Eleventh in the PE Series, Reviewing Chapter Ten
Carl Teichrib, A Canadian researcher, writer and speaker, authored Chapter 10 of Pandemonium's Engine. To Storm Heaven; To Be Like God; To Rule the World, its title, is a quotation from Hebraic scholar Yehezkel Kaufmann when he described man's purpose in building the Tower of Babel.
Many sources inform the content of this article, with 64 footnotes for only 23 pages.
What did Jesus mean when he said, And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force (Mat 11:12)? To desire to be like God, to see and be near Him, can spell rivalry or devotion.
Here is a beautiful exposition of this text from the John Gill commentary on studylight.org:
From the time that he began to preach, to the then present time,
the kingdom of heaven,
the Gospel, and the ministry of it, first by John, then by Christ and his apostles,
or "comes with force", and power upon the souls of men: it was attended with the demonstration of the Spirit, and of power; as appeared by its being the means of quickening persons that were dead in trespasses and sins; enlightening the blind; causing the deaf to hear; melting and softening hearts of stone; making, of enemies, friends to God and Christ; turning men from the power of Satan unto God; setting at liberty such as were slaves and vassals to their own corruptions; and, in a word, in being the power of God unto salvation, to many souls: and which was further seen, in the manner it did all this; suddenly, secretly, powerfully, and effectually, and yet not against the wills of men; and by such instruments as the apostles were, poor, sinful, mortal men; despised by the world, and attended with opposition and persecution: or "suffers violence"; which may be understood, either of the vast numbers, that pressed and crowded to hear the Gospel preached: great numbers followed John, when he first began to preach, and baptize: still a greater number followed Christ, some to hear his doctrine, others to see his miracles, others to behold his person, others out of selfish ends; and some behaved rudely and indecently: or of the ardour and fervency of spirit, which appeared in some, to the ministry of John and Christ, and in their desires and expectations of the kingdom of the Messiah: or of the Gospel's suffering violence by the persecutions of its enemies opposing and contradicting it, reproaching it, intimidating the professors of it, and seeking to take away the life of Christ, the great subject of it:
and the violent take it by force;
meaning either publicans, and harlots, and Gentile sinners; who might be thought to be a sort of intruders: or rather the same persons, as being powerfully wrought upon under the ministry of the Gospel; who were under violent apprehensions of wrath and vengeance, of their lost and undone state and condition by nature; were violently in love with Christ, and eagerly desirous of salvation by him, and communion with him; and had their affections set upon the things of another world: these having the Gospel preached to them, which is a declaration of God's love to sinners, a proclamation of peace and pardon, and a publication of righteousness and life by Christ, they greedily catched at it, and embraced it.
That was my rabbit trail to include such a lengthy quotation from Gill's commentary, but it is very helpful in understanding a cryptic verse of Scripture. In comparison, as pointed out by Teichrib, a misguided interpretation of that verse may be seen in Saint-Simon's "New Christianity," that urged men to obtain eternal life by working with all their might; or in Freemasonry's instruction to achieve spiritual perfection "by degrees"; or, more violently, in Transhumanism's technical quest for the Holy Grail, ascension through engineering. "It is techo-Alchemy, or 'Future Magic' as suggested by past director of the World Transhumanist Association, Giulio Prisco, who optimistically dreams of unlimited potential." (p 313)
Teichrib attended the 2010 Transhumanism and Spirituality Conference hosted by the Mormon Transhumanist Association. One speaker was Max More, founder of the Extropy Institute (extropy.org that supports HER), who has written, "Praise Lucifer! Praise the pursuit of truth through rationality… No one has authority over you — you are your own authority… Join me, join Lucifer and join Extropy in fighting God and his entropic forces … Forward to the light." (p 315)
As the scientists perfect the post-human technologies, a host of philosophers are in tow, cheering them on, and shaping the religion of the future that will undergird the science.
Teichrib ends with this thought:
The fact remains that the edifice of transhumanism — the "religion of Man" — is erected on an ancient hubris, complete with an ancient hostility: Man shaking his fist at Yahweh and declaring, "heaven is taken by force!" As one attendee at the Transhumanism and Spirituality conference noted: "We are now at a Tower of Babel return point; anything we imagine, we can do. There is nothing out of our grasp now."
Teichrib analyzes and documents "the religious, social, governance and economic agendas, movements and initiatives that are now radically shifting Western civilization." His Forcing Change website is "an intelligence source, providing a unique world-view window with a panoramic sweep of globalization."
You can see him on YouTube speaking on globalization and transhumanism.