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The Heruka is a form of the Wrathful Dieties who appear in the afterdeath experience, according to the Tibetan Books of the Dead. This charming monster is equipped with razor-sharp steel claws like those of the demon Freddy in the popular horror film, Friday the 13th. With these spectacular nine-inch nails, the Heruka strips away beliefs and false notions of self so that the deceased is liberated into the ecstatic non-self beholding of the Bardos.

The sensation of yielding to Heruka's claws is as exquisite as being flayed alive, I suspect, but that's what you get for identification with beliefs. The effort of metacritique can be painfully arduous at moments, but it's nothing compared to the afterdeath stripdown.

In these essays I attempt to lay out the methodology for a clear and consistent critique of belief and belief-systems. Nasty work, but someone's gotta do it.... I convey my immense gratitude in advance to any and all readers who dare to take this challenge... However you cut the deck, Metacritique may be essential to teaching humanity.

A Close Encounter with Reflex Belief. Detection of reflex belief is essential in understanding how humans deviate from the truth of their own experience. Reflex belief is one of the most instructive concepts in the entire tool kit of metahistory. Once it is exposed, the dynamics of belief-driven behavior can be read closely and cogently. What is reflex belief?

Phantom Belief is a prevalent form of belief that can be understood by analogy to phantom limb syndrome. Some beliefs continue to operate even after they are no longer held with firm and conscious conviction. This short essay considers how being motivated by phantom beliefs may be as dangerous (and delusional) as walking on phantom limbs.

A Concise Inventory of Belief presents 14 categories of belief proposed by mythologist Pierre Maranda. This is not the only structural analysis of beliefs that could be devised, but it a most helpful one. By scanning the list you can determine by visceral reaction which beliefs are most relevant to the way you live.

Modes of Believing presents 42 kinds of belief defined, not by their content, but by the manner in which they are held. Each mode demonstrates a particular dynamic of believing, with examples given.

Spectator Belief explores a situation widely experienced but rarely described in precise terms: the dilemma of witnessing how others enact beliefs we hold, leaving us as passive spectators to the enactment, and perhaps victims of the consequences. It discusses the complicity that operates between active (extremist) and passive (moderate) believers.

The Four Concerns explains the core beliefs of the three Abrahamic religions in terms of the relationships that pertain between God, Nature and Humanity.

Defusing Belief likens the critique of belief systems to disabling a bomb. It defines certain modes of believing and introduces the delicate technique of defusing.

The Role of Syntax focuses on the language used to inculcate a belief in the mind of a believer. It shows how the syntax —verbal-conceptual structure— in which a belief is registered determines whether or not the belief can be put in doubt.

See also belief-change in the Lexicon.



Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2018 by John L. Lash.