Saturday, April 08, 2006

Hallucinations of Truth

Either the cosmos is a closed system or it is an open system. Either it can be comprehended fully "within itself," or, like everything else, it can only be understood in reference to something else.

Science, of course, proceeds on the basis that the cosmos is ultimately a closed system. While there may be local entities that temporarily escape that fact and become open systems--such as biological organisms--in the end, it is all nothing more than a brief and futile reprieve from the iron hand of entropy. From death you arose and to death you shall return.

It's funny how science starts out with such admirably modest aims and methods, but soon makes such grandiose pronouncements. I yield to no one in my respect for science as science, but at the same time, when philosophically unschooled scientists start leaping to unwarranted metaphysical pronouncements, we should all be concerned. Through a sleight of language, science doesn't just replace religion, it becomes a religion. And a rather lame one at that.

The universal affirmation--not assumption, but subjectively verifiable testimony--of various saints, sages, and mystics down through history is that the cosmos is not a closed system, but that it has an "exit" and "entrance" through which various energies flow.

Properly understood, religion is nothing less than pure metaphysics. However, it is generally presented in such a way that the metaphysics must be "unpacked" by the intellect--as I have said before, not the debased intellect as we understand it today, but by what goes by different names in different traditions: the nous in Christianity, the buddhi in Vedanta, the ruah in kabbalah, or the psychic being by Sri Aurobindo (not to be confused with "psychics" seen on Larry King).

Properly understood, there is no conflict at all between science and religion, because they are describing different planes of being. You might say that science is the religion of the ultimate object while religion is the science of the ultimate subject.

Now, once you acknowledge the vertical in any form or fashion, you have left the horizontal behind as any kind of comprehensive, all-encompassing explanation of existence.

For example, if you acknowledge the existence of free will--which, by the way, some people don't... then again, they have no choice--you have already conceded that we move and have our being in a mysterious "hole" in creation, a hole known as the "now." By all rights, this "now" should not exist at all.

Einstein was particularly baffled by its existence, to such an extent that he thought the present moment in which we exercise our free will was only a stubborn illusion. This is an example of how science reaches a metaphysical dead once it begins to ponder the vertical.

Likewise, from the standpoint of science, Life Itself--the vertical doorway out of the material cosmos--can really be nothing more than a very rare and unlikely pattern of matter. Similarly, consciousness--the vertical pathway out the lifedoor--can only be an ephemeral and meaningless side effect of cellular activity.

If this is true, then scientists--not to mention scientific "truth"--is merely a meaningless side effect of matter--just smoke driven by wind. The scientist wants to give you the truth, as if he is speaking from a privileged vantage point of verticality, above the material fray. But how can he be? If he wishes to be consistent, he must concede in all modesty that matter can't really know anything, much less the truth about itself.

Among other things, religions are vertical escape hatches from the grinding ineluctability of mere animal existence. For example, Moses' horizontal dash (HT: Lisa) out of Egypt was in fact a vertical one, leading the Israelites from servitude in the horizontal wasteland of Egypt into the possibility of a higher life in the unknown vertical desert.

Similarly, Jesus said "I am the door." The door? Yes, and "if anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and find pasture." Pasture? Yes, and a shepherd. And a flock. To those who say there is no vertical pasture, we bleat to them: BAAAAAAAH. Humbug.

Sri Aurobindo said that the aim of the spiritual life is to lay open "a gate of escape out of the vicious circle of our ordinary human existence." Frithjof Schuon wrote that "the human state is a gate of exit," even "the only gate for the terrestrial world," the very portal "through which all of creation can pass on its return to God."

Interesting. So in some sense, humans are not just in the vertical. Rather, we are of the vertical. It is somehow what we are in our essence. Or, looked at in another way, take away the vertical and what is man? A rather pathetic beast, really--a monstrous accident with the added privilege of frantically scuttling about in illusion and self-deception until returning to that greater reality called Death.

It is true that the illusory time of horizontal physics is a meaningless line. But the metaphysical time of cosmic and spiritual evolution is the open spiral. How does a spiral come about? It is the product of circular growth in two dimensions: horizontal and vertical.

Science deals only with repetition. Without the vertical element, time, no matter how long, can produce nothing truly novel. It can just combine and recombine in a linear or cyclical way. But it certainly cannot account for the startling ontological discontinuities represented by the leap from matter to life or from life to mind. It can rearrange the furniture, but cannot explain how we go from one ontological floor to the next.

The only way you can really believe this horizontal nonsense is if your own life has become utterly linear, circular, and closed off to the vertical. Then it is a philosophy that makes a great deal of sense. Plus it is an excellent metaphysical defense mechanism, because you have an airtight explanation for your own vertical Failure to Launch. If it's impossible, why bother? Indeed Horizontal Man is superior to Vertical Man, because at least he does not live in the comfort of fanciful delusions about nonexistent vertical realms!

Let's just suppose that there are some beings who have ascended very far indeed into the vertical. They have left behind compelling testimony and vivid descriptions of what they have encountered there. Furthermore, there is a striking degree of what is called "inter-rater reliability" between them, in that their descriptions can be correlated and compared and found to have broad similarities.

Of course there are individual differences, for the same reason that early explorers of America returned with different descriptions. After all, one might have landed in conservative South Carolina, another in liberal Massachusetts. But still, there was an ocean... there was a ship... there was wind... there were beings and fauna of a different order. We weren't in Europe anymore, Toto.

Let us further suppose that these vertical explorers are worthy of our veneration. As a matter of fact, for some of us, this veneration comes quite naturally and spontaneously. It consists of such things as respect, gratitude, awe, and even love. To our surprise, something happens as a result of this veneration. By dwelling deeply and meditatively in the words of one of these beings, we experience a presence. No, not a ghost, a vision, or an apparition, but just what I said: a presence. A magnetic presence.

If these nonlocal beings are a gift, how do we open their presence? More discussion of nonlocal operators tomorrow.


Petey was discussing the controversial new Indonesian edition of Playboy that has Muslims all hot and bothered. Apparently, it shows two Muslim women, you know, doing it.

Yeah, driving!

There's also a sexy layout of Ms. Pakistan in a two-piece bathing suit: a burqa and a snorkel.

But it's not all fun and frivolity. There are some serious pieces. For example, there's an exclusive excerpt from Mrs. Arafat's new autobiography, A Goy Named Suha. Plus advice on how to go about killing your daughter if she ever appears in the pages of Indonesian Playboy.


Lisa said...

Good Morning-
I just got sent this Passover cartoon that I thought was appropriate to share with this group. It also looks like an interesting book to add onto the Cosmic bookshelf.

Let's not kid our nonselves, but let's hope our nonselves never forget how to be a kid! Insert picture of your adorable son, Bob!

Gagdad Bob said...

That is classic.

Who let the Jews up?!

jwm said...

So tell me you haven't tried to do that Star of David hand sign.
(It does kinda' work.)


Will said...

To Sal, from yesterday's commentary

>>Will, you said:
"I have my doubts as to whether the original author(s) of the text believed in the literalness of this gospel. Like the other gnostic gospels, it's making a certain point about gnosis itself, the idea of martyrdom, etc. However, as was discussed here before, many of the gnostic texts were then and have since been grotesquely misinterpreted. The timing of this Judas gospel news then, is, I think, suspect."

Could you unpack this a little, please? Grotesquely misinterpreted how and by whom? And for what purpose? Those of us who are coming at this from a very different angle would be interested in your pov. It would seem that "believing in the literalness of the gospel" is kind of the point, for gospel writers. If not, then why present it as one?<<

What're you, airport security? I spend HOURS packing that bag. (joking, 'natch) Actually, Sal, I have in the recent past inflicted my pov re the subject of Gnosticism on the BobCatsAndKittens. A bried recap: First a definition of "literalness" - I believe in the literalness of sacred scripture, but this extends far beyond mere mundane, material literalness. For example, some gnostic gospels posited the existence of a "Demiurge", an insane god that created the earth environs in which we are all trapped until such time we attain a mystic gnosis and transcend this world of crippling illusion that the batso Demiuge created. Getting past the exotic imagery for a moment, this cosmology makes a good point, it underscores a Truth - this *is* a world of illusion, most of us are "hypnotized", and there can be a transcendent awakening from such. And in a sense, there is an insane god, if one takes this to mean that there archetypally exists a Collective (un)Consciousness that is toxic with negativity and which influences our thoughts, moods, perspectives, etc., without our being fully aware of it.

Trouble was it was easy for many to miss the esoteric point, the inner Truth of this cosmology, and as a consequence, many took the cosmology literally, in the mundane sense, that is. Here's a couple of modern examples of the misinterpretation of what could be seen as essentially gnostic thought: The Church of Scientology with it's "thetans" who whisper negativity into the unknowing ears of humanity and who keep humanity bound in illusion and apart from our true destiny. Now fact is, Scientology does make a good point, it underscores a Truth, same as did the gnostics of old, with their Demiuges, etc. Trouble is L Ron Hubbard presented this Truth as you might expect a science fiction writer to present it, in an epic story of aliens, betrayal, spaceships that looked like 727s coming to earth, volcanos, etc., etc. And so naturally, many people get too hung up on the Star Wars aspect of it, the "material" aspect of it, even though the Truth behind the cartoon is valid enough. Look, I don't know, maybe Hubbard really did believe in his yarn, but the point is, he forged a doctrine of sorts that gets message across in a way that he thought moderns in a scientific (and sci-fi oriented) world would get.

Another example was that Heaven's Gate cult, the one that resulted in the mass suicide. Heaven's Gate really did have a gnostic patina and approach, what with its notions of human sexuality and flesh incarnation chaining us to the material, preventing us from recognizing our own divine heritage. Obviously, there's a Truth to this, but the Gaters took this Truth in a truly grotesque and material manner, with the result that many of them castrated themselves and then voluntarily died, trying to hop aboard an ethereal UFO so as to leave behind the world of illusion. Ironic, isn't it?

So this is and was the trouble with gnosticsm - very few can get past the exotic presentation and grok the Truth that is being presented. The doctrines are taken literally in the mundane, horizontal sense, and the results of this are, then and now, often catastrophic. I haven't read it, but I'm fairly sure the Judas Gospel does contain a Truth, but it's a sure bet that there will be those who miss it entirely and take the Gospel only in a mundane literal fashion

Gagdad Bob said...

Obviously sung by the Baaaaaaah-ha Men.

will said...

Wow, Lisa -

Makes me reflect that we are merely two sheeps that pass in the night.

Lisa said...

Here is one of my favorite sheep stories. A must read...

Sal said...

Thanks, Will. That is clearer. Forgot about the gnosticism of outfits like Heaven's Gate - good example.

Sal said...

A housekeeping question:
If you get a Blogger ID, do you still have to type in the word verification sequence of letters?

Blogger keeps trying to give me a blog - I suppose that why it's called "Blogger".

I don't mind being an "Other", but the word verification is a pain.

thank you for your patience with the cyber-clueless.

will said...

Bob, re the magnetizing presence:

Yeats believed that he was inspired by an entity, which also served as a principle, an archetype, in his poetry. Yeats believed this was true of all artists, whether they were conscious of it or not. Yeats thought of this presence/principle as an "anti-self" in that it embodied characteristics that were the polar opposite of Yeats's own. Yeats understood artistic creation to be a method of spiritual discovery and growth, and in this respect, the anti-self provided him with a natural balancing of yin and yang. Yeats was himself a very passionate, sensitive soul - his poetry, conversely, had a rather hard, even cold, glint to it. Yeats would say this was the anti-self expressing itself through him. He would also tell you that the anti-self, in its role as an actual entity as well as a principle, was also balanced yin and yang-wise in this relationship.

I've thought about how many artists do, in fact, produce works that seem the polar opposite in characteristic to that of the artists themselves. So Bob - in this Yeatsian sense, are there ways in which the magnetizing presences serve you as an anti-self? Are there ways in which the style of your writing, your ways of presentation, stand in polar opposition to your personal qualities and characteristics? (drum roll) (inquiring minds wanna know)

Gagdad Bob said...

Now that is a provocative question.... Let me ponder it for a bit before banning you all together....

My first thought is that it is not so much an anti-self as a future self--the present manifestation of something that you might say is not fully here yet. That's why some people might look at me and think to themselves, "he's not all there."

I say this because it is something that has happened to me many times in my life: as if I initially imitate a model that I am intensely attracted to, and then, through some kind of alchemy, eventualy "become" the model from the inside.

jwm said...

Will said:
I've thought about how many artists do, in fact, produce works that seem the polar opposite in characteristic to that of the artists themselves.

Art was always, for me, a way of processing the toxic by products of my own inner struggles. As my levels of hate, anger, chaos, and discord rose, my art became increasingly graceful, elegant, harmonious, and bright. Sometimes it seemed like the drawings I made were messages sent to me in an alphabet that I could understand, but not decipher. I still look at some of the things I have made, and wonder where they came from.


will said...

When I was a kid, the prevailing model/archetype to be imitated was Kerouac and all his progeny - Brando, Dean, later came popular musicians. All in all, this was the rootless, on-the-road pilgrim, at home nowhere, at home everywhere. A bit romanticized but it did have a certain spiritual resonance. I thought nothing could be cooler.

Not to sound completely preposterous but the only image/archetype I desire to imitate now is that of the saint - and saints, the core of them, make for an image-less image. It's definitely not a fulsome romanticism like that of Kerouac and his bunch. It's an emptiness, in a way, without personality. Hard to describe. But it's more real, certainly, than an image.

I know what you mean by "future self". To me, I guess it's a self that is past/present/future, and once it's realized fully, it will have also been realized in the past and the future, as well as the present.

Things can get so arcane.

will said...

jwm -

Yeah, that does sound like a yin-yang balancing process, expressed through your art.

Probably the classic "anti-self" artistic example would be Shakespeare, who according to Ben Johnsen or somebody, was a very mild-mannered, self-effacing guy. His plays were, of course, turbulant and passionate in the extreme. Of course, we don't have any validating evidence that Shakespeare really was mild-mannered, but it is interesting tbat that is the general image of him.

Gagdad Bob said...


I don't know the answer to your question. Since even I have to type in the letters, I suppose that you do too. Then again, there are some blogs on blogspot where I don't have to do that. So I don't know.

jwm said...

I just ran across a very good read by one Mark D. Roberts. What was Jesus' message? It seems remarkably consistent with the approach to religion that we've been discussing here. Lisa: I think you'll like this.
Bob? Petey? What do y'all think?


jwm said...

OOPS! incomplete link. Try this one.


jwm said...

Weird. I copied the url in by hand this time, and it still posted an incomplete address. Just doing my level best to make life difficult for everyone here. Sorry.


Astro said...

I've been reading this thing real time and just noticed Chuck's disappearing act. Interesting that this post is titled, "Hallucinations of Truth".
Bob, I understand your need to monitor the blog, but I don't understand your need to remove evidence of discord. Chuck became a jerk and was censored because of it. Why censor the comments that lead to his high jerkiness? No one ever said this stuff should be easy, and no one expects smooth sailing. When you neatly exorcise all traces of a dissenter, the meaning of the comments for this particular day fall apart. IMHO. Thanks.

Gagdad Bob said...


I don't understand the complaint. Why would you want to read Chuck's inane comments a second time? I don't delete dissenters. I delete anything exceeding the limits of flagrant stupidity. Chuck was given abundant opportunities to not be an ass.

Lisa said...

Nevermind! Bob feel free to delete some of my comments that pertain to Chuck, so I don't look like a complete whack-job! ha ha!

Lisa said...

Wouldn't it be great, if we could just delete all the a-holes like that in real life?!!!

Astro said...


I wouldn't want to read them a second time. I would want to read them in the first place. I thought his original questions, and your responses, were insightful and revealing of character for all involved. And in a blog such as this, we all (well, me anyway) search for clues as to intent and meaning. Words are only a representation of what we are trying to express, and I appreciate any "clues" I can get in this regard. Coming on the blog now, I would see something other than what actually went down.

However, bottom line is that it is your blog to run as you see fit. I gotta respect that. I just see the conflict, and its resolution or not, as a healthy part of blog discussion.

Lisa said...

Dissent is not a problem as long as it is based in reality and not a cover for pure laziness and incompetence.

Astro said...

Lisa, are you a cat person? Mousey Tongue couldn't have said it any better.

Lisa said...

Ha Ha! Funny, you should ask Astro, I am actually a dog person but my personality is more like a cat. I have a love/hate relationship with my cat, Duke because I am allergic to cats!

astro said...

Ha, I know what you mean. I go both ways my self...I can be catty when presented with the right kind of doggerel!

ben usn (ret) said...

As I'm sure you know, many scientists have major problems in the horizontal.
Michael Crichton talks about complexity theory.
Many scientists disregard complexity theory, by ignoring all the variables when making assertations, such as global cooling, global warming, overpopulation, Y2K, etc..
This happens for many reasons, depending on the scientist, with money as the number one reason, for most.
Fear sells, and gives prestige and accolades (at least for awhile).
If scientists have such major problems defining the horizontal, then it's no wonder they have even more problems defining the vertical (those who admit that it exists).
True science isn't influenced by money, power, or any other agenda's than truth itself.
The unseen (vertical) is best conveyed through humility.
Any agenda, such as pride, or lust, result in distorted images and hallucinations.

Dan Spomer said...

I read the give-and-take between Chuck and Bob earlier.

My impression was "why is Bob wasting his time with this guy?"

Just my two centavos... but a person can manage their blog any way they wish.

jwm said...

scaredstraight wrote:
"...and then Dr. Bob decided he had revealed too much and pulled the plug on the whole thing.

Wow. we got a psychic!
So tell us, what does Lisa decide to do for her next post?

Enquiring minds want to know!


Astro said...

Thanks Dan. And this helps accent my point. What I'm asking is, don't you feel, in your wondering why Bob's wasting time, and just exactly who this Chuck person might or might not be, that you get a richer experience than having missed the interchange without even realizing it took place? Or do you disagree?

I've always valued written arguments as unguarded indices of character. The way a disagreement is handled, the words used, the charity shown or not. All this points to the nature of the writer. So many people seem curious to know who Bob is really, as if he's suddenly going to pop out in some flash video as ... I dunno, Franklin Graham,... or the Car Salesman on Late Night TV, or Sri HeckifIknow. I think reading ALL the comments helps me get a fuller picture of the man behind the curtain. Whether that man be you, or me, or Bob or Lisa or Will or ... the regular panelists. For my 2¢, give me all the facts, then let me spin them for my self. Thanks.

Case in point: I just hit the "preview" button and saw that the conversation continues with a zinger from JWM. New side to JWM. Important stuff. The words we use are only one aspect of communication. Even in a blog.

June said...


About typing the letters in: you will still have to do it. It's a setting on Bob's blog. It's there to keep out blog spam. I don't think it defaults to it. Bob must have set it up that way without knowing it. It's worth it. Blog spam is really annoying. People send bots to cruise blogs and post comments that are only minorly relevant and include a link to a website trying to sell you something or sometimes to porn. So it's for the greater good, if slightly annoying.


Lisa said...

Hilarious! I was trying to be a bigger person and not engage SS in a silly argument. But now, with the challenge from JWM, I have to say that I am still trying to figure out the "snappy" comeback from SS. Me thinks Scaredstupid is really Chuckie! Didn't this happen a few weeks ago. We really do need that sidebar. If he thinks Chucky had any valid points or even a point at all, I am afraid he is not ready for Bob yet. Shooo for now and come back after you commit cluelesside. I don't mean to sound harsh, but enough is enough. There are much more worthwhile topics. IMHO,Bob is not looking to be some kind of guru or diety. If you are under that impression, you are missing his overall point.

astro said...


Good question and I'm not sure this is the forum for a scaredstraight answer. Let me say that I am always stunned and amazed that Bob has the energy, on any level, to do this. That he does it so well is simply humbling. As for what the exchange taught me re: my opinions of who he is, if I am going to make derogatory comments about him I certainly wouldn't stand in his house to do it. I think his point is well taken, that if someone comes in and acts like an ass then they should be spoken to politely once (even a jerk deserves a second chance where I come from), then on repeated offense given the hearty heave ho onto the highway. I do feel that sometimes Bob forgets the second chance clause, but that's just my opinion. I think I've seen him give a third chance from time to time too.

But. I keep in mind that this blog's purpose, for me, is to help clarify my spiritual path. Pedantic stunt pilots are only as good as their last entendre. I'm here to think and ponder mostly. Not really to enter in. I usually have very little to add, as I can't "get" half of what some of these wordsmiths hammer out. I do try to glean the intent of the words even if I can't get to the ideas or meanings behind the words themselves. The day I think my salvation is dependent upon the correct ordering of complex theories is the day I'll happily head on off to hell. Meanwhile, I love reading Bob and the comments that follow. Agree or not, it is unique in my experience, and I am growing from it. I had to learn to behave myself to get this far.

jwm said...

It isn't really a new side to me. Mostly I don't like to 'get into it'- trading barbs in discussions, that is. Those exchanges end up following me around all day. They rent too much space in my already overcrowded head.

But you know how it is- that little angel on your right shoulder, and the little devil on your left.
Sometimes I give way to the temptation, and scaredstraight's presumptuous comment was like a nickel on the sidewalk- I couldn't resist. My bad.

What's really ironic, is that I was going to throw in a note on how I had refrained from throwing such a zinger at someone on another board earlier today, and how it had been a wise decision to hold off. Win some lose some.

True enough about words being only a part of communication. We're always sure about the point we're trying to make because, well- it's our point. Without all the verbal cues we would give and take in a face to face conversation, meaning may get oversaturated, or a little bleached out. Hard to tell from either side of the keyboard sometimes.


jwm said...


Where is Maynard G. Krebs, now that we need him?



Dan Spomer said...

Astro... Richer? In a word, no.

I rather like Bob. I certainly am blown away by his writing, his book, his wit, humor and obvious love of family. He has given me much to ponder over the past several months, and as someone else commented, I am amazed at the time and energy he puts into this blog.

But the minute that particular give-and-take took a personal slant (e.g. "what kind of Christian are you bla bla bla?"), I knew the thread had been sullied and a line had been crossed.

I could also immediately tell that no matter Bob's answer, it would be seen as incorrect or lacking in some way. In other words, it was a setup.

Put another way, it was almost as if someone had jumped into the thread with a "DETOUR" sign. Dang annoying, but I guess it happens once in a while.

In the meantime, onward and upward, and a good night to all!

LiquidLifeHacker said...

Lisa, great cartoon...thanks!

I wasn't around yesterday, *struggling with sleep deprivation* but glad this morning that I got all caught up on Bob's 'Hallucinations of Truth,' which I gotta say, the thing about science being it's own religion is so spot on, and it's not really science per say, just the minds and hearts of the men and women that help create it that way, for example; every day in the news it seems there is some new test or new study that is out to discredit a story in the bible or a miracle or whatever! This is when I know that some spiritual warfare is taking place and it's like watching the "lefties" spin a story to cope with their actions or lack of actions. I always smile at it though, because all their effort of theories is just that...theories---and it takes some sort of "faith" to believe them. When they do adopt that, it truly does become "their religion" just as politics does for replaces light for darkness and many run with it. But IMHO, its lke watching chicken running around with their heads cut off.

I also read the playboy thingy the other day in the news and giggled when one muslim said it was a type of "terrorism" from the west! Ha Ha Hefner had to giggle at that one! I wonder if Hefner bought up any property in Dubia....does anyone know?

As for missing the chuckie thingy, well all I can say is, each of us as a blogger are our own admin and have the right to remain silent or make you disappear....its bloggymagic! Ha Ha If you like that "blog delete power" I suggest you get your own blog and blog on dude! But seriously Chuckie, you can't continue to use the "I was only asking a question thingy" because we all have asked Bob a question or two, in fact Bob goes out of his way to try to explain things. He has a real sharing heart and that can't be disputed! His whole blog is a sharefest!

scaredstraight said...
You're right dan s- in the future I think we should all adapt this mantra: Yes bob, we hear and obey, we hear and obey!

Now scaredstraight, might I ask you why you feel that you or anyone for that matter "should" adapt to hear and obey? Is there something from your past that compells you to lose your free will? IMHO, only a weak mind would even suggest such instruction and even said in sarcasm; it makes one wonder what helplessness past thought of yours it originated from.


Again Bob, I suggest a warning label in the sidear for those that are looking for things that are not here! *wink wink*

dilys said...

To whomever:

That's Ms. Pedantic to you.

Gagdad Bob said...


Please. You don't offend me. You just don't belong here. This is my last response.

Rorschach said...


Don't EVER accuse Scientology of being a sereious religion again. Hubbard started it as a Ponzi-style scam, and then started taking it seriously himself when he realized how many people were listening - his general train of thought seems to have been "holy shit, maybe I actually stumbled on something..." A feeling that only grew stronger in him after a drug trip in 1968 during which he wrote the infamous "sci-fi" gospel you refer to, OT-3.

But Scientology is no more a good thing for mankind than Islam is a nonviolent religion. They both believe that they must convert all other humans to their way of life or, failing that, subdue them - the world's future depends on their success. They both believe it's okay to bullshit the infidel about what you really believe. And they both believe it's okay to torment, and ultimately kill, apostates.