Thursday, June 03, 2004

Of hills and high places

For the first time in six years, I have taken a wednesday off for myself. I mean just for me. No illnesses, no errands, no chores. The absolute focus was : Deepak Shenoy. And I found three similar souls: (though I must confess, P started it all). There's a tourist location on the road to Tumkur - it's called Shivaganga. The drive took us a good 90 minutes, and then there was the climb. Stepped hillside, and no real "climbing" as such, but the walk up was just agonizing. And the view was beautiful. I'll get a video of this someday, but you know what, it was just amazing to be able to do this, on a weekday, no worries about work, no issues about anything. All done on the sly of course, the world around would throw up quite a fit if they knew.

UPDATE 10/10/2005: I was just NUTS. Folks, this is what happens if you work 7 days a week, 18 hours a day for six years or so. That's all behind me now, I'd give up work for fun anyday!

In any case, Passion of Christ happened later. blood, gore. And a true story, supposedly. Should be seen in the context of the age: remember, that this is when stoning for adultery was common. Can you imagine a person stoned to death? Here's the picture. A woman on the floor with blood flowing copiously from wounds; wounds caused by the stones being thrown at her. The same people continue to throw stones, probably breaking limbs, gouging out eyes etc. Blood spurting from every stone. And they stone her after she loses consciousness. They stone her body, her head, her private parts. They don't react to the cries of a wounded human - how often have you heard such cries? Just imagine this happening in front of your eyes, and then you'll understand how merciless and stone hearted these people were. Living in such a time involved having to understand that you could die, quite horribly, any time in your life. what I'm trying to say really is, that this was the time (before and after christ, btw) that suffering at this level was fairly common.

Christ did suffer, but only marginally more than the unheralded millions who were delivered justice at the end of a stick. The suffering did not stop, they took the name of Christianity over the next 1500 years. People were persecuted, beheaded, burnt, blinded, castrated, hung, beaten, sodomized, and otherwise handicapped, all in the name of religion. Christ's suffering, his being brutalized over calling himself a messiah, is but one of these murders; yet, his sacrifices earned him eternal glory - in the eyes of the human race. Why? The man had to be the best salesman known to mankind, and yet, he was selfish while being selfless. It was him they had to be with, him they had to know to get to his father. It was his glory with the glory of god, and he was the messenger. Why that? In every salesman lies an inert phobia - the phobia that the people he can sell to won't need him any more. If they could reach god without going through Christ, it was a god they would be satisfied with, and then, there would be no "prachaar" - no wildfire spreading of the concept. To make his people his salesmen, he had to push himself at the top of the pyramid. A concept not unknown to us now, but the brilliance of it is apparent - while most leaders will give up without a fight when it comes, especially, to life and death issues, Christ walked the walk and talked the talk till he died.

Or did he? I assume that any records of him grovelling or pleading for forgiveness, if he did, and if such records ever existed, would be destroyed by now. Remember, there was nearly a thousand years of Christian rule over the west, and the Church would want to defend its position. To a set of people who proposed the use of torture, destroying records would be an insignificant crime. And Christ moved into the levels of the revered, and all pagan worship was deemed irreligious.

I think the entire concept of religion is stupid. You are your god. if you can understand that, you can understand why I don't like the concept of using a go-between, i.e. religion, to get there. You don't need a man to die on a cross, beaten and horribly crucified, for you to be able to reach inside of yourself and be with your god. Christ, even in his debilitated shape, did not reveal that. That's because he never realized one thing: his god was only his. My god will be only mine. And these *are* unique. the difference between the religious person and me is: I protect my god, you let someone else get between you and him. Call it an idol, a pujari, a prophet, a Christ or a buddha (who was the smartest cookie of them all, i swear).

And you might wonder why I don't capitalize the first letter. No one's that important. Except me. See what I mean?