‘We should go to the masses and learn from them, synthesize their experience into better, articulated principles and methods, then do propaganda among the masses,
I am reminded of Bertrand Russell’s now classic text (delivered as a speech at a relatively small meeting in South London) entitled ‘On Why I
Theistic religion was once suitable to the emerging intellect of humanity, but is no longer suitable for an advancing species. Modern humanity benefits from science, technology, medicine and the internet, and no amount of praying will save the life of a relative, or produce space travel, or the latest breakthrough in the fight against human disease. The Buddha denied the validity of theistic belief and advocated mental development and discipline (behavioural modification) as a means of over-coming alienation. The Buddha taught non-identification with thought (i.e. non-attachment), and can not be considered ‘idealistic’, and he criticised certain types of materialist thinking prevalent in his day, and can not be called a ‘materialist’. Karl Marx advocated the study of the physical circumstances humanity finds itself within, (i.e. historical materialism), but as he fully acknowledges the existence and functioning of human consciousness, he can not be termed a gross materialist. Marx wrote often about human consciousness, and stated that when consciousness is inverted, (i.e. deluded), it can not perceive things as they actually are, and falls into the error of religiosity. However, as Marx denied the validity of philosophies that limit the interpretation of the world to a set of thoughts, or thought constructs, (i.e. attachment to thought), he can not be called an ‘idealist’, or ‘ideologue’.