01 April 2009

Never to a god made in the image of man.

What's wrong with this picture?



Opening of the Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR in Moscow, 1989.

Richard Dawkins and evangelical Christianity agree that the human brain has a God-shaped hole in it. And as Terry Pratchett put it in the excellent Small Gods (which you should all read), if people don't believe in gods they might believe in anything. So we've got to learn to live with them.

The Church of the SubGenius has proved by experiment that it is possible to fill that hole successfully with any insane shit - including clip-art from the 1950's Yellow Pages - and Ivan Stang has made a living off it for 25 years now. As the photo demonstrates, Stalin filled it admirably with the icon of poor Lenin - I can't find an image online, but I've seen a postcard from the USSR with Lenin as goddamned Santa Claus, bringing toys to good children. (While I have affection for Lenin and consider his example and teachings worth studying, he was just a flawed human like the rest of us and they should give him a decent burial.) And no-one on this blog needs to be told what ersatz gods and saints the prayer-mills of the memetic-industrial congress have successfully implanted in the brainpans of virtually everyone we know.

The Islamic term shirk can be translated as either "polytheism" or "idolatry", but essentially means "worshipping or fearing something other than God". Chaos Marxism appropriates the concept of "idolatry" (because there's nothing wrong with a little polythesism) to mean worshipping or fearing any god/idols/icon/meme defined by our own human brains - i.e. attributing independent existence and good/ill will to them, in any sort of "insisting that it's actually physically real" way. As the Prophet Muhammad said, idols can neither help us nor harm us - they are not real things with independent will, but projected-off parts of our own species-being. They are also programmes for behaviour - and it's a sin against yourself to be following a programme written by someone else which you didn't carefully debug yourself.

What goes along with this concept is that "idolatry" also consists in attributing to ultimate reality any of the characteristics of daily reality - trying to insist that God Herself (the Supreme Being, the Ultimate Spirit, the Creator of the Universe, the Omega Point, etc, etc.) is like a human with all sorts of petty human emotions and motivations, or indeed believing that anything you see and experience in the Real World of Horrible Jobs is "real" in an objective sense. Everything is fire; everything flows away; A is not A. The materialist dialectic teaches us that nothing we experience - including and especially our "selves" - is ultimately solid.

What the Muslims call idolatry, I think Marx called "commodity fetishism". Worshipping the works of one's own hands and deliberately forgetting that we made them, we break them, and they have no power apart from what we give them. Interestingly enough, this ties in with my previous reflections that commodity fetishism is closely tied to individualism - sometimes, the idol we worship is our own damned ego / identity.

Because that's how they control you. We can control ourselves by consciously, collectively and creatively creating our new myths, new icons, saints, angels, myths, folktales of the struggle to unfold ourselves, to become fully human. And these myths will act as programmes by which we can discover our own power, if we do it right. As long as we remember that we should never, ever worship or fear or seriously believe in any of them (unless as a deliberate experiment in mindfuck which we include safewords in).

The only religion I feel I would ever be enthusiastic about following would be the community rituals of a classless people's republic of the future. The Roman religion is meaningless without the Roman Republic in existence, and the same goes for the rituals and cults of the next aeon. Which is why we talk about the God/dess of the World To Come.

I am increasingly thinking that the Qabalistic or Sufi model - one single absolutely ineffable God, but with many levels and paths and emanated intelligences and angels etc. between there and here - is fitting to where I'm going with this. Although I don't place Kether / Ain Soph / God Herself in a rarified plane of existence, but far in the future of humanity. And it's only one of many possible futures.