We are told “formal” education began in Egypt about 5000 years ago, although military training was probably earlier. In both China and India we are told it began 1200 years later, around 1800 BCE. All formal education was based on “religion” as a mechanism for holding people together and controlling them. In Egypt, it was the study of the gods Troth, etc. In China it was Confucius. In India it was Shiva and Shakti. Then there was a pantheon of gods and goddesses. Along came Judaism, with oral teachings until about 400 BCE according to some scholars or 1000 BC according to others and again we have religious teachings. Most of these are based in fear. This was followed by Christianity that really began with the Church at the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE. It was formalized around 400 CE when Jerome translated the Bible from the three languages: Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic into Latin, and all the references to “Eros” were deleted and replaced with “Agape” which originally included Eros. Around 800 CE, along came Islam. Science, engineering and other disciplines were taught to build weapons for imperial expansion and fortifications as well as tombs to physically demonstrate how important religion is. And here we are today.
One thing in common with all the “religions” is no mention of erotic love, except in the Upanishads, at least in the modern translations of these religions. Many will talk about love in a round about way, but not really get into it. It is my understanding, and I could be wrong, that Tantra evolved from the Upanishads. I am sure there were other cultures extolling the virtues of erotic love, but not as well known as ancient India. It appears to me, religion wishes to keep us away from erotic love. Those who reject the church and focus on pleasure are of no threat to the control exercised by religion, so it is not only acceptable but also provides a mechanism for “divide and conquer.”
So where are we today? I look around and I see Mammon as the “new” god, though he has been around since the dawn of civilization. As Mammon’s servant, I see sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is cool, because there may not be any real love there, and if there is, we can always change the focus back to pleasure. At any rate, I have had a glimpse at what can happen with erotic love and other kinds of love, so that is what I “preach.”
Copyright 2014 Art Noble