Time Is Another Name Of Love

Love is about memories and rememberence. Love is also about knowing Saba - the 'suchness of things'. Time is the medium where Saba is recorded. Yet, at the same time, Saba is the 'imprint of time' on things and beings. When one truly gets over the fear of time, then he/she can say that "I am in Love" or "I am alive". Love is the true unconditional existence.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is Spirituality and Materialism Truly Opposites?

Three years ago when I read a poem of Japanese Buddhist monk Ikkyu [1394-1481], I was pleasantly surprised to discover a marxist writer centuries before Karl Marx was born. Particularly in one of his poems he echoes Marx’s ideas, in a few lines. If I remember correctly, the poem expressed the following idea – “The cause of all illness of this nation lie in the accumulated wealth of the few.” [Wild Ways, Shambala/ White Pine Press] In another poem, seeing the sufferings of the peasants, he asks the landlords – "Harvest after harvest, taking and taking, from the peasants how will you live?" Surely, these words came from an enlightened Buddhist monk.

Now, the problem for me was a doubt, whether, the root of all these ideals of equality and freedom only based on science and scientific materialism. Why did Ikkyu talk about those ideas much before ‘scientific materialism’ was discovered and ‘industrialization’ happened?

Frankly, can anyone give me an absolute scientific reason or principle to prove that men should be equal? Or am I wrong, if I were to believe that man’s high ideals are also rooted far beyond the materialistic principles? Why should we deny the ‘spirituality’ [I am not talking about God or religion] that is inherently present even in marxism? Isn’t this denial of ‘spirituality’ within marxism, which caused the set backs for such a humane proposal?

Karl Marx categorically says that “Money is the alienated ability of mankind.” He also asks: “Is it not, therefore, also the universal agent of separation?” [Money and World Culture, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844.]  Aren’t all his theories and proposals meant to restore this lost ability, back to humankind?

Unless we subvert the oppressive power of the ‘money’, how will we achieve the state Marx hoped for, i.e. for all, 'work' will be of joy and not a necessity for daily survival? Will it be correct to say that whatever organizational system we device and keep ‘money’ as the substitute for the social transactions will eventually fail? What would have been Marx’s idea?

Did he ever think that even in communism the social transaction will be still through money, even if it was distributed ‘to each according to his/her needs’? Is this one of the reasons for the disintegration of the communist governments? Is it time to think about an alternative to ‘money’ in the practice of socialism and communism?

Finally, did Marx have an alternative to ‘money’? What was this alienated ‘ability’ which Marx wanted to recover? Was it the feeling of ‘Oneness’ among fellow human beings? Is it also called spirituality? Or is it called Love?

Isn’t it a paradox that even in Bible, it is categorically said that “The root cause of all evil is the desire for money”? Is spirituality and materialism truly opposites?

Will I be wrong if I say that in its manifestation, true spirituality, is none other than the understanding and acceptance of humanity’s ONENESS. If the principles are based on universal human values and aspirations of ONENESS, can the methodology be based on the principles of divisions and conflict?

Marx concludes his article on money with these words: “Assume man to be man and his relationship to the world to be a human one: then you can exchange love only for love, trust for trust, etc.... Every one of your relations to man and to nature must be a specific expression, corresponding to the object of your will, of your real individual life. If you love without evoking love in return – that is, if your loving does not  produce reciprocal love; if through a living expression of yourself as a loving person you do not make yourself a beloved one, then your love is impotent – a misfortune.” Will these observations on ‘money’, also stand good for the practice of socialism and communism?

Marxism, as a knowledge source and its methodology is developed within a specific geography and time. Can India with its heritage of 5000 years of knowledge, propose any alternatives? Can knowledge be disregarded because it is old? Then marxism itself is 150 years old and surely old enough to be discarded. Does that sound correct?

What will happen to marxism, say if we were to practice it anew in India, if we incorporate the spirituality of Buddha or Sree Narayana Guru with marxian principles? We have already seen that a Buddhist monk talking truly marxian principles before Marx!

We are taught and we learn that the new science is all about the harmonization of contradictory principles. If, so, it is time that we apply the same scientific principles also to political theory.  Isn't it time that we re-examine marxism and re-model it under new scientific discoveries and vast knowledge generated after Marx's time?

Is spirituality and materialism truly opposites?

In this context I would also like to bring to your notice what Tom Paine, in the 18th century said of himself: "I view things as they are without regard to place or person; my country is the world; my religion is to do good, and all humans are my brothers and sisters." Do you know that there is a ‘World Government’ functioning today and for which the theoretical support is given by none other than Nataraja Guru? And this World Government is functioning based on the principles of Sree Narayana Guru, adopted for the political world.

After all, a ‘unified theory’ in the political world is also possible in the new scientific age. Nataraja Guru writes in the memorandum: "The World Government is an accomplished fact…Humanity is one. This is the a priori given basis of the World Government outlined in this memorandum."

Gary Davis of the World Government writes: The crucial question then is: If the world's people are in legal fact already sovereign, how are these global bodies to be created?

We have an answer from the past, again from Citizen Tom Paine: "It has been thought a considerable advance," he writes, "towards establishing the principle of freedom to say that government is a compact between those who govern and those who are governed; but this cannot be true because it is putting the effect before the cause; for as men must have existed before governments existed, there once was a time when governments did not exist, and consequently there could originally exist no governors to form such a compact with. The fact therefore must be that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government."

Isn’t it evident that no Government or System of governing can claim any sovereignty above the Individuals?

Let me quote again from Tom Paine: “There never did, there never will, and there never can, exist a Parliament, or any description of men, or any generation of men, in any country, possessed of the right or the power of binding and controlling posterity to the "end of time," or of commanding for ever how the world shall be governed, or who shall govern it; and therefore all such clauses, acts or declarations by which the makers of them attempt to do what they have neither the right nor the power to do, nor the power to execute, are in themselves null and void. Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself in all cases as the age and generations, which preceded it. The vanity and presumption of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies. Man has no property in man; neither has any generation a property in the generations which are to follow.” [‘Rights of Man’]

Is spirituality and materialism truly opposites?

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