OK, I expect to draw some serious flak for this post… but here goes, anyway.
Our relationship with entities is as complex as it is with other human beings and other species. We exploit and are exploited by, derive sustenance from and give sustenance to, large numbers of entities all the time. But they, not we, are the prime movers of our relationship. For millennia, they have shaped our future by selectively breeding us, whispering (so to speak) ideas into our little heads, nudging homo erectus to become man-the-toolmaker, and then man-the-wordsmith and finally man-who-inhabits-the-world-of-ideas. Humans today live and swim in ideas the way fish live in water. Ideas are their home, their natural habitat and the means of their continued existence.
Rabbits cannot live without their intestinal flora, and humans cannot live without their ‘cranial fauna’. Rabbits are rodents whose lives depend so heavily on harbouring the right sort of intestinal bacteria, that at the time of weaning from mothers’ milk, the babies eat a special sort of droppings called caecum, rich in the bacteria, straight from the mother’s anus. If a baby fails to ingest enough of these droppings to start a colony of these bacteria in its own intestines, it cannot digest its food, and soon dies.
Human babies don’t need caecum, but they need indoctrination at a very early age. Literacy and numeracy aren’t just skills, they’re organs — organs or communication and ideation. They’re organs that enable one to communicate with entities, and to be inducted into the body of humanity — an organism whom the entities cultivate to propagate themselves.
Because of their special usefulness to entities in propagating themselves, they look after humans, often in unexpected and inexplicable ways. This applies with even greater force to humans actively engaged in the spiritual quest.. The spiritual quest is, in fact, a process of befriending the essential entities that inhabit the earth, taking their guidance, and listening and talking to them. These entities too change the lives of those whom they befriend, giving them unexpected gifts, and also accept gifts. In fact, they expect gifts — gift that to the uninitiated, who do not know the value of such relationships, may seem like a pointless sacrifice – unnecessary destruction of an earthly good.
However, religions — which are distinct entities — influence and distort the spiritual quest.
Some entities such as Islam will not enter into friendships; they only take prisoners and slaves. Christianity too brooks no friendship; it enlists agents who work for it in a hierarchical structure. It is closely allied with the spirit of logic, which it renders subservient, creating sophistry. It creates a person, who is highly persuasive, appealing as much to the head as to the heart. He represents a seemingly scientific worldview, with which it seems difficult to argue without being irrational or stubborn, or dogmatic. But the fact that he does not yeild an inch in a discussion reveals that he has taken a seemingly rational worldview to the rootedness-level of a dogma. The self-assurance that he derives from this entity in his daily life can be quite intimidating, and it carries him to considerable heights of achievement.
One of the distinguishing features of this entity is orderliness. It abhors the chaos that gives to the human mind the power to think for itself, and the ability and openness to be approached by an entity. Orderliness demands instant rejection of any entity that fails to live up to its exacting standards. It is like a “civilized” person’s refusal to entertain those who don’t wear shoes and speak English.
This entity has penetrated modern education to such a degree that one automatically rejects any worldview that fails the test of ‘modernity’. Approached by a concept or entity, one asks, “is it new?” If the answer is, yes, it is rather recent, it gains entry into mindspace. But if the answer is, “it is ancient, or it has been around since the birth of mankind, or since the birth of time,” it is rejected with the argument, “anything that old has been disproven by science in the last century.” This rejection comes automatically, even when we know nothing about the ancient theory/concept/entity. In other words, present yourself in a modern tailored suit or be rejected!
The Hindu entity is the mirror opposite. “If you aren’t ancient/primordial, you are spurious,” says this entity. “Prove that you are validated by a 5000-year-old text, and you may enter. Otherwise, perish, shallow fly-by-night intruder!” All entities are either dubiously validated as “It is said in our Vedas that… [exactly the same thing that you propose -- fill in the blanks.] Therefore, we know it already, thank you, you may go now”. Or they are rejected with, “Nowhere in the Vedas, Upanishads, or any other known scripture does it say this. Everything that was to be discovered — including aviation, computers and nanotechnology — was discovered 5000 years ago. As what you propose wasn’t there, it cannot be true.”
Our present situation — a sort of unbridled quest of modernity, never minding the past and the experiences of the past — is brought about by a system of education that was largely evolved by Christian missionaries living in the colonies. While the stated objective was to bring the “ignorant savages” to the light of reason by teaching them “reading, writing and arithmetic”, the underlying object do was to distance them from their own culture, and render their minds ripe for proselytizing. Even if unproselytized, they nonetheless deeply embraced the white Christian worldview, which was nine tenths of their faith. Our children continue to be bred in the care of the same entity, which has rendered itself “secular” and therefore above controversy. But its agenda remains to proselytize people of every race and culture to an essentially Caucasian worldview.