CSH: In Hinduism there is a kind of reverence-pain relationship that the person has to the God.
Infants scream, and then the parents do what the baby wants. That’s the basis of our instinctive belief in magick. Magick is just the will affecting the imagination and body. Magick is real in the body—I cause change to occur in conformity with will. The deep nature of the will is still unknown to us. It seems to be a power for potential movement that “comes” from the same side that self is on. The universe will treat you in the style of a loving parent and will basically give you what you want.
[Lots of extras to add here. Bible passages on the loving but castigating father.]
As the child becomes older the parents demand that the child do a favor before they give him the goods. “I’ve give you a sandwich if you clean your room.” So now you realize that there’s an economy of power with God. Instead of just saying, “God, do it!” you have to trade something in payment.
So in early Hinduism that’s precisely the relationship that that the priests (and people) have to the gods. We burn things for them, like expensive oils, on an elaborate tray. We give the oil to the god Agni, which is fire, and he translates our good intentions to the gods. The goal: to have more children, more money, house is more secure, no more illness in the family. What you want from God are things in this world. Power inside the matrix.
Then Buddhism comes along and says, “No, the point is to get out of the matrix.” And then everyone in India became a Buddhist. It swept northwards and west to Afghanistan and east to China. And then it left; Hinduism resurged; and all the statues of Buddha had the name “Buddha” scratched out and they replaced it with “Vishnu.” So they made the Buddha into another incarnation or avatar of Vishnu.
Then, the Upanishads were written. They are the Hindu digestion of the Buddhist genius. So Hinduism wanted all the goodness of Buddhism (its mereological nihilist path to moksha) but while remaining a “religion.” This is problem because Buddhism is not a person-oriented reverence system—that is, not a religion proper. Buddhism was a non-religious religion that said that took all the gods of Hinduism as fictional. Or they are explanatory aids. He didn’t really argue for or against their existence.
[Q: Check this. What precisely was the Buddha’s take on the gods? Can they be creators in the sense of reshaping matter? Can they be like gnostic demiurges? Do they respond to sacrifice and help people?]
So the Buddha is today called “demonic” by orthodox Hindus. But they reabsorbed the philosophy of Buddhism in the Upanishads. Therein, soul and god are one. The apparent monism that follows nirvana is translated into theism as the identity of soul and god. The deepest bottom of your self is also the deepest bottom of being, generally—which is God. God is the foundation of being, existence, and becoming in general. People are particular local peaks of this ground.
This notion that you can melt back into continuity with all things, that spatial separation is an illusion, everything is just one or we are all just fragments of the one—it’s a kind of a non-theistic, non-devotional image. You’re not worshipping the all, you are the all. And the way you get saved (extinguish suffering) is by becoming transparent to God and realizing that you are God. That’s the way out of the matrix—is to realize your Godhood.
Against the Upanishads and the demonic Shankara there arose a romantic backlash, encapsulated in the slogan, “It’s better to taste sugar than to be sugar.” So religion in India returned to the romantic, sexy, and domestic—biological bases of the social soup that both gives us meaning and comforts us with agreement. God is around the house, playing as a kid. God is around the house, a young pubescent lover hiding in the woods waiting for you to sneak out and cheat on your spouse.
So you love god as a baby. When it turns 12, you have sex with it. This is the fantasy of the milk maids: the soul of the devotee should feel the thrill of the young horny wife who sneaks out of the house at midnight to fuck her randy teenage lover. The highest form of divine love in Vaishnavism is the extra-marital affair.
In Western religions you have various relationships to God:
- One is friend to friend.
- One is sibling to sibling.
- One is child to parent.
- One is parent to child—which you get to enjoy in Christianity during nativity when you adore Baby Jesus. Loving God as a baby is very popular in Vaishnavism.
- Finally, there is husband and wife. This is the “highest” mode for a human loving God in Judaism and Christianity. The soul is the bride and Christ is the groom. In the Song of Solomon, pornography which the devout appropriated as a religious text, the closest you can be to God is sexually. Being loved by God is being fuck-filled by him. The most intimate you can be with God is to let your soul be fucked by him.
But the Indians saw that there is a level of passionate intimacy that goes even higher than that. Even better than marital sex, is the extramarital affair. So the relationship you have with God is the relationship you have with your lover when you cheat on your husband. Literally. Isn’t that awesome? Amazing. They’re so honest about human nature to say that the extramarital affair is so much more delicious sexually. (I’m not saying it’s better emotionally. But sexually speaking, DNA does this and wants this.)
Empirical studies have proven that Republican Christian women increase what’s called “display behavior” only when they ovulate.
Zora: They what?
CSH: Increasing display behavior means they increase their displays of sexual attractiveness. The interesting part: they only do it do men with whom they’re not in a committed relationship. The Indians knew this and said, “Well, let’s harness that as well.” Every aspect of human nature can be used as fuel to get to God. Everything about you can be reengineered to help you get to God. And one of them is the desire to have an extramarital affair. Well, let’s make that the scenery of your relationship with God. And that’s what these romantic Krishna stories are about.
For devotional purposes, you have two Krishnas to choose from. The first is little super-adorable baby Krishna playing in the butter and yogurt and spilling it and getting it all over his hands. The second is this super-attractive androgynous teenager, having sex with all these women that sneak out of their houses as midnight. They sneak out of their kitchen windows, meet him in the woods, and then fuck all night long, doing every type of perverse sexual act.
Jina: What religion?
CSH: This is called Gaudiya Vaishnavism. It’s the romantic flavor of Vishnu worship. 70% of Indians are Vaishnavas, and 20% worship Shiva.
Zora: So people who worship this way, they freely have affairs?
CSH: Never! This stuff is only allowed in the imagination. In fact, you’re only allowed to have sex for purposes of procreation. You take everything in your life that you love the most, and then you don’t let yourself enjoy it in this life—you put it into the imaginary, to increase your intimacy with god.
That’s not such a bad idea. When you have to write a paper, you cut off the television and you stop using Facebook. It’s the same thing with religion. If you really want to have a great relationship with God, you have to starve your faculties of enjoyment on this level—in order to heighten them. You only have so much energy.
Indians are serious about religion.
Jina: You just said that they don’t really do it in real life.
CSH: Never. They try to be celibate, but if they’re going to raise a baby for Krishna, they’re allowed to. You can only have sex with the intention to bring another lover into Krishna’s harem of gopis. The purpose of having babies is God’s enjoyment. You’re bringing another God-enjoying soul into existence. If that’s your intention, and you’re also providing the conditions for raising a really good God-worshipping soul, then you’re allowed to have kids.
Zora: Now I’m wondering about why people have children.
Jina: Men want to have their own people.
Zora: Little Mini Mes.
CSH: You mean someone to receive the wealth. You’re securing survival for yourself and your family. And you want that survival security to also be there for your half-self, your 50% DNA self.
Jina: Yeah, you create your own people.
CSH: You want to create a good situation for your 50-percenter. That’s what childrearing is: you’re making a cushion for the 50-percenterthat you’ve just dropped off. You’re leaving the time-stream, but you’ve planted a 50-percenter in there, and you make sure it has a nice little Habitrail to play around in.
What’s the real protagonist here? Survival. And what is the thing that is striving to survive? Survival isn’t even material—we’re eating and shitting all the time, atoms are being passed out of our bodies. What is surviving is a way of negentropy, a dynamic pattern. It’s like a tornado, or an eddy. The eddy, in a sense exists. Nothing is there, water is just passing down the stream. But that indentation-in-water seems to be a thing. And that’s actually what the soul is. It’s such an elusive nonmaterial nothing. It’s a processual pattern.
The eddy is not a substance. It doesn’t have the quality of existing. But we refer to “it”—given that we say, “The eddy …” and point at it. We can name it and refer to it tomorrow. “How’s Eddy doing?” It seems to have temporal continuity but what is continuously existing? All of it is being (literally) washed out of existence. All of it is gone. Every millisecond its stuff has left its perimeter. Still, we say, “Oh yeah, you mean that eddy?”
“It” seems to linger. “It” seems to be outside the stream. Amazing. That’s the thing that’s surviving. The 50-percenter isn’t even a material 50-percenter. It’s a way of negentropy. Look [dancing around] everything is moving with entropy but I’m not, I’m an island of self-repair, I’m an island of homeostasis.
So homeostasis, is in fact the protagonist of all history, and the universe. It’s an eddy of homeostasis in a passing river of matter, and it gets to walk around and build things. Eddies are building cities.