Program 1 Dinar Emas, 1 Bulan

30 décembre 2012

Holiday Musings and Propositions on The Genelogy of Religion

Dr Azly Rahman

As we close the year 2012 and  enter a new age of the Mayan calendar, I invite my learned readers to discuss the propositions below as a way to cleanse our minds of the flux and cloudiness of matters concerning the belief system we are all in. I suppose Malaysians especially are now ready to engage in dialogue sessions that require an open mind and  rationality in order for us to evolve more into an Athenian rather than a Spartan society still trapped in the glory of Oriental Despotism.

1 - all religious celebrations are more cultural than religious; for the roots of religion and spirituality lie in human anthropology framed by the agricultural society, and the need to engage in rites and rituals to structure the inner and outer patterns in understanding the unknown and that elusive concept called "divinity";

2 - all ideas of "god" are rooted in language and concepts in materialism and the dialecticness of it; different names of different gods signify the attempt by Man to name the Unknown and the Infinite and the Non-Being via words framed culturally, so that Man can worship the name and appease the construction of personal and social reality;

3 - all forms of worship --- the prayers, the puja, the sembah Hyang, the solat -- are a form of cultural-language-play rooted in the origins of names and the process of constructing language out of the need to "connect"; the purpose of all form of prayer is psychological, i.e. to numb the self so that its conscious state of "being-in-this-word" can be "destroyed" and the self can experience "death and living" all in one, in a different realm of consciousness now directed to the Unknown imagined as the "Divine" or the "Theos and the Logos" worshipped all in one;

4 - all worshippers in religion worship objects and do not worship objects all at once -- the Hindus worship/do not worship the multitude of gods from the pantheon gods, the Christians worship/do not worship the symbolic representation of a man crucified, the Muslim worship/do not worship the cube/kaabah that house the black stone from Paradise, and those of other cultural beliefs worship/do not worship the forces of Nature ... in essence worshippers are a creature of semiotics (of signs, symbols, significations, representations) that do not have the power NOT to imagine ... it is impossible NOT to imagine anything while worshipping ... as Man is an invention imbued with the power to read and recite and redefine the world he/she lives in; 

5 - when one prays, where will the words/mantras/puja/doa/surahs/prayers be directed to ... ? do one know who the receiver of the offerings and words of sacrifice shall be ... ? ;

6 - since the beginning of it, the greatest beneficiary of religion has been the rulers of men and the priest class that help provide the divine-ly sanctioned legitimacy; those who owns the means to produce Official Knowledge and those who rule by myth and the architecture of power derived from such myths ... hence Kings, Emperors, Sultans, and Rajahs are all capitalists of "spiritual knowledge" .. their glory tied to the need for religion to be "spread" in the name of "empires of faith" ... the story of these rulers have not only been the story of plunders and conversions to this or that religion, but how they plunder in style with the pomp and pageantry and nobility divinely-inspired thieves can be;

7] the pen is said to be mightier than the sword .. if it belongs to the priest class and the sword wielded by kings ... but it is the invention of the writing system that has given might to both the pen and the sword ... whoever owns the means to tell the story of others own the mind of the future of the generations they wish to colonize in a world of epic-poems and storytelling of heroes and villains and masters and slaves;

8 - in a world of the haves an have-nots of spiritual/religious knowledge the more the rulers and the guardians of religion emphasize the mundane but over-glorified ritualistic aspects of religion so that the masses can weep and cry while praying and take Fate as a life of suffering divinely-orchestrated, the more the ruling priestly class can administer more control using more sophisticated and ceremonial signs and symbol of alleviating suffering ... so that behind the scene the national treasures can be robbed clean;

9 - if it is said that "the body is the temple of the soul," why is there a need for any house of worship and to imagine that god "lives" there?;

10 - what actually is the origin of Man? .. and for what purpose did he invent the idea of "god".