During the part of the week that followed Tuesday and preceded Thursday, my guru Madame Suez spoke with me about spirituality. She expressed interest in the ideas from eastern Asia. After our talk, thoughts kept bounding around in my mind: I’ll type them onto this TV screen, dear diary, in hopes that it might help them rest in peace.
Presently in the USA, there is rampant interest in oriental practices. This smells like a fad to me. Yoga franchises are popping up everywhere. Soon they will even outnumber churches and liquor stores.
Eastern books appeal to westerners because the grass simply must be greener on the other hemisphere.
If believers could spend a day with their religious founder of choice (or their prophet of choice, or even their god of choice), they would be shocked into a state of incredulity. This is because religious founders, prophets, and even deities are just regular measly people. They are not much different than your boss or next door neighbor.
Now, I said that the biggest names from spirituality and religion are “not much different” than your average Joe. That is, I acknowledged a slight difference – one that I don’t think believers would find important. And here is the reason that believers will only shrug at the distinction that cult-mongers typify:
With gods (as with the humans who create them) there exists, on one hand, the aura of celebrity; and, on the other hand, the plain old boring truth. Believers embrace the stardom of their chosen god or prophet; never the reality.
Let us say that a churchgoer visits Christ in a time machine, and they dine at a restaurant. As soon as Christ retires to use the restroom, the illusion of his divinity dissolves: the suspension of disbelief is terminated; and the believer murmurs: “This is not the sage from the poetic tale whom I have chosen to worship!”
It is for a similar reason that the theologian Valentinus writes, in a fragment from an epistle to Agathopous which Bentley Layton titles “Jesus’ Digestive System”:
He was continent, enduring all things. Jesus digested divinity: he ate and drank in a special way, without excreting his solids. He had such a great capacity for continence that the food within him never turned to shit…
(A cheap laugh is obtained when we stand-up comedians speak of poetic heroes in everyday terms.)
The human who writes Holy Scripture is subject to necessity; the characters and ideas contained by Holy Scripture are much less so. It’s natural to want to live in the world of poetry, as opposed to the world of necessity; which is why people choose to worship the things inside of their books rather than outside of them. Poetry is magic; mortal flesh is mundane. In the gospel of Mark (6:4), Jesus says:
A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
Why is this? Because a god’s own country, kin, and household have beheld the lowly, human side of the deity. If those people from the hometown of Jesus could have read of him in Mark’s gospel, they would have said: “Now this is a man worth honoring – this Jesus who appears in Mark’s propaganda is truly a prophet – but you, O Jesus whom we know from the marketplace and middle school, are the dimmest shadow of Saint Mark’s enigmatic antihero.”
Foreign things seem special on account of the fact that they have not yet decayed into familiarity. When my neighbors owned a black-&-white TV and a video game console, I thought that those things were divine, and I prayed unto them and worshiped them as gods. But on Christmas day of 1987, after unwrapping a gift box that contained exactly those items, I cursed the living Santa for lacking initiative.
All things should move onward and outward. To ape the actions of one’s neighbors is a form of blasphemy. For the divine being that is waiting to be born out of one’s own mind suffers abortion when one kowtows to others’ religions.
Science says that the heart of an unborn god beats faster than the wings of a hummingbird. Have you ever seen the deity depicted as a fetus? Then you might as well begin your weeping now; for this forthcoming god will never be able to wreak mass horror, if the author who should be inventing him is trapped in a yoga pose.
My point is that we should build our own orient wherever we happen to drift. The merely factual orient should be steamrolled over and turned into a series of strip malls. And all novelty kiosks should sell bobblehead dolls that look precisely like Moses and Yahweh, so that kids can have something to melt when they build their volcanoes.
I’m saying the same thing that I always say: The world should study my books for the next few thousand years, instead of the ancients’. Those other books have had their day in the sun. In fact, let our generation be the first to honor God while he’s still an atheist.
And read Rumors of Sarah. Support me for plagiarizing Saint Mark.