rigidity with flexibility guided by continual personal feedback and interaction and to ensure that working software remains the bottom line.

Applying this to a concept of incarnation, incarnation is based upon technical thought but extends beyond technical specialization to be guided by a concept of God in Teacher thought and extends beyond objectivity to save people in Mercy thought. Similarly, programming a computer is based upon technical thought, but writing a large computer program extends beyond technical modules to be guided by a general system in Teacher thought and it extends beyond objectivity to meeting the needs of many people in Mercy thought. Going further, incarnation is ‘word made flesh’ that starts with words in Teacher thought. Similarly, a computer program is ‘word made flesh’ that starts with the words of computer instructions in Teacher thought. Thus, it is possible to learn about the nature of incarnation by looking for parallels with large software systems. On the one hand, Christianity is proclaiming doctrines about incarnation while declaring these doctrines to be incomprehensible divine mystery. On the other hand, software engineering is learning principles about incarnation while applying these principles in a peripheral manner to computers rather than personal identity.

The successful software engineer tends to be someone who ‘eats and breathes’ computers. Repeating an earlier quote about 1980s Microsoft culture: “The average Microsoftee is male and about 25. When he’s not working, well he’s always working. All his friends are Microsoft programmers too. He has no life outside the office but all the sodas are free.” Such a person takes the peripheral topic of computers and acts as if this is the essence of personal identity. This generally leads to successful programming at the cost of burnout. The solution is to give one’s soul to a more adequate concept of incarnation that is capable sustaining ‘life outside the office’.

Lighting a Lamp 8:16-18

The next three verses appear at first glance to describe a different subject. But this section fits symbolically within our discussion of the early computer industry. Verse 16 begins, “And no one having lighted a lamp, covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed. But he puts it on a lampstand, so that those entering in may see the light.” A lamp is ‘an oil fed portable lamp’, which would represent the light of some small Teacher theory. Light means ‘to fasten to, lay hold of’ and is used four times in Luke and once in Acts to describe lighting a lamp or fire, but a more accurate symbolic interpretation would be laying hold of some small Teacher theory. This describes what happens when a company designs a computer or writes a computer program. It is setting up some system in Teacher thought and ‘laying hold of it’. This system then becomes a ‘lamp’ in Teacher thought that guides the future activity of this company and its customers.

Cover is used twice in Luke and means ‘to cover’. A vessel is ‘a vessel to contain liquid’, which would represent some collection of Mercy experiences enclosed within a set of Perceiver walls. This describes what is known as a proprietary standard which one attempts to contain in some manner in order to prevent it from spreading to other companies. For instance, we looked earlier at Wang word processors. In the words of one article, “In the early 1980s, Wang computers were in use at over 80% of the 2,000 largest U.S. companies... Wang’s main claim to fame was its word processing system (WPS), a family of computers which revolutionized the daily lives of the secretarial pool.” But as we saw earlier, “The rise of the personal computer in the ’80s took Wang out of the conversation.” Unfortunately, “Wang failed to adapt. They did launch a line of personal computers but, at An Wang’s insistence, they were not compatible with the de facto IBM standard. Wang’s minicomputer line, though well regarded, was also not initially interoperable with other systems.” That is an example of ‘lighting a lamp and covering it with a vessel’. One establishes a standard in Teacher thought and then sets up walls to prevent the standard from connecting with the outside world. The article observes that “Less than ten years later, Wang Laboratories filed for bankruptcy protection. Even in the volatile tech world, the rapidity of the decline is remarkable.”

Under is used once in Luke and means ‘below, under’. Bed means ‘a couch, bed’ and was previously used in 5:18 to describe the crippled state of postwar Germany. Put means ‘to place, lay, set’ and is regarded as some source of Perceiver stability. ‘Putting it under a bed’ places the standard below the framework upon which personal identity is resting. Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) provides an example of this principle, because the ‘bed’ of DEC overshadowed the ‘lamp’ of industry standards. Wikipedia summarizes that “The company produced a series of machines known as the PDP line, with the PDP-8 and PDP-11 being among the most successful minis in history. Their success was only surpassed by another DEC product, the late-1970s VAX ‘supermini’ systems that were designed to replace the PDP-11. Although a number of competitors had successfully competed with Digital through the 1970s, the VAX cemented the company’s place as a leading vendor in the computer space.” Thus, DEC had a well-established ‘bed’ of corporate structure and identity. Wikipedia describes what happened when the PC arrived. “Unsurprisingly, DEC did not put much effort into the microcomputer area in the early days of the market... It was only after IBM had successfully launched the IBM PC in 1981 that DEC responded with their own systems. In 1982, DEC introduced not one, but three incompatible machines which were each tied to different proprietary architectures. The first, the DEC Professional, was based on the PDP-11/23.” Thus, after initially ignoring the new microcomputers, DEC eventually produced its own proprietary versions, starting with one that was a miniaturized version of its existing PDP-11. In other words, the ‘bed’ of existing PDP-11 architecture overshadowed the ‘lamp’ of any industry standard. Going further, “Unlike CP/M and DOS microcomputers, every copy of every program for the Professional had to be provided with a unique key for the particular machine and CPU for which it was bought. At that time this was mainstream policy, because most computer software was either bought from the company that built the computer or custom-constructed for one client. However, the emerging third-party software industry disregarded the PDP-11/Professional line and concentrated on other microcomputers where distribution was easier. At DEC itself, creating better programs for the Professional was not a priority, perhaps from fear of cannibalizing the PDP-11 line. As a result, the Professional was a superior machine, running inferior software.” Summarizing, the Teacher generality of one program being able to run on many computers was negated by attaching a unique key to each computer, because that was part of the ‘bed’ of existing ‘mainstream policy’, and because DEC did not want to ‘cannibalize’ its existing ‘bed’. The end result was that the industry bypassed DEC.

Looking now at the positive alternative, Lampstand means ‘lampstand’ and is related to the word ‘lamp’. Put means ‘to place, lay, set’. This indicates giving the lamp a place of prominence and stability. Enter adds the prefix ‘into’ to ‘transport’, which implies that entering is accompanied by some form of change. See means to ‘be observant’. And light indicates Teacher understanding. The IBM PC provides an example of this principle, and this example is unusual because it violated the ‘bed’ of IBM standard practice. Wikipedia explains that “The machine was based on open architecture and third-party peripherals. Over time, expansion cards and software technology increased to support it. The PC had a substantial influence on the personal computer market. The specifications of the IBM PC became one of the most popular computer design standards in the world.” ‘Open architecture’ allowed the ‘light’ of Teacher generality to shine openly. This made it possible for others to ‘observe’ the standard, leading to ‘third-party peripherals’. This ‘lampstand’ became a source of Perceiver stability that provided ‘computer design standard’. And the ‘entering in’ of these companies ended up ‘changing’ the nature of the personal computer industry.

The IBM PC was specifically designed to be a ‘light’ on a ‘lampstand’. Quoting further from Wikipedia, “Computer dealers were very interested in selling an IBM product, but they insisted the company use a design based on standard parts, not IBM-designed ones so that stores could perform their own repairs rather than requiring customers to send machines back to IBM for service... Many of the designers were computer hobbyists who owned their own computers, including many Apple II owners, which influenced the decisions to design the computer with an open architecture and publish technical information so others could create compatible software and expansion slot peripherals. During the design process IBM avoided vertical integration as much as possible, for example choosing to license Microsoft BASIC rather than utilizing the in-house version of BASIC.” Notice how the light of understanding is being set upon a lampstand through ‘standard parts’, ‘open architecture’, ‘publishing technical information’, and ‘licensing Microsoft BASIC’. And “The hardware design of the IBM PC used entirely ‘off-the-shelf’ parts from third party manufacturers, rather than unique hardware designed by IBM.” Wikipedia compares the success of IBM with the failure of DEC. “Sales exceeded IBM’s expectations by as much as 800%... In 1983, IBM sold more than 750,000 machines, while Digital Equipment Corporation, one of the companies whose success had spurred IBM to enter the market, sold only 69,000. Software support from the industry grew rapidly, with the IBM nearly instantly becoming the primary target for most microcomputer software development.”

Verse 17 describes a general principle. “For nothing is hidden which will not become manifest, nor secret which shall not be known and come to light.” Hidden means ‘hidden, secret’. Manifest means ‘to bring to light’. Become means ‘to come into being’ which indicates a natural progression. This first principle is illustrated by the development of the IBM PC Compatible. We just saw that most of the architecture of the IBM PC was ‘put on a lampstand’ for everyone to see. The one exception was the BIOS, built-in software that controlled the hardware at a fundamental level. Wikipedia summarizes, “Because the IBM PC was based on commodity hardware rather than unique IBM components, and because its operation was extensively documented by IBM, creating machines that were fully compatible with the PC offered few challenges other than the creation of a compatible BIOS ROM. Simple duplication of the IBM PC BIOS was a direct violation of copyright law, but soon into the PC’s life the BIOS was reverse-engineered by companies... who either built their own computers that could run the same software and use the same expansion hardware as the PC, or sold their BIOS code to other manufacturers who wished to build their own machines.” Thus, the one hidden element of the IBM PC came to the ‘light’, making it possible for anyone to construct an IBM compatible machine.

Secret means ‘hidden away, secret’ and is used once in Luke. Known refers to experiential knowledge. Come simply means to ‘come, go’. Light means ‘to bring to light’ and is the same word that was translated as ‘manifest’ earlier in the verse. (The NASB also translates the same Greek word as two different English words.) What is different from the previous phrase is the process. Previously, the light came into being, here there is movement to the light. Multimate and the Wang word processor provide an example of this sequence. Wikipedia describes, “With 1,000 computers, Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance was one of the first large-volume customers for the IBM PC. It hired W. H. Jones & Associates to write word-processing software for the computer that would not require retraining its employees, already familiar with Wang Laboratories word processing systems... Advertisements stated that MultiMate ‘mimic[ked] the features and functions of a dedicated system’, and that it was ‘modeled after the Wang word processor’. Like Connecticut Mutual, many customers purchased it because of the similarity with the Wang.” We saw previously that Wang attempted to function in a manner that was ‘hidden away and secret’. As a result of its success in selling word processing equipment, many secretaries gained ‘experiential knowledge’ with the ‘Wang Laboratories word processing systems’. But when the open standard IBM PC came out, users of the ‘secret’ Wang system wanted to ‘come to the light’ of the Teacher standard. And so a large insurance company hired a programming company to develop software for the IBM PC that would mimic the ‘features and functions’ of the ‘Wang word processor’, to the extent of “providing a large plastic template that clipped on the PC keyboard, and stick-on labels for the fronts of the PC keys.”

Verse 18 provides a warning. “Therefore take heed how you hear; for whoever might have, to him will be given; and whoever might not have, even what he seems to have will be taken away from him.” Therefore means that verse 18 follows logically from verse 17. Take heed means to ‘be observant’. How means ‘how, in what manner’. Hear means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Might have means ‘to have, hold’ and is in the subjunctive. Thus, there is an assumption of ownership. This relates to the idea of attempting to apply concepts of ownership to intellectual items that cannot really be owned. The reference to ‘hearing’ indicates that intellectual property is being discussed and not ownership of physical objects. Given means ‘to give’. ‘Might not have’ simply adds ‘not’ to ‘might have’. Seems ‘directly reflects the personal perspective of the person making the subjective judgment call’. And to have is the same word ‘to have, hold’ but not in the subjunctive case. Taken away means ‘to raise, take up, lift’ and is interpreted as Teacher generality. Putting this together, intellectual ownership depends heavily upon opinion. If everyone regards some person or group as owning some intellectual property, then ownership is effectively being given to that person or group. But if everyone has a different opinion, then that will override any personal judgment of that group that it owns intellectual property, because some other intellectual property will arise with greater Teacher generality.

This sequence can be seen in the development of the IBM PC compatible. IBM achieved its initial success largely because IBM was presumed to ‘own’ the computer market. A university webpage describes this official presumption of ownership. “Until the early 1980s, International Business Machines Corporation, better known as IBM, continuously ran into anti-trust troubles due to its power over the computer industry. Because they controlled almost 70 percent of the computer market, IBM was considered by many to be a monopoly and a company with excessive powers. In January of 1969, the United States Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit against IBM to break it up... extending over thirteen years.” Thus, “Although already established rivals like Apple and Radio Shack had many advantages over the company new to microcomputers, IBM’s reputation in business computing allowed the IBM PC architecture to take a substantial market share of business applications, and many small companies that sold IBM-compatible software or hardware rapidly grew in size and importance.” In other words, consumers gave the IBM PC ownership of the personal computer market because of the assumption that IBM owned the computer market.

However, we saw previously that the open nature of the IBM PC made it possible to construct and sell compatible computers. Wikipedia explains that “These machines became known as IBM compatibles or ‘clones’, and software was widely marketed as compatible with ‘IBM PC or 100% compatible’. Shortly thereafter, clone manufacturers began to make improvements and extensions to the hardware, such as by using faster processors like the NEC V20, which executed the same software as the 8088 at a higher speed up to 10 MHz. The clone market eventually became so large that it lost its associations with the original PC and became a set of de facto standards established by various hardware manufacturers.” Thus, the computer standard of ‘IBM compatible’ eventually acquired greater Teacher generality than any computer created by IBM, ‘lifting’ the ownership of the IBM PC away from IBM.

Eventually, IBM lost the ownership over the PC that it thought it had. Wikipedia describes this realization. “IBM began to worry that it was losing control of the industry it had created. In 1987, IBM released the PS/2 line of computers, which included the MCA bus... In an effort to reassert its dominant role, IBM patented the bus and placed stringent licensing and royalty policies on its use... Overall the industry balked at IBM's restrictions... [and] created a new bus, which... provided virtually all of the technical advantages of MCA, while remaining compatible with existing 8-bit and 16-bit cards, and (most enticing to system and card makers) minimal licensing cost.” Summarizing, IBM thought that it still controlled the IBM PC standard, but when it attempted to assert this control by introducing the MCA bus, the industry rebelled and created its own standard that was independent of IBM. Thus, for IBM, ‘even what he seemed to have will be taken away from him’.

Redefining Family 8:19-21

Family is redefined in the next section. When interpreted symbolically, this section describes a shift that happened within the emerging computer industry. Verse 19 begins, “And His mother and brothers came to Him, and they were not able to get to Him, because of the crowd.” Came means ‘to be beside’ and to means ‘motion towards’. Mother would represent the mental networks that gave birth to technical thought. Brothers would represent related forms of male technical thought that came from the same emotional source. Able means ‘ability, power’ and is interpreted as active Perceiver thought. Get is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘together’ with ‘hit the mark’. And crowd means ‘crowd’.

Verse 21 uses the phrase ‘word of God’ which provides a clue for interpreting this passage. ‘Word of God’ was previously used in verse 11 where the seed was referred to as the ‘word of God’, which was interpreted as computers and computer programs. This suggests that ‘mother and brothers’ refer to the emotional source and ‘siblings’ of personal computers. We saw earlier that the development of the personal computer was initially motivated by the hobbyists who were driven by mental networks of escapism, social interaction, and making games. For instance, Steve Wozniak developed the Apple I computer so that he could show the game Breakout to his friends at the Homebrew Computer Club. The videogame industry attempted to ‘move alongside’ Personal Computers in the early 1980s.

We saw that the success of the PC came from open standards and third-party products. The Atari VCS game console followed this trend with a slot into which one could insert game cartridges. Wikipedia summarizes, “The Atari Video Computer System was not the first home system with swappable game cartridges, but by the early 1980s it was the most popular second-generation console by a wide margin... Spurred by the success of the Atari VCS, other consoles were introduced, both from Atari and other companies.” And third-party game cartridges started to be developed. In the words of Wikipedia, “Prior to 1979, there were no third-party developers, with console manufacturers like Atari publishing all the games for their respective platforms. This changed with the formation of Activision in 1979. Activision was founded by four Atari programmers who left the company because they felt that Atari’s developers should receive the same recognition and accolades as the actors, directors, and musicians working for other subsidiaries of Warner Communications (Atari’s parent company at the time). Already being quite familiar with the Atari VCS, the four programmers developed their own games and cartridge manufacturing processes.” The result was disaster. “By 1982, Activision’s success emboldened numerous other competitors to penetrate the market. However, Activision’s founder David Crane observed that several of these companies were supported by venture capitalists attempting to emulate the success of Activision. Without the experience and skill of Activision’s team, these inexperienced competitors mostly created games of poor quality. Crane notably described these as ‘the worst games you can imagine’.” Looking at this cognitively, the open PC market succeeded because there was sufficient Teacher-driven technical thought in both the product and the consumer. One had to be reasonably technically proficient just to use a PC because all the commands had to be typed in. In contrast, playing a game on a console was as simple as plugging in a cartridge and pressing a few buttons. And the purpose of playing a game was to satisfy mental networks of fun and escapism. Going further, the formation of Activision was driven by Mercy feelings of ‘recognition and accolades’ driven by Mercy mental networks of ‘actors, directors, musicians, and the entertainment industry’. The resulting third-party game cartridges lacked technical content, with ‘inexperienced competitors’ creating ‘the worst games you can imagine’. Using the language of verse 19, the ‘mother and brothers’ of the personal computer lacked the power to stand alongside the personal computer because of crowd pressure.

Wikipedia describes this crowd pressure. “‘If the public really likes an idea, it is milked for all its worth, and numerous clones of a different color soon crowd the shelves. That is, until the public stops buying or something better comes along. Companies who believe that microcomputer games are the hula hoop of the 1980s only want to play Quick Profit.’ Bill Kunkel said in January 1983 that companies had ‘licensed everything that moves, walks, crawls, or tunnels beneath the earth.’”

The crowd notices in verse 20. “And it was told Him, ‘Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You.’” Told means ‘to declare or report from’. ‘Mother’ and ‘brothers’ are the same words as in verse 19. Standing means ‘to make to stand’ and is interpreted as Perceiver stability. Outside means ‘outside, without’. Wanting means ‘to desire, wish’. And see means ‘to see with the mind’. Looking at this symbolically, the crowds are noticing the relationship between personal computers and video consoles and they are observing that video consoles are standing on the outside attempting to understand what is happening inside the computer industry.

Wikipedia describes Atari attempting to ‘come in’ to the personal computer market. “Inexpensive home computers had been first introduced in 1977 and, by 1979, Atari unveiled the Atari 400 and 800 computers, built around a chipset originally meant for use in a game console, and which retailed for the same price as their respective names... By 1982, new desktop computer designs were commonly providing better color graphics and sound than game consoles and personal computer sales were booming.” And the crowds noticed and responded. Wikipedia relates,“Dan Gutman, founder in 1982 of Video Games Player magazine in an article in 1987, recalled in 1983 that ‘People asked themselves, “Why should I buy a video game system when I can buy a computer that will play games and do so much more?”’”

Jesus responds in verse 21. “But answering, He said to them, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who are hearing and doing the word of God.’” ‘Mother’ and ‘brothers’ are the same words as in verse 19. Word is ‘logos’. And ‘word of God’ was previously used in verse 11 where the seed was referred to as the ‘word of God’ which was interpreted as computers and computer programs. Hearing means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. And doing refers to Server actions.

This choosing can be seen in the crash that followed in 1983 that affected anything related to computers and games. Wikipedia relates, “By that year, Gutman wrote, ‘Video games were officially dead and computers were hot’. He renamed his magazine Computer Games in October 1983, but ‘I noticed that the word games became a dirty word in the press. We started replacing it with simulations as often as possible’. Soon ‘The computer slump began ... Suddenly, everyone was saying that the home computer was a fad, just another hula hoop’. Computer Games published its last issue in late 1984.”

Looking at the larger picture, Wikipedia adds that “The video game crash of 1983 soured many on home computer technology as users saw large investments in ‘the technology of the future’ turn into dead-ends when manufacturers pulled out of the market or went out of business. The computers that were bought for use in the family room were either forgotten in closets or relegated to basements and children’s bedrooms to be used exclusively for games and the occasional book report. Home computers of the 1980s have been called ‘a technology in search of a use’.”

‘Hearing and doing the word of God’ would be interpreted in this context as computers obeying the Teacher instructions of a universal standard within Teacher thought. And that describes the form that the PC industry took in 1984. Wikipedia explains, “In February 1984 BYTE described how ‘the personal computer market seems to be shadowed under a cloud of compatibility: the drive to be compatible with the IBM Personal Computer family has assumed near-fetish proportions’, which it stated was ‘inevitable in the light of the phenomenal market acceptance of the IBM PC’... Customers only wanted to run PC applications like 1-2-3, and developers only cared about the massive PC installed base, so any non-compatible—no matter its technical superiority—from a company other than Apple failed for lack of customers and software.”

One might wonder why the Bible would care about Donkey-Kong and Pac-Man, but that views the topic from a subjective Mercy perspective. The big picture is that the personal computer was a totally new kind of general-purpose device that obeyed verbal instructions in a universal manner unlike any previous device. It has been mentioned several times that incarnation extends beyond technical thought to include general theories in Teacher thought and subjective experiences in Mercy thought. The order of these is very important, because universal understanding has to be the source in Teacher thought while at the same time including subjective experiences in Mercy thought. Using theological language, Incarnation is the word made flesh, not the flesh made word. However, humans start from Mercy mental networks of culture, which means that the personal computer began as flesh made word with hobbyists and games. Somehow, the order had to be changed from Mercy mental networks ruling over Teacher mental networks to Teacher mental networks ruling over Mercy mental networks, which means that an infatuation with games had to be replaced by an infatuation with a universal standard—while including games within the umbrella of this universal standard. Thus, the topic may have been video games, but the underlying principle involved the nature of incarnation.

Jesus calms the Storm 8:22-25

Verse 22 indicates a new context. “And it came to pass, on one of the days also, He with His disciples entered into a boat, and He said to them, ‘Let us pass over to the other side of the lake.’ And they launched out.” Came to pass means ‘to come into being’. Day represents some era of society. Thus, ‘on one of the days also’ would refer to something else happening at a similar time. This suggests that the focus of Luke will now shift away from computers to some other interaction between technical thought and mental networks.

Enter means ‘to walk on, to step into’ which suggests finding a new basis or foundation for personal identity. Boat means boat and is interpreted as functioning within some sort of organizational structure such as a company. ‘With his disciples’ indicates that this is a fully developed organizational structure. ‘He said to them’ indicates that progress is being driven by technical thought. Pass over means ‘to go through, go about’. To the other side means ‘beyond, further, over’. Lake means ‘a lake’ and would represent some bounded region of Mercy experiences, as opposed to the open sea. Launched out means ‘to lead up, bring up’ which implies heading in the direction of Teacher theory. Putting this together, technical thought is driving progress in a theoretical manner to go further across some ‘lake’ of Mercy experiences.

Wikipedia describes the shift in thinking that characterized the 1980s. “The decade saw a dominance of conservatism and free market economics, and a socioeconomic change due to advances in technology and a worldwide move away from planned economies and towards laissez-faire capitalism compared to the 1970s. As economic deconstruction increased in the developed world, multiple multinational corporations associated with the manufacturing industry relocated into Thailand, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, and China. Japan and West Germany saw large economic growth during this decade.” ‘Laissez-faire capitalism’ indicates an emphasis upon the ‘boats’ of corporations. A ‘dominance’ of ‘free-market economics’ suggests that this move towards corporatism is being accompanied by various ‘disciples’. These ‘disciples’ are accompanying technical thought, which would refer to the technical thinking of a modern company, ‘due to advances in technology’. This is resulting in ‘socioeconomic change’ as corporate progress moves across the ‘lake’ of culture and society. And the upward movement of ‘launched out’ suggests that this is being motivated by Teacher theories of free-market economics. More literally, a physical moving of the ‘boats’ of corporations across the ‘lake’ of culture can be seen in the outsourcing of manufacturing as ‘multiple multinational corporations associated with the manufacturing industry relocated’ overseas.

In verse 23, a storm arrives. “And of them sailing, He fell asleep. And a storm of wind came down on the lake, and they were being swamped, and were in danger.” Sailing is used once in Luke and means ‘to sail’. This indicates that progress is being driven by the ‘wind’ of Teacher theory. Fall asleep is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘away from’ and ‘sleep’. This suggests that technical thought is becoming both distant and passive.

Such ‘falling asleep’ can be seen in outsourcing. Quoting from one magazine article, “The trend began in earnest in the late 1970s at large manufacturers such as General Electric. GE’s then CEO, Jack Welch, who was widely respected by other corporate chieftains, argued that public corporations owe their primary allegiance to stockholders, not employees. Therefore, Welch said, companies should seek to lower costs and maximize profits by moving operations wherever is cheapest... Not only did GE offshore much of its manufacturing, so did its parts suppliers, which were instructed at GE-orchestrated ‘supplier migration seminars’ to ‘migrate or be out of business.’” Notice that outsourcing has gone beyond improving some bottom line in Mercy thought to becoming a wind of ideology in Teacher thought that is propelling the boats of corporatism. And outsourcing leads to the ‘sleeping away from’ of technical thought because the technical thought required for manufacturing becomes physically and mentally separated from the leadership of management. The corporate ‘disciples’ are sailing along led by the winds of globalization while the technical thinking involved in manufacturing is sent away to another country, effectively sending it to sleep. (The effect that this can have upon a company is illustrated by the disastrous impact of Boeing moving its headquarters away from its manufacturing plants in Seattle across the country to Chicago. A 2019 article in The Atlantic summarizes, “The present 737 Max disaster can be traced back two decades—to the moment Boeing’s leadership decided to divorce itself from the firm’s own culture.”)

The Soviet Union followed a similar path of limiting government control over industry. Wikipedia summarizes that in 1987 “Enterprises became self-financing; that is, they had to cover expenses (wages, taxes, supplies, and debt service) through revenues.” And in 1988 “The law permitted collective ownership of businesses in the services, manufacturing, and foreign-trade sectors.” And “It permitted the ministries of the various industrial and agricultural branches to conduct foreign trade in sectors under their responsibility, rather than having to operate indirectly through the bureaucracy of trade ministry organizations. In addition, regional and local organizations and individual state enterprises were permitted to conduct foreign trade.” Notice that economic freedom is being given primarily to existing groups and not to individuals.

An academic article points out the connection between Russian perestroika and American globalization. “Starting from Reagan Presidency in the early 1980s, the logic of globalization demanded not just weakening of the Soviet Union in an attempt to improve negotiating positions but the integration of the Soviet economy, as a whole or in parts, into the capitalist system.”

China also pursued a similar path of limiting government control over industry, but the focus here was upon the individual. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Starting in 1970, the economy entered into a period of stagnation, and after the death of Mao Zedong, the Communist Party leadership decided to abandon Maoism and turn to market-oriented reforms to salvage the stagnant economy.” This was a bottom-up reform that emphasized industry. In the words of Wikipedia, “Chinese economic reform was... a bottom-up attempt at reform, focusing on light industry and agriculture (namely allowing peasants to sell produce grown on private holdings at market prices).”

Globalization also played a major role in encouraging economic reform in China. Quoting from another academic article, “By the 1980s South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore pointed to the success of international capitalism as the wave of the Asian future... Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong served as magnets to draw China into the global economy. The mainland provided the land and labor, the Asian Tigers, the entrepreneurs and skills. When these were combined, capitalist growth in the Peoples’ Republic exploded.”

Came down means ‘to go down’ and combines ‘down from’ with ‘basis’. The ‘enter’ of verse 22 combined ‘up’ with ‘basis’ suggesting that these two actions are related. Storm is used once in Luke and means ‘whirlwind, storm, tempest’. Wind means ‘a gust of air’ and indicates some major impact from Teacher theory. ‘On the lake’ indicates that this gust of Teacher wind is happening within the realm of subjective Mercy experiences being explored. Swamped combines ‘together with’ and ‘to make full’. Danger is used once in Luke and means ‘to be in danger’. Thus, the blast of air from Teacher thought is threatening personal identity in Mercy thought.

This ‘gust of air’ came in the form of a ‘gust’ of freedom in the area where the ‘wind’ of less government involvement was already blowing. In the Soviet Union, this expressed itself primarily as a call for the greater freedom of various groups from the central control of Russia. Wikipedia summarizes that “In 1988, the USSR abandoned its war in Afghanistan and began to withdraw its forces. In the following year, Gorbachev refused to interfere in the internal affairs of the Soviet satellite states, which paved the way for the Revolutions of 1989... At the same time, the Soviet republics started legal moves towards potentially declaring sovereignty over their territories.” In China, the ‘gust of air’ expressed itself primarily as a call for greater freedom for the individual, culminating in the Tiananmen Square protests. Wikipedia explains that “The reforms of the 1980s had led to a nascent market economy that benefited some people but seriously disadvantaged others, and the one-party political system also faced a challenge to its legitimacy. Common grievances at the time included inflation, corruption, limited preparedness of graduates for the new economy, and restrictions on political participation. Although they were highly disorganized and their goals varied, the students called for greater accountability, constitutional due process, democracy, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech.”

There was also a ‘gust of air’ in the United States which expressed itself as a freedom of banking from government legislation. One major outcome was the S&L crisis. Quoting from Wikipedia, “In the early 1980s Congress passed two laws intended to deregulate the Savings and Loans industry... [which] allowed thrifts to offer a wider array of savings products, but also significantly expanded their lending authority and reduced regulatory oversight.” As a result, “In an effort to take advantage of the real estate boom and high interest rates of the late 1970s and early 1980s, many S&Ls lent far more money than was prudent, and to ventures which many S&Ls were not qualified to assess, especially regarding commercial real estate.”

Notice that all three of these ‘gusts of wind’ have the common theoretical thread of ‘less government control over business’. In other words, a ‘wind’ of freedom was blowing upon the ‘boat’ of corporate entities. And in each case, ‘sailing’ under this ‘wind’ was followed by the ‘wind’ turning into a dangerous ‘whirlwind’ that threatened to ‘swamp the boat’.

The disciples respond in verse 24. “And having approached, they awoke Him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ And having arisen, He rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and they ceased, and there was a calm.” Approach means ‘to approach, to draw near’. The ‘fall asleep’ of verse 23 suggested a movement away from technical thought. ‘Approach’ indicates that technical thought is being reengaged. Awoke means ‘to arouse completely’ and is only used in Luke in this verse where it is used twice, first as ‘awoke’ and then as ‘arisen’. First, the disciples awake Jesus. Second, Jesus himself awakes. Master combines ‘appropriately’ with ‘standing’, which indicates a recognition that technical thought is the appropriate source of stability. This word is only used in Luke where it is found seven times. Saying it twice suggests that both abstract and concrete technical thought are being recognized as the appropriate basis. Perish ‘implies permanent destruction’.

Such a re-engaging of technical thought to deal with an existential crisis can be seen in the Soviet Union, the United States, and at least partially in China. This was known in the Soviet Union as the ‘Sinatra doctrine’. Wikipedia explains, “The Sinatra Doctrine was a Soviet foreign policy under Mikhail Gorbachev for allowing member states of the Warsaw Pact to determine their own internal affairs. The name jokingly alluded to the song My Way popularized by Frank Sinatra—the Soviet Union was allowing these states to go their own way. Its implementation was part of Gorbachev’s doctrine of new political thinking.” Going further, “At the same time, the Soviet republics started legal moves towards potentially declaring sovereignty over their territories, citing the freedom to secede in Article 72 of the USSR constitution. On 7 April 1990, a law was passed allowing a republic to secede if more than two-thirds of its residents voted for it in a referendum.” Summarizing, the Soviet Union was experiencing an existential crisis that threatened the ‘permanent destruction’ of the Soviet empire, with both satellite countries and Soviet republics threatening to leave Russia. Russia responded not by sending in tanks, but rather by turning to the technical thinking of legislation.

The Tiananmen Square protests threatened China with permanent destruction. Wikipedia relates that “Deng privately told former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau that factions of the Communist Party could have grabbed army units and the country had risked a civil war.” In this case soldiers and tanks were eventually sent in to quell the demonstrations. Quoting from Wikipedia, “During the demonstrations, Deng’s pro-market ally General Secretary Zhao Ziyang supported the demonstrators and distanced himself from the Politburo. Martial law was declared on 20 May by the socialist hardliner... The movement lasted seven weeks. On 3–4 June, over two hundred thousand soldiers in tanks and helicopters were sent into the city to quell the protests by force, resulting in hundreds to thousands of casualties.” While this was a military response, it was also a far more measured reaction than the barbaric behavior of China during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s.

The S&L crisis led to the failure of many banking institutions and eventually resulted in the ‘permanent destruction’ of the Federal Savings and Loan insurance Corporation (FSLIC), which had been set up in the 1930s to protect banks from failure during the Great Depression. Investopedia describes the initial failures. “The S&L crisis culminated in the collapse of hundreds of savings & loan institutions and the insolvency of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, which cost taxpayers many billions of dollars and contributed to the recession of 1990–91.” This crisis was initially dealt with by giving more money to the existing institution of the FSLIC. Quoting further from investopedia, “although pressure was mounting on the FSLIC’s coffers, even failing S&Ls were allowed to keep lending. By 1987, the FSLIC had become insolvent. Rather than allowing it and S&Ls to fail as they were destined to do, the federal government recapitalized the FSLIC, exposing taxpayers to even greater risk. For a while longer, the S&Ls were allowed to continue to pile on risk.”

Looking now at the ‘arising’ of Jesus, rebuke means ‘to assign value as is fitting the situation’ and this follows the second ‘arouse completely’. Thus, the disciples recognize technical thought as the appropriate basis and technical thought then comes up with an appropriate value. Wind indicates Teacher thought. ‘Rebuking the wind’ would mean applying technical thought to Teacher theorizing. Raging means ‘to wash over’ and is used twice in the New Testament. Water represents Mercy experiences. Thus, technical thought is also being applied to the ‘washing over’ of Mercy experiences. Ceased means ‘cease, stop’. Was means ‘to come into being’. Calm means ‘calm’ and is related to the word ‘to laugh’.

In each of these three cases, the initial response was unsuccessful. And in each case, this was followed by a further application of technical thought that did succeed in ‘rebuking’ the Teacher ‘wind’ of freedom and end the ‘washing over’ of the ‘water’ of Mercy experiences. Looking first at the Soviet Union, Wikipedia summarizes that “On 8 December 1991, the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, signed the Belavezha Accords, which declared the Soviet Union dissolved and established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in its place. While doubts remained over the authority of the accords to do this, on 21 December 1991, the representatives of all Soviet republics except Georgia signed the Alma-Ata Protocol, which confirmed the accords.” Wikipedia explains that this decision was ‘fitting the situation’. “The Sinatra Doctrine has been seen as Moscow giving permission to its allies to decide their own futures. In fact, it was a retrospective policy, as Soviet allies had already acquired much greater freedom of action.” One might think that Russia would automatically respond in a way that is fitting the situation, but one of the key characteristics of the current Russian invasion of Ukraine is that Russia has continually behaved in a manner that does not fit the situation. Summarizing, the ‘whirlwind’ of political freedom and human protest was eventually calmed through the technical thinking of legislation in an appropriate manner rather than through the application of force. It was primarily a war of laws rather than a war of tanks.

Turning to China, calm was eventually restored as China continued to pursue economic growth in a manner that was ‘fitting the situation’. Quoting from Wikipedia, “By the mid-1990s the country was again pursuing market liberalization on a scale even greater than those seen in the initial stages of the reforms in the 1980s. Although political liberals were purged from within the party, many of those who were economically liberal remained. The economic shocks caused by the events of 1989, in retrospect, had only a minor and temporary effect on China’s economic growth. Indeed, with many previously aggrieved groups now regarding political liberalization as a lost cause, more of their energy was spent on economic activities. The economy would quickly regain momentum into the 1990s.”

The S&L crisis was also eventually brought to an end and calm restored through legislation. Quoting from Wikipedia, “As a result of the savings and loan crisis, Congress passed the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), which dramatically changed the savings and loan industry and its federal regulation.”

Verse 25 concludes. “And He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ And having been afraid, they marveled, saying to one another, ‘Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?’” Where means ‘where’. Faith means to ‘be persuaded’. Afraid means ‘to fear, withdraw’ and is in the past tense. Marvel means ‘to wonder out, be amazed’. ‘Saying to one another’ indicates that discussion is going on between various parties. Who is a generic term that means ‘who? which? what?’ Wind means ‘gust of air’ and was used in verses 23 and 24. Command combines ‘fitting’ with ‘to place, arrange’, which indicates putting everything in the appropriate place. Water is the same word that was used in verse 24. Obey is used twice in Luke and combines ‘under’ with ‘comprehend by hearing’, which indicates submitting to rational understanding.

This question of ‘Where is your faith?’ is pertinent, because in each of these cases, one can see that the crisis involved an underlying inability to be convinced by rational thought. Economic freedom could not be given to the individual in the Soviet Union because of the nomenklatura. Wikipedia explains that “Coextensive with the nomenklatura were patron-client relations... Because a client was beholden to his patron for his position, the client was eager to please his patron by carrying out his policies. The Soviet power structure essentially consisted (according to its critics) of groups of vassals (clients) who had an overlord (the patron). The higher the patron, the more clients the patron had. Patrons protected their clients and tried to promote their careers. In return for the patron’s efforts to promote their careers, the clients remained loyal to their patron.” Under such a system, one only gains the ability to make economic choices by becoming the patron of some system with privileges that can be traded. This leads to a parallel economy based upon corruption and bribery.

Similarly, I suggest that political freedom cannot be given to the Communist Chinese citizen because of a flawed concept of the rule of law. This flawed concept was imposed during the Cultural Revolution. Quoting from a 2001 academic article, “Described as ‘the most extraordinary political upheaval in the twentieth century’, the Cultural Revolution was ‘a time of anarchy.’ Propagandists praised ‘lawlessness.’ The ‘most far-reaching consequence’ was the interruption of higher education that affected ‘an entire generation.’ Law faculties were abolished; lawyers were re-educated by relocating them to farms and factories. China became virtually a lawless nation.” The 1980s economic reform attempted to address this situation. Quoting further from the paper, “As an antidote to the Cultural Revolution, ‘law popularization’ campaigns (pufa) were launched in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s to educate the public about law and legality. But the legal infrastructure and general legal consciousness among citizens that had been destroyed could not easily be replaced.” And “In practice, the formal legal and political structures very often remain subject to the will of the Communist Party leadership. The Party still rules the roost in China, and judges are not independent of the Party.” This leads to a parallel political system based upon national status and force, in which rational arguments based upon ‘what is right’ become overwhelmed by the core mental network that the Chinese government is always right.

And I suggest that the S&L crisis uncovered a systemic flaw in the American concept of individuality, which tends to be defined as freedom from government rather than freedom under the law. We saw this mindset when looking at the civil rights campaign, which was primarily a rebellion against oppression rather than a building of the rule of law. This systemic flaw is illustrated by the outsized role that Texas played in the S&L crisis. Quoting from investopedia, “The crisis was felt doubly hard in Texas where at least half of the failed S&Ls were based. The collapse of the S&L industry pushed the state into a severe recession. Faulty land investments were auctioned off, causing real estate prices to plummet. Office vacancies rose significantly, and the price of crude oil dropped by half. Texas banks, such as Empire Savings and Loan, took part in criminal activities that further caused the Texas economy to plummet.” I think one can say safely say that Texas, in particular, tends to define personal freedom as ‘freedom from others’.

Looking now at the amazement involving the Soviet Union, I remember how we were all amazed in 1989 that the Iron Curtain came down with hardly a shot fired, and that a peaceful resolution had been achieved that maintained the rule of law. And the general conclusion was that it was now possible to treat Russia as a normal country that respected international agreements. However, one of the first outcomes of the current Russian invasion of Ukraine was the realization that Russia is incapable of behaving as a normal nation because it can only interact with other entities on the basis of domination and destruction.

Turning now to China, China felt in the 1980s the way that North Korea feels today: an inscrutable, hermit kingdom from which no escape is possible. For China to open up to the West was amazing. And the general consensus was that China would now become a law-abiding trading partner that respected the laws of Western capitalism. Further, it was felt that China would now act as a rational economic agent. The recent behavior of president Xi has made it clear that The Chinese Communist Party will maintain its control even if this means acting irrationally by shutting down entire segments of the economy. Quoting from a 2022 Atlantic article, “China’s economic ‘miracle’ wasn’t that miraculous. The country’s high-octane ascent over the past 40 years is, in reality, a triumph of basic economic principles: As the state gave way to the market, private enterprise and trade flourished, growth quickened, and incomes soared. This simple lesson appears, however, to be lost on Xi Jinping. China’s leader is rejecting decades of tried-and-true policy by reasserting the power of the Communist Party within the economy and redirecting Chinese business inward.”

Summarizing, with both Russia and China, the feeling in the 1980s was that the technical thinking of an integrated economy would be sufficient to control the ‘winds’ of communist ideology and the waves of communist dictatorship, as described in verse 25.

A similar feeling arose from the resolution of the S&L crisis, reflected by the phrase ‘Too big to fail’. Wikipedia explains that “‘Too big to fail’... asserts that certain corporations, particularly financial institutions, are so large and so interconnected that their failure would be disastrous to the greater economic system, and that they therefore must be supported by governments when they face potential failure. The colloquial term ‘too big to fail’ was popularized by U.S. Congressman Stewart McKinney in a 1984 Congressional hearing, discussing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s intervention with Continental Illinois.” On the one hand, this term conveys the feeling of verse 24 that ‘We are perishing’. But on the other hand, it also assumes that institutional means exist that are capable of stepping in and preventing a major bank from failing. The 2008 Global Financial Crisis made it clear that the ability of the government to save and institutions is not unlimited.

Demonic Man in the Tombs 8:26-29

The next story begins in verse 26. “And they sailed down to the region of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.” Sail down is used once in The New Testament and combines ‘down’ with ‘sail’. This suggests that the ‘wind’ of theory is heading in the direction of specific application. This is unusual because Teacher theory usually heads in the direction of generality. However, it is possible to increase the Teacher order-within-complexity of a theory by adding details to an existing structure. Region means ‘space, place, land’. (Gerasa, Gadara, and Gergesa all appear to be different nearby locations.) As far as I can tell, the name means ‘drive away, expel’. Opposite is used once in the New Testament and means ‘on the opposite side, over against’. And Galilee is interpreted as the cycles of society. Putting this together, we are looking here at a mindset that stands apart from the cycles of society that are encountered when one is driven by the wind of a Teacher theory to go from generality to specifics. And this is a negative mindset that thinks in terms of driving away and expelling evil.

The previous section looked at the rise of corporate globalization and the fall of communism. Gorbachev spoke about a New World Order in a speech to the UN in 1988. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The principal statement creating the new world order concept came from Mikhail Gorbachev's December 7, 1988 speech to the United Nations General Assembly. His formulation included an extensive list of ideas in creating a new order. He advocated strengthening the central role of the United Nations and the active involvement of all members... In the press, Gorbachev was compared to Woodrow Wilson giving the Fourteen Points, to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill promulgating the Atlantic Charter and to George Marshall and Harry S. Truman building the Western Alliance.” This Teacher theory of global universality ‘sailed down’ from theory to application during the First Gulf War when Iraq invaded Kuwait. Wikipedia summarizes that “Under United Nations Security Council Resolution 678, a coalition of 35 countries, led by the United States, fought Iraq in the Gulf War from 1990–1991.” The global nature of this conflict is evident in 35 countries fighting under a UN Council resolution. And President Bush explicitly connected this war to a New World Order. Quoting from a 1991 academic article, “The idea that the Gulf crisis was a test case for a ‘new world order’ was introduced almost as the Iraqi tanks rolled into Kuwait on 2 August 1990... Immediately after the war Bush told Congress that hopes for an enduring peace had before been ‘beyond the grasp of man’, but ‘now we can see a new world coming into view’. Later, Bush began to spell out his meaning of the ‘New World Order’ in a series of post-war speeches.”

A demonic man is encountered in verse 27. “And He having gone forth upon the land, a certain man out of the city met Him, having demons.” Gone forth means ‘to go or come out of’. Upon means ‘on, upon’. Land is interpreted as the realm of rational human thought. ‘Upon the land’ would mean functioning within the realm of rational human thought. Met means ‘to go to meet, to meet’. And man refers specifically to a male. Out of means ‘from out of’ and city is the word for city. Thus, this describes male technical thought that emerges from civilized behavior. Having means ‘to have, hold’. And a demon is interpreted as the Teacher mental network of some unwanted habit.

The identity of this ‘demonic man’ can be determined by looking at the response to Bush’s proclamation of a New World Order. Wikipedia relates that “An American investigative reporter specializing in the study of right-wing movements in the U.S., wrote that the Christian and secular far-right were especially terrified by Bush’s speech. Fundamentalist Christian groups interpreted Bush’s words as signaling the End Times. At the same time, more secular theorists approached it from an anti-communist and anti-collectivist standpoint and feared for hegemony over all countries by the United Nations.” Before continuing, I want to recognize the irony of a prophetic interpretation of Luke suggesting that fundamentalist Christian groups were demonic because they prophetically interpreted the New World Order as demonic. However, I suggest that it is possible to decipher what is happening by looking at the cognitive mechanism that drives conspiracy theories. I should add that the demonic man probably represents more than just conspiracy theories. However, I think that this interpretation is accurate even if it is not complete. In addition, it is important to understand the cognitive mechanisms behind conspiracy theories.

The Wikipedia article describes the relevance of conspiracy theories to our discussion. “American televangelist Pat Robertson, with his 1991 best-selling book The New World Order, became the most prominent Christian disseminator of conspiracy theories about recent American history. He describes a scenario where Wall Street, the Federal Reserve System, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission control the flow of events from behind the scenes, constantly nudging people covertly in the direction of world government for the Antichrist.” Notice the prominent hypothetical role being played by various global economic entities.

Wikipedia also describes the spread of conspiracy theory thinking. “Conspiracy theories once limited to fringe audiences have become commonplace in mass media, contributing to conspiracism emerging as a cultural phenomenon in the United States of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The general predisposition to believe conspiracy theories cuts across partisan and ideological lines. Conspiratorial thinking is correlated with antigovernmental orientations and a low sense of political efficacy, with conspiracy believers perceiving a governmental threat to individual rights and displaying a deep skepticism that who one votes for really matters.” The late 20th century refers to the period of time that we are currently examining.

Cognitively speaking, conspiracy theories naturally emerge when rational thought is limited to technical specializations. This type of mindset was examined earlier when looking at the evangelical doctrine of the Rapture. Technical thought has been spectacularly successful within modern society at achieving both theoretical and technological breakthroughs. But every system of technical thought is inherently limited to some specialized realm. The result is that modern society has split up into innumerable fiefdoms of technical excellence. We saw earlier that mysticism uses Teacher overgeneralization to come up with a universal concept of God by suppressing facts within Perceiver thought. Normal mysticism becomes dominant when factual knowledge is limited, as illustrated by the overgeneralization of childish grammar. A form of mysticism can coexist with technical specializations by viewing God as transcending human technical specializations. On the Teacher side, overgeneralization leads to the idea that God brings order to the fragments of society in some mysterious manner that transcends rational technical thought. On the Mercy side, one recognizes that technology provides gadgets that help personal identity, but personal identity itself interacts emotionally with the overgeneralized concept of God. This form of thinking could be described as locally rational thought combined with universal overgeneralization.

A distinction needs to be made between modern mysticism and conspiracy thinking because they are cognitively similar but not identical. In both cases, Teacher overgeneralization is being used to go beyond disconnected fragments of local rational thought in order to come up with some vague, universal theory. Modern mysticism then associates this vague universality with a mystical God who transcends all factual reality. Conspiracy thinking, in contrast, associates this vague universality with some mysterious plan being carried out globally within human society. These two forms of similar thinking will overlap if the mysterious global plan is mentally associated with a mysterious transcendent God. This essay is also hypothesizing a universal Teacher order that extends beyond the fragments of modern technical thought. However, this extension into universality is being done in a semi-rigorous, rational manner based in the patterns and analogies of a meta-theory of cognition.

The emotional leap from technical thought to a conspiracy theory is referred to in a 2018 academic paper. “Conspiracy theories—even blatantly irrational ones—are often supported by a range of elaborate arguments, suggesting that belief in conspiracy theories is based on analytic and deliberative thinking processes... It would therefore be tempting to assume that belief in conspiracy theories is closely associated with an inquisitive mindset that does not take for granted the official readings of impactful events, and that critically analyses evidence in favor of, or against, a conspiracy theory. Empirical evidence, however, suggests quite the opposite. For example, belief in conspiracy theories is positively associated with intuitive rather than analytic thinking.”

Going further, suppose that science and technology continue to make progress while religious belief in a universal God continues to be marginalized. The natural tendency will be for the overgeneralized concept of a God who transcends technical specializations to be replaced by the overgeneralized concept of a Satan who transcends technical specializations. That is because Teacher thought can find generality in either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ experiences. This describes the conspiracy theory. Summarizing, a conspiracy theory is a Teacher overgeneralization that some evil mysterious power is bringing order to the fragments of society. In the words of Wikipedia, “The malevolent intent assumed by most conspiracy theories goes far beyond everyday plots borne out of self-interest, corruption, cruelty, and criminality. The postulated conspirators are not merely people with selfish agendas or differing values. Rather, conspiracy theories postulate a black-and-white world in which good is struggling against evil... At the very least, the conspirators are said to have an almost inhuman disregard for the basic liberty and well-being of the general population. More grandiose conspiracy theories portray the conspirators as being Evil Incarnate.” Notice how Teacher thought is leaping from normal ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Mercy experiences to a grand universal plan involving ‘Evil Incarnate’.

A distinction needs to be made between a ‘God of the gaps’ and a conspiracy theory. In both cases, Teacher overgeneralization is being used to fill in the gaps between technical specializations. However, a God of the gaps is a mysterious force of good that transcends local rational thought. In contrast, a conspiracy theory postulates that a mysterious force of evil transcends local rational thought. As far as Teacher thought is concerned, these two are the same, because both use Teacher overgeneralization to fill in gaps between pockets of rational thought. However, one fills in the gaps with some concept of God, while the other fills in the gaps with some concept of Satan. For instance, a belief in the Rapture uses the same cognitive mechanisms as a conspiracy theory, but the doctrine of the Rapture asserts that some mysterious force of good is carrying out a global plan. A doctrine of the Rapture turns effectively into a form of conspiracy theory when Satan is viewed as the active agent who is doing most of the planning and the conspiring. When a person makes a mental shift from doctrine of the Rapture to conspiracy theory, then that person will stop talking and thinking about God and prophecy and start obsessing about Satan and evil plans. Stated simply, a conspiracy theory can be described as a ‘Satan of the gaps’.

Going one step further, the Teacher overgeneralization of an uber-plan can only coexist with technical specializations as long as no explicit technical global structure exists. That is because the concept of God (or Satan) is a ‘God of the gaps’ who fills the voids between the pockets of technical specialization. In the words of Wikipedia, “God of the gaps is a theological perspective in which gaps in scientific knowledge are taken to be evidence or proof of God’s existence.” The marginalization of Christianity combined with the success of modern technology has turned the Christian God into a ‘God of the gaps’ for most evangelical believers. Globalization fills in these gaps with a technical global infrastructure, leaving no room for a God of the gaps. Thus, explicit globalization will be viewed as an enemy of the ‘Christian God’. This explains the comment a few paragraphs earlier that “the Christian and secular far-right were especially terrified by Bush’s speech.” It also explains why evangelical Christians tend to be against the concept of global warming, as well as the recent, negative response of evangelical Christians to the global anti-covid vaccination program. Using government and technology to deal with problems is compatible with a ‘God of the gaps’ as long as this is presented as an isolated local solution and not as some local aspect of a global solution.

It should be added that we are looking here at a cognitive mechanism that extends beyond evangelical Christianity. Going one direction, we saw earlier that evangelical Christianity has partially fused with the conservative mindset. Thus, both “Christian and secular far-right were especially terrified by Bush’s speech.” That is because the far-right follows a secular version of a ‘God of the gaps’ in which local rational thought is held together by the global economy in some mysterious manner that does not infringe upon ‘personal freedom’. Going in another direction, Teacher overgeneralization can take many forms, such as the tree-hugging environmentalist, the crystal-gazing meditator, or the equality-promoting social liberal. In each case, universal meaning is being found in some sort of vague ‘God of the gaps’.

Conspiracy theories will naturally treat facts in an inconsistent manner. On the one hand any attempt to deal with global problems in a structured manner will be regarded as anti-God, because this fills in the gaps required by a ‘God of the gaps’. Thus, specific facts of globalization will be mentioned and attacked. But on the other hand, thinking factually disables the Teacher overgeneralization that is required for a ‘God of the gaps’. Therefore, any attempt to examine these facts in a rational manner will be deflected in some vague emotional manner. Wikipedia describes this tendency. “Conspiracy theories typically justify themselves by focusing on gaps or ambiguities in knowledge, and then arguing that the true explanation for this must be a conspiracy. In contrast, any evidence that directly supports their claims is generally of low quality. For example, conspiracy theories are often dependent on eyewitness testimony, despite its unreliability, while disregarding objective analyses of the evidence.” Notice how a conspiracy theory tends to function as a ‘theory of the gaps’.

For instance, we saw earlier that Pat Robertson’s book presented “a scenario where Wall Street, the Federal Reserve System, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission control the flow of events from behind the scenes, constantly nudging people covertly in the direction of world government for the Antichrist.” On the one hand, several specific ‘evil’ institutions are mentioned that all use technical thought to guide global structure. But on the other hand, behind these institutions lies a vague force that is ‘constantly nudging people covertly in the direction of world government for the Antichrist’. Notice how Satan is being viewed as the active agent who is carrying out a global plan. This is different than The Late Great Planet Earth, which views God as the primary active agent. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Descriptions of alleged ‘fulfilled’ prophecy were offered as proof of the infallibility of God’s word, and evidence that ‘unfulfilled’ prophecies would soon find their denouement in God’s plan for the planet.”

One final point before we return to Luke. We are not looking here at the validity of any of these theories but rather at the mindset of a conspiracy theory. It is possible that international groups are using various issues to attempt to control the world in a malicious manner. For instance, it recently came to light that Exxon Mobile willingly suppressed research from its own scientists that accurately predicted the effects of global warming. That qualifies as a conspiracy by big business. But using research to uncover such conspiracies is different than using conspiracy theories to attack such institutions in a vague manner that preserves a mindset of Teacher overgeneralization. Teacher overgeneralization is incapable of addressing and solving problems, because any attempt to deal with a problem in a rational manner will be followed by an instinctive rejection of rational thought, leaving any potential solutions at the level of vague generalities. Similarly, Wikipedia clarifies that “A conspiracy theory is distinct from a conspiracy; it refers to a hypothesized conspiracy with specific characteristics, including but not limited to opposition to the mainstream consensus among those who are qualified to evaluate its accuracy, such as scientists or historians.”

Returning now to verse 27, the entire verse says, “And He having gone forth upon the land, a certain man out of the city met Him, having demons. And a long time he was not wearing clothing and did not abide in a house, but in the tombs.” Notice that this man appears once Jesus ‘goes forth upon the land’ of rational thought. Teacher overgeneralization is not troubled by global entities that function invisibly in the distance. The problem arises when these global entities step out onto land and function explicitly and openly in a rational manner. Notice also that this man comes out of the city of modern civilization with its technical specializations. And the problem involves male technical thought. Hence the reference to a man. Finally, conspiracy theories qualify cognitively as demons because they are autonomous habits of thinking and behaving that are driven by Teacher mental networks. Saying this more simply, a conspiracy theory will acquire a life of its own within the mind.

Going further with verse 27, time refers to chronological, clock time. Long means ‘sufficient’. Wearing has ‘the sense of sinking into a garment’. Clothing refers to ‘the outer garment’. Not wearing outer clothing suggests the absence of any social conventions. House means ‘house’ and would represent the subjective realm. Abide means ‘to stay, abide, remain’. Not abiding in a house means that this form of male thought is not compatible with subjective identity. Tomb means ‘a memorial’ and comes from the word ‘to remember’. The basic premises of a conspiracy theory is that the ‘real’ Teacher order is coming from a hidden cabal that does not ‘sink into’ the ‘clothing’ of social interaction. Similarly, a conspiracy theory involves the aspect of existence outside of the ‘house’ of local and personal existence. A ‘long time’ suggests that conspiracy theories have been around for quite a while and Wikipedia observes that “Unfounded belief in conspiracy is common across cultures both historical and contemporary, and may arise from innate human tendencies towards gossip, group cohesion, and religion.” ‘Abiding in the memorials’ alludes to the cognitive connection between conspiracy theories and symbols. A BBC article begins by observing that “Conspiracy theories thrive on cryptic symbols and covert visual signs. The ‘Eye of Providence’ – an eye set within a triangle – is one such symbol, associated with Freemasonry but also linked with the apocryphal Illuminati, a secret group of elite individuals allegedly seeking to control global affairs.” Symbols support conspiracy theories because they are cognitively similar: A symbol is a sign or object that represents some Teacher theory in a vague manner while a conspiracy theory jumps from various facts and objects to a vague, overarching, Teacher theory.

The man responds in verse 28. “And having seen Jesus, having cried out, he fell down before Him and said in a loud voice, ‘What to me and to You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore of You that You might not torment me!’” Seen means ‘to see with the mind’. Jesus means ‘Yahweh is salvation’ Jesus was last mentioned back in 7:40 when Jesus answered Simon, which was interpreted as Christian doctrine evaluating Contemporary Christian Music. Jesus will be mentioned ten more times in chapter 8, suggesting that the focus has shifted away from objective topics such as computers, globalization, and communism to the personal and subjective. In verse 28, the man personally encounters the salvation of Jesus. Similarly, the collision between technical structure and Teacher overgeneralization happens when a system of technical structure mentally invades personal identity because this eliminates the feeling of ‘personal freedom from the system’.

Cry out combines ‘up’ with ‘an urgent scream or shriek’ which suggests a nonverbal focus upon Teacher generality. Fall down before means ‘to fall upon’. Voice means ‘to shine, make clear’. And loud is interpreted as Teacher generality. ‘Cry out’, ‘loud’, and ‘voice’ all convey the impression of Teacher generality. ‘What to me and to you’ is a Hebrew idiom that means ‘What do we have in common?’ In other words, is there anything that relates to both of our personal mental networks? Thus, this overgeneralized expression of male thought is recognizing that it has nothing in common with the technical thinking of incarnation. Most high means ‘highest, most high’. This again describes Teacher generality. ‘Son of God’ is also a description of generality, but it specifically identifies technical thought as an expression of a concept of God in Teacher thought. However, this ‘Son of God’ is also being called a ‘Jesus’ who helps people.

Applying this to conspiracy theories, the intrusion of the system into personal identity leads to a gut response in Teacher thought. For instance, the problem with the recent anti-covid vaccine campaign was not primarily the concept of vaccines itself, but rather that a global system of medicine was reaching into my own neighborhood and setting up vaccination stations. This local intrusion of the system led to a ‘crying out’ in a ‘loud voice’. This crying out is motivated by a realization that global organization has nothing in common with Teacher overgeneralization. That is because global technical structure that reaches down to impact me prevents me from overgeneralizing in some manner from personal identity to God, Nature, or social equality. These two forms of thought are incapable of coexisting with one another.

Implore means ‘to feel pressing need because of lack’. Torment is used once in Luke and means ‘to examine (literally by using torture)’. These two terms indicate to the inability of conspiracy theories to coexist with any ‘global order’. Teacher thought feels bad when there is an exception to the general rule. For a person who uses Teacher overgeneralization to jump from personal behavior to universal order, a system of explicit global order is an exception to the rule that is using emotional discomfort to undermine Teacher overgeneralization by revealing its lack of content. Using religious language, global order is taking the place of a God of blind faith. The typical evangelical Christian already feels that Christianity has become marginalized by secular science and technology. However, the specialized, objective nature of science and technology still leaves gaps within which the ‘Christian God’ can (barely) function. When a global technological system steps into personal identity, then this eliminates the gaps, leading to an existential threat to any universal concepts based in Teacher overgeneralization. The long-term solution is to replace an overgeneralized God of the gaps with a generalized God that bridges technical specializations as this essay is attempting to do.

Wikipedia describes the 1990s gut response against the New World Order. “It has been observed that, throughout the 1990s, the galvanizing language used by conspiracy theorists... led to militancy and the rise of the American militia movement. The militia movement’s anti-government ideology was spread through speeches at rallies and meetings, books and videotapes sold at gun shows, shortwave and satellite radio, fax networks, and computer bulletin boards. It has been argued that it was overnight AM radio shows and propagandistic viral content on the internet that most effectively contributed to more extremist responses to the perceived threat of the New World Order.” ‘Ideology’ indicates a focus upon Teacher theories, ‘galvanizing language’ indicates a crying out, while ‘anti-government’ indicates the opposition to a visible system of technical thought. Notice the reference to ‘propagandistic viral content on the internet’ because we will be discussing the Internet of the 1990s shortly.

Verse 29 describes the behavior of the man. “For He was commanding the unclean spirit to come out from the man. For it had seized him many times, and he was bound, being kept with chains and shackles. And breaking the chains, he was driven by the demon into the deserts.” Spirit means ‘spirit’ and is interpreted as a Mercy mental network. Unclean means ‘not pure because mixed’. Notice that what was regarded as Teacher mental networks in verse 27 is now being addressed by technical thought as impure Mercy mental networks. Command means ‘to give a command that is fully authorized because it has gone through all the proper channels’. This describes a system of Teacher order-within-complexity. What is happening cognitively is that a mindset of Teacher overgeneralization is encountering a technical system that has genuine order-within-complexity. Come out means ‘to go or come out of’ and man is ‘the generic term for mankind’. Thus, what started out as male technical thought now includes female mental networks as well.

‘Impure spirit’ indicates that the technical system will view this response as an inconsistent reaction in Mercy thought. For instance, ‘You are willing to take other vaccines. Why do you refuse the anti-covid vaccine? You trust the medical system for other problems. Why don’t you trust the medical system when it comes to covid?’ Saying this another way, someone who is functioning within the global technical system will view a reaction against the ‘New World order’ as an ‘impure spirit’ that contradicts the normal rational behavior of the person who is reacting. Notice that the response of the man is being triggered by a command from a technical system that is ‘fully authorized because it has gone through all the proper channels’. In fact, this response is being triggered specifically because the command has gone through a large, visible system with proper channels that is regarding any rejection of this system as an impure spirit.

Seize is used once in Luke and combines ‘together’ with ‘seize’. Time is ‘chronological time’. And many is ‘much in number’. Thus, this spirit grabs control of thought in a way that combines many items. A 2018 academic paper describes the ‘seizing together by a spirit’ that occurs with a conspiracy theory. “The first process is pattern perception: People automatically search for meaningful and causal relationships between stimuli. Research indeed finds that perceiving patterns in random stimuli predicts belief in conspiracy theories. The second process is agency detection: People tend to perceive events as caused by intentional agents. The tendency to detect agency in inanimate stimuli empirically predicts belief in conspiracy theories.” ‘Automatically perceiving patterns’ describes Teacher thought coming up with a general theory that ties things together. ‘Caused by intentional agents’ means interpreting situations in terms of Mercy mental networks that represent people. And such Mercy mental networks form the basis for spirits. Thus, there is the Teacher mental network of the conspiracy theory and there are the Mercy mental networks of the imaginary personal entities that are behind this theory. (Teacher mental networks are used to represent professions, such as banker or lawyer. However, the focus of a conspiracy theory tends to be upon imaginary people rather than upon professions, indicating an emphasis upon Mercy mental networks.)

Bound is used once in Luke and means ‘to bind together’. Chain is used once in Luke and means ‘a chain’. Shackle is used once in Luke and means ‘a fetter, shackle’. Kept means ‘keep watch over, keep secure’. Chains and shackles are made out of metal, and metal represents facts that have been purified through ‘the testing of fire’. In other words, conspiracy theories have been ‘bound’ in the past through observation and tested facts. Wikipedia describes these two factors. “Interventions to reduce the occurrence of conspiracy beliefs include maintaining an open society and improving the analytical thinking skills of the general public.” ‘Open society’ keeps watch over conspiracy theories, while ‘analytical thinking skills’ limit these theories with chains and shackles.

Breaking means ‘to tear asunder’. Chains means ‘a band, bond’ and is the noun form of the verb ‘bound’ that was just used. The tendency—and often futility—of attempting to use logic to debunk a conspiracy theory is described in one academic volume. “Even if conspiracy theories are sometimes self-defeating forms of motivated cognition, their refutation is often extremely difficult. We can mention at least seven important psychological obstacles when we would like to debunk, or change, false beliefs.”

Driven is used once in Luke and means ‘to drive or push, as wind, oars’ and refers to wind or oars the other four times it is used. This suggests moving across the water of Mercy experiences propelled by a combination of personal effort and the winds of Teacher theory. This propelling is coming from the demon, which represents a Teacher mental network. The ‘demon’ of an unwanted habit uses the wind of Teacher emotion to drive behavior and is reinforced by personal behavior. Desert means ‘an uncultivated, unpopulated place’. ‘Driven into the desert’ would mean heading towards regions of thought that are not populated by human activity. A conspiracy theory drives the mind into an ‘unpopulated place’ in the sense that existing authorities and facts are rejected in favor of invisible entities and areas that have not been explored factually. Wikipedia describes some aspects of this form of thought. “Each time new evidence becomes available, a conspiracy theory is able to dismiss it by claiming that even more people must be part of the cover-up. Any information that contradicts the conspiracy theory is suggested to be disinformation by the alleged conspiracy. Similarly, the continued lack of evidence directly supporting conspiracist claims is portrayed as confirming the existence of a conspiracy of silence; the fact that other people have not found or exposed any conspiracy is taken as evidence that those people are part of the plot, rather than considering that it may be because no conspiracy exists... The typical approach of conspiracy theories is to challenge any action or statement from authorities, using even the most tenuous justifications.” Summarizing, solid information is replaced by alleged disinformation. Existing authorities are replaced by uncertainty. Lack of evidence is viewed as proof. Lack of discussion is viewed as proof. Looking at this cognitively, solid facts limit Teacher overgeneralization. Therefore, the Teacher overgeneralization of a conspiracy theory can be preserved by heading towards the ‘wilderness’ of the unknown and the unpopulated.

Demons enter the Pigs 8:30-34

Jesus interacts verbally in verse 30. “And Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ And he said, ‘Legion,’ because many demons were entered into him.” Ask means to ‘ask appropriately’. Name means ‘name, authority’ and represents the label in Teacher thought that describes the essence of a person’s character. One sees this today in the name of a profession such as dentist or mechanic. Being asked a name appropriately by Jesus would mean theoretically examining the character of this demon from the viewpoint of benefiting people: Does this mindset bring salvation? Legion is used once in Luke and means ‘a legion’. The same word is used in Matthew 26:53 by Jesus to say that he could call upon twelve legions of angels. Enter means ‘to go in, enter’. Many means ‘much in number’. In other words, there is no coherent name. Instead, a number of habits are coming together in order to reinforce one another. Together, they function like an army unit in which their combined efforts overwhelm opposition. The force does not come from any integrated structure but rather from the multiplicity of demons. If one demon fails, then another demon takes over until the opposition is worn down and overcome.

Consistent with the name ‘Legion’, evidence indicates that conspiracy theories tend to come in groups. “The single best predictor of belief in one conspiracy theory is belief in a different conspiracy theory. Even beliefs in mutually incompatible conspiracy theories are positively correlated.” Looking at this more carefully, one paper found that people do not necessarily believe obvious contradictions but are willing to embrace possible contradictions. “In case of the agreement with contradictory CTs, the respondents actually interpret the claims so as to avoid contradictions. They construct a higher order interpretation of the events in which suspicion towards the ‘official story’ is central and mutually exclusive CTs are seen as probable alternative explanations – only one of which might be true.” Looking at this cognitively, uncertainty and confusion in Perceiver thought give Teacher thought freedom to overgeneralize, while a multiplicity of information gives Teacher thought the motivation to overgeneralize.

The demons responded in verse 31. “And they were begging Him not to command them to depart into the abyss.” Begging means to ‘personally make a call’ and does not convey a sense of desperation. Command means ‘to arrange upon’ and was previously used in verse 25, which was interpreted as technical thought being able to control the winds of ideology and the waves of dictatorship. The demons do not want to be subject to such ordering and arranging. Depart means ‘to go away, go after’. Abyss means ‘boundless, bottomless’ and is used once in Luke. In other words, the ordering of globalism sends these demons away leaving them with no place to exist, because verse 28 made it clear that they had nothing in common with the ordering of technical thought.

Looking at this cognitively, a conspiracy theory satisfies an emotional need, because it provides a sense of meaning in a world that is blatantly materialistic. Science and technology have transformed the realm of objects and gadgets but they ignore the Mercy realm of people and the Teacher realm of universal meaning. Global corporatism is inherently inhuman and meaningless because it replaces culture and religion with a global machine. Teacher overgeneralization provides an intuitive way of postulating meaning and personal content that extends beyond the global corporate machine. The alternative to a conspiracy theory (or a positive god of the gaps) that extrapolates beyond visible global structure is the ‘abyss’ of mysticism that avoids all visible content. Thus, in the same way that Contemporary Christian Music provides a way of adding emotional significance to a marginalized God of Christianity, so a conspiracy theory provides a way of adding personal and cosmic meaning to a worldwide system of economic technical thought.

Before we continue, it should be clarified that the name ‘Legion’ strongly suggests that the demonic man represents more than just conspiracy theories. One could also interpret this as a reference to pornography. Pornography, by definition, does not wear clothing. It is driven by undesirable habits. It does not live in houses of real human interaction but rather among the memorials of pictures and movies. It has been around for a long time. Society has attempted to keep it in chains which it always manages to break. And it tends to be drawn to the ‘desert’ of unusual and abnormal behavior. I am not suggesting that those who follow conspiracy theories are also into pornography but rather pointing out that the description of the demoniac also describes key aspects of pornography. (However, a 2017 academic paper observes that these two tend to go together in ‘post-pubertal boys’.)

An alternative is provided in verse 32. “And there was a herd of many pigs feeding there in the mountain, and they begged Him that He would allow them to enter into them; and He allowed them.” Herd means ‘herd’ and is only used in this story and the parallel versions. There means ‘there, yonder, in that place’, which suggest that the herd is in a different location than the man with the demons. Pig means ‘swine’. This term was encountered in Matthew 7:6. Copying the explanation from there, a pig was considered an unclean animal. Pigs are also mentioned in 2 Peter 2:22 (The Greek word is different, but both words refer to pigs.) The proverb mentioned there is that ‘A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire’. Pigs love to wallow in the mud, for temperature control and to get relief from parasites. Mud (or mire) has the characteristic of being neither liquid nor solid. It is neither a solid Perceiver object, nor liquid Mercy experiences. Thus, a pig would represent a mindset that wallows in some combination of Perceiver facts and emotional Mercy experiences. A herd of pigs would represent a collection of such a mindset. Many means ‘sufficient’ and was previously used in verse 27. The idea is that a sufficient number of people is required to pass some threshold of groupthink. Feeding means ‘to feed, graze’ and is applied to animals in the New Testament. Thus, there is a semi-intelligent consuming of information. A mountain represents a pragmatic general theory. Begged is the same word used in verse 31 that means to ‘personally make a call’. Allow is used twice in verse 32 and means ‘to turn to, entrust’. Putting this together, this mindset of a multiplicity of theories is being given permission to infect a herd of pragmatic theory that wallows in a combination of facts and experiences.

Evidence suggests that conspiracy theories require a ‘herd’ and are inherently social. In the words of an academic article quoted earlier, “Conspiracy theories are a social phenomenon in that they reflect the basic structure of intergroup conflict. Conceptually, beliefs qualify as conspiracy theories only when they involve assumptions of a hostile and threatening outgroup or coalition. Moreover, these conspiracies typically plan to harm or deceive not just one individual but a wider collective, as is the case with conspiracy theories implicating political organizations, branches of industry, minority groups, managers, and so on.” Cognitively speaking, a herd allows people to reinforce one another’s mental networks. This describes social media, in which people share personal opinions in a non-rigorous manner that does not require any factual backing. I am not suggesting that all social media is flawed. Instead, a ‘herd of pigs’ would refer specifically to the elements of social media that ‘wallow’ in the ‘mud’ of semi-solid information mixed in with emotional expression.

Social media began as a way for people to interact in a personal and less rigorous manner upon the ‘mountain’ of the Internet. Looking at the original social media, Wikipedia explains that “Usenet was the first Internet community and the place for many of the most important public developments in the pre-commercial Internet. It was the place where Tim Berners-Lee announced the launch of the World Wide Web, where Linus Torvalds announced the Linux project, and where Marc Andreessen announced the creation of the Mosaic browser and the introduction of the image tag, which revolutionized the World Wide Web by turning it into a graphical medium.” Thus, the ‘herd’ of Usenet initially functioned in a different location than the ‘demons’ of conspiracy theories.

The specific relationship between social media and conspiracy theories is clarified in a 2021 academic article. “Numerous studies find associations between social media use and beliefs in conspiracy theories and misinformation... Individuals who get their news from social media and use social media frequently express more beliefs in some types of conspiracy theories and misinformation. However, we also find that these relationships are conditional on conspiracy thinking––the predisposition to interpret salient events as products of conspiracies––such that social media use becomes more strongly associated with conspiracy beliefs as conspiracy thinking intensifies.” In other words, social media is a ‘herd of pigs’ but this ‘herd of pigs’ is not necessarily possessed by the ‘demons’ of conspiracy theory. However, social media tends to attract conspiracy theories and those who follow conspiracy theories tend to use social media.

Verse 33 describes what happens. “And the demons having gone out from the man, entered into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and was drowned.” Having gone means ‘to go or come out of’. Demon means ‘demon’ and is in the plural and man refers to mankind. These demons leave mankind and enter into the pigs. Thus, this form of thinking stops being a characteristic of normal human thought and becomes instead a characteristic of those who combine facts and feelings. Rush means to ‘run violently, rush’. Down implies moving from generality to specifics. Steep bank is only used in this story and the two parallel passages and comes from a word that means ‘to hang’. Lake means ‘lake’. ‘Into the lake’ would mean plunging into the water of raw Mercy experience. Drowned is only used twice in the New Testament and is actually the word ‘to choke off’ that was used in verse 7. (Matthew 8:32 uses the word perish while Mark 5:13 uses the word choke.) The implication is that the ‘legion’ thinking ‘chokes out’ the normal thinking of the pigs as the herd becomes submerged within the water of Mercy experience.

One article describes the entering of the ‘demons’ of conspiracy theory into the ‘herd of pigs’ of social media. These demons have always existed. “There is no evidence that people are more prone to believing in conspiracy theories now than they were prior to the internet.” But social media on the Internet provides forums that can host and feed these demons. “Rather than increasing belief in conspiracy theories generally, the internet plays a crucial role in fostering distinct and polarised online communities among conspiracy believers. Believers share their opinions and ‘evidence’ with other believers but are less willing to share with people who are critical of conspiracy theories. So with the Internet, conspiracy groups become more homogeneous and their beliefs become even stronger over time.”

Looking more specifically at Usenet, the quality of messages decreased over time, leading eventually to the service being shut down. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Primary reasons cited for the discontinuance of Usenet service by general ISPs include the decline in volume of actual readers due to competition from blogs, along with cost and liability concerns of increasing proportion of traffic devoted to file-sharing and spam on unused or discontinued groups.”

Usenet eventually became ‘choked off’ by becoming submerged within the ‘water’ of images, videos, and unsophisticated users. One blog site outlines this decline. Initially, “It was mostly universities, research institutions, and large companies. These users were generally sophisticated because they were mostly computer professionals... Every September, a flood of new users joined – university students who’d just arrived at school and been provisioned accounts. They generally barged in, breached netiquette, were swiftly corrected, and then integrated into the community. People groaned about ‘September coming’ but it was not a major event. However, once ISPs like AOL and Delphi and others opened up USENET to their users (circa 1993-94), there were a flood of users and they began coming in droves, regardless of the time of year. This was referred to as Eternal September and some feel it ‘blew up’ the original USENET culture... [Eventually], USENET became dominated by people exchanging media.”

A 2003 newspaper article bemoaned the state of Usenet. “The Usenet is better known as Internet newsgroups, and it once reigned supreme as the center of online life... Scholars have used Usenet postings to submit research papers for peer review, and creeps trafficking in child pornography have used the selfsame boards to spread their trade... In the newsgroups you can find every half-baked conspiracy theory ever concocted but also just about every historical fact ever recorded... A caveat needs to be raised. Probably the biggest users of the Usenet are either slack-jawed porn addicts or crazed adolescent boys, who share many of the same interests as slack-jawed porn addicts.” (Notice again the connection between conspiracy theories, pornography, and ‘post-pubertal boys’.)

The herdsman react in verse 34. “And those feeding them, having seen that having taken place, fled and reported it to the city and to the country.” Feeding is the same word that was used in verse 32 to describe swine feeding. This feeding refers to those who are providing the fodder rather than those who are consuming it. Seen means ‘to see with the mind’. Taken place means ‘to come into being’. So those who are managing the information notice a trend developing. Fled means ‘to flee’. Report means ‘to declare from’. City represents civilized society. Country means ‘a field, especially as bearing a crop’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. This would represent the whole process of acquiring information. Putting this together, those who were in charge leave and relate what is happening to the wider society.

Such a ‘fleeing and reporting’ of ‘pigs plunging into the water’ eventually happened with Usenet. Quoting from one article, “Due to its design and status as a pre-web way of communicating, Usenet had a sense of lawlessness to it.... There was no filter. It was all or nothing... And with binaries a part of the equation, that meant copyright theft and illicit content were never too far away... When President Bill Clinton signed the Communications Decency Act of 1996... Usenet had much of the indecent material that the bill’s authors had in mind. And it was difficult to rein in, because Usenet wasn’t really built to be reined in.” Summarizing, ‘binaries’ made it possible to spread pornography on Usenet, there was no way to control this pornography, the public became concerned and government passed legislation to deal with the problem.

The Man gains a Sound Mind 8:35-39

The people examine the man who had the demons in verse 35. “And they went out to see that having taken place, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone out sitting, clothed, and being of sound mind, at the feet of Jesus. And they were afraid.” Went out means ‘to go or come out of’, see means ‘to see with the mind’ and taken place means ‘to come into being’. We have looked at what happened to the demons and the pigs. We are now looking at the state of the person who had the demons. ‘Come to Jesus’ indicates that the initial focus is upon saving people. Find means ‘to find’. Sitting means ‘to be seated’ and represents some position of authority. Man is the generic word for mankind. This person is still being defined by his previous state. Clothed is only used here and in the parallel passage in Mark and refers to the outer clothing. Thus, there is now social interaction. Sound mind is used once in Luke and literally means ‘safety minded’. This describes rational thinking about self-preservation. Feet represent the foundation for personal identity. Sitting at the feet of Jesus would mean finding stability in basic principles of personal preservation and salvation. Afraid means ‘to fear, withdraw from’.

This ‘finding the man’ corresponds to the development of the World Wide Web, which provided an alternative to Usenet as a way of sharing information on the Internet. The Internet was developed out of Arpanet in the 1980s, Usenet was first used in 1980, and the World Wide Web was invented in 1991 as a way of sending information and pictures across the Internet. Today, the World Wide Web has become synonymous with the Internet, but these are not the same.

The World Wide Web involved the development of several related factors. The ‘clothing’ of social interaction was provided by the development of a web browser. Wikipedia summarizes that “A working system implemented by the end of 1990 including the WorldWideWeb browser and an HTTP server... CERN made the Web protocol and code available royalty free in 1993, enabling its widespread use. After the NCSA released Mosaic later that year, the Web became very popular with thousands of websites springing up in less than a year.” It did not emerge spontaneously but rather by ‘sitting’ at the ‘feet’ of technical thought. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The Superhighway Summit was held at the University of California... on 11 January 1994. It was the first public conference bringing together all of the major industry, government and academic leaders in the field. It began the national dialogue about the information superhighway and its implications... The keynote speaker was Vice President Al Gore.” And being ‘safety minded’ was a major concern because of all the potential dangers lurking on the Internet. For instance, “Bill Stewart authored Living Internet in 1996, a book he claims was the second book published on the topic of the net... Stewart’s guide has been archived online since 2000, and sits as a reminder of the rigidity and fear surrounding the early internet. The list of rules for emails seems sensible but quite alarmist given how freely we fling our email addresses around today.”

The bystanders relate the story in verse 36. “And those having seen it related to them how the one having been possessed by demons was healed.” Relate means ‘to declare from’ and was used in verse 34. Seen means ‘to see with the mind’. Healed means ‘to save’, which is the core meaning of Jesus. It was previously used in 8:12, where the absence of ‘saving’ was interpreted as using computers to substitute existing functions in a way that did not transform society. Here a transformation has happened. Having been possessed by demons is used once in Luke and means ‘demonized’, which would describe a mind that used to be driven by unwanted habits. One article describes this transformation into respectability. “By 1997, the internet was no longer a den for geeks, nor an unregulated Wild West of spam and sex, and the very real educational benefits for children were being explored and espoused.”

Jesus is asked to leave in verse 37. “And all the multitude of the surrounding region of the Gerasenes asked Him to depart from them, because they were seized with great fear. And He, having entered into the boat, turned back.” Asked means to ‘make an earnest request’. All ‘focuses on the individual parts and their totality’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Multitude means ‘a great number’. Surrounding region means ‘neighboring’. And Gerasenes probably means ‘drive away, expel’. Depart means to ‘go away, go after’. Fear means ‘to flee, withdraw’. Great is interpreted as Teacher generality. Seized means ‘to hold together’. Notice that this great fear is seizing the surrounding regions and not just those in the immediate vicinity. Similarly, a 1994 newspaper article describes the general mindset of fear regarding the Internet. “‘Fear of technology may well be the phobia of the ’90s,’ the Dell Computer Corp. of Austin, Texas, reported after polling 1,000 adults and 500 teen-agers last fall... Some authorities believe the steepest barriers to the national information highway are not technological but sociological. The real problem may be finding enough people willing to pay money and learn the skills to use the whizzy new electronic services that Vice President Al Gore and his allies in the communications industry are touting.” Fear of the Internet was a ‘great’ fear with Teacher generality, because the Internet was viewed as an entity with significant Teacher order-within-complexity, as expressed by the term ‘information superhighway’. But this article adds that “technophobia may be ‘a passing phenomenon... The younger generation has grown up with technology that was not pervasive when I was young.’ Judith Rosall, director of electronic messaging research... predicted that women would soon outdo men in the digital world because ‘women are very intuitive and communicative.’” This suggests a possible shift away from technical thought to a more intuitive use of the Internet by women and the younger generation.

Enter means ‘to walk on’. Turned back means ‘to turn back’ and indicates a change in direction. ‘Entering the boat’ suggests that technical thought with its corporate structure is leaving the vicinity. Looking at the Internet, once the technical standards had been established, then technical thought left the scene. One article describes this changing flavor of the Internet. “The 1990s were a critical decade for the development and proliferation of the internet, with AOL leading the way in spreading and increasing the accessibility of the internet in North America. AOL’s aggressive marketing from 1993–1998 played a critical role in moving the internet from a specialized, technical audience into the mainstream... At the time, the internet was a confusing and intimidating place to many people, even those that had computers. AOL’s motto was ‘niceness as a competitive weapon’. Offering ‘easier access to the Net than its competitors’ with ‘the sharpest graphics and the simplest service’, AOL’s service demystified the internet and made it approachable and useful in everyday ways... AOL presented their product as a safe and easy way to get online.”

The man responds in verse 38. “But the man from whom the demons had gone was begging Him to be taken with Him. But He sent him away saying.” Begging means ‘having deep personal need’ and is stronger than the ‘begging’ of verses 31 and 32. It was used previously in verse 28 when the demon-possessed man felt tormented by Jesus. And man here means male. This man is still described as ‘from whom the demons had gone’ which means that the man is acquiring his identity from his previous rotten state. Taken means ‘to be’, which means that the man wants an identity of being with technical thought. Thus the focus is not upon taking the journey but rather upon being with technical thought. Sent away means ‘to set free, release’ and is also used for divorce. One article reminisces about the challenges of getting online in the 1990s. “Who remembers connecting — or trying to connect — to the internet in the 1990s? It commandeered the household phone line... It connected at a painfully slow speed, meaning that pages often took several minutes to load if they had images... Once we had got our computers connected to the internet — and, believe me, it often took (more than) a few attempts — the next question was how to actually view online content.” That describes a form of male thought that really needs to be ‘saved’ by the technical thinking of ‘Jesus’.

However, the Internet gradually became ‘set free’—or even ‘divorced’—from the need to be in the presence of technical thought. Windows 95 (released in 1995) was a major step in this releasing of the Internet from technical thought. A Forbes article explains, “In the 90s it was fairly terrible: Most workers had to be trained on how to use a computer and many of them just didn’t have the natural talent to do it well. And that’s when – twenty years ago today -- Microsoft launched the very user-friendly Windows 95. It changed everything. The importance of Windows 95 can’t be downplayed; it was the first commercial operating system aimed at regular people, not just professionals or hobbyists... It made the idea of a computer in every home practical and gave the World Wide Web the democratized platform it needed to exist. For better or worse, Windows 95 paved the way for the information age for most people, and out of its popularity grew things like digital music downloads, photo sharing, even personal email, all things that most people before it had never given a thought to.”

Jesus gives the man instructions in verse 39. “‘Return to your house, and relate all that God has done for you.’ And he departed, proclaiming through the whole city all that Jesus had done for him.” Return means ‘to turn back’ and is the same word that describes what Jesus did in verse 37. House means ‘a house’ and refers to the people of a house. The word ‘house’ in verse 26 is a similar word that refers more to the house itself. Thus, the man is supposed to rebuild subjective identity. Relate means to ‘thoroughly narrate’. All means ‘how much, how many’. Done means ‘to make, do’. And this doing is being done by God for the man. Similarly, the Internet was supposed to be a personal portal to a universal world of knowledge and learning. A recent article describes this early idealism. “In the early 1990s our society was introduced to a new technology that would forever change the landscape of humanity: The Internet. The promise was clear to us all. This new technology would connect us globally and the lightening-quick transfer of information at our fingertips would literally make us superhuman intelligent and informed in ways we could never have imagined before.”

Departed means ‘to go away’. All means ‘whole, complete’. Through means ‘day by day, each day, according to’ when followed by the accusative. Thus, ‘through all the city’ would be more literally ‘according to the whole of the daily activities of civilization’. Proclaim means ‘to herald, proclaim’. All means ‘how much, how many’. Done was used earlier in the verse and refers to Server actions. And Jesus refers to the concrete side of salvation. Notice that the man departs from technical thought and does something different than he is instructed to do. Similarly, the Internet departed from the early ideals of universal knowledge, turning into a forum for everyone to proclaim to the world ‘the whole of the daily activities of civilization’. Quoting further from the Forbes article, “What changed? My contention is this all changed when social media came into existence... Essentially, social media allowed us to eliminate the question: ‘I wonder what they’re doing or what they think?’ Now, we don’t need to wonder… we get that information, even when we don’t want it, and we get it all day, every day, nonstop from millions of people.” The earliest version of telling the world online about my personal life was the online diary. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Online diaries have existed since at least 1994... Today they are almost exclusively called blogs, though some differentiate by calling them personal blogs... In online diaries, people write about their day-to-day experiences, social commentary, complaints, poems, prose, illicit thoughts and any content that might be found in a traditional paper diary or journal. They often allow readers to contribute through comments or community posting.”

Jesus heals a Woman 8:40-48

Chapter 8 finishes with a story within a story. Verse 40 begins, “And when Jesus returned, the crowd received Him, for they were all looking for Him.” Return means ‘to turn back, return’ and was used in verse 39 to describe the man returning to his house. Crowd means ‘crowd’. Receive means ‘to accept gladly, welcome’ and this the first of two times this word is used in Luke. This is unusual because the crowds are not usually so receptive. Looking for means ‘to wait for, look for’.

This receptiveness to technical thought describes the general flavor of the 1990s, especially in the United States. Wikipedia summarizes that “The 1990s were remembered as a time of strong economic growth, steady job creation, low inflation, rising productivity, economic boom, and a surging stock market that resulted from a combination of rapid technological changes and sound central monetary policy.” There are ‘rapid technological changes’ but these are being welcomed because they are leading to increased personal prosperity. Looking more specifically at the Internet, the World Wide Web was welcomed by the crowds. Wikipedia explains that “The dot-com bubble (or dot-com boom) was a stock market bubble in the late 1990s. The period coincided with massive growth in Internet adoption, a proliferation of available venture capital, and the rapid growth of valuations in new dot-com startups.” In verse 26, they sailed to a region that was ‘opposite Galilee’. Returning in verse 40 implies returning to the societal cycles of Galilee, and the dot-com bubble was a major economic cycle that burst in 2000.

The story in this section occurs within a context of embracing technology and scientific thought. This is a strange story, especially as presented by Luke. It contains a story that is interrupted by another story. The main story involves the raising of a girl from the dead. The interruption involves the healing of a woman with a flow of blood. But in Luke the interruption is public while the main story is private. In verse 47 the woman declares before all the people that she has been healed. This public declaration is not mentioned in either Matthew or Mark’s version of the story. In contrast, the primary event of raising the girl is private. In verse 51, only Peter, John, James, and the parents enter the house. There is no mention of any crowd, no one is told to leave the house, and the parents are instructed not to tell anyone what is happened. In Matthew 9, Jesus tells the crowd and the flute players to go away, verse 25 talks about the crowd being put outside, and in verse 26 the report spreads throughout the land. That is what one would expect to happen if a person was raised from the dead. Mark’s version is more like that of Luke but Mark 5:38 describes a commotion and weeping, while verse 40 talks about putting everyone out of the house. Applying this to the symbolic interpretation, one concludes that the healing of a woman describes a public event, while the raising of the daughter is something private that is not well-known. Therefore, our analysis of this story will begin with the public interruption in order to set the context for analyzing the private story.

We will start with verse 43 where the second female is encountered. “And a woman being with a flux of blood for twelve years, who, having spent all her living on physicians, was not able to be healed by anyone.” Woman means ‘woman’. Being with means ‘existing in the realm of’. Flux means ‘a flowing’ and is only used in this story and in the parallel passage in Mark 5. Blood represents the liquid of personal identity. Notice that this has lasted for the same length of time as the age of the girl in the main story. Physician means ‘physician’ which suggests using technical thought to deal with personal physical problems. Spent is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘toward’ with ‘up’ and ‘to conquer’. This suggests attempting to overcome a problem through the use of Teacher generality. Living means ‘biological life’. Able means ‘to be strong’ and is interpreted as Server ability. Healed means ‘therapy’. And there is a not as well as a no one, nothing at all.

A ‘continual flow of blood’ represents an emotional draining of personal identity that cannot be stopped. We are currently looking at the mid 1990s. If one interprets the twelve years as literal years, then this means that the flow of blood started in the mid-80s and that is about the time that Christianity became marginalized within Western society. Such a marginalization brought a flow of blood to the mental networks of female thought. Looking at this cognitively, absolute truth uses emotional Mercy experiences to overwhelm Perceiver thought into ‘knowing’ what is ‘true’. If emotional respect for the source of ‘truth’ falls, then this will cause belief in absolute truth to become uncertain. And if my belief that God has forgiven my sins is based in absolute truth, then doubting absolute truth will cause me to be troubled by feelings of personal inadequacy and unworthiness. Symbolically, there will be a ‘continual flow of blood’ from the mental networks of personal identity. Repeating the explanation given earlier, if a Catholic or Orthodox priest declares that my sins are forgiven, then this statement is backed up by the emotional status of a worldwide institution that predates Western civilization. However, if my neighbor tells me that my sins are forgiven, then there is nothing to back up these words emotionally. Protestant Christianity bases its proclamation of forgiveness in emotional respect for the Bible and the morality of Christianity. When these became marginalized in the 1980s, then Protestant feelings that ‘God has forgiven my sins’ threatened to become like my neighbor telling me that God has forgiven my sins.

Contemporary Christian Music addresses this problem by emotionally ‘topping up’ respect for the Bible and Christianity through praise and worship. This does not solve the problem of ‘leaking blood’, but it does provide a person with a regular infusion of ‘fresh blood’. Respect for the Bible may deteriorate during the week, but there is a fresh emotional encounter with ‘God’ every Sunday. That is why Luke 7:42-43 used an unusual word for forgiveness that actually means ‘extending favor or grace’. One has the feeling of encountering God, but one does not really feel the emotional closure of actual forgiveness.

Similarly, we saw that the Moral Majority attempted to break out of the ghetto of social marginalization by electing Christian politicians. The Moral Majority began by supporting Jimmy Carter in 1976. Wikipedia explains that “The 1976 election of Jimmy Carter as President of the United States marked a milestone for evangelical Christians. For the first time, a self-professed evangelical Christian had been elected to the nation's highest office, bringing the national awareness of evangelical Christianity to a new level. Despite commonality in religious identification, however, evangelical Christians in general and eventually the newly formed Moral Majority in particular came to be disappointed with Carter’s policies. Carter did not share the Moral Majority’s political imperative to unify personal and political positions and would instead support the positions of his own party, the Democratic Party.” In other words, Carter may have been a genuine Christian but by supporting his political party rather than his personal beliefs, he left Christians feeling culturally marginalized. In 1980, the Moral Majority supported Ronald Reagan, primarily because Reagan addressed these feelings of cultural marginalization. In the words of one article, “For conservative evangelicals who largely resided at the margins of American politics for decades, Reagan’s message was more than rhetorical flourish. His words signified unprecedented political recognition and legitimation from a major party’s presidential candidate in the modern era. ‘I don’t think people understand that the average fundamentalist felt alienated from the mainstream of American culture,’ Ed Dobson explained. ‘That was a significant moment, because the candidate came to us.’” Wikipedia summarizes that “After Reagan’s victory, Falwell attributed Reagan’s success directly to the Moral Majority and others registering and encouraging church-goers to vote who had never before been politically active.” But Christian culture remained marginalized because “Throughout 1982 and 1983, ‘Reagan repeatedly demonstrated that he was not going to push for the Christian Right’s agenda with the same strength as he gave to tax cuts and increased military spending.” And “By 1987–88, the views of the Moral Majority were challenged widely and the organization started to crumble. With its waning support, critics said ‘The Moral Majority is neither’, meaning the organization was neither moral nor a majority. By 1988, there were serious cash flow problems and Falwell dismantled the organization in 1989.” Going further, “On the ideologically opposed side, Norman Lear’s liberal organization People for the American Way was formed with the specific intention of opposing the platforms of the Moral Majority and other Christian Right organizations.”

Comparing this with the terms of verse 43, both of these attempts involve the Server realm of actions. One participates in praise and worship rather than sitting there passively, led by musicians who are generating actions of praise. Similarly, the government controls the realm of actions, determining what is and is not permissible to do. Both of these attempts also involve consulting physicians—outside technical experts. Contemporary Christian Music uses electronic technology to magnify—literally—the emotional impact of worship. The Moral Majority used the technical expertise of political machinations. Both have the goal of ‘conquering by heading in an upward direction’. Contemporary Christian Music attempts to increase the emotional impact of music by adding Teacher elements of acoustic power, organized crowds, and synchronized light and sound. Similarly, the Moral Majority focused upon gaining access to the general structures and institutions of government. And in both cases, the goal was to conquer, either by imposing the sensory experience of the music upon the mind or by imposing the morality of the conservative right upon the nation. Finally, both methods claimed to be spiritual but were actually biologically driven. Contemporary Christian Music creates a sensory overload to which the worshiper responds in a biological manner by moving the physical body. Similarly, the Moral Majority emphasized ‘family values’, and a family is, by definition, biologically based. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Moral Majority successfully campaigned to create an integrated social platform that appealed to most conservative Christians by packaging a variety of previously disparate issues under the banner of ‘traditional family values’.” Mental symmetry focuses instead upon male and female thought, suggesting that these are fundamental cognitive structures, making it possible to go beyond the biological family to the more general goal of mental wholeness. This leads to a cognitive form of ‘family values’, because mental symmetry suggests that mental wholeness includes using the analogies of normal thought to ‘marry’ the mental networks of female thought with the technical thinking of male thought.

The woman encounters Jesus in verse 44. “Having come behind Him, she touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her flux of blood stopped.” Having come means ‘to approach, to draw near’. Behind is used twice in Luke and means ‘behind, after’. Touch means ‘touching that influences’. Fringe means ‘border, tassel’ and is only used in this passage and the parallel accounts. It refers to the tzitzit, knotted ropes at the corner of a shawl meant to remind a Jew of the law. Immediately means ‘instantly’. Stop means ‘to make the stand’ and is interpreted as Perceiver stability. ‘Flow’ and ‘blood’ are the same words that were used in verse 43. Cognitively speaking, instant transformation is only possible when existing mental content is relabeled.

This describes a different method of dealing with cultural marginalization which can be seen in the megachurch. Wikipedia explains that “The concept originated in the mid 19th century, with the first one established in London, England, in 1861. More emerged in the 20th century, especially in the United States, and expanded rapidly through the 1980s and 1990s.” Thus, megachurches became popular during the era that we are currently examining. The method of the megachurch is described in a research paper written in 1996, which explains that “Nearly all current megachurches were founded after 1955. The explosive growth experienced by these congregations, however, did not begin in earnest until the decade of the eighties. The 1990s have not slowed this growth.” Looking at the details, “Megachurches offer a unique way of being religious in modern society; one that fits the social and religious context of many people... The cumulative effect of the mass gatherings, the giant structures, and the local and national influence which these churches have is to create a powerful symbolic presence of a publicly vital and influential congregation. The message offered implicitly, and occasionally explicitly, by these congregations is that they are not, as one pastor explained, ‘just a local church on the corner, but a world missions outreach center.’ These megachurch pastors and their congregations see themselves, in the words of this same pastor, as ‘World Changers - changing their worlds in their homes, workplaces, and communities.’” Notice the motivation to escape the marginalization of being ‘just a local church on the corner’. This is done by creating a church structure that has sufficient Teacher generality ‘to create a powerful symbolic presence of a publicly vital and influential congregation’.

The typical megachurch creates a feeling of cultural relevance by approaching ‘behind’ the technical thinking of society and ‘touching’ the ‘tassels’ of natural and societal law. The research article describes “the range of internal ministries and the diversity of groups offered by megachurches... such as age-graded Bible studies, prayer groups, new member sessions, and religious education classes... recreational activities, sports events, and organized celebrations... health fairs, preventative health clinics, employment support, vocational training, job fairs, various 12-step type recovery groups, and individual counseling services. In addition, there are any number of interest groups and activities from musical lessons and choir rehearsals to political action committees and auto repair clinics. Many megachurches support elementary and secondary private schools, day care centers, scout troops, head-start programs, and countless teen and young adult activities.” Stated cognitively, the megachurch creates the feeling that a Christian worldview rules over all aspects of secular existence by creating a local environment in which members can perform all aspects of secular existence under the umbrella of an explicitly Christian organization. And when a megachurch reaches out to the larger community, then this extends the feeling of Christian relevance beyond the cultural ghetto of the megachurch.

Such a solution will stop the ‘flow of blood’ but it has limitations. On the technical side, the megachurch is only touching the tassels of scientific and technological progress rather than being a source. On the personal side, the typical megachurch is governed by a charismatic pastor leader. Quoting from the research article, “Megachurches are more often than not the product of one highly gifted spiritual leader. The majority of contemporary megachurches were either founded by or achieved mega-status within the tenure of a single senior minister. The character of these churches usually reflects the vision and personality of this one person.”

Summarizing, the megachurch places the two concepts of Contemporary Christian Worship and the Moral Majority within a package that is compatible with a mindset of absolute truth and can exist within a postmodern society. Worship is central and professional. Quoting from the research article, “Worship is one of the central drawing cards that anchors the church. The worship service in megachurches is a high quality, entertaining and well planned production... As a megachurch grows, worship becomes more professional and polished, but also more planned and structured.” The mindset of absolute truth is reinforced by preaching from the Bible, usually by the senior pastor who also tends to be the source of truth for the church structure. And instead of attempting to place the church over secular society, the megachurch creates a mini-society in which all aspects of secular society are placed within the church.

Jesus senses that something has happened to in verse 45. “And Jesus said, ‘Who is the one having touched Me?’ But all were denying it. Peter said, ‘Master, the people surround You and press in.’” Touch means ‘touching that influences’. Deny means ‘to deny, say no’ and is used in the three denials of Peter. Peter means ‘stone’ and is mentioned here as well. Master combines ‘fitting’ with ‘standing’ and was used in verse 24. People means ‘crowd’. Surround means ‘to hold together’ and was previously used in verse 37 to describe the crowd surrounded by great fear. Press in is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘away from’ and ‘narrowness’.

‘Touching Jesus’ suggests that the modern technical feeling of Teacher order and structure is being emotionally tickled. The research article describes this emotional resonance. “Megachurch members are at home in large scale institutions. They grew up in them and were nurtured by them. They were probably born in a giant hospital, educated in a consolidated high school and large public university, and entertained by rock concerts, cable television, and multiplex movie theaters... These institutional realities and their practices have shaped both the character and the needs of these people. They find the megachurch to be ‘home.’” But this leads to an implicit contradiction regarding the nature of incarnation. Incarnation combines the concrete and personal side of Jesus with the abstract and general character of Christ. Bible-based Christianity starts with the story of Jesus in the Gospels, internalizes this by ‘asking Jesus in your heart’ and then extrapolates from there to the abstract nature of Christ. (This essay, in contrast, is interpreting the Gospel of Luke as a general description of the abstract nature and plan of Christ.) This leads to the unspoken question: Is the megachurch member getting a concept of Christ by extrapolating from the Jesus of the Bible or from the institutional order-within-complexity of the megachurch? As the research article points out, “These are not just churches; they are also corporations.”

This cognitive resonance will usually be explained as a byproduct of the crowds that ‘hold together’ the megachurch. In the words of the research article, “The large number of minimally involved persons may, in fact, actually be an asset to the megachurch organization in a way they are not for smaller churches. Several thousand free-riders are crucial for the megachurch to maintain its large congregation, a ‘critical mass,’ of worshipers which help attract others to the church. These large numbers help the church stand out in the religious marketplace.” Notice that the statement in verse 45 is being made by Peter, who represents Perceiver thought. It is factually true that the crowds ‘hold together’ the megachurch. But that does not explain the attraction. The term ‘narrowness’ in ‘away from narrowness’ actually means to feel ‘confined or hemmed in’ and is normally translated as the English word ‘tribulation’, which is interpreted as some form of suffering. But it really means to feel squeezed in without any options. ‘Away from narrowness’ indicates the response that is driven by this feeling of narrowness. The New Testament talks several times about being willing to remain within this feeling of narrowness in order to develop new strategies of thought. The megachurch generates the feeling that Christian thought and existence are not being mentally squeezed by society. It is an external compensation mechanism which addresses the problem in a peripheral manner that makes it possible to avoid deeper transformation.

This does not mean that the megachurch is bad or evil. Instead, it serves the necessary function of maintaining Christianity while a Christian concept of God is being rebuilt. And it performs this function in a better manner than singing Contemporary Christian songs or trying to take control of the government. However, it is a compensation mechanism and the limitations of this mechanism need to be recognized.

Jesus insists in verse 46. “But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched Me, for I know power has gone out from Me.’” Touch is the same word used in verse 45. Know refers to experiential knowledge. And power represents active Perceiver thought. Has gone out means ‘to go or come out of’. This insistence suggests that the resonance of the megachurch with modern society is being consciously recognized. And Perceiver thought is being used to build and maintain connections in an active manner. However, notice that this is an experiential knowledge. People are experiencing in Mercy thought what it means to function at the level of interacting systems but this is not yet being analyzed theoretically at the level of theology. Active Perceiver thought can be seen in the networking of megachurches. The research article explains that “A large number of megachurches are involved in networking with other smaller churches... These networks are often a loose affiliation of egalitarian congregations gathered around one or several outstanding ministries with the intent of sharing information, gathering resources, and linking up with other churches that share a similar vision of ministry.” This is cognitively significant because the analogies and patterns of normal thought are being used to build bridges between technical specializations. This does at an organizational level what mental symmetry is attempting to do at a cognitive level: functioning at the level of meta-theory rather than theory.

Functioning at the level of meta-theory constructs a general form of Teacher universality that extends beyond the fragmented specializations of secular society. Verse 47 describes the resulting attitude. “And the woman, having seen that she was not hidden, came trembling, and having fallen down before Him before all the people, she declared for what cause she touched Him, and how she was healed immediately.” Seen means ‘to see with the mind’. Hidden is used once in Luke and means ‘to escape notice’. Trembling is also used once in Luke and means ‘to tremble with dread’. Fallen down means ‘to fall upon’ and was previously used in verse 28 to describe the demoniac falling down before Jesus. Cause means ‘cause, reason’ and is used once in Luke. Declare means ‘to declare from’ and was previously used in verse 36 describes the man declaring to the city. Before means ‘in sight of, before’. People this time means ‘laity’ and not ‘crowd’. Healing is also a different word than before which means ‘ healing, particularly as supernatural’. The ineffective healing in verse 43 was therapy functioning at the level of Server thought. The effective healing in verse 47 is supernatural which functions at the ‘power’ level of Perceiver thought. And immediately is repeated.

Applying this to the networked megachurch, one of the byproducts of following an outdated and marginalized religion within modern society is that one develops a major inferiority complex. One feels immensely validated when some icon of secular society deigns to throw a crumb of recognition in one’s direction. This explains the feeling of ‘trembling with dread’. The feeling of ‘trembling with dread’ at the feet of secular, technical thought can be seen in the ‘seeker friendly’ nature of the typical megachurch. One pastor relates that “I began pastoring in September of 1994 – right in the middle of the seeker sensitive craze. The first two churches I worked in were 100% on board with the program... The basic logic of the seeker sensitive movement was that we would get people in the door by playing contemporary music, singing contemporary songs, speaking contemporary jargon and addressing contemporary issues. [But] if you sell them on Christianity Lite then you need to continue to offer Christianity Lite week after week after week.” Notice that the ‘seeker sensitive craze’ happened during the mid-90s, the era that we are currently examining. When a group worries about not offending outsiders, this generally indicates that this group gives greater emotional status to outsiders than to its own social standards.

The comma after ‘people’ gives the impression that the woman is falling down before the people and only mentioning privately what is happened. In contrast, the NASB says that she ‘declared in the presence of all the people the reason’ and all the other English translation say something similar. (Even the Berean Standard Bible, a revision of the BLB, says ‘in the presence of all the people, she explained’.) Looking at this further, verse 47 combines an inferiority complex with a public declaration to the laity of the emotional effectiveness of including secular technical thought. The research article mentions this declaration of effectiveness. “If there is a common message shared by all megachurches, it is that they want to portray what they do as more vital than other congregations, somehow better than ‘ordinary’ Christianity. Megachurch pastors can often be heard commenting that they are ‘not just playing church.’” The presence of Teacher generality is explicitly recognized. “The implication is that this larger expression is not only more successful and more exciting, but it is more authentically Christian than other churches. It is traditional Protestantism, but on a ‘mega’ scale.” And the seeker-friendly attitude is also mentioned. “The ‘Nontraditional’ approach, best characterizes those megachurches which attempt to attract religious ‘seekers’ and the ‘unchurched.’ This is probably the most prevalent form for American megachurches, and especially among churches started in the last eight to ten years... The goal of this approach is to create new religious forms, to remake the traditions, so they are acceptable and relevant to a modern person who had been turned off by traditional religion.”

Jesus responds to her in verse 48. “And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you; go in peace.’” Daughter is the same word that was used in verse 42, suggesting that these two stories are symbolically related. Faith means to ‘be persuaded’. Healed means ‘to save’ and is different than the word translated ‘healed’ in verse 47, which are both different than the word translated ‘healed’ in verse 43. (In this case, the NASB does better in verse 47 by mentioning ‘saved’ in a footnote.) Go means ‘to transport’. In means ‘to or into’. And peace means ‘wholeness’. The same phrase ‘transport to holiness’ was used previously in 7:50 which was applied to Contemporary Christian Music. This phrase is used one other time in the New Testament in Acts 16:36.

Applying this to the megachurch, ‘daughter’ indicates that mental networks of female thought are being emphasized. We have already seen how the massive scale and extensive programs emphasize Teacher mental networks of order-within-complexity. But the megachurch also attempts to address Mercy feelings of personal interaction. Quoting from the research article, “The many groups and ministries in place offer small group opportunities to find intimacy in a megachurch, if one is interested in looking for it... Many large churches have been diligent in attempting to create a congregational atmosphere which promotes intimacy.” ‘Daughter’ also indicates the relationship between male technical thought and the female expression of the modern church. Academia would not be willing to learn technical content from the church, but academia does recognize that the modern church plays a legitimate role of meeting social needs and providing personal meaning within the modern technological society. It may not be the Queen of disciplines as it was in the Middle Ages, but it is a daughter of technical thought.

‘Saved’ indicates that the megachurch has turned traditional church into something that is different and better. I am not suggesting that the megachurch is the ultimate expression of church but rather that it represents a legitimate step in the process of using rational thought to reformulate Christianity. Verse 48 does not say that the church is saved by its structure, its size, or its worship, but rather because it is willing to ‘be persuaded’; it combines religious belief with rational thought. And ‘go in peace’ is not a statement of approval but rather an imperative—a command to head in the direction of wholeness. The megachurch has many good elements. But will it put these elements together in a manner that leads to personal, spiritual, and societal wholeness?

Jesus resurrects a Daughter 8:49-55

Now that we have discussed the public interruption, we have a context within which to place the private main story. We will begin with verse 41. “And behold, a man whose name was Jairus came, and he was a ruler of the synagogue, and having fallen at the feet of Jesus, he began begging Him to come to his house.” Behold means that something new appears. Man refers to a male. Jairus means ‘he enlightens’ which suggests the ‘light’ of Teacher understanding. This name is also mentioned in the parallel passage in Mark but not in Matthew. Ruler comes from a word that means ‘to rule, to begin’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Synagogue means ‘a bringing together’ and is interpreted as some sort of academic institution. Was means ‘to already have’. Fallen means ‘to fall’ and was previously used several times in the parable of the sower. Begging means ‘to personally make a call’ and was previously used in verse 32 by the demons ‘begging’ to go into the swine. House is interpreted as the subjective realm. Thus, there is a desire for technical thought to enter the subjective realm, similar to the way that the crowd is welcoming Jesus.

The context is reformulating Christianity into something that resonates with the Teacher order-within-complexity of secular society, incorporates technical knowledge and technical specializations, fits within modern culture, but maintains traditional Christian beliefs and doctrines. Verse 41 describes a different kind of approach than the megachurch. ‘Man’ indicates that male technical thought is being used. In contrast, the woman consulted with technical thought by going to physicians. ‘Jairus’ indicates that this thinking is being guided by the light of Teacher understanding, as opposed to indirectly resonating with Teacher thought through the institutional structure of a large church. ‘Ruler of the synagogue’ suggests that groundbreaking academic research is being done, as opposed to feeling intellectually inferior compared to scientific expertise. The woman fell prostrate before technical thought, illustrating this sense of intellectual inferiority. The ‘falling’ of Jairus is a different word that was interpreted as heading from generality to specifics. The woman fell prostrate before ‘him’, suggesting a lack of knowledge of technical thought. Jairus falls at the feet of Jesus. At means ‘alongside of’ when followed by the accusative, and feet represent the mental networks that support the mind. Stated symbolically, Jairus is starting with the light of Teacher theory and the applications of this theory are landing next to the mental networks that support technical thought, and technical thought is a known quantity with the name of Jesus, which means salvation. The woman responds by publicly proclaiming a method of dealing with marginalized Christianity. Jairus wants technical thought to enter into the subjective realm of personal identity.

I can only come up with one candidate that satisfies these requirements, and that is the theory of mental symmetry. This theory went through a significant rebirth in the 1990s. Looking at the qualities mentioned in the previous paragraph, the theory of mental symmetry emerged in the mid-1980s when my older brother Lane and I analyzed personality data that he had gathered from studying 200 biographies. My brother has a Master’s degree in physics and I was in a Master’s program of engineering. Many of the traits that we discovered from biographies have subsequently been confirmed by neurological research. Thus, while neither my brother nor I have been ‘rulers’ of any ‘synagogue’ of academia, one can accurately say that groundbreaking academic research was being done. Going further, this research was guided by the Teacher light of mental symmetry. Many traits were analyzed by using the diagram of mental symmetry to theoretically predict some trait and then checking this prediction either through data from biographies or through observation of personality. These theoretical predictions often fell alongside fundamental principles of scientific thought or fundamental Christian doctrines. Mental symmetry was not initially developed for the purpose of analyzing Christianity. Instead, the goal was to understand how the mind works. But as I was attempting to understand the functioning of the mind, Christian doctrines started popping out as implications of the theory of mental symmetry. Eventually, so many Christian doctrines emerged that I realized it was possible to reformulate Christianity from a cognitive perspective. That is when analyzing Christianity became an explicit goal of my research. Finally, I realized early in my research that studying the mind had to be combined with following a path of personal transformation. If I wanted to continue making intellectual progress, then I had to ‘welcome Jesus into my home’ and not just treat mental symmetry as an objective theory of cognition. Summarizing, I am not aware of any other candidate from this period of time that matches the description of verse 41.

Verse 42 explains the predicament. “Because he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying.” Daughter means ‘daughter’. Only means ‘only begotten’ and was previously used in 7:12 to describe the only son of the widow. I am not sure what 12 represents, but a 12 year old daughter suggests mental networks that are just emerging from childishness and innocence. Dying combines ‘away from’ with ‘die’. This is the first use of this word in Luke and it is used three times in this story. Thus, the focus is upon losing emotional innocence.

Applying this to mental symmetry, using a Teacher theory to analyze personality traits eventually led to the Platonic form of a better society in which individuals understood mental symmetry and were pursuing mental wholeness. Cognitively speaking, this was a ‘daughter’ because it was composed of mental networks. It was an ‘only daughter’ because it emerged from a single theory that tied together many aspects of thinking and behavior. And I tried to walk a path that preserved the idealism and innocence of this mental ‘daughter’, because I did not want to preach some message and then become personally disqualified from participating in this message. Finally, in the mid 1990s this ‘daughter’ was about 12 years old, because the theory of mental symmetry had emerged about a decade earlier.

Unfortunately, this ‘daughter’ was dying. On the secular side, no one was interested in the theory of mental symmetry. (The situation is somewhat different now.) On the religious side, I was giving the occasional weekend seminar. However, that came to an end after a seminar that I gave in a church in 1994. The booklet from that seminar can be downloaded and it provides a snapshot of the theory of mental symmetry at that point in time. It is openly Christian and quotes from the Bible. But it also contains extensive cognitive analysis. After the seminar, I received a letter from a lady asking if I was really a Christian. In other words, I was doing too much cognitive analysis to fall within the accepted bounds of Christian absolute truth. If the secular realm ignored what I was doing, and the Christian realm rejected it as non-Christian, then there was no way of maintaining or expressing my mental ‘daughter’ of a better society. Similarly, my brother had been selling some books on cognitive styles, primarily to religious readers, but those book sales also dried up in the mid-90s and his attempts to drum up secular interest failed as well. The theory of mental symmetry itself was not dying. On the contrary, observing religious and secular society from the sidelines continued to confirm the content of mental symmetry. What was dying was the Platonic form of a better society guided by a revitalized Christianity.

Verse 42 finishes. “And as He went, the crowds were pressing around Him.” Went means ‘to lead or bring under’. Pressing combines ‘with’ and ‘choke off’ and is used one other time in Luke in verse 14 to describe the seed being choked by thorns. Applying this to the 1990s, the economic and technological prosperity was also ‘choking off’ people from pursuing the deeper questions that had been discussed when I was growing up in the 1970s. This made the average person more open to the megachurch, but it also make people less open to a cognitive theory. This ‘choking off’ is shown by the 1990s emphasis upon being seeker-friendly. ‘Seeker friendly’ attempts to be like ‘the crowds’, which will ‘choke off’ any path of being ‘more like Jesus’. And one can interpret ‘being more like Jesus’ either as being a more committed Christian, or as gaining a deeper understanding of how incarnation saves people.

We will now skip to verse 49 where the attention returns to the daughter. “Of Him still speaking, one comes from the synagogue ruler, saying, ‘Your daughter has died; trouble the Teacher no longer.’” Daughter is the same word that was used in verses 42 and 48. ‘Still speaking’ indicates the same verbal context. Come means ‘to come, go’. Synagogue ruler is used twice in Luke and combines ‘first’ with ‘synagogue’. Die simply means ‘to die’. No longer means ‘no longer, not anymore’. Trouble means to ‘skin alive, mangle’ and is used one other time in Luke in 7:6, which was interpreted as rebuilding the American military after the Vietnam war. Teacher means ‘an instructor acknowledged for their mastery in their field of learning’ and was previously used in 7:40.

Applying this to mental symmetry, one might think at first glance that the megachurch would be open to a cognitive reformulation of Christianity. But I have learned that it actually leads to the death of the ‘daughter’ of a ‘better society’. The first reason is that ‘what could be’ is replaced by ‘what is’. Instead of being internally guided by the ‘what could be’ of Christian maturity, the seeker-friendly megachurch becomes externally guided by the ‘what is’ of existing culture. Not only that, but the success of the megachurch convinces people that conforming to the world is actually a superior form of Christianity. The second reason is that the Bible becomes reduced to the level of pop psychology, providing practical tips for living within the secular world. The very idea that the Bible could be the source of an academically legitimate Teacher theory becomes instinctively rejected as absurd, because everyone ‘knows’ that the secular world is the source of technical knowledge and progress. Looking at this from the other perspective, academia comes to the conclusion that searching for the religious vision of a better society will lead to a ‘mangling’ of technical thought.

A Catholic article describes the shift away from Christianity that happened in the 1990s, relating that “A single decade comes into sharp focus: the 1990s. It’s a moment when young Americans seemed to lose religion virtually overnight.” The article suggests some possible reasons. One reason was the end of the Cold War, which was portrayed “As a conflict between the virtuous Christian capitalists of the United States and the godless communists of the Soviet Union... By the mid-1990s, being nonreligious no longer meant being un-American.” In other words, there is no need for the Platonic form of a better society when ‘good’ has won over ‘evil’ in existing society. Using the language of verse 49, accept that the daughter is dead, because there is no need for a daughter. Another reason was a “Backlash against the religious right... When faced with the strident rhetoric of the Revs. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and the rest of the religious right leaders, many moderates headed for the church exits and never came back.” Thus, Biblically based theory becomes mentally associated with abrasive ideology. Using the language of verse 49, stop ‘mangling the teacher’.

Jesus answers in verse 50. “But Jesus having heard, answered him, ‘Fear not; only believe, and she will be saved.’” Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Believe means to ‘be persuaded’. Only means ‘alone, but, only’ indicating that rational thought is sufficient. Saved means ‘to save’ and is the same word that was used in verse 48 for the woman. Applying this to mental symmetry, ‘only believe’ meant abandoning the mindset of absolute truth in order to be persuaded by rational thought. Until now, I had been using rational thought to extend from the absolute truth of the Bible. ‘Only believing’ meant starting with a cognitive model and using this to analyze Christian doctrine. This lead to the hope that starting with the theory of mental symmetry would lead to a better internal ‘daughter’ of the ideal society. The alternative was to pull back and give up.

They enter the house in verse 51. “And having entered into the house, He did not allow anyone to go in with Him, except Peter and John and James and the father and the mother of the child.” ‘Entering into the house’ implies entering the subjective realm. Allow means ‘to send away, release’ and is normally translated as ‘forgive’. It was previously used in 7:49 to mean ‘forgive’. Thus, ‘allowing to go in the house’ would mean having the emotional freedom to approach the subjective. That is because dealing rationally with the subjective can be difficult because of the emotional connotations. Peter means ‘stone’ and refers to solid Perceiver facts. John means ‘The Lord has been gracious’. James means ‘heel’ and is interpreted as a transition into something else. Child means ‘a child under training’ and both father and mother are mentioned.

Applying this to mental symmetry, ‘entering into the house’ would mean going from objective theory to personal application—treating the theory of mental symmetry as a path of personal transformation. Peter is mentioned first, which suggests that the process is driven by acknowledging facts in Perceiver thought. John comes next, which means recognizing that acknowledging the facts leads to the ‘grace’ of further understanding in Teacher thought. Speaking from personal experience, I kept seeing other people reach a dead end in their research because they either refused to acknowledge the facts or did not personally apply the truth that they had. I could not bear the thought of spending my life pursuing some theory and then ending up in self-deception. James is next, indicating that acknowledging and applying the facts led to a transition into a different form of thinking. This was difficult, because I knew that each transition would lead me further away from existing Christian thought, making it more apparent to me that the ‘daughter’ of a revitalized Christianity was dead. ‘Father of the child’ is mentioned next and child means ‘a child under training’. This indicates where the transition of James led to. On the one hand, there was a growing gap between myself and the typical Christian. On the other hand, I found myself resonating with those who used technical thought to study cognitive development. Thus, my religious theory of Christian perfection gradually turned into a general theory of cognitive development. The final person on the list is mother. Looking at this personally, my separation from Christians was not complete. Instead, I found that I still resonated with those who were paying a personal price to try to build a better world with better people.

One concept that I did not understand in the 90s was righteousness and the role played by Server thought and exemplars. I distinctly remember grasping this for the first time when writing God, Theology, and Cognitive Modules in 2012.

Verse 52 describes the scene in the house. “And all were weeping and mourning for her. But He said, ‘Do not weep; for she is not dead, but sleeps.’” Weep means to ‘weep aloud’. Mourn means ‘to cut; be incised’. Dead means to ‘die off’ and was used in verse 42, but not in verse 49 which used ‘die’ without ‘off’. Sleep means ‘to sleep’ and is used twice in Luke. In Matthew 9:23, Jesus enters the house, sees the commotion of the crowd and tells them to go away. In Mark 5:38, he sees the commotion and weeping, enters the house, asks about the commotion and weeping, and then puts them all out. In both cases, many people are weeping. Luke does not mention any crowd, does not talk about putting anyone out, and mentions the weeping after the people enter the house. All means ‘each part of the totality’. In Luke, this ‘all’ could be a large crowd, but it could also be the five people who enter the house with Jesus. As was mentioned at the beginning of the section, Luke’s version can be interpreted as private and personal.

Looking at this symbolically, the ‘daughter’ represents the internal image of a better society. I have described how mental symmetry led to the formation of this image within my mind. A similar concept would develop within the mind of anyone who went beyond the external structure of megachurch, the physical expression of praise and worship, and the political maneuvering of the moral majority in order to enter the ‘home’ of subjective identity, leading to the general feeling that the church had become cut off from its pursuit of heavenly perfection. We have looked at the limitations of the doctrine of the Rapture, but one of the positive aspects is that it is motivated by an internal image of a more ideal society. This focus upon living in present reality as opposed to hoping for some ideal future is shown by a 2000 survey that looked at the sermon topics of a megachurch. The most common topics were God’s love, followed by personal spiritual growth, and advice for daily living. The least common topic, by a large margin, was the End Times/Second Coming of Jesus.

The mourners respond in verse 53. “And they were laughing at Him, knowing that she was dead.” Laugh means ‘to laugh down, deride’ and is only used in this verse and in the two parallel accounts. Know means ‘seeing that becomes knowing’ and is interpreted as empirical evidence. Dead means to ‘die off’. This emotionally belittling based in empirical evidence was evident in the typical megachurch. Quoting from the research article, “If there is a common message shared by all megachurches, it is that they want to portray what they do as more vital than other congregations, somehow better than ‘ordinary’ Christianity.” The empirical evidence of the large church itself draws people to that church. “Once a congregation reaches a critical mass of around 2000, its numeric strength alone becomes a powerful attraction... ‘You hit a certain size and you can become self-generating. You attract people by your sheer size’... A congregation this large creates a social vortex which draws others to it.” Contemporary Christian Music achieved a similar combination of empirical success and loss of vision in the 1990s. In the words of one article, “In the 90s, sales of Christian music albums exceeded those of classical, jazz and new age music. Supply could not keep up with demand. Record companies had to keep signing bands, just to keep the machinery of business going... Not only did this increased supply inevitably mean lower quality, but the need for predictable sounds to fill the specific styles of those shows meant that Christian music gradually became part of a commercial monster that was unable to cope with creativity. And with secular labels dictating content, the desire to impact the surrounding culture for Christ faded away.” Summarizing, the ‘daughter’ of an internal vision of a better society died off in the 1990s, but neither the megachurch nor Contemporary Christian Music cared, because empirical evidence indicated to them that they were better than traditional church and traditional worship.

Jesus calls the girl in verse 54. “And He having taken hold her of hand, called out, saying, ‘Child, arise!’” Take hold means ‘to be strong, rule’. The hand represents the use of technical thought. ‘Taking hold of her hand’ would mean ruling over the technical thought of a person. Call out means ‘to call out’ which does not necessarily involve intelligent thought. Child means ‘a child under training’ which is consistent with the idea of ruling over the technical thought of a person. Arise means ‘to waken, to raise up’ and is also used to describe arising from the dead.

Looking at this personally, I repeatedly found myself being mentally ‘ruled’ by technical thought. On the one hand, the path of both secular and religious society was causing my mental networks of a better society to fragment and fall apart. But on the other hand, this same path was reaffirming my understanding of cognitive mechanisms, and also demonstrating to me that my vision of a better society required maturing and developing. Thus, technical thought was ruling over the ‘daughter’ of my vision, treating it as a ‘child under training’, reaching down with the ‘hand’ of technical thought, and ‘calling’ to it to waken. I should clarify that the death of a mental network is both a process and an event. On the one hand, a mental network is like an onion with many layers that have to be peeled away. Thus, a mental network falls apart layer by layer, which describes a process. On the other hand, one can usually point to a certain event where the essence of a mental network fragments. It appears that this is a version of Sorites paradox. The original version of this paradox referred to a heap of sand. If one continues to remove sand from the heap one grain at a time, at what point in time does it stop being heap? Despite that ambiguity, it is still possible to distinguish between ‘a heap of sand’ and ‘not a heap of sand’.

The child responds in verse 55. “And her spirit returned, and she arose immediately; and He directed to be given to her to eat.” Turn means ‘to turn, to return’ which indicates a change in direction. Spirit refers to Mercy mental networks. ‘Spirit returning’ would indicate a change of direction at the level of mental networks. Arose means ‘to raise up, to rise’ and is the more common word for resurrection. Immediately means ‘instantly’ and was used in verses 44 and 47. Directed means to ‘systematically order’. Eat means ‘eat’ and is interpreted as consuming intellectual food. ‘Spirit returning’ is an unusual way to describe physical resurrection. The only other reference to a spirit returning is in Matthew 12:44 where the unclean spirit returns to the house from which it was cast out. However, this is cognitively accurate. Speaking from personal experience, whenever a fragment of my internal vision fell apart, it became reassembled from a different direction. Instead of being viewed as an expression of revived Christianity based in the absolute truth of the Bible, it became interpreted as an expression of mental wholeness based in a cognitive theory. The spirit was the same, but it had turned. And this spirit also arose, because it was now based in a universal theory of cognition that kept being reinforced by the behavior of society, rather than in a religious concept of God that was being increasingly marginalized by both religious and secular society. This reviving was followed by ‘systematically ordered eating’, because it was now possible to ‘feed’ this internal image of a better society by studying and observing in a systematic manner guided by the theory of mental symmetry.

Verse 56 concludes, “And her parents were amazed; and He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.” Amazed combines ‘out of’ with ‘to stand’ which would indicate a change in Perceiver stability. This response is limited to the parents. Instruct means to ‘give a command that is fully authorized because it is gone through all the proper channels’. Happen means ‘to come into being’. In Matthew the report goes out throughout the land. In Mark there is great amazement. In Luke only the parents are amazed. That matches my experience with mental symmetry. I thought that people would be excited to learn that biblical doctrines could be explained through cognitive mechanisms. But people did not want to be moved from their existing sources of Perceiver stability. My Perceiver foundation was being moved from absolute truth to universal cognitive mechanisms but that was because I was a ‘parent’ of the ‘child’, which meant that my new understanding was emotionally backed up by extensive mental networks of personal experience. And even though I continued to experience rejection, it was accompanied by the internal sense that the reformulated message had to go through a process of maturing and developing before it was ready to be shared with others. Since then, I have consistently found that doors will open just long enough for me to learn critical lessons before closing in order to prevent me from telling others about mental symmetry. I have now achieved enough recognition to be recognized as a legitimate researcher but not sufficient recognition to have an impact.

History provides an unfortunate example of what would have happened if the theory of mental symmetry had remained an extension of Christian absolute truth and had received a wide audience. This example is provided by Bill Gothard. Wikipedia explains that he “is an American Christian minister, speaker, and writer, and the founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), an ultra-conservative Christian organization. His conservative teachings encourage Bible memorization, large families, homeschooling, aversion to debt, male superiority and female obedience, and conservative dress.” In other words, Gothard combines the absolute truth of the Bible with conservative American culture. (Gothard was mentioned earlier in the context of rejecting Contemporary Christian Music.) Gothard was popular in Christian circles. Wikipedia adds that “At the height of Gothard’s popularity during the 1970s, his Basic Youth Conflicts seminar was regularly filling auditoriums throughout the United States and beyond with attendance figures as large as ten thousand and more for a one-week seminar.” Gothard’s ministry imploded in 2014 with allegations of sexual harassment.

Gothard has a 24 hour basic seminar and a 25 hour advanced seminar which can now be watched for free online. A significant portion of his advanced seminar deals with ‘motivational spiritual gifts’, the same list of seven ‘spiritual gifts’ in Romans 12 that formed the starting point for the theory of mental symmetry. Going further, Gothard started a home schooling curriculum in 1984 known as the Advanced Training Institute (ATI), which is now widely considered to be a cult. One can tell that Gothard had a mental ‘daughter’ of a better society because of the undue emphasis that he placed upon maintaining the purity of women combined with the fact that he never married and the fact that he continually surrounded himself by young, innocent females, as outlined by the allegations of sexual harassment. Quoting from a Guardian article, one girl who was in ATI relates that “An emphasis on controlling every aspect of a woman’s physical appearance was central to the ATI lifestyle, and conforming to Gothard’s personal tastes was an obsession shared by women and men. This meant wearing our hair long and keeping our curls touchably soft and loose... We girls came to learn that policing our bodies, in addition to getting married and having babies, was our primary role in life. Even before puberty, we were required to swim in oversized t-shirts and shorts that came past our knees (while boys wore regular bathing suits), and were taught by ‘when a man looks lustfully at a woman, a flood of impulses travels through the optic nerve to the back of the brain’, causing testosterone to surge, violent crime to go up and otherwise ‘godly’ men to stumble.” Notice the central role played by Gothard’s internal concept of a more ideal daughter.

Going yet further, Romans 12 spiritual gifts play a central role in Gothard’s social culture. This role is described in the website of someone who grew up in this environment. The connection between the advanced seminar and cognitive styles is described. “After [my parents] attended an Advanced Seminar, I remember them showing us illustrations from the textbook giving us a quiz to help determine what our ‘motivational gifts’ were. Gothard’s teaching on spiritual gifts amounted to a kind of personality test. There were seven possible labels, corresponding to descriptive terms used by St. Paul in the twelfth chapter of Romans.” In the same way that mental symmetry went beyond the list of spiritual gifts to cognitive traits, so Gothard went beyond motivational gifts to character qualities. “Spiritual ‘gifts’, which made up a large part of the vocabulary used by IBLP insiders, were only one of the towers of the IBLP edifice. They rested on the wider base of the 49 Character Qualities. Gothard wrote ‘operational definitions’ for these qualities, and assigned seven to each motivational gift as its unique values or strengths. I am unable to determine which Gothard came up with first, the seven gift types or the forty-nine character qualities, but he combined them very early on, settling on the final definitions sometime after 1976.” And these character qualities are viewed from the perspective of mental wholeness. “Along with the seven ‘universal, non-optional life principles’, these forty-nine character qualities form the central core of Gothard’s teaching because of his belief that ‘one of God’s primary goals for believers is to transform them into the image of His Son so that they may be a reflection of the character of Christ.’” However, notice that Gothard defines mental wholeness from a Christian perspective of absolute truth as being ‘A reflection of the character of Christ’. This combination of character qualities and spiritual gifts created a mental ‘daughter’ of a better person and society which formed the standard of behavior. “The emphasis on Gothard’s 49 character qualities made the IBLP environment incredibly toxic. We were ‘saturated with character’ and we could never live up to the impossible standard of perfection held in front of us. We were encouraged to overwork ourselves to please our authorities and win praise for diligence and endurance. We were constantly on guard against temptations to choose ‘foolishness’, ‘extravagance’, or ‘slothfulness’. Not surprisingly, many former ATI students are now in therapy for deep anxiety issues and stress-induced health problems.” And there is a website dedicated to former ATI students attempting to mentally digest their upbringing.

Going yet further, I recently went through some of our old papers and discovered a several page printout from the 1980s listing which changes should be made to my brother’s first book on cognitive styles in order to produce a special edition for Bill Gothard, indicating that this option was being officially explored. (Several of these suggested changes involved removing all references to me.) I also know that my brother Lane was on Gothard’s payroll for a few months before Gothard concluded that Lane’s research on biographies was ‘too secular’. And I noticed from the sales records that a number of Lane’s books were sold to individuals and families within Gothard’s circle. I attended Gothard’s seminars as a teenager, but my only interaction with Gothard’s organization was a personal letter of thanks from his staff that I received around the year 2000 for my work on cognitive styles. I shudder to think what would have happened if Gothard had printed a special edition of Lane’s book. There are many nuggets of genuine wisdom within Gothard’s material, but these are placed within an all-pervasive matrix of American conservative absolute belief in the Bible that overshadows and distorts any genuine content—and would have overwhelmed the theory of mental symmetry in its initial stages. As this essay illustrates, mental symmetry has now reached a level where it is capable of swallowing up even the absolute truth of the biblical stories of Jesus. And an essential stage in reaching that level was allowing the ‘daughter’ of a better society to become ‘reborn’ in the 1990s.

Disciples proclaim the Kingdom 9:1-6

Chapter 9 begins with a short section describing the ministry of the twelve disciples. “And having called together the Twelve, He gave to them power and authority over all the demons, and to heal diseases.” Called together combines ‘together’ with ‘call’. The disciples are referred to as ‘the twelve’ without mentioning either ‘disciple’ or the names of the disciples. This suggests that they are functioning in a systematic manner that expresses the numbers of technical thought. Power refers to active Perceiver thought. Authority means ‘conferred power’ which indicates that this thought is functioning within a Teacher structure. Demons are interpreted as Teacher mental networks of unproductive habits. Disease means ‘a chronic, persisting disease’. And heal means ‘therapy’.

‘Power and authority’ are significant cognitive concepts that I discovered when escaping the mindset of absolute truth. Under absolute truth, Perceiver thought will label facts as right or wrong depending on whether they connect to absolute truth that is regarded as either true or false. For instance, ‘Cognitive styles are wrong because they are like the horoscope and the horoscope comes from bad religion’. When Teacher thought overgeneralizes, then Perceiver thought plays the role of limiting overgeneralization by coming up with counterexamples. Power and authority described a different kind of thinking that becomes possible when Teacher thought has a general theory and Perceiver thought looks for repeated connections. Perceiver thought can then expand and develop a theory by building connections to new areas. This is cognitive ‘power’ because Perceiver thought is functioning actively and not just reacting or responding. And it is cognitive ‘authority’ because Perceiver thought is building connections within the framework of a general understanding. For instance, this essay is building connections between the Gospel of Luke and Western history guided by the framework of mental symmetry. This type of thinking is not technical thought, but it builds bridges between technical specializations and it leads to an increased clarity that is compatible with technical thought. For instance, technical thought would never write an essay such as this because it connects disparate realms in a manner that technical thought finds bizarre. But these connections are leading to discussions about theology, history, and cognition that are consistent with technical thought.

When Perceiver thought is used in such a manner to integrate fragments of thought, then this leads to ‘authority over demons’. Verse 1 does not say that demons are being cast out. Instead, the isolated Teacher mental networks of ‘demons’ are being placed within a universal theory of cognition. When someone behaves or thinks in a bizarre fashion, then mental symmetry can be used to explain this behavior and place it within the structure of a universal theory of cognition. Placing an emotional fragment of thought within the framework of a universal understanding provides emotional leverage that makes it possible to deal with long-standing issues in a therapeutic manner.

The megachurch attempts to follow a similar path externally as an organization. Instead of fighting secular thought, secular specializations are brought into the church under the umbrella of church leadership. Applying secular specializations within a Christian framework makes it possible to deal with many root issues that secular thought avoids or is incapable of addressing. But this will only be effective to the extent that a megachurch goes beyond a mindset of absolute truth. And one sign that a megachurch is still ruled by a mindset of absolute truth is that the megachurch itself will be ruled by the absolute truth of a senior pastor. Bill Gothard attempted to follow such a path both externally as an organization and internally as a system of education based upon Romans 12 spiritual gifts. Gothard’s system attempted to deal with root issues that secular thought either cannot or will not touch. But this effort failed because Gothard’s system clung to a mindset of absolute truth guided by the dictatorial absolute truth of Gothard himself.

Verse 2 continues. “And He sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Sent means ‘sent on a defined mission by a superior’. Proclaim means ‘to herald, proclaim’. ‘Kingdom of God’ indicates a domain that is ruled by a universal understanding in Teacher thought. Kingdom of God has been mentioned several times in Luke, but this is the first reference to ‘proclaiming a kingdom of God’. This indicates that the kingdom is functioning at a verbal level. Heal in verse 2 means ‘supernatural healing’. And weak means ‘without strength, weak’.

Verse 2 follows from verse 1. It only becomes possible to be ‘sent on a mission by his superior’ to the extent that such a superior exists. The dictatorial pastor of the megachurch cannot be ‘sent by a superior’ because he does not submit to anyone superior. Similarly, Gothard could not be ‘sent by a superior’ because he ultimately submitted to no one, even though functioning under an umbrella of authority is a primary concept that he teaches. In contrast, mental symmetry has become an authority under which I function as a person. That is because it is based in inescapable cognitive mechanisms that apply equally to me and to others. I have fallen apart inside many times over the years because the path that I was taking was too difficult. In every case, I found that the theory of mental symmetry reached down and put me back together, similar to the description of Jesus taking hold of the daughter in verse 54. One can talk about being sent on a mission by a superior authority, but these words only acquire meaning to the extent that one falls apart personally and is put back together by a superior authority. Gothard must have experienced this to some extent, because he describes a principle known as ‘death of a vision’. Quoting from a blog site, “The premise behind ‘The Death of a Vision’ is that when we have an idea, plan, dream, or goal of something we want to do or we believe God desires us to do often that ‘vision’ is brought to a point in our life where there is no possible way of it ever being accomplished. It is dead with no conceivable way of it being resurrected. Sometimes God leaves our vision dead and never revives it. This lets us know it was not His will but just our thinking. Often, however, after our ‘vision’ is dead, God brings it back to life in a way or direction that only He can.” Thus, it appears that Gothard submitted to a higher authority with some concepts and visions but was either unwilling or unable to submit to a higher authority when it came to the basic mindset of absolute truth. Instead, he became the source of absolute truth for his organization. A similar statement could be made about the typical megachurch pastor.

‘Supernaturally healing the weak’ in verse 2 goes beyond the ‘giving therapy to long-term problems of verse 1’. The goal of verse 1 was to place fragmented Teacher mental networks within the emotional framework of a general universal understanding. The demon of a fragmented Teacher mental network will lead to long-lasting problems because Teacher emotion can become self-reinforcing. This self-reinforcement is illustrated by Oscar Wilde’s statement that ‘The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy’. Getting the mind out of such a deep emotional rut requires an even deeper Teacher emotion. The end result of verse 1 was an integrated understanding in Teacher thought. Such a theory can reach down from beyond normal existence to provide an emotional drive to behave in a righteous manner, leading to supernatural healing for the weak. It is ‘supernatural’ because it is based in Teacher emotion and not natural Mercy emotion. And it overcomes weakness because it feels good to behave in a manner that is consistent with Teacher understanding. This overcoming of weakness can be seen in twisted form in an expanding bureaucracy, because the Teacher emotions of the bureaucracy give the bureaucrat an emotional reason to behave in a manner that is humanly unnatural. The bureaucrat feels satisfaction when Form 13B has been successfully filled out and filed with department M. The problem with a bureaucracy is that it is ‘being sent on a mission by the superior’ of some government or corporate system and not by a kingdom of God based in universal principles. A bureaucracy becomes useful to the extent that its system of procedures is consistent with the universal principles of the kingdom of God.

Verse 3 describes the methodology. “And He said to them, ‘Take nothing for the journey, neither staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money, nor two tunics apiece to have.’” Take means ‘to raise, take up, lift’ and is interpreted as Teacher generality. For means ‘to or into’. Journey means ‘way, road’ and indicates some path in Server thought. ‘Taking for the journey’ would mean adopting some methodology as general in Teacher thought. Thus, as one is proclaiming the general Teacher theory of a kingdom of God one should not give preeminence to the following methodologies: Staff is used once in Luke and means ‘rod, staff, staff of authority’. Thus, ‘taking a staff’ means acting as an established authority. A bag is a ‘leather pouch for food’. This would represent some set of preconceived facts that one is bringing to a new situation. Bread means ‘bread, a loaf’ and represents some package of knowledge. This describes some existing system of knowledge. Money means ‘silver’ and would describe intellectual wealth acquired in other fields. A tunic refers to the ‘undergarment’ and describes how one interacts with others about fundamental emotional issues. Having two tunics would mean treating personal emotional issues in a different manner depending upon the context, such as secular versus religious, subjective versus objective, home versus work, or biblical versus scientific. In contrast, mental symmetry attempts to deal with all topics in a consistent manner, no matter how deep the emotion.

Applying these various principles to an analysis of the Bible or some specialization, ‘no staff means’ one follows the theory of mental symmetry without deferring automatically to religious or academic authority and not acting as an authority. Instead of quoting Calvin, Luther, Newton, Einstein, the Pope, or oneself, one applies cognitive mechanisms. It also means that one examines a new field as a student of what is being taught within that field. No ‘bag’ means studying the Bible itself without relying upon all the commentaries. It also means learning the basic facts of a new field without imposing the facts of some other field. No ‘bread’ means not approaching the Bible or some other topic from the viewpoint of some denomination or school of thought with its ‘loaves’ of packaged understanding. It also means going beyond existing schools of thought when looking at a new field. No ‘money’ means not using expertise in some other field as an excuse to avoid studying the content of the Bible, or as an excuse to avoid studying the content of some new field. And not having two tunics means not slipping from rational thought to emotional response when dealing with core emotional issues. Modern science leads naturally to two tunics, because objective, specialized research ignores emotional topics. However, every theologian that I have encountered so far also has two tunics. In contrast, one primary feature of mental symmetry is that the same kind of cognitive analysis can be used to analyze both secular systems and the Bible.

These various features describe what it means to work with a meta-theory. A meta-theory does not impose its structure upon other theories as a conqueror but rather accepts the existing structures of other theories and places them within a general framework. This does not mean accepting everything that is taught by every theory. Instead, I have found that either the content of some theory can be placed into the framework of mental symmetry or mental symmetry can be used to explain cognitively why the content is inconsistent with mental symmetry. For instance, mysticism is incompatible with mental symmetry, but mental symmetry can be used to explain mysticism from a cognitive perspective.

Verse 4 describes how one handles the mental networks of subjective thought. “And into whatever house you might enter, remain there, and go forth from there.” House refers to the buildings for subjective identity rather than the people themselves. And enter means ‘to go in, enter’. Thus, one enters the realm of the subjective without submitting emotionally to the people within this subjective realm. One enters the ‘oikia’ but not the ‘oikos’. Remain means ‘to stay, abide, remain’. Matthew 10:11-13 describes a two-stage process in which one enters and then determines if the house is worthy. In verse 4, one enters and remains. There are two cognitive reasons for this: First, a meta-theory is capable of explaining both worthy and unworthy houses. If the house is worthy, then the content will fit within the theory of mental symmetry. If the house is unworthy, then mental symmetry can still be used to explain the unworthy thinking of the house. In almost all cases, there will be a mixture of worthy and unworthy thinking. Second, Teacher thought hates exceptions to the general rule. Therefore, one must remain within the house until all major aspects of that house are explained without leaving any major unexplained fragments. That is why I use mental symmetry to analyze entire books and complete systems rather than merely cherry-picking specific facts from systems. From there means ‘from there’. Go forth means ‘to go or come out of’. For instance, using mental symmetry as a meta-theory to explain some theory does not destroy that theory but rather places it within the general framework of mental symmetry. It then becomes possible to communicate more effectively by using the language of that theory to describe concepts of mental symmetry.

Verse 5 describes how one handles rejection. “And as many as might not receive you, going forth from that city, shake off the dust from your feet, as a testimony against them.” Receive means ‘to receive in a welcoming way’. Going forth means ‘to go or come out of’. City represents some center of civilization. And from means ‘away from’. In other words, one analyzes some system, attempts to describe this system using the language of that system, and then finds that this analysis is rejected. The term ‘as many as’ plus the fact that only the negative option is mentioned leaves the impression that this will tend to be the default response. First, those who are behaving in an irrational manner do not like having their irrational thinking analyzed. This describes the demons of verse 1. Second, experts who have achieved prominence in some field do not like some outsider coming in telling them how to think. This describes the power and authority. Third, those who are working within a technical specialization find it emotionally uncomfortable to have some theory ‘looking over their shoulder’. This describes the kingdom of God.

Dust means ‘raised dust, flying dust’ which would represent isolated facts flying through the air of Teacher theory. Feet refer to the emotional basis for the mind. Shake off is used twice in the New Testament and means ‘to shake off’. In other words, don’t allow any of the facts of the intellectual interaction become part of the foundation for the mind. Don’t seek revenge, don’t get even, don’t build upon the rejection. Shake it off. This is not easy to do, especially if one receives repeated, stubborn, irrational rejection from those who claim to be paradigms of rational analysis and moral integrity. But it is possible to do if the positive Teacher emotion of expanding a meta-theory is greater than any feelings of personal or academic rejection. Testimony indicates a personal witness. This ability to emotionally move on from a field provides a personal witness to those who either have or are seeking respect within this field because it conveys the message that their field is of secondary emotional importance. Extending the meta-theory is more significant than becoming accepted within any one field.

The previous verses are instructions of what should happen. Verse 6 summarizes the path that is typically followed. “And going forth, they were passing through the villages, proclaiming the gospel and healing everywhere.” Going forth means ‘to go or come out of’ and was used in verse 5. Passing means ‘to go through’. Through means ‘over against, among, daily, according to’ when followed by the accusative. And village means ‘a village or country town’. They were supposed to be entering into some house and then coming out of that house. Instead, they are coming out of the theory. This describes being guided by a theory of some domain rather than a meta-theory—or kingdom of God—that rules over all domains. And instead of working within cities, they are functioning within towns. That is because the theory is not potent enough to analyze the ‘cities’ of civilization. Instead, it must function within the ‘villages’ of custom, culture, and semi-rigorous thought. Looking at this personally, when I made the transition from absolute truth to a cognitive theory, I started by using mental symmetry as a theory of cognition to analyze various ‘villages’ of psychological and religious principles. That is because I iniitially did not have sufficient confidence and knowledge to use mental symmetry as a meta-theory.

Proclaiming the gospel means ‘to announce good news’ or ‘gospelize’. Healing means ‘therapy’, which indicates help that does not extend to the abstract realm of theories. Everywhere is used once in Luke and implies dealing with a wide range of topics at a surface level. This is different than the ‘proclaiming’ of verse 2 which means to ‘herald or proclaim’. (The NASB distinguishes these two by using the words ‘proclaiming’ and ‘preaching’.) ‘Heralding the kingdom of God’ declares Teacher generality, while announcing good news looks at personal benefits in Mercy thought. Consistent with this mindset, a village is guided by Mercy mental networks of culture and tradition, while a city is guided by the Teacher order-within-complexity of a modern economy. ‘Healing everywhere’ indicates practical therapy. For instance, one can see this dichotomy in the megachurch. On the one hand, what attracts people to the megachurch is primarily the Teacher order-within complexity-of a large organization. In the words of the research article quoted earlier, “The megachurch functions like the mall owner providing stability and a common roof under which diverse ministries, seen as specialized boutiques, can operate. In addition several core ministries, like anchor stores, offer a continuous draw to this spiritual shopping center... As one megachurch member explained, ‘It has everything I need in one package.’” But the typical sermon focuses upon pragmatic, therapeutic principles of common sense. “Sermons are almost always powerful, practical, down to earth, and relevant. As John Wimber stated, ‘We recognize we must answer the questions people actually are asking.... We seek to deal with today’s issues in a practical, Biblical manner—a manner that will make a difference in the way people actually live.’”

Herod perplexed by Jesus 9:7-9

The next three verses refer briefly to Herod. Verse 7 begins, “And Herod the Tetrarch heard of all the things being done, and was perplexed, because it was said by some that John has been raised out from the dead.” Herod means ‘son of a hero’. Tetrarch means ‘someone who rules a fourth part’. ‘Herod’ refers to those who attempt to acquire status based upon the heroism of others while ‘tetrarch’ indicates that this mindset only guides a fragment of society. Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Being done means ‘to come into being’. Perplexed is used once in Luke and means ‘totally perplexed because having no way out’. By means ‘under, under authority’. Thus, these are all verbal opinions that are being given by various authorities. John means ‘the Lord has been gracious’. Waken means ‘to waken, to raise up’ and was previously used in 8:54 when Jesus told the child to arise. Dead means ‘corpse-like’. Looking at this symbolically, the first viewpoint described in verse 7 is a resurrection of Protestant Christianity.

Verse 8 describes two other viewpoints. “And by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that a prophet of the ancients had arisen.” Elijah means ‘Yah is God’ and is mentioned four times in chapter 9 without being mentioned again after. Elijah was interpreted in 4:25 as a high and separate concept of God based in Platonic forms that come from the words of a holy book. Appeared means ‘to bring to light, to cause to appear’, which refers to some revelation of Teacher thought. Other means ‘another of the same kind’. Prophet means ‘asserting one idea over another’. Ancient means ‘original, ancient’. Arisen means ‘to raise up’ and was previously used in 8:55 to describe the girl rising.

All three of these viewpoints involve cognitive contradictions. First, a mindset of absolute truth cannot be ‘woken up’ because it takes several generations to develop as people within some society gain respect for written truth and institutions. Attempting to waken absolute truth will lead instead to some form of dictatorship because the person who does the waking up will acquire emotional status. Second, the Platonic forms that come from a holy book cannot be realized in real life because they come from words that have nothing to do with real life. Third, an ancient prophet cannot be ‘raised up’ because prophecy functions within some context. One cannot take the words of a book that was written in the Roman era (and earlier) and apply it directly to a modern society. These words have to be translated in some manner.

Mental symmetry does not suffer from these three contradictions. First, it is based in the universal truth of cognitive principles and not in the absolute truth of the Bible. However, one observes that the Bible is an unusually accurate description of cognitive principles. Second, it is guided by a general Teacher theory of mental wholeness and not by some system of revealed theology. However, if one pursues mental wholeness, then a concept of a Christian trinitarian God will naturally form within the mind. Third, mental symmetry makes the words of an ancient book relevant to current society by translating these words into the universal concepts of cognitive mechanisms. While Jewish and Roman society was very different than today, Jews and Romans had minds that were governed by the same cognitive mechanisms as current minds.

In contrast, the megachurch suffers from all three of these contradictions. First, it attempts to resurrect traditional church but actually ends up creating something quite different. Quoting from the research article, “The image these congregations want to portray is ‘This is your parents’ religion, but bigger and better.’” Second, it claims to be an expression of the God of the Bible but it actually ends up being an expression of something modern. The research article describes this tension. “Congregations and their ministries exhibit considerable pluralism. Although the official theology espoused may be orthodox conservative Christianity, a variety of opinions and practices are tolerated in relation to women’s roles, sexuality, abortion, and political persuasions. In a cultural climate which emphasizes the self-construction of beliefs and spirituality, tolerance of a diversity of possible alternatives, unified under a common vision, is an asset. This vision, however, must be one which can be enacted, which propels members to engage the world and their neighbors.” In other words, is the ‘theology of orthodox conservative Christianity’ actually being applied to current society or are the fragments of current society being covered by some vague Teacher theory of orthodox theology? Third, the megachurch pastor often behaves in a prophetic manner. Quoting again from the research article, “Whatever the focus, this visionary identity is seen as a particular ‘calling’ and God-given ‘mission.’ Many of the megachurch pastors speak of this special ‘mission’ as having been given them in a supernatural ‘revelation,’ ‘dream,’ or ‘vision.’ The congregation’s identity then is shaped around that vision.” But the typical vision of the typical megachurch pastor is the modern message of universal tolerance that became popularized by the civil rights movement. “A common identity motif for many megachurches was that of the ‘Church as refuge’... John Wimber, the recently deceased founder of the Vineyard movement, described his church in similar terms... Many people have chosen to opt out of the religious system because they felt they couldn’t live up to the standards the church set for them. Other have been battered and burned by well meaning, but harsh, treatment. Cultural differences have made it difficult for others to relate to the traditional church. Many of these religious refugees are finding us... A pamphlet of Valley Cathedral in Phoenix, Arizona portrayed the church’s revealed vision as being ‘a forgiveness center, and not a guilt center, a city of refuge, where many who had been injured by the organizational machineries and other religious groups could gather and be healed.’” This is quite different than the message proclaimed by the typical Old Testament prophet, who often condemned those who delivered messages of societal acceptance as false prophets. See, for instance, Ezekiel 13, Jeremiah 5, Jeremiah 14, or Numbers 14.

Verse 7 says that Herod is ‘totally perplexed because having no way out’. The typical megachurch pastor can be described as the ‘son of a hero’. Quoting from the research article, “The majority of contemporary megachurches were either founded by or achieved mega-status within the tenure of a single senior minister. The character of these churches usually reflects the vision and personality of this one person. These pastors are usually personally charismatic, exceptionally gifted men. As senior minister, and often the church’s founder, these persons occupy the singular, most prominent, high profile position in the congregation... These pastors are often visionaries and innovative spiritual entrepreneurs, many without the usual pastoral credentials. Olson reports that one third of megachurch ministers have had no seminary education.” On the one hand, the megachurch is headed by some hero figure. On the other hand, this hero figure has not necessarily achieved any heroic personal, technological, theoretical, or theological breakthroughs. Instead, the expertise of the typical senior pastor lies primarily in playing the heroic role of the heroic senior pastor. Such an individual may be sincerely attempting to develop a form of Christianity that is relevant to today’s society. But this attempt will run into the inherent contradictions that have been discussed, leading to the feeling of being ‘totally perplexed because having no way out’.

Looking at this most generally, the megachurch itself is a ‘Herod the tetrarch’. Absolute truth is, by definition, a Herod—a son of a hero, because it believes that truth is handed down from heroes of the past. But the spread of science and technology has limited the domain of Herod to the subjective realm. Thus, the modern Herod is only a tetrarch—a ruler over a fragment of society. The Protestant ‘message of salvation’ of John cannot be ‘raised out of the dead’ when the mindset of absolute truth in the Bible becomes societally marginalized. However, it can be reformulated as ‘enrollment within a school’ of absolute truth from which one graduates to universal, rational understanding. Going further, the fragments of modern technological specialization cannot be placed under an umbrella of absolute truth, because adequately comprehending technical specialization requires graduating from a mindset of absolute truth. However, learning technical thought can be placed within an educational framework of Biblical absolute truth from which one graduates to a reformulation of the Christian message in terms of mental wholeness and cognitive mechanisms. Finally, one cannot function within the technological society as an Old Testament prophet who is driven by some inspired revelation because natural laws tend to overturn proclamations of ‘Thus saith the Lord!’ However, one can follow a vision that emerges as a result of breaking through to a new level of mental wholeness, but that will only happen to the extent that one graduates personally from the school of absolute truth. Thus, the senior pastor of every megachurch is acting as a Herod in the sense of attempting to be a modern son of the ancient mindset of absolute truth with its inherent heroism. But we also saw earlier when looking at the unifying of Protestant Christianity and conservativism that church-based Christianity can play a valid long-term role in society as a school from which people can graduate—and the megachurch is functioning to some extent within the role.

Herod concludes in verse 9. “And Herod said, “John I beheaded, but who is this concerning whom I hear such things?” And he was seeking to see Him.” Beheaded means ‘to behead’ and is used once in Luke. I is specifically mentioned. Beheading leaves the body intact while removing the head that guides the body. The senior pastor of the megachurch will automatically ‘behead John’ because the mindset of submission to absolute truth remains but the ‘head’ of emotional respect for the Bible becomes removed by emotional respect for the senior pastor. That is because the megachurch with its senior pastor goes beyond Mercy mental networks of culture and religion to impose implicit Teacher mental networks of abstract understanding and theology.

Who is a generic pronoun that means ‘who? which? what?’ Such things means ‘such as this, such’. Is means ‘to be’. Hear means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Seeking means ‘to seek by inquiring’. See means ‘to see with the mind’. Thus, even if the senior pastor does not feel like the son of a hero or try to act like the son of a hero, he will intellectually comprehend that he has given birth to something, and he will consciously trying to understand the nature of this something. The research article describes this desire to understand what is happening. “Many of the megachurches host church growth or pastoral development conferences for their affiliates and others. Willow Creek, for instance, offers three conferences a year. Its conference in May 1995 had 2,391 participants from 644 churches, with 78 denominations and 17 countries represented.”

Summarizing, a distinction needs to be made between the megachurch pastor and the megachurch itself. On the one hand, many megachurch pastors have perfected the skills of being a modern-day Herod. And cognitive mechanisms will ensure that even those who are sincere and are genuinely trying to help others will end up becoming viewed as a kind of Herod due to the inherent characteristics of the system. But on the other hand, the megachurch is starting to function as a religious educational institution the way that a church system based in absolute truth should function, similar to the way that universities made a transition from teaching the absolute truth of scholasticism to teaching the theories and knowledge of science.

Feeding the Five Thousand 9:10-17

The next section describes the familiar story of feeding the 5000 with five loaves and two fishes. Matthew’s version of this story was interpreted as the development of the first modern encyclopedia in France in the late 18th century. Luke’s version will be interpreted as the spread of the World Wide Web in the late 1990s, which also spread an encyclopedic volume of knowledge to the masses. The growth of the World Wide Web was explosive. There were about 50 websites in 1992, 623 at the end of 1993, and over 10,000 by the end of 1994. By 1997 there were over a million websites.

Verse 10 introduces the story. “And having returned, the apostles related to Him whatever they had done. And having taken them, He withdrew by Himself into a town called Bethsaida.” Returned means ‘to turn back, return’ which indicates a reversal of direction. Apostle means ‘one sent on a mission’. In Luke 6:13 the disciples were named as apostles and they are now referred to for the first time as apostles. Relate means to ‘thoroughly narrate’ and is used one other time in Luke in 8:39, which was interpreted as the initial goal of the new World Wide Web. Done means ‘to make, do’ and is interpreted as Server actions. Take means ‘to take by showing strong personal initiative’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Withdraw is used twice in the New Testament and means ‘to go back, retire’. The other occurrence was in 5:16 which was interpreted as the secret research of the Second World War. By himself means ‘one’s own, distinct’. Town means ‘city’. Bethsaida means ‘house of fish’.

An apostle can be defined as someone who pays a personal price to achieve a major theoretical breakthrough in some area. This is discussed further in the essay on 1 Corinthians 9. The primary dilemma of the apostle is that one can only experience the personal reward of being an apostle after many others apply this breakthrough. This problem does not arise when one makes an incremental breakthrough but it does happen when a major theoretical breakthrough is achieved. A 2001 academic paper describes the technical preparation that laid the foundation for the commercialization of the Internet in the mid 1990s. “Little technical invention was required for commercial vendors to put this technology into initial mainstream use... Moving this activity into the mainstream commercial sector did not necessitate building a whole new Internet equipment industry... Similarly, much of the software continued to be useful... A simple commercial operation only need to add a billing component to the gatekeeping software to turn academic modem pool into a rudimentary commercial operation.”

The development of the World Wide Web began with the problem of ‘disciples relating what they had done’. Wikipedia summarizes, “While working at CERN, Tim Berners-Lee became frustrated with the inefficiencies and difficulties posed by finding information stored on different computers. On 12 March 1989, he submitted a memorandum, titled ‘Information Management: A Proposal’, to the management at CERN... He considered several names, including Information Mesh, The Information Mine or Mine of Information, but settled on World Wide Web.”

Wikipedia describes the ‘showing strong personal initiative’ that came next. “Berners-Lee’s breakthrough was to marry hypertext to the Internet... [He] repeatedly suggested to members of both technical communities that a marriage between the two technologies was possible. But, when no one took up his invitation, he finally assumed the project himself.” This was followed by a ‘withdrawing to one’s house’. “By December 1990, Berners-Lee and his work team had built all the tools necessary for a working Web: the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the HyperText Markup Language (HTML), the first web browser, the first web server and the first web site.” The World Wide Web can be described as a ‘house of fish’ because it goes beyond mere text to include the visual and auditory aspects of normal human experience. Wikipedia relates that in his original proposal, “Berners-Lee notes the possibility of multimedia documents that include graphics, speech and video, which he terms hypermedia.” This ‘house of fish’ became more apparent when ViolaWWW was released in 1992, because it “included advanced features such as embedded graphics, scripting, and animation... [and] ViolaWWW became the recommended browser at CERN.”

Verse 11 describes the reaction of the crowds. “And the crowds having known it, followed Him; and having received them, He was speaking to them concerning the kingdom of God, and He was healing those having need of healing.” Crowd means ‘crowd’. Know refers to experiential knowledge. Follow comes from a word that means ‘road, way’ which refers to Server sequences. Received means ‘to accept gladly, welcome’. It is used one other time in Luke in 8:40 where the crowds received Jesus, which was interpreted as the widespread adoption of computer technology during the 1990s. Here, Jesus is receiving the crowd. The kingdom of God is mentioned again. In verse 2 the disciples were sent to proclaim the kingdom of God. Here Jesus is speaking to the crowd concerning the kingdom of God. Both verses describe a verbal kingdom, but the interaction with technical thought is direct in verse 11 as opposed to indirect in verse 2. Need means ‘necessity, need’ and is related to the word ‘make use of’. This describes need at the practical level of Server actions rather than at the emotional level of Mercy feelings. The healing in ‘need of healing’ means ‘therapy’ which functions at a practical level. The healing in ‘he was healing’ means supernatural healing. Thus, practical needs are being met at the theoretical level of super-natural power. (The NASB distinguishes these two by saying that he was ‘curing those who had need of healing’.)

This ‘following’ by the ‘crowds’ as a result of ‘experiential knowledge’ of the World Wide Web took off with the release of the Mosaic web browser in 1993. Wikipedia explains that “It was instrumental in popularizing the World Wide Web and the general Internet by integrating multimedia such as text and graphics... Its intuitive interface, reliability, personal computer support, and simple installation all contributed to its popularity within the web. Mosaic is the first browser to display images inline with text instead of in a separate window. It is often described as the first graphical web browser.” Notice the role that experiential knowledge played in the spreading of Mosaic: It ‘integrated multimedia’, it had an ‘intuitive interface’ and ‘simple installation’. The development of Mosaic itself was prompted by a ‘welcome receiving’ based upon ‘experiential knowledge’. “After trying ViolaWWW, David Thompson demonstrated it to the NCSA software design group. This inspired Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina – two programmers working at NCSA – to create Mosaic.” These new browsers all followed the ‘way’ of electronically communicating that had been established by the standards of the World Wide Web.

The World Wide Web itself replaced an alternative known as Gopher because it used technical thought to receive the crowds in a welcoming fashion. Wikipedia explains, “Gopher was a document browsing system for the Internet, released in 1991 by the University of Minnesota... It offered a viable alternative to the World Wide Web in the early 1990s and the consensus was that Gopher would be the primary way that people would interact with the Internet. However, in 1993, the University of Minnesota declared that Gopher was proprietary and would have to be licensed... In response, on 30 April 1993, CERN announced that the World Wide Web would be free to anyone, with no fees due, and released their code into the public domain... By releasing Berners-Lee’s invention for public use, CERN encouraged and enabled its widespread use... By the middle of 1994, the Web was outcompeting Gopher and the other browsing systems for the Internet.” Summarizing, Gopher was invented before the World Wide Web and was initially more popular. But the World Wide Web was eventually adopted because it welcomed the crowds while Gopher did not.

Verse 12 refers to the end of an era. “And the day began to decline, and the Twelve having come, said to Him, “Dismiss the crowd, that having gone into the surrounding villages and countryside, they might lodge and might find provisions; for we are in a desolate place here.” Day is interpreted as an era of society. Begin means to ‘commence, rule’. Decline means ‘to cause to bend’ which indicates thinking in terms of the end of an era. Having come means ‘to approach, to draw near’. Thus, this is not the end of the day but rather a ‘bending’ or change of direction in which one aspect is coming to a close. ‘The twelve’ is the same term that was used in verse 1.

This ‘beginning of the day to decline’ was mentioned earlier as the effect that the AOL crowd had on Usenet. Quoting from Wikipedia, “In September 1993, AOL added Usenet access to its features. This is commonly referred to as the ‘Eternal September’, as Usenet’s cycle of new users was previously dominated by smaller numbers of college and university freshmen gaining access in September and taking a few weeks to acclimate. This also coincided with a new ‘carpet bombing’ marketing campaign by CMO Jan Brandt to distribute as many free trial AOL trial disks as possible through nonconventional distribution partners. At one point, 50% of the CDs produced worldwide had an AOL logo.” This needs to be repeated. Half of all of the CDs being produced at this point were promotional CDs from AOL. I remember getting several of these up in Canada. And all of these new users were flooding Usenet. This promoting was effective because “In 1997, about half of all U.S. homes with Internet access had it through AOL.”

Dismiss means ‘to set free, release’ and is translated either as ‘send away’ or ‘divorce’. Crowd means ‘crowd’. Having gone means ‘to transport’, which is interpreted as movement accompanied by change. Surrounding comes from the word for ‘circle’. Village means ‘village’ which describes a society guided by cultural Mercy mental networks. Countryside means ‘a field, especially as bearing a crop’ and was used once previously in 8:34. Lodge means ‘to destroy, overthrow’ and is translated as ‘destroy’ (or a related word) fifteen of the seventeen times it occurs in the New Testament. Find means to ‘discover, especially after searching’. Provisions is used once in the New Testament and means ‘food, provisions’. Desolate is normally translated as ‘wilderness’ and means ‘an uncultivated, unpopulated place’. Place means ‘a place’ and refers to some context in Perceiver thought. Putting this together, the crowds are being sent away to social interaction and information gathering in a manner that causes them to change because the current location lacks human activity.

AOL functioned in this manner by ‘sending away the crowds’ from the wider Internet in order to find intellectual food within the cultural villages and fields of AOL. This approach is known as a walled garden. One website describes the nature of the AOL walled garden. “Everyone who used the Internet in the 1990s remembers the ubiquity of ‘AOL Keywords.’ They were short phrases that served as proprietary URLs within the AOL portal; for instance, you could navigate to the cryptic ‘’ or you could simply type ‘OPRAH’ into your AOL keyword bar and be taken directly Oprah’s special page hosted on the AOL network. Guess which one most people used? Given the popularity of America Online as an ISP, its web portal tended to be the center of the layman’s web browsing experience. Everything you could ever need was found with AOL’s carefully administered walled garden, so the casual web user really had no experience with the World Wide Web at large.” Part of the problem was that the existing web was ‘desolate’ in the sense of being devoid of people and also in the sense of lacking a human touch. AOL solved this problem by sending the average person to a more friendly subset of the World Wide Web.

Jesus gives another alternative in verse 13. “And He said to them, ‘You give to them to eat.’ But they said, ‘There are no more than five loaves to us, and two fish, unless we, having gone, should buy food for all this people.’” Eat means ‘to eat’ and represents consuming intellectual food. More means ‘greater in quantity’. Loaf means ‘bread, a loaf’ and represents some package of information. Fish means ‘fish’ and represents a mindset that lives within the waters of Mercy experiences. Gone means ‘to transport’. Buy means ‘to buy in the marketplace’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. People means ‘laity’. And food means ‘food of any kind’.

This combination of five and two is also found in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 where it was interpreted as objective and subjective. Mental symmetry models the mind as seven interacting cognitive modules. Technical thought uses the mind in an integrated manner but it avoids strong Teacher emotions through specialization and avoids strong Mercy emotions by remaining objective. Technical thought is also separated into specializations, which it packages as ‘loaves’ of understanding. Thus, five loaves would be interpreted as objective, specialized, technical thought. Subjective thought jumps intuitively from personal Mercy experiences to general Teacher theories. This can be represented by two fish. The World Wide Web was a combination of five loaves and two fishes. On the technical end, extensive specialized knowledge involving both abstract and concrete technical thought was required to construct and maintain the infrastructure of the web. But this technical thought was largely shielded from those who wrote and accessed webpages. A webpage with its multimedia content could be created fairly simply using a web editor and could be accessed even more simply through the click of a mouse. The result was a combination of five loaves of technical infrastructure combined with two fishes of multimedia content.

The reference to ‘buying in the marketplace’ is reflected by commercialization of the Internet. The Internet started as a government and academic network that did not allow commercial activity and this was turned into a commercial Internet. Wikipedia describes this transition. “Although the Internet infrastructure was mostly privately owned by 1993, the lack of security in the protocols made doing business and obtaining capital for commercial projects on the Internet difficult. Additionally, the legality of Internet business was still somewhat grey, though increasingly tolerated, which prevented large amounts of investment money from entering the medium. This changed with the NSFNET selling its assets in 1995 and the December 1994 release of Netscape Navigator, whose HTTPS secure protocol permitted relatively safe transfer of credit and debit card information. This along with the advent of user-friendly Web browsers and ISP portals such as America Online, along with the disbanding of the NSFNET in 1995 is what led to the corporate Internet.” Summarizing, two primary changes happened with the ‘five loaves’ of technical thought: First, business was made legal on the Internet and the ownership of the Internet was sold to a commercial entity. Second, Mosaic was replaced by Netscape Navigator, a new web browser that was capable of handling financial interactions online. On the side of the ‘two fishes’ of personal experience, user-friendly web browsers Made it possible to use the Internet without having to know any technical details. The 2001 academic article adds that “The NSF was lucky in a particular sense of the word. It enabled the commercialization of the Internet access industry at a propitious moment, at the same time as the growth of an enormous new technological opportunity, the World Wide Web.” In other words, the timing worked out so that both ‘loaves’ and ‘fishes’ were offered at the same time.

The reference to ‘disciple’ rather than ‘apostle’ suggests that this transition did not require any major theoretical breakthroughs but rather the learning and applying of existing expertise. Repeating part of an earlier quote from the 2001 academic article, “Little technical invention was required for commercial vendors to put this technology into initial mainstream use... Moving this activity into the mainstream commercial sector did not necessitate building a whole new Internet equipment industry.” And the reference to ‘laity’ rather than ‘crowds’ suggests that a system with ‘disciples’ and ‘laity’ now existed that could be modified and expanded. On the one hand, there was a small growing World Wide Web, and on the other hand, the huge walled garden of AOL was opening its users to the World Wide Web.

Verse 14 provides instructions. “For they were about five thousand men. And He said to His disciples, ‘Make them sit down in groups of about fifty.’” Men refers specifically to men. The number 5000 is only used in this story and the parallel versions. The word disciples is used rather than apostles. Make them sit is actually ‘to make to lie down’ because one reclined at a table. Group is used once in the New Testament and means ‘a place for reclining’. The number fifty is preceded in the Greek by the word up which is interpreted as heading towards Teacher generality.

I am not sure what these numbers represent, but the ‘sitting down in small groups’ accurately describes a key aspect of the commercialization of the Internet. One of the primary reasons is that people initially accessed the Internet using dial-up modems on their telephone lines. The 2001 article describes the implications of this. “Phone calls over significant distances engender permitted expenses, but local calls are usually free. Hence, Internet access providers had a strong interest in reducing expenses to users by providing local coverage... Access over dial-up lent itself to small-scale commercial implementations. Several hundred customers could generate enough revenue to support physical facilities... The economic thresholds for commercial dial-up service turned out to be feasible on a very small scale, encouraging small firms and independent ISPs [Internet Service Providers].” The article adds that by 1998, over 95% of Americans could access the Internet with a local phone call. The reference to disciples again indicates that no technical breakthroughs were required. Quoting from the 2001 article, “To the surprise of many, the operational procedures developed over two decades lent themselves to the early commercial implementations... Billing software was added to the basic gateway component and once this proved to be a feasible way to collect revenue, many entrepreneurs built on top of that commercial form.”

These instructions are followed in verse 15. “And they did so and made all sit down.” Did refers to Server actions. So means ‘in this manner’ which means following a pattern. Make them sit is the same word as in verse 14. Looking at this symbolically, setting up a new ISP simply meant following a pattern. This is actually a significant point, because it was the result of several factors. Quoting from one website, “FCC policy had allowed unlimited local phone calling for enhanced computer services and early Internet users connected to their local ISP using their modems over POTS (Plain Old Telephone System). ISPs quickly developed software that was put on CD-ROMs that could be easily installed on a personal computer.... Under federal regulation, U.S. ISPs had been classed as providers of enhanced service. This designation conferred on ISPs a characteristically privileged status within the liberalized zone of network development.” First, a new ISP did not have to physically lay wires but could piggyback on top of the existing telephone network. Second, an ISP did not have to pay for the privilege of using the telephone network. Third, the new ISP could become part of the Internet simply by connecting to the existing Internet backbone, because “The former regional Bell companies were to be primarily wholesalers, interconnecting with ISPs.” This led to phenomenal growth by ‘following the pattern’. “As the Internet took off in the late 1990s, thousands of new ISPs set up business to commercialize the Internet... By the end of 1997, over 4,900 ISPs existed in North America, although most of them had fewer than 3,000 subscribers.”

The food is distributed in verse 16. “And having taken the five loaves and the two fish, having looked up to the heaven, He blessed and broke them, and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd.” Take means to ‘actively hold of’. ‘Five loaves and two fishes are the same terms as in verse 13. Looked up combines ‘up’ with to ‘be observant’. Heaven represents the realm of Teacher thought. Thus, ‘looking up to the heaven’ would mean observing reality from the perspective of a general Teacher theory. Bless combines ‘good’ with ‘logos’ which was last used in 6:28 in the Sermon on the Plain and refers to good paradigms for technical thought. Broke means ‘to break up’ and is used twice in the New Testament. These fragments are being given to the disciples. Set before combines ‘close beside’ with ‘to place, put’, which would indicate a nearby source of Perceiver stability. And crowd means ‘crowd’.

‘Kept giving to the disciples’ indicates the trait of scalability. In other words, the Internet was designed with growth in mind. The 2001 article explains that “When the NSF took over stewardship of the Internet backbone, it invested in developing a scalable system of address tables and IP-address systems. Subsequent growth tested those investments and inventions; no surprising problems were found, nor did any engineering problems hinder growth.” Stating this more succinctly, the Internet was ‘blessed’ with paradigms that made it possible to grow from 50 websites in 1992 to over a million websites in 1997. That describes the ‘five loaves’ aspect of the ‘blessing’. The ‘blessing’ of the ‘two fish’ involved Windows 95. Quoting from a technical website, “Windows 95 was the fertile land that allowed the internet in general — and the web, specifically — to thrive... Suddenly, surfing the Internet, accessing various online services, and doing email became easier... In many ways, the browser was the killer app for Win 95, and Win 95 had all the plumbing needed for consumer internet to be possible.” More generally, when Windows 95 was released, “Microsoft sold a million copies in four days... Windows 95 was a springboard for broader consumer adoption of personal computing.” ‘Looking up to the heaven’ suggests that the Internet has become an entire realm of Teacher order-within-complexity inhabited by the ‘angels’ of computer messages. The technical website describes this transition into a realm. “The more people got on the network using Windows95-based computers, the more useful the network became. The more useful the network was, the more people wanted to be on it. The web would become the first and ultimate app. It would also set a stage for what would become a society defined by the symbiotic relationship between the computing devices and the networks that connected them.” The reference to ‘crowd’ rather than ‘laity’ suggests that many ‘newbies’ were buying PCs and getting onto the Internet.

Everyone eats in verse 17. “And they all ate and were satisfied; and that having been a surplus to them was taken up, twelve hand-baskets of fragments.” Eat means ‘eat’. Satisfied comes from the word ‘fodder’ and was previously used in 6:21 in the Sermon on the Plain. All means ‘each part of a totality’ which indicates that each individual is being satisfied. Taken up means ‘to raise, take up’ and is interpreted as Teacher generality. Surplus means ‘to be over and above, to abound’. Fragment means ‘a broken piece’ and is only used in the context of this parable. Basket means ‘a wicker basket’ and is also used only in the context of this story. The disciples were previously referred to as ‘the twelve’ in verses 1 and 12.

The technical website summarizes this massive consuming of intellectual fodder. “Before Windows 95, getting online was not easy. Only 12 million people were using online services in the US in 1995, the year that saw the birth of Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, General Magic, and the great Netscape IPO. With that, the great Internet mad-dash began. The growing number of online destinations and websites made owning a PC desirable. And vice versa.” The ability for ‘each part of a totality’ to be satisfied resulted from search engines that made it possible for individuals to search the entire Internet for desired ‘fodder’. For instance, Yahoo! Directory “started in 1994 under the name Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web... Users could browse thousands of listings which were organized in 7 or more tiers. For example, if a user was looking for a site on chess they might follow a path such as: recreation -> games -> board games -> chess.” Going further, AltaVista was developed in 1995 and “was the first searchable, full-text database on the World Wide Web with a simple interface... AltaVista’s site was an immediate success. Traffic increased steadily from 300,000 hits on the first day to more than 80 million hits per day two years later. The ability to search the Web, and AltaVista’s service in particular, became the subject of numerous articles and even some books.” Finally, “Google has its origins in ‘BackRub’, a research project that was begun in 1996... [and] The first version of Google was released in August 1996 on the Stanford website.”

As for all the baskets of surplus fragments being taken up, one of the core features of a search engine is a web crawler. Quoting from Wikipedia, “A Web crawler... is an Internet bot that systematically browses the World Wide Web and that is typically operated by search engines for the purpose of Web indexing.” Websites had to be explicitly added to the earliest web directories. A web crawler automated this process by scanning through the Internet to discover new content to organize. This automatic searching and indexing will cause innumerable ‘fragments’ of knowledge to be ‘taken up’ within the Teacher order-within-complexity of the World Wide Web. We now take this for granted and assume that it is possible to ‘google’ any subject and come up with a meaningful result. ‘Handbasket’ suggests that this organization of information is rather flimsy. Similarly, while a search engine such as Google is very useful at organizing information, this organization does not reflect any deep theoretical structure based upon meaningful principles.

This discussion of the growth of the Internet has focused primarily upon the Internet in the United States because that is where most of the initial development happened. But the World Wide Web has become a world wide web. Looking at global statistics, in 1995, 0.4% of the world’s population had Internet access, by 2000, this had grown to 5%, by 2003 it was 10%, by 2007 it was 20%, by 2011 it was 30%, and by 2017 over half the world had Internet access. Currently at the beginning of 2023, about 70% of the world is online.

Peter says Jesus is the Christ 9:18-20

Peter’s statement that Jesus is the Christ is found in all four Gospels. However, only in the Gospel of Luke does it follow the feeding of the 5000. Verse 18 establishes the context. “And it came to pass as He was praying in solitary, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, ‘Whom do the crowds pronounce Me to be?’” Luke’s version is also the only one that mentions ‘praying in solitary’. Pray means ‘to exchange wishes’. Solitary means ‘alone’ and in means ‘daily, day by day, each day, according to’ when followed by the accusative. Came to pass means ‘to come into being’ and as means ‘in the realm of. Putting this together, verse 18 describes something coming into being as a result of daily functioning within the realm of interacting alone with a concept of God at an emotional level. The World Wide Web began in verse 10 with a withdrawing as the essential elements were initially invented. But the crowds followed immediately in verse 11 leading to massive public growth. Verse 18, in contrast, describes something happening much more personally that is driven by individual thought and remains at the level of a small group. With is also an unusual word that is only used twice in the New Testament which combines ‘with’ and ‘to be’. I have been making a distinction between ‘having’ and ‘being’, relating ‘having’ to the more peripheral realm of owning objects and functioning in an objective manner, while relating ‘being’ to knowledge and skills that become part of personal identity. ‘Being with’ implies a deeper level of interaction that goes beyond being merely a colleague.

While the thinking is private, the question involves the public: “Whom do the crowds pronounce Me to be?” Whom is a generic product. Crowd means ‘crowd’. Pronounce is the normal word for ‘say’. And to be is explicitly mentioned. Notice that this is a question about identity: What do people say about me? Jesus is not asking what the crowds say about his skill or expertise, but rather what they are saying about him as a person.

Verse 19 mentions three alternatives which provide the context for interpreting verse 18. “And answering, they said, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and others, that a prophet, one of the ancients, has arisen.’” These are the same three options that were mentioned in verses 7-8 which suggests that these two passages are related. Verses 7-9 were interpreted as megachurch leaders attempting to find a way of dealing with the inherent contradictions of placing technical specializations under an umbrella of absolute truth. Verse 18 describes the individual who is privately asking these same questions.

What has happened in the intervening verses is the spread of the World Wide Web. This is cognitively significant because a World Wide Web will implicitly generate the same kind of Teacher feelings that are being generated by a megachurch. Saying this another way, both the World Wide Web and the megachurch are examples of ‘five loaves and two fishes’. That is because a megachurch places the ‘five loaves’ of various technical specializations within a religious framework of absolute truth that bases Teacher words about God upon Mercy mental networks of religious fervor. In both cases, one can make a sharp distinction between the loaves and the fishes. This cognitive similarity will lead naturally to implicit questions regarding the nature of God and incarnation. The research article that was quoted earlier when examining the megachurch was written in 1996. It mentions the use of media including the Internet. “Megachurches also make use of their media resources to spread their influence and extend their advertising budget. Tapes, printed materials, conference announcements, and radio and television broadcasts often cover the continent... Within the last few years an additional medium, the Internet, has captured the attention of some megachurches. At present dozens of congregations... have very professional, and quite extensive pages on the World Wide Web.”

A mindset of absolute truth will assume that it can survive any encounter with other concepts. That is because the certainty of absolute truth is acquired instantly as strong emotions overwhelm Perceiver thought into it knowing what is ‘true’. Thus, absolute truth will tend to go into an intellectual battle with total certainty and then find itself plagued by doubts that throw all of absolute truth into question. That is because absolute truth evaluates facts by the source from which they came. If some of the facts from this source fall into doubt, then all of the facts fall into doubt. Perceiver confidence, in contrast, gains confidence in specific connections as these connections are repeated. Thus, Perceiver thought is aware of which facts are solid and which facts are tentative and calling one fact into question will not cause the entire factual structure to start crumbling.

Applying this to the megachurch and the Internet, the megachurch will happily adopt the new medium as a way of broadcasting its message, as described by the research paper. What happens next can be seen by looking at what is known as ‘the seven mountains of culture’. Wikipedia explains that “The movement is believed by its followers to have begun in 1975 with a purported message from God delivered to evangelicals Loren Cunningham, Bill Bright, and Francis Schaeffer ordering them to invade the ‘seven spheres’ of society. The idea was not seriously considered until 2000.” What happened in practice is that in each of these seven areas, secular society ended up shaping the church rather than the other way around.

I do not know what questions people were asking personally about the nature of incarnation during this era but I know what questions I was asking because I wrote three books during this period. The major topic of these books is the emotional relationship between personal identity in Mercy thought and a concept of God in Teacher thought. Using the language of verse 18, they discuss what ‘came into being in my mind as a result of daily functioning within the realm of interacting alone with a concept of God at an emotional level’. They also represented a major step forward for me as an individual. My research with mental symmetry began by helping my older brother. These books were the first that I wrote on my own, and I mentioned this in the introductions. The material for these books came from observing the crowds around me as an outsider. As for disciples, I have never had many followers, but I have discovered a form of discipleship based in ‘being’ that functions at a deeper level than an academic colleague. When I first realized that the mind was made up of seven interacting cognitive modules and that I as a Perceiver person was only conscious in one of these cognitive modules I made a mental covenant with subconscious thought in which I formally recognized that each of my cognitive modules have a right to exist without being stifled or squelched either by other cognitive modules or by conscious thought. Taking this step literally multiplied my intelligence by turning subconscious cognitive modules into disciples, partners, guides, and correctors of conscious thought.

Looking now at verse 19, the three books that I wrote correspond generally to the three alternatives mentioned in verse 19. These books are entitled A Programmer’s Guide to the Mind, Volumes 1, 2, and 3. The first two volumes can be downloaded for free. The third volume was never released. The first alternative in verse 19 is ‘John the Baptist’. Verse 7 mentioned ‘John’ but not ‘the Baptist’. Baptism represents personal rebirth. The typical megachurch presents a seeker-friendly version of Christianity that emphasizes the ‘John’ of the Lord being gracious while downplaying ‘the Baptist’ of a need for repentance and personal transformation. The first book that I wrote in 1997 focused upon truth, identity and conscience, attempting to restore the missing element of ‘the Baptist’ by looking at the cognitive interaction between Perceiver thought and Mercy thought. One of the major principles discussed in that book is the relationship between absolute truth and Perceiver confidence that was just mentioned above. Verse 7 talked about ‘Elijah appearing’ while verse 19 simply refers to Elijah. Elijah means ‘Yah is God’ and Elijah appearing was interpreted as the megachurch being a visible expression of God in Teacher thought ruling over human society. My second book was written in 2001 and it examined various ways in which societal structures influence a concept of God and how these mental concepts interact with personal identity in Mercy thought. Using the language of verse 19, the cognitive nature of Elijah is discussed. The third volume, written in 2002, focused upon transforming religion and has the flavor of an Old Testament prophet of doom, which explains why I never released this volume. It was written right after 9/11, when the entire world was coming face-to-face with the doom of Western civilization. The flavor of this volume can be conveyed by quoting from the conclusion. “And that is the end of my proposal. It could be pure rubbish or rank heresy. But, according to the theory of mental symmetry, it is logically possible, and it appears to be the only path that avoids the horror of the coming fascist state. Therefore, I present it as an alternative. To whom? A human audience? Of course not. They wouldn’t be the ones doing the visiting. Instead, I present this as a set of words to those who inhabit the realm of words. Why would ‘they’ want it? Because they live in Teacher emotion, and this is an elegant Teacher theory. Besides, we humans have essentially disowned the path of personal salvation. Maybe they will treat it with more respect.” ‘They’ in this paragraph refers to the angelic realm. Suggesting that angels might intervene in human history felt like a radical proposal in 2002, but the terrorist attack of 9/11 had just happened and people were thinking in terms of radical proposals. Going further, the implicit assumption of this essay is that angels have been intervening in human history guided by the plan of incarnation recorded in the Gospels—and this intervention can be analyzed rationally in terms of cognitive mechanisms.

Peter gives an answer in verse 20. “And He said to them, ‘But whom do you pronounce Me to be?’ And Peter answering said, ‘The Christ of God.’” Pronounce means ‘to say’ and ‘me’ and ‘to be’ are explicitly mentioned, indicating a focus upon the identity of incarnation. Peter means ‘a stone’ and represents Perceiver thought. Christ means ‘the anointed one, Messiah’ and refers to the abstract, universal side of incarnation. ‘Of God’ indicates that this abstract side of incarnation comes from a universal theory in Teacher thought. Christian theology may assert that Christ comes from God, typically quoting John 1:1, but evangelical Christians do not get their concept of Christ from a universal understanding of the character of God in Teacher thought. Instead, the description of the physical person of Jesus in the Gospels is internalized to form a mental concept of Jesus and this is then extrapolated to form a more universal concept of Christ. The three books that I wrote were also heading in that direction by using the theory of mental symmetry as the starting point for explaining increasingly general principles of interaction between a concept of God and personal identity. And because I am a Perceiver person who uses Perceiver thought to build connections, these three books represent an answer by ‘Peter’.

Looking now at broader society, the question in verse 18 was “Whom do the crowds pronounce me to be?” This question can be answered by looking at the terms that people use to describe current society. We live in an Information Age. Wikipedia explains that “What dramatically accelerated the pace of adoption of The Information Age, as compared to previous ones, was the speed by which knowledge could be transferred and pervaded the entire human family in a few short decades... Today, light-based optical networking systems at the heart of telecom networks and the Internet span the globe and carry most of the information traffic to and from users and data storage systems.” When information—the ‘data’ of abstract technical thought—is placed within a global infrastructure of Teacher order-within-complexity, then this is a partial version of ‘the Christ of God’.

People also speak of a digital revolution, and the invention of the World Wide Web played a key role in this revolution. Quoting from the Wikipedia article, “The digital revolution became truly global in this time as well - after revolutionizing society in the developed world in the 1990s, the digital revolution spread to the masses in the developing world in the 2000s. By 2000, a majority of U.S. households had at least one personal computer and internet access the following year. In 2002, a majority of U.S. survey respondents reported having a mobile phone.” Relating this to incarnation, precise definitions provide the building blocks for abstract technical thought, which forms the cognitive basis for a concept of Christ. Digital information defines information precisely as a combination of zeros and ones. Whenever one copies an analog signal, such as a tape recording, the copy is always of lower quality than the original. In contrast, the copy of a digital signal, such as a computer program or computer file, is identical to the original. Thus, transmitting digital information across a worldwide network is cognitively another partial expression of the ‘Christ of God’. (This is not a trivial distinction, because the digital revolution questions traditional concepts of ownership precisely because a copy is identical to the original. In contrast, an original retains its value when the copy is inferior to the original, making it possible to maintain traditional concepts of ownership.) What is missing from concepts such as the Information Age and the digital revolution is the recognition that these external changes both express and require a cognitive shift within people’s minds, and those who grow up in this new age of digital information will only be able to benefit from the societal change to the extent that they have experienced a corresponding cognitive change. This is significant, because we will see later when looking at social media that the digital revolution actually makes it possible for people to be dumber than before.

The Son of Man must be Reborn 9:21-22

Peter’s pronouncement is immediately followed by a warning. “And having strictly warned them, He instructed them to tell this to no one.” Strictly warn means to ‘assign value as is fitting the situation’. ‘Strict warning’ gives the idea of forbidding but ‘its fundamental sense is warning to prevent something from going wrong’. This meaning can be clarified through the example of high-voltage electricity. The average person is forbidden from coming near to high-voltage wires through warning signs while the professional is ‘strictly warned’ to behave carefully so that nothing goes wrong. Instruct means to ‘give a command that is fully authorized because it has gone through all the proper channels’. This is the last of four times that this word is used in Luke and it was previously used in 8:56 where the parents of the resurrected child were instructed not to tell anyone about their daughter. That was interpreted from a personal perspective as the mental image of a more ideal society going through a rebirth from being based in the absolute truth of the Bible to being rooted in universal cognitive principles. We saw from the example of Bill Gothard what happens if this principle is not followed: Nuggets of universal cognitive principles will become buried within a framework of absolute truth and the framework of absolute truth will end up warping and discrediting the nuggets of wisdom. Mental symmetry, in contrast, received the ‘blessing’ of being silenced. The end result was to make a transition from absolute truth to universal truth, from using mental symmetry to extend from the Bible to building mental symmetry upon a cognitive foundation. In 8:56 the parents were instructed not to command anyone what had happened. ‘Command’ implies adopting an attitude of absolute truth and Gothard again provides an unfortunate example of what it means to ‘command’, both in his teachings about submission to authority and his behavior as a source of authority. In verse 21, Peter is instructed not to say this—‘this’ presumably being the idea that Christ comes from God. Consistent with this, I have found that I can talk to others to some extent about specific principles of mental symmetry, especially if I use the language of other theories, but placing this explanation within a general theory of cognition will be rejected.

Verse 22 gives a reason for this silence, providing the understanding that makes it possible to ‘strictly warn’. “Having said, ‘It is necessary for the Son of Man to suffer many things, and to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and on the third day to be raised.’” Said means ‘command’, implying that this reason will not initially be fully understood. Necessary means ‘what must happen’, which refers to how things work. This word was previously used back in 4:43. For instance, when one lets go of an object it is ‘necessary’ for that object to fall to the ground, because that is how gravity works. Absolute truth has no concept of ‘necessary’ because it thinks that rules in Perceiver thought are imposed by people in Mercy thought. In order to comprehend the concept of ‘necessary’, one has to make a mental transition from absolute truth to universal truth. Understanding what is necessary for incarnation is only possible if one goes beyond a mindset of treating the Bible as the source of absolute truth. ‘Son of Man’ is actually ‘son of humanity’, which describes a concept of incarnation that comes from observing and understanding cognitive principles within human society. This term was previously used in 7:34, which was interpreted as the concept of the modern consumer society. A ‘Son of Man’ may have the right structure and content, but it is based in the Mercy foundation of human experiences—it is an extrapolation from Jesus to Christ. Saying that incarnation is ‘the Christ of God’ is only a starting point. It is a cognitive recognition that comes from constructing a ‘Son of Man’. Actually turning a ‘Son of Man’ into ‘the Christ of God’ means allowing existing mental networks of a ‘Son of Man’ to fall apart and then be put back together by a universal concept of God in Teacher thought.

This process of falling apart and being put back together is described by the rest of the verse. Suffer means ‘to feel heavy emotion’. It does not necessarily mean actually experiencing pain and suffering but rather describes ‘the capacity to feel suffering’. Cognitively speaking, actually experiencing too much suffering will lead to emotional insensitivity, reducing the capacity to feel suffering. Thus, ‘feeling heavy emotion’ becomes maximized when disaster looms but never actually happens. Many things means ‘much in number’. Looking at this cognitively, Mercy thought applies emotional labels to specific situations and people, while Teacher thought applies emotional labels to general theories. Transforming a ‘Son of Man’ into a ‘Christ of God’ requires shifting from the specific emotions of Mercy thought to the general emotions of Teacher thought. Such a shift will happen when one experiences ‘heavy emotion’ that is ‘much in number’.

This kind of emotional shift happens with learned helplessness. Quoting from a medical website, “Learned helplessness is a state that occurs after a person has experienced a stressful situation repeatedly. They come to believe that they are unable to control or change the situation, so they do not try — even when opportunities for change become available.” Notice the combination of ‘heavy emotion’ and ‘much in number’. What happens cognitively is that the repetition causes Teacher thought to come up with a theory about the situation which will then cause any opportunity to change the situation to be regarded by Teacher thought as an exception to the general rule. For instance, this will change the experience of ‘He was unloving to me’ into the theory that ‘I am unlovable’. This emotional shift is detrimental in learned helplessness, because it causes the mind to rest in a general theory that does not correspond to how things work. However, this same emotional shift is cognitively beneficial—in the long term—if it causes the mind to rest in a general theory that describes how things really work. Thus, the cognitive mechanism of learned helplessness is capable of turning a ‘Son of Man’ that accurately describes how things work into a ‘Christ of God’ that emotionally rests upon this understanding of how things work.

Continuing with verse 22, the next phrase is “and to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes”. Rejected means ‘to cast away after thorough investigation’. By means ‘from, away from’. An elder is ‘a mature man having seasoned judgment’ and would refer to technical expertise based in common sense. Chief priest means ‘high priest’ and would represent technical expertise based in religious doctrine. Scribe means ‘a writer, scribe’ and would refer to the writings and papers of academic thought. These three describe inadequate foundations for technical thought. The first inadequate foundation is authority based upon personal expertise. It is not possible for a finite human to become an expert in all areas of thought, especially when knowledge becomes subdivided into technical specializations each with its own vocabulary and technical requirements. Thus, one has to rely on the experts when constructing a general theory. But once such a general theory has been constructed, it is then possible to stop resting emotionally upon the experts and rest instead upon the Teacher mental network of a universal understanding. However, such an emotional shift will only occur if one is rejected by the elders and forced to rely emotionally upon Teacher emotions of general understanding. Moving on, both religious and secular education starts with the revealed truth of some holy book or textbook. This is a necessary starting point for acquiring understanding, but it is also an inadequate foundation, as revealed by the limitations of absolute truth that we have been seeing when looking at evangelical Christianity. Verbally recognizing this inadequacy is not enough. Instead, one will only make an emotional shift from resting upon absolute truth to resting upon a universal theory if one is rejected by the chief priests. Being rejected by priests is not enough, because one can always rest emotionally in the feeling that one is still approved by the ultimate religious authorities. However, when one becomes rejected by the chief priests, then one is forced to move beyond the very concept of absolute truth. Scribes refer to the written record as reflected in academic papers and theological treatises. Writing is a useful method of collecting and organizing the wisdom of many generations. And developing mental symmetry included reading thousands of academic papers and writing many essays. However, words are only descriptions of reality. Moving beyond words requires basing Perceiver and Server confidence in repeated experiences of how things work, backed up by the personal confidence that comes from repeatedly behaving in a manner that is guided by how things work. And one will only make an emotional transition to knowledge based in repetition if one cannot base one’s understanding directly in the words of academic papers or theological treatises.

The final phrase of verse 22 is “And to be killed, and on the third day to be raised.” Kill adds the prefix ‘away from’ to ‘slay’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Cognitively speaking, a mental network is killed by repeatedly triggering it and not allowing it to express itself. For instance, the idea of having a mental concept of someone recently came up in conversation with a friend and I started to explain to my friend how the mind uses mental networks to represent people. But that person literally interrupted my explanation and would not let me finish my sentence. When that sort of thing happens again and again and again and again, then mental networks will die. And when others repeatedly trigger some subject while refusing to discuss this subject, then mental networks will die off. Day means ‘the period from sunrise to sunset’ and represents some era of society. ‘On the third day’ would mean after two societal transitions. Raise means ‘to awaken, to raise up’ and was previously used in 9:7 to describe John rising from the dead and before that in 8:54 when Jesus told the young daughter to ‘arise’. Cognitively speaking, killing mental networks that are based in ‘how things work’ will not destroy these mental networks but rather cause them to be rebuilt upon a more solid foundation. Transforming the mental concept of ‘a Son of Man’ into a ‘Christ of God’ requires three different kinds of ‘falling apart and rebuilding’ involving three different eras. That is because one is not just reconstructing the mental networks that represent some finite person but rather reconstructing a set of mental networks that represent a universal system of interaction between God in Teacher thought and humanity in Mercy thought.

These three eras can be determined with reasonable certainty. The first era is the one we are discussing, in which one verbally recognizes the existence of Teacher universality. This first era is reflected personally in the three books that I wrote. The third book led to a cognitive death as expressed by the conclusion of that book. I then moved to Seoul, Korea in 2002 where I spent most of the time teaching in an international school. Turning to society, the initial excitement about the World Wide Web died when the dot-com bubble crashed in 2001, and this loss of confidence was exacerbated by the collapse of the twin towers on 9/11 in 2001. Quoting from Wikipedia, “On January 10, 2000, America Online... announced a merger with Time Warner... The merger was the largest to date and was questioned by many analysts... On March 20, 2000, Barron’s featured a cover article titled ‘Burning Up; Warning: Internet companies are running out of cash—fast’, which predicted the imminent bankruptcy of many Internet companies. This led many people to rethink their investments... On Friday, April 14, 2000, the Nasdaq Composite index fell 9%, ending a week in which it fell 25%... Without question September 11 attacks later accelerated the stock-market drop. Investor confidence was further eroded by several accounting scandals and the resulting bankruptcies.”

The second era personally involved using mental symmetry as a meta-theory to explain a variety of subjects. This uses Perceiver thought to transform the idea of a meta-theory into an actual meta-theory. Instead of simply saying that ‘Christ is of God’ one demonstrates that Christ is ‘of God’ by placing a number of technical specializations within a universal Teacher understanding. For society at large, the idea of a worldwide web was transformed into a reality in which the Internet affected all aspects of economic and social activity. Moving on, I think that this essay is a personal example of the third day because the concept of a crisis of God is being explored at a Server level by comparing the sequences of the story of Jesus with the sequences of Western civilization. This type of Server mapping has now been done with sufficient scriptural passages to create a ‘landscape’ of intersecting paths through history. Society at large went through a similar Server shift as a result of the worldwide lockdown during the covid pandemic. For an extended period of time one could not interact physically with other people but rather had to do everything over the Internet. Applying this to the evangelical church, the first stage involves the idea of a post-Christian world. The second stage extended this idea through Perceiver thought by applying post-Christian thought to all topics and contexts. During the third stage, secular governments forbade churches from physically meeting together while imposing a worldwide program of immunization. I know both from personal experience and from reading the news that this third stage has been devastating for evangelical Christianity.

Losing or Saving one’s Soul 9:23-27

The next stage describes the personal cost that is involved. It is important to place this section within a context. That is because suffering by itself is not redemptive. For instance, the typical evangelical Christian who rejected covid vaccinations felt rejected by the elders of society, the chief priests of established religion, and the scribes of academic thought, but this rejection did not have a redemptive effect because it was not preceded by the development of a mental concept of the Son of Man. Verse 22 said that it is necessary for the Son of Man to suffer many things, and verse 23 talks about coming after the Son of Man, implying that a Son of Man exists that can be followed. If this mental concept does not exist, then the falling apart will be followed by an existential clinging to some dictator who promises to restore the system that has fallen apart.

This clinging can be seen in the extensive support that was given to Donald Trump by American evangelical Christianity. Quoting from a 2020 LA Times article, “Since Donald Trump’s election in 2016, it is hard to remember a week when my students have not asked me how a man with such an appalling personal and professional record of unethical behavior could still command the respect of so many Americans... But the truth is, when assessing Donald Trump, most Americans care less about who he is and what he stands for. They base their judgment more on what he has done in office... Even evangelical Americans, who might be expected to care more about morality and ethics, are also more focused on performance in office (64%) than on the president’s personal morals and ethics.” Another website provides ‘a short list of Trump’s immoral and corrupt history’. This list includes ‘Praising, siding with, and declaring his “love” for known murderers, war criminals, dictators, and enemies of the US, including those who actively imprison and murder Christians’, ‘Declaring any journalist, news report, or news agency that criticizes him as illegitimate’, and ‘Being pathologically unrepentant and unremorseful about any of his sinful behavior’, and yet 75%-80% of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump. That is what happens when a mindset of Christian absolute truth collapses without having a ‘Christ of God’ to fall back upon. The existential crisis of losing the mindset of absolute truth will emotionally overshadow the content of absolute truth. This goes beyond a Bill Gothard level collapse of some segment of ultraconservative Christianity to a general collapse of evangelical Christianity.

Looking now at verse 23, “And He was saying to all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and let him take up his cross every day, and let him follow Me.’” All means ‘each part of a totality’. ‘Saying to all’ means that one cannot just approach this from only a cognitive or a social process. On the one hand, individuals are required who will go through this process personally and internally; they are the apostles who make the breakthroughs. But the breakthrough of an apostle still has to be applied socially by some group and that will only happen if some group needs to make this breakthrough but reaches a dead-end. That is why our discussion has included both the personal and the social, the internal and the external.

Desire means ‘to will, wish’. After means ‘back, behind, after’. Come means ‘to come, go’. Deny means ‘to deny, say no’. Take up means ‘to raise, take up’ and is interpreted as Teacher generality. This is the first use of the word cross in Luke and ‘this transverse beam was the one carried by the criminal’. Day was previously used in verse 22. Thus, ‘every day’ would presumably refer to the three eras that have just been discussed and would imply continuing to follow this process as society goes through these eras. Follow comes from the word ‘road, way’. ‘Follow me’ means being willing to personally experience the rejection and suppression of a concept of incarnation.

Placing this within the context of the three days, the first day is about to come to an end and the second is about to start. During this second day, the general theory that ‘Christ is of God’ will be turned into a meta-theory that is applied to many different contexts through the use of Perceiver thought. This process will be unpopular because experts within a specialization do not appreciate it when some outsider comes and suggests that their specialization is only one aspect of a more general theory. A person who has such a general theory—such as mental symmetry, will be emotionally driven by Teacher thought to follow incarnation from one specialization to another. (One of the general principles of physics is that if there are two legitimate general theories, then it is possible to translate one theory into the language of another. Thus, if an alternative meta-theory to mental symmetry exists, then it should be possible to translate between this theory and mental symmetry.) Going further, continually crossing from one technical specialization to another will mean repeatedly stepping off some career track in order to become a beginner in some other field. And comparing one specialization with another in an interdisciplinary manner will lead to conclusions that violate existing presuppositions, dogmas, cultural norms, and taboos. This process of choosing to deny self will happen with sufficient repetition that denying self will turn into the attitude of learned helplessness that was described earlier. Using the language of verse 23, the ‘beam’ of the cross will become ‘lifted up’ in Teacher thought. This is normally not a good thing. But in this case the repetitive denying of self accompanies following incarnation. One is not feeling helpless to change the situation but rather feeling helpless to escape the path of extending a meta-theory from one context to another. And one is also feeling helpless about the possibility of spreading this understanding verbally to others.

Verse 24 describes the alternatives. “For whoever might desire to save his life will lose it; but whoever might lose his life on account of me, he will save it.” Desire means ‘to desire, wish’ which means that this choice will function at an emotional level. That is because merely choosing to follow a path will not be enough. Only a Teacher theory of learned helplessness will suffice to keep one going. Life means ‘soul’ and is used twice in this verse. The soul represents the integrated mind. Thus, ‘saving his life’ does not refer to physical preservation but rather to mental integration and fragmentation. Save is used twice in this verse and means ‘to deliver out of danger and into safety’. Lose ‘implies permanent destruction’ and is mentioned twice. On account means ‘for the sake of, on account of’. Notice that the option to remain the same is not present. In both cases one is moving from the existing situation to some other situation. Applying this to Western society, the option of remaining the same was removed in September 2001 by the 9/11 attack on the twin towers. Quoting from pewresearch, “The impacts of the Sept. 11 attacks were deeply felt and slow to dissipate. By the following August, half of U.S. adults said the country ‘had changed in a major way” – a number that actually increased, to 61%, 10 years after the event’... The importance of 9/11 transcended age, gender, geographic and even political differences. The 2016 study noted that while partisans agreed on little else that election cycle, more than seven-in-ten Republicans and Democrats named the attacks as one of their top 10 historic events.”

Going further, the spread of the Internet turned into a form of learned helplessness. In the same way that Teacher emotion drives a bureaucracy to grow for the sake of growing, so the Internet reached a level of universality where people became driven by Teacher emotion to increase the universality of the Internet and the individual was powerless to fight this general trend. This too was a case of being driven by Teacher emotions to deny existing Mercy feelings of culture and specialization in order to interconnect various technical realms. Thus, the alternative to submitting internally to the growing ubiquity of a meta-theory of cognition was submitting externally to the growing ubiquity of an electronically interconnected world. 9/11 eliminated the option of sticking with existing culture. The intensity of this Teacher motivation to grow for the sake of growing is illustrated by the policy that was adopted by the NSA. Quoting from a Guardian article written in 2013, “Numerous NSA documents we’ve already published demonstrate that the NSA’s goal is to collect, monitor and store every telephone and internet communication that takes place inside the US and on the earth. It already collects billions of calls and emails every single day... The NSA is constantly seeking to expand its capabilities without limits. They’re currently storing so much, and preparing to store so much more, that they have to build a massive, sprawling new facility in Utah just to hold all the communications from inside the US and around the world that they are collecting.” Two forms of learned helplessness are being described here. The average citizen feels helpless to oppose the spread of universal government surveillance. But the NSA itself is also being driven by a Teacher obsession to extend surveillance which it finds itself unable to resist.

Looking now at verse 24, the first option is to save the integrated mind. This can be seen in the rationale behind the growth of NSA surveillance. Quoting from the Guardian article, “Collect it all, tag it, store it... [This] encapsulated Alexander’s controversial approach to safeguarding Americans from what he sees as a host of imminent threats, from terrorism to devastating cyberattacks.” More generally, the American response to 9/11 was motivated by a deep need to save the existing integrated mind. Quoting from an American government website, “Ten years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the United States has been defined by its resolve, its values and the resilience with which it has overcome this tragedy. The 9/11 attacks and other acts of terrorism have failed to undermine our values or weaken our society. Americans continue to embrace democratic values and fundamental liberties, instead of fear and oppression... The [Justice] department remains fully committed to the fight against those who target Americans and our way of life.” Notice the desire ‘to embrace democratic values and fundamental liberties’ and to guard against attempts to ‘undermine our values or weaken in our society’. This is not a military threat in which the country of the United States is being defended against a foreign invasion. It also goes beyond specific attacks on individuals. Instead, what is being defended is the ‘integrated mind’ of the American way of life. Verse 24 says that this path will lead to permanent destruction. And one can conclude now in early 2023 that this appears to be an accurate statement. Those who have attempted to save the American way of life have increasingly behaved in a manner that threatens the very institutions of American culture, education, religion, and society.

The cognitive problem is that American institutions have been treated cognitively as a form of revealed absolute truth similar to the Bible: The Bible was revealed by the prophets while the American Constitution was revealed by the founding fathers. The United States may be the most extreme example of this attitude, but a similar mindset can be found in conservative groups throughout the world. Absolute truth can be preserved but it cannot be saved. Saying this more carefully, it is possible to restore fading respect for the source of absolute truth. That happens during a revival and is also the mechanism driving the praise and worship of Contemporary Christian Music. But if a society becomes sufficiently post-Christian, then there is no religious fervor left to revive. Such a society must now be saved by taking it out of its existing state into some better state. But a mindset of absolute truth cannot be produced instantly. What typically happens is that the words of heroes are written down and then regarded by subsequent generations as absolute truth. This process can be speeded up through the institutions of society. For instance, the institution of a Parliament transforms the words of lawmakers into the revealed truth of government legislation. But one still encounters the same problem at a deeper level because respect for such institutions takes time to grow. Going further, if Christianity becomes sufficiently marginalized, then the majority will vote to eliminate Christian standards of absolute truth from society. The only option that remains is for absolute truth to bypass these institutions in order to re-impose absolute truth upon society. But such direct imposition will turn into a dictatorship. This transformation was illustrated by the January 6, 2021 United States Capitol attack. Most of the rioters thought that they were preserving the absolute truth of the American Way, but they actually ended up threatening the institutions of American government. Notice that we are not looking here at the legitimacy of conservative complaints. Much of liberal thought is driven by the Teacher overgeneralization of universal equality that emerged during the civil rights movement, and this mindset has fundamental flaws. Instead, we are looking here at the futility of attempting to save a mindset of absolute truth in a society that has marginalized this absolute truth. This logic also applies even if 9/11 was an ‘inside job’—and as an engineer, I fail to understand how building 7 could have collapsed solely as a result of fire. However, if 9/11 was an inside job then—cognitively speaking—this was just another example of a conservative mindset attempting to save the American way of life by taking extreme measures.

The other alternative mentioned in verse 24 is to permanently lose the existing integrated mind. The parallel passage in Matthew 16:24-28 provides an idea of what this means because that was interpreted as the spread of consumer technology during Victorian society. Victorian technology transformed existing society into a new form that had not existed before and there was no turning back. Similarly, the spread of the Internet has turned modern society into a new form that has not existed before and there is no turning back. In both cases, one must become reconciled to the fact that one will permanently lose one’s existing integrated mind. And in both cases, no individual person or group can withstand the Teacher-driven tidal wave of universal growth. The alternative to going along passively with this inevitable transformation is to ‘permanently lose the integrated mind’ on account of incarnation. In practical terms, this means that whenever the spread of technology questions existing ways of doing things, or the spread of post-Christian thought questions existing morality and social convention, one treats this as an opportunity to extend the universal rule of the ‘Christ of God’. That is because the questioning of taboos and social conventions also provides an opportunity for rational analysis. This path will not preserve existing mental integration, because that option is no longer available. But it will save it, by rebuilding the mind in an integrated form that can handle technology, cognition, and postmodern questioning.

Looking at this more generally, there is a growing knowledge divide, which Wikipedia explains is “the gap between those who can find, create, manage, process, and disseminate information or knowledge, and those who are impaired in this process.” Notice that this divide is happening at the abstract level of Christ and not at the concrete level of Jesus. Wikipedia describes the problem. “In the 21st century, the emergence of the knowledge society becomes pervasive. The transformations of world’s economy and of each society have a fast pace. Together with information and communication technologies (ICT), these new paradigms have the power to reshape the global economy. In order to keep pace with innovations, to come up with new ideas, people need to produce and manage knowledge.” The option of maintaining an existing integrated mind is no longer present. Instead, one must learn to ‘produce and manage knowledge’ in order to ‘keep pace with innovations’. Using the language of verse 25, one must ‘permanently lose the integrated mind’ in order to follow the spread of the technical thinking of incarnation. The ultimate result of letting go of mental integration is not fragmentation but rather reintegration at the meta-level. Instead of becoming an expert in some specialization, one becomes an expert at acquiring and using new paradigms and skills.

However, gaining the ability to acquire, process, and use information is not enough, because there is a deeper problem that is described in verse 25. “For what is a man profited, having gained the whole world, and having destroyed or having suffered the loss of himself?” Profit is used once in Luke and means ‘to help, benefit, do good’. Man refers to mankind. Gain means ‘trading up’. World is ‘cosmos’, it means ‘something ordered’ and is interpreted as the structure of human physical existence. This is the first of three times that this word is used in Luke. 1 John 2:15-17 relates the ‘cosmos’ to ‘the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the vaunting of biological life’. For instance, the Internet would be an example of ‘cosmos’. Whole means ‘where all the parts are present and working as a whole’. In verse 25 the ‘whole cosmos’ is being ‘traded up’, which would refer to a transformation of the entire existing world structure. This ‘trading up’ has happened with the transformation of the industrial economy into an information economy. This is not just a matter of technological breakthroughs, but rather a transformation of the entire global system. Verse 25 poses the question: ‘How has this transformation benefited humanity?’ In other words, each individual step in this transformation may be viewed as benefiting humans, but the end result of applying all the steps is a global system that does not make room for humanity. Such a question can only be asked at the beginning of such a transformation when it is still possible to choose the direction that this transformation will take. That is why the question is being asked now. Once the transformation starts happening, then it will turn into a self-reinforcing Teacher mental network that continues to drive people and society to the point of learned helplessness.

Verse 25 describes two possible anti-human results. “Having destroyed or having suffered the loss of himself.” Destroy was used in verse 24 and ‘implies permanent destruction’. Suffer loss is used once in Luke and means ‘to cause or experience loss, especially carrying a penalty’. ‘Himself’ refers to ‘humanity’. ‘Or’ implies a choice. One choice is the permanent destruction of humanity, in which the human becomes reduced to functioning as a robot within the machine. Quoting from a 2019 Forbes article, “Workers today are increasingly being treated like robots. The data revolution that has led to unprecedented efficiency in companies’ digital operations is now being applied to their human workforces. From clocking bathroom breaks to measuring keywords and mouse clicks, from measuring customer service employees’ vocal stress to monitoring real-time movements of their employees, companies are increasingly treating their employees like disposable robots that can be steadily nudged towards ever-greater efficiency before being run into the ground and discarded for a newer replacement.” The other option is for humanity to ‘experience a penalty of loss’. In this case, mental networks of humanity survive but they are crippled and limited. This describes the typical professional who attempts to maintain some humanity while being forced by knowledge, expertise, and legislation to function within the box of some specialization.

Verse 26 clarifies the nature of this emotional struggle. “For whoever may have been ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He shall come in His glory, and that of the Father and of the holy angels.” Ashamed is only used in Luke in this verse and adds the prefix ‘fitting’ to ‘disgrace’. Thus, something is being disgraced in an appropriate manner that suits the context.

Word is ‘logos’ and is in the plural, which means that the struggle is at the abstract level of Christ and technical paradigms. ‘Son of Man’ describes a concept of Christ based upon understanding human behavior. Come means ‘to come, go’ and is in the future. In means ‘in the realm of’. Glory is interpreted as the external expression of internal character. Putting this together, a ‘Son of Man’ is being transformed into a ‘Christ of God’. The content of these two is the same but a ‘Son of Man’ extends from concrete experience in Mercy thought up to a universal theory in Teacher thought, while a Christ of God extends from a universal theory in Teacher thought down to the concrete experiences in Mercy thought. ‘Coming in his glory’ describes the external impact in Mercy thought of starting from a universal theory in Teacher thought.

While this universal Teacher structure is being constructed, it is optimal to pursue some bottom line in Mercy thought and treat the extension of technical thought as a better tool for improving Mercy results. For instance, ‘Using robots to build gadgets reduces my costs, allowing me to sell my gadgets cheaper than the competition.’ Or Romans 12 spiritual gifts are useful for business because they help people to find jobs that are more suited to their innate skills. I was never able to use mental symmetry to conduct business seminars because I knew that mental symmetry is inconsistent with the modern practice of business at the abstract level of paradigms. Mental symmetry is consistent with business and economics, but it is not consistent with the typical practice of ‘selling one’s soul’ to the company and treating money and/or prestige as the ultimate bottom line. ‘Being ashamed of me and my words’ would mean disgracing the ultimate goal of mental and societal wholeness in order to follow some lesser goal. It could also be interpreted in a more general manner as pursuing some aspect of technical development without recognizing the full implications of an information economy.

The second part of verse 26 describes what happens when the transformation is complete. “The Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He shall come in His glory, and that of the Father and of the holy angels.” The general principle is that any Teacher structure that one constructs will eventually turn into a mental prison and the pleasantness of this prison will be determined by the material from which this prison was constructed. Thus, if one constructs a global informational economy in a manner that downplays paradigms of humanity, then the resulting informational economy will naturally be inhuman. While this economy is being constructed, it is not optimal to think about paradigms of humanity, but once the economy is complete and ‘the Son of Man comes in his glory’ then it becomes imperative to think about paradigms of humanity, but it will also be too late because the Teacher structure will disgrace any thinking about humanity as inappropriate within the new system.

‘And of the Father and of the holy angels’ could be interpreted several ways and all of these interpretations may be valid. The two ‘and’s indicates that this coming of the Son of Man will be accompanied by ‘the father’ and by ‘the holy angels’. Holy means ‘different from the world because like the Lord’. Angel means ‘angel, messenger’ and refers to those who live within the messages of abstract thought. One could ‘interpret a holy angel’ as a human expert who functions within the messages of an informational economy. Such an individual is ‘holy’ in the sense of functioning in a manner that is totally different than the normal human realm of Mercy experiences and emotions. This type of mindset can be seen in the bureaucrat who functions within the realm of written procedures and regulations. Normally, one enters into a bureaucracy, carries out the necessary procedures, and then returns to normal life. With an informational economy, everything becomes a bureaucracy and there is no more normal life. This describes the third of the three days that were mentioned earlier. During the second day, Perceiver thought is being used to extend Teacher generality and it is still possible for some individuals to function in a human manner guided by normal human Mercy emotions. During the third day, Server thought is being used to fit behavior into a universal Teacher system and this is when one encounters ‘holy angels’. The ‘father’ describes the universal Teacher system that guides the thinking and behavior of the ‘holy angels’. Functioning as a human ‘holy angel’ within such a system will lead to the penalty of losing some humanity. Functioning as a drone within such a system will lead to the permanent loss of humanity.

I should add that an informational economy will always be inhuman but being inhuman is not inherently evil. Using the language of 26, it will be ‘of the father and of the holy angels’ which is inherently inhuman. However, suppose that one constructs a cognitive theory based upon the path of reaching mental wholeness. Presumably, a person will experience maximum well-being if all cognitive modules are functioning in a mutually beneficial manner. This summarizes the goal of mental symmetry as a cognitive model. Suppose further that one uses this cognitive model as a meta-theory to explain technical specializations, religion, and culture. Being driven by such a meta-theory in Teacher thought will lead to inhuman Teacher-driven behavior. But this Teacher emotion will drive a person to behave in a manner that is consistent with mental and social well-being regardless of the opinions of the ‘elders, chief priests or scribes’. However, such a mindset will only emerge if one is not ‘ashamed of me and my words’. Summarizing, ‘being inhuman’ could mean being driven by Teacher thought to function in a manner that ignores and/or suppresses Mercy feelings of humanity. This is not a good thing because it leads to an end state that is truly inhuman. But it could also mean being driven by Teacher thought to function in a manner that is consistent with mental wholeness regardless of Mercy feelings of culture and tradition. This will feel like a bad thing, but in the long term it is a very good thing. That is because it leads through a path that feels inhuman to an end state that is actually more compatible with humanity than current existence.

Finally, one could interpret this verse as referring to real ‘holy angels’. Mental symmetry interprets angels as intelligent beings with the same minds as humans who inhabit ‘physical bodies’ that allow them to use Perceiver power to manipulate Server sequences of Teacher words. This is the mirror image of humans who inhabit physical bodies that use Server strength to manipulate Perceiver objects composed of Mercy matter. For instance, real angels would use their ‘bodies’ to manipulate the sequences of human history to be consistent with the Server path described in the Gospel of Luke. Cognitively, this involves the symmetry between abstract and concrete thought. Physically, it would involve some sort of duality between wave and particle. What is certain is that humans are capable of functioning in an inhuman manner that is like the natural behavior of postulated actual angels. Thus, the presence of real ‘holy angels’ and a real ‘father’ would merely add intensity to existing cognitive mechanisms. Saying this in more detail, this analysis is consistent with the hearsay evidence presented of both angels and UFO aliens. When human society as a whole functions in an inhuman manner, then this will resonate with mirror-image beings who are naturally inhuman. An alien can be defined as a mirror-image being who functions in a manner that does not respect humanity. An angel can be defined as a mirror-image being who functions in a manner that respects humanity. Going further, hell can be defined as an environment that resonates with aliens and/or demons who follow messages that do not respect humanity. This is consistent with Matthew 25:41 which refers to humans being sent to an eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Devil means ‘slander’ which implies using Teacher words to attack human experience. Similarly, heaven can be defined as an environment that resonates with angels who follow messages that do respect humanity. This essay is interpreting the Gospel of Luke as a sequence that leads humanity to greater mental and societal wholeness. Verse 26 does not say that the ‘holy angels’ will physically appear. Instead it predicts that the glory of the holy angels will become apparent, which means that the mindset of angels will have an impact upon physical reality.

Verse 27 adds another dimension. “And I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who shall not taste of death until they shall have seen the kingdom of God.” Truthfully means ‘reflecting true reality’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Are is the verb ‘to be’, which indicates that one is functioning at the deeper level of ‘being’. Some is in the plural which indicates that this verse applies to a group but not to everyone. Standing is interpreted as some source of Perceiver stability. Taste means ‘to taste’ and is used twice in Luke. Taste is an emotional label that is applied to food or drink and would represent the emotions associated with either personal learning or personal experience. A cognitive distinction can be made between smell and taste, with smell involving mental networks that could become part of identity and taste involving mental networks that are in the process of becoming part of identity. Death refers to ‘physical or spiritual death’. Until means ‘as far as, up to, as much as, until’. See means ‘to see with the mind’. And ‘kingdom of God’ refers to a realm that is ruled by a universal theory in Teacher thought. Cognitively speaking, verse 27 says it is possible to get all the way through the process of replacing a Son of Man with the Christ of God without experiencing a personal dying of either theories or experiences. This describes the difference between a path of suffering and a path of patience. With suffering, existing mental networks fall apart and the learning comes from the struggle to get back to normal. With patience, the Platonic forms of how things could be are so attractive that one is willing to let go of existing mental networks. Verse 27 says that it is possible to follow a path of patience until the end. Would such a path include interaction with real angels and impact human mortality in some manner? I do not know, but it is theoretically possible. (Verse 24 also suggests that this process has to be completed within one human generation. That requirement will be examined further when discussing Luke 11:50.)

The Transfiguration 9:28-31

The next section contains the story of the Transfiguration. This story is also present in Matthew and Mark. In Matthew it was interpreted as the celebration of Victorian prosperity in the mid-19th century. I have not looked at the Gospel of Mark but I suspect that it is describing a future cycle. Verse 28 begins, “And it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, and having taken Peter and John and James, He went up on the mountain to pray.” Came to pass means ‘to come into being’. After means ‘after’ when followed by the accusative. Sayings is ‘logos’ and is in the plural. Eight was mentioned once previously in Luke in 2:21 where the phrase ‘eight days’ was used to indicate the age at which Jesus was circumcised. I am not sure what ‘after about eight days’ means. It cannot mean eight major cycles of society because that would put us well into the future. Take means to ‘take by showing strong personal initiative’. Peter means ‘stone’ and represents Perceiver thought. John means ‘The Lord has been gracious’. James means ‘heel’ and is interpreted as a transition into something else. These same persons in the same order were previously mentioned in 8:51 as the three that Jesus took with him into the house where the daughter had died. Went up means ‘to go up’ and is interpreted as heading in the direction of Teacher generality. On means ‘to or into’. And a mountain represents a pragmatic general theory. Prayer means ‘to exchange wishes’.

The previous section dealt with the Teacher-driven growth of a new global society. Therefore, ‘came to pass after these sayings’ would refer to the theoretical impact of a global society. Society experienced a kind of Transfiguration starting about the beginning of the 21st century. ‘Logos’ in the plural would refer to the various technical paradigms involved in constructing a global society. As these various paradigms come together, there was a Transfiguration as Teacher thought saw the mental brilliance of an interconnected world. It is interesting that the actual word transfiguration is used in Matthew 17 and in Mark 9 but it is not found in Luke. Saying this more clearly, the word ‘transfiguration’ does not appear in Luke’s story of the Transfiguration. Transfiguration is the source of the English word ‘metamorphosis’. It is found four times in the New Testament, twice in the story of the Transfiguration, in 2 Corinthians 3:18, and in Romans 12:2 to describe being ‘transformed by the renewing of the mind’. This final mention is significant because it introduces the list of seven spiritual gifts upon which mental symmetry is based. This suggests that the Transfiguration of Luke does not really lead to a metamorphosis of society. Instead, the real metamorphosis is happening to individuals who are following an internal path of mental metamorphosis in response to the changes of society.

Taking Peter, John, and James along indicates that this is a limited transformation that starts with facts, looks at the personal benefits of these facts, and then concludes that some major change will happen. Going to the mountain indicates that the focus is upon pragmatic Teacher generality, and praying indicates that this is an emotional interaction between personal identity and Teacher universality.

This combination can be seen in globalization, which can be subdivided into economic, political, and cultural globalization. One textbook describes the role that the Internet plays in cultural globalization. “It’s in the name: World Wide Web. The Internet has broken down communication barriers between cultures in a way that could only be dreamed of in earlier generations. Now, almost any news service across the globe can be accessed on the Internet and, with the various translation services available, be relatively understandable. In addition to the spread of American culture throughout the world, smaller countries are now able to cheaply export culture, news, entertainment, and even propaganda.” Wikipedia summarizes that “The idea of cultural globalization emerged in the late 1980s, but was diffused widely by Western academics throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.” A similar statement can be made about economic globalization. “While economic globalization has been expanding since the emergence of trans-national trade, it has grown at an increased rate due to improvements in the efficiency of long-distance transportation, advances in telecommunication, the importance of information rather than physical capital in the modern economy, and by developments in science and technology.” Notice how this globalization is happening primarily at the factual level of information, expressed through the rise of an information economy. Wikipedia adds that “Political globalization refers to the growing power of institutions of global governance such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).”

‘Peter’ can be seen in the Perceiver facts that enable globalization, such as the development of international trade agreements. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that regulates and facilitates international trade. With effective cooperation in the United Nations System, governments use the organization to establish, revise, and enforce the rules that govern international trade. It officially commenced operations on 1 January 1995, pursuant to the 1994 Marrakesh Agreement, thus replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that had been established in 1948. The WTO is the world’s largest international economic organization, with 164 member states representing over 98% of global trade and global GDP.” This globalization is happening at a general level on a pragmatic ‘mountain’ of international law.

The ‘John’ of ‘the Lord has been gracious’ can be seen in the general attitude of economists to globalization. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Few propositions command as much consensus among professional economists as that open world trade increases economic growth and raises living standards. In a survey of leading economists, none disagreed with the notion that ‘freer trade improves productive efficiency and offers consumers better choices, and in the long run these gains are much larger than any effects on employment.’” In other words, all economists agree that humanity receives ‘grace’ as it submits to the ‘lordship’ of the Teacher universality of globalism.

‘James’ can be seen in the transformation that occurs, which is described in verse 29. “And it came to pass in His praying, the appearance of His face was altered, and His clothing became dazzling white.” Came to pass means ‘to come into being’. In means ‘in the realm of’ and praying means ‘to exchange wishes’. Appearance means ‘visible appearance’ and occurs one other time in Luke in 3:22 to describe the Holy Spirit coming down in the form of a dove. Face means ‘the face’ and is interpreted as nonverbal communication. Altered means ‘another of a different kind’. Clothing is used twice in Luke and refers to clothing in general. White is used once in Luke and means ‘bright, white’, which would describe the light of Teacher generality in a form that combines all seven colors of the rainbow. Dazzling is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘from out of’ with ‘to lighten, flash forth’. This also describes Teacher generality. Summarizing, as Mercy and Teacher thought interact emotionally, nonverbal communication changes form and there is a flashing of brilliance in social interaction.

The description in Matthew 17:2 is far more vivid: “And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as the light.” Mark mentions transfiguration but only refers to the garments and not the face. Luke simply says that the face becomes ‘another of a different kind’. In other words, there is no transfiguration in Luke, but there is a change in nonverbal interaction. The clothing becomes bright in all three accounts, but the brightness in Luke is temporary because it comes ‘from out of a flashing forth’. Both Matthew and Luke describe a brightness that is more long-lasting. Looking at this cognitively, globalization leads to a change in nonverbal thinking, and this change happens as a result of the ‘clothing’ of social interaction being temporarily dazzled by the Teacher light of globalization. Looking at the descriptions of globalization given earlier, the World Wide Web is a form of social interaction, cultural globalization is a global social interaction of various social structures, and the WTO governs social interaction between countries and their economies. Thus, the whiteness of Teacher universality is coming primarily from the globalization of various forms of social interaction. There is no real transfiguration because the cultures, societies, and economies themselves are not being transformed. Instead, existing cultures, societies and economies are interacting in a new global manner.

The ‘change’ in ‘the face’ is explored in a 2013 academic paper on globalization. “Globalization involves both the objective spread and intensification of social relations across world space, and the subjective meanings, ideas, sensibilities, and understandings, associated with those material processes.” On the one hand, there is the white clothing of the ‘intensification of social relations across world space’, but on the other hand there is also the ‘face’ of ‘subjective meanings, ideas, sensibilities, and understandings’. More specifically, “Ideologies of globalization now pervade social life almost everywhere across the globe of extension.” And “Over the course of the twentieth century and into the present, these various -isms have become reinterpreted in terms of an emergent and changing global imaginary.” Looking at this cognitively, globalization has turned into an implicit universal theory that emotionally colors other theories. This has altered the ‘face’ of nonverbal interaction into something that is of a different kind, because we now think in terms of a Teacher mental network of globalization rather than Mercy mental networks of local culture. Quoting from the academic paper, “There is today paradoxically an almost pre-reflexive sense that at one level ‘we’ as individuals, peoples, and nations have a common global fate.”

Related to this is the Teacher-driven feelings of learned helplessness mentioned earlier. Quoting from the 2013 academic paper, “The dominant sense over the last decade seems to be that we are now simply globalized and the question is what we are going to do about it at home and abroad.” Notice how the Teacher theory of globalization has become regarded as something which the individual human is powerless to resist. The academic paper describes this feeling of powerlessness. “As Peter Raven put it in his 2002 Presidential Address to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, ‘Globalization appears to have become an irresistible force, but we must make it participatory and humane to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poorest people and the effective disenfranchisement of many of its nations.’” Looking at this cognitively, globalization may have become an irresistible universal theory in Teacher thought, but during the initial stages humans can still control how this universal theory will express itself in the specific experiences of humanity. Saying this another way, the Teacher emotions of globalization are inherently inhuman, but these inhuman emotions can either drive people and groups to behave in a heavenly manner that is compatible with humanity or in a hellish manner that is incompatible with humanity. As the previous section suggested, the default will be to extend globalization in an objective manner that is optimal in the short-term but ends up creating a system that is incompatible with humanity. Therefore, creating a system that is compatible with humanity will require functioning for an extended time in a manner that is non-optimal within current society and will lead to rejection by the elders, chief priests, and scribes.

Two people appear in verse 30. “And behold, two men began talking with Him, who were Moses and Elijah.” Behold indicates that something new appears. Men specifically refers to men, which represent male technical thought. Talking with combines ‘with’ and ‘talk’. Moses means ‘to draw’ and was given that name in Exodus 2:10 because he was drawn out of the water. Moses represents a system of law that is drawn from the ‘water’ of Mercy experiences. Elijah means ‘Yah is God’ and is interpreted as a concept of ideal perfection based in the words of some book. Elijah is mentioned 29 times in the New Testament but only occurs together with Moses in the story of the Transfiguration. Cognitively speaking, this is an unusual combination because the light of a Teacher understanding of Elijah will tend to erode the Mercy foundation of Moses. However, these two can coexist for a short while, as illustrated by Victorian society which combined the Teacher brilliance of the Industrial Revolution with Mercy-based traditional morality. Such a juxtaposition is brilliant while it lasts, but it is not stable. Globalization also involves an Elijah and a Moses. ‘Elijah’ comes from the global sharing of information together with the information of globalization that has just been discussed. ‘Moses’ is reflected in the traditional Mercy mental networks of national culture and identity. The technical infrastructure of a globally connected world makes it possible for these to have a conversation. The academic paper notes both the division and the conversation. “When most sociologists and political scientists analyzed ‘society,’ they tended to assume the boundaries of the nation... Now we find either that such concepts as ‘society’ have become terms of ambivalence because they have become stretched between two contesting yet interdependent imaginaries: the national and the global.”

Verse 31 describes the topic of conversation. “Those having appeared in glory were speaking of His going out, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.” Having appeared means ‘to see with the mind’. Glory refers to the external expression of internal character. In means ‘in the realm of’. ‘Having appeared in glory’ indicates that the nature of both globe and nation are becoming physically apparent. On the one hand, the World Wide Web and other forms of global communication provide a vivid portrayal of the nature of a global world. For instance, I taught at an international school in Korea during this time and would come home to Canada during the summer holidays. I remember being struck by the fact that I could get on an airplane, fly to a completely different culture and country, and access the same Internet. Going the other way, one becomes consciously aware of one’s own culture when one experiences other cultures. The World Wide Web makes it possible for people to experience strange cultures instantly at the click of a mouse. Notice that this glory is being ‘seen with the mind’, suggesting that people are becoming mentally aware of it in a new manner.

Going out is ‘exodus’ and means ‘a departure’. It is found three times in the New Testament and is used in Hebrews 11 to describe the Exodus of the Jews. The parallel passages in Matthew 17 and Mark 9 do not mention the topic of conversation. About to means ‘about to happen’. Thus, there is a recognition that a departure is about to happen. Accomplish means ‘to make full, to complete’. This suggests that this departure has already partially happened but is about to be made complete. Jerusalem represents the center of religious and social structure. Putting this together, technical thought is about to do a departure within the realm of the center of religion and society. This ‘going out’ is related to the feeling of learned helplessness mentioned earlier.

Looking at this cognitively, a Teacher mentor network of globalization has formed within the mind of the average person and people find themselves powerless to resist this mental network, leading to a feeling of learned helplessness. However, we saw when looking at verse 25 that bringing global infrastructure to the physical world tends to damage the soul of the professional who functions within this infrastructure, while destroying the soul of the cultural individual who is controlled by this infrastructure. The instinctive response will be for the technical thinking of ‘Jesus’ to ‘go out’ from the religious and cultural mental networks of Jerusalem. Professionals who work within the system will protect their subjective mental networks by focusing upon some professional specialization while ignoring the larger global implications of what they are doing. Cultural and religious mental networks of ‘Jerusalem’ will be preserved by treating them in a manner that ignores technical details. Thus, culture and religion will be viewed as a refuge from global technical infrastructure—while at the same time implicitly assuming and using global technical infrastructure. The end result of technical thought ‘going out within the realm of Jerusalem’ is that globalization will turn mentally into a Teacher overgeneralization implicitly reinforced by physical global infrastructure.

A similar separation was seen to a lesser extent in the feeding of the 5000 because the ‘five loaves’ of technical infrastructure became separated from the ‘two fishes’ of subjective content. That was because point-and-click web browsers and computer operating systems made it possible to access websites without requiring technical knowledge. However, these web browsers and operating systems only work because of extensive technical infrastructure that is functioning behind the scenes. Thus, the web browser and the graphical user interface become viewed as a refuge from technical infrastructure—while at the same time implicitly assuming and using this technical infrastructure. The separation in verse 31 is happening at the Teacher level of global theories, because the Teacher mental network of globalism is becoming mentally separated from the technical infrastructure that makes globalism possible. The academic paper refers to this ‘going out’ of technical thought, speaking of a “separating out of the economy as a distinct domain, treated as an objectified reality.” On the other side of the separation, “The concept of ‘the social whole’ points to the way in which certain apparently simple terms such as ‘our society,’ ‘we,’ and ‘the market’ carry taken-for-granted and interconnected meanings... Nor does it need to be named as such. It can encompass a time, for example, when there exists only an inchoate sense of global community.” Notice that this sense of global unity is a vague, implicit, universal Teacher overgeneralization that is extrapolating beyond the facts of reality.

The academic paper also describes a similar meeting of ‘Elijah’ and ‘Moses’ happening within the religious aspect of ‘Jerusalem’, mentioning “various religious globalisms—usually, but not always, associated with the political Right. Evident in some variants of all three monotheistic religions, its most spectacular strain today is jihadist Islamism... Jihadist Islamists bemoan the contemporary age of jahiliyya (ignorance and pagan idolatry) and call for a renewed universalism of a global umma (a reworked meaning of a global Islamic community). One of the defining features of religious globalisms is that they draw on the intersection of two ontological formations—the modern and the traditional.” Looking at this cognitively, a ‘monotheistic religion’ is officially based in the universal Teacher theory of a monotheistic concept of God. But the development of an implicit universal Teacher theory of globalization will emotionally challenge the concept of a monotheistic God. Two universal Teacher theories can coexist if one is a translation of the other. Mental symmetry makes it possible for globalism and monotheism to coexist by translating both into the common language of a cognitive meta-theory. Such translation cannot be done when both globalism and monotheism are vague Teacher overgeneralizations based in vague definitions. Therefore, a monotheistic religion will feel emotionally driven to preserve its concept of God by imposing its absolute truth upon global society, as described in the previous quote. When the academic paper was written in 2013, this drive was being expressed most strongly within Islam. That is because the universality of Islam is based in nations and cultures while the Muslim concept of monotheism is viewed as a pure Teacher overgeneralization that cannot be defined. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The Islamic concept of God emphasizes that he is absolutely pure and free from association with other beings, which means attributing the powers and qualities of God to his creation, and vice versa... God is absolutely transcendent, unique and utterly other than anything in or of the world as to be beyond all forms of human thought and expression.” Christianity is less vulnerable but the response of evangelical Christianity to the 2021 covid pandemic indicates that it is not immune to the theoretical impact of globalization.

Three Tabernacles 9:32-36

Peter gets sleepy in verse 32. “And Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and having awoken fully, they saw His glory, and the two men standing with Him.” Peter represents Perceiver thought. ‘Those with him’ would represent various forms of thinking that accompany Perceiver thought with its solid facts. Were means ‘to be’ which indicates a state of being. Heavy means ‘to weigh down’ and is used twice in Luke. Sleep means ‘sleep’ and is used once in Luke. Neither Matthew nor Mark mention the disciples getting sleepy or waking up. We just saw that the idea of globalization will turn into a Teacher overgeneralization. This Teacher overgeneralization will put emotional pressure upon Perceiver thought to ‘go to sleep’, which means making sweeping statements about globalization without really examining the facts. The verb ‘were’ is in the imperfect indicative active, which indicates an action going on in past time.

A previous state of heavy sleep can be seen economically in the dot-com bubble that just preceded the era we are discussing. Wikipedia explains that “The dot-com bubble was a stock market bubble in the late 1990s. The period coincided with massive growth in Internet adoption.” During this time, “Many investors were eager to invest, at any valuation, in any dot-com company, especially if it had one of the Internet-related prefixes or a ‘.com’ suffix in its name... At the height of the boom, it was possible for a promising dot-com company to become a public company via an IPO and raise a substantial amount of money even if it had never made a profit—or, in some cases, realized any material revenue.” Perceiver thought evaluates facts. When investors are willing to ‘invest at any valuation in any dot com company’ even if it has ‘never made a profit’ or ‘realized any material revenue’, then one concludes that Perceiver thought is asleep.

Continuing with verse 32, awoken fully is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘thoroughly’ with ‘awaken’. Saw means ‘to see with the mind’. Glory is the external representation of internal character. Standing with is used once in Luke and combines ‘together with’ and ‘to stand’. Applying this to the dot-com bubble, when this bubble started to burst in 2000, then everyone suddenly woke up. Quoting from Wikipedia, “After venture capital was no longer available, the operational mentality of executives and investors completely changed. A dot-com company’s lifespan was measured by its burn rate, the rate at which it spent its existing capital. Many dot-com companies ran out of capital and went through liquidation. Supporting industries, such as advertising and shipping, scaled back their operations as demand for services fell.” This was not the end of the Internet but rather the start of a more accurate understanding of the potential of the World Wide Web. Wikipedia quotes an investor who lost 90% of his net worth when the bubble burst. “Much of the capital invested was lost, but also much of it was invested in a very high throughput backbone for the Internet, and lots of software that works, and databases and server structure. All that stuff has allowed what we have today, which has changed all our lives... that’s what all this speculative mania built.” More generally, “As growth in the technology sector stabilized, companies consolidated; some, such as, eBay, and Google gained market share and came to dominate their respective fields. The most valuable public companies are now generally in the technology sector.”

One can also interpret the falling asleep and waking up of Perceiver thought from a social perspective. The falling asleep represents globalization being viewed as a Teacher overgeneralization apart from the facts. The waking up happens when one ‘sees his glory’ and comes face-to-face with the physical realities of globalization. A 2005 paper describes this waking up. “In the mid 1990s, economists and politicians everywhere were proclaiming the dawn of a new age for humanity... Yet the accelerated pace of globalization has also proven to be a destructive force to millions, perhaps billions, of people the world over... Between 1960 and 1980, average per capita growth in all countries of the world grew 83 percent, while in the globalization era (1980-2000), it fell to 33 percent .... In sub-Saharan Africa, per capita growth was 36 percent between 1960 to 1980, and then it collapsed completely under globalization, actually falling 15 percent between 1980 and 1998.”

Peter speaks in verse 33. “And it came to pass in their departing from Him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make also three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah,’ not knowing what he is saying.” Came to pass means ‘to come into being’. Departing is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to separate entirely’. ‘From him’ means that Perceiver thought is separating completely from technical thought. In other words, Perceiver ‘truth’ loses any relationship to technical plans, precise meanings, or measurable steps. To means ‘motion towards’. Thus, the solid facts of Peter are being verbally directed at the concrete salvation of Jesus. Master is only used in Luke and combines ‘fitting’ with ‘standing’. Good means ‘attractively good’. ‘Is’ and ‘to be’ are both explicitly mentioned, indicating a focus upon identity. Peter does not say that Jesus, Elijah, or Moses are attractively good, or say anything about the identity of these individuals. Instead, Peter focuses upon the attractive identity of himself and his partners. The same phrase is used in both Matthew 17 and Mark 9.

‘Their departing from him’ indicates that technical thought has become separated from the mental networks of society and religion. This separation will be made attractive to people by placing it within three distinct structures. These structures are not formulations of globalization but rather temporary frameworks that make globalization palatable to people by dividing it into three separate entities that make it possible for people to avoid directly facing the implications of globalization.

Make means ‘to make, do’. A tabernacle is ‘a tent’, which indicates a temporary habitation. One means ‘one’ and is mentioned three times. The idea is that Perceiver thought will construct three distinct, temporary homes, rather than one integrated home. There is the technical thinking of Jesus, the Platonic forms of the ideal society of Elijah, and the culturally-based laws of Moses. ‘Tabernacle’ suggests that the location of these homes will be moved to suit the situation. Knowing refers to empirical evidence. Wikipedia explains that “Academic literature commonly divides globalization into three major areas: economic globalization, cultural globalization, and political globalization.” The Wikipedia article on dimensions of globalization mentions three similar ideologies of globalism, referring to Manfred Steger, the author of the 2013 academic paper that we have been quoting. “According to Steger, there are three main types of globalisms (ideologies that endow the concept of globalization with particular values and meanings): market globalism, justice globalism, and religious globalisms.” An ideology is a Teacher theory that extrapolates from an inadequate foundation of Mercy mental networks. These three ideologies are related to the three divisions of economic, political, and cultural globalization mentioned earlier, because market globalism is an ideology of economic globalism, justice globalism is an ideology of political globalism, and religious globalism is an ideology of cultural globalism. Looking at this more carefully, Steger defines these three ideologies as follows: “Market globalism seeks to endow ‘globalization’ with free-market norms and neoliberal meanings. Justice globalism constructs an alternative vision of globalization based on egalitarian ideals of global solidarity and distributive justice. Religious globalisms struggle against both market globalism and justice globalism as they seek to mobilize religious values and beliefs that are thought to be under severe attack by the forces of secularism and consumerism.” Market globalism focuses upon the technical infrastructure that holds everything together; it is the tabernacle for Jesus. It feels that the technical and commercial infrastructure of globalization should be free to expand without limits. Justice globalism describes a mindset that flows from the Teacher overgeneralization of equality for all—a tabernacle to Elijah. It deals with the political side of globalization in an overgeneralized manner. Religious globalism describes the emotional response of the ‘Moses’ of traditional monotheistic religions to the new competing forms of Teacher universality introduced by globalization. This feels that the traditional religious sources, beliefs, and culture of ‘my religion’ should be honored globally. These three ideological globalisms that have emerged from the three aspects of globalization are examples of ‘Jesus going out in the realm of Jerusalem’ because they all involve some form of Teacher overgeneralization that glosses over the technical details. ‘Not knowing what he is saying’ indicates that this division into three ‘tabernacles’ contradicts the empirical evidence of reality. Looking at this further, the technical infrastructure of market globalism has social and religious implications. Justice globalism depends heavily upon social media, which requires global technical infrastructure. And religious globalism uses global technical infrastructure to spread its message. Matthew does not mention this, consistent with the fact that the Victorian Transfiguration did consider the empirical facts of reality.

Religious globalism is cognitively different than the marginalization of Christianity that happened in the 1980s which focused upon the content of Christianity. In contrast, this is an emotional response to globalism as an ideology, because globalism provides an ideological alternative to the Teacher overgeneralization of a monotheistic God. Looking at this in more detail, we saw earlier that Islam defines God as pure Teacher overgeneralization. Judaism also defines God as pure Teacher overgeneralization. Quoting from Wikipedia, God “is considered to be the absolute one without a second, indivisible, and incomparable being, who is similar to nothing and nothing is comparable to him. Thus, God is unlike anything in or of the world as to be beyond all forms of human thought and expression.” Christianity, in contrast, teaches that the infinite God expressed himself adequately in human form through the incarnation of Jesus Christ, which implies that it is possible for a finite human mind to grasp the essentials of God’s fundamental character qualities. Looking briefly at the doctrine of incarnation, I have yet to meet a Christian theologian who truly believes in the Christian doctrine of incarnation. Instead, this doctrine is ultimately stated as religious dogma that is incomprehensible to human rational thought. But if the doctrine of incarnation is incomprehensible to human rational thought, then God did not really become incarnate in a human form that is comprehensible to human rational thought—which contradicts the doctrine of incarnation. In contrast, mental symmetry uses Teacher generalization to construct the concept of a monotheistic God and this essay is exploring what it means for Jesus to be the incarnation of such a God—a rational approach that is consistent with the doctrine of incarnation. Returning now to religious globalism, an ideology can be viewed as an incomplete concept of incarnation that goes the wrong direction and uses the wrong kind of thought. Incarnation starts from a universal theory in Teacher thought and then uses analogical thinking to descend from universality to human specifics. Stated simply, Jesus provides an example of what God is like. Ideology, in contrast, starts from some specific set of Mercy mental networks and then jumps intuitively to an overgeneralized theory in Teacher thought. The typical Christian views incarnation as an ideology, starting from the Mercy mental networks of Christian religion and culture, internalizing this as a mental concept of Jesus, and then extrapolating from there to an overgeneralized concept of God. Judaism and Islam do something similar. Even though God is defined in a mystical manner as transcending all human comprehension, the typical Jewish or Muslim worshipper implicitly adds content to this mystical concept of God by starting with the Mercy mental networks of local religion and culture and then jumping intuitively to an overgeneralized theory in Teacher thought. In other words, when God is viewed as transcending human content, then this gives the priests of God freedom to put words in God’s mouth. We are looking here at the additional factor that my priests are supposed to put words into God’s mouth and not someone else’s priests. Thus, Jewish and Muslim doctrine may officially state that God transcends all rational content, but the typical Jew is emotionally convinced that one will only add the correct content to the contentless God by starting with Jewish Mercy mental networks of religion and culture, while the typical Muslim is emotionally convinced that one must start with Muslim Mercy mental networks of religion and culture. Thus, one can regard religious globalism as a Teacher overgeneralization of cultural globalization, because both are ultimately based in specific Mercy mental networks of religion and culture. Using symbolic language, even though Moses is the source of religious law and ritual, Moses was drawn from the water of Mercy experiences.

Verse 34 describes the impact of Peter’s words. “And as he is saying these things, a cloud came and was overshadowing them; and they feared in their entering into the cloud.” Came means ‘to come into being’. Cloud is used twice in this verse and once in the next verse. This word ‘nephele’ is translated as ‘cloud’ but is actually the name of a Greek cloud goddess. Wikipedia explains that “Greek myth has it that Nephele is the cloud whom Zeus created in the image of Hera to trick Ixion to test his integrity after he displayed his lust for Hera during a feast as a guest of Zeus.” Consistent with this, Nephele is used in the New Testament in the context of supernatural visitations, such as the story of the Transfiguration. Cognitively speaking, a cloud represents a Platonic form as a goal, a vague shape within the ‘air’ of Teacher thought that lacks substance but is distinct enough to be treated as a goal within concrete thought. Overshadowing means ‘to cast a shadow on’ and was used in 1:35 to describe the virgin birth. Thus, the vague cloud is imposing its form upon concrete thought and giving birth to behavior. Matthew describes the cloud as ‘bright’ but this is not mentioned in Luke. Fear means ‘to put to flight’. Enter means ‘to go in, enter’. ‘Entering into the cloud’ would mean that personal identity starts living within this vague goal. Matthew and Mark do not talk about entering into the cloud.

Looking at this cognitively, being overshadowed by a cloud means that one becomes shielded from ‘sun’ of a general Teacher understanding by the ‘cloud’ of some Mercy goal. Instead of building globalization, one is extending physical infrastructure, instead of understanding globalization, one is pursuing justice, and instead of applying globalization, one is preserving religion and culture. But one will still be driven by the implicit Teacher mental network of globalism to enter into the cloud. This will be scary, but it will not feel inhuman, because the inhuman ‘sun’ has been overshadowed by a human ‘cloud’. Notice that this deals with the symptom but does not address the problem. The problem is that globalization that is limited to the physical ‘cosmos’ leads to a society that is inherently damaging or destructive to humanity. Verse 34 makes technical globalization feel human but does not deal with its essential inhumanity. Mental symmetry, in contrast, constructs a cognitive meta-theory that is inherently compatible with mental and spiritual well-being and then submits fully to this meta-theory even though it feels inhuman. Globalization of the ‘cosmos’ then becomes an external expression of cognitive ‘globalization’.

Verse 35 describes the result of following a path of technological globalization. “And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him!’” Voice means ‘voice, sound’ which does not necessarily mean intelligent communication. In Matthew, there is a ‘behold’, suggesting a distinct proclamation from Teacher thought. In Luke, the voice ‘comes into being’, suggesting a vague sense that gradually emerges. Listen means to ‘comprehend by hearing’, and the phrase ‘this is my son, listen to him’ is found in all three versions. Thus, in each case technical thought is being motivated by some general feeling coming from Teacher thought. However, each version describes the son differently. Luke uses the word chosen, which means ‘to select or choose out of’. Thus, a choice is being made between various alternatives. Matthew uses the term beloved and well pleased, and ‘beloved’ comes from the word ‘agape’ which indicates Teacher love. Mark also mentions the word ‘beloved’. Luke does not mention either ‘beloved’ or well-pleased’.

We saw in verse 25 that the choice in Luke is between being damaged or destroyed by globalization. If one listens to the son of technical thought, then one can move from being destroyed to being only damaged. Saying this another way, if one wants to become successful in the global economy, then one must become a professional with specialized expertise. But there is no sense of technical thought being beloved by God in Teacher thought. One is not building a better society, but rather making career choices that make it possible to avoid being destroyed by the inhuman global economy. Again, I need to point out that there is nothing inherently wrong with either a global economy or with inhuman Teacher emotions. Globalization is very useful when accompanied by cognitive wholeness. And submitting to inhuman Teacher thought is personally beneficial when one submits to a universal theory of personal well-being.

The story finishes in verse 36. “And as the voice occurred, Jesus was found alone. And they were silent, and they told to no one in those days anything of what they had seen.” The first phrase is more literally, ‘and in the realm of the coming into being of the voice’. Found means ‘to find’. In other words, the end result is to isolate the incarnational thinking of Jesus. In Matthew, Jesus comes to the disciples, touches them, and tells them to rise up. In Mark, they look around and see no one except Jesus. In Luke, Jesus simply becomes isolated. The suggestion is that culture, religion, and idealism all become separated from technical specialization.

Silent means ‘to keep silent, to keep secret’. In both Matthew and Mark, Jesus tells the disciples to be quiet and they respond by asking him about the nature of Elijah. In Luke there is nothing except silence. No one and ‘anything’ are both the same word, which means ‘no one, nothing at all’. Told means ‘to report, announce’. ‘In those days’ would refer to that era. See means ‘to see with the mind’. Thus, there may be announcements, but the mindset behind these announcements is not being discussed. Luke has provided three reasons for this. First, the idea of globalization has turned into a Teacher overgeneralization, and an overgeneralization cannot be discussed in a factual manner. This happened as a result of the ‘going out in the realm of Jerusalem’ of technical thought. Second, globalization became separated into the three ‘tabernacles’ of market globalism, justice globalism, and religious globalism. Discussing globalization in a rational manner will reveal the inadequacies of these three ideologies. Third, the ‘cloud’ of pursuing some technical career overshadows the Teacher ‘sun’ of understanding globalization.

Consistent with this silence, the 2013 paper on globalization states that “Objective phenomena of globalization, their patterns and processes, have been studied in extraordinary detail. Scholarly publications abound describing the flows and nature of global financial interchange, the movement of goods and people, and even the spread of global culture. By comparison, the subjective dimensions of globalization have not received even close to the level of attention that has been paid to these objective dimensions of global interchange and extension.” This describes a mindset of instinctive silence. Similarly, a 2014 paper on globalization and tolerance observed that “Knowledge is very limited on if and how globalization affects social attitudes. We believe we are the first to study whether globalization is related to an important social attitude.” More generally, I have repeatedly found that individuals with technical training are not interested in learning outside of their technical specialization. They may express an initial interest in mental symmetry but will lose curiosity when they realize that it has universal implications. I have also found repeatedly that those who speak about universal tolerance, universal love, and universal justice are not interested in adding substance to their vague platitudes. And I have also found repeatedly that those who claim to believe in the Bible and claim to believe in a monotheistic God are not interested in understanding theology. Everywhere I go, I find an oppressive and insistent silence about the Teacher brilliance of globalization and its theological and social implications. Pursuing mental symmetry used to feel like being a painter in a land of the blind. It now feels like being a painter in a land of brilliant colors populated by people who are trying to blind themselves and attempting to pretend that color does not exist.

The Son with Convulsions 9:37-42

This story follows the account of the Transfiguration in all three Gospels, but in Matthew and Mark, there is an intervening discussion about the nature of Elijah. Luke jumps directly from the Transfiguration to the story of the boy. Elijah represents Platonic forms of perfection that come from the Teacher words of some holy book. Discussing Elijah is only possible if Teacher universality is associated with words that have meanings. But verse 36 says that there was silence, implying the presence of Teacher overgeneralization. When a concept of Elijah comes from Teacher overgeneralization, then it is cognitively impossible to discuss the nature of Elijah.

Verse 37 describes the transition. “And it came to pass the next day, on their having come down from the mountain, a great crowd met Him.” Next means ‘next’ and ‘the next day’ would refer to the next era of society. Come down means ‘to come down’ and is interpreted as heading away from Teacher generality. ‘Coming down from the mountain’ would mean moving away from dealing with globalization in general terms to working with specific situations. This coming down is described as in the past tense, which indicates that the division of globalization into three tabernacles has happened. Met means ‘to meet with’ and is used twice in Luke. Crowd means ‘crowd’ and great means ‘much in number’. In other words, the crowds are responding to the impact of globalization as theory descends into practice.

A man responds in verse 38. “And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, saying, ‘Teacher, I implore You to look upon my son, for he is an only child to me.’” Behold indicates the appearance of something. Man represents male technical thought. From means ‘from, away from’. ‘A man from the crowd’ indicates that some specific form of technical thought is differentiating itself from the crowd. Cry out means ‘shouting with intense feeling’. This is cognitively interesting because intense feelings are normally associated with the mental networks of female thought, especially in a society where the ‘Jesus’ of technical thought has ‘gone out of Jerusalem’. Teacher means that Jesus is being regarded as a source of learning. Implore means ‘to feel pressing need because of lack’. Look is used three times in the New Testament and combines ‘fitting’ with ‘to be observant’. Thus, a deep feeling of lack is leading to a call to observe the situation.

Only child means ‘only begotten’ and is used three times in Luke: here, with the only son in 7:12 and with the only daughter in 8:42. And son means ‘a son’. The term ‘only child to me’ is unusual. ‘Only child’ occurs nine times in the New Testament, but in all the other occurrences the child is described by someone else as being an only child. Verse 38 is the only time where the parent himself refers to an only child. Thus, the emphasis is not upon being an only child but rather upon the perception of having only one son. Applying this to globalization, the person who is affected the most is the one who has one technical skill. Theoretically speaking, such an individual could change specializations and get a new job. But as far as that person is concerned, male technical thought has only one child of technical skill, and if globalization renders that skill obsolete, then that person will feel a pressing need because of lack. One primary example of this is the third world farmer. This is described in a 2003 article on the WTO and agriculture. “The new market access to developing country markets gained under WTO agreements for multinational agribusiness corporations has resulted in dumped imports of commodities sold below the cost of production driving poor, subsistence farmers off their lands in record numbers... This result conflicts with economic theory which states that displaced farmers will be ‘liberated’ from lives of grinding rural poverty and employed more efficiently in other economic sectors. In country after country, displaced farmers have had little choice but to join swelling urban workforces where the oversupply of labor suppresses wages and exacerbates the existing crisis of chronic under- and unemployment.” We saw earlier that economists universally believe that globalism will improve life for everyone. But when one descends from the mountain of theory to the crowds of reality, one encounters the individual who is incapable of learning a new skill who has been reduced to a state of desperation and not ‘liberated’ from ‘grinding rural poverty’.

Verse 39 describes the reaction that this causes. “And behold, a spirit takes him, and suddenly he cries out, and it throws him into convulsions with foaming.” Spirit is interpreted as some Mercy mental network. Even though this spirit motivates violent behavior, it is not referred to as an evil or impure spirit. (The parallel passage in Matthew 17 describes an epileptic, while Mark 9 refers to a mute spirit.) Take means to ‘actively lay hold of’. Suddenly means ‘suddenly’ and is used twice in Luke. Cry out means ‘to cry out loudly with an urgent scream’. Throw into convulsions is also used in Mark 9 and means to ‘convulse, throw into spasms’. Foam means ‘foam’ and is used once in the New Testament. Foam is a liquid that comes from the mouth. Applying this to the traditional worker or farmer, continuing to apply some skill in a village setting will lead to strong Mercy mental networks. A mental network will generate potent negative emotions when it is triggered but not allowed to express itself. That will happen when changing economic situations make traditional skills redundant or unprofitable. When a fundamental Mercy mental network is threatened, then this emotional crisis will ‘take hold’ of the mind, leading to ‘crying out loudly’, convulsive spasms, and ‘foaming at the mouth’. When a group of people respond in such a manner, it is referred to as a mass protest. Another article from 2003 describes the protests by Indian farmers against the WTO. “Thousands of farmers staged a protest in India demanding rich nations slash their trade-distorting farm subsidies as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) conference got under way in Cancun... At least 90 farmers reeling under heavy debt have committed suicide so far this year in India’s southern state of Karnataka... This has pushed the third world into all sort of miseries. There is a direct link between the suicides by farmers and the imbalances in the WTO agreement.”

These articles were written in 2003, but the agricultural problems started in 1995 with the founding of the WTO. Quoting from a WTO publication, “The WTO Agreement on Agriculture entered into force when the World Trade Organization (WTO) came into being on 1 January 1995... Developed countries phased in their reform over six years from 1995 to 2000, developing countries did so over 10 years, from 1995 to 2004. The new lower limits on tariffs, domestic support and export subsidies are now locked into place.”

Verse 39 finishes, “and with difficulty it departs from him, crushing him.” With difficulty is used once in the New Testament and comes from a word that means ‘laborious toil’. Depart combines ‘away from’ with ‘to make room’ and is used once in Luke. Crush means ‘to break in pieces, crush’. ‘Departing with difficulty’ could be interpreted as struggles by the police to end these protests. For instance, Wikipedia relates that the “The 1999 Seattle WTO protests... were a series of protests surrounding the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999... The negotiations were quickly overshadowed by massive street protests outside the hotels and the Washington State Convention and Trade Center... The large scale of the demonstrations, estimated at no fewer than 40,000 protesters, dwarfed any previous demonstration in the United States against a world meeting of any of the organizations generally associated with economic globalization.” ‘Departing with difficulty’ could also be interpreted as struggles by displaced traditional workers to find new employment. Repeating part of an earlier quote from a 2003 article, “In country after country, displaced farmers have had little choice but to join swelling urban workforces where the oversupply of labor suppresses wages and exacerbates the existing crisis of chronic under- and unemployment in the cities of the developing world.” A displaced traditional worker will suffer internally from screaming mental networks. Escaping this involves laborious toil in a city that has little room for new migrant workers but rather crushes them into pieces.

Verse 40 continues, “And I begged Your disciples that they might cast it out, and they were not able.” Begged is the word that was translated as ‘implored’ in verse 38 which means ‘to feel pressing need because of lack’. Cast out means ‘to eject’ and combines ‘from out of’ with ‘throw’. Throwing is interpreted as moving through the air of Teacher thought. Thus, ‘casting out’ would mean using Teacher thought to get rid of some item. Able means ‘to have power’ and is interpreted as the application of Perceiver thought. This can be interpreted as governments being unable to stop protests from happening. It can also be interpreted as being unable to solve the problem of the displaced, traditional worker.

Jesus responds in verse 41, “And Jesus answering said, ‘O unbelieving and perverted generation, until when will I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.’” Generation means ‘race, family, generation’ and would refer to the people of some era. Unbelieving is used twice in Luke and adds the prefix ‘not’ to ‘be persuaded’. Thus, this generation is unwilling to use rational thought. Perverted combines ‘thoroughly’ with ‘turn’. Matthew 17 also uses the terms unbelieving, perverted, and generation. Until means ‘till, until’ and when means ‘when’. With means ‘motion toward’. Matthew 17 uses almost the same phrase except with in Matthew means ‘in company with’. Putting this together, technical thought is having to work with a generation that is irrational and has thoroughly twisted motives, and technical thought is wondering how long it will have to head in this direction. Bear means ‘to hold up, bear with’ and is only found in the Gospels in this story. The idea is that technical thought is doing the heavy lifting for other forms of thought.

This frustration of technical thought was apparent in the negotiations of the WTO. Wikipedia summarizes, “The inaugural ministerial conference (1996) was held in Singapore. Disagreements between largely developed and developing economies emerged during this conference over four issues initiated by this conference, which led to them being collectively referred to as the ‘Singapore issues’... The third conference (1999) in Seattle, Washington ended in failure, with massive demonstrations and police and National Guard crowd-control efforts drawing worldwide attention.” The fundamental problem was an unwillingness to be persuaded. For instance, developed countries were unwilling to be persuaded to stop farm subsidies. In response, “Foreign ministers from Brazil, India and South Africa signed a declaration known as the Brasilia Declaration, on June 6, 2003, in which they stated that ‘major trading partners are still moved by protectionist concerns in their countries’ less competitive sectors... and emphasized how important it is that the results of the current round of trade negotiations provide especially for the reversal of protectionist policies and trade-distorting practices.” Being ‘moved by protectionist concerns’ describes an unwillingness to be persuaded, while ‘trade distorting practices’ describe ‘perversion’. Looking further at the 2003 WTO meeting, the developing countries also showed an unwillingness to be persuaded. “One pressing issue that angered the larger Developed Nations was the unwillingness of many developing countries to completely open their markets for free trade. Without this compromise, the United States and the European Nations felt no inclination to cut down subsidies and help these developing countries economically without a fair agreement on trade.” There was also pervasive perversion, because “No one had the intentions to try and strike deals with each other as a whole, rather there were many back door deals throughout the conference as countries tried to swindle around everyone.” Notice that the unbelief and perversion is being described as an ongoing problem that makes it more difficult to deal with the convulsions of the boy. Similarly, the unbelieving and perverted behavior of various countries and global regions made it more difficult to deal effectively with the convulsions of the massive protests.

Bring means ‘to bear, carry’. To is the same word that was translated as ‘with’ earlier in verse. Thus, the direction is changing from technical thought heading towards irrational mental networks to heading towards technical thought. A 2002 IMF article describes such a shift in focus as a result of protests against globalization. “Activists highlight the costs of rapid economic change, the loss of local control over economic policies and developments, the disappearance of old industries, and the related erosion of communities... The year 2001, however, saw the debate undergo a subtle but perhaps profound shift, with both sides seeming to step back from approaching it in terms of whether globalization was ‘good’ or ‘bad’—an approach that seemed overly simplistic. This recognition gained momentum in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States... Both sides increasingly realized that the debate should center on how best to manage the process of globalization—at the national and international levels—so that the benefits are widely shared and the costs kept to a minimum.” Notice the shift away from viewing globalization in simplistic terms to focusing upon the technical details. As we saw earlier, this shift towards technical thought did not eliminate the underlying problem of unbelief and perversion, but it did turn a corner on the convulsions of the boy.

Verse 42 continues, “And while he was coming near, the demon threw him down, and threw him into convulsions. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.” Coming near means ‘to approach, to draw near’. Convulsions adds the prefix ‘with’ to the word ‘convulse’ used in verse 39. Throw down means ‘to break apart’ and is used one other time in Luke. A demon represents an undesired habit based in some Teacher mental network. Spirit is then mentioned and the word unclean is used, which means ‘not pure because mixed’. Rebuke means to ‘assign value as is fitting the situation’. Heal refers to supernatural healing. And boy means ‘child under training’. Give back means to ‘give back, return’ and is usually translated as ‘reward’.

Wikipedia relates that on the one hand, “The 27th G8 summit was held in Genoa, Italy, on 20–22 July 2001 and is remembered as a highpoint of the worldwide anti-globalization movement as well as for human rights crimes against demonstrators.” This describes a massive ‘convulsing together’. But on the other hand, Wikipedia also relates that “The overall theme of the summit was ways to reduce poverty. Topics discussed at the meeting included an evaluation of the Enhanced HIPC Initiative which involved debt forgiveness to Heavily Indebted Poor Countries, the Global Health Fund, the global digital divide, the environment and food security.” Thus, the aims of the global conference and the goals of the protesters were coming closer together.

Wikipedia describes the ‘breaking apart’ that happened during these ‘convulsions’. “Despite, or perhaps because of, the lack of formal coordinating bodies, the movement manages to successfully organize large protests on a global basis, using information technology to spread information and organize. Protesters organize themselves into ‘affinity groups,’ typically non-hierarchical groups of people who live close together and share a common political goal. Affinity groups will then send representatives to planning meetings. However, because these groups can be infiltrated by law enforcement intelligence, important plans of the protests are often not made until the last minute. One common tactic of the protests is to split up based on willingness to break the law.”

Looking at the stages of verse 42, the original protests in verse 39 were motivated by traditional workers unable to learn new skills. But what became prominent during later protests was the ‘demons’ of bad habits. Wikipedia describes the ‘bad habits’ of the police. “The Genoa Group of Eight Summit protest, from July 18 to July 22, 2001, was a dramatic protest, drawing an estimated 200,000 demonstrators. Dozens were hospitalized following clashes with police and night raids by security forces on two schools housing activists and independent journalists. People taken into custody after the raids have alleged severe abuse at the hands of police.” The protesters also exhibited ‘demons’ of bad habits. “At corporate summits, the stated goal of most demonstrations is to stop the proceedings. Although the demonstrations rarely succeed in more than delaying or inconveniencing the actual summits, this motivates the mobilizations and gives them a visible, short-term purpose. This form of publicity is expensive in police time and the public purse. Rioting has occurred at some protests, for instance in Genoa, Seattle and London – and extensive damage was done to the area, especially targeting corporations.” The key characteristic of a ‘demon’ is that a Teacher mental network will drive a person to behave in a certain manner, independent of any goals in Mercy thought. Notice how the behavior of the police in Italy gained a life of its own, independent of the underlying situation. Similarly, the behavior of protesters became motivated by a ‘demon’ of creating chaos and destruction, independent of any goals in Mercy thought.

Cognitively speaking, an unclean spirit is a collection of inconsistent Mercy mental networks. This describes the anti-globalization movement. In the words of Wikipedia, “Participants base their criticisms on a number of related ideas. What is shared is that participants oppose large, multinational corporations having unregulated political power, exercised through trade agreements and deregulated financial markets. Specifically, corporations are accused of seeking to maximize profit at the expense of work safety conditions and standards, labour hiring and compensation standards, environmental conservation principles, and the integrity of national legislative authority, independence and sovereignty.” Notice that there is no ‘purity’ of a common positive goal in Mercy thought. Instead, what brings these disparate groups together is a common opposition to economic and political globalism. The protests also became characterized by ‘rebuking in an appropriate manner’. Extending an earlier quote from Wikipedia, “One common tactic of the protests is to split up based on willingness to break the law. This is designed, with varying success, to protect the risk-averse from the physical and legal dangers posed by confrontations with law enforcement. For example, in Prague during the anti-IMF and World Bank protests in September 2000 demonstrators split into three distinct groups, approaching the conference center from three directions: one engaging in various forms of civil disobedience, one advancing through ‘tactical frivolity’ (costume, dance, theatre, music, and artwork), and one engaging in violent conflicts with the baton-armed police, with the protesters throwing cobblestones lifted from the street.” Notice the dividing of protesters into groups that want to protest legally and those that want to confront the police, making it easier for police to rebuke protesters in an appropriate manner.

Anti-globalization protests tapered off after 9/11, but they did not stop. Consistent with this, verse 42 does not say anything about the demon being cast out. Instead it says that the spirit was rebuked, the boy was healed, and given back to his father. Neither Matthew nor Mark mention giving the boy back to the father. Matthew 17 and Mark 9 both mention being ‘rebuked’ using the same word as Luke, but Matthew adds that ‘the demon went out’ and the boy ‘was healed from that hour’, while in Mark Jesus commands the spirit to ‘come out of him’ and ‘enter into him no more’.

The Son of Man will be Betrayed 9:43-45

Jesus then predicts that he will be betrayed. Verse 43 makes the transition. “And all were astonished at the majesty of God. But of all wondering at all that He did, He said to His disciples...” Astonished means to ‘strike out of one’s senses’. It was previously used in 4:32 which was interpreted as the response to new consumer technology after World War I. Majesty is used once in Luke and means ‘splendor, magnificence’. This majesty is ‘of God’ which means that it is an expression of universal Teacher understanding. Wonder means ‘to regard with amazement, and with a suggestion of beginning to speculate on the matter’. Did refers to Server actions. This public amazement leads in verse 43 to private conversation.

Such an ‘astonishment at the Majesty of God’ happened in 2003 with the American-led invasion of Iraq. Quoting from a 2003 military article, “‘Shock and awe,’ Peter Arnett intoned over and over. ‘This is shock and awe.’ Arnett was reporting for NBC from Baghdad as the aerial bombardment lit up the night sky on March 21... As the live television cameras watched, coalition airpower was obliterating Saddam Hussein’s Presidential compound on the other side of the Tigris River and other government and military sites in and around Baghdad. Arnett was not alone in calling it ‘shock and awe.’ That term, which had burst suddenly into public awareness in January, was by then in near-universal usage to describe the US strategy for Operation Iraqi Freedom. ‘Shock and awe’ was repeated endlessly. In the week the war began, more than 600 news reports around the world referred to ‘shock and awe,’ according to a count by the Washington Post... Shock and Awe meant an attack so massive and sudden that the enemy would be stunned, confused, overwhelmed, and paralyzed.” ‘Shock and awe’ was meant to ‘strike’ the enemy ‘out of their senses’ and it succeeded in striking the entire world out of their senses. As far as the world was concerned, this was the ‘Majesty of God’ because United States was the only remaining world superpower and the invasion of Iraq was a full display of American majesty.

But this amazement was accompanied by significant speculation. Anti-globalization protests turned into antiwar protests. Quoting from Wikipedia, “By 2002, many parts of the movement showed wide opposition to the impending invasion of Iraq. Many participants were among those 11 million or more protesters that on the weekend of February 15, 2003, participated in global protests against the imminent Iraq war.” And the war was based upon flimsy political and factual grounds. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The United States based most of its rationale for the invasion on claims that Iraq had a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program and posed a threat to the United States and its allies... No stockpiles of WMDs or active WMD program were ever found in Iraq... The rationale for war faced heavy criticism both domestically and internationally. Kofi Annan, then the Secretary-General of the United Nations, called the invasion illegal under international law, as it violated the UN Charter.” Notice finally that this this amazement and speculation involves the doing of technical thought—the actions of a high-tech military invasion.

Jesus speaks to his disciples in verse 44. “You let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.” Sink means ‘to place, lay, set’ which is interpreted as something solid in Perceiver thought. Ear means ‘ear’ and would refer to the realm of words and verbal communication. Word is ‘logos’ which is interpreted as Teacher paradigms. ‘Son of Man’ refers to a concept of incarnation based upon an understanding of human cause-and-effect. About to be was previously used in verse 31 to describe the ‘going out of Jerusalem’ that was about to happen. Betray means ‘to hand over’ and was previously used in 4:6 where the devil said that all the kingdoms had been delivered into his hands. Looking at this cognitively, a major transition within society requires the participation of one or some human individuals. A human can participate in a positive way by breaking through to something new, in which case the betrayal becomes a positive handing over. Or a human can participate in a negative way by destroying the existing alternative, in which case the betrayal becomes a negative betrayal. Hands represent the application of technical thought. And men refers to humanity.

The invasion of Iraq itself can be viewed as a betrayal of the Son of Man. This is described in a 2004 paper written in a South African Journal of international law. “In its avowed war on terror, the Bush administration has fashioned a one-dimensional view of the world... It is argued that the self-proclaimed right to strike pre-emptively at any danger violates the most basic rules of international law and inter-state relations with respect to the sovereignty equality of nations, political independence and territorial integrity of weaker states. It also severely compromises the system of collective security so carefully crafted after World War II.” A ‘carefully crafted system of collective security’ qualifies as an aspect of the Son of Man. When the most powerful nation on earth takes matters into its own hands, then the Son of Man is being betrayed.

However, there was also a ‘betrayal of the Son of Man’ by the social justice movement. The problem was that the American misuse of public trust set people against organized globalization. Wikipedia summarizes, “Beginning in late 2002, and continuing after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, large-scale protests against the Iraq War were held in many cities worldwide... After the biggest series of demonstrations, on February 15, 2003, New York Times writer Patrick Tyler claimed that they showed that there were two superpowers on the planet: the United States and worldwide public opinion.” Notice how a new form of globalism has emerged which views itself as distinct from economic and political globalization. Wikipedia describes the new attitude of the global justice movement, which it refers to as a ‘movement of movements’. “The movement is often labeled the anti-globalization movement by the mainstream media. Those involved, however, frequently deny that they are anti-globalization, insisting that they support the globalization of communication and people and oppose only the global expansion of corporate power... distinguishing the movement from those opponents of globalization whose politics are based on a conservative defence of national sovereignty. It is, however, argued by some scholars of social movements, that a new concept of justice, alongside some old notions, underlies many critical ideas and practices developed in this movement... The global justice movement claims to place a significant emphasis on transnational solidarity uniting activists in the global South and global North.” Looking at this cognitively, the global justice movement is an ideology of globalism that is driven emotionally by Teacher feelings of human universality. It builds its Teacher unity upon mental networks of ‘the globalization of communication and people’ and it views itself as distinct from the technically-driven globalization of corporations and governments. This is a natural outcome of responding to the ‘transfiguration’ of globalization by building three separate ‘tabernacles’. Going further, an approach that embraces mental networks while rejecting technical thought will naturally turn into a form of Teacher overgeneralization that proclaims universal slogans that lack substance. This is also a betrayal of the Son of Man, because a concept of incarnation combines technical thought with mental networks of universal understanding and personal identity.

Both of these betrayals are a betrayal into the ‘hands of humanity’ because the underlying assumption is that globalization must be pursued in a manner that preserves existing mental networks of human existence. This is related to the earlier discussion about ideology. Ideology overgeneralizes in Teacher thought from some limited foundation of Mercy mental networks. Similarly, globalization is now being viewed as an ideology that is supposed to extrapolate from the foundation of existing human Mercy mental networks. This is different than mental symmetry, which constructs a universal Teacher theory of human well-being and then submits to this universal theory even when this violates existing mental networks of human society.

Verse 45 describes the response. “But they did not understand this saying, and it was veiled from them, that they should not understand it.” Not understand is used once in Luke and adds a negative prefix to ‘experientially know’. Saying refers to ‘a spoken word’. Veiled is used once in the New Testament and adds the prefix ‘from close beside’ to ‘covered over’. From means ‘away from’. In other words, some wall is preventing them from gaining experiential knowledge. The second understand is used once in the New Testament and means to ‘perceive by using the senses’. (The NASB translates the second word as ‘perceive’ and the Berean Study Bible uses the word ‘comprehend’.) Thus, this wall also has the result of preventing the acquisition of sensory knowledge.

Applying this to globalization, the average person experiences globalization as a betrayal of existing human Mercy mental networks, similar to the way that the 19th-century craftsman experienced industrialization as a betrayal of existing home industry. In simple terms, ‘Globalization is threatening our nation and our traditional way of life’. That is because globalization is being pursued in an objective manner that avoids dealing with cultural and religious mental networks. However, suppose that one starts with a general theory of cognitive wholeness, such as mental symmetry. A basic concept of mental symmetry is that childish Mercy mental networks can be transformed through a Teacher mental network of a general understanding. The goal of this transformation is not to destroy Mercy thought but rather to save it by thinking and behaving in a manner that brings long-term, meaningful happiness to Mercy thought. Globalization then becomes viewed as an external expression of the cognitive path of personal transformation, in which one extends the personal goal of mental well-being to include the social and physical realms. The path of modern globalization then becomes viewed as a betrayal of the Son of Man, because one knows from personal experience that the economy, politics, religion, citizens, and protesters are all approaching globalization in a shortsighted manner that leads to limited personal rewards at the cost of long-term enduring pain, an approach which Kant would refer to as radical evil. The Wikipedia article adds that “By many authors, Kant’s concept of radical evil is seen as a paradox and inconsistent through his development of moral theories.” Mental symmetry, in contrast, can provide a simple explanation for radical evil. The human mind develops in childhood around Mercy mental networks acquired from physical pain and pleasure, as described by the cognitive stages of Piaget. A person who reaches Piaget’s formal operational stage is capable of forming Teacher mental networks of abstract understanding. Radical evil happens when a person follows Mercy mental networks in an environment that is guided by Teacher mental networks, such as pursuing short-term, selfish goals in an environment of globalization, or sending spam in an email system designed to function efficiently, or posting lies on a social media that is designed to transmit information accurately. These are all examples of radical evil.

Returning now to verse 45, the person who pursues globalization without first experiencing personal transformation will follow a perverted form of globalization that is close to genuine globalization while being mentally blinded to the nature of true globalization. When most people follow such a perverted path, then this will create a perverted world. People will observe this world and incorrectly conclude that globalization is perverted. And anyone who attempts to point out the problem will be ignored, because childish Mercy mental networks have turned into an ideology by becoming amplified and reinforced by Teacher mental networks of universality. The end result is not just to betray a few aspects of technical thought but to betray the entire structure of a Son of Man at a global level. Verse 45 is warning that this will happen.

Verse 45 finishes, “And they were afraid to ask Him concerning this saying.” Afraid means ‘to fear, withdraw’. Ask means ‘to ask, question’. And saying refers again to ‘a spoken word’. Looking at this cognitively, the path of personal transformation uses the positive emotions of Teacher understanding to balance the pain of reassembling childish Mercy mental networks. This same cognitive mechanism can be used in a perverted manner by using Teacher theory to make a person feel better about their childish Mercy mental networks. For instance, the theory of Social Darwinism makes people feel better about childish Mercy mental networks of domination and aggression. Social Darwinism allowed World War I military officers to feel that acting like an animal was somehow noble. This too was a form of betraying the Son of Man, because the Teacher order-within-complexity of the Industrial Revolution became twisted by childish Mercy mental networks of warfare and ethnic domination. Quoting from the World War I encyclopedia, “It is clear that Social Darwinism proliferated in German social and scientific circles, helping to prepare an intellectual justification for Germany’s entry into World War I.” Applying this to verse 45, when inadequate Mercy mental networks become reinforced by Teacher theories, then questioning these theories will lead to the dual emotional pain of attacking a Teacher theory and uncovering a Mercy inadequacy, resulting in a fear of questioning.

Greatest in the Kingdom 9:46-50

The next section describes what does attract the interest of the disciples. Verse 46 begins, “And an argument came up among them, which of them might be greatest.” Came up means ‘to go in, enter’. Argument means ‘back-and-forth reasoning’ and is the source of the English word ‘dialogue’. Among means ‘in the realm’. Thus, different viewpoints are struggling for dominance within the realm of the disciples. Greatest is interpreted as Teacher generality. Looking at this cognitively, instead of regarding various theories as aspects of some meta-theory, the various theories are comparing themselves to see which one is more general in Teacher thought. This type of competition will naturally happen when the attention shifts from the Teacher emotion of globalization to various ideologies of globalism.

The previous section discussed the founding of the WTO. Wikipedia explains that “After its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, China began pursuing export-led growth and became a key link in global supply chains. Its industrious and cheap labor also proved attractive to foreign investments. China accumulated large trade surpluses and foreign currency reserves, which greatly increased government resources.” More generally, “The most significant evolution of the 2000s in the economic landscape was the long-time predicted breakthrough of economic giant China, whose GDP grew from 1.21 trillion to 5.1 trillion (in 2022 USD). To a lesser extent, India also benefited from an economic boom (growing from 438.39 billion to 1.34 trillion) which saw the two most populous countries becoming an increasingly dominant economic force. The rapid catching-up of emerging economies with developed countries sparked some protectionist tensions during the period and was partly responsible for an increase in energy and food prices at the end of the decade.” Using the language of verse 46, an argument arose between America, China, and India over who was the greatest. Europe also entered this competition with the expanding of the European Community. In the words of Wikipedia, “In 2002, euro banknotes and coins replaced national currencies in 12 of the member states. Since then, the eurozone has increased to encompass 19 countries. The euro currency became the second-largest reserve currency in the world. In 2004, the EU saw its biggest enlargement to date when Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined the union.” This competition went beyond a normal competition in Mercy thought to a struggle in Teacher thought for universality. That is because each of these entities emphasized a different facet of globalization. America emphasized economic globalization. For Europe, the focus was more upon political globalization. China brought unity through the ideology of communism applied through the Communist Party. And Indian unity focused more upon traditional culture.

Jesus responds in verse 47. “But Jesus, having known the reasoning of their heart, having taken hold of a child, set it by Him.” Known refers to empirical knowledge. Reasoning is the same word that was translated as ‘argument’ in the previous verse which means ‘back-and-forth reasoning’. (The NASB also translates the same Greek word as a different English word.) Heart represents personal identity in Mercy thought. Putting this together, empirical evidence makes it clear that the back-and-forth reasoning is being driven by a split in personal identity. Take hold of adds the prefix ‘fitting’ to ‘aggressively take’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Child means ‘a little child in training’ and was previously used in 7:32 to describe children sitting in the marketplace. Set means ‘to make to stand’ and is interpreted as Perceiver stability.

In other words, the real struggle is actually happening between different versions of Mercy identity, and this becomes apparent just by visiting these different regions and looking at the empirical evidence. America focuses upon the freedom of the individual to make choices. Thus, American globalism expresses itself in a way that preserves the illusion of free will. For instance, a 2017 article points out that “A small number of companies control almost everything Americans buy... From food to fashion to beer, choice is more often than not simply an illusion.” China views universal Teacher order as a mandate of heaven imposed upon people from the top. This leads to a different concept of how rules interact with personal identity. “Chinese rule of law—officially called ‘socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics’—differs fundamentally from rule of law as internationally understood. To begin with, all aspiring Chinese lawyers—at least according to the study material for one bar exam preparation course—must commit to the belief that law is subject to the ‘leadership of the Party.’ The same bar review material further states that the fundamental principle of Chinese rule of law is to ‘maintain the rule of the Party.’” For Europe, the emphasis is more upon consensus. That is because Europe is composed of many nations with distinct cultures and languages, which is obvious to anyone visiting Europe.

Jesus speaks in verse 48. “And He said to them, ‘Whoever shall receive this child in My name, receives Me.’ And whoever shall receive Me, receives the One having sent Me.” Receive means ‘to receive in a welcoming way’ and is used four times in this verse. Child means ‘a little child in training’. In means ‘upon the ground of’ when followed by the dative. Thus, the name of incarnation in Teacher thought forms the basis for welcoming the child in training. Sent means ‘sent on a defined mission by a superior’. Thus, there is a chain of thought stretching back from the child to incarnation to the plan guiding incarnation.

Verse 48 describes a principle known as disruptive innovation. Wikipedia explains that “Disruptive innovation is innovation that creates a new market and value network or enters at the bottom of an existing market and eventually displaces established market-leading firms, products, and alliances. The concept was developed by the American academic Clayton Christensen and his collaborators beginning in 1995, and has been called the most influential business idea of the early 21st century.” Notice that this concept was developed during the period of history that we are examining. Entering at ‘the bottom of an existing market’ describes ‘a little child in training’. Looking at this further, “In low-end disruption, the disruptor is focused initially on serving the least profitable customer, who is happy with a good enough product. This type of customer is not willing to pay premium for enhancements in product functionality. Once the disruptor has gained a foothold in this customer segment... the disruptor needs to enter the segment where the customer is willing to pay a little more for higher quality. To ensure this quality in its product, the disruptor needs to innovate.” In other words, a disruptive technology will initially tend to lack quality and will appear to the competition to be merely a ‘little child’ who ‘requires training’. However, if this ‘child’ is received in a welcoming way, then this will lead to the development of a new technology support net. Wikipedia provides the example of “automobile technology, its TSN consists of an infrastructure of roads, bridges, facilities and traffic signals, but also of maintenance and emergency services, rules and laws of conduct, institutions of their enforcement, style and culture of driving behavior, etc. A large number of people have to be organized in a specific and requisite pattern in order to enable cars to function as technology.” In other words, a technology support net (TSN) is the technical infrastructure required to support some innovation, such as the automobile. A disruptive innovation will result in a new technology support net. For instance, “Introducing electric cars disrupts the support network for gasoline cars (network of gas and service stations). Such disruption is fully expected and therefore effectively resisted by support net owners... A new high-technology core emerges and challenges existing technology support nets (TSNs), which are thus forced to coevolve with it.” Notice how welcoming the ‘young child’ of a disruptive technology in the name of incarnation ends up welcoming the associated technology support net for that technology. Looking further at the third stage of ‘receiving the one having sent me’, a disruptive innovation eventually becomes the new universal standard in Teacher thought. “It initially caters to a niche market and proceeds on defining the industry over time once it is able to penetrate the market or induce consumers to defect from the existing market into the new market it created.” Notice that there is no direct reference to a concept of God in Teacher thought. Instead, an implicit concept of God is emerging as disruptive innovations develop technology support nets that become ubiquitous. However, disruptive innovations are the starting point for a more legitimate concept of God than the betrayal of verse 44. That is because disruptive innovation is an example of existing Mercy mental networks being transformed by the Teacher mental network of a general understanding. In contrast, the betrayal of verse 44 was preventing universal Teacher understanding from disrupting existing Mercy mental networks of culture and religion.

Verse 48 finishes, “For the one being least among you all, he shall be great.” Least means ‘small, little’. Among means ‘in the realm of’. Thus, ‘least’ means the smallest within some context. Being means ‘to be in possession of’, which refers to the realm of having rather than being. Be, in contrast, means ‘to be’. And great refers to Teacher generality. Thus, adopting an approach of smallness will lead to a character of Teacher generality. Similarly, a disruptive innovation starts with smallness. “Disruptive innovations tend to be produced by outsiders and entrepreneurs in startups, rather than existing market-leading companies... Small teams are more likely to create disruptive innovations than large teams.” A disruptive innovation often starts small by satisfying some niche. Wikipedia describes the transition from least to great. A disruptive technology “initially caters to a niche market and proceeds on defining the industry over time once it is able to penetrate the market or induce consumers to defect from the existing market into the new market it created.”

Relating this to the ideological competition mentioned in verse 46, disruptive innovation is a way of achieving Teacher generality that can be applied in many different ideologies. For instance, starting by embracing smallness is a typical characteristic of Chinese success. Wikipedia summarizes, “Wherever the Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia have settled down, they have exhibited a strong sense of entrepreneurship and hard work starting with small businesses such as laundries, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, teahouses, and gradually built themselves into full-fledged entrepreneurs, financiers, and brokers... Overseas Chinese businessmen that have shaped Southeast Asian business sphere in the twentieth century have spawned famous rags to riches success stories.”

One of the disciples responds in verse 49. “And John answering said, ‘Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we were forbidding him, because he does not follow with us.’” John means ‘the Lord has been gracious’. Master means ‘one fully authorized’. Saw means ‘to see with the mind’. Casting out means ‘to throw, cast, put out’ and was previously used in 9:40 to describe what the disciples could not do. A demon is interpreted as an undesired Teacher mental network. Forbid means ‘to hinder’. Follow means ‘to follow’ and is related to the word for ‘road, way’. With means ‘in company with’ when followed by the genitive.

A 2010 magazine article describes this shift away from globalism to hindering those who follow a different path. “All through the booming 1990s the conventional wisdom declared the triumph of the American model. As trade barriers crumbled, global capital markets spread and investments instantly moved around the world, investors sought business-friendly climates... By 2001 the zeitgeist, or spirit of the age, was changing... Russia’s pro-American leader Boris Yeltsin was replaced by an authoritarian nationalist, Vladimir Putin. George W. Bush and his neoconservative advisers affiliated with the Project for an American Century showed no remorse in scuttling international agreements and waging preemptive war in the name of protecting America from weapons of mass destruction that were never found.”

Jesus answers in verse 50. “And Jesus said to him, ‘Do not forbid it; for whoever is not against us is for us.’” Forbid is the same word used in verse 49. In other words, one should not think in terms of competing ideologies. Against means ‘against’ when followed by the genitive. And for means ‘in behalf of’ when followed by the genitive. Thus, any ideology that does not openly fight globalism is functioning on the behalf of universal Teacher order. One 2021 article summarizes, “In the 1980s and 1990s... major parts of the world (China, Eastern Europe, etc.) were re-connected to the global economy. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, this reconnection resulted in a tremendous surge in economic growth in emerging markets, with an increasing share of trade and investment flowing in and out of many of these emerging markets.” In other words, globalization provided an opportunity for ‘major parts of the world’ to come into contact with a universal Teacher understanding that transcended national and ideological boundaries, and the result was extensive economic growth. The article observes that this was a temporary opportunity. “We have indeed reached what could be described as ‘peak globalization’ [because] international trade and foreign investment last achieved consistent double-digit rates of growth in the late 2000s, or just before the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and 2009.” Going further, both Putin in Russia and Xi in China have recently chosen to follow paths that emphasize national ideology over globalism.

Samaritans reject Jesus 9:51-56

Jesus encounters the Samaritans in this section. Verse 51 begins, “And it came to pass in the completing of the days of His ascension, that He steadfastly set the face to go to Jerusalem.” Came to pass means to ‘come into being’. In means ‘in the realm of’. Completing is used three times in the New Testament and adds the prefix ‘together’ to ‘complete’. The ascension means ‘a taking up’ and is used once in the New Testament. The verb form occurs 13 times and is used to describe the Ascension of Jesus in Acts 1. The Ascension is interpreted cognitively as moving from a concrete concept of Jesus to an abstract concept of Christ because Jesus is moving from the physical earth of concrete reality to the air of Teacher generality. We have seen such a shift happening with globalization as different aspects of integrated technical thought are being viewed from a global perspective of Teacher universality. As these different aspects become viewed from a Teacher perspective, it will be natural for Teacher thought to put them together to come up with a more complete concept of globalization in Teacher thought. ‘The days’ suggest that this movement to Teacher universality has been happening over several eras and is finally coming to completion.

The 2010 article quoted earlier describes the push for American style globalization. “In 1999 Thomas Friedman published The Lexus and the Olive Tree, in which he warned that nations resisted the US model at their own risk. The golden straitjacket of a global electronic marketplace would encourage low wages, low taxes, unregulated business, little job security, short-term shareholder thinking, in short a red-state American model. Nations that clung to European or Japanese-style models of welfare capitalism would drive investment away.” (‘Red-state’ is American shorthand for conservative, which is opposite the global convention of associating blue with conservative.) Notice the emphasis upon eliminating any Mercy mental networks of culture, identity, or job security that might stand in the way of spreading globalism, as opposed to the European or Japanese method that attempts to preserve traditional Mercy mental networks.

Looking at this in more detail, we saw earlier that biblical Christianity became partially equated with American conservatism in the 1970s. There is some merit to this, because a Christianity that is based in absolute truth is capable of starting a person on the path of personal transformation. This partial equivalence is summarized by the term Protestant work ethic. Thus, a ‘red-state America’ is to some extent championing principles that are fundamental for economic prosperity. Going further, the American version of globalization emphasizes market globalism, which removes any restrictions to the technical thinking that lies at the core of a concept of incarnation. But incarnation goes beyond technical thought to save people and not just improve things. One major result is that following the American version of economic globalization leads eventually to a sameness that has lost any ‘heart’ of cultural uniqueness or diversity. Thus, every place in modern America tends to look the same. One article suggests four reasons for this: 1) Building codes are copied from one location to another rather than developed locally. 2) Most land is protected from development by being zoned for ‘detached single-family homes’, the ideal unit for the ‘red-state American’ emphasis upon family and individuality. 3) Development requires the resources of large, wealthy firms. 4) Economies of scale favor large developers. These four points demonstrate how American style economic globalization leads to a universal sameness that naturally squeezes out individuality in Mercy thought. Using the language of verse 51, this can be described as a ‘completing of the days of His ascension’ in the sense of attempting to spread the Teacher universality of economic globalization through the ideology of market globalism. (Notice that the focus of this section is upon economic globalization rather than market globalism. That is because American style economic globalization emphasizes technical thought while using the ideology of market globalism to address the cultural and religious implications of economic globalization.)

Going further, face means ‘the face’ and is interpreted as nonverbal communication. Steadfastly set means ‘a support that fixes, plants down’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. This appears to go beyond a fixed fact in Perceiver thought to a fundamental principle. Go means ‘to transport’ and indicates movement that is accompanied by change. Jerusalem represents the center of society and religion. Similarly, American-style economic globalization will naturally head toward the centers of culture and religion in order to optimize economic globalization. Looking at this cognitively, technical thought performs optimization. Examining the details of optimization goes beyond this essay. However, it is possible to mention some basic principles. First, optimization, by its very nature, gives up what is deemed to be less valuable in order to gain what is regarded to be more valuable. In other words, optimization is always a trade-off. Second, there are different levels of optimization. For instance, the computer was originally viewed as a replacement for specific gadgets, such as a better word processor. That is an example of limited optimization. However, it soon became apparent that the personal computer could be used to achieve far deeper levels of optimization. Going further, the previous section described the disruptive innovation, which is an extensive form of optimization that comes up with a better way that impacts some entire industry. Going still further, economic globalization will eventually realize that the most radical forms of optimization can be achieved by overturning existing cultural and religious inhibitions. The end result is that economic globalization will ‘steadfastly set the face to go to Jerusalem’. This will happen as a result of ‘completing the days of ascension’, because this ‘ascension’ to Teacher generality will cause economic optimization to consider the most fundamental forms of optimization.

Such an approach will be very effective in the short term, as long as the ‘almighty bulldozer’ of economic globalization is moving to Jerusalem and has not yet entered Jerusalem. However, eventually it will become apparent that economic globalization may have won the battle but it has lost the war, because it replaced individual culture with a bland sameness in which everyone has freedom to buy a never-ending stream of worthless trinkets at bargain-basement prices. As this becomes apparent, economic globalization will then attempt to continue its path by maintaining an illusion of choice and variety.

Verse 52 looks at the journey in more detail. “And He sent messengers before His face. And having gone, they entered into a village of the Samaritans, so as to make ready for Him.” Sent means ‘sent on a defined mission by a superior’. Messenger means ‘angel, messenger’ and is normally translated as ‘angel’. Cognitively speaking, it describes living within the messages of abstract thought. ‘Before his face’ would mean that these messengers precede the nonverbal interaction. Having gone means ‘to transport’ and is in the past tense. Enter means ‘to go in, enter’. Village means ‘village’ and represents a society driven by Mercy mental networks of culture and tradition. This is the first mention of Samaritan in Luke. The word Samaria means ‘to keep, watch, preserve’. Historically speaking, the Samaritans were despised by the Jews for practicing an incomplete, syncretistic form of Judaism. Samaria is interpreted in other essays as holding onto some core of ancient religious traditions. Ready means ‘to prepare’. Putting this all together, technical thought is using abstract technical messages to prepare traditional society and religion for interacting with technical thought.

A 2018 IMF article on globalization describes this need to ‘send messengers ahead’. “The assimilation of foreign knowledge and the capacity to build on it most often requires scientific and engineering know-how. Investments in education, human capital, and domestic research and development are thus essential to build the capacity to absorb and efficiently use foreign knowledge.” Notice that this goes beyond building factories within foreign countries to transforming foreign societies into little versions of America. ‘Building the capacity to use foreign knowledge’ describes sending ‘messengers’ first. This is then followed by the nonverbal ‘face’ of American-style shopping malls and suburbia, populated by a new middle class that is capable a performing ‘domestic research and development’ that can challenge the existing social and religious conventions of ‘Jerusalem’. This description may sound rather sarcastic, and it is. But it should also be observed that such optimization is capable, in the short-term, of creating a new middle class of economic prosperity—as long as economic globalization is stopped before it succeeds in ‘bulldozing all of the holy sites’ of society. While America is known for metaphorically ‘bulldozing holy sites’ to make room for crass modern technology, Saudi Arabia takes the grand prize for physically bulldozing its historical holy sites. Quoting from Time magazine, “Over 98% of the Kingdom’s historical and religious sites have been destroyed since 1985, estimates the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation in London... The house of the Prophet’s first wife, Khadijah has made way for public toilets. A Hilton hotel stands on the site of the house of Islam’s first caliph, Abu Bakr. Famously, the Kaaba now stands in the shade of one of the world’s tallest buildings, the Mecca Royal Clock Tower, part of a complex built by the Bin Laden Group, boasting a 5-story shopping mall, luxury hotels and a parking garage.”

The response in verse 53 is negative. “And they did not receive Him, because His face was going toward Jerusalem. Receive means ‘to receive in a welcoming way’. Face represents nonverbal communication. And going means ‘to transport’. Thus, the overtures of technical thought are being rejected because technical thought is being transformed as it heads towards the center of religion and society, and this transformation is questioning ancient tradition and religion.

One can see why a ‘Samaritan village’ would oppose such optimization. Notice that Jesus himself is not being opposed. In other words, the problem is not modern science and technology or global infrastructure. Instead, the problem is that ‘his face was going toward Jerusalem’. Nonverbally, American style economic globalization has the implicit goal of challenging existing cultural and religious institutions. A 2007 New York Times article describes this opposition to American culture. “Local culture commands loyalty when people are involved in networks of status and caste, and they pursue religious and communal markers of identity. Those individuals use local cultural products to signal their place in hierarchies... Today, economic growth is booming in countries where American popular culture does not dominate, namely India and China.” When ‘people are involved in networks of status and caste’ and ‘pursue religious and communal markers of identity’, then this corresponds to a ‘Samaritan village’. Such a society may adopt economic globalization while rejecting the ‘face going toward Jerusalem’ of American cultural exports.

The disciples react in verse 54. “And the disciples James and John having seen it, said, “Lord, will You that we should call fire to come down from heaven and to consume them?” James is the same as ‘Jacob’ and indicates some sort of transition. John means ‘the Lord has been gracious’. Will means ‘to desire’. Call means ‘to command’. Fire means ‘fire’ and represents a form of motivation that consumes. Come down means ‘to go down’ and means heading from Teacher generality down to Mercy specifics. Heaven represents the realm of Teacher thought. Consume is used twice in the New Testament and combines ‘upward’ with ‘to conquer’. Notice all the references to functioning within Teacher thought. In verse 51, Jesus was completing an ascension to Teacher generality. In verse 52 angels were being sent ahead, while in verse 54 the disciples want to respond by sending fire down from the heavenly realm of angels. Such fire conquers by applying Teacher generality and is being imposed upon those who are attempting to preserve traditional Mercy mental networks.

The cognitive principle is that once a general Teacher theory becomes applied sufficiently universally, then any exceptions to the general rule will make Teacher thought feel bad. Economic globalization has now reached this stage of being applied to all major regions of the world. A ‘Samaritan village’ that attempts to resist the pressure of economic globalization will be viewed as an exception to a general rule that deserves a response of ‘fire’ from the heaven of Teacher universality. The purpose of this fire is to ‘conquer’ the local Mercy mental networks of culture and religion through the ‘upward’ force of globalization. The rationale for this fire will be ‘James and John’. In other words, change is coming, embrace this change so that the ‘lord’ of globalization can be gracious to your poverty-stricken benighted ‘Samaritan village’. This is a logical conclusion—if economic globalization is the sum total of globalization. But economic globalization ignores the realm of mental networks. This inadequacy was pointed out back in verse 25, which pointed out the flaw of gaining the whole physical cosmos at the cost of either destroying or impairing personal identity. However, economic globalization can generate beneficial results if it is prevented from going all the way.

Jesus rebukes the disciples in verse 55. “And having turned, He rebuked them.” Turn means ‘to turn’ and indicates a change in direction. Rebuke means to ‘assign value as is fitting the situation’. ‘Turning’ implies that economic globalization does change direction when encountering the mental networks of ‘Samaritan villages’. And ‘rebuke’ suggests a more appropriate response that befits the situation.

Verse 56 concludes, “And they went to another village.” Went means ‘to transport’. Another means ‘another of a different kind’. And village means ‘village’. Presumably, the second village is not a Samaritan village. ‘Transport’ suggests a more culturally sensitive approach, while ‘another of a different kind’ implies finding a different region that is more open to globalization.

For instance, a 2005 report summarizes changes in the ease of doing business. “The past year has been good for doing business in 58 of the 145 Doing Business sample countries. They simplified some aspect of business regulations, strengthened property rights or made it easier for businesses to raise financing. Slovakia was the leading reformer... Colombia was the runner-up. Among the top 10 reformers, 2 other European Union entrants—Lithuania and Poland—significantly lightened the burden on businesses. India made progress in improving credit markets... Among developing countries, Botswana and Thailand scored best. Latvia, Chile, Malaysia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, South Africa, Tunisia and Jamaica follow. At the other end of the spectrum, 20 poor countries—four-fifths of them in sub-Saharan Africa—make up the list of economies with the most difficult business conditions.” It is interesting that there are not many Asian countries on this list. Instead, one finds eastern European countries that are culturally ‘of a different kind’. One also notices that the countries on the bottom of the list tend to be the ‘Samaritan villages’ of sub-Saharan Africa with their strong emphasis upon traditional culture and religion.

The Cost of Transformation 9:57-62

Chapter 9 concludes by describing some obstacles on the way to reaching Jerusalem with an attitude of Teacher universality.

Verse 57 begins, “And as they were going along the road, someone said to Him, ‘I will follow You wherever You may go.’” Going means ‘to transport’. Along means ‘in the realm of’. And road means ‘way, road’. A road represents a Server sequence. ‘Transporting in the realm of a road’ would mean developing new Server sequences that have a transformative impact. The only other passage where ‘transporting’ is related to ‘road’ is in Acts 8 in the story of Philip and the eunuch. That story is interpreted as a breakthrough happening within the Server realm of actual angelic sequences. Thus, verse 57 is describing an unusual transformation in which the roads themselves are transformed. Follow is related to the word ‘road, way’. Wherever means ‘where, in what place’. Go means ‘to go away, and go after’. And the word if is inserted in Greek: ‘Wherever if you may go’. We looked earlier at different levels of optimization. Verse 57 describes a fundamental level of optimization that goes beyond finding replacement objects that perform the same Server functions to altering the fundamental Server paths of society.

Explaining this in terms of the diagram of mental symmetry, the gray line that runs from Teacher through Exhorter to Mercy represents an intuitive connection between Teacher and Mercy thought that functions quickly but not necessarily accurately. This intuitive connection is used naturally by female thought. Optimization uses the black lines that indicate more precise thought, which go from Teacher – Server – Contributor – Perceiver – Mercy. Surface optimization uses concrete Contributor thought to make substitutions at the Perceiver – Mercy level. Thus, a replacement Perceiver object is found that performs the same Server function. Deep optimization uses abstract Contributor thought to make substitutions at the more fundamental level of abstract Server sequences. Making a change at this level will alter everything downstream: Server – Contributor – Perceiver – Mercy. The end result is a total change in Perceiver objects combined with a rethinking of a substantial portion of Contributor-controlled technical thought. Deep optimization will be discussed in the coming verses.

A 2018 article summarizes some of the key technical innovations of the 2000s and how they transformed how things were done. 2001: “The iPod was introduced with, for then, was such shocking capacity that, for the first time, music lovers could carry their entire music collection with them wherever they went.” 2003: “Android was founded as a company, initially intended to build an operating system for digital cameras... Today, Android is the most successful (in terms of the number of users) operating system in history.” 2004: “Not only has Facebook transformed how people connect and communicate, it’s also created its own vast walled garden, filled with details about nearly every human on the planet.” 2005: “In 2005, it was very difficult and expensive to distribute video... All that changed when YouTube made internet video free for everyone.” 2006: “Although Twitter upped its character count to 280 last year, the micro-blogging service created a new way to reach a tremendous number of people, instantly.” 2007: “It wasn’t just the iPhone that blew the PC, music, landline, and cell phone markets apart. It was the apps... Once Apple introduced the App Store... the world was forever changed.” Notice how each of these innovations goes beyond a new gadget to an entirely new way of doing things.

Jesus replies in verse 58. “And Jesus said to him, ‘The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere He might lay the head.’” Verses 58-60 are almost identical to Matthew 8:20-22, which was interpreted as the Carolingian Empire faltering after the death of Charlemagne. The implication is that something new is emerging that is in a vulnerable state. Fox is used three times in the New Testament and means ‘a fox; a fox-like, crafty person’. Thus, a fox will be interpreted as a crafty or cunning person. A hole means ‘a hole, den’ and is only used in this verse and in the parallel passage in Matthew 8. This suggests that crafty people are attempting to manipulate these new methods from their dens. The general principle is that a manipulator always does his manipulation from some ‘safe zone’ that is free from the effects of this manipulation. Bird means ‘winged’. Air is the same word that was translated as ‘heaven’ in verse 54 where James and John wanted to call fire down from heaven. Thus, a bird of the air would represent some academic or researcher who lives within the realm of theory. Nest actually means ‘to pitch one’s tent’ and is only used in this verse and in the parallel passage in Matthew 8. On the one hand, a tent is a temporary location for personal identity, which implies that the academic who is doing objective research only lives partially within this research. On the other hand, a tent is a home for humans and not for birds. The idea here is that a researcher is given perks that satisfy the personal needs of the researcher in Mercy thought—perks that are distinct from and unrelated to the research itself. ‘Son of Man’ describes a concept of Christ based in human cause-and-effect. Head means ‘head’ and would describe the intelligent aspect of incarnation that is guiding thought and behavior. Lay means ‘to cause to bend’ and was previously used in verse 12 to describe a ‘bend’ in the day. The idea is that the transformation of Server sequences is happening continuously without any bend or pause. In contrast, the foxes have holes and the birds have nests where they can take refuge from the continual change. Thus, the primary problem of following at this stage is the unending change.

‘Foxes’ and ‘birds’ will naturally emerge within economic globalization. That is because economic globalization, by its very nature, avoids subjective mental networks. But we have also seen that economic globalization by its very nature will head toward Jerusalem. The end result is that economic globalization will tend to destroy the people at the bottom, it will damage those who are implementing economic globalization, turning them into foxes, and it will tend to be developed by birds who do research for its own sake, ignoring the implications of this research. And one cannot always blame these ‘birds’ because it is difficult to know where research will lead when society is changing so quickly. For instance, the Encyclopaedia Britannica explains that “Android began in 2003 as a project of the American technology company Android Inc., to develop an operating system for digital cameras. In 2004 the project changed to become an operating system for smartphones. Android Inc., was bought by the American search engine company Google Inc., in 2005. At Google, the Android team decided to base their project on Linux.” Summarizing the progression: software for digital cameras -> software for smartphones -> bought by Google -> based on Linux -> used by billions of phones.

Turning now to ‘foxes in their holes’, a 2018 computer article describes the ‘foxy’ nature of Facebook. “This week, Facebook admitted that as many as 87 million users may have had their data ‘improperly shared’ with the voter profiling data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica... It’s the latest in a string of examples of Facebook’s lack of regard for its users. Facebook’s two-tiered privacy policy couldn’t be more clear: He and his cronies are above the rest of Facebook’s users, who are treated with little more regard than a revenue source.” On one hand, Facebook is dealing in a deceptive manner with its clients. On the other hand, the ‘foxes’ of Facebook have a ‘hole’ where they can hide from the privacy intrusions that they inflict on others.

Another computer article describes the ‘tents’ for the ‘birds’ who work at Google. “One of the most excellent perks is free meals throughout the day... Google has 30 cafes in their headquarters, and they offer a vast array of cuisine from every culture imaginable. So you’ll never go hungry at Google. Moreover, Google offers sleeping pods for its employees to nap when needed, to replenish their minds and souls. Google has also become notorious for allowing dogs to enter the office, free fitness classes, tech talks, free massages, laundry service, video games, and some of the coolest employee rewards possible.”

In verse 59, Jesus takes the initiative. “And He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, allow me first, having gone away, to bury my father.’” Another means ‘another of a different kind’. Follow is the same word that was used in verse 57. There the person said that they would follow. In verse 59 Jesus commands someone to follow. Allow means ‘to turn to, entrust’. First means ‘before, at the beginning’. Having gone away means ‘to go away’. Bury means ‘bury’ and father would represent the previous system of male technical thought. Burial takes a dead body and places it within the ground. Symbolically, this analyzes some previous system of once-living mental networks in order to place it within the ground of rational thought. Historians do this when trying to analyze the past. But notice that this analyzing of the past requires first a distancing from the movement of the present.

For instance, we looked earlier at disruptive innovation. Wikipedia explains that “Good firms are usually aware of the innovations, but their business environment does not allow them to pursue them when they first arise, because they are not profitable enough at first and because their development can take scarce resources away from that of sustaining innovations (which are needed to compete against current competition). In Christensen’s terms, a firm’s existing value networks place insufficient value on the disruptive innovation to allow its pursuit by that firm. Meanwhile, start-up firms inhabit different value networks, at least until the day that their disruptive innovation is able to invade the older value network.” Thus, the established company is aware of the new innovation and is being asked to follow technical thought. But resources are being diverted away from the new technology to the technology of the previous generation. In contrast, a startup firm has the advantage of having no ‘father to bury’.

Jesus responds in verse 60, “And He said to him, ‘Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but you, having gone forth, declare the kingdom of God.’” Leave means ‘to send away, leave alone, permit’ and is usually translated as ‘forgive’. Dead is used twice and simply means ‘what lacks life’. ‘Bury their own dead’ implies that those who still hold on to past paradigms and cultures should be given freedom to do their own research. Having gone forth means ‘to go away, go after’. It was previously used in verse 59 to describe the person going away to bury his father. In other words, analyzing the past means going away from progress in the present, while making progress in the present means going away from analyzing the past. Declare is used once in Luke and means to ‘thoroughly declare’. ‘Kingdom of God’ was used previously in verse 27 to describe a future kingdom that was within reach. Globalization is a partial example of a kingdom of God. ‘Thoroughly declaring the kingdom of God’ would mean focusing upon how the partial elements of globalization fit into a more complete kingdom of God. This essay is an example of what that means. We are analyzing history, but not as a series of dead events analyzed from a dead perspective but rather as a living sequence of an expanding kingdom of God guided by angelic beings.

Verse 60 does not say that one should leave the dead unburied. In other words, previous generations of technology should not just be dropped and ignored. Instead, verse 60 clarifies that the dead should ‘bury their own dead’. Thus, previous technologies need to be buried by those who are familiar with this technology. And ‘burying’ is different than keeping something alive on terminal life-support. It means providing factual information about previous technology so that others are able to maintain this technology. And ‘leave’ implies giving others permission to maintain ‘dead’ technology. Summarizing, when technology becomes obsolete, then one does not have to continue supporting this technology, but one should provide adequate documentation about the technology and give others legal freedom to maintain this technology. Finally, notice that verse 60 does not apply to everyone, but rather to the one who is being called to follow Jesus as he is ‘transporting in the realm of roads’. When one becomes aware of a disruptive innovation, then one needs to follow this innovation fully without squandering resources on burying dead fathers.

Verse 61 presents a third alternative that is not mentioned in Matthew. “And another also said, ‘I will follow You, Lord; but first allow me to bid farewell to those at my home.’” Another means ‘another of a different kind’. Lord means ‘lord, master’ and indicates a focus upon some source of authority. First and allow are the same words that were used in verse 59 to talk about ‘burying my father’. Bid farewell is used twice in Luke and combines ‘away from’ with ‘arrange’. Home means ‘a house, a dwelling’ and refers to subjective thought. This is different than burying the dead because one is focusing upon creating a Teacher structure for the future. But this structure is being regarded as separate from subjective identity.

Jesus replies in verse 62, “And Jesus said to him, ‘No one having laid the hand upon the plow, and looking on the things behind, is fit for the kingdom of God.’” Laid means ‘to throw over’ which represents the use of Teacher thought. The hand represents the application of technical thought. Plow is used once in the New Testament and means ‘a plow’. A plow uses a sharp instrument to cut through the ground in order to prepare for crops. The analogy would be using tested principles to move past surface layers of rational thought in order to come up with intellectual food. For example, this essay is using mental symmetry as a ‘plow’ to go beyond a surface interpretation of both the Gospel of Luke and Western history. Look at means to ‘be observant’. Behind means ‘back, behind, after’. Fit is used three times in the New Testament and combines ‘good’ with ‘to place’. And ‘kingdom of God’ was previously used in verse 60. In other words, the Perceiver facts of the past do not provide a good foundation for coming up with an understanding of a Teacher-based kingdom of God. Applying this to theology, mental symmetry leads to a reformulation of Christianity that goes beyond anything that I have encountered in any theological writings, especially when it comes to prophecy.

The Apple iPhone is a prime example of this principle. Quoting from a 2022 computer article, “The iPhone has changed the way we do and run our businesses... When Apple introduced the iPhone, BlackBerry was absolutely the prime choice for business user devices... Equipped with dinky little QWERTY keyboards, these devices were so popular people referred to them as ‘CrackBerries.’” Notice how everyone was using the Blackberry with its small screen and miniature keyboard. The iPhone was so different that Steve Jobs did not even know what to call it. “Jobs at first described the device as a ‘widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device.’” Developing the iPhone meant no longer observing all the objects that were behind, because the iPhone replaced them all. “The ascendancy of iPhones and smartphones mean a plethora of productivity devices have been replaced: Telephone systems, photocopiers, fax machines and scanners; calculators, keys to the corporate vehicle fleet, access entry systems, checkbooks, payment cards, cash registers — even menus — have been or are being replaced.” The cognitive principle is that when one is doing deep innovation at the level of Server sequences, then thinking in terms of existing Perceiver objects becomes a limitation.

Workmen for the Harvest 10:1-3

The twelve disciples were sent out in the beginning of chapter 9 and were given instructions there about how to behave. That passage was interpreted as referring externally to the megachurch and internally to mental symmetry. That sending is also mentioned in the parallel passages of Matthew 10 and Mark 6. Luke 10 describes a different sending of 72 disciples in a passage that is only found in Luke. Luke 10 also describes how these disciples should respond to acceptance or rejection.

Verse 1 begins, “Now after these things, the Lord also appointed seventy-two others and sent them in two by two before His face, into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.” ‘After these things’ indicates that this sending out is happening in the context of globalization and disruptive innovation. Appoint is used twice in the New Testament and means ‘to lift up and show’. Thus, there is a demonstration of Teacher generality. For instance, the iPhone was an example of ‘appointing’, because it showed a new level of Teacher generality in a physical device. I do not know what 72 represents, but it is a bigger number than twelve. Lord indicates submission to some source of authority. Other means ‘another of a different kind’. Sent means ‘sent on a defined mission by a superior’. In means ‘up’ which indicates Teacher generality. Mark 6:7 talks about sending disciples out in pairs but uses a different preposition. The idea is that Teacher generality is coming from the pairing. Face represents nonverbal communication. This same phrase ‘before the face of him’ was used previously in 9:52 which was interpreted as technical learning preceding the nonverbal message of American economic globalization.

Into means ‘to or into’. City means ‘city’ and was previously used back in 9:10. Chapter 9 described globalization extending to Third World ‘villages’. In chapter 10, technical transformation is affecting the ‘cities’ of advanced society. Place means ‘place’ and represents a location in Perceiver thought. About means ‘about to happen’ and go means ‘to come, go’. Thus, this pairing of generality is preceding the encounters with technical thought. And this pairing is affecting Perceiver concepts of location.

Examining this cognitively, ‘sending out by twos’ is an important aspect of the spread of high technology. That is because deep optimization presents both an opportunity and a problem. Coming up with totally new ways of doing things goes beyond replacing one object with an equivalent object to redefining a whole collection of objects. Embracing such massive change was represented in 9:62 as putting one’s hand to the plow and not looking back. However, when one changes so many objects, then one becomes disconnected from the human realm of objects. The solution is to reconnect with objects at a symbolic level. For instance, it was mentioned earlier that the iPhone replaced a plethora of objects including telephones, photocopiers, calculators, checkbooks, payment cards, and cash registers. The iPhone interface reconnected with these objects by representing each one of these items as a picture on the screen. Instead of picking up a phone, one touches a picture of a phone on the screen of the iPhone. Similarly, instead of using a calculator, one touches the picture of a calculator which then brings up a picture of a calculator with pictures of buttons that work like the real buttons of a calculator. In brief, there is a pairing between reality and virtual reality. This pairing is essential to making high technology usable for the average consumer. Stated more carefully, a virtual object represents a real object by using Teacher words of computer code to reach down from verbal instructions to the level of a simulated Mercy image of reality. This reaching down is seen more generally in the GUI or graphical user interface and can also be seen at the level of programming itself with object oriented programming.

Notice that consumer high-tech is doing at the end what mental symmetry does at the beginning. Mental symmetry is based upon the premise that maximum human well-being can be achieved by having all seven cognitive modules function together in harmony. Following this path to mental wholeness may lead to rejection from ‘the elders, chief priests and scribes’, but one is willing to experience these painful Mercy results and submit completely to Teacher understanding because the ultimate goal is to achieve the greater Mercy good of mental wholeness. Similarly, high-tech overturns existing objects and cultural norms, but the consumer embraces this Mercy-threatening change because high-tech presents itself as a better, more efficient, more integrated version of Mercy goodness. For instance, ‘Facebook allows you to stay in contact with your loved ones all the time wherever you are.’ Summarizing, high-tech goes out ‘in twos’ because it connects computer-generated virtual reality with some aspect of physical reality. This pairing results in Teacher generality because the item in physical reality then becomes a general symbol that represents many related items in virtual reality. For instance, one typically saves what one is working on by clicking on the picture of a floppy disk. This picture represents the physical object of a 3 1/2 inch disk from the 1980s. However, when one clicks upon this virtual disk, then the information may be saved on many different kinds of storage, none of which actually look like a disk from the 1980s.

A ‘pairing’ also happens when mental symmetry is used as a meta-theory. Learning a new general theory such as mental symmetry can be intellectually daunting. This process can be made easier by using mental symmetry as a meta-theory to explain other, more well-known, theories. For instance, the first step in a three-stage process of personal transformation corresponds to Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. Thus, there is a ‘pairing’ between mental symmetry and Piaget, which makes it possible to describe some of the concepts of mental symmetry using the language of Piaget. This essay uses mental symmetry to presents a massive pairing between the Gospel of Matthew and Western civilization, making it possible to illustrate theological principles through the events of Western history. This pairing also leads in the direction of Teacher generality because noticing one connection between mental symmetry and some other theory invariably reveals similar connections with other theories.

The various elements that we have discussed function symbiotically. Miniaturized computers make it possible to perform major optimization that replaces real objects with virtual objects. Observing these major changes provides clues for understanding deep principles of personal and societal transformation. Looking at the other side, those who produce and market high-technology will try to maximize their profits by heading towards the ‘Jerusalem’ of societal and religious standards. This replacing of existing cultural and religious standards by high-tech reinforces postmodern questioning of ‘obsolete’ cultural and religious standards. Questioning existing moral standards makes it possible to discuss fundamental moral and religious principles that were previously regarded as undiscussable and/or taboo. This combination provides the data required to construct a cognitive theory of science and religion, the motivation to construct such a theory, and the moral vacuum that makes such construction possible. The end result is a ‘betraying of the Son of Man’. If this process is driven primarily by postmodern questioning and physical infrastructure, then this ‘betrayal’ will exhibit itself as a Judas-like betrayal of Jesus. However, this same ‘betrayal’ will express itself as a positive ‘handing over’ to the extent that it is driven by a search for cognitive mechanisms and a pursuit of cognitive transformation.

Looking at this personally, I taught in Seoul, Korea from 2002 to 2009. About 2008 I heard a speech on Christian apologetics while on my summer holidays in Canada. The speaker pointed out that Christianity was in trouble and I realized that mental symmetry provided a possible solution. This was the first step of using mental symmetry as a meta-theory to explain many topics. Going further, teaching at an international high school for several years forced me to review my knowledge of various academic subjects making it possible for me to use mental symmetry as a meta-theory.

Jesus clarifies in verse 2, “And He was saying to them, ‘The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the workmen are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest, that He may send out workmen into His harvest.’” Harvest is only used in Luke in this verse where it occurs three times. This verse is traditionally interpreted as sending out missionaries in order to get a ‘harvest’ of Christian converts. However, if grain is interpreted as intellectual food, then getting a harvest would mean that the conditions are right for successful research and learning. And if one interprets becoming a Christian convert as ‘enrolling in God’s school of character development’, then these two interpretations are related. Plentiful means much in number. Workmen is used four times in Luke, two times in this verse, and it describes ‘a deed that carries out an inner desire’. This describes self-initiated action, in which actions and goals are motivated by some internal purpose. We have talked about disruptive innovations and deep optimization. Coming up with such ideas requires a mind that is capable of going far beyond ‘what is’ to ‘what could be’. A person who is not capable of self-initiated action is not capable of performing the deep optimization that is required to come up with disruptive innovations. Few means ‘few, little, small’. Thus, there may be many workers, but there are only a few ‘workmen’ who are capable of coming up with disruptive innovations. But the ‘harvest is plenty’ because the combination of technical infrastructure, miniaturized computers, and globalization provides major opportunities for disruptive innovation.

A similar principle applies to mental symmetry. When society splits into numerous technical specializations and the development of artificial intelligence and virtual reality provides clues about deeper questions of cognition, then there is a major opportunity for using a meta-theory of cognition such as mental symmetry to ‘connect the dots’ by looking for common cognitive patterns. However, this type of research requires ‘workmen’ who are mentally capable of going beyond reacting passively to the continual external change to being actively motivated by the internal vision of a better society.

Continuing with verse 2, pray earnestly means ‘to feel pressing need because of lack’. ‘Lord of the harvest’ is an unusual term that only occurs here and in the parallel passage in Matthew 9:38. Send out means to ‘throw, cast’ which is interpreted as moving through the ‘air’ of Teacher thought. And the two words ‘workman’ and ‘harvest’ are repeated, emphasizing the significance of these two elements. It is possible to make sense of this request by looking at disruptive innovation. As was quoted earlier, “Good firms are usually aware of the innovations, but their business environment does not allow them to pursue them when they first arise, because they are not profitable enough at first and because their development can take scarce resources away from that of sustaining innovations.” Therefore, part of the problem is that there are not enough ‘workmen’ who are capable of truly self-initiated action. But another part of the problem is that the talents of many of these workmen are being wasted by having them work on ‘sustaining innovation’.

The theory of disruptive innovation recognizes the cognitive nature of this distinction to some extent. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Most technologies are not intrinsically disruptive or sustaining in character; rather, it is the business model that identifies the crucial idea that potentiates profound market success and subsequently serves as the disruptive vector... In keeping with the insight that a persuasive advertising campaign can be just as effective as technological sophistication at bringing a successful product to market, Christensen’s theory explains why many disruptive innovations are not advanced or useful technologies, rather combinations of existing off-the-shelf components, applied shrewdly to a fledgling value network.” Changing a business model is an example of a cognitive shift. Thus, changing one’s ‘business model’ to support disruptive innovation is a partial example of ‘praying to the lord of the harvest’ driven by the need to remain competitive in today’s business environment. However, reducing disruptive innovation to a new form of advertising describes the natural tendency for economic globalism to ‘head for Jerusalem’ by attempting to emotionally manipulate core mental networks of society. Therefore, what is being described is a shallow version of ‘praying to the lord of the harvest’. When many people and groups follow this shallow version of reducing disruptive innovation to the level of effective marketing, then there will be a prostituting of culture and religion. This term is appropriate, because a prostitute sells personal identity in order to make money. Such prostitution can be seen, for instance, in the scandal mentioned earlier involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. As Wikipedia summarizes, “In the 2010s, personal data belonging to millions of Facebook users was collected without their consent by British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, predominantly to be used for political advertising.” I am not trying to single out Facebook, but rather pointing out that such misuse will be inevitable and widespread. Such prostitution of society and religion will motivate people to ‘pray to the lord of the harvest’ for deeper transformations that disrupt the way that people think and behave and not just the way that they market new gadgets. I use this strong word because it accurately describes how surface optimization will feel like to those who are pursuing deeper optimization. That is because optimization, by its very nature, let’s go of what is regarded as less valuable in order to gain more of what is regarded as valuable. Surface optimization that ‘heads toward Jerusalem’ will let go of subjective value in order to gain more peripheral value—which is the definition of prostitution.

That brings us back to the traditional evangelical interpretation of ‘workmen for the harvest’ as missionaries to gain converts. It is possible to reduce gaining religious converts to a form of marketing in which each religion tries to get a bigger ‘score’ than opposing religions. However, that is actually a prostituting of religion. Viewing Christian conversion as enrolling in God’s school of character development acknowledges that the goal of true religion is mental and spiritual wholeness. Saying this another way, the ‘sending out’ needs to be a ‘throwing’ that is guided by Teacher emotions of integration and understanding rather than descending to the Mercy level of ‘foxes and their holes’.

Verse 3 describes this predicament. “Go; behold, I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves.” Go means ‘to lead away under someone’s authority’ and this is only the second use of this term in Luke. Consistent with this, send means ‘sent on a defined mission by a superior’. One big problem with ‘foxes’ is that they think that they are above the law, and they reside in holes to which the law does not apply. Thus, it is important to ‘go’ with an attitude of submission to authority to ensure that one does not turn into a ‘fox’. For instance, mental symmetry emphasizes that the mind of the researcher who discovers cognitive principles is also subject to these same cognitive principles. More personally, when I realized many years ago that my mind was composed of seven interacting cognitive modules, I came to the conclusion that I did not have the right to use conscious thought to shut down my subconscious modules. Instead, I needed to function under the authority of a cognitive ‘right to life’. Similarly, one discovers disruptive innovations by submitting in a new way to general laws. This is known as designing from first principles—which is a form of deep optimization. One first questions everything in order to determine which fundamental principles are solid and cannot be changed. One then performs deep optimization in submission to these fundamental principles. Deep optimization is a dangerous strategy because if one picks the wrong fundamental principles, then the result will be prostitution. That is why it is vital to ‘go out’ under authority. An attitude of submission to authority recognizes that personal identity is subject to fundamental principles that must be preserved.

The word lamb is an unusual form that is used once in the New Testament. Sheep are social creatures and Jesus uses this term to refer to his followers in John 10. A lamb is a young, defenseless sheep, typically used for sacrifice. As means ‘as, like as’. Verse 3 does not say that these people are lambs but rather that they are being sent out as lambs. Thus, it will appear on the surface as if these individuals are defenseless, innocent victims who do not know how to stand up for themselves. But the purpose of such lamb-like behavior is to keep the mind in a state of innocent idealism and curiosity that is capable of successfully asking deep questions about the mind and about society. Saying this another way, acting ‘as a lamb’ recognizes that the most fundamental principle of deep optimization is preserving subjective character. 9:25 used this language of optimization: “What is a man profited, having gained the whole world, and having destroyed or having suffered the loss of himself.” Using the language of mental symmetry, what is the point of successfully marketing a theory at the cost of violating mental wholeness? However, continuing to pursue mental wholeness at the cost of physical success is only a rational strategy if mental wholeness will outlast the demise of the physical body. In other words, pursuing mental wholeness is ultimately incompatible with a philosophy of scientific materialism. But this essay provides substantial evidence that human society is being guided by forces that extend beyond physical reality.

In means ‘in the realm of’ and midst means that one is not just on the edge of this realm but rather in the center. Wolf is used once in Luke and means ‘a wolf’. Wolves eat sheep. 9:25 warned about gaining the whole cosmos at the price of either destroying or damaging oneself. The lambs are being destroyed by damaged humans who are behaving as wolves. When one is sent out as a lamb, one will find oneself in the midst of wolves because both are studying the same topics in order to perform deep optimization. A ‘wolf’ goes beyond a ‘fox’. A ‘fox’ pretends to preserve mental networks of society and religion while actually violating them, but the goal is to get ahead by bending the rules. A ‘wolf’ actively looks for sheep with innocent mental networks because they are the easiest to manipulate emotionally. Saying this more clearly, a ‘fox’ views societal and religious mental networks as constraints to be bypassed, whereas a ‘wolf’ views them as weaknesses to be exploited. Someone who is ‘going out as a lamb’ will also focus upon innocent social and religious mental networks because these innocent assumptions need to be replaced by intelligent understanding. For instance, I find that the research of postmodern thought can be useful. However, the postmodern scholar assumes that there is no solid truth within the subjective realm, whereas my goal is to replace the assumptions of previous society with solid principles based upon cognitive mechanisms. Going further, when one goes out as a lamb in the midst of wolves, then the aggressiveness of the wolves will ensure that one maintains a mindset of functioning under authority. Anyone who does not maintain such an mindset will be torn apart by the wolves. Finally, observing the interaction between wolves and sheep provides extensive information about what one should not do. Applying this principle to the realm of high-tech, when some field becomes dominated by ‘wolves’ who are trying to take advantage of the weak and innocent, then is often possible to make the entire field obsolete by coming in as a lamb, learning about the field and then applying these principles to come up with a disruptive innovation that helps people rather than exploiting them. Unfortunately, ‘lambs’ have a tendency to turn into ‘wolves’ when they become successful.

Entering Houses and Cities 10:4-12

The next verses give a set of instructions that are similar to the instructions given in Luke 9:3-5, which said, “Take nothing for the journey, neither staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money, nor two tunics apiece to have. And into whatever house you might enter, remain there, and go forth from there. And as many as might not receive you, going forth from that city, shake off the dust from your feet, as a testimony against them.”

Returning to Luke 10, verse 4 says, “Carry no purse, nor bag, nor sandals; and greet no one on the road.” Carry means ‘to take up, carry’. Purse means ‘purse, money bag’. Money would represent intellectual wealth that is being carried from one specialization to another. When one is an accepted expert in some field, then it is tempting to use this expertise as a justification for making authoritative statements in areas outside of one’s expertise. This happens, for instance, when a materialistic scientist makes statements about God and religion. The cognitive principle is that every technical model applies to some specialization and becomes increasingly inaccurate as one moves away from that specialization. If one wishes to bridge one specialization with another, then one must use the less rigorous method of looking for common patterns and analogies. Bag means ‘a traveling pouch, a bread bag’. The temptation here is to apply the information of one technical field to another. Each field has its own set of facts that need to be learned before making definitive statements about that field. A bag focuses upon transferring information, whereas a purse focuses upon transferring reputation and expertise. It is possible to transfer information and expertise at an analogical level by recognizing that some aspect of one field functions like another field. But one must still learn enough about each field to recognize how exactly this similarity expresses itself.

These principles apply to disruptive innovation. The Wikipedia article explains that “High technology is a technology core that changes the very architecture (structure and organization) of the components of the technology support net... This kind of technology core is different from regular technology core, which preserves the qualitative nature of flows and the structure of the support and only allows users to perform the same tasks in the same way, but faster, more reliably, in larger quantities, or more efficiently.” Saying this another way, ‘a regular technology core’ preserves existing structure, leading to limited optimization that replaces individual items with better alternatives. A ‘high-technology core’ ‘changes the very architecture’ ‘of the technology support net’. This describes deep optimization which involves rethinking from first principles. When optimization changes the entire system, then relying upon existing reputation or expertise actually becomes a handicap.

A sandal is ‘a sole bound under the foot, a sandal’. The body rests its weight upon the feet. Thus, the feet represent core mental networks that support the mind. Sandals represent ways of protecting these core mental networks from coming into contact with the hard facts of reality. Thus, when one enters some field, one does not try to insulate oneself from the hard facts of this field. For instance, when I started using mental symmetry as a meta-theory to analyze some field, I used to worry that the facts of that field would threaten the theory of mental symmetry. Hence a desire for mental ‘sandals’. But mental symmetry has been used successfully to analyze so many fields that mental ‘sandals’ are no longer required.

No one means ‘no one, nothing’. On means ‘day-by-day, each day, according to, by way of’ when followed by the accusative. Road means ‘way, road’ and refers to some Server sequence. Greet is used twice in Luke and means ‘to welcome, greet’. Notice the contrast with the previous paragraph. On the one hand, one is supposed to be open when it comes to expertise and reputation. On the other hand, one is supposed to be inflexible when it comes to methodology. This relates to the idea of deeper optimization. Optimization holds one thing fixed while adjusting other things. For instance, suppose that I want to optimize my route from point A to point B. I will adjust the path that is taken while keeping points A and B fixed. Deep optimization adjusts the objects while holding on to fundamental Server sequences and functions. For instance, a smart phone looks totally different than a tape recorder, but it performs the function of a tape recorder. Similarly, when mental symmetry is used as a meta-theory, then one uses the same Server sequences of cognitive mechanisms to compare many different kinds of facts and objects. One reason why I have not got a PhD and why I do my research outside of the academic system is because I do not want my methodology to be altered by ‘greeting others according to the road’. This restriction against greeting people on the road is not mentioned in either Luke 9:3 or in Matthew 10:10, suggesting that those passages are not referring to the level of deep optimization being used here in which one holds on to fundamental Server sequences while allowing everything else to change.

A 2019 Harvard Business Review article describes the difficulty of maintaining a culture of innovation. The article mentions tolerating failure but not incompetence, being willing to experiment while remaining disciplined, giving freedom to be factually honest while requiring the ability to accept honest criticism, emphasizing collaboration while requiring individual accountability, and avoiding hierarchical structure while providing strong direction. Failure, experimentation, honesty, collaboration and hierarchy all focus upon what is happening externally. Competence, discipline, accepting criticism, individual accountability, and providing structure, in contrast, are reflections of character qualities. Applying this to verse 4, when one achieves the character qualities of being able to function in an innovative manner, then it is easy to become diverted from this path by a system that has become accustomed to other ways. That is because one simply has to do nothing in order to slip into incompetence, avoid discipline, reject criticism, avoid accountability, and rest in personal status. Notice that this treats personal character not as a moral standard but rather as a requirement for maintaining an innovative mindset. One also observes that postmodern thought eliminates these five character qualities, replacing competence with political correctness, discipline with entitlement, accepting criticism with getting offended, individual accountability with blame, and flat structure with the insistence that nothing exists except hierarchy. Notice that this statement evaluates postmodern thought purely from the functional perspective of staying on a path of innovation.

Verse 5 continues, “And into whatever house you might enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’” Enter means ‘to go in, enter’ and into means ‘to or into’. House refers to the buildings of personal identity and not to the family itself. Thus, one enters into some subjective context but does not necessarily embrace the Mercy mental networks of that context. Notice that it does not matter which specific house one enters. That is because general Server sequences can be expressed in many different specific ways. Therefore, learning how one specific ‘house’ functions provides an exemplar that also applies to similar ‘houses’. An exemplar functions at the level of patterns. Thus, an exemplar provides insights about several similar fields—but one still has to learn sufficient specific facts within each field to apply the exemplar in an accurate manner. For instance, much of the initial development of mental symmetry as a meta-theory happened as a result of some person handing me a book and telling me to read it. Even though I was ‘entering into whatever house’, I discovered that the specific book or system that I analyzed was of secondary importance because I was looking for meta-principles that were common to many books and systems. Similarly, one corporate website summarizes that “In an agile and fast-changing workforce, meta skills are highly important for adaptability as they enable you to engage with your soft skills and navigate changes and increased demands more effectively. Meta skills are broad capabilities that help you make more informed decisions, achieve your goals and deliver meaningful discussions in the most productive way.” Thus, the way to survive a continually changing world is by developing meta-skills that can apply to many specializations.

‘First say’ indicates an attitude that one adopts in Teacher thought before entering the specific context. Peace means ‘to join, tie together into a whole’. This second word house refers to the people and family and not just to the buildings. Quoting from a Greek historical site, “Oikia is -as today- the house of the family and Oikos is its human members and their belongings.” This means that one is not entering as a ‘fox’ in order to gain personal status or wealth in Mercy thought. One also not entering as a ‘bird’ that examines the field in an objective manner. Instead, one is entering with the goal of bringing Teacher integration to the Mercy mental networks within the field. There is emotional interaction, but the emotional interaction is being guided by the ‘peace’ of Teacher order-within-complexity. In other words, will the Teacher mental network of looking for integrated understanding and general solutions survive contact with the Mercy mental networks of some ‘house’ or are these merely slogans without substance?

Verse 6 adds, “And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon it; but if not so, it will return to you.” Son refers to male technical thought. Peace means ‘to join, tie together into a whole’. A ‘son of peace’ would be a system of technical thought that has the purpose of bringing order and integration. Applying this to globaalization, this describes a desire to bring actual globalization, not just some abstract theory of globalization within the ‘air’ of birds, and not the craftiness of some ‘foxy’ scheme in which personal marauding is masquerading as globalization. It should be clarified that we are now dealing with a modified form of globalization consistent with the shift in emphasis in chapter 10 from ‘Samaritan villages’ to ‘cities’. With Samaritan villages, the goal was to spread Western knowledge and infrastructure to more parts of the globe. Globalization is now expressing itself primarily through the form of high-tech disruptive innovation which is replacing existing devices with new versions that are increasingly integrated, high-tech, and interconnected. For a meta-theory such as mental symmetry, globalization expresses itself as an internal interconnecting of different aspects of personal and theoretical life.

Notice that the actual presence of a ‘son of peace’ only becomes clear after one enters the house. Rest is used twice in the New Testament and combines ‘upon’ with ‘to give rest after the needed task is completed’. Upon is also explicitly mentioned. In other words, if one enters some field with the approach of achieving Teacher integration, then it will soon become apparent if this mindset really describes the character of that field or not. Return means ‘to turn back, to return’. Thus, if one discovers that the people in this field really do not want a general understanding, then one may experience personal rejection, but one is still achieved the personal goal of gaining Teacher integration. For instance, I recently tried to publish a paper using mental symmetry as a meta-theory to analyze several theories of second language acquisition. Even though this field desperately needs a meta-theory and recognizes this need, I discovered that the researchers of this field do not want a general theory. One researcher told me that people don’t like having a theory ‘looking over their shoulder’. This is an example of the peace ‘returning to me’. On the one hand, I did not get my paper published. But on the other hand, I still gained an integrated understanding of linguistics and language acquisition. Similarly, I have discovered that theologians do not want an integrated theory of theology, even though theology is in desperate need of a general theory. Matthew 10:13 is subtly different, saying ‘let your peace return to you’. Matthew 10 is interpreted as referring to the Middle Ages. The disciples of that age did not have an integrated understanding and thus had to choose to let the peace return. In Luke 10, the presence of an integrated Teacher theory means that the peace will return because the Teacher mental network of an integrated understanding will emotionally impose its structure upon Mercy feelings of personal rejection. When one thinks about the painful Mercy experiences, then an annoying internal voice will say, ‘But I can explain that!’ Thus, the voice of a theory ‘looking over the shoulder’ that others do not want is precisely the internal voice that ensures that peace will return within one’s mind.

American broadband Internet provides a technical example of a house that claims to be a ‘son of peace’ but in many cases is not. The goal of broadband Internet is to connect everyone at high speed to the Internet. That is, by definition, a tying-together using male technical thought. However, a detailed 2020 study discovered that in about 20% of cases, an Internet Service provider will claim to provide coverage for some address while refusing to actually provide coverage, with some ISP companies even pressuring the government to stop others from providing coverage. Refusing to provide Internet coverage and preventing others from providing coverage is the opposite of a ‘son of wholeness’.

Verse 7 describes the approach that one should take. “And remain in the same house, eating and drinking the things supplied by them.” In means ‘in the realm of’. House refers to the building and not the people. Remain means ‘to stay, abide, remain’. Eating and drinking are not mentioned in either Matthew 10 or Luke 9. Looking at this cognitively, one stays within some context and gains both factual and experiential knowledge. Remaining in the building suggests that one enters the context but does not embrace the Mercy mental networks of that context. By means ‘from’ when followed by the genitive. ‘Supplied’ is implied. More literally, one eats and drinks ‘the from them’. The idea here is that one does not perform primary research when building a meta-theory. Instead, one takes the information that has been gathered by other theories and places it within the meta-theory.

I discovered when attempting to publish the paper on second language acquisition that this concept is not understood. Even though I built extensively upon the evidence gathered by other theories as well as upon evidence from neurology, the paper was rejected because I did not gather my own empirical facts. Staying within the same house and eating and drinking what is provided by others is significant because it adds rigor to a meta-theory. That is why I analyze books and systems and not just isolated ideas. This essay, for instance, has been staying within the ‘house’ of the Gospel of Luke for 400 pages so far, and we have been eating and drinking everything that the Gospel has been feeding us. When one explains a few verses or concepts out of context, then it is easy to impose one’s own thinking upon the text, leading to eisegesis, as illustrated by the evangelical doctrine of the Rapture. In contrast, explaining an entire Gospel in a sequential manner that looks at the original Greek leads to significant confidence that one is uncovering structure which is actually present.

Verse 7 adds, “For the workman is worthy of his wages.” Workman is the same word that was used twice in verse 2 which refers to self-initiated action. (It is used one other time in Luke in 13:27.) Worthy means ‘assigning the matching value’. Wages means ‘a reward that appropriately compensates a particular decision or action’. It is used two other times in Luke in 6:23 and 6:35 in the Sermon on the Plain to describe receiving reward in heaven when one is rejected by humans. These two words suggest that this sentence is not just talking about paying people for their labor, but rather looking at appropriately rewarding the self-initiated action that goes beyond innovation to disruptive innovation, and beyond technical growth within some theory to building connections between theories through some form of a meta-theory. For instance, when I used mental symmetry as a cognitive theory back in the 1990s, then this was rejected by both religious and secular audiences. I responded by following the instructions of 6:23 to ‘leap for joy’ by moving through the ‘air’ of Teacher thought and finding emotional pleasure in the joy of Teacher understanding. (I was not always happy in Mercy thought, but I did manage to remain joyful in Teacher thought.) This eventually led to the ‘great reward in heaven’ of a cognitive meta-theory. I have yet to receive any ‘wages’ that are ‘worthy’ of this work. Thus, I continue to function as a ‘workman’, being motivated internally to continue my work.

Verse 7 finishes, “Do not move from house to house.” Move means ‘to pass over, withdraw’ and is used once in Luke. From means ‘from out of’. To means ‘to or into’. House refers to the building and not the people. Withdrawing from one house in order to move into another house describes the typical mindset of technical thought, which will focus upon some specific specialization while ignoring other specializations. If failure or rejection is experience in some field, then the natural response will be to ‘withdraw from out of’ this field in order to embrace some other field. Such behavior needs to be avoided because the breakthroughs at this point come from comparing one field with another in order to find common patterns. Thus, what is being described in verse 7 is not interdisciplinary research that moves from one house to another, but rather a specialized mentality that withdraws from one house in order to enter into another house.

Verse 8 turns from the house to the city. “And into whatever city you might enter and they receive you, eat the things set before you.” This progression is consistent with the idea of moving from some specialized house to a larger interdisciplinary perspective that involves the city. In contrast, Matthew 10:11 talks about entering a city or village and then staying within some house. City refers to a center of civilization. Enter means ‘to go in, enter’. Receive means ‘to receive in a welcoming way’. Eat represents the consumption of intellectual food. Set before means ‘to set close beside’. ‘Things’ is implied.

Verse 9 says what one should do in this city. “And heal the sick in it, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you.’” Heal refers to natural therapy. Sick means ‘without strength, weak’. Both of these refer to concrete thought. ‘Kingdom of God’ describes a realm ruled by universal understanding in Teacher thought. Drawn near means ‘has drawn close’. ‘To you’ indicates personal experience. Verse 9 provides an interesting juxtaposition. On the one hand, the solutions are supposed to appear natural and enable people to function more easily in the natural world. But on the other hand, people are supposed to be informed that this seemingly natural solution is an expression of the kingdom of God. This explanation is required because what is being experienced is not an actual Kingdom of God but rather something that is close to the Kingdom of God. This provides a viewpoint that is neither evangelical Christian nor materialistic liberal. The materialistic liberal thinks that only the natural world exists, while the evangelical Christian believes that God will intervene to impose his kingdom upon the natural world. Verse 9 states that the Kingdom of God expresses itself in a manner that fits within the natural world. Going further, the materialistic liberal equates modern society with the Kingdom of God, while the evangelical Christian declares that the Kingdom of God will replace modern society. Verse 9, in contrast, says that modern society is like the Kingdom of God. In other words, like the evangelical Christian, one should look for something better than the current globally interconnected high-tech society. But like the materialistic liberal, living within current society teaches knowledge and skills that will apply to a future Kingdom of God. In a similar manner, one can treat mental symmetry purely as a theory of cognition. However, the resulting theory is incomplete. For instance, what is the purpose of pursuing mental wholeness if the mind does not survive the demise of the physical body? Mental symmetry can be made complete simply by adding extra dimensions to the existing theory of cognition. For instance, one postulates the existence of a spiritual realm that behaves similar to the way that mental networks behave within the mind. Similarly, one postulates the existence of a supernatural realm populated with messengers who function within the messages that humans regard as abstract thought.

The introduction of high-tech devices involves a similar juxtaposition. On the one hand, a high-tech replacement should function like its real equivalent. For instance, pressing the picture of a phone on a smartphone should lead to behavior that closely resembles how a physical phone functions. Such similarities will cause people to feel comfortable using virtual devices. However, people also need to be informed that a virtual device is only like the real device that it replaces and is actually a concrete expression of general principles in Teacher thought. In other words, familiarity should be combined with education. That is because introducing a disruptive innovation has to deal with two levels of emotional problems. In the short-term, existing cultural mental networks need to be provided with input that is consistent with their structure. Thus, the replacement technology needs to behave like what it is replacing. However, in the long-term, a feeling of angst will eventually emerge as it becomes apparent that the replacement is fundamentally different than the original. This feeling of deep alien-ness will not emerge right away but will eventually become the dominant feeling. The solution is for the consumer to gain a sufficient Teacher understanding of the new technology before this feeling of alien-ness hits, so that when it does arrive, a Teacher mental network exists to provide an alternative to the cultural mental network that is experiencing angst.

Verse 10 describes how one should respond to rejection. “And into whatever city you might enter and they do not receive you, having gone out into its streets, say...” Enter means ‘to go in, enter’. Receive means ‘to receive in a welcoming way’. This same phrase ‘into whatever city you might enter’ was used in verse 8, suggesting that one does not know until one enters what the response will be.

Street means ‘a wide road, street’ which would represent a general sequence in Server thought. Having gone out means ‘to go or come out of’. The idea is that one leaves the specific Server sequences and moves to the realm of Server generality. In other words, one generalizes from a specific theory to the processes of a meta-theory. Thus, the first step in responding to rejection is to move from the specific situation to treating this specific situation as an exemplar or characteristic example of a general principle.

Verse 11 gives the verbal response. “Even the dust from your city having clung to our feet, we wipe off against you; yet know this, that the kingdom of God has drawn near.” Even is the common conjunction that means ‘and, even’, which suggest that verse 11 should accompany verse 10 and not be treated as an extreme response. Dust means ‘raised dust, flying dust’ which would represent isolated facts flying through the air of Teacher theory, and is mentioned twice in Luke. The previous occurrence was in 9:5 which instructed to ‘shake off the dust from your feet’. Cling is used twice in Luke and means ‘glued together’. Feet refer to the emotional basis for the mind. Wipe off is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to scrape away’. Comparing these terms with 9:5 suggests that gaining emotional closure may be difficult. The dust is ‘glued’ and has to be ‘scraped off’. This is because the dust is coming ‘from your city’. In essence, gaining closure performs a version of deep optimization by moving to the general level of Server sequences and then choosing to eliminate everything below that level. This relates to the statement made earlier that deep optimization done wrong leads to a form of prostitution. Deep optimization is a dangerous tool because it makes such extensive changes. Therefore, recovering from inadequate deep optimization may require extensive ‘scraping off’. Notice that one does not use Teacher thought to ‘call down fire from heaven to destroy the city’. Saying this more carefully, ‘scraping off the dust’ does not block off painful experiences or reject facts. Instead, it recognizes that the ultimate goal in Mercy thought is more valuable than becoming accepted by some specific field, and it realizes that the factual consensus of this field is temporary and liable to be changed by deep optimization.

However, the final phrase indicates that one does make it clear that the struggle is at the level of Teacher thought. Know refers to experiential knowledge. This implies that there is no mental awareness or empirical evidence of the ‘Kingdom of God’. Drawn near means ‘has drawn close’ and the same word was used in verse 9. Thus, those who reject need to realize at an experiential level that what they are rejecting is not just some specific experiences in Mercy thought but rather the general concept that one starts from a concept of God in Teacher thought and builds a kingdom from there.

Verse 12 concludes, “I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.” More tolerable means more ‘bearable, tolerable’ and is only used in this passage and in the parallel passages in Matthew and Mark. Sodom is traditionally equated with homosexuality. Looking at this topic briefly, if maximum well-being can be achieved by using the entire mind in an integrated manner, and if male thought emphasizes technical thought while female thought emphasizes mental networks, then achieving maximum well-being implies a mental ‘marriage’ of male and female thought. This leads to the conclusion that homosexuality is non-optimal because it emphasizes only part of the mind. And in the same way that one can look beyond men and women to think about male and female thought, so one can go beyond homosexual behavior to think about homosexual thought that either emphasizes technical thought while rejecting mental networks or emphasizes mental networks while rejecting technical thought. Based upon this cognitive definition, one concludes that Western society is deeply homosexual. On the one hand, modern science emphasizes technical thought but it suppresses Mercy mental networks by remaining objective and it suppresses Teacher mental networks by remaining specialized. On the other hand, modern culture and religion emphasizes mental networks and intuitive leaps of overgeneralization while suppressing rational explanations.

Verse 12 does not condemn Sodom but rather says that it will be more tolerable for Sodom in some future day when the Kingdom of God actually appears. I suggest that this is because Sodom represents a sin of omission while the rejecting city has just committed a sin of commission. Saying this more carefully (and I am trying to be very careful with my words), mental homosexuality is an example of mental incompleteness in which one emphasizes one aspect of the mind while ignoring the other side. It has been stated several times that a concept of incarnation is based upon technical thought but extends beyond objectivity to save people and extends beyond specialization to be guided by a universal theory in Teacher thought. A Kingdom of God goes from a concept of God in Teacher thought through incarnation to personal identity in Mercy thought. Using the partial example of the Internet, the Teacher universality of the World Wide Web is distributed through a global infrastructure into miriads of personal computers and smartphones. Notice the ‘marriage’ of technical thought with mental networks. It is possible to approach the World Wide Web from the purely male perspective of ‘geeking out’ on technology, specifications, and benchmarks without ever actually using this technology to do anything. (I am not suggesting that men only use technical thought and that women only use mental networks. However, the most solidly established difference between male and female thought is that men tend to prefer to work with things while women tend to prefer to work with people.) It is also possible to approach the same World Wide Web from the purely female perspective of social media and cat videos without knowing anything about the technical infrastructure. Both of these mindsets by themselves are incomplete, but this is not a destructive incompleteness because one is simply ignoring one side of the World Wide Web. In contrast, when one deliberately rejects a partial expression of the Kingdom of God, one is constructing a detailed network of thought and behavior that is inconsistent with the Kingdom of God and then emotionally backing up this behavior with mental networks. It is possible to reject a current partial ‘Kingdom of God’. An actual Kingdom of God is, by definition, universal, because God is, by definition, a Universal Being. This universality means that a future, complete Kingdom of God will be impossible to reject because it is all-encompassing. One can see to some extent what this means when encountering individuals who do not know how to use the Internet. Modern society has become so interconnected and so online that it has become difficult for such individuals to function.

Comparing Cities 10:13-16

The next section mentions another comparison of ‘tolerability’. Verse 13 begins. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles having taken place in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.” Woe is ‘an expression of grief or denunciation’. Chorazin means ‘the secret; here is a mystery’ and is mentioned twice in the New Testament. Bethsaida means ‘house of fish’. Fish live in the sea of Mercy experiences. A ‘house of fish’ would represent a mindset based in a certain collection of Mercy experiences. Chorazin would refer to some form of mysticism. Mysticism can coexist alongside technical globalization by filling in the missing emotional holes. On the personal side, subjective experience in Mercy thought is regarded as something secret that is hidden from others, a sort of emotional precious heirloom that is typically viewed as related to some vague, unseen spiritual realm. On the universal side, God is viewed as a Teacher overgeneralization that transcends the technical specializations of reality. Bethsaida represents the consumer who lives within the experiences of modern virtual reality without understanding the underlying technology.

Miracle is the word ‘power’ which represents active Perceiver thought. Modern infrastructure is characterized by power. It requires extensive electrical and mechanical power to function, and electricity is something invisible that extends beyond the concrete world of physical objects. And technical infrastructure requires extensive connecting, assembling, and converting, all characteristics of active Perceiver thought. Taken place means ‘to come into being’ and is used twice in this verse. Thus, ‘miracle’ (the NASB also uses ‘miracle’ while the KJV says ‘mighty work’) is a bad translation because miracles do not come into being. Instead, the word ‘miracle’ reflects a mindset of Chorazin, who views God as a transcendent being who functions in ‘miraculous ways’. In contrast, verse 13 is describing infrastructure and connections gradually coming into being as new systems, networks, and devices are being developed. For instance, I remember my amazement at sitting in a bus in Korea in about 2005 and receiving a phone call on my flip-phone from my mother in Canada, or being able to store a complete copy of Wikipedia on a 4 GB CF card on my 2005 Dell Axim X51v. (This was before the iPhone and before mobile Internet access.) When one lives through this era of global infrastructure being introduced then one has no excuse in holding on to the mindset of Chorazin because one is literally seeing Teacher universality being constructed before one’s very eyes one step at a time. And one also has no excuse living in Bethsaida because this technology is being introduced in bite-size chunks that can be understood piece by piece. Notice again that one is dealing with sins of commission, because one is willingly choosing, over an extended period of time, to ignore what is happening in one’s environment. Unfortunately, the longer one chooses to follow such a strategy the harder it becomes to emerge from it.

Long ago is used once in Luke and means ‘long ago’. Repent means to ‘think differently afterwards’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. ‘Long ago’ suggests that one is dealing with a gradual application of Perceiver power that leads to a cumulative impact. The instantaneous zapping of some transcendent miracle does not have a cumulative impact. ‘Repent’ implies a faulty mindset that needs to be changed, consistent with the previous paragraph. Putting this together, the mystic of ‘Chorazin’ is continuing to hold to the concept of an irrational God despite experiencing years of high-tech driven globalization, and the consumer of ‘Bethsaida’ is continuing to remain uneducated despite having years to understand each stage of technology as it is introduced.

Sitting represent some source of Perceiver stability. Sackcloth is used once in Luke and is ‘a dark coarse stuff made especially of hair of animals’. Clothing represents the fabric of social interaction. Animals are represented mentally by mental networks. Ashes are used once in Luke. Ashes result from burning and burning represents a frustration that consumes. Putting this together, the frustration of having to survive in an increasingly high-tech interconnected world is eventually leading to a change of mindset, in which one is forced to interact socially with others at a level of subhuman intelligence: ‘What is a folder? What button do I press? Show me again. Tell me exactly where to click so I can write each step down.’ Interpreting this more generally, sackcloth and ashes are a sign of mourning a death, and the old pre-technical way of functioning has died. ‘Sitting in sackcloth and ashes’ recognizes this death as a fundamental Perceiver fact.

Looking now at the alternative, Tyre means ‘rock’, while Sidon means ‘fishery or fishing town’. These names are consistent with the idea of trading, because one is interacting with fish within the sea of Mercy experiences guided by a rock of Perceiver facts. And historically speaking, Tyre and Sidon were centers of international trade. Looking at this symbolically, traditional brick and mortar commercial businesses have experienced a ‘sitting in sackcloth and ashes’ known as the retail apocalypse as a result of high-tech infrastructure. In the words of Wikipedia, “A retail apocalypse is the closing of numerous brick-and-mortar retail stores, especially those of large chains worldwide. It began around 2010 and was severely exacerbated by the mandatory closures during the COVID-19 pandemic... A 2017 Business Insider report dubbed this phenomenon the ‘Amazon effect,’ and calculated that was generating greater than 50% of the growth of retail sales.” As a result, most physical stores now maintain websites that allow online shopping.

Verse 14 provides a comparison. “But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you.” Judgment comes from a verb that means ‘to pick out by separating’. Abstract technical thought is built upon precise definitions and one major aspect of making a definition more precise is to ‘pick out by separating’. This is known philosophically as explication. Wikipedia explains that “Explication can be regarded as a scientific process which transforms and replaces ‘an inexact prescientific concept’ with a ‘new exact concept’.” Absolute truth tends to view ‘judgment’ as some source of truth making a pronouncement about a person. But judgment can be viewed cognitively as placing some person or situation within a system of abstract technical thought. Thus, a court of law does not view judgment as condemning some person but rather as clarifying the facts of a situation in order to determine which law applies. Summarizing, ‘the judgment’ can be viewed as a person’s ability to function within abstract technical thought.

This definition relates to the cities that have just been discussed. The ‘mystery’ mindset of Chorazin claims that God functions in some hidden manner that transcends abstract technical thought. In contrast, this essay is showing that God functions in a general manner that coordinates abstract technical thought. The ‘consumer’ mindset of Bethsaida refuses to develop the technical expertise in abstract technical thought that is required to properly use the new virtual objects in Mercy thought. Thus, Chorazin denies the connection between Teacher universality and abstract technical thought while Bethsaida denies the connection between the subjective Mercy experiences and abstract technical thought. In contrast, the commercial realm of concrete technical thought (the buying and selling of economics is an example of concrete cause-and-effect because one gives up an item of lesser value in order to acquire another item of greater value) is willing to recognize the existence of an online interconnected world governed by abstract technical thought (computers are controlled by sequences of instructions that have precise definitions).

Skipping ahead to 2022, one can tell that this comparison is valid because evangelical Christianity with its leap of faith experienced an existential crisis during the covid pandemic. On the Mercy side, many Christians rejected the concept of online church services because they could not conceive of church apart from the ‘brick and mortar’ of going to a physical building on Sunday morning. On the Teacher side, many Christians rejected a goverment-mandated vaccination program because it replaced the mystical leap of faith from technical specialization to Teacher universality with a global system of abstract technical thought.

Applying this comparison to the future, other essays suggest that the Kingdom of God will express itself in the future as a kind of ‘spiritual economy’. A ‘spiritual economy’ can be analyzed rationally from a cognitive perspective. We have seen that the spread of personal computers can be divided into three primary eras. The first stage in the 80s focused upon designing and constructing personal computers that were expressions of pure rational thought. (One learned that computers do exactly what one tells them to do, and not what one thought one told them to do.) The second stage in the 90s interconnected these computers into a World Wide Web which made many actions more convenient. The third stage in the 00s focused upon using interconnected computers to create virtual environments in which personal identity could live. Mental symmetry suggests that the path to mental wholeness goes through three similar stages: The first step of personal honesty constructs an understanding in Teacher thought based upon accurate Perceiver facts. Continuing to think about this theory will cause it to turn into a Teacher mental network. The second stage of righteousness allows this Teacher mental network to emotionally shape actions in Server thought. This will eventually lead to the formation of a mental grid of thought and behavior that is an expression of Teacher understanding. The third stage of rebirth then places personal identity within this mental grid.

A ‘spiritual economy’ emerges from the fact that mental networks will take ownership of behavior that they motivate. However, a new mental network can only take ownership of behavior if it motivates the behavior and the mental network that has been motivating the behavior does not. Applying this to the three stages of personal transformation, the childish human mind grows up oriented around juvenile Mercy mental networks, as described by Piaget’s preoperational stage. Making an emotional transition to the first stage of being guided by the Teacher mental network of an accurate understanding will only happen if one accepts the facts because they make rational sense even when these facts make personal identity feel bad. The mind will then know that a Teacher mental network is being followed and not a Mercy mental network. Similarly, the second stage of having behavior guided by understanding will only happen if actions are guided by a Teacher mental network of understanding ‘how things work’ and not by Mercy mental networks of social status or personal reward. This is described in the beginning of Matthew 6 which says that practicing righteousness will only receive a reward from God if it does not receive a reward from people. Finally, the third stage of becoming reborn within a grid of understanding will only happen if one has no choice but to live within a virtual reality based in rational understanding. For instance, the covid pandemic forced many people to go partially through this third stage because social distancing was enforced and social interaction had to happen virtually.

A mystical mindset of ‘Chorazin’ cannot enter the second stage of righteousness because it is impossible to behave like a God who does not behave. In contrast, constructing a rational understanding of ‘how things work’ will eventually lead to the formation of a concept of a God of righteousness—the sort of God who would implement a plan of history that is based in universal cognitive mechanisms. A consumer mindset of ‘Bethsaida’ thinks that it is possible to skip directly to the third stage of rebirth—that childish Mercy mental networks can live within modern high-tech virtual reality. In the past, childish magical thinking eventually had to develop Teacher understanding based in common sense as it came face to face with the cold hard facts of physical reality. However, today’s childish mind seldom encounters cold, hard reality but rather lives within the manicured gardens of human-constructed civilization. Such a mind will naturally conclude that all Perceiver facts are imposed upon society by important people, making it impossible to even start the first stage of personal transformation.

Mental symmetry hypothesizes that a real spiritual realm exists that interacts with and empowers mental networks. This means that the mental network which is motivating behavior would in some way become empowered to affect physical reality. Such an empowering would lead to a real spiritual economy. For instance, suppose that a person was motivated by childish Mercy mental networks to spread lies on the Internet. The physical infrastructure of the Internet goes to extreme lengths to ensure that messages are transmitted truthfully. A spiritual economy would mean that a mental network that motivated a person to spread inaccurate information on the Internet would become ‘empowered’ to locally cause the Internet itself to spread inaccurate information. Consistent with this extrapolation, anecdotal evidence reports that ‘spiritually sensitive people’ do experience computers and electronics malfunctioning in their presence and that this disruption can be altered by shifting one’s mindset.

Applying this extrapolation to the comparison in this section, a mystical mindset of ‘Chorazin’ assumes that it is possible to interact with God in a spiritual manner that is disconnected from the facts of human reality. Such a mindset would find it difficult to survive a spiritual economy in which spiritual behavior affected the facts of human reality. A consumer mindset of ‘Bethsaida’ assumes that childish minds can use high-tech gadgets. Such a mindset would find it difficult to survive a spiritual economy in which childish mental networks affected the functioning of high-tech gadgets. Compare this with the person who spends countless hours as some virtual character within an online video game. Such an individual knows at a personal level what it would be like to function within a spiritual economy in which personal skills and abilities could be upgraded by performing various quests. Obviously becoming a level 34 chaotic warrior with an enchanted sword has nothing to do with real life—and playing such computer games is often a symptom of escaping from reality. And verse 14 does not recommend the thinking of Tyre and Sidon. Instead, it says that it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the future. In other words, a spiritual economy would be more tolerable for a person escaping into virtual reality than for either the leap-of-faith believer or the uneducated consumer. It should be added that there are many versions of a leap-of-faith to Teacher overgeneralization that are not religious. For instance, the liberal ideal of universal tolerance is a leap-of-faith, as is the tree-hugging version of environmentalism.

Verse 15 mentions another city. “And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades.” Capernaum means ‘village of consolation’. To means ‘till, until’. Heaven is a realm of Teacher thought. Lifted up means ‘to lift or raise up’. Applying this to the context, entering into a globally interconnected high-tech society will initially feel as if one is ascending up to a heaven of Teacher-generated virtual reality. But the problem is that this heaven is a ‘village of consolation’ rather than a village of transformation. High-technology is being used to make life easier for the consumer without requiring the consumer to become educated or intelligent. The problem is that a ‘village of consolation’ naturally leads to a mindset which concludes that all Perceiver facts are imposed upon society by important people. That is because instead of encountering the ‘cliffs’ of hard reality, people are encountering the ‘fences’ of civilization that protect people from falling off these ‘cliffs’. If one encounters only human constructed fences and not natural cliffs, then one will naturally conclude that all Perceiver facts are merely ‘fences’ imposed upon society by important people. Brought down means ‘to go down’ which is interpreted as heading away from Teacher generality. And to means ‘till, until’. Hades is used twice in Luke, it means ‘the unseen place’ and refers to ‘the abode of departed spirits’. Spirits can be interpreted cognitively as mental networks, and a realm of departed spirits would indicate an environment that reflects the mental networks of various people and groups which is separate from any facts of physical reality. This describes the mindset of postmodern thought, which asserts that objective truth does not exist and that so-called truth merely reflects the personal opinions of various power groups. However, we saw earlier that a postmodern mindset will stymie the disruptive innovation and deep optimization that makes a modern high-tech society possible. This fundamental incompatibility means that the ‘going until’ Hades will be a movement in the downward direction away from Teacher universality back to the specific Mercy mental networks of personal opinion and culture.

Verse 16 emphasizes these various relationships. “The one hearing you hears Me; and the one rejecting you rejects Me; and the one rejecting Me rejects the One having sent Me.” Hear means ‘to comprehend by hearing’. ‘You’ refers to the disciples. Thus, comprehending the message of universal high-tech implies comprehending the integrated technical thinking of incarnation. Rejecting adds the prefix ‘not’ to ‘place’. Thus, leaving no place for universal high-tech will naturally lead to having no place for integrated technical thought. This can be seen in conspiracy theory thinking. Wikipedia relates that “Conspiracy theories once limited to fringe audiences have become commonplace in mass media, the internet, and social media, emerging as a cultural phenomenon of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. They are widespread around the world and are often commonly believed, some even being held by the majority of the population. Interventions to reduce the occurrence of conspiracy beliefs include maintaining an open society and improving the analytical thinking skills of the general public.” Notice how the virtual reality of globally connected social media does not lead up to ‘heaven’ but rather down to the ‘Hades’ of conspiracy thinking. A conspiracy theory is cognitively a form of Hades because “A conspiracy theory is an explanation for an event or situation that asserts the existence of a conspiracy by powerful and sinister groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable.” Notice how invisible, important people are imposing their will upon society in a manner that resists factual analysis. In addition, a rejection of some aspect of technical thought tends to generalize into a wider rejection of technical thought. In the words of a paper quoted earlier, “The single best predictor of belief in one conspiracy theory is belief in a different conspiracy theory. Even beliefs in mutually incompatible conspiracy theories are positively correlated.”

Continuing with verse 16, Sent means ‘sent on a defined mission by a superior’. Notice that the second stage of verse 16 from technical thought to the source of technical thought happens in the negative but not necessarily in the positive: ‘Rejecting me’ leads to ‘rejecting the one having sent me’, but ‘hearing me’ does not necessarily lead to ‘hearing the one having sent me’. In other words, it is possible to comprehend technology in a fragmented, specialized manner that does not lead to the general Teacher understanding that lies behind integrated high-tech. But if one rejects technical thought then one will also reject any relationship between technical thought and general Teacher understanding. Wikipedia describes this delinking. “Belief in conspiracy theories is generally based not on evidence, but in the faith of the believer. Noam Chomsky contrasts conspiracy theory to institutional analysis which focuses mostly on the public, long-term behavior of publicly known institutions, as recorded in, for example, scholarly documents or mainstream media reports. Conspiracy theory conversely posits the existence of secretive coalitions of individuals and speculates on their alleged activities.” Notice how theories from public institutions of technical thought are being rejected in favor of hidden conspiracy theories. The asymmetry of the second stage means that those who promote conspiracy theories tend to function at the emotional level of Teacher mental networks while those who support rational thought tend to function at the detailed level of technical facts. The end result is that rational thought tends to win the battles but lose the war. The solution is to go beyond the facts of technical specialization to an integrated Teacher meta-theory that can tie these facts together—such as the theory of mental symmetry.

Satan falls as Lightning 10:17-20

The previous verses have looked forward somewhat from the mid-2000s to the present. We now return to the initial joyous introduction of high-tech globalism in the mid-2000s. Verse 17 begins, “And the seventy-two returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us through Your name.’” Return means ‘to turn back, return’ and suggests a change in direction. Joy is a grace-related word that refers to Teacher emotion. It was previously used in 8:13 in the parable of the sower. A demon refers to an unwanted habit driven by a Teacher mental network. Subject combines ‘under’ with ‘arrange’ and is used three times in Luke. The New Testament talks a lot about casting out demons, but this is the only reference to demons being subject. Through means ‘in the realm of’. ‘Your name’ would refer to an approach that is based in a verbal understanding of integrated technical thought. It was noted in the previous verse that the positive alternative did not go beyond ‘hearing me’ to ‘hearing the one having sent me. Similarly, ‘demons being subject’ gives the impression of an incomplete victory that will not last. The demons are currently subject to technical thought because of the Teacher joy of high-tech integration. However, this is an arranging in Teacher thought of demons that by their very nature do not fit together.

Looking more closely at this ‘arranging under of demons’, cognitively speaking, a demon is a habit that runs mentally in the background driven by a Teacher mental network that is independent of direct control. Similarly, in computer terminology, a daemon is a computer program that runs in the background independent of direct control. When people carry smartphones around that are always connected and are capable of running many apps in the background, then cognitive demons and computer daemons will interact. I am not trying to make any deep moral inference between demons and daemons but rather make the more general observation that a threshold was crossed in which the personal computer moved from being a box that sits on a desk to being an ever-present enabler and assistant for a vast array of random habits. For instance, if one wants to go running, then one can install a running app that tracks one’s physical movement. The end result was that all of these random habits—or demons—became ordered under the ‘name’ of technical infrastructure.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes the significance of the iPhone in crossing the threshold from ‘box on a desk’ to ‘assistant in your pocket’. “The main appeal of the iPhone was its incorporation of intuitive software and a simplified appealing interface, as well as the capacity to accommodate new user-selected software. More than 100 million applications were downloaded in the first 60 days after Apple opened its online iPhone App Store in 2008, and by January 2010 more than three billion apps had been downloaded from the store.” Notice the ease-of-use combined with the ability to easily add new programs (or apps). It should be clarified that the emphasis of verse 17 is not upon assisting demons in some evil fashion but rather that the ordering of human activity extends to the realm of the ‘demons’ of random, chaotic human behavior. One no longer has to sit down and schedule time to use a computer. Instead, the computer is always available, always connected, and always running in the background to act as an assistant for almost any task at any time.

Jesus responds in verse 18 with a statement that is not found in any other Gospel. “And He said to them, ‘I beheld Satan having fallen as lightning out of heaven.’” Behold means ‘to gaze, contemplate’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. This is also the first use in Luke of the word Satan, which means ‘adversary’. As means ‘as, like as’ which indicates a comparison. Lightning means ‘lightning, brightness’ and would indicate a burst of Teacher understanding. Out of means ‘from out of’. Heaven indicates the realm of Teacher thought. Fall means ‘to fall’ and would represent descending from Teacher generality.

This ‘falling from heaven’ is cognitively related to the rise of social media. Quoting from one technical website, it took “until around 2005 for [social media] to become the social and cultural institution is today. There are a few reasons for this, but perhaps the most significant is the now universal nature of smart phones. We can access the Internet from pretty much anywhere, which mean social media is never more than a few clicks away, which wasn’t the case until the iPhone hit the market back in 2007.” More specifically, MySpace launched in 2002, Facebook was founded in 2004, Twitter launched in 2006, and Facebook became the most visited site in the world in 2008. Notice the progression. The smart phone with all of its apps provided convenient functions within Server thought to assist all of the various activities and ‘demons’ of human life. Social media added Mercy mental networks of culture and identity to this technological mix. One could view this as a partial version of the three stages of personal transformation that avoids the first stage of personal honesty. The goal of the first stage is to build a Teacher understanding of how the mind should function. This first step can be avoided by carrying around a small computer that uses rational thought. Thus, instead of developing rational thought, one carries around a device that uses rational thought. The second stage of righteousness allows Teacher understanding to emotionally reshape Server actions to be consistent with this Teacher understanding. The ubiquitous smart phone app reverses the relationship of the second stage by programming the Teacher order of a person’s smart phone to reflect the existing mix of personal Server habits. Instead of adjusting Server habits to be consistent with an internal integrated Teacher understanding, the Teacher order of the smart phone is modified to enable existing personal Server habits. This leads to the strange juxtaposition of ‘demons being arranged under’. Social media then performs a version of the third stage of rebirth by allowing Mercy thought to live within this pseudo-second stage of ‘computer apps that reflect my existing habits’. For instance, one posts a stream of personal habits and personal experiences on Facebook to share with friends. The end result is an inherent contradiction between the medium and the message. On the one hand, the medium is a global technical infrastructure of incredible complexity that goes to obsessive lengths to transmit messages honestly and faithfully. On the other hand, the message of social media is a spilling of personal Mercy experiences in which almost no attention is given to either honesty or faithfulness. This inconsistency is a byproduct of the three tabernacles that were erected in response to the Transfiguration. Technical infrastructure belongs to the ‘tabernacle of Jesus’ while social media belongs to the ‘tabernacle of Moses’ because it is ‘drawn from the water’ of Mercy experience.

That brings us to ‘Satan falling from heaven’. Satan means ‘adversary’. An adversarial mindset is the opposite of Teacher order-within-complexity. An adversarial mindset pits one group in Mercy thought against another group, while Teacher thought builds bridges between various groups. Going further, we saw earlier that an ideology leaps from a limited foundation in Mercy thought to a universal theory in Teacher thought. Quoting from Wikipedia, an “ideology is a ‘coherent system of ideas’ that rely on a few basic assumptions about reality that may or may not have any factual basis. Through this system, ideas become coherent, repeated patterns through the subjective ongoing choices that people make. These ideas serve as the seed around which further thought grows... Ideologies are patterned clusters of normatively imbued ideas and concepts, including particular representations of power relations. These conceptual maps help people navigate the complexity of their political universe and carry claims to social truth.” Notice the presence of a ‘coherent system of ideas’ based upon ‘coherent, repeated patterns’ and ‘patterned clusters of normatively imbued ideas’ which indicate that Teacher thought is coming up with general theories. Notice also the flimsy foundation of ‘a few basic assumptions’ that ‘may not have any factual basis’ which indicates that an intuitive leap is being made from Mercy experiences to Teacher theory. Finally, notice that ideologies ‘include particular representations of power relations’ which refers to adversarial relationships between various groups of people in Mercy thought. Using the language of verse 18, an ideology lives within the heaven of Teacher thought. Verse 18 does not say that all ideologies fall from heaven, but rather that ideologies based in an adversarial mindset of Satan fall from heaven. That is because of the implicit deep contradiction between the medium of social media and an adversarial message of social protest. The end result is that protest that is enabled by social media must avoid stating an explicit message in Teacher thought in order to prevent this cognitive disconnect between medium and message from becoming apparent. Saying this more clearly, adversarial protests that are spread through social media will find themselves unable to state clear and simple messages in Teacher thought. This can be illustrated by three movements that were enabled by social media around 2010.

The first example is the Occupy Movement of 2011. Wikipedia describes the adversarial focus of this movement. “The Occupy Movement was an international populist socio-political movement that expressed opposition to social and economic inequality and to the perceived lack of ‘real democracy’ around the world.” Wikipedia also describes the role played by social media. “From the beginning the Occupy movement relied heavily on social media to disperse information and gather support. Occupy accounts were very successful in achieving these goals. The social media accounts eventually became hierarchical and failed their purpose. Some believe, in order to have been more successful, the social media accounts should have been more heavily regulated and kept to a standard.” On the one hand, social media was very effective for spreading a personal message and turning into a general concern. On the other hand, social media somehow failed to capitalize upon this leap from subjective Mercy experience to general Teacher concern. Looking further at the initial spread, “The first Occupy protest to receive widespread attention... began on 17 September 2011. By 9 October, Occupy protests had taken place or were ongoing in over 951 cities across 82 countries, and in over 600 communities in the United States.” Looking further at the vagueness within Teacher thought, “During the early weeks, the movement was frequently criticized by the news media for having no clearly defined goals. Speaking on 7 October 2011, Kalle Lasn of Adbusters said that, in the early stages, the lack of demands was the ‘mysterious part’ that allowed the movement to grow... Some commentators... criticized the idea that the movement must have clearly defined demands; they argued that issuing demands is counterproductive for the Occupy movement, because doing so would legitimize the very power structures the movement seeks to challenge.” Notice the reluctance to make explicit general statements in Teacher thought because having a ‘mysterious part’ made it easier for the movement to grow. Explicit demands were avoided because they would ‘legitimize the very power structures the movement seeks to challenge’. This describes Satan falling from heaven. But this ‘falling from heaven’ happens as a ‘flash of lightning’ that temporarily illuminates the landscape with the light of a Teacher theory.

The second example comes from the Arab Spring. Wikipedia summarizes that “The Arab Spring was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s.” Notice the adversarial focus. Wikipedia has an article entitled Social media and the Arab Spring, which summarizes that “Social media played a significant role facilitating communication and interaction among participants of political protests. Protesters used social media to organize demonstrations, disseminate information about their activities, and raise local and global awareness of ongoing events... Online revolutionary conversations often preceded mass protests on the ground, and... social media played a central role in shaping political debates in the Arab Spring.” While these protests did have some positive impact in countries such as Egypt and Tunisia, the general result was for the Satan of adversarial relation to fall from the ‘heaven’ of Teacher thought to the ‘earth’ of actual physical conflict. Quoting from Wikipedia, “While leadership changed and regimes were held accountable, power vacuums opened across the Arab world... The early hopes that these popular movements would end corruption, increase political participation, and bring about greater economic equity quickly collapsed in the wake of the counter-revolutionary moves by foreign state actors in Yemen, the regional and international military interventions in Bahrain and Yemen, and the destructive civil wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen.” A ‘power vacuum’ indicates a movement away from Teacher order and structure while ‘military interventions’ and ‘civil wars’ indicate a descent of Satan from heaven down to earth.

The third example comes from the idea of ‘spiritual but not religious’. A 2019 article asserts that “especially for people in the West, the ascension and conquest of social media has arguably changed the experience of faith more than any other trend this decade.” Religion is viewed by many as a refuge from modern technical infrastructure. “In an age of the machine—and the glow of screens—religion continues to offer soul and sinew for many in the West.” Social media makes it possible to experience spirituality without religious structure. “Social media has provided a venue to channel religious fervor without the institutional oversight. The effect has been a kind of democratization of religion. This approach takes the church out of religion, undercutting churches’ authority (and ability) to control a narrative or maintain doctrinal boundaries. This has no doubt contributed to the rise of a new identification, ‘spiritual but not religious.’” One can see a similarity with the previous two examples. On the one hand, social media makes it easy to share spiritual experiences. On the other hand, social media removes the Teacher structure of ‘institutional oversight’ and ‘doctrinal boundaries’, leaving Mercy feelings of ‘religious fervor’. This is happening within an adversarial mindset of viewing religion as a refuge for the soul in ‘an age of the machine’. This leads to an expression of Mercy spirituality that has ‘descended’ from any Teacher structure of organized religious church, belief, or theology. In the words of Barna research, “‘Spiritual but not religious’ hold unorthodox views about God or diverge from traditional viewpoints. For instance, they are just as likely to believe that God represents a state of higher consciousness that a person may reach than an all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect creator of the universe who rules the world today... They are just as likely to be polytheistic as monotheistic... What counts as ‘God’ for the spiritual but not religious is contested among them, and that’s probably just the way they like it. Valuing the freedom to define their own spirituality is what characterizes this segment.” The Barna article elaborates upon the combination of remaining vague within Teacher thought and adopting an adversarial opinion of organized religion. “The broader cultural resistance to institutions is a response to the view that they are oppressive, particularly in their attempts to define reality. Seeking autonomy from this kind of religious authority seems to be the central task of the ‘spiritual but not religious’ and very likely the reason for their religious suspicion... The ‘spiritual but not religious’ shirk definition. The boundary markers are non-existent, and that’s the point. For them, there is truth in all religions, and they refuse to believe any single religion has a monopoly on ultimate reality.”

Verse 19 mentions an implication of this new relationship. “Behold, I give you the authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions.” Authority refers to ‘delegated power’. Tread means ‘to tread or tread on’ and would represent resting the mind upon something. Upon means ‘on the top of, above’ and would mean exceeding something in Teacher generality. Serpent means ‘a snake’ and is used twice in Luke. Cognitively speaking, a snake is a living string, an overgeneralized Teacher theory that jumps directly from Mercy substance to Teacher generality without including any ‘arms’ or ‘legs’ of technical thought. A snake was related previously to mysticism. Modern mysticism only works if a transcendent God is regarded as transcending technical infrastructure in Teacher thought. Verse 19 reverses this relationship by stating that technical infrastructure is subjectively above the ‘snake’ of mysticism. This reversal of roles will happen when social media enables the Teacher overgeneralization of mysticism. On the surface level, someone shares a personal Mercy experience on social media. If this ‘goes viral’ and becomes widely shared, then an implicit intuitive leap has been made from Mercy specifics to Teacher generality. This externally mimics the intuitive leap of Teacher overgeneralization taken by mysticism. But social media requires technical infrastructure and global technical infrastructure is required for a post on social media to spread virally. Thus, technical thought can safely ‘tread upon serpents’ because technical thought will reveal the true nature of the serpent. Notice that verse 19 does not say that everyone becomes immune to such serpents but only the disciples of integrated technical thought.

Scorpions are mentioned twice in Luke and three times in Revelation 9. Scorpions are interpreted in Revelation 9 as postmodern thought because of the context and also because the sting is in the tail. Looking at this in more detail, postmodern thought begins as a questioning of Perceiver truth and Teacher theories: ‘All truth is merely the opinions of Mercy sources of authority; all theories are merely ideologies based in mental networks of culture and authority.’ The sting comes when postmodern experts become accepted sources of authority, because there is now no way to challenge their dominance. One cannot appeal to facts and one cannot submit to rational understanding because postmodernism has successfully managed to question these mental tools away. The end result is that postmodern authorities become absolute dictators impervious to criticism who are convinced that they are standing up morally for the defenseless. However, a closer observation reveals that most postmodern ‘experts’ are scientifically illiterate individuals who can only maintain that truth and theory does not exist because they live in a world of technical infrastructure that is protecting them from coming into direct contact with the laws of nature. Using a simple but common example, the postmodern scholar who is presenting a PowerPoint presentation on ‘speaking truth to power’ has to call for help from technicians when the laptop computer containing the presentation does not connect to the video projector—because ‘speaking truth to power’ does not work with computers and projectors. The technician who comes in to fix the connection will overhear the words of the postmodern scholar and think ‘You are crazy. That is not how things work.’ It may be significant that verse 18 says ‘on top of’ rather than ‘on’. That is because ‘on’ implies direct contact. For instance, if the technician fixing the connection for the postmodern scholar actually says ‘Things do not work that way’, then the professor will respond, ‘I am a professor and you are merely a technician. You lack the academic credentials to analyze speech in a valid manner.’ Or if the technician tries to explain the cognitive mechanism of mysticism to a mystic (I speak here from personal experience), then the modern mystic will turn to the technician with a beatific smile and know in his heart of hearts that his ‘knowledge’ of God transcends the rational reasoning of the technician. However, when problems arise, then the modern mystic and the postmodern scholar will call upon the technician for help, and not the other way around.

Summarizing, one is dealing here with conflicting forms of authority. The authority of the mystic ‘snake’ comes from the ‘tabernacle of Elijah’, a feeling of Teacher universality that transcends other feelings. The authority of the postmodern ‘scorpion’ comes from the ‘tabernacle of Moses’, a feeling of Mercy status that comes from successfully questioning the status of other sources of truth. The authority of the technician comes from the ‘tabernacle of Jesus’, the global high-tech infrastructure upon which everything now rests and through which everyone now expresses themselves.

Verse 19 finishes, “And upon all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” All means ‘each part of a totality’. Power refers to active Perceiver thought. This upon is the common version that means ‘on, upon’. Enemy means ‘someone openly hostile animated by deep-seated hatred’. Nothing is combined with a no and a not. Injure is used once in Luke and is the verb form of ‘unrighteousness’. Righteousness is defined as Server actions that reflect general Teacher understanding. Putting this together, nothing will be able to derail technical thought from being guided by Teacher understanding. An ‘enemy’ implies a ‘Satanic’ adversarial relationship. Humans exhibit Server strength. Heavenly thought and heavenly beings exhibit Perceiver ‘power’. If Satan falls from heaven, then an adversarial mindset that thinks in terms of enemies loses access to the power of heavenly thought. For instance, the postmodern scholar will be unable to fix his computer problem by ‘speaking truth to power’, because his adversarial mindset has caused him to lose access to the power of technical thought. The technician will come in to fix the problem guided by the righteousness of behaving in a manner that is guided by a rational Teacher understanding of how things. The ineffectual verbal sputtering of the postmodern scholar will not ‘unrighteous’ the technician but rather will reinforce his righteous thinking.

This change in relative status can be seen in new respect for the geek. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Technologically oriented geeks, in particular, now exert a powerful influence over the global economy and society. Whereas previous generations of geeks tended to operate in research departments, laboratories and support functions, now they increasingly occupy senior corporate positions, and wield considerable commercial and political influence. When U.S. President Barack Obama met with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and the CEOs of the world’s largest technology firms at a private dinner in Woodside, California on February 17, 2011, New York magazine ran a story titled ‘The world’s most powerful man meets President Obama’. At the time, Zuckerberg’s company had grown to over one billion users.” Notice the focus upon the implicit power of global high-tech social media as illustrated by Facebook. More generally, the technical expert has left ‘research departments, laboratories and support functions’ to ‘occupy senior corporate positions’.

Verse 20 redirects Teacher emotion. “Yet do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subjected to you; but rejoice that your names are written in the heavens.” Verse 17 referred to ‘demons’ of Teacher mental networks. Verse 20 mentions ‘spirits’ of Mercy mental networks. This suggests that the motivation has shifted from Teacher generality to Mercy specifics. Continuing with our illustration, it will become apparent that the technician is being driven by a Teacher understanding of how things work, while the postmodern scholar is functioning at the Mercy level of struggling spirits. This is ironic, because the postmodern scholar claims to be functioning at the level of Teacher understanding while the technician has been hired to function at the Mercy level of physical gadgets. Verse 20 says that the technician should not regard himself as superior to the postmodern scholar, because that makes the technician vulnerable to the kind of thinking used by the postmodern scholar. The postmodern scholar is an expert at questioning individuals or groups who regard themselves as superior to others. Instead, the technician needs to find Teacher joy in the fact that he has the ability to function within the Teacher realm of heaven.

Looking at this point more generally, I have found that many theories of personality fall apart when applied to their source. For example, if all theories are merely ideologies based in Mercy mental networks of personal status, then this conclusion itself is merely an ideology in which the postmodern scholar is using emotional status to make personal opinion look like a general theory. In contrast, mental symmetry is capable of being applied to itself. Written is used three times in the New Testament and means ‘to inscribe’. This goes beyond normal writing to engraving. This engraving is ‘in the realm of the heavens’ which indicates a permanent ability to function personally within the heavenly realm of Teacher messages and theories. It was mentioned earlier that mental networks will take ownership of behavior that they motivate. When a technician follows Teacher mental networks of ‘how things work’ in an environment where everyone is focusing upon Mercy mental networks of culture, religion, and status, then the technician will know that he is being motivated by Teacher mental networks and not by Mercy mental networks. And when technical infrastructure spreads globally and pervades all of normal existence, then it becomes possible to maintain a technical mindset wherever one goes, further engraving one’s name in the heavens.

Similarly, if I continue to be guided by the theory of mental symmetry even when almost everyone around me refuses to discuss the subject, then this will turn mental symmetry into a Teacher mental network that emotionally guides my mind. Continuing to follow a theory despite the environment has the cognitive effect of ‘engraving’ one’s name ‘in the heavens’. Going further, because everything that people do and say is guided by cognitive mechanisms, I have found that it is possible to follow mental symmetry wherever I go, further engraving my name in the heavens. Finally, mental symmetry postulates that a real heaven exists that functions in a manner that is like the cognitive mechanisms being described, which means that thinking about a real heaven also engraves my name cognitively within the Teacher heaven of the theory of mental symmetry. This is quite different than a mindset of absolute truth which regards a real heaven as opposed to the human realm of rational thought.

Revealing the Father to Little Children 10:21-24

Verse 21 describes a new Platonic form within technical thought. “In the same hour, He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said...” Hour means ‘a time or period’. ‘In the realm of the same hour’ would indicate something else happening at the same time. Rejoice is used twice in Luke and combines ‘much’ with ‘jump, leap’. 1:47 talked about rejoicing in God, but this is the only reference in the New Testament to ‘rejoicing in the Holy Spirit’, either with the ‘jumping rejoice’ of verse 21 or the normal ‘rejoice’ of verse 20. The idea is that one is cognitively leaving the ‘ground’ of rational thought to leap into the ‘air’ of Teacher theory.

Verse 21 describes what happens when one’s name becomes ‘inscribed in the heavens’. A Platonic form is the internal Mercy image that forms when Teacher thought comes up with the ideal essence of some set of Perceiver facts, such as the internal image of the ideal circle or the ideal job. A concept of the Holy Spirit emerges when Platonic forms within Mercy thought are integrated by a universal theory in Teacher thought to form what Plato called a ‘form of the Good’. When one continues to be guided by Teacher thought in an environment that is driven by Mercy status and culture, then Platonic forms will develop within the mind and they will start to coalesce, leading eventually to an internal image of a more ideal and perfect world. Going further, when one has no opportunity to change the external world to be more like these Platonic forms, then one is forced to choose between despair and finding Teacher pleasure in the order, beauty, and wholeness of one’s concept of the Holy Spirit.

The next phrase of verse 21 refers to this general societal blindness. “I fully consent to You, Father, Lord of the heaven and of the earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent. And have revealed them to little children.”

Hidden means ‘to hide, conceal’. Wise means ‘skilled, wise’. It is used once in Luke and comes from the word wisdom which means ‘clarity’. Cognitively speaking, clarity indicates an ability to use abstract technical thought. Intelligent means ‘to understand by synthesizing’. This goes beyond technical specialization to finding connections between technical specializations. Little children is used once in Luke and means ‘an infant, a simpleminded or immature person’. Revealed means ‘to uncover, reveal’. Until now, the challenge has been to go beyond the fragmented thinking of technical specialization to the interdisciplinary integration of a meta-theory—to go beyond wisdom to intelligence. But, thanks to social media and other forms of high-tech integration, the world is now functioning at the interdisciplinary level of a meta-theory. And it is clear that this is not enough. This inadequacy becomes apparent when one observes the average person living within high-tech at a Mercy level. Stated cognitively, there are two kinds of ‘little children’. There is the ‘little child’ who is sharing the details of his or her life upon Facebook and other forms of social media. And there is mental concept of the ideal ‘little child’ that forms as a result of rejoicing in the Holy Spirit—a person who enjoys technology because it enhances personal and societal well-being. When one reads what ‘little children’ are posting on social media, one sees many complicated relationships and messy problems. Such a person is not simple-minded or innocent, but rather dumb. And global technology is enabling this dumbness by interconnecting the world while leaving people stupid. This is illustrated by the typical geek, who may have achieved social prominence because of technical brilliance but still remains a social misfit.

Saying this more personally, I have found that pursuing mental symmetry can be described as preserving the innocence and simplicity of the young child. This can be illustrated by comparing the behavior of the child with how the parent observes this child. The mind of the child is driven by a hodgepodge of disconnected, semi-rational Mercy mental networks. But what a parent observes is a child-like wonder and innocence in which things are enjoyed for their own sake without all the complexities of adult worry. That is because the adult is viewing the child as an expression of the Platonic form of the ideal, simple, innocent person. It was mentioned earlier that modern civilization protects people from the cliffs of natural consequence by erecting artificial fences. One response to such fences is to conclude that cliffs do not exist and that every fence is merely a human imposed restriction. Another response is to regard the fences of civilization as an opportunity to maintain childlike wonder and innocence without having to be sidetracked by the complexities of adult worry. Looking at this in more detail, modern high-tech society provides for most human needs. One can treat this as an excuse to avoid learning about how things work, or one can treat it as an opportunity to pursue the deepest questions of human existence without getting sidetracked by physical necessity. Saying this another way, a little child requires an extensive support structure to continue existing. The modern technological world provides such a support structure—externally. Unfortunately, this makes it possible for people to remain little children internally. The solution is to construct an internal support structure for the mindset of the little child. This is only possible if one is not mentally distracted by physical need or hardship. When the innocent mindset of the little child becomes reborn within an internal support structure, then it is also possible to enjoy and maintain the external support structure of modern civilization.

Looking further at verse 21, ‘heaven’ represents the realm of Teacher thought, while ‘earth’ represents the realm of human rational thought. ‘Father, Lord of the heaven and of the earth’ indicates being ruled by an integrated understanding that spans both theory and practice. Fully consent is used twice in Luke and means to ‘fully agree and to acknowledge that agreement openly’. This indicates recognizing the integration of heaven and earth at a personal, emotional level, consistent with our discussion of pursuing the ideal of a little child.

Verse 21 finishes, “Yes, Father, for thus was it well-pleasing before You.” Well pleasing means ‘what seems good or beneficial to someone’. Was means ‘to come into being’. Before means ‘before the face’ and the face represents nonverbal communication. This describes a transformation in one’s concept of God. The third and final stage of personal transformation is one of personal rebirth. The goal of rebirth is not to cocoon childish identity so that it can remain ignorant. But the goal of rebirth also is not to destroy childish identity. Instead, the ultimate purpose is to provide a framework for a reborn childish identity that is capable of functioning over the long-term in a manner that resembles the joy of being a child. In other words, God is happy when I function like the ideal child. That means enjoying learning for its own sake, enjoying beauty for its own sake, enjoying experience for its own sake. This sounds simple, it is not.

Verse 22 describes this universality, “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father. And no one knows who the Son is, except the Father; and who the Father is, except the Son, and those to whom the Son might resolve to reveal Him.” All things means ‘each part of the totality’. Delivered is the word for betray, which can have either a positive or negative sense, depending on how the ‘handing over’ is done. By means ‘under, often meaning under authority’. Matthew 11:27 is almost identical to verse 22, which was interpreted as the Teacher theories of medieval scholasticism being replaced by the Teacher theories of science. Similarly, Teacher feelings of globalization and high-tech integration have caused everything to become subject to integrated technical thought. And we have seen in the previous sections how this has involved a combination of positive handing over and implicit betrayal. The word ‘betrayal’ is normally associated with the betrayal of Judas, but in verse 22 God the Father is doing the betraying. Stated cognitively, Teacher feelings of universality are driving everything to become a function of integrated technical thought.

Know means experiential knowledge. Verse 22 does not talk about knowing the son or father experientially but rather about having an experiential knowledge of the identity and nature of the son and the father. This indicates that most of this integration is happening implicitly, driven by Teacher emotions of which people are unaware. For instance, I published a short academic article that merely describes the existence of Teacher emotions. I experienced major negative feedback from several individuals who claimed that what I was saying was totally nonscientific. However, in each case when I examined the research of that individual, I found that that person had developed a semi-rigorous general theory. This led to the conclusion that my article about Teacher emotions was pointing out the emotional bias of these individuals and they were responding by claiming to defend scientific thought against my emotional thinking. This short paper went semi-viral, indicating that a major issue was being addressed. Giving one more example, every other description of Romans 12 spiritual gifts that I have examined so far describes the Teacher person as some sort of intellectual Contributor person, again indicating a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of Teacher emotion. When I recently pointed this out to one source, the response that I received was ‘That is your opinion’, again totally missing the nature of Teacher thought and Teacher emotion. I gained an experiential knowledge of the nature of Teacher thought back in the 1980s when I, a Perceiver person, was helping my older brother, a Teacher person, do research on cognitive styles. I learned how Teacher thought functions because I was interacting closely with Teacher thought in order to understand, among other things, how Teacher thought functions. Without that extended personal experience, I never would have believed that such a form of thinking actually exists.

Resolve means ‘to plan with full resolve’ and is used twice in Luke. Reveal means ‘to uncover, reveal’ and the same word was used in verse 21 to describe the Father revealing things to little children. These two verses may describe a cognitive progression. Verse 21 suggests that a childlike innocence is required to uncover the relationship between technical thought and Teacher understanding. Verse 22 suggests that this understanding can spread to those who work with the relationship between Teacher theory and abstract technical thought. In my examination of different fields, I have found that primarily mathematicians and physicists seem to grasp the relationship between Teacher generality and abstract technical thought, because these two fields experience what it means for technical thought to interact with general theories. However, the abstract focus of these two fields means that the idea that universal Teacher theory interacts with technical thought does not turn into a truly universal theory that interacts with all technical thought, but rather remains limited to talking and writing in a technical manner about the interaction between theories and technical thought.

Verse 23 then takes a personal perspective. “And having turned to the disciples, He said in private, ‘Blessed are the eyes seeing what you see!’” Turned means ‘to turn’ and represents a change in direction. In means ‘among, daily, day-by-day’ when followed by the accusative. Private means ‘uniquely one’s own’. We have been examining recent passages from both the public perspective of global high-tech as well as the personal perspective of a cognitive meta-theory. Verse 23 indicates the personal perspective that comes from having an internal integrated understanding. Blessed is the same word used in the Beatitudes which means ‘become long, large’. The idea is that one naturally develops theories that have Teacher generality. Eye means ‘the eye’ and represents using Perceiver thought to scan the environment in order to construct a mental map. See means to ‘be observant’. In other words, a cognitive meta-theory makes it possible to scan some environment, construct a mental map, and come up with a general theory. The various essays and papers that have flowed out of mental symmetry demonstrate that this is the case.

Verse 24 concludes. “For I say to you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see; and to hear what you hear, and did not hear.” Prophet means ‘asserting one idea over another’. A king rules over some domain. Desire means ‘to desire, wish’. The first and third see mean ‘to see with the mind’. The second see means to ‘be observant’. More literally, ‘Many desired to mentally see what you observe, and did not mentally see’. The problem is that both a prophet and awill king have the wrong mindset. A prophet declares truth as a source of truth in Mercy thought. Similarly, a king is a personal source of general Teacher theories. Mentally seeing the big picture requires becoming personally reborn within an internal framework of understanding—which means going through the three stages of personal transformation. One cannot mentally grasp what it means to live within a framework of understanding when one is functioning as a personal source of this framework. That is like a legislator who makes the law understanding what it feels like to be a normal citizen who lives under the law. Wanting to adopt a different perspective is not enough. Going further, the person who becomes mentally reborn within a framework of understanding is also capable of observing the world in the light of this understanding.

Finishing verse 23, all three hears are the same word which means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Consistent with verse 23, I keep finding that those who act as sources of truth seem incapable of comprehending my words. No matter what I say, it does not communicate.

Loving God but not my Neighbor 10:25-32

The parable of the Good Samaritan is one of the best-known parables, but it is only found in the Gospel of Luke. The parable starts in verse 25 with a question. “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up, testing Him, saying, ‘Teacher, what having done, will I inherit eternal life?’” Behold suggests that something new has appeared on the scene. Lawyer means ‘an expert in Jewish law’ and this word was used once previously in Luke in 7:30, which was interpreted as theologians being immune to the secularization of the 1970s. Stood up means ‘to raise up’ and is used to describe resurrection from the dead. This suggests some sort of resurrection of theology. Testing combines ‘out from’ with ‘tempt’ and is used one other time in Luke in 4:12. The three other times ‘testing’ is used in the New Testament all refer to ‘tempting the Lord’. James 1:13 says that God cannot be tempted by evil, which means that God in Teacher thought is not tempted by specific experiences in Mercy thought. But it is possible to ‘tempt God’ by limiting a universal Teacher theory to some subset of Mercy experiences, and 4:12 was interpreted as limiting the benefits of World War I era technology to the upper class.

Teacher means ‘an instructor acknowledged for their mastery in their field of learning’. Done refers to Server actions. Life refers to either physical or spiritual life. Eternal means ‘agelong, eternal’. And inherit means ‘to assign inheritance by lot’. This is the first appearance of ‘life’, ‘eternal’, or ‘inherent’ in the Gospel of Luke. This suggests that a new kind of question is being asked that has not been asked before. What happened in the previous section was that high-tech infrastructure became sufficiently pervasive for people to start living within it at the level of Mercy experiences, as illustrated by social media. This will turn the attention of people away from technology to life. When it becomes apparent that high-tech civilization does not automatically educate and civilize people, then people will start to ask what is really required to acquire lasting life. And because people are living at a Mercy level within technology that has descended from Teacher thought, the focus will be upon inheriting life. Saying this more clearly, wages are based in what I do, inheritance is based in who I am. Putting this all together, the right questions are being asked, but they are being asked in order to limit universal Teacher thought to some subset of individuals in Mercy thought.

Verse 26 focuses upon legal content. “And He said to him, ‘What has been written in the Law? How do you read it?’” In means ‘in the realm of’. Law refers to some legal or religious system. Written is the normal word ‘to write’. Verse 20 talked about names being inscribed in the realm of the heavens. Verse 26 talks about words being written in the realm of the law. These words are being read rather than personified.

The lawyer answers in verse 27. “And answering, he said, ‘“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind” and “Your neighbor as yourself.”’” Love is ‘agape’ which refers to Teacher-guided love. The ‘Lord your God’ indicates cognitively that one is submitting to the rule of one’s concept of God in Teacher thought. All means ‘whole, complete’ and is repeated four times, which is consistent with being guided by Teacher feelings of order-within-complexity. The heart refers to personal identity in Mercy thought. Soul is ‘psyche’ and refers to the integrated mind. Strength is used once in Luke and means to have force. It is used in the parallel passage in Mark 12 and Paul uses it three times to refer to the ‘strength of his might’. Thus, it will be interpreted as Server actions that are empowered by Teacher understanding. Mind is used twice in Luke and means ‘thorough reasoning’ or ‘critical thinking’. This goes beyond rational thought to integrated rational thought.

The first with means ‘from out of’ while the other three withs mean ‘in the realm of’. (No English translation appears to distinguish between these two.) However, this distinction is consistent with the idea of personal identity becoming reborn within a grid of rational understanding. The agape love is coming out of personal identity and is expressing itself within a realm of the integrated mind, Teacher enhanced Server actions, and connected Perceiver facts. The cognitive principle is that a reborn personal identity will generate Mercy emotions that are compatible with Teacher emotions of universal understanding. Mercy thought still thinks in terms of people and experiences, but it does so in a manner that is compatible with general principles in Teacher thought. The end result is agape love coming out of the heart. For instance, mental symmetry can be interpreted from a Teacher perspective as a universal meta-theory of human thought and behavior. But the same theory can also be interpreted from a Mercy perspective as a personal path to mental wholeness. Looking at this further, loving with all one’s soul would mean bridging mental splits such as objective versus subjective, theoretical versus practical, religious versus secular, or work versus play. Loving with all one’s strength would mean allowing all Server actions to be empowered by Teacher understanding. And loving with all one’s mind would mean using the same kind of critical thinking to analyze all subjects, both religious and secular. Putting this all together, the lawyer is describing the principles that were discussed earlier when looking at the little child in verse 21. However, notice that this is being described from a verbal perspective based upon written words.

Neighbor means ‘near, neighboring’ and this word is only used in Luke in this parable. As means ‘like as, even as’. A mindset of absolute truth will think that one should deny oneself for one’s neighbor, but that is not what verse 27 says. Instead, one needs to treat self and others as similar in Perceiver and Server thought. Such similarity will lead to universal principles that apply to all situations and people, which is what Teacher thought wants.

Jesus answers in verse 28. “And He said to him, ‘You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.’” Correct is used twice in Luke and means ‘straight without deviation’. Such ‘straightness without deviation’ characterizes the mind of little children who say and do exactly what they think without any inhibitions. Similarly, verse 27 describes a mind that is pure in the sense that all aspects of the mind express a single integrated Teacher understanding. For instance, my mother was a Mercy person. She was raised in an environment of absolute truth and could not mentally escape this foundation, but within this mindset she was unusually pure and child-like. She suffered from dementia at the end of her life, but even though her mind became fragmented, all of these fragments expressed the same pure, child-like character. Do refers to Server actions. ‘Doing’ does not normally lead to ‘living’. Using the language of evangelical theology, salvation is not by works. Instead, verse 28 is going beyond a verbal understanding of the requirements for life to acting out these words in real life.

The lawyer responds in verse 29. “But desiring to justify himself, he said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’” Desire means ‘to desire, wish’. Justify means ‘to show to be righteous, declare righteous’. Desiring to be righteous describes the motivation for the second stage of personal transformation, in which one allows Teacher understanding to guide Server actions. This is a good motivation, but we are now in the third stage of personal rebirth. During the second stage, it is necessary to limit one’s world in order to ensure that Server actions are guided by Teacher understanding and not by Mercy mental networks of culture or approval. In contrast, the fundamental question of the third stage is universality. How far will the similarities of ‘my neighbor’ be allowed to extend? When the application of Teacher order is limited to some group then this is an example of ‘tempting God’. Notice that this is the same question that was asked by the Occupy Movement. They were complaining that the benefits of high-tech society were not spreading to all of society. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Prime concerns included how large corporations (and the global financial system) control the world in a way that disproportionately benefits a minority, undermines democracy and causes instability.”

The parable of the Good Samaritan is often interpreted as caring for everyone with an attitude of unconditional, universal acceptance in Teacher thought. For instance, the BBC article on this parable explains that “People should love everyone, including their enemies. It is easy to love friends and family, but it is much more difficult to love those who you may not get along with, or even those who may harm or hurt you.” But this parable is being spoken within the context of loving God with all of one’s heart, mind, soul, and strength. Overgeneralization only loves God with part of one’s heart and part of one’s strength. It does not love God with either one’s mind or one’s soul. Instead, it makes vague statements about universal love and then condemns those who attempt to add mind or soul to these vague statements. Social media provides a secular example of this inadequate interpretation. The question is often asked, ‘How can social media promote civilized discourse and behavior?’ and the answer is frequently given that one should be tolerant of other opinions. However, such a focus upon universal tolerance ignores the fact that social media is taking place upon a grid of rational, global, high-tech infrastructure. When this enabling infrastructure is ignored then one is not loving God with either one’s mind or one’s soul.

The parable begins in verse 30. “Jesus having taken it up, then said, ‘A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, who both having stripped him and having inflicted wounds, went away having left him half dead.’” Taken up is used twice in Luke and means ‘to take or bear up’. The other occurrence was in 7:43 which was interpreted as evaluating the effectiveness of Christian Contemporary Music. Here too, the effectiveness of some approach is being evaluated. Man is the generic word for mankind. Going down means ‘to go down’ and is interpreted as heading from Teacher generality to Mercy specifics. This fits the context of extending a general Teacher theory to apply to many Mercy experiences through the similarities of ‘my neighbor’. (Speaking literally, Jerusalem is on the top of the mountains while Jericho is below sea level.) Jerusalem represents the center of society and religion. Jesus has been heading towards Jerusalem. Thus, heading down from Jerusalem suggests that the core mental networks of society and religion have been changed to some extent and the implications of these changes are now rippling out. The name Jericho means either ‘moon’ or ‘fragrance’. A moon is a reflected Teacher light, as opposed to a sun which is a source of Teacher light. Fragrance relates to mental networks, because smell triggers mental networks within the mind. Thus, heading down from Jerusalem to Jericho could be interpreted as expressing core values of society and religion in the external structure of society—the ‘moon’ that reflects the ‘sun’ of modern science and technology. It could also be interpreted as expressing core values of society and religion through the ‘fragrance’ of mental networks of general approval and disapproval. Applying this to Western society, the electronically interconnected world is turning from theoretical vision to reality and people are starting to gain an intuitive sense of how this functions. A major aspect of this transition would be the widespread use of social media.

Fell is used once in Luke and combines ‘all around’ with ‘fall’. This suggests some large event with widespread impact. Robber means ‘stealing out in the open’ as opposed to sneaking in like a thief. Strip means ‘to cause to sink out of’ and is applied to clothing the six times it appears in the New Testament. Stated symbolically, existing social order is being disrupted. Wound means ‘a blow, wound’. Inflict means ‘to lay upon, to place upon’. This goes beyond an isolated event to something more lasting in Perceiver thought. Went away means ‘to go away, go after’. Left means ‘to send away’ and is normally translated as ‘forgive’. Putting this together, the social order is being disrupted by robbers functioning in an open manner who have then left the scene to live in some other realm where they can forget about their victims. Half dead is used once in the New Testament and means ‘half dead’.

Such an event happened with the Great Recession of 2008. Wikipedia summarizes that “It was the most severe economic and financial meltdown since the Great Depression.” It can be described as an ‘all around falling’ because it “was a period of marked general decline, i.e., a recession, observed in national economies globally that occurred from late 2007 into 2009.” The Great Recession was triggered by a financial crisis caused by widespread financial robbery. In the words of Wikipedia, “Arguably the largest contributor to the conditions necessary for financial collapse was the rapid development in predatory financial products which targeted low-income, low-information homebuyers who largely belonged to racial minorities. This market development went unattended by regulators and thus caught the U.S. government by surprise.” This led to the ‘blow’ of a financial crisis. Wikipedia explains, “Declines in credit availability led to plummeting stock and commodity prices in late 2008 and early 2009. The crisis rapidly spread into a global economic shock, resulting in several bank failures. Economies worldwide slowed during this period since credit tightened and international trade declined.” Many average Americans were left ‘half-dead’. Quoting from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “As millions of people lost their homes, jobs, and savings, the poverty rate in the United States increased, from 12.5 percent in 2007 to more than 15 percent in 2010... Between late 2007 and early 2009, American households lost an estimated $16 trillion in net worth; one quarter of households lost at least 75 percent of their net worth, and more than half lost at least 25 percent.” In contrast, the financial institutions that did the robbing were largely bailed out by government money. Quoting from Wikipedia, “As part of national fiscal policy response to the Great Recession, governments and central banks, including the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England, provided then-unprecedented trillions of dollars in bailouts and stimulus... This was the largest liquidity injection into the credit market, and the largest monetary policy action in world history... Significant controversy accompanied the bailouts.” And the richest individuals were able in general to move on and forget about the crisis. Encyclopaedia Britannica summarizes the result in America. “During the first two years after the official end of the recession, from 2009 to 2011, the aggregate net worth of the richest 7 percent of households increased by 28 percent while that of the lower 93 percent declined by 4 percent. The richest 7 percent thus increased their share of the nation’s total wealth from 56 percent to 63 percent.”

Verse 31 describes the priest. “Now by chance a certain priest was going down on that road, and having seen him, he passed by on the opposite side.” Chance is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘with’ and ‘to happen coincidentally’. So this is a random bringing of the two together. Priest means ‘sacred because belonging to the temple’. Going down means the priest is also going from theory to practice. Road indicates a Server sequence, and on means ‘in the realm of’. ‘That’ indicates that both the priest and the man are following a similar Server sequence. Having seen means ‘to see with the mind’. Passed on the other side is only used in this verse and the next and combines ‘anti’ with ‘to pass by’. Looking at this cognitively, the priest makes a distinction between holy and secular and instinctively regards himself as living within the sacred and the wounded man as belonging to the secular.

Christianity became marginalized in the 1970s. Christian Contemporary Music replaced the assumption of living in a Christian world with the feeling of encountering a universal God. High-tech globalization extended this marginalization by transforming the physical world into an integrated global infrastructure. The end result is that Christianity, and religion in general, turned into a religion of holiness, in which God and religion became associated with some supernatural realm that transcends the physical structure of the ‘cosmos’. The 2008 Great Recession caused many people to have similar feelings of marginalization, which was expressed by the Occupy Movement. In the words of Wikipedia, “Its prime concerns included how large corporations (and the global financial system) control the world in a way that disproportionately benefits a minority, undermines democracy and causes instability.” Using the language of verse 31, ‘wounded humanity’ was following a similar path to that of the priest, because both were being marginalized by the global machine. Verse 31 does not say that there is a causal relationship between these two paths. Instead, it describes the interaction as random. It also does not say that there is a physical similarity between these two. Instead, the similarity becomes apparent when the situation is viewed mentally. And verse 31 does not claim that there is any doctrinal or factual similarity between these two. Instead, it merely points out that they are following similar Server paths. The Christian could look at the Occupy Movement protester and respond, ‘I know what it feels like to be marginalized by high-tech global society’.

But instead, the priest ‘passed by on the other side’. This goes beyond merely passing by to actively regarding the situation as on the wrong side of holiness. Such a response can be seen during the presidency of Barack Obama. Obama attempted to address the problem. Wikipedia summarizes, “Obama’s first-term actions addressed the global financial crisis and included a major stimulus package, a partial extension of George W. Bush’s tax cuts, legislation to reform health care, a major financial regulation reform bill, and the end of a major US military presence in Iraq.” However, many Americans regarded Obama as belonging to the wrong side of holiness. A 2010 pew research article summarizes that “A new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that nearly one-in-five Americans (18%) now say Obama is a Muslim, up from 11% in March 2009. Only about one-third of adults (34%) say Obama is a Christian, down sharply from 48% in 2009.” More generally, “The religious landscape is far more favorable to Republicans than was the case as recently as 2008.” We are not attempting here to make any statements regarding Obama’s religious beliefs or attempt to evaluate his policies. Instead, we are simply pointing out that ‘the priest passed by on the other side’.

Verse 32 mentions the Levite. “And likewise also a Levite having come to the spot, and having seen him, passed by on the opposite side.” Likewise means ‘likewise, in like manner’ and indicates a similarity. Verse 27 talked about loving one’s neighbor as oneself. In verse 32, the Levite is behaving like the priest. Levite probably means ‘joined, attached’ and is only mentioned once in Luke. A Levite was a member of the Jewish tribe that performed priestly duties. Thus, a Levite would represent someone who is joined to some religion for historical and cultural reasons. Spot means ‘a place’ and represents some location in Perceiver thought. The priest passed on the same Server road; the Levite arrives at the same Perceiver location. ‘Seen’ and ‘passed by on the opposite side’ are the same words as in verse 31. Thus, the Levite is copying the example of the priest but doing it for different reasons.

The response of the Levi could be seen in the Tea Party movement. Wikipedia explains that “The Tea Party movement was an American fiscally conservative political movement within the Republican Party that began in 2009... The movement supported small-government principles and opposed government-sponsored universal healthcare.” Looking at this cognitively, we now live in an interconnected global society. But this high-tech infrastructure functions behind the scenes, making it possible to ignore. The Tea Party movement (and similar modern conservative movements) wants government also to function in an invisible manner so that the individual can still make a mental leap of faith from specific rational thought to Teacher overgeneralization. One sees the same lack of agenda that appeared in the Occupy Movement. “The Tea Party does not have a single uniform agenda. The decentralized character of the Tea Party, with its lack of formal structure or hierarchy, allows each autonomous group to set its own priorities and goals. Goals may conflict, and priorities will often differ between groups. Many Tea Party organizers see this as a strength rather than a weakness, as decentralization has helped to immunize the Tea Party against co-opting by outside entities and corruption from within.” This lack of Teacher structure is another expression of verse 18 which talked about ‘Satan falling as lightning out of heaven’. There is the ‘lightning’ of a mass movement, but the adversarial mindset ensures that it will ‘fall’ from the ‘heaven’ of Teacher thought. A 2016 article compares the Tea Party Movement with similar movements. “Trump’s campaign theme ‘Make America Great Again’ echoes the Tea Parties’ ‘Take Back Our Country,’ slogans resonating with white, older middle-class voters feeling dispossessed by the changing face of a more ethnically diverse country and rising cultural liberalism. Trump supporters, more than Tea Partiers, are reacting to an economy that has left them behind. Although his support bridges all demographic and ideological groups, he appeals more to the less educated, less affluent, and many who do not routinely vote... Tea Party and Trump supporters have reacted viscerally to the nation’s first African-American president. Surveys of Tea Party identifiers found them holding more negative attitudes to Hispanics and blacks than ‘mainstream’ Republicans and whites generally. In one survey, over a quarter of Tea Partiers believed that Obama is a practicing Muslim and did not believe he had a valid birth certificate.” Notice the characteristics of the Levite. Like the Levite who is born into the priesthood, the typical Tea Party supporter was born into a position of American, middle-class, privilege, and is ‘feeling dispossessed by the changing face of a more ethnically diverse country and rising cultural liberalism’. The ethnic basis for privilege is shown by the ‘visceral reaction to the nation’s first African-American president’. Again, our goal is not to debate the relative merits of these movements, but rather to point out that the Levite also ‘passes by on the other side’. A 2011 Pew Research article measured this disparity. “About six-in-ten Republicans (63%) say they support the Tea Party. That jumps to 77% among Republicans who describe themselves as conservative. Just 13% of Democrats support the Tea Party movement, while 64% are opposed.” In contrast, “About half of Democrats (52%) – and 62% of liberal Democrats – say they support the Occupy Wall Street movement. Among Republicans, 19% say they support the anti-Wall Street protests, while more than half (55%) oppose them.” Notice that the Tea Party supporter has not really followed a Server path of being marginalized by society but rather finds himself in a place of ‘feeling dispossessed by the changing face of a more ethnically diverse country and rising cultural liberalism’.

Looking briefly at being born into privilege, mental symmetry suggests that this is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, one has the advantage of material wealth and a high-class education. On the other hand, one has the disadvantage of building one’s mind upon personal experiences of social status, leading to the instinctive conclusion that personal identity in Mercy thought is above the rule of law in Teacher thought. In contrast, a person who is not born into privilege finds it easier to place personal identity within an internal grid of rational understanding. The disadvantaged person who protests against power abandons this cognitive advantage and descends emotionally to the Mercy-based mindset of those who are born into privilege.

The Samaritan as a Neighbor 10:33-37

The Samaritan appears in verse 33. “But a certain Samaritan journeying came to him, and having seen him was moved with compassion.” Samaritan comes from a word that means ‘to keep, watch, preserve’. Historically speaking, the Samaritans were despised by the Jews for practicing an incomplete, syncretistic form of Judaism. And Samaria was interpreted earlier as holding onto some core of ancient religious traditions. Journey is used once in the New Testament and comes from the word ‘road’. Came means ‘to come, go’. The priest was following the same Server road, the Levite came to the same Perceiver location, the Samaritan comes to the person. Seen means ‘to see with the mind’. Moved with compassion means ‘to be moved in the inward parts’. Thus, the Samaritan is internally affected by the situation itself.

We looked at the emergence of ‘spiritual but not religious’ when discussing verse 18. This modern search for spirituality has been associated with the revival of ancient religious traditions. A 2013 Psychology Today article summarizes this historical connection, “In the Indus Valley, archaeologists discovered evidence of meditation in wall art dating from approximately 5,000 to 3,500 BCE. The images depict people sitting in what many of us would recognize as meditation postures... As the centuries passed, most of the world’s great religions adopted the basic concepts of meditation. Though the methods may vary from culture to culture, people across the globe believe meditation is an essential cornerstone of spiritual development... With the influx of Eastern philosophy into the United States and millions of Americans now taking yoga and meditation classes, meditation has become more mainstream than ever.” ‘Spiritual but not religious’ is a ‘seeing with the mind’ in which one is ‘moved in the inward parts’. Quoting from the Wikipedia article, “To be ‘religious’ conveys an institutional connotation, usually associated with Abrahamic traditions: to attend worship services, to say Mass, to light Hanukkah candles. To be ‘spiritual,’ in contrast, connotes personal practice and personal empowerment having to do with the deepest motivations of life.”

A 2017 article observes that Western interest in meditation exploded during the time period that we are currently examining. “During the 2000s, with books, talks, and documentaries about mindfulness instantly available via Amazon, Netflix, and YouTube and guided meditations downloadable to smart phones, public interest in mindfulness was set to explode. By 2012, an estimated two million American adults reported having practiced some form of meditation within the past twelve months. Today, more than 600 studies are published annually on meditation and mindfulness.” Notice the role played by social media and the smart phone in the spread of ‘public interest in mindfulness’.

Verse 33 does not say that the Samaritan is traveling the same road as the man or that he comes to the same location, but simply states that is traveling some road. Similarly, meditation follows a path that has nothing to do with modern society. Instead, the relationship is purely mental and emotional. Ancient meditation mentally sees the predicament of modern man, draws near, and responds with gut-level emotion.

The Samaritan acts in verse 34. “And having approached Him, he bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and having put him on his own beast, he brought him to an inn and took care of him.” Approach means ‘to approach, to draw near’. Bound up is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to bind up’. Wound is the word ‘trauma’ and is used once in the New Testament. Thus, the specific situation is being addressed and the trauma is being bound up. Pour on means ‘to pour upon’ and is found once in the New Testament. Oil means ‘olive oil’ and represents Platonic forms of the spirit. Wine represents pleasant culture. In other words, the pain is being replaced with both internal Platonic forms and external civilized culture.

This description portrays how meditation has responded to the struggles of modern society. It has used ancient religious tradition to bring a feeling of integration to modern trauma by pouring on the ‘oil’ of spirituality. This is described in a Mayo Clinic article. “If stress has you anxious, tense and worried, consider trying meditation. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can help restore your calm and inner peace... Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Meditation originally was meant to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. These days, meditation is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction... Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health.” Modern meditation no longer attempts to ‘deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical’, but it does ‘bind up the wounds’ by ‘restoring calm and inner peace’. It is a ‘Samaritan system’ that ‘has been practiced for thousands of years’. It functions by ‘pouring on the oil’ of Platonic forms. And it does this within the context of the ‘wine’ of modern technological convenience.

Looking at this more carefully, Teacher universality is relative. A Teacher theory will feel universal if it explains everything that is currently within attention. Thus, one can increase Teacher feelings of universality either by making a theory more universal or by restricting attention. A Platonic form will emerge within Mercy thought when Teacher thought comes up with the simplified essence of some Perceiver object. For instance, if one sees enough round objects, then one will eventually come up with the Platonic form of a perfect circle. But a Platonic form will also emerge if one restricts attention to some limited world, such as a flickering flame, a repetitive word, or a repetitive action. Teacher thought will eventually come up with a theory that summarizes this limited world, and this theory will feel universal as long as attention remains focused upon this limited world. That describes ‘focused’ or ‘concentrated’ meditation. For instance, when I was in Korea, I would occasionally encounter Buddhist monks in the subway stations. The typical monk would wear gray clothing, sit on the stairs, and beat endlessly on a little drum: ‘bang, bang, bang, bang, bang...’, effectively reducing God and religion to the level of a dripping faucet. There is also ‘open monitoring’ or ‘mindfulness’ meditation. The goal here is to avoid any judgment in order to get Perceiver thought out of the way. This will give Teacher thought freedom to overgeneralize, leading again to a feeling of oneness.

I should add that a mystic will deny such a cognitive explanation in the strongest of terms. The mystic must do this because explaining mysticism explains it away. Thus, one must ignore the verbal protests of the mystic and observe what the mystic is doing together with the instructions that the mystic is giving. In brief, I have found that mystic writings accurately describe how to achieve meditation as well as the sensations that are involved. However, this factual accuracy does not extend to an analysis of meditation itself.

I should also add that concentration and mindfulness play two positive roles. Concentration leads to the feeling that there is more to life than merely material existence. In other words, the oil of the spirit exists. Mindfulness generates an ability to live in the present. Quoting from one website, “Presence is meditation in motion. It is the practice of bringing mindfulness into the activities of everyday life. We can practice the art of being here, now, while waiting in a long grocery store line, changing a baby’s diaper, or sitting in traffic. Presence involves a simple yet incredible shift—from the ordinary state of mind wandering to bringing our attention to the experience of what is happening right now. You can make this shift anytime, anywhere.” In other words, the wine of culture exists. Enjoying the present is difficult in a technical world in which everyone is expected to meet professional standards.

Put means ‘to place upon’. Beast is used once in Luke and means ‘a beast of burden’. An animal is alive but it is not human. We have seen that meditation reduces human intelligence to the level of the beast. Thus, ‘on his own beast’ is an accurate description. But what alternative is there when both the priest and the Levite insist upon ‘passing by on the other side’? It may seem politically incorrect to describe ancient religious technique as ‘thinking like a beast’, but this conclusion becomes apparent from the summaries given of various ways to meditate on the Mayoclinic website: “Form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing... Silently repeat a calming word, thought or phrase... Focus on what you experience during meditation, such as the flow of your breath... Perform a self-paced series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner while practicing deep breathing... Perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises.” Such practices essentially reduce human intelligence to the level of a beast.

Brought means ‘to lead, bring’. Inn is used once in the New Testament and means ‘an inn’. It combines ‘each part of a totality’ with ‘receive in a welcoming way’. This describes a mindset of intellectual curiosity that combines an open mind with detailed investigation. Take care of means ‘to take care of’. Modern meditation can only offer a ‘beast of burden’—a system of semi-intelligent rituals that are capable of emotionally carrying a person through the traumas of modern life. But while modern meditation itself lacks intelligence, it has brought people to the ‘inn’ of scientific investigation in order to be ‘taken care of’. For instance, a 2017 article summarizes, “During the past two decades, more and more scientists have studied mindfulness—a Buddhist-inspired collection of practices aimed at helping us to cultivate moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves and our environment. Their early findings triggered an enormous amount of enthusiasm for meditation.” Another 2017 article explains that “The most influential figure in the acceptance of mindfulness as a secular and scientific practice has been Jon Kabat-Zinn... Kabat-Zinn had transformed meditation from a practice rooted in Buddhism to that of a scientifically based form of health promotion. Meditation was now the ‘property of psychologists, doctors, scientists, and diet counselors and to be engaged in by clients rather than believers, who are not expected to take refuge, read scriptures, believe in karma or rebirth, or to become Buddhist.’” Notice how the care of modern wounded humanity has been transferred from the ‘beast of burden’ of ancient religion to the ‘inn’ of scientific inquiry.

The assumption is that the religious question of what is a true and a false religion can be avoided by translating meditation into the language of science. However, the fundamental problem with meditation is that it suffers from a cognitive flaw. It creates the feeling of a universal theory by deceiving Teacher thought and shutting down Perceiver thought. This will act as a ‘dog in the manger’ that prevents the acquisition of a genuine universal theory.

Verse 35 continues, “And on the next day, having taken out two denarii, he gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him, and whatever you might expend, I will repay you on my returning.’” ‘On the next day’ implies that a new era is beginning. Taken out means ‘throw, cast’, which means entering the ‘air’ of Teacher thought. Matthew 20:2 describes a denarius as a day’s wage. Two denarii suggests the ‘going out by pairs’ that was mentioned at the beginning of the chapter. Stated more carefully, the ‘coin’ of ancient religion is being laid alongside the ‘coin’ of modern psychology. Take care of is the same word that was used in verse 34. Innkeeper is related to ‘inn’ and is used once in the New Testament. Expend means ‘to spend besides’ and is also found once in the New Testament. Return is found twice in the New Testament and means ‘to come up on’. Repay means ‘to give up, give back, return’.

Looking at this cognitively, society has entered a new ‘day’ in which religion is being studied by ‘innkeepers’ in the ‘inn’ of curiosity from a cognitive perspective. A 2020 academic article summarizes that “Mindfulness practice and protocols—often referred to as mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs)—have become increasingly popular in every sector of society, including healthcare, education, business, and government. Due to this exponential growth, thoughtful reflection is needed to understand the implications of, and interactions between, the historical context of mindfulness (insights and traditions that have been cultivated over the past 25 centuries) and its recent history (the adaptation and applications within healthcare, therapeutic and modern culture, primarily since the 1980s).” Notice how modern meditation has acquired the scientific ‘blessing’ of a scientific acronym (MBI) and is now being taken care of by the innkeepers of the inn of scientific research. Money was interpreted earlier as transferring expertise in one field to another field. Meditation used the currency of respect as a historical religion to gain respect within the realm of scientific research. This article also mentions the two ‘coins’ of respect: “By honoring and reflecting on the insights, intentions, and work from both historical and contemporary perspectives of mindfulness, the field can support the continued development of effective, applicable, and accessible interventions and programs.”

MBI does lead to measurable benefits. Quoting further from the 2020 article, “Research has shown that MBIs have significant health benefits including decreased stress, insomnia, anxiety, and panic, along with enhancing personal well-being, perceptual sensitivity, processing speed, empathy, concentration, reaction time, motor skills, and cognitive performance including short- and long-term memory recall and academic performance.” If modern meditation leads to measurable benefits, then why do I remain so opposed to modern meditation? Stated bluntly, I am a Perceiver person and meditation shuts down Perceiver thought. In simple terms, mysticism requires that I either turn into a mental slave or mentally die. And this is not just hyperbole, because I have found over the decades that at every single turn, some form of mysticism has demanded that I shut down my mind and stop thinking. However, one cannot simply demand that people stop practising mysticism. Meditation may only provide the emotional benefit of the feeling of Teacher universality, but this is an emotional result with ‘health benefits’. Therefore, one must replace Teacher overgeneralization with a legitimate universal Teacher theory, and constructing such a theory takes an entire lifetime, even if one does happen to stumble upon the right theory in one’s early years.

Verse 36 poses the question, “Which of these three seems to you to have been a neighbor of the one having fallen among the robbers?” Three is specifically mentioned indicating that three different mindsets are being compared. There was the Server similarity of the priest, the Perceiver similarity of the Levi, and the extended interaction of the Samaritan. Neighbor means ‘near, neighboring’. Seem means ‘to have an opinion’. Have been means ‘to come into being’. Thus, we are not looking here at proclamations of neighborliness but rather at behaving as a neighbor over an extended period of time. Notice that Jesus is not asking the lawyer to evaluate the religion of the Samaritan. On the contrary, Jesus said in verse 28 that the lawyer had the correct theological structure. Instead, the parable is addressing the question of ‘who is my neighbor’. Fallen means ‘to fall into’. And robber is the same word used in verse 30 which means ‘a thief who also plunders and pillages’. Thus, who has been a neighbor to modern man who has been wounded by high-tech, global robbery?

The lawyer answers in verse 37. “And he said, ‘The one having shown compassion toward him.’” Having shown means ‘to make, do’ which refers to Server actions. Compassion means ‘mercy, pity, compassion’ and is different than the word ‘compassion’ used in verse 33. Notice the focus upon emotional help. Meditation may only provide an emotional benefit, but it does provide an emotional benefit, as opposed to the priests who are busy propping up their feelings of holiness and the Levites who are obsessed with preserving cultural privilege.

Jesus concludes in verse 37, “Then Jesus said to him, ‘You go and do likewise.’” Go means ‘to transport’. Do refers to Server actions. Likewise means ‘likewise, in like manner’. Jesus is not telling the lawyer to follow the religion or theology of the Samaritan. He is not telling the lawyer to practice modern meditation. Instead, the lawyer is supposed to follow the pattern of the Samaritan when it comes to steps of action in Server thought. ‘Transport’ indicates that following this pattern will have a transformative impact upon the thinking of the lawyer.

The Samaritan followed three primary steps: 1) Binding up the wounds of modern humanity with oil and wine. 2) Transferring modern humanity to the care of the innkeeper. 3) Supporting the independent care of the innkeeper during the next day. Looking at the first step, evangelical Christianity has a legitimate cognitive mechanism for dealing with people’s emotional pain, known as ‘accepting Jesus into your heart’. Unfortunately, this is often accompanied by attempting to restore the culture of the 1950s rather than learning to enjoy the ‘wine’ of modern culture, and by focusing upon physical institutions and rituals rather than the ‘oil’ of internal Platonic forms. The second step means evaluating religious experience in terms of cognitive mechanisms, which means regarding ‘accepting Jesus into your heart’ as a cognitive mechanism. Unfortunately, evangelical Christianity tends to regard modern research with suspicion. The third step means allowing scientific research to study the cognitive mechanisms of religion independently from religious control. That is what it means to ‘go and do likewise’.

There is a branch of research that is attempting to do this to some extent, known as the cognitive science of religion (CSR). Wikipedia explains, “Cognitive science of religion is the study of religious thought and behavior from the perspective of the cognitive and evolutionary sciences. Scholars in this field seek to explain how human minds acquire, generate, and transmit religious thoughts, practices, and schemas by means of ordinary cognitive capacities.” I have looked extensively at the experimental findings of CSR and they fit well into the theory of mental symmetry. Unfortunately, CSR largely ignores Christian theology, replacing it with the theory of biological evolution. This leads to some very convoluted thinking, as illustrated by a conversation I had at one conference. Summarizing the gist of this conversation, the theory of biological evolution was initially developed to avoid the concept of a personal creator. But one of the major findings of CSR is that people will naturally think in terms of personal creators (known as supernatural agents) and, as Piaget pointed out, this is especially prevalent in children. Thus, one must initially teach the theory of evolution to children in terms of personal agents, waiting until they become cognitively more mature to tell them that these agents don’t really exist. One then introduces them to CSR, which tells them that people naturally think in terms of personal agents, before reminding them that the theory of evolution insists there is no such thing as a supernatural personal agent. Meanwhile, the theorist in evolution will continue to violate this principle by referring repeatedly to the actions of supernatural personal agents. In the words of Wikipedia, “Biologists still often write about evolution as if organisms had goals, and some philosophers of biology... consider that teleological language is unavoidable in evolutionary biology.” In other words, tell the kid that Santa exists, tell the teenager that there is no Santa, tell the adult that people naturally think in terms of Santas, remind the university student that it is scientifically forbidden to believe that Santa actually exists, and then continue to refer as a scientist to Santa. Mental symmetry, in contrast, recognizes that the mind naturally thinks in terms of supernatural personal agents, describes this thinking using a cognitive model that maps onto neurology, and then notes that following the cognitive goal of mental wholeness leads to a system of theology and a concept of God that corresponds in detail to Christianity. No cognitive disconnects are necessary and there is no need to fight cognitive mechanisms, abandon science, or reject theology.

One final point. We have seen throughout this essay how Christianity has often struggled to go beyond the Teacher overgeneralization of mysticism. Thus, it is possible to find numerous examples of mindfulness and meditation within Christian history. This has led some people to the conclusion that ‘Christianity is not total garbage because it teaches mysticism as well’. Quoting from the abstract of one 2014 paper, “Contrary to the belief that Mindfulness only has Buddhist and Hindu origins, it is also rooted in Jewish, Islamic and Christian religions. Furthermore, western philosophers have described a mindful path to become more aware of thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Mindfulness can be considered as a universal human ability embodied to foster clear thinking and open-heartedness. As such, this form of being requires no particular religious or cultural belief system.” Mindfulness is a ‘universal human ability’ because it takes advantage of universal cognitive mechanisms. But it does not lead to ‘clear thinking and open-heartedness’ because it uses cognitive mechanisms to trick the mind into the feeling of having a universal theory. Thus, suggesting that Christianity deserves some respect because it also contains aspects of mysticism is—literally—mindless idiocy, and it remains mindless idiocy even when theologians use complicated words such as hesychasm, theosis, or apophatic theology to describe the mental trick of mysticism. I hope that it has become apparent by this point in the essay that Christianity contains extensive rational content that goes way beyond meditative practices such as ‘forming a mental image’, ‘repeating a common word’, ‘focusing upon one’s breath’, or ‘moving slowly and gracefully’. In fact, one primary purpose of writing these essays is to reclaim Christianity from the so-called theologians who have reduced Christianity to the mindless idiocy of mysticism. This cannot be done by attacking mysticism in an adversarial fashion, but rather by placing mysticism within a cognitive structure that utterly transcends it in terms of comprehensiveness and comprehensibility.

Martha and Mary 10:38-42

Luke 10 ends with the familiar story of Martha and Mary. Verse 38 begins, “Now in their proceeding, He entered into a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha received Him into the home.” In means ‘in the realm of’ and proceeding means ‘to transport’. Verse 37 ended with the instruction to ‘transport and do in a similar manner’. The story of Martha and Mary happens within the context of this transporting from religious doctrine to psychological theory. Enter means ‘to go in, enter’. Village means ‘village’ and represents some society guided by cultural mental networks.

A woman would represent the mental networks of female thought. Martha means ‘the mistress’ or ‘the lady’ which would refer to the female head of the house. Receive is used twice in Luke and adds ‘under’ to ‘receive in a welcoming manner’, leading to the idea of ‘receiving someone as under their personal responsibility’. And home refers to the buildings of home. Martha represents the options that are available to someone who has authority within some institution. One can set policies, establish programs, and conduct experiments. Note that we are not looking here at the research or policies themselves but rather the mental networks of expertise that make it possible for a person to conduct research or set policies. If the goal is to translate religion into scientific language, then one would think that it would be highly advantageous to be a ‘Martha’ within some established institution. This is illustrated by the various academic papers and experiments that have recently been done involving various aspects of religion. More specifically, we saw in the previous section that mysticism made a shift into academic respectability through the help of ‘Martha’. Repeating an earlier quote, “The most influential figure in the acceptance of mindfulness as a secular and scientific practice has been Jon Kabat-Zinn... Kabat-Zinn had transformed meditation from a practice rooted in Buddhism to that of a scientifically based form of health promotion.”

Verse 39 introduces Mary. “And she had a sister called Mary, who also, having sat down at the feet of the Lord, was listening to His word.” Sister would represent a related system of mental networks. The name ‘Mary’ comes from Miriam the sister of Moses and means ‘beloved’ in Egyptian and ‘rebellion or bitterness’ in Hebrew. Egypt is a picture of the secular world, while Hebrew indicates a religious mindset. Thus, Mary conveys the idea of viewing worldly loves as rebellion against following God, combined with a feeling of bitterness which assumes that following God implies turning one’s back upon worldly pleasures. A ‘Mary’ is an outsider who does not have institutional or academic clout but rather has left the secular world because of its inadequacies. Again, we are not looking here at quality of work but rather at the mental networks of respect that make it possible to function within a system.

Sat down is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to sit down beside’. ‘Sitting down’ indicate some position of authority, while ‘sitting down beside’ indicates a position of authority next to some other system. Listen means to ‘comprehend by hearing’ and word is ‘logos’. Thus, Mary is listening to the paradigms of technical thought. However, Mary is not submitting to technical thought but rather placing them within some system of mental networks. This is similar to the way that I use mental symmetry as a meta-theory to evaluate various specializations. At means ‘towards, with’. And feet represent the mental networks upon which the mind rests. ‘At the feet of the Lord’ represents submission to the fundamental mental networks of technical thought. Martha is working within the system. Mary is functioning independently alongside the system, while still respecting the technical content of the system. Mary has some advantages. She has academic freedom because she does not have to maintain institutional respect. And she can focus upon larger issues because she is not being continually distracted by the details of functioning within the system. In fact, she has no choice but to focus upon larger issues because she cannot conduct experiments or set policies.

A problem arises in verse 40. “But Martha was distracted about much service.” Distracted is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘around’ with ‘to draw (a sword)’. Much means ‘high in number’. Service is the source of the English word ‘deacon’ and is used once in Luke. When one attempts to investigate religious topics in a secular environment then one will find oneself ‘distracted’, especially in the sense of continually having to ‘draw a sword’ in order to defend one’s approach. And standards such as publish or perish mean that one will have to perform ‘much service’.

Verse 40 continues, “and having come up, she said, ‘Lord, is it not concerning to You that my sister has left me alone to serve? Therefore speak to her, that she might help me!’” Come up means ‘to set upon, setup, to stand upon’. Concerning is used once in Luke and means ‘to be an object of care’. Notice the indirect request. Technical thought is supposed to be bothered by the fact that Mary has left the serving to Martha. Help is used twice in the New Testament and means ‘supplying help that exactly corresponds to the need’. Thus, Martha is appealing to technical thought to clarify the actions of Mary.

Using academic language, Martha is trying to get Mary to work within the system. She is asserting her institutional status by ‘coming up’. She is appealing to institutional standards by saying that ‘this concerns you’. She is recognizing that Mary is doing legitimate work by referring to her as ‘my sister’. She is attempting to get Mary to function within the system by telling Jesus to ‘speak to her’. And she wants Mary to provide ‘help that exactly corresponds to the need’ by using institutionally appropriate methodology. I know personally what it is like to receive this pressure: ‘You need to get a PhD so that people take you seriously. You will never have an impact unless you become part of the system.’ This pressure will be exerted at the emotional level of mental networks.

Jesus answers in verse 41. “And the Lord answering said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things.’” Anxious means ‘divided into parts’. Troubled is used once in Luke and means ‘make a noisy upheaval, tumult’. Martha is ‘divided into parts’ because she is attempting to do research that does not fit the system within the system. A technical institution is designed to pursue incremental change in a specialized, objective, and rigorous manner. Religion goes beyond specific experiments to ask big questions in an interdisciplinary manner. Disturbing the system in such a manner will lead to ‘noisy upheaval and tumult’.

Verse 42 clarifies. “But one thing is necessary, only one; for Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” The first one thing means ‘few, little, small’. Necessary means ‘need, business’. Only one is the number one. Good means ‘intrinsically good’. Portion is used once in Luke and means ‘a part, portion’. Taken away means ‘to take from, take away’. Jesus’ logic is interesting. He does not say that Mary is doing the most important part or the most general part, but rather that it will not be taken away from her, implying that what Martha is doing will be taken away from her.

‘Necessary’ changes the focus of attention. Instead of asking ‘How can I influence people within the system?’, it asks ‘What does the system need to be fixed?’ And when one pursues this question, one will discover that the system has systemic shortcomings, and studying these systemic flaws will help build a unified understanding. While Martha is becoming fragmented, Mary is becoming integrated. As an outsider, Mary is not being rewarded by the system. Therefore, she has to pursue goals that provide their own reward, which will lead to a focus upon intrinsic goodness. The ultimate result is a replacement for the overgeneralization of meditation, in which universal Teacher understanding is combined with a Mercy focus upon intrinsic goodness. This replacement cannot be developed within the system. That is because the system is deeply compatible with meditation: The system itself pursues objective technical specialization that ignores mental networks. Meditation leaps intuitively from subjective Mercy identity to Teacher universality in a manner that ignores technical thought. Each fills the hole created by the other. Any attempt to bridge these gaps within the system will eventually be crushed. A similar cognitive principle applies to those who attempt to apply religion within most modern organizations, because policies that contradicts the Teacher overgeneralization of universal tolerance will be overturned. Turning now to Mary, the more that systems embrace the juxtaposition of technical specialization and Teacher overgeneralization, the more it will become obvious that the vague universalities do not line up with actual behavior. Similarly, the more that the system turns into a bureaucracy that grows for its own sake, the more it will become obvious that one needs to focus upon intrinsic goodness.

The Lord’s Prayer 11:1-4

Luke 11 begins with the Lord’s Prayer. When I was in primary school, we would begin each day by reciting the Lord’s Prayer—and this was in a secular school in Canada. Verse 1 begins, “And it came to pass in His being in a certain place praying, when He ceased, one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’” Came to pass means ‘to come into being’. Place indicates a certain context in Perceiver thought. Pray means ‘to exchange wishes’. Ceased means to ‘cease, stop’, indicating that this exchange is happening after some episode of prayer. Verse 1 does not say which disciple asks the question but rather that it comes from a disciple. Putting this together, an emotional interaction is happening within some context between personal feelings in Mercy thought and universal understanding in Teacher thought and this is expanding into a larger discussion. In other words, this does not happen out of the blue but rather is triggered by some incident. The parallel passage in Matthew 6 does not contain this introduction but simply describes Jesus telling his disciples how they should pray.

Teach means ‘to cause to learn’. And ‘pray’ is the same word as ‘praying’ used earlier in the verse. John means ‘the Lord has been gracious’. As means ‘just as’. ‘John teaching his disciples’ suggests a reference to John the Baptist, which is interpreted as Protestant Christianity. That implies the emergence of a new system of absolute truth, in which ‘the Lord being gracious’ reaches the point of turning into a system to which one can appeal. We saw earlier that Martha has authority within the system while Mary is functioning outside of the system. The Lord’s prayer describes a new system for Mary to which she can appeal.

Jesus starts his prayer in verse 2, “And He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name.’” Father recognizes that God uses male technical thought. This is significant because the basic premise of meditation is that one must abandon technical thought to have an emotional interaction with God. More generally, I suggest that calling God ‘he’ is not male prejudice but rather recognizes that God is an infinite being who is capable of handling all of the technical details. Looking at this most generally, gender is a byproduct of being finite. Male gender gains technical expertise within some small realm. Female gender uses mental networks to intuitively come up with more general solutions that are usually—but not always—correct. Thus, male thought gives a clear picture of a small fragment of reality, while female thought gives a fuzzy picture of a larger fragment of reality. God is a universal being who is able to have a clear picture of all of reality. (Reformed theology teaches that God controls every human decision. This is a Teacher overgeneralization that turns human free will into a cosmic farce and reduces God to the level of a communist dictatorship with its pretend elections. Such absolute divine control is not necessary, and I do not think that it is scriptural. Instead, this essay demonstrates that God can use a knowledge of cognitive mechanisms to guide human history with total certainty, while only having to intervene with the occasional tweak—and most of this tweaking is probably being done by angels.) Hallowed means ‘set apart’. A name is a label in Teacher thought that describes the character of a person. The basic premise of mysticism is that God cannot be described by any name but rather transcends all verbal meaning. Mysticism also asserts that there is no connection between the transcendent God and the content of physical reality. The Lord’s Prayer, in contrast, refers to God as Father, indicating that God in Teacher thought is the ultimate source of human life in Mercy thought. Thus, the very beginning of the Lord’s Prayer contradicts fundamental premises of mysticism. Going further, what needs to be treated as separate and holy is not some priesthood, some set of holy locations and rituals, or some official methodology, but rather the character of God in Teacher thought. This strikes at the heart of postmodernism, which insists that all Teacher theories are merely ideologies based in Mercy status that are pretending to be theories. In contrast, verse 2 says that Teacher emotions and Teacher theories are fundamentally different than Mercy thought and Mercy emotions. Holiness also implies that one does not adjust the name of God in Teacher thought to avoid offending mental networks of priesthoods, holy locations and rituals, or methodologies. This does not mean that deliberately offends such mental networks, but rather that when a conflict arises, then one holds on to the Teacher mental network of a concept of God rather than other mental networks. This explains why the approach of Martha ultimately fragments, because it attempts to simultaneously preserve the Teacher mental network of a concept of God and the mental networks of some organization.

A kingdom is ‘the realm in which a king sovereignly rules’. A ‘Kingdom of God’ emerges when the Teacher mental network of a concept of God imposes its structure upon other mental networks. Come means ‘to come, go’. ‘Coming’ indicates that God does not currently rule sovereignly. I should emphasize that a ‘Kingdom of God’ does not refer to some version of Muslim sharia law or to some kind of dominion theology. Instead, one constructs a valid concept of God upon scientific principles of how the natural world behaves combined with cognitive principles of how the mind functions. If God is a universal being, then a Kingdom of God is, by definition, the rule of universal principles, and one discovers universal principles by examining how things work universally. That is why the Lord’s Prayer begins with ‘Hallowed be your name.’ In contrast, a mindset of absolute truth regards some book as holy because it comes from a Mercy source that is regarded as holy. This is different than a mindset of universal truth, which regards some book as holy because it accurately describes universal principles in Teacher thought. This essay illustrates the second form of holiness based in universal truth. Again, the very concept of a Kingdom of God contradicts the mindset of mysticism. Thus, asking for the Kingdom of God to come is actually asking for the end of mysticism, because if God in Teacher thought rules over human existence, then it is no longer possible to regard God in Teacher thought as being unrelated to human existence.

Verse 3 turns to the human realm. “Give us each day our daily bread.” Bread represents some ‘loaf’ of human knowledge. Daily is used only in this verse and in the parallel passage in Matthew 6. It means ‘for the coming day’ and combines ‘fitting’ with ‘the next day’. A day represents some era in society. Each means ‘daily, day-by-day’ when followed by the accusative. Thus, a more literal translation would be ‘Give us daily each day the bread that is suitable for the next day’. In other words, understanding needs to be acquired in regular packages and it needs to precede application. What typically happens is that one has some experience in Mercy thought and then one later gains a Teacher understanding about this situation. Verse 3 changes this relationship. One acquires some understanding in Teacher thought and then one encounters Mercy experiences to which this understanding applies. The doctrine of justification was explained earlier using the analogy of enrolling in a school. The purpose of a school is to give the student the intellectual bread suitable for tomorrow in daily packages. At the general level, the young child is taught Teacher understanding for several years before being released into the world of Mercy experiences. At the specific level, the student is taught understanding by a teacher and then given homework or labs to apply this understanding. Thus, the school system that pervades all of Western society could be interpreted as a prayer for understanding to precede experience. This means that the Lord’s Prayer is not just some formula that one recites at the beginning of the school day but rather a prayer that is being uttered by the school system as a whole.

‘Give us each day our daily bread’ could also be interpreted as asking God to manipulate personal circumstances so that understanding will precede personal experience. This is related to the religious concept of divine providence. Divine providence is often interpreted as God stepping in to violate the laws of Nature, but what is being suggested here is quite different: God is manipulating coincidences in a manner that minimizes the violation of natural law in order to protect a mindset that is being guided by Teacher understanding from having to respond in an irrational matter. This idea is expressed in 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says that God “will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but will also provide with the temptation the escape.” Obviously, this kind of divine providence is only possible if a person has a universal, rational Teacher understanding that is capable of guiding personal behavior. And such a universal understanding has been emerging in the preceding verses. Speaking from personal experience, I have repeatedly found that discovering some cognitive principle will be followed ‘coincidentally’ by some situation that forces me to apply this principle.

Verse 4 moves to social interaction. “And forgive us our sins, for also we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.” Forgive means ‘to send away, release’. Sin means ‘missing the mark’. Shooting at a target implies that there is a target to which one can shoot. Such a target will exist when understanding in Teacher thought precedes application in Mercy thought. Indebted means ‘to be morally obligated’, which again implies the existence of some moral standard to which one is obligated. For is ‘a conjunction used to express cause, explanation, inference or continuation’. Thus, there is a relationship between us forgiving our debtors and God forgiving our sins. Looking at this cognitively, treating others the way I want others to treat me (the Golden Rule) indicates that I believe that there is a general principle that applies to both others and me. Going further, a mental network will take ownership of behavior that it motivates. Therefore, the Teacher mental network of a concept of God will only take ownership of personal behavior if this behavior is being motivated by universal principles in Teacher thought rather than Mercy feelings. This will happen when I forgive others who are morally obligated to me. Because such a response violates Mercy feelings, it must be motivated by something else.

Forgiving lets go of a painful memory in Mercy thought in order to move on emotionally. This can only be done within a Kingdom of God. This can be illustrated using the partial example of government. When there is no central government, then justice becomes reduced to personal and tribal retribution. However, when there is effective rule of law, then punishment can be handed over to government. One can let go of the offence personally in order to allow the government to punish the offender. This is only a partial example because governments are administered by finite, fallible individuals. In contrast, an infinite God who knows all the details is capable of administering universal justice. One might respond that this is not the case today and that is an accurate assessment, because verse 2 prays for the kingdom of God to come. Revelation 11:15-18 describes the relationship between the establishing of a Kingdom of God and the ability to dispense divine justice.

Verse 4 finishes, “And lead us not into temptation.” Lead means ‘to carry inward’. Temptation means ‘temptation’. A temptation can have a positive benefit if one does not succumb to the temptation, but the goal of a temptation is for a person to fail. In contrast, the goal of testing is to pass. Verse 4 asks not to be placed into situations where the purpose is to fail. For instance, I come from a Mennonite background and pacifism is a fundamental belief of Mennonite culture. A standard response to pacifism is ‘But what would you do if someone came to your door with a gun and tried to kill your family?’ Verse 4 asks not to be placed in such a situation. Such a request only makes sense if one lives within a kingdom of God where experience follows understanding. And it is only possible to make such a request personally if one follows the beginning of verse 4 and submits personally to the rule of universal law. Using the government analogy, one can only expect the government to intervene if a government exists and if one submits to the rule of government.

We have looked at the Lord’s Prayer from a religious perspective. However, there is also a secular application of the Lord’s prayer that is related to the point in Western history that we are examining. This secular application is expressed in the concept of wokeism. One article explains that “Being woke was originally associated with black Americans fighting racism, but has been appropriated by other activist groups – taking it from awareness and blackness to a colourless and timeless phenomenon.” Thus, some specific incident is spilling over into a general principle, as described in verse 1. The article elaborates that “From February 26, 2012 to April 19, 2015, a sequence of incidents brought attention to the treatment of young black Americans by police and sparked an eruption in social justice and equality activism. In summer 2013, after George Zimmerman was found not guilty of killing teenager Trayvan Martin, the hashtag #blacklivesmatter was created, urging people to stay woke and be conscious of race struggles.”

It was suggested earlier that the Lord’s Prayer is incompatible with a mindset of mysticism. This incompatibility becomes especially apparent if one examines the longer version of the Lord’s Prayer that is found in Matthew 6. However, Luke 11 contains an abbreviated version of the Lord’s Prayer that modern meditation has attempted to follow through movements such as wokeism. On the one hand, wokeism is fundamentally opposed to any form of factual dialogue. On the other hand, wokeism expresses itself through extensive writing. The lack of factual interaction implies the presence of Teacher overgeneralization, while the extensive writing implies that this Teacher overgeneralization has turned into a Teacher mental network that is motivating words and actions. A 2020 article on wokeism describes this combination. “I often get asked specifically if there’s some paper or book out there in the Critical Social Justice literature that prohibits or discourages debate and conversation with people who don’t already agree with them. I honestly don’t know. I’ve looked in a cursory fashion and haven’t found one, but, then, Critical Social Justice scholars are also rather incredibly prolific... There’s a lot of Woke literature out there, and maybe someone has explained it very clearly and at length with a lot of specificity, but if so, I haven’t seen it. So far as I know, there’s not some specific piece of scholarship that closes the Woke off to debate, like a single paper or book explaining why they don’t do it. It’s just part of the Woke mindset not to do it, and the view of the world that informs that mindset can be read throughout their scholarship.”

Looking now at the relationship between wokeism and the abbreviated Lord’s Prayer in Luke, we saw earlier that the civil rights movement was motivated primarily by a rebellion against authority figures in Mercy thought guided by the Teacher overgeneralization of universal justice. This has been the ‘father’ of succeeding movements against social inequality. This Teacher overgeneralization acquired the name of ‘universal tolerance’ and ‘equality for everyone’. Cognitively speaking, even though a Teacher generalization inherently lacks factual content, if repeated enough times, it will turn into a Teacher mental network that will impose itself emotionally upon factual content. This Teacher overgeneralization of universal tolerance then became regarded as holy or separate within Teacher thought.

Going further, this imposition of a theory upon experience has turned into the universal expectation that understanding should precede experience. That is because the imposition of universal tolerance upon experience has itself been repeated enough times to turn into a Teacher mental network. The result is a double attack upon factual thinking: First, Teacher overgeneralization becomes possible either when factual knowledge is limited or when factual knowledge can be ignored. Second, this Teacher overgeneralization is now being imposed upon society in a manner that suppresses factual knowledge. For instance, historical figures who lived in a totally different time and culture are currently being condemned because they did not apply today’s standards of universal tolerance, which means that the Teacher ‘understanding’ of universal tolerance is now expected to precede all of the experiences of history, even if this makes no historical sense. Anyone who fell short of the current standard of universal tolerance is condemned retroactively as a sinner. In the words of one article on wokeism, “That leads to another element of Wokeness—it is umbilically tied to social media, which, among other things, makes the past of everyone permanent and open to scrutiny. It is a past that is evaluated by the values of the present, something which every historian and archaeologist is taught on day one not to do when they enter the field.”

With wokeism, universal tolerance has reached the cognitive level of a ‘Kingdom of God’ based in universal moral laws in which justice is administered through canceling. The 2020 article describes the intensity of this conviction. “For adherents to Critical Social Justice Theory, then, there’s just no point to engaging in conversation or debate with people with whom they disagree. They reject the premise that such a thing is possible at all, because what is discussed or debated are, if changeable, in some sense matters of opinion. They don’t see the world this way at all, though. ‘Racism is not a matter of opinion’ is, after all, one of their thought-stopping mantras. For them, disagreements across a stratifying axis of social power are a matter of being, experience, reality, and even life and death. These are not matters to be debated; they’re far too important for that.” When one is dealing with ‘matters of being, experience, reality, and even life and death’, then one has entered the realm of religion. But this is a religion of Teacher overgeneralization that suppresses Perceiver thought, leading to the conclusion that ‘There’s just no point to engaging in conversation or debate with people with whom they disagree’. At the heart of this religion lies the Teacher overgeneralization of universal tolerance, illustrated by ‘Racism is not a matter of opinion’ being ‘one of their thought-stopping mantras’.

It was suggested earlier that the idea of a Kingdom of God will tend to emerge in a ‘Mary’ who is forced to function outside of the system. Wokeism is also characterized by a feeling of being shut out of the system. In the words of the 2020 article, “The first thing to understand about the way adherents to Critical Social Justice view the world is just how deeply they have accepted the belief that we operate within a wholly systemically oppressive system. That system extends to literally everything, not just material structures, institutions, law, policies, and so on, but also into cultures, mindsets, ways of thinking, and how we determine what is and isn’t true about the world.” Wokeism does have some legitimate complaints. Western society has had major problems with racism, these were partially addressed during the civil rights movement, but have also tended to re-emerge, illustrated by the ‘priest and Levite passing by on the other side’. Going further, modern humanity has been wounded by a corrupt elite who have taken advantage of the global high-tech economy to openly rob the world. But wokeism has also been ‘rejected by the system’ because Teacher overgeneralizations that suppress Perceiver thought cannot coexist with Teacher theories that are built upon Perceiver facts. Stated simply, there is a fundamental incompatibility between screaming protesters and academic learning.

Teacher overgeneralization ‘forgives’ by suppressing Perceiver thoughts and Perceiver facts. (Remember that forgive actually means ‘to send away’.) Such ‘forgiveness’ can be seen in ‘cancel culture’ which emotionally ‘lets go’ of offending individuals by ‘canceling’ them from the Perceiver realm of facts. Wikipedia explains, “Cancel culture, also known as call-out culture, is a phenomenon in which those who are deemed to have acted or spoken in an unacceptable manner are ostracized, boycotted or shunned. This shunning may extend to social or professional circles — whether on social media or in person — with most high-profile incidents involving celebrities... The expression ‘cancel culture’ came in circulation in the late 2010s and early 2020s and has mostly negative connotations.” When canceling ‘extends to social or professional circles... involving celebrities’ then one knows that one is not being motivated by Mercy mental networks of societal status, making it possible for Teacher mental networks of universal tolerance to take ownership of this behavior. The end result is functioning within a Kingdom of God as described in the abbreviated Lord’s Prayer.

The final step is to modify the social environment so that nobody is led into the temptation of inadvertently violating the standard of universal tolerance. I will avoid mentioning any specific examples because the very raising of examples is itself becoming taboo.

Looking at the cognitive context, the process that we just described is not rational, but it is being driven implicitly by the universal rationality of a global high-tech infrastructure. On the one hand, people living in a high-tech society will implicitly resonate with the idea that people and society in Mercy thought should be an expression of universal Teacher order. On the other hand, thinking and behaving in such an irrational manner also requires the coddling of a modern society that protects its citizens from coming into contact with the natural causes and consequences of physical reality, thus depriving them of any need or opportunity to learn common sense. Going further, we saw when discussing ‘Satan falling from heaven’ that a high-tech society will drive any adversarial response away from integrated Teacher understanding down to the level of Mercy experiences. Thus, conservative opposition to wokeism will tend to be limited to a sputtering of personal outrage that is unable to convey any coherent message.

As far as I can tell, the only effective way to combat the combination of wokeism and cancel culture is to come up with a universal Teacher theory of human cognition that actually explains what universal tolerance overgeneralizes, actually applies to the specific experiences upon which wokeism imposes itself, and is actually consistent with scientific thought and does not just resonate with modern society. Stated simply, only a true Kingdom of God is capable of overcoming a false Kingdom of God. The biological theory of evolution is not an adequate universal Teacher theory. When social Darwinism attempted to build a Kingdom of God upon the theory of biological evolution, it led to the hell-on-earth of World War I and the genocides of World War II. Going further, attempting to reestablish any system of absolute truth is also not an option because absolute truth can only be reimposed upon a high-tech interconnected society through a Trump-like authority figure who regards himself as superior to all factual analysis. Writing in 2023, it is now possible to back up this theoretical statement with painful, empirical evidence.

Borrowing Loaves from a Friend 11:5-8

The next section describes an effective approach for extending a Kingdom of God. Verse 5 begins, “And He said to them, “Who among you will have a friend, and will go to him at midnight and say to him...” Among means ‘from out of’. Have means ‘to have, hold’, which implies functioning at the more objective level of ‘having’ rather than ‘being’. Friend is ‘philos’, which ‘conveys experiential, personal affection’ and is used twice in this verse. This describes liking as opposed to the love of ‘agape’. Go means ‘to transport’ which indicates movement that changes. Midnight is used once in Luke and combines ‘middle’ with ‘night’. Night indicates the absence of a general paradigm for society. For example, postmodernism is an example of ‘night’ because it describes the absence of modernism. Midnight would indicate a transition period in which society is neither post-something nor pre-something.

Looking at this cognitively, a concept of God, by definition, deals with universal principles, because God is, by definition, a universal being. Thus, ‘midnight’ is the best time for formulating a concept of God, because the universal absence of answers provides both the possibility and the necessity for dealing with universal issues. A ‘philos’ is a colleague or companion with many common interests. In an era of technical specializations, this implies someone in a related specialization. However, going to this friend requires ‘transporting’, which implies that going to the friend requires some form of interdisciplinary thinking.

Verses 5-6 contain the request. “Friend, lend me three loaves, since a friend of mine is come to me off a journey, and I have nothing that I will set before him.” Lend is used once in the New Testament and is related to the word ‘it is necessary’ or ‘make use of’. This relates to physical necessity as opposed to emotional need. Loaf means ‘bread, a loaf’ which is interpreted as some package of knowledge. Three is the number three. The New Testament mentions eating bread, sharing bread, or buying bread, but this is the only reference to lending bread. Since ‘assumes the preceding is something factual – and emphatically what aptly follows’. It is used twice in Luke and describes cause-and-effect thinking. Come means ‘to be beside, to arrive’. Off means ‘from out of’. Journey means ‘way, road’. Thus, a transition has been made away from some Server sequence. This road leads ‘to me’. Have refers to ‘having’ rather than ‘being’. Set before means ‘to place beside, to set before’.

Interpreting this cognitively, the second friend would represent another related specialization. This second friend has been on some ‘road’ of methodology or established procedures and has now ‘arrived beside me’. And this second friend requires ‘loaves’ of intellectual food. One is borrowing intellectual food from the first friend to feed the second friend. In other words, one is functioning as a translator or interpreter. One is saying to the second friend, ‘I do not have any knowledge for you, but have you tried looking at this specialization for answers?’ Translation requires the use of Perceiver thought, because one is finding terms and concepts in one language that have the same Perceiver meaning as terms and concepts in another language. Acting as a translator is also the first step in functioning as a meta-theory. For instance, this essay is using mental symmetry to translate between the language of the New Testament and the events of Western history. Such translation works best when dealing with ‘friends who have been on roads’. A friend implies that one is dealing with some developed system rather than a few isolated facts, and being on a road suggests that this system has a developed methodology. For instance, using mental symmetry as a meta-theory started with friends handing me books or academic models and telling me to ‘analyze this’. I usually was not acquainted with that book or model, but as I read through it, I would notice similarities with other systems that I had encountered and I would start translating. Each of these ‘translations’ was a ‘transporting’ because it would add another aspect to mental symmetry as a meta-theory. Notice that this translating is happening with concepts at an objective level of ‘having’. At this point, deep mental networks are not involved. Translating could be interpreted as ‘lending’ information. A translator must know something about what is being translated in order to translate effectively, but the knowledge is actually being borrowed from some source in order to ‘feed’ some destination.

The friend replies in verse 7. “And he answering from within will say, ‘Do not cause me trouble; the door already has been shut, and my children are with me in bed; I am not able, having risen up, to give to you.’” From within means ‘from within’. Trouble is used twice in Luke and means ‘a strike that is so hard, it seriously weakens or debilitates’. Cause means to ‘have close beside’. This implies a ‘having’ that affects the subjective. Door means ‘door’ and represents an opening from one context to another. Shut means ‘to shut’. Child refers to ‘a child under training’. This is the first reference to ‘being’ rather than ‘having’, suggesting that a personal movement involving mental networks is starting to emerge. Bed means ‘bed’ and is used four times in the New Testament; the other three references involve marriage. Historically speaking, beds would have been in short supply and would have been shared by family members. Symbolically speaking, ‘children with me in bed’ suggests a transition beyond impersonal ‘having’ to the mental networks of ‘being’. Able is ‘ability, power’ and represents active Perceiver thought. Risen up means ‘to raise up, to rise’ and is also used to describe resurrection. In other words, the mental networks are now too strong for Perceiver thought to overcome. And give means ‘to give’. ‘Give’ is used six times in verses 8-13 and ‘give over’ is used twice. Summarizing, the request for bread in verse 6 was made in an objective manner. The response in verse 7 confesses an inability to respond objectively because of emotional pressure being generated internally by followers.

Looking at this cognitively, when one attempts to access loaves of information from some technical specialization, then one will encounter various barriers. First, the responses will happen ‘from within’. In other words, it will be made clear that one is an outsider who does not belong within that specialization. Second, there will be a door and it will be shut. Entering through this door typically involves learning the vocabulary of the specialization and becoming acquainted with the accepted experts of that specialization. However, if one attempts to meet these requirements one will find that the door remains shut. That is because the methodology of translating between one friend and another feels instinctively wrong to the technical thinking of a specialization. Third, one will inevitably find that the specialization is characterized by some fundamental cognitive disconnect or systemic flaw. These flaws tend to be the assumptions that one implicitly learns when being a student of the specialization. Those who function within the field become blind to these assumptions, while they remain apparent to outsiders. Thus, the very fact that one is attempting to understand the specialization turns into ‘a strike that is so hard, it seriously weakens or debilitates’. Fourth, one will realize that there is a symbiotic relationship between experts and students within the field. Symbolically speaking, ‘my children are with me in bed’. Students look to their professors as sources of knowledge in Mercy thought and this gives emotional validation to the theories of the professors. The end result is an emotional coupling that enters the realm of the ‘marriage bed’. I am not suggesting that students are sleeping with professors (though in some cases that may happen) but rather that when one limits expertise to objective thought, then something will fill the subjective vacuum. Fifth, the emotional entanglements within the field will be sufficiently strong to prevent experts in that field from honestly evaluating the fundamental assumptions of the field.

These various elements may explain the reference to three loaves in verse 5. Stated theologically, one needs three loaves because God is a Trinity. Stated cognitively, adequately translating some specialization requires understanding the paradigms of that specialization in Teacher thought, comprehending the technical details of that specialization in Contributor thought, and grasping the personal assumptions and interactions of the field in Mercy thought. Thus, whenever I analyze some book or system, I try to figure out the mental networks that lie at the core of the system, because these provide the context for that system.

In verse 8, the request is granted despite the emotional pressure. “I say to you, even though he will not give to him, having risen up because of being his friend; yet because of his persistence, having risen, he will give him as much as he needs.” The first risen up is the word for resurrection used in verse 7. And friend is the word ‘philos’ used in verse 5. However, verse 5 talked about ‘having a friend’, whereas verse 8 talks about ‘being a friend’. Verse 8 says that this is an inadequate reason. The second risen means ‘to waken, raise up’ and is sometimes used to describe resurrection. However, it appears to be a weaker word than ‘risen up’. Persistence is found once in the New Testament and adds the prefix ‘without’ to ‘shame’. Need means ‘to need, have need of’ and is related to the word ‘lend’ used in verse 5. Verse 5 mentioned three loaves. Verse 8 refers to ‘as much as he needs’.

The first part of verse 8 is translated in two ways. The less literal translations say that the friend does not rise up and does not give to him. The more literal translations, like the BLB quoted here, indicate that the friend does rise up but does not give to him. The difference lies in the first ‘rising up’ of resurrection. The cognitive implication is that analyzing some field as an outsider can bring new life to that field but it will not result in collegial interaction. In almost every case where I was handed some book to read, analyzing the book did not lead to further interaction. However, aspects of those books did acquire new life within my mind as facets of mental symmetry. Verse 5 asked to be lent three loaves. In verse 8, as much as is needed is being given and not just lent. Similarly, I have found that analyzing some system turns it into a source of academic knowledge for mental symmetry. I am not just translating from one field to another but actually comprehending the knowledge that is being translated.

Absolute truth accepts information that comes from the right source in Mercy thought. Absolute truth is affected by shame, because shame is a feeling of disapproval that is generated by sources of truth. Universal truth looks for connections that are universally repeated. Universal truth thinks in terms of need, because needs arise from how things work. A technical specialization will contain a mixture of these two. On the one hand, a specialization will acquire extensive knowledge about how things work, leading to universal truth. On the other hand, a specialization will be policed and shaped by feelings of honor and shame: ‘Your words are meaningless because you are an outsider. You have no grasp of the technical intricacies of the field. You do not know how to think properly. You are wasting our time. You are wasting your life.’ (I have learned from personal experience that a male Contributor person who has technical expertise within some specialization is a master at dispensing this kind of dripping vitriol, typically expressed in some sarcastic manner.) The only way to deal with this is to become ‘without shame’, which means thinking totally in terms of universal truth rather than absolute truth. One looks beyond the people to the valid information that has been gathered by these people. If one can make it past this emotional onslaught, then it is possible to gain as much information from the field as is needed. Wokeism, in contrast, comes from postmodernism which insists that universal truth does not exist. Thus, wokeism has only shame; it feels shame and responds by dispensing shame. It is incapable of looking beyond the person to the information acquired by that person because it insists that such information does not exist.

Ask, Seek, and Knock 11:9-13

Verse 9 indicates a change in approach. “And I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.” Ask means ‘to ask, request’. Given means ‘to give’. Seek means ‘to seek by inquiring’. Find means to ‘discover, especially after searching’. Knock means ‘to strike’ and is always used in connection with a door the seven times it occurs. Open means ‘to open’.

‘Asking’ implies the presence of some intelligent being that responds to language. Cognitively speaking, continuing to work with some theory will turn it into a Teacher mental network, and the mind uses mental networks to represent people. The mind uses Mercy mental networks to represent normal people and Teacher mental networks to represent professional experts in some field. For instance, consider Betty the dentist. Going to visit Betty views her from a Mercy perspective, whereas going to visit the dentist views her from a Teacher perspective. A technical specialist usually is not consciously aware of the assumptions of that field but merely regards these as ‘how a professional should behave’. Translating between technical specializations will eventually cause these specializations to be mentally represented as interacting Teacher mental networks. Acquiring information then means going to the appropriate Teacher mental network and asking for help. This ‘asking’ may involve real people or it may involve reading books or papers. In both cases, it involves a mindset in which one recognizes the expertise and idiosyncrasies of each field. For instance, I tutor math and physics. Both use mathematics extensively but in a different manner. One difference is that math does not worry about units such as meters or kilograms, whereas physics regards a number without a unit as meaningless. Asking goes beyond feelings of shame to recognize and respect actual differences. Stated cognitively, asking approaches a mental network in a manner that allows that mental network to express itself.

Seeking involves Contributor thought. It inquires rather than looking for instant answers. It discovers after doing some searching. Seeking recognizes that answers have technical details and that getting an adequate answer will involve some searching. In other words, those who police technical specializations have valid complaints; some technical expertise is required to become capable of comprehending an adequate answer. Knocking respects Mercy feelings of privacy and individuality. One does not barge into someone else’s home but knocks before entering. For instance, I could use a knowledge of cognitive styles to intimidate people by telling them about themselves. But I seldom do that because it feels like an invasion of privacy. The goal of mental symmetry is not to overwhelm personal identity but rather to rebuild personal identity.

Wokeism is incapable of asking because it has no concept of independent Teacher understanding. Wokeism cannot seek because it is based in an overgeneralization that is threatened by any technical details. And wokeism cannot knock because it can only think in terms of dominance and submission. Thus, instead of asking it demands, instead of seeking it refuses to dialogue, and instead of knocking it screams to be let in.

Verse 10 generalizes, “For everyone asking receives; and the one seeking finds; and to the one knocking, it will be opened.” The same words are used as in verse 9, except receive, which means to ‘actively lay hold of’ is used instead of the passive of ‘give’. Everyone means ‘each part of the totality’ and the personal element is implied. Verse 9 used the imperative: ask, seek, knock. Verse 10 uses the active participle: asking, seeking, knocking. Verse 9 described a set of standards to which one submits. Verse 10 describes a methodology that one follows because it works. Speaking from personal experience, I have found that mental symmetry really can be used as a meta-theory, it really does survive when I take the effort to examine the details, and cognitive mechanisms really do have lasting consequences, which means that I do not have to impose myself or my theory upon others. Notice that the order is from Teacher through Contributor to Mercy. One starts with understanding in Teacher thought, moves through technical details in Contributor thought, and then arrives at personal identity in Mercy thought. Wokeism, in contrast, does not believe that either Teacher or Contributor thought can exist independently of Mercy thought.

Verse 11 mentions an analogy. “And which father among you, if the son will ask for a fish, and instead of a fish, will give to him a serpent?” Father focuses upon ‘being’ and is the counterpart to ‘my children’ in verse 7. Ask is the same word used in the previous verses. And ‘child under training’ has now been replaced by ‘son’. A fish represents a person who lives within the ‘waters’ of Mercy experiences. Instead is the word ‘anti’. Serpent means ‘snake’ and represents the intuitive leap of mysticism. The one other occurrence in Luke was in 10:19 which referred to ‘treading on serpents and scorpions’. Thus, what is being contrasted is pure Mercy experience versus Mercy experience that jumps to Teacher overgeneralization: consumerism versus ideology. Give in verses 11 and 12 adds a prefix to ‘give’ and means ‘to give over’. Thus, the serpent and the scorpion are being ‘given over’ and not just ‘given’.

Verse 11 does not say that one can approach serpents unprepared. Instead, one is asking a father as a son. One is assuming that the starting point is Teacher understanding and that one needs to add technical details of male thought to this understanding. One then places ‘serpents’ of Teacher overgeneralization within a map of integrated Teacher understanding. For instance, one recognizes that even though mysticism is based in a mental trick, it still can temporarily play a useful role at certain stages in cognitive and societal development.

Verse 12 gives another analogy. “Or also if he will ask for an egg, will he give to him a scorpion?” Scorpion is used one other time in Luke in 10:19, and was interpreted as postmodern questioning which appears harmless on the surface but has a harsh sting in the tail. Thus, both snake and scorpion appear in Luke only in these two passages. Egg means ‘egg’ and is mentioned once in the New Testament. Birds reproduce through eggs and birds fly through the air of Teacher thought. Thus, an egg would represent the reproduction of some academic specialization. With a scorpion, one moves to a new academic mindset that appears legitimate and then one encounters the sting. For instance, postmodern thought started as discourse analysis and deconstructionism, and it was not apparent at that time that this would turn into a scorpion. ‘Egg’ rather than ‘scorpion’ suggests that one can adopt a new methodology without having it sting you.

Postmodernism has a sting in its tail because it questions existing systems without providing an alternative or even a mechanism for evaluating alternatives. Mental symmetry, in contrast, attempts to place existing theories within a map of cognitive mechanisms that explains these theories. Postmodernism is inescapable because it only recognizes personal authority and thus becomes the sole source of ‘truth’ when it is given authority. Mental symmetry is inescapable because one cannot escape one’s own mind. Thus, instead of imposing authority, mental symmetry recognizes the existing authority of cognitive mechanisms. And the more one recognizes the inescapability of cognitive mechanisms, the less one needs to impose rules upon people. This means that mental symmetry has the opposite of a sting in its tail, because it initially feels restricting but eventually leads to greater freedom.

Verse 13 concludes, “Therefore if you, being evil, know to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father who is in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those asking Him!” Therefore means ‘therefore’ and indicates that verse 13 follows logically from verse 12. Evil means ‘pain-ridden’ and being means ‘to already have, be in possession of’. Thus, this does not mean that one ‘is an evil person’ but rather that one is starting in an environment that generates pain-ridden experiences. In other words, one is surrounded with human mortality and its implications. (The parallel passage in Matthew 7:11 talks about ‘being’ pain-ridden. The word ‘to already have’ is used sixty times in the New Testament and is only connected with evil in this verse.)

Know means ‘seeing that becomes knowing’ and is interpreted as empirical evidence. Good means ‘intrinsically good’ and was previously used in 10:42 to describe Mary choosing the ‘good’ portion. Child means ‘a child living in willing dependence’. How much means ‘how much? how great?’ More means ‘more’. Verse 13 does not say that one situation is analogically similar to another but rather that one can extrapolate from one situation to a more general situation. Heaven is the realm of Teacher thought and in means ‘from out of’. Notice how personal actions are being generalized to form a concept of God in Teacher thought. Holy Spirit is interpreted as the ‘Form of the Good’ that results when many Platonic forms are integrated by a universal understanding in Teacher thought. And asking is mentioned one more time, implying that demanding God will not lead to these desirable results. Summarizing, a Kingdom of God is descending from Teacher thought to form a concept of the Holy Spirit in Mercy thought.

Interpreted cognitively, if it is possible to gain a concept of intrinsic goodness and pass this on to one’s dependents while starting from the inferior foundation of living in a pain-ridden world, then it should be possible to construct a Form of the Good in Mercy thought when starting from the superior foundation of an integrated understanding of God in Teacher thought. Verse 13 does not say that people or society will be perfect. Instead it talks about forming an integrated mental concept of a better and more ideal world.

Our interpretation of this section has focused upon using mental symmetry as a meta-theory to analyze many subjects. A similar approach can be seen in the concept of transdisciplinary research. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Transdisciplinarity connotes a research strategy that crosses many disciplinary boundaries to create a holistic approach. It applies to research efforts focused on problems that cross the boundaries of two or more disciplines... and can refer to concepts or methods that were originally developed by one discipline, but are now used by several others.” Notice how ‘loaves’ of concepts or methods are being borrowed from one discipline to feed another discipline. And the goal is to find a ‘holistic approach’ that can ‘cross many disciplinary boundaries’. In the words of another article, “Transdisciplinary research draws problems from the real world and seeks to address issues in the society... [It] goes beyond crossing disciplinary boundaries to seek a unity of knowledge... through the inclusion of different groups in the research team or as research subjects.”

Unfortunately, current transdisciplinary research seems to be missing a general theory of cognition that is capable of integrating various fields, especially one that can digest various Mercy mental networks. Wikipedia summarizes, “Currently, transdisciplinarity is a consolidated academic field that is giving rise to new applied researches, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean... The teaching of Big History in universities of Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, and Argentina implies a transdisciplinary vision that integrates and unifies diverse epistemes that are in, between, and beyond the scientific disciplines, that is, including ancestral wisdom, spirituality, art, emotions, mystical experiences and other dimensions forgotten in the history of science, specially by the positivist approach.” ‘Ancestral wisdom, spirituality, emotions, mystical experiences’ all center upon Mercy mental networks that are not necessarily compatible with rational thought. Thus, instead of leading to a meta-theory in Teacher thought, the result is several scientific disciplines attached to a nebulous core of subjective emotions couched in flowery language. The Wikipedia article provides an example of flowery language. “Transdisciplinarity concerns the dynamics engendered by the action of several levels of Reality at once. The discovery of these dynamics necessarily passes through disciplinary knowledge. While not a new discipline or a new superdiscipline, transdisciplinarity is nourished by disciplinary research; in turn, disciplinary research is clarified by transdisciplinary knowledge in a new, fertile way.” This quote does not describe any mechanisms. Instead it uses vague terms including engendered, dynamics, nourished, clarified, and fertile. This kind of transdisciplinary research may have some positive benefits, but it definitely is not starting from a ‘father’ in Teacher thought. In contrast, mental symmetry is capable of using a general theory of cognition to explain the mechanisms driving ancestral wisdom, spirituality, emotion, and mystical experiences.

Turning to high-technology, the widespread adoption of computer neural networks in the 2010s has allowed computers to reach new levels of mimicking human intelligence. Wikipedia explains that “Improved algorithms, powerful computers, and an increase in digitized data have fueled a revolution in machine learning, with new techniques in the 2010s resulting in ‘rapid improvements in tasks’ including manipulating language. Software models are trained to learn by using thousands or millions of examples in a ‘structure ... loosely based on the neural architecture of the brain’.” These artificial neural networks are massive. For instance the current 2023 GPT-3 system has about 175 billion parameters which require 800 GB of storage. The problem with neural networks is that the knowledge is stored by altering the relative strengths of millions (or billions) of connections. A normal computer program is written as a series of instructions making it possible to understand how the computer comes up with an answer. Deciphering how a neural network generates its answers is far more difficult, if not impossible. And neural networks tend to ‘confabulate’, filling in gaps of knowledge with pure fantasy. Quoting from a 2023 article, “When we ask why ChatGPT confabulates, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact technical answer. And because there is a ‘black box’ element of the neural network weights, it’s very difficult (if not impossible) to predict their exact output given a complex prompt.” In essence, these massive neural networks are like a version of female intuitive thought, in which one jumps from Mercy situation to Teacher answer in a mysterious manner that is difficult to explain and is not always accurate.

Cognitively speaking, neural networks exacerbate the division between technical thought and mental networks. On the one hand, designing and building a neural network requires extensive technical capabilities. On the other hand, programming a neural network means feeding it with millions of examples of human text and/or experience so that it can generate its indecipherable connections. The end result is a computer program that can be approached at the personal level of social media. In the words of the 2023 article, “Over the past few months, AI chatbots like ChatGPT have captured the world's attention due to their ability to converse in a human-like way on just about any subject.” Current AI may be amazing, but it extends the current split between technical thought and mental networks to the realm of computers themselves.

Casting out Demons by Beelzebul 11:14-16

The previous section was interpreted personally as describing the methodology that I have been using with mental symmetry. This section describes the approach that has been taken by others to develop a meta-theory. Verse 14 begins, “And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute; and it came to pass, the demon having gone out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds marveled.” A demon is interpreted as a fragmented Teacher mental network. Cast means to ‘throw, cast’ and represents moving through the air of Teacher thought. In 10:17 the demons were being subject to the name of Jesus. In verse 14 a demon is being cast out. Mute means ‘blunt, dull’ and is usually translated as either mute or deaf. Gone out means ‘to go or come out of’. Speak means ‘to talk’. Marvel means ‘to regard with amazement’. And crowd means ‘crowd’.

We saw with the parable of the Good Samaritan that meditation became viewed as a psychological practice that can be studied by scientific research. Saying this another way, meditation has been ‘cast out’ of the religious realm and has now found a voice within the academic community. More generally, various forms of intuitive thought that jump from specific Mercy experience to general Teacher theory have also now found a voice within academia. This can be seen in the growing use of the case study in the social sciences. A 2019 academic paper describes the inherent limitation of a case study, “A case study, no matter how insightful, is a study of a particular case (or a handful of particular cases). However, we are usually interested in it because we wish to learn something that applies also to other cases or maybe to a whole class of cases. People reading case studies often generalize quite eagerly from them, but also feel uneasy as to whether their inferences are justified. No matter how intensively one studies a case, that will not tell how typical or representative it is of a larger population of cases. It is also often unclear what the relevant population of cases is. Both of these make the justification of extrapolation from case studies difficult. At the same time, it is too restrictive to consider learning from case studies only in terms of generalization. There are many ways in which case studies are taken up and used by subsequent researchers. The case may give rise to new concepts, theory-development, advances in methodology, or simply new research questions. Also, case studies are often regarded as a source of inspiration for new policies.” Cognitively speaking, a case study takes an intuitive leap from a specific Mercy experience to a general Teacher theory’, and ‘people reading case studies often generalize quite eagerly from them. But no justification is given for this leap, causing scientific readers to ‘feel uneasy as to whether their inferences are justified’. The social sciences normally use statistical analysis to justify making general statements. The lack of statistical analysis makes ‘the justification of extrapolation from case studies difficult’. Mental symmetry is also based in intuitive leaps that are not justified by using statistical analysis. However, these intuitive leaps are placed within a neurologically sound theory of cognition, they are clarified by looking for similar cognitive patterns in many fields of thought, and they are justified by quoting from empirical research done by others. Notice that case studies ‘are often regarded as a source of inspiration’. That describes the Teacher feeling of a meta-theory, in which Teacher thought leaps to some general statement that feels as if it brings order to complexity. This Teacher feeling is indicated in verse 14 by the crowd marveling when the man that was regarded as ‘blunt and dull’ starts to speak.

This is followed by an unusual response in verse 15. “And some of them said, ‘By Beelzebul the prince of the demons He casts out the demons.’” Of means ‘from out of’, so the following response is coming from a minority within the crowd. By means ‘in the realm of’. Beelzebul means ‘the lord of flies’ and is only mentioned in Luke in this passage. Prince means ‘ruler, chief’. And a demon represents a fragmented Teacher mental network. We have looked so far at Teacher universality, expressed through globalism, high-tech infrastructure, modern meditation, and the World Wide Web. Verse 15 describes something new which is fragmented Teacher thought. A fly is a small creature that buzzes through the air of Teacher thought. Cognitively speaking, a fly is a demon (or daemon?) viewed from the perspective of Teacher thought. A ‘lord of flies’ has dominion over these Teacher fragments but does not integrate them. Stated cognitively, a ‘lord of the flies’ is a meta-theory that gives the feeling of integrating all of these buzzing flies but does not actually bring integration.

Verse 15 does not say that that a ‘lord of the flies’ actually has any connection with the casting out, but rather that some people are claiming that this is the case. We have seen a gap opening up between the designers and producers of high technology and the consumers and users of this high technology. As modern society becomes more technical, machines will become more complicated. Thus, working with the machine at more than a consumer level will require a professional education. And in order to protect the consumer, standards of training and accreditation will ensure that technical equipment is used by professionals in a professional manner. This will split society into myriads of technical specializations, each with its own Teacher ‘fly’. Teacher thought feels bad when faced with complexity that does not fit together. This provides the emotional need for a ‘lord’ to rule over all of the ‘flies’. Going further, technical thought tends to be objective, avoiding both Mercy feelings of subjectivity and Teacher feelings of generality. This gives intuitive thought the freedom to jump from specific Mercy experience to overgeneralized Teacher theory, as illustrated by the case study. The end result is that academia will be reinterpreted as a ‘lord of the flies’, with many technical specializations held together by an intuitive meta-theory that gives the feeling of Teacher integration but does not actually explain anything.

For instance, I encountered a ‘lord of the flies’ known as complexity theory (CT) when using mental symmetry as a meta-theory for second language acquisition. A 2017 book chapter describes this integrating role. “CT is transdisciplinary in two senses of the term. First, ‘Complexity theory represents an important challenge to the disciplinary silos of the twentieth-first-century academy.’ Second, besides transcending disciplines, it introduces new cross-cutting intellectual themes of the same magnitude and import as other such themes from the past, e.g., structuralism and evolution.” CT recognizes that academic knowledge has become split into the ‘disciplinary silos’ of technical specializations. And CT attempts to bridge these by introducing ‘new cross-cutting intellectual themes’. But CT does not want to be treated as a scientific theory. “Complexity theorists themselves make a distinction between restricted complexity and general complexity. The former involves a strict mathematical application of complexity, one that advances formalization and modeling, but one that remains within the epistemology of classical science. In contrast, general complexity has operated ontologically and epistemologically differently, largely inspired by the complex means through which nature regenerates and maintains order under constantly changing conditions.” On the one hand, chaos theory is a branch of mathematics, a form of ‘restricted complexity’ that uses mathematics to analyze how order emerges from complexity. On the other hand, CT is a theory of ‘general complexity’ that is ‘inspired’ by chaos theory. The result is a general theory that provides a feeling of inspiration but does not necessarily explain any details. Quoting further from the 2017 book chapter, “While there may have to be concessions, or at least adjustments, regarding the linking of CT with human affairs... social scientists have found the thinking it inspires transformative, at least at a metaphorical level.” A meta-theory that integrates technical specializations by inspiring but not explaining is, by definition, ‘a lord of the flies’. Cognitively speaking, it is a Teacher overgeneralization that is leaping from specialized content to universal statements.

Verse 16 describes a different response. “And others, testing, were seeking from Him a sign from heaven.” Other means ‘another of a different kind’. Testing means to ‘tempt’; the goal is for something to fail. Sign was last mentioned back in 2:34 and means ‘a sign (typically miraculous), given especially to confirm, corroborate or authenticate’. ‘From out of heaven’ indicates something that proceeds from the realm of Teacher thought. In other words, these people are willing to recognize the effectiveness of technical specializations as long as they can fill the emotional void with emotional encounters which feel that they are from Teacher thought. But a miraculous sign is an emotional event in Mercy thought that cannot be explained by an existing Teacher theories. This goes beyond the overgeneralization of the case study and the intuitive meta-theory to a ‘God of the gaps’, a Teacher theory based in special Mercy experiences that do not fall into modern global high-tech specialization. This tempts technical thought because it combines the Teacher generalization of scientific thought with a Teacher overgeneralization based in non-scientific experience. In verse 15, a non-scientific intuitive leap was being taken to a meta-theory, in verse 16, an anti-scientific leap is being taken from some defining experience that feels as if it is ‘from out of heaven’.

For instance, this type of anti-scientific leap can be seen in the description of transdisciplinary given previously. Repeating part of that quote, “Currently, transdisciplinarity is a consolidated academic field that is giving rise to new applied researches, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean... The teaching of Big History in universities of Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, and Argentina implies a transdisciplinary vision that integrates and unifies diverse epistemes that are in, between, and beyond the scientific disciplines, that is, including ancestral wisdom, spirituality, art, emotions, mystical experiences and other dimensions forgotten in the history of science, specially by the positivist approach.” I am not sure if this quote accurately describes all forms of transdisciplinarity, but ancestral wisdom, spirituality, and mystical experiences all describe emotional Mercy experiences that fall outside of scientific explanations, because they use ‘other dimensions forgotten in the history of science’. Such a juxtaposition tempts technical thought. That is because scientific thought builds upon facts that are independent of Mercy emotions, while ancestral wisdom and mystical experiences use strong emotions to overwhelm Perceiver thought. Perceiver thought cannot be simultaneously awake and asleep.

These ancient ways of ‘knowing’ that became muted by modern scientific society officially found a voice in 2007. A UN website summarizes that “On 13 September 2007, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by a majority of 144 states in favour, 4 votes against (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States)... Since adoption of the Declaration, Australia, New Zealand, United States and Canada have all reversed their positions and expressed support for the Declaration... During the Durban Review Conference in April 2009, 182 States from all regions of the world reached consensus on an outcome document in which they ‘Welcome[d] the adoption of the UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples which has a positive impact on the protection of victims and, in this context, urge[d] States to take all necessary measures to implement the rights of indigenous peoples in accordance with international human rights instruments without discrimination.’” This is slightly before the time period that we are examining, but this UN declaration started a trend that has become more and more pervasive, especially in countries with indigenous populations such as Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. Using the language of verse 14, indigenous practices used to be viewed as demonic, both literally, and in the cognitive sense of being chaotic and unrelated to the integrated theories of science. We saw with the parable of the Good Samaritan that meditation became viewed as a psychological practice that can be studied by scientific research. This has been followed by a scientific reappraisal of other traditional religious practices. The end result is that the demon has been ‘cast out’ through the ‘air’ of rational Teacher understanding. Going further, indigenous groups stopped being ‘mute’ and became able to speak for themselves.

However, this has been followed by a tempting of technical thought by calling for a sign from heaven. Stated cognitively, indigenous knowing is being treated as a meta-theory that is capable of bringing integration to scientific thought. This is now government policy in my province of British Columbia. Quoting from a BC government website, “In B.C.’s redesigned curriculum, Indigenous knowledge and perspectives are integrated throughout all areas of learning and are evident in the curriculum’s rationale statements, goals, big ideas, mandated learning standards, and elaborations. The First Peoples Principles of Learning offer a crucial lens for curriculum, placing a significant importance on the authentic integration of Indigenous knowledge and perspectives in relevant and meaningful ways.” Notice how ‘indigenous knowledge and perspectives’ are not to be just being treated as some subject that needs to be studied. Instead, they are being regarded as a meta-theory that brings integration to all academic subjects. A BC campus website describes this the focus upon Teacher order-within-complexity. “Indigenous worldviews see the whole person (physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual) as interconnected to land and in relationship to others (family, communities, nations). This is called a holistic or wholistic view, which is an important aspect of supporting Indigenous students.” Notice how ‘indigenous worldviews’ are being treated as a meta-theory that can bring wholeness to the fragmented specializations of modern high-tech society. Modern society deeply needs such a meta-theory, and it appears that mental symmetry is capable of fulfilling this role.

Unfortunately, indigenous knowing is not compatible with scientific thought. A University of Colorado website describes indigenous knowing. “In traditional native knowledge systems there is respect and trust for inherited wisdom, often communicated through an oral tradition, and for knowledge that has proved its utility in everyday practices. There is respect for stories that connect the particulars of knowledge to holistic worldviews, values, and life ways. Knowledge is often collective, evolving in a community of users, knowers, and actors. Authority is not conferred via systematic processes of Western bureaucracy, but rather through community decision making and respect for the knowledge and authority of elders.” Looking at this cognitively, ‘respect and trust for inherited wisdom’ and ‘collective knowledge’ means giving prominence to Mercy mental networks of culture. ‘Communicated through an oral tradition’ means being based in people rather than the stability and universality of written records. ‘Respect for stories that connect the particulars of knowledge to holistic worldviews’ means jumping intuitively from specific Mercy experiences to general Teacher theories. ‘Respect for the knowledge and authority of elders’ means basing Perceiver truth in the Mercy status of important people. The webpage does not make any mention of basing truth in how things really work. Instead, scientific thought is reinterpreted as ideology based in power. “Researchers that only use academic markers of authority (peer review, academic credentials, etc.) to evaluate information will find a one-sided perspective because academic sources are most often written about indigenous communities rather than by them. Reliance on academic authority effectively silences many of the voices of Indigenous people on their own culture. Under this colonialist construction of knowledge, interpretation of Indigenous cultures is denied to members of that culture and reserved for those with academic authority. As Linda Tuhiwai Smith so searingly recounts in the introduction to her book, the Western monopoly on interpretation is incredibly painful to Indigenous cultures.” Notice how academic research is being reduced to ‘academic markers of authority’. And academic conclusions are being interpreted as ‘silencing many of the voices of indigenous people’. The conclusion is that indigenous groups need to be treated as a source of truth because ‘the Western monopoly on interpretation is incredibly painful to indigenous cultures’. Examining these statements as simply and clearly as possible, when a physics teacher says that certain mathematical equations (such as d = vot + ½at2) should be used to analyze the path of some projectile that is thrown or dropped, this is not a matter of colonialist construction, academic authority, or silencing indigenous voices. Instead, mathematical equations such as these describe how the physical universe works. The physical universe does not care about personal status; it applies equally to the King of England and to a native elder. But treating indigenous knowing as a meta-theory provides a ‘sign from heaven’ because traditional knowledge feels different than modern science. Modern crowds feel amazed because indigenous knowing feels like something magical and/or spiritual that transcends the materialism of modern technology. Going further, exalting indigenous knowing is a natural extension of wokeism, because the basic premise of wokeism is that those who have experienced oppression should be treated by society as sources of ‘truth’. The idea that the most oppressed group should be regarded as the most ‘authentic’ source of ‘truth’ is known as Oppression Olympics. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The Oppression Olympics have been described as a contest within a group, to ‘assert who is more authentic, more oppressed, and thus more correct’. This may be on the basis of one’s race, gender, sexuality, among other stated or ascribed identities. A person’s stated or ascribed identity ‘become[s] fetishised’ within the group and judged in preconceived essentialist terms. There is a dynamic ‘of agreeing with the most marginalized in the room’.” Oppression Olympics has a natural tendency to turn anti-scientific. For instance, those who experience the most ‘oppression’ from the law of gravity will be those who experience the painful consequences of pretending that this law does not exist. An Oppression Olympics will regard their mindset as the most legitimate source of ‘truth’ because they have the most authentic experiences of being ‘oppressed’ by the law of gravity.

This focus upon ‘indigenous knowing’ is is demonstrated by a 2021 educational controversy in New Zealand. I need to clarify that aboriginal people have experienced significant mistreatment. But being mistreated does not automatically make someone a source of truth. That is like saying that a patient should tell the doctor what to do because the patient is hurting. An evolutionist website relates this misconception with the New Zealand educational controversy. “One of the most invidious and injurious side effects of wokeism is to validate ‘other ways of knowing’ as being on par with modern scientific knowledge. Granted, one can respect the mythology and scientific ‘claims’ of indigenous cultures, some of which turned out to be scientifically valid (quinine is one), but their efficacy can be established only by conventional scientific testing. New Zealand, however, is in the midst of a campaign to teach Maori ‘ways of knowing’ alongside science in science classes as science, on par with modern science, which of course had roots in many places... A group of science academics of various stripes... made the claim that matauranga [Maori ‘knowing’] was not science and had no place in science courses. The kickback against this was astonishing, with some 2000 academics around NZ signing a petition condemning them. Further, the Royal Society of New Zealand is taking two of the academics involved to task, with the likely outcome their dismissal from the Society. They have been accused of racism! Wokism is well under way here.” Summarizing, a ‘group of science academics’ pointed out that indigenous knowing ‘was not science’. In response, ‘2000 academics’ responded emotionally by accusing these ‘science academics’ of racism, thus committing the category mistake of assuming that scientific truth depends upon social status. Going further, the Royal Society of New Zealand, which supposedly supports scientific thought, is thinking of using ‘social cancelling’ to suppress those who are calling for the preservation of scientific thought.

Overcoming the Strong Man 11:17-23

Jesus looks beyond the surface in verse 17. “And He knowing their thoughts, said to them, ‘Every kingdom having been divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house against a house falls.’” Know means ‘seeing that becomes knowing’ and is interpreted as empirical evidence. Thus, one can extrapolate from visible behavior to thinking. Thought is found once in the New Testament and combines ‘through’ with ‘to think’, which is related to ‘mind’. In other words, Jesus understands them at the level of meta-cognition, backed up by empirical evidence. Similarly, mental symmetry explains thought at a meta-cognitive level and then observes this thinking being exhibited in real life. What often happens is that I use mental symmetry to come up with some theoretical hypothesis that explains how people will respond, and I then disregard this hypothesis because ‘modern educated people would not be that dumb, would they?’ I then start seeing people demonstrating the validity of my hypothesis. For instance, I never would have thought that thousands of educated scientists would band together to defend nonscientific thought. It turns out that modern educated people really can be ‘that dumb’.

One conclusion is that it is hypocritical for someone in modern academia to reject an essay such as this. If indigenous knowing deserves scientific respect even though it is incompatible with scientific thought, then a prophetic interpretation of the Gospel of Luke that is compatible with scientific thought definitely deserves scientific respect. And if being suppressed by mainstream society is a prerequisite for being regarded as a source of truth, I have been suppressed again and again for most of my life. The only problem is that I am male and have a white skin. However, I presume that eugenics lost its respectability after the debacle of World War II.

A kingdom is ‘the realm in which a king sovereignly rules’. Divided means ‘to partition thoroughly’. Against is more accurately ‘on, upon’. Brought to desolation is used once in Luke and comes from ‘wilderness, desolate area’. In other words, verse 17 is not talking about some kind of civil war in Mercy thought. Instead, it is saying that if thorough partitioning is placed above the integrity of the kingdom, then no place will remain for life. Using modern language, a realm that fragments into technical specializations will leave no room for the mental networks of life. Such fragmentation is reflected in a ‘lord of flies’. It also summarizes the state of more ‘advanced’ Western countries.

Looking at the example of New Zealand, most of these ‘2000 academics’ are probably quite professional when it comes to following scientific methodology, having technical expertise within some discipline, and publishing within peer-reviewed papers. But when academia becomes so thoroughly partitioned, then the academic ‘kingdom’ of rational thought will not survive. Instead, it will either subdivide into countless fiefdoms held together by a meta-theory that uses Teacher overgeneralization to provide the feeling of Teacher universality or it will look for some non-scientific ‘sign from heaven’ to provide a feeling of integration.

House is ‘oikos’, which refers to the people within the house and is mentioned twice. Against is the same word ‘on, upon’. Fall means ‘to fall’. In other words, stacking communities of people on top of each other in some hierarchical fashion will lead away from Teacher generality rather than building Teacher generality. Looking at this more carefully, hierarchy is an expression of Teacher thought, because some people and/or institutions are being regarded as more general than others. This can be seen in the rank system of a military hierarchy. Verse 17 is suggesting that Mercy feelings of ‘house’ versus ‘house’ will naturally overwhelm Teacher feelings of hierarchy or generality. Verse 17 can also be interpreted as referring to the postmodern assertion that all theories are ideologies imposed by one social group upon other groups. Such a mindset is not stable but rather will splinter into fragments.

Verse 18 mentions Satan. “And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say I cast out the demons by Beelzebul.” Satan means ‘adversary’ and has not been mentioned until now. The implication is that interaction has now fallen to the Mercy level of ‘us versus them’. ‘Divided against himself’ is the same phrase from verse 17 that is more accurately ‘thoroughly partitioned upon himself’. Stand means ‘to stand’ and is interpreted as some source of Perceiver stability. Looking at this more carefully, technical specialization has caused modern academia to become ‘thoroughly partitioned upon itself’. This will lead to a desire in Teacher thought for a meta-theory but it will not cause academia to fall. However, when a form of knowing is introduced that is based in Mercy feelings of social status, then this will introduce a new adversarial element. That is because giving social status to one set of traditional experts implies that one is not giving social status to other groups of societal experts. Honoring one group automatically marginalizes other groups, who will respond by clamoring for honor. This new Satanic element will cause academia to fall.

The end of verse 18 is essentially a repetition of the accusation in verse 15. “For you say I cast out the demons by Beelzebul.” By means ‘in the realm of’. Beelzebul means ‘the lord of flies’ and is only mentioned in Luke in this passage. And a demon represents a fragmented Teacher mental network. Verse 19 begins, “And if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul...” This phrase is a verbatim repetition of the end of verse 18, which itself is basically a repetition of the phrase in verse 15. Looking at this cognitively, a ‘lord of the flies’ is incapable of formulating an integrated concept of God the Father because it is trying to combine incompatible ways of thinking. This is significant because the previous section ended in verse 13 by talking about the Father in heaven giving the Holy Spirit. The repeated reference to ‘the lord of the flies’ implies a renewed effort to come up with a meta-theory that provides a feeling of integration without actually interconnecting the various buzzing flies.

Transdisciplinarity was described earlier as a ‘lord of the flies’. Its goal is to place all the ‘flies’ of technical thought under a single lordship. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Transdisciplinarity is radically distinct from interdisciplinarity. Interdisciplinarity... concerns the transfer of methods from one discipline to another, allowing research to spill over disciplinary boundaries, but staying within the framework of disciplinary research... Transdisciplinarity concerns that which is at once between the disciplines, across the different disciplines, and beyond each individual discipline. Its goal is the understanding of the present world, of which one of the imperatives is the overarching unity of knowledge.”

One major expression of transdiscipl