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Somebody Save Us!

The Great Redeemer Complex

By James Donahue

It might be of interest to note that all of the world religious systems, whether great or small, share in a universal belief in a superhuman being that is expected to arrive at the final critical moment and save "believers" from a judgment of eternal damnation. This is technically known as the Redeemer Complex.

Gnosticism, if it can be classified as a religious system, is unique in that it may be the only group that collectively stands opposed to the ideology of divine salvation from a natural but sinful nature.

The Gnostics as well as other thinkers that reject the concept of salvation by a superhuman god-figure argue that the redeemer complex is an elaborate myth that compels religious followers to accept a redemptive value of suffering. Harvard’s George Steiner calls the story the "blackmail of transcendence." The late Scottish psychiatrist and author R. D. Laing referred to the complex as a "schizophrenic knot" because it pins believers between the roles of both victim and perpetrator of sin.

There also is great potential danger wrapped up in the redeemer complex because it tends to allow religious believers to reject responsibility for earth stewardship or even worrying about maintaining a safe and secure existence for their children. As the world races toward overpopulation, extreme pollution of the air, water and land, the elimination of available natural resources and runaway climate change, the religious followers become more and more convinced that the time of the redeemer’s return is close. They see no need to preserve the earth because they truly believe that they will be "saved" from the looming disaster of their own making.

Thus the Redeemer Complex is comparable to a form of mental illness caused by a deep desire to seek the Creator of ourselves and the environment in which we live. The call by all of the world’s false religious systems offers an easy way out for billions of humans. By following the wrong spiritual path they acquire a false sense of security. They go blindly through life never recognizing that the "god" they seek exists in us all. We are all part of the whole of creation which is the great living force that we perceive as the Creator.

Like the tiny particles that make up the atoms that swirl within the molecules that combine to make up the material world we perceive around us, can we not see ourselves as more parts to the ever moving and living solar system, which, in turn, is part of the Milky Way Galaxy which is one of millions of galaxies that comprise something so large that we are mentally incapable of comprehending it.

And when we grasp the implications of the above picture, we must ask ourselves why humans dare to think of themselves as important enough, or naturally sinful enough, to need a supernatural redeemer to save them from their own unwillingness to maintain the once perfect world they were given.

Some believe that we collectively created the world we perceive, and that because of false religious belief systems, we now are collectively bringing it all to ruin and desolation.

If you don’t believe that all religious systems offer a "savior" to rescue their followers, we shall list the major ones as follows:

Christianity offers Jesus Christ, a "Son of God" who lived on Earth about 2,000 years ago, was murdered for political reasons, spent three days in Hell suffering the sins of his followers, then rose from the dead. He ascended into the sky after promising to return at the "end of times" to rescue all who believed on Him.

The Jews are still looking for their messiah to arrive. He is supposed to be an "Anointed King," a Jew from the line of David who will rule the Jewish people during what is described as the Messianic Age.

Zionism is a movement within the Jewish faith that works to bring about the restoration of the Jews as a significant nation destined to bring salvation not only to the Jews but to the entire world. They do not believe the Messiah will arrive until world harmony is achieved.

The Islamic religion teaches about the coming of the "Guided One," or Mahdi, a direct descant of Muhammad, or the Twelfth Imam, who will remain on earth for a time alongside Jesus, both ruling the world until the Day of the Resurrection." The Mahdi’s job is to revive the faith but not necessarily herald an end of the world.

The Buddhists look for Maitreya, a successor of the Buddha, who will appear on Earth, achieve complete enlightenment and teach the pure dharma.

Taoism teaches the coming of the savior Li Hong at the end of times.

The Hindu believers wait for Kalki, the tenth and final Maha, who will come to end the present age of darkness and destruction.

A relatively obscure religious group known as the Rastafarians in Ethiopia, Africa, is looking for a return of a murdered emperor named Haile Selassie. Believers of this faith perceive Selassie’s return as the Second Coming of Jesus.

Even that strange "cargo cult" on Vanuatu Island, in the New Hebrides, that had its origins on the military aircraft landing on the island during World War II, has a savior figure. The followers are waiting for John Frum to reappear, bringing them boxes of food and supplies as occurred during the war.