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Our Need for Celestial and Earthly Parental Surrogates

Val offers his views on dogmatic aspects of cultural paradigm with its religious, political, and medical sterile indoctrinations and taboos.


The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly.

-- G. K. Chersterton

Faith for Religionists -- Optimism for Non-Religionists

The following is not much more than my intuitive -- albeit you may call it psychobabble -- speculation, if you will. In any case, I am some galaxies away from trying to persuade anybody to take it seriously.

However, a few of you may do exactly that -- see something, while out of the general consensus, but with an aroma of truthfulness in it. Since those folks believing in deities and angels are making their belief public, I would guess, in this free society no one will raise their brow if I exercise that same liberty.

So, here I go, right at the start, submitting my belief that religious faith in protection from gods and angels is -- strictly in psychological sense -- an unconscious surrogating for the loss of protective hand of parents, once that adulthood kicks in forcing us to rely on ourselves.

In the dynamism of the psyche, it is well known that we arm ourselves with a bunch of defense mechanisms, those including faith, optimism, self-confidence, self-esteem, and now, yes -- also faith in protection by these celestial entities.

That transition from childhood, adolescence and into adulthood, makes that faith necessary, as we are suddenly confronting a completely new world filled with challenges, tests, and potential threats.

In other words, everything that used to be provided for, while we lived under the protective wing of parents, suddenly is lost -- so we need a new source of it. Like feeling "unconditionally loved, protected, and even including our wishes come true through prayers.

I understand that absolutely no one who is deeply into their faith would see anything of a logical value in any of this -- but if you decided to keep reading, maybe you are not among those.

Now, before we jump the gun, I am not calling defense mechanisms anything like "pathological", but something quite normal in human mental makeup.

Moreover, no one needs anyone else's approval to believe whatever they want. It's only when we share our beliefs with others, we have to count with a possibility that others may also share their own, which may be different.

None of this should be interpreted as my excusing my views for differing, but I feel it's a constructive thing to say, so that any reader won't see it as "an intellectual confrontation". For, I honestly don't care if people choose to believe in deities, angels, fairies, whatever, that's none of my business -- I simply choose to share my own views which don't include them.

Now that we got this behind us -- back to the psychology of faith.

In a sense, unconsciously, we never really severe the "emotional umbilical cord" with our parents. (O.K., not a biologically correct metaphor, because, biologically, it would only involve mother, LOL).

If they were generally good to us, we cherish them and even may imitate some of their personality traits and beliefs.

If, on the other hand, they left in us a deep emotional scar, it pushes us emotionally into a neurosis, so we are emotionally still locked in our childhood's unsupportive home. But one thing stays with us -- this need to find some kind of a surrogate for parental love and protection, whether it existed back there or it did not.

That need for something-someone on the outside to fill that emotional vacuum in us, may be much stronger in some people than in others -- so that a certain category of personalities simply don't have that need. Count me in for one of such people whose faith is simply called: "optimism".


Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.

-- Groucho Marx

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Trio of Parental Surrogates

Similar to religious faith in those benevolent celestial entities, optimism is just another defense mechanism, and can be as blind as the religious faith. The stronger unconscious existential fear, or call it insecurity, the stronger has to be our defense mechanisms, no matter what we are calling them.

That brings us to the other two artificially, unconsciously created surrogates for parental protection, which are helping us face the unfriendly, if not also threatening aspects of this world.

So there are three of them, each one mimicking one aspect of protection that we, as children, used to have.

We already mentioned the first one -- religious faith, which is taking care of our heart's need for love, and as a bonus, we learned that our father above loves us "unconditionally", which we didn't really get from our biological parents. No "blanket forgiveness" at home, remember?

Now, the next aspect of parental care can be defined as getting some rules to live by, in order not to get in any trouble. For that we found a surrogate parent in government, which is pretty much telling us a lot about our "freedoms" -- while being quite clear about limits of them.

I never stop laughing over this illusion of "freedom", "democracy" and other political tranquilizers. Like with angels and deities, we just love the concept of them, without even wanting to check out how much of that is a reality.

And the third aspect of parental care for which we found a replacement, of course -- is medicine, with its all-knowing attitude and imperatives ingrained into the cultural paradigm which has us all brainwashed into trusting them unconditionally, as we trusted our own parents.

Now, why I, personally don't trust any of the "almighty trio"?

One reason is that I am intellectually and emotionally self-reliant, which is a part of my life's non-religious spiritual path.

Another reason is that I see in all three of them merely manipulative forces, all three using the old and historically already tired formula: INVENT AN ENEMY, AND PRESENT YOURSELF AS A PROTECTOR FROM IT.

Religion created the enemy in form of "evil, devil, hell, Satan, demons, sin, and eternal debt to the Savior."

And, following the formula, it presented itself as The Protector from all that with different rituals.

Each of the Three Manipulators are pushing their own extremely suggestive, actually hypnotic and brainwashing methods of fearmongering -- on one hand -- and making themselves very impressive, on the other.

Just look at magnificent details of the interiors and exteriors of those holy buildings. I don't know about the others, but churches even have that smell of the burnt frankincense oil, which is known to have sedative effect on the nervous system.

The whole highly impressive arrangement simply commands a hypnotic submission, by claim that it represents God -- The Father, along with the protocol of having to address a preacher as a "father".

No wonder that a dude with my mind sees it as a surrogating for protective and loving parents. Hey, as the bonus, they also promise you an eternal life -- of course, if you follow them.

And as you unload your sins in that confession booth, on your way out, don't forget to leave a little monetary contribution -- Vatican looks like a poor place in a need for it.

(I wanted to squeeze politics and medicine under this subtitle, but that would have made it too long, so let's give them a space of their own).


A doctor is a man who writes prescriptions till the patient either dies or is cured by nature.

-- John Taylor

Political and Medical Parental Figures

Let me play a forgetful old fart who doesn't remember how he already touched these topics in other articles. But hey, most of you have ignored my interpretations even if you had read them, so you won't even recognize my paraphrasing it.

Politics keeps inventing new and new enemies -- well, let's say by pissing off some foreign politicians and then explaining their reactions as "signals of animosity".

So I first piss you off with my satires, and then when you protest, I call you a "hateful person". Cute strategy, isn't it?

Formula at work again: Invent enemies and present yourself as a protector. All along, people are so dumb, so sheepish, so brainwashable, that they really believe that billion-plus Chinese are hating all westerners. They don't see how Chinese people don't give a rat's ass about them, and it's all merely a game of the super-rich and their political puppets. No one is after your precious ass.

But, in a need for that fatherly protection, we trust our political surrogates for parents who will "protect us from that foreign evil".

Furthermore, in order to keep us in a constant state of existential fear, they even created a chronic scenario of "Daddy and Mommy arguing all the time" -- with leading and opposition parties constantly locking horns in a never ending failure to find a common language and establish a political harmony.

Well, let us visit medico-pharmaceutical protective Parent, and by now everybody reading so far must know how I am bound to present those "guardian angels" -- during the past two years of the pandemic even acting like some gods.

We listen, we heed, we obey -- we get worse after some medications, but we still trust, just like we trust after having been in some really shitty situation, without any of those celestial and loving guardian angels being anywhere in sight to warn us.

Some 300,000 yearly deaths caused by medical screwups -- but we still trust them unconditionally. Surgical instruments left in patient's body by mistake, but we forgive, because "the surgeon is also only a human". And after four covid shots we can still end up in hospital -- but we still trust, and will roll up our sleeve for the fifth.. and the sixth...because we trust that they are necessary, because -- you know who -- told us so.

Because we are trusting, loving, forgiving people.

Am I calling it "bad"?

Of course not. Because we believe that it isn't, and we don't need any other reason.

Well, here I come to the end of this much-lovable story of mine. Take it or leave it. Don't blame the store-keeper for not carrying your style of shoes -- just go to the store which has them.

© 2022 Val Karas

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