It is one of the most familiar and reassuring lines in scripture: “The Lord is my shepherd.” But when you think about it, the metaphor is a disturbing one.
It’s true that a shepherd looks after his sheep. But he also shears them and kills them and eats them. Does the God we adore act totally with our best interests at heart, or are we a species of livestock that he uses for his own ends?
Voices have occasionally uttered doubt, not about the existence of the gods, but about their beneficence. The ancient Gnostics said that the real god of this world was the Demiurge, a second-order being who mistook himself for the true God. The spiritual teacher G.I. Gurdjieff told a parable about a lazy shepherd who got tired of having his sheep run off, so he hypnotised them into thinking they were men or lions. Then they no longer ran off but stayed around so that he could shear or kill them as he liked. (Again we encounter a shepherd, this one more explicitly malevolent.)
The Theocrats, in the cosmology of War in Heaven, are parasitic astral entities who devour the souls of the recently deceased. The normal course of the soul’s evolution involves repeated reincarnations on earth. But these incarnations, as we well know, can be extremely unpleasant at times. The Theocrats have avoided this disagreeable option by maintaining a semiperpetual existence on the astral plane, fed by the souls they eat. Their strategy is simple. When a naïve soul has died, they greet it on the other side by proffering illusory welcomes into a fake heaven, populated with familiar religious figures and loved ones. When the soul has strayed into their trap, it is devoured.
Don Juan – “We have a predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over the rule of our lives. Human beings are its prisoners. The predator is our lord and master.” (from the book, “The Active Side of Infinity”)