God & Bhaskar

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at SPAMqut.edu.au
Thu Dec 21 05:06:04 MST 2000

Thank you for this John.  Very erudite.  I will chase up some of the
references. -So much to read.

I endorse of course your call for caution and the demanding of the highest
standards.  But actually I think that the test to be applied here is quite
a simple one.  Is one on the side of  power or of emancipation?  In
materialist terms it was all said in the old song

Down in Harlan County
There are no neutrals there.
You'd either be a unionist
Or a thug for J. H. Blair.

Which side are you on boy?
Which side are you on?

Charlatans like Deepak Chopra are of course pro- capitalist.  They live off
and support the status quo.  I once heard him talk of how he urged rich
people to rejoice in their wealth.  It reminded me of Deng Xiao Ping and
earlier Bukharin's talk of 'to be rich is glorious.'

My point here is that we need to demand the highest standards of
everyone.  Not all tricksters wear beads and sit in triangles.  Some of
them can quote from Capital.



At 01:31  21/12/00 -0500, you wrote:
>The question of Marxism and the various New Age movements is not without
>relevance since the new left and a new tide of New Age movements appeared
>together often scrambled in the seventies. That at least was my generation.
>Whatever the case, the modern dialectic of idealism and materialism is not
>the first, one of the most ancient being in India itself, where the legacy of
>the post-Upanishads and its era of Indian philosophy covered an immense
>spectrum. The oddly different character of materialist Buddhism from
>Hinduism, and the idealistic Vedanta is in fact no accident and should
>preempt the too easy equation of both under one rubric of mysticism. The
>'materialism' of so-called 'samkhya' makes the modern variety look anemic.
>This early materialism was a different kettle of fish from the modern variety
>with its physics-based reductioni! ! sm, but in the end the lesson for a
>might be to welcome the lore of the Indian tradition, but demand the highest
>standard by seeing how little the Indian tradition registers even in Indian
>culture, and getting the history straight, a pretty bloody horror of the
>Indian version of class struggle as the original movements of atheistic
>Jainism, and Buddhism were driven away, and the hybrids of Hinduism and Islam
>  created a strange distortion of the original sources.  Bullshitters playing
>guru are an ancient type in India, and dealing with that by Marxists might
>take a cue from the way Indians do that themselves.
>A marxist anthropology, sans cliches, might really help here, if it is
>neither narrow, nor wishywashy, for if ever there was a case of class
>struggle it was the revision of egalitarian Buddhism in terms of the
>outrageous imposter of the Code of Manu and the appearance of the Brahmin
>version of Buddhism as caste. Note that Buddha was of the warrior caste, and
>that the Brahmins were not originally yogis. In fact, it has been argued, and
>the evidence is strong, that the great tradition of the yogas was originally
>unknown to the Indo-Europeans. But all this work has been done already by
>Indian marxists. I could recommend a work called The Role of the Bhagavad
>Gita in Indian History, by Prem Nath Bazaz,  if it were not out of print, and
>hard to obtain, Library of Congress?.  It is not a completely satisfactory
>work, but in its main outlines is perfect, and strips the veneer away in a
>rather chilling fashion with its desc! ! ription of the Brahmins in Buddhist
>sangha slowly taking over the movement. This story has been eighty-sixed from
>the main tradition. Another work, The Gita as it Was, by P. Senapathy, shows
>the layers of distortion in this 'sacred' text whose original version wasn't
>even theistic. If you go into a new age bookshop, there will be "How to Know
>God", by 'I forget", a version of Patanjali. Senapthy shows how the one sutra
>in this work was an interpolation.
>The moral is---I wouldn't presume to judge except to the degree that all of
>this invaded California in the seventies and has become a real problem in
>American culture, so charges of Orientalism are quite beside the point. Many
>of my own friends dropped like flies here. Buddhism, of course, has virtually
>no resemblance to its ancient form either, so it is hard to know what to
>suggest, except that in general, issues of a materialism compatible with
>religiousness, quite different from the legacy of monotheism, this, plus the
>precapitalist version of 'class struggle' deserve a careful response from
>Marxists, for the correct perspective is much needed in the floodtide of
>theosophical balderdash sweeping---yes, the whole planet. Look Deepak Chopra,
>he's mads ten million ($) on this stuff. Unbelievable.
>John Landon
>World History and the Eonic Effect
>nemonemini at aol.com

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