Do you think Death could possibly be a boat?
Or perhaps Death isn’t.
Maybe Death is the ultimate negative,
not-being, and you can’t not-be on a boat.
Though I’ve frequently not been on boats.
Or rather, been not on boats.
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The Causes and Effects of Eighth-Grade Syndrome Throughout History
fotc (Mazui Subs, Unlimited Translation Works)
10 The Origins of Religion
Religion has drastically shaped the whole of human psychology, culture, and history. Its uses are endless, from providing an all-purpose answer to the questions of life, to relieving the fear of death, to justifying murder and war. The whole of human experience is shaped by religion, if not by a personal faith in some dogma, then by interactions with individuals who do have faith in some dogma. Thus, by virtue of cause and effect, if religion is a symptom of eighth-grade syndrome, then the effects of eighth-grade syndrome throughout history are immeasurable. This is precisely the case, and so eighth-grade syndrome stands as one of the most powerful forces which has shaped human history.
As discussed in previous sections, cases of eighth-grade syndrome typically evolve by way of triggers, with the sufferer assimilating each new trigger into his or her case. For supernatural power-type cases, these triggers tend to be of a magical, spiritual, mythological, cosmological, or religious nature. Typical examples include Wiccan practices, Norse mythology and cosmology, the teachings of Aleister Crowley, the teachings of Silver Birch, and Abrahamic celestial hierarchy. Some triggers are exceedingly common, that is, they hold strong influence over and often dominate the imaginary worlds of most supernatural power-type cases. The commonness of such triggers indicates that something about the world described by these triggers are attractive to all sufferers.
Many cases of supernatural power-type cases create their own imaginary worlds which are unlike those of other cases. Often, these worlds and the laws which govern them are extremely elaborate, including the creation of new languages. The Voynich Manuscript, discussed in section 6, is a prominent example of such an occurrence.
It is only a small logical step, then, to state that all religions originated from strong cases of supernatural power-type eighth-grade syndrome. The originators of these religions imagined their own worlds, took on the peculiar yet common behaviors of such a case, and spread their ideas to their communities, which eventually came to regard these ideas as fact.
B Example: The Abrahamic Religions
The Abrahamic religions provide a plethora of examples of eighth-grade syndrome as the origin of religion. In this section, three will be discussed.
The first Abrahamic religion, Judaism, is said to originate from a decision by a man named Abraham (for whom this family of religions is named) to worship a mountain god, rather than the moon god Nanna Sin, likely caused by a desire to be different from others. It later adopted a monotheistic and dualistic perspective, that there exists only one supreme and transcendent god, after its interactions with Zoroastrianism, the earliest known dualistic religion. In these interactions, Judaism also adopted other elements of Zoroastrianism, such as its angelic hierarchy, in a case of nearly complete trigger assimilation.
The birth of Christianity revolves around the birth, teaching, and death of a man named Jesus who called himself the son of a god and a messiah sent to free an entire people. (Historians believe that this man is actually an amalgamation of many people who claimed to be such messiahs around the same time, showing the commonness of this trigger, particularly in the aforementioned people during the aforementioned time.) The idea that one is a supernatural being or descended from a supernatural being is a common conception among supernatural power-type cases, and so this man was (or men were) suffering from a popular case of eighth-grade syndrome. Christianity carries over many things from Judaism, including monotheism, dualism, and the angelic hierarchy, but adds on the concept of infinite universal love and forgiveness, which is also a common conception in eighth-grade syndrome cases.
Islam was founded by a man named Mohammed, based on the previous Abrahamic religions of Judaism and Christianity, and includes all concepts of both, but adds on an extensive system of political governance and demands strict adherence to the code of religious law. The founding event of this religion is a purported visit of Mohammed by an angel, which revealed to him the words of the Abrahamic god. Needless to say, the delivery of sacred messages from supernatural beings is a typical eighth-grade syndrome conception.
Thus, it is clear that all of the the Abrahamic religions have originated from cases of eighth-grade syndrome. Because these three religions make up about two-thirds of the world population and have caused many of the greatest upheavals in history, such as wars and outbreaks of disease, eighth-grade syndrome is likely one of the most powerful forces which has shaped history.
The Causes and Effects of Eighth-Grade Syndrome Throughout History by fotc is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Research was funded in part by FFF Fansubs.