Spiritual Tyranny.com is not a stream of consciousness presentation.
I have a specific body of ideas that I am seeking to address. To effectively tackle my stated goal, I write separate articles that lay foundation for an overarching point. The result is that posts build on or hearken to points and concepts already available for reading consumption.
Since this blog is not springing fully formed from the side of my head, by necessity there is a chronology to the writing, BUT posts are not specifically designed to be read in chronological order. Indeed, reading previous (or subsequent) posts will help expand/refine the commentary; particularly, if I tell you articles are designed to be understood as a whole. Test this out for yourself: working your way through older posts and the comments is valuable.
Blogging is a narrow medium. Its weakness is scope: making the broad evaluation of ideas, or for that matter bible studies, tedious and cumbersome. Sweeping evaluations are best handled in medium that you can hold in your hands and study: that is the stuff of books and audio lectures. (Eventually those will be available)
But Blogging has a key strength. It is a real time conversation where questions and answers and multiple contributors can work through ideas. This creates a great dynamic: the small steps of my commentary combined with the moment to moment comments, inspiring questions, challenges, and conflicts within the group discussion. The net effect on this blog is a non-linear, interlinking conversation.
With the above in mind, you can understand the function of this Start Here page. The goal is to help readers navigate the conversation and find the information that most appropriately addresses their time and space in the phenomena of Spiritual Tyranny.
I spend a lot of time working through the bad ideas, and of course, the inevitable question is … so what are the right ideas? I started to address the right ideas, or the sources of the right ideas in the posts Consciousness and Moral Clarity, but the posts are far from comprehensive. I have also added this Q&A post called Engage to dig deep into the root of my underlying premise.
Are you hurting, fearful, seriously confused about the content of your spiritual life and the pain of spiritual abuse? Start with the Foundational Posts.
Do you want to begin to understand the what, when, where and how of Tyranny? I have identified the five Elements of Tyranny and placed related articles in those categories.
To identify the arguments and philosophical principles that get used to bolster the elements of tyranny notice the category Tools of Tyranny.
Do you want to know how to move on once you have regained your feet and want to find a more effective sense of self? Notice the category Moving On – Next Steps.
These posts will give you, dear reader, the best starting place to familiarize your self with what I call the Arena of Ideas and the specific subset of ideas that make up Spiritual Tyranny.
I will refresh this list so revisit this page for updates.
If you encounter a concept in a post, check out the Definitions or the Gospel According to John Immel page, to see if I’ve given some brief description. If not, then ask for clarification. Email me email@example.com or submit a request in a post.
Teachable Moments is the category that holds sundry articles that feature critical commentary of moi that arise from the real time conversation (those hot topics from within a given post) and my responses and observations.
Note: there is method to the madness. I do both inductive and deductive argumentation, meaning I use the specific tyranny of groups, people, and leaders to make an overarching observation about methods, means, and tools of despotism. This tempts people to believe one of two things:
That what I have to say does not specifically apply their exact situation.
That this blog only exists for my wrathful pleasure against select men.
To the first temptation I will say this: Trust me, master the elements and arguments that are addressed here on Spiritual Tyranny, and I bet money you will begin to see them perpetrated within arm’s reach of your own life.
How can I be so bold in that assertion? Because history is replete with examples: Indeed antiquity is one long, endless story of repression perpetrated by History’s Hitlers and their partners in crime, the Mystic Despots. The means and methods have never changed and like a cancer spreads with relentless intensity through the assumptions, presuppositions, and filters of our culture. The cancer spreads only because people don’t realize they are infected.
To the second temptation I will say this: I AM against select men … but those men (and/or women if they prove tyrannical) are at the forefront of spreading tyranny and oppression in the name of God and Justice and Righteousness. These people use spirituality as a lever to demagogue and rule people. I don’t care what acronym they use to identify their group, or doctrine, or buildings. If they are tyrants I AM against the content of their ideas that produce bondage, corruption, death, and destruction. For these intellectual thugs, I AM zealous in my censure. For these spiritual tyrants, I AM unrelenting in critique. And for that, I am soooo not sorry.
In advance, Welcome to the Arena of Ideas.