Tuesday, October 23, 2012

death of the gods

Sometimes I think the credulous religions have got things backwards: It's not the believers who must die in order to enter the kingdom of heaven, it's the god or gods who must die in order for religion to bear any honest fruit.

Mao Zedong
In China, two recent politburo communiques have omitted reference to Mao Zedong, the communist god-head whose revolutionary successes in 1949 put China on a path it has followed ever since. Also absent were the knee-jerk references and adulation of "Marxism-Leninism." All this is akin to going to a Christian church where references to "God" or "Jesus" or "the Holy Spirit" were strangely absent.

Analysts are parsing the omissions in China as a signal or hint that the ruling elite is loosening the reins and reform is in the offing. Not, of course, that any Chinese politician wants to be accused of excising the holiness of the past, but the small omissions suggest that "God" really doesn't advance a fruitful future.

I think it is a personal lesson worth observing: A spiritual adventure that cannot set aside its gods is destined for a withering defeat, a world in which nourishing corn rows turn to brittle weeds.

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