Reply on Religion and Marxism: 2

Nemonemini at Nemonemini at
Sat Dec 30 19:59:55 MST 2000

Mr. Gyanananda, you adopt the wrong approach I think in presenting your
interesting perspective. First, however, let me say a Vivekenanda sannyasin
as a socialist is terrific. Welcome. Those who understand you will respect
you, and those who don't will glare at you like Queequeg on the deck of the
Pequod. Anyone who can haul sail can think anything he pleases, however
alarming it sounds to western materialists. So what's the difference.
Since you may have been responding in part to my original very strong post
citing works on the Gita, I should reiterate the need to be clear about the
history of religion in India as I understand it. That's a contentious
question, yet, its basic point is seen in this exchange with Mr. Farmelant.  
We are out of time to speculate about Ramakrishna's visions of God, or hope
western socialists will be disciples of the Ramakrishna ashram. Who cares?  
Ramakrishan was an engaging personality, but even many Indians themselves
have noted his extremely archaic Goddess worship, as if he lived in the
Neolithic World still.
In a global context, the questions of yoga mixed with these other confusions
were answered as if for all time in the abstract and now garbled language of
samkhya and/or in Buddhism. I am not a Buddhist, nor can I confirm the issues
it raises, but it does present a genuine 'materialist evolutionary
psychology' that could possibly help just here in such an exchange. This
approach, for the future, can simply dispense with Hinduism (or the ism of
Buddhism), theism/atheism, spiritual states, gurus and guru politics and the
whole morass of village superstitution cluttering India's  magnificent
spiritual heritage.
You mentioned the Samkhya. Refer to the original text, the Samkhya Karika.
There is no mention of divinity, only an Indian version of the dialectic!!!!
I mean the gunas, and that primordial tradition, etc.....  The original
Gautama used to send disciples ahead of him to the villages he would visit to
request noone ask a series of metaphysical questions. He simply refused to
speculate or allow issues of god, self, immortality, or anything else to
preempt the basic issue of consciousness and self-consciousness. Your
discourse is filled with these metaphysical quagmires, and Mr. Farmelant
promptly throws the book at you.
My point is also that the question of gurus is hopeless at this point. You
speak of sannyasins. I recall living with dozens of Rajnesh sannyasins and
watching their movement cave in, explode, as the basic financial motive can
out, and the niece of the guru ran off with 44 million dollars. My point,
more westerners that you think know all about the yogas, and gurus, and they
are quite sick of all of it.
More than that, the basic issue of authority it raises is simply idiotic. We
need no permission from gurus to indulge in class struggle. And that's no
joke. Consider a man like Gurdjieff, and his guru game. At least he was
clear,a nd is on the record stating that the peasants in Russian were better
off under the Tsars. They deserved their suffereings. De Maistrean stuff.
That's the reality behind the kind exception of Ramakrishna.
No allegiance to these vulture gurus, I hope, will ever take root among
Still, I found your song of the sannyasin charming.  You made your point, "I
don't want to be railroaded into Westerm materialism just to do socialist
work". Fine. And the mixing of all of this together will work itself out
somehow. But the prospect of gaining converts to Ramakrisna among thick
skinned marxists strikes me as humorous at the level of Bronx cheers.  Get
back to the drawing board and figure out what you are up to.
John Landon
World History and the Eonic Effect
nemonemini at

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