Mark of the Beast of Myth, Magic and Metaphor

A fascinating means of expression culminates in symbolic representation of meaningful considerations. The phrase “mark of the beast” is the method by which such metaphorical implications are amplified regarding particular societal issues. From a non-literal perspective, cooperatively interlaced with a classical view of criminality, the inference of ancient “branding” or “marking” is taken to reflect the essence of human nature. Some might argue allegorical images related to good and evil, while others might speculate on a range of deterministic precursors of one sort or another.

Among writers, and in particular movie producers and directors, there are those who thrive upon such “revelatory” depictions of the mark of the beast, and of course, the numbers “666”. Naturally, those of a more stringent strain of religious ideology will be provoked into expressing all manner of literalism. As a side note however, a few writers get a little annoyed with recent movie adaptations in which humans, usually a lone priest, battles demonic forces with little or no help from all-powerful celestial deities.

For heaven sakes, for the time being, maybe it is better to focus on the symbolism, and the relative connection to human nature. Naturally, no one has all the answers, nor does anyone understand the true inner workings of human thinking. Therefore, we speculate from philosophical viewpoints, sometimes called schools of thought. Absent solid scientific evidence regarding the definitive essentiality of causation, the cause-effect consequences of thinking processes are largely a mystery.

Yet, from supernatural ideologies, insert religion here, to atheistic perceptions, there are wide variations as to the historic the “why question”, as to why someone does a certain thing. Particularly, in the aftermath of a horrendous human instigated catastrophe, like a terrorist incident, pundits and politicians rush to hasty generalizations. Likewise, a scared and ignorant populace whimpers in fearful anticipation of some mystic revelation. Those who have understanding quietly assess from a rationally intuitive distance because of thoughtful analysis. However, many want a simplistic supernatural or other downright stupid interpretation to escape the ravages of higher thinking. And so, the connection here relates to the symbolic measure, given a thought provoking experience, whereby critical analysis is required but metaphorical response suffices.

As such, storytelling is fun and ancient history is replete with myriad story tales, super hero sagas and picture talking that attempt to explain human experiences. Even though in post-modern American culture the average person suffers a creativity deficit, some can still tell stories in very inventive ways. As the human species pursues a closer regressive relationship with self-deceit, and a parasitic and symbiotic fixation with gluttonous materiality, counterproductive choices lesson the capacity for enlightenment, wisdom and advancement of humanity. So-called civilization is doomed to collapse. The result is that myth, magic and mysticism of magical thinking replaces rationality.

Unfortunately, in support of such claim, a variety of commentary and research suggests a dismal post-modern predicament of a looming dystopic future. That is, imagination is seriously undersupplied in modern western societies. From asinine and superfluous television series, to hastily manufactured movie remakes, intellectual efforts appear woefully diminished. In actuality, emerging research asserts an alarming decline is “I.Q.” scores over the past few decades. Some investigators say the drop is as much as 20 points on standardized testing, follow by associative analysis.

For some observers of social processes, a few agree that warning signs of communal regression across a broad spectrum of society is becoming more evident. The growth of stupidity in a wide variety of topics, from economics to politics, strains the senses on a daily basis. Alleged news reporting, with in-depth analysis and learned commentary, often default to emotional reactivity. Fromm such anti-intellectual antics, superstition tainted by supernatural allegory, supported by pseudoscience redefine frightening biases that lead to tyranny and oppression of free thought.

Ideological extremism perverts the very notion of intellectual ascendency, and the deconstruction of well-defined attempts to ensure evidentiary sufficiency. The “edutainment” and “infotainment” conglomerates perpetrate the juvenile psychobabble of increasing anti-thinking that fosters the decline of rational scholarly efforts. Instead, logical storytelling with thought provoking implications, or serious morality tale, becomes the shallow and trivial never-ending sitcom, soup opera, or “drama” series that never seems to end. Incessant remakes regurgitate the repetitive deceptions to market and sell consumer comforts in order to escape the reality of the real world. With technology, serious “role play”, or acting is not necessary, as 3D replaces real people.

Meanwhile, as techno inventiveness expands by the effort of a creative few, the vast majority relishes in the instant gratification of surreal replications. An information ocean washes over and around an eagerly consumptive public. By way of the man outlets of “infotainment”, “infomercials”, and “info-panaceas” for everything, not much critical thinking is rigorously required. The allegory for the “mark of the beast” is an appellation to “anti-thinking” in a greedily rapacious “info-age”. With all the information is supplied and little skeptical analysis required, gullibility replaces reality. With unsubstantiated appeals to “authority”, as though anecdotal references demonstrated credible evidence, trouble free acceptance acquiesces to disaster on a global scale.

Back on the movie set, or television drama, simplicity subverts the deeper inquisitiveness of enlightened ascendency. For commercialized gratifications, stories get shallower, acting becomes strained and redundant, while writing devolves to the lowest common denominator. Dumbing down hastens social regression and quickens societal collapse. Add to that, silly simplistic mass appeal of alleged “reality” shows, the pretentiousness of “talent discovery”, the foolish conjecture of “talk shows”, and it seems there is much uninformed acquiescence to intentional ignorance.

Another aspect of the mythical allusion to the “mark of the beast” is intentional stupidity, which portends serious devolving consequences. By folly, futility and foolishness, grownups act in childish ways, stuck in a time warp of former “high school” revelry. Such is the mark or brand of immaturity. By the briefest of definitions, stupidity infers a general lack of maturity in intelligence or common sense application of reason. Rationality is shunned and emotional reactivity, based on faulty and unsubstantiated data, rushes to hasty generalizations that result in erroneous results.

Belief systems, which devolve to primal purposes for perpetration of illicit illusions, based on mythic tales, absent sufficiency of evidentiary artifacts, lend to human regression. In effect, the gross distortions of morality tales lessen the potentiality of construct redress for authentic application of ethical expressions. As one example, the pretentious academician, with higher degree papers, who intellectually ought to know better, fosters a disingenuous perspective given to the magical thinking of his or her religious insistence. Claims of personal interest and individual intercession on the part of gods and goddesses deconstruct the logical necessity of cerebral ascension.

From the basis of cognitive bias, for the primal satiation of subjective validation, the human species seems bent on bringing about its eventual demise. By extinction, following chaotic and dystopic consequences, some infer the end will be extremely violent. As such, the “mark beast” is emblematic, a figure of speech conjuring the sharp distinction of regressive purposes that underscore devolving status for the human species. From the illusions of literal dogmatism, particularly supernatural, occult and extreme mythical perversions, regressive belief systems hasten the destruction.

Such thinking translates into willful premeditated actions that have maladaptive consequences. Frequently, across the wide expanse of the social spectrum, the condescending nature degenerates into the negativity of counterproductive interactions. By purposeful intention, many become what they revolt against, blame others and indulge a range of self-gratifications that negate the necessity of self-evolution. At the top of the socio-economic strata, rapacious privileged elite, a small but deadly percentage, succeed in the arrogance of self-righteousness at the expense of others.

The “branding”, whether grotesquely excessive commercialization, or herded labeling stereotype, fosters the furtherance of scapegoating persecutions. A commercial in every video clip, and a drug “remedy” for every ailment, invades the senses at each broadcast opportunity. In the schemes of the “psycho-medico-pharmaceutical” commercial complex, a “mental diagnosis” must have a manufactured chemical to “cure” it. Hope springs eternal in the sacrilege of anti-intellectualism and shunning of scientific methodology. Celebrity worship, guru occultism and hasty generalizations overshadow proof, evidence and the certainty of truth in mainstream interactivity.

As life scares for all the defenses the weaknesses protest, death snares more quickly the finality of a no win contest. In the interwoven folly of psychosexual immaturity, the pervasive zeal for self-affirmation turns deadly and regressive. For herding, branding and foolish discontent, the lingering self-imposed frailties devolve to the baser spheres of selfish adoration. The futile debasement of collective extremist ideologies in suppression of individuality, imposing the oppression of conformity, foments counterproductive and devolutional processes, which hasten the final demise. Stupidity in social discourse is but one sign of pervasive tendencies to avoid the necessity of exceptional growth, maturity and enlightened progression. In the end, a number is just a number.

Nonetheless, of myth, magic and metaphor in primal thinking, that is to say “anti-thinking” is reference to that which erodes the future prospects of human civilization rising to higher realms. In other words, so long as superstitions, and flirtations with the supernatural prevail, the human species will likely regress. Whereas science, the scientific method, and evidence-based inquiry rely on proof, which should reflect the validation needed for a court of law, fallacies bias the applications of logic and reason.

In the modern age throughout the world, the vast majority of humankind rely on their metaphysical or religious belief systems to explain human existence. As to so-called developed countries, as in western societies, long after the “dark ages”, a healthy sense of skepticism and thoughtful cynicism ought to withstand competition with devolving challenges of the occult. Nonetheless, a number of surveys and studies show dismal statistics relative to the level of scientific literacy throughout the world. From cradle to grave, by whatever means of social assimilation, people demonstrate a diversity of bizarre and strange beliefs. Over the centuries, little progress has occurred.

Instead, ideological extremes and selfish viewpoints foment war, allow poverty, pestilence, famine, and socio-economic disparity. Not to mention of course, there is as exploitation of planetary resources. From several perspectives of viewing the world, many squander the precious nature of time in favor of faithful illusions and superstitious fixations. Many people would prefer to avoid rigorously applying the rationality of logical processes of deduction, backed by skilled observation and evidentiary factors. One can take pause to study or otherwise witness any human activity, and assess the range of beliefs that might be employed. Emotional instability can become extreme.

Given the growing propensity of that which some call “infantile narcissism”, according to at least one social commentator, reactive emotionalism replaces reasoned analysis. Regardless of belief system, or faithful adherence to a particular doctrine, some might agree and otherwise conclude, the human species is notoriously corrupt, dishonest and prone to vile behaviors. Not much has changed in several thousand years, in spite of valiant efforts by a few. Symbolic meanings, along with hastily contrived fallacies of inference, suggest false notions and misdirection regarding factuality. Species assertions within the nebulous context of self-validation suffer the malady of disingenuous conjecture. Failing to enlighten to wiser realms invites devolving stupidity.

The figurative “mark of humanness”, is the mirrored depiction of human nature. Such is the selfishness of people in the myriad ways “evil” is perpetrated against others. From gluttonous consumptive exploitation, to terroristic tortures and murderous warfare, the degradations know no limits. The foolhardiness of fraud and fakery, for instance, is now more than ever a constant bombardment in every venue of media promotion. Shameless con artistry flashes endlessly from cell phone to gas pump. Among the collective illusions purposely perpetrated by humans is the pressure to consume more and more.

In the dishonor by the many deceptions, motivational impetus to seek transformation to higher levels of productive differentiation become less and less positive objectives. As to the intentional degradation of others, cruelty continues as classic human history. No matter the faith or the forum of belief, whatever one chooses is freely selected and willfully accepted for enrichment of individual personal proclivity.

Regardless of viewpoint or doctrine, each in American society gets to believe whatever they so desire. Yet, from a diversity of dogma, mean-spirited inflictions promote the selfishness of one exclusivity over another. Tolerance in post-modern society hides behind a mask of intolerance if one disagrees with another. Freedom of expression slowly devolves to self-appointed “thought police” across the spectrum of social media. In cyberspace, many try; some succeed in silencing others because one sense of conformity does not concur with an opposing perspective.

From verbal admonishment by the self-righteous ignorant arrogance of a variety internet media, to the machinations of governmental intrigue, the species devolves toward the looming specter of eventual demise. While the truth, or many truths, are thought to be free, the reality of human behavior, and its associated transgressions, is often harsh when faced openly and without inhibition. In the perspective presented here, the representation of the “mark of the beast” is about the malevolent nature of people.

Moreover, it is the horrors they do to each other, the malice aforethought for premeditated harm and destruction. Such is especially symbolic of the untruthful, fraudulent and destructive acts people commit everyday as they oppose personal authenticity. Failure to self-evolve, to become more enlightened and advance the species, and accept responsibility for all actions, without excuse, invites extinction. Accountability by courageous responsibility is a mark frequently shunned.