Not too long ago, my counselor gave me something to think about I have found incredibly enlightening ever since. What we discussed was the “Drama Triangle Game,” which is a seductive, high-energy blame-game which attempts to redirect the focus of attention, energy, and conversation from personal accountability and responsibility to blame, defense, and rescue. In this game, there are always three roles involved – the victim, the rescuer, and the persecutor. If you play one role, you will eventually play another. While drama games can be exciting, they defeat personal accountability and critical-thinking. The better the payoff playing the game, the more intense the drama gets. The more intense the drama gets, the more distracted from the truth the players get. Most players of the game prefer the excitement and adrenalin of drama over the “boredom” of the truth. We all play these games to some extent throughout our lives, and we generally learned to play them as children.
Only last night in discussing this with my counselor did I come to the realization how religion – and Christianity in particular, is essentially nothing more than another manifestation of the blame-game. To clarify, what I am referring to in this writing is religious dogma, theology and/or beliefs, not necessarily religious scripture, much of which is quite truthful and beautifully expressed, as in 1 Corinthians 13:4.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
Of course, not all of religious scripture is truthful and unfortunately religious dogma and theology is often not truthful. In Christian theology in particular, the blame-game is quite easy to understand when we see how this theology essentially describes us “sinners” as victims of the persecutor – “Satan,” temptation, “sin,” “bad” people, or whatever else keeps us from the Christian way, and of course the rescuer is Jesus Christ, who “saves” us from our sins – from the persecutor.
Everywhere in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, we see this blame-game played out time and again, and we see different characters playing different roles within the game. We see God in all three roles as victim, persecutor, and rescuer. He is a victim when we sin against him. He is a persecutor when he unleashes his wrath and judgment on sinners. He is the rescuer when he “saves” us from sin and destruction. Sound familiar? It should for all who have even a general knowledge of the most basic stories in the Bible. Even from the very first story in the Bible about human beings, with Adam and Eve, we see a triangle blame-game between the victims – Adam and Eve/God, the persecutor – the serpent, or “Satan,” and the rescuer – God. In this story, Eve blames the serpent, Adam blames Eve, and God blames the serpent, Adam, and Eve, while God somehow remains “blameless” for setting the wheels for this entire game in motion to begin with.
Because it is so blatantly obvious that religious belief is a blame-game, it is stunning to realize so many billions of people worship these blame-games, calling them “holy” and “righteous,” holding these stories up as examples of “right living” and supposed models for how we are to best live our lives. Is it any wonder we are so lost in delusion and suffering? We are taught, even from the foundation of our most hallowed faiths that the blame-game, along with blind faith, is the way to living a “good life,” not personal accountability and critical-thinking to arrive at what is actually true. Instead, we are taught to just “have faith” in the words of an “authority,” to believe what our egos want to believe, and to blame others while justifying ourselves. In this realization, it is obvious religion encourages delusion, non-accountability, ignorance, and blame – hardly a paradigm for honest, truthful living.
Christian theology is quite easily exposed as nothing more than a blame-game when we examine the cornerstone of Christian belief – the need for a “savior,” or a rescuer. This fact alone proves it is a blame game. When we further examine Christian theology in greater detail, the blame-game becomes even more evident. God is the victim when he is sinned against by Adam and Eve. Because of Adam and Eve’s “original sin,” we therefore “inherit” this “guilt” by our very human birth. Being imperfect, we also have our own sins we commit just in being human, which makes us subject to a “Holy God’s” wrath – the persecutor. So we can see God is both victim and persecutor – at least for now. Then, in order for all things to be “made right” with God – just a softer, less honest way of expressing God’s role play within the blame-game, God sends his son Jesus Christ to Earth to die on the cross for our sins, making both he and God (as they are one in the same) – the rescuer. When looking at the story of Jesus Christ as presented in the Gospels, we see a man who is a persecutor when he drives out the money changers from the temple, condemning their activities, and when he speaks of Hell and the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” of the damned – a cheap scare tactic designed to threaten and bully others into obeying “God’s will.” We also see Jesus as a victim when he is scourged and crucified in order to become the rescuer of sinners everywhere – as long as we meet the condition of declaring him our “savior” – our rescuer – submitting to his absolute authority (power), without asking hard, critical-thinking questions which would reveal this entire blame-game for the absurd charade it is – the playing out of an ego-god’s need to be egotistically validated by the “worship” of himself by his subjects, and to manipulate others through the coercive means of reward and punishment. If we are honest with ourselves, we would have to admit such characteristics sound more like that of a tyrant, dictator, king, or a Roman emperor, not a “loving God.”
So we can see within Christian theology, God plays all three roles of the blame-game trinity – victim, persecutor, and rescuer. As we can also see from these simple illustrations, Christian theology is quite easily exposed for the triangle blame-game it is by simply looking objectively at what it actually does. If we try to defend religion by referring to its more positive attributes, like saying it “gives us comfort,” that too is a game because being “comforted” is us playing the victim who is being rescued by God from the persecutor of injustice, death, and evil around us. The reward for those sheep that blindly follow and submit to the “shepherd” of authority is to be slaughtered – to become a victim ourselves. Sheep get slaughtered, and religion needs us to be sheep – to be victims so we can therefore “need” the rescuer – God. Religion therefore needs us to play the blame-game to keep us perpetually chained to this wheel of futility. It is easy in this understanding to see the insidiousness of religion as a self-perpetuating trap of enablement and co-dependence without end, until we finally own up and take accountability for our lives, which alone frees us from this self-justifying blame-game once and for all.
It makes you wonder what the purpose of religious beliefs are in the first place since they are all about the illusion of separation – about making ourselves out to be “special” as separate and independent from others, which is just a manifestation of the ego’s manipulative tendencies to bring ourselves up by putting others down. This is the most basic and fundamental description of war, and while this may be the easiest way for us to feel “special,” it is an artificial, war-mongering notion of being “special” since it is entirely ego-based, and requires another to lose so we can win, and is absent of awareness of the Oneness of All.
The real question we need to ask ourselves is what the real purpose of religion is if not to play this blame-game? If we were to eliminate the entire role-play of God and ourselves as victims, persecutors, and rescuers, what would be the point of religion? Any careful examination of religious dogma, particularly that of Christianity, will reveal the truth there would be no point to religion if we stopped playing these games and took responsibility and accountability for our lives like grown adults instead of acting like immature children, because as long as there is no persecutor, victim, or rescuer, there is no need for religious belief. Why is this the case? Because belief in God – namely, the concept of an ego-god as found in Judeo-Christian and Islamic theology, is a game. It is a game because it is the belief in a rescuer, because we feel like victims of a persecutor. That is precisely why belief in God was invented by human beings to begin with. If we did not have the need to create a rescuer in response to our fears in being human and our mortality, as well as our desire to feel “special,” or “better” than others, along with our desire to control and dominate others, we would not create the concept of God or gods. In short, we create the concept of God or gods to fulfill ego needs, and for no other reason.
Notice how creating belief in God as a rescuer inevitably makes God eventually become a persecutor and a victim, because as we discovered earlier, if you play the triangle blame-game under one role, you will eventually play another. This is evident in how we describe how we feel about God based on what happens in our lives. We get angry at God when something bad happens in our lives, when we feel like the victim because we perceive he is the persecutor, and we praise God when something good happens in our lives, when he is the rescuer. We also see God as a victim from whom we must ask for forgiveness when we believe we have sinned against him by our “unholy” thoughts, words, and actions. As we discovered earlier in our examination of Biblical scripture, God plays all three roles of the blame-game throughout both the Old and New Testaments. All of these facts drive home the ultimate point – belief in God is a blame-game.
When one examines every single motivation for religious belief, whether “positive” or “negative,” from “comfort” to “justice,” to “making all things right,” they always come down to the same essential single motivation – to validate and justify our ego’s hopes and fears. That is why when we are no longer attached to our egos in seeing them for what they are, and take accountability for our lives like mature adults, without needing to validate or justify our egos, religious belief serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever. It is quite sobering and mind-blowing to see these religious beliefs for what they actually are – the ego’s invention for its own defense and justification, hypocritically posturing as being “selfless,” ”holy” and “righteous.” Ego-based religions such as Christianity and Islam have nothing to do with God or truth, and have everything to do with ego management. As we discovered earlier, most players of the game prefer the excitement and adrenaline of drama over the “boredom” of the truth. These religions are in actuality just self-created sedatives we use to calm our cognitive dissonance – our discomfort we experience from holding inconsistent, contradictory, and therefore false beliefs such as believing God is a matter of “faith,” while saying God is a “fact” who shows “evidence” for his existence, while not being able to be proven at the same time, or believing in a “loving God” who allows his people to be punished in Hell for all eternity. That is why Karl Marx once called religion, “the opium of the people.” Religions are simply formal structures created by the ego for its own selfish purposes, while clothed in the hypocritical guise of “selflessness,” “holiness,” and “righteousness.” Contrary to being “selfless,” “holy,” and “righteous,” religions are in actuality created by the ego, for the ego, to ensure a permanent means to reenact the triangle blame-game indefinitely – to create an outwardly apparent “respectable” means to justify itself, and defend the illusory ego, which is the essence of hypocrisy and what the blame-game is all about. Religion is about egotistical self-preservation, so the ego can “survive” as any other being fights to stay alive. It is a means to ensure the ego never sees itself for the illusion it is, and to prevent it from seeing the truth of its judgmental and prejudicial nature which keeps it from seeing Reality, without ignorance and illusion.
Contrary to their stated purpose – “love,” “truth,” and the “betterment of humankind,” religions are actually nothing more than sophisticated and cunningly crafted tools created for the ego, by the ego, to keep it perpetually enshrouded in ignorance of the Oneness of All. The worst of the religions accomplish this by preaching separation, exclusivity, superiority, the lie of the permanent reality of the self, and the notion that dualism – not Oneness, is Ultimate Reality. This is evident in notions such as “Heaven” and “Hell,” “God” and “Satan,” the “saved” and the “damned.” All of this is untrue and an illusion. Whether we create these notions consciously or unconsciously, religion is, in short, a defense mechanism to keep us from facing reality and personal accountability. It’s as simple as that. We believe we need a “savior” instead of facing our problems head-on and taking responsibility for the state of the world in which we live. No “god” is going to save us from what our egos have created out of self-preservation and justification, but it is much easier for the ego to simply play the blame-game than face personal accountability. It is much easier to create the notion of a “savior” – a rescuer who dies “in our place” so we do not have to accept responsibility or bear the full consequences for our actions since the “savior’s” death “pays the price” God requires for sin. Creating the concept of God so we do not have to accept responsibility is the ultimate blame-game. This entire exercise of futility we create in perpetuating these lies has everything to do with playing the blame-game – egotistical self-justification, and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with love and truth.
While it may appear religions were created out of a genuine desire by the ego to “help” humankind, this excuse is just a clever lie the ego tells itself and others to cover for the fact of what these religions actually are – playthings of the ego to manipulate others to do its will, because anyone who is about truth knows it is through awareness and honest and sincere investigation to know the truth of what is that leads to True Salvation, not blind faith in a so-called “authority” without evidence, as most religions ask us to accept. Genuine truth seekers encourage questioning, not the blind following of an “authority” through “faith.” The very fact most religions encourage, if not demand our non-questioning, blind “faith” in authorities reveal themselves for what they are… and by their fruits we shall know. It’s bad enough we play these games in our interpersonal and professional relationships, but to formally organize this game into religions, while calling them “holy” and “Godly,” when they are created for no other real purpose than to reenact and pass off to others as well as our children, this ego-based, ignorance perpetuating, self-justifying blame-game is beyond horrific, and is a hypocritical contradiction of the highest order.
It is no wonder one of the most common charges against religion is hypocrisy. Most people are not even aware of the extent and the depth of the hypocrisy of religious belief, as well as the creation of its institutions, and follow it in ignorance without questioning, which makes it even more insidious. Religious belief and its organization is ignorant hypocrisy at its highest level. This is how we know the passage from Matthew 16:18 is not true when Jesus says, “…and on this rock I will build my church…” No truly aware and enlightened person would ever try to organize and establish an authority, nor any institution dedicated to reenacting a blame-game. If Jesus did in fact do this, then he was no less an ignorant charlatan and a hypocrite than modern-day preachers, pastors, and priests.
In the awareness of the Oneness of All, we realize why we play the games we play, and come to an awareness we are special not because someone else is not special, but because all are amazing, temporary, unique manifestations of the Same One… the ALL… the Oneness of All.