Mallikarjun B. Mulimani


There is always great conflict on the path to a place with none.  

This book is about the big three myths – God, Eros, and Bacchus – and how they are demystified. By God is meant an imaginary being to which the majority of humanity is in the habit of kowtowing and crediting everything. The term Eros refers only to the winged Greek god of love and sex where dependent and conditional desire plays a role, and definitely not to independent and unconditional love and sex. Bacchus is only the Roman god of wine and nothing else. Many gods or one God, as in different cultures and religions, is not the question at all, but only the demystification of the aforementioned three myths is the single issue under consideration. It is a philosophical story which proceeds towards its ultimate goal of demystification of long cherished beliefs by moving from the experiences and actions of Ori to those of Mac and then culminating in new ones of Ori, with Mac and Ori being the two protagonists. Ori is a human being and Mac is an organic machine. Ori goes through a tumultuous life and finally creates Mac who demystifies his myths. 14 Mac is unconsciously created by Ori with a subconscious desire to gain salvation through creativity. ‘Demystifying God, Eros and Bacchus’ tries to show that life will be beautiful without the big three myths, by deriving rationality from a machine, a machine which does not have a desire to desire. It also wants to sow the idea that if the big three myths are done away with, the divisions between humans, their problems, and empty struggles will cease to be: would tyrants and their tyranny have been tolerated, or even existed for that matter, if not for the big three myths which are their root cause? And that, a certain fate or destiny will exist for a human, but as only one among finite outputs, of permutations and combinations of finite life choices, governed by his or her thoughts and actions. Ori had always wanted something from Bacchus, Eros, and God. This ‘want’ was the wrongly pointed sharp needle with a common thread running through the big three myths – Bacchus, Eros, and God. The emotions associated with God, and other equally absurd emotions arising from the other myths, had done Ori wrong right from the beginning by conditioning him and biasing him towards actions which were supposed to guide him towards relief, but had instead led just to its opposite – abject misery. He had been all too human and had not yet evolved beyond bad emotions. 15 Thus, Ori had wanted and had set himself up for disappointment. The myths had destroyed the home that they had occupied – Ori himself. Eventually, it had been science that had saved him – first in the form of medicine developed and administered by fellow humans, and then in the form of an organic machine – and not God whom he used to believe in or the other myths he had invested his energy and a better part of his life in. He was grateful to the chemicals in medicines and the human element in his treatment after he had abused both. The issues of addiction and bipolar disorder are incorporated with the goal of showing that any adversity can be overcome through proper medication and rational thinking. This medical condition, which gives way and rise to irrational thoughts and, worse, destructive activities, is closely associated with the big three myths – the big three myths, all or at least the first two of which, take apart the lives of all or many in one way or another. What a person, under the influence of a disease of the mind and also the remnants of addictions which still hold the fort of lunacy against sanity, has to say is described by the entries in Ori’s diary which he maintained during the period of his rehabilitation in a hospital. During the process of his rehabilitation, Ori had realized just how difficult it was for those who think deeply about everything, in order to derive life’s meaning for a better existence for themselves and the society, to live with themselves as a result of the conflict life invariably generates in them as they ponder over deep issues; he himself, and others 16 whom he admired and who had influenced him, had found it extremely hard. He would soon act with determination to find a solution to life’s conundrum. Ori, after rehabilitation, created Mac. Mac initially had the same conflicts inside him as his creator did, but Mac not only resolved them for himself but also for his creator. Ori, after the epiphany, thanks to the reasoning of his creation Mac, gave up adhering to popular myths. He promised himself that he would take each step in his walk of life carefully and deliberately, and there, erupted abundant unconditional love for himself on his part. As a result of this love and the decision which had birthed it, he no longer found it hard to live with himself, and was his own best friend. Ori also gained an important understanding of a certain aspect of human nature that altered how he perceived his past. He realized that something lost seems like a paradise in retrospect only because one constructs paradisiacal memories of it when nothing sublime is being done in the present to look forward to the future – a future which rationally should be dictated only by reality and not embellished memories. He had had a vague notion of this concept when he had begun creating Mac after his rehabilitation. The idea had been hazy then, but now it was crystal clear. Even though his thoughts about life choices had been turbid then, they had led him on a right path. Ori, when he had been travelling on a raft on an unruly sea filled with the myths of God, Eros, and Bacchus, from a mythical paradise island – on which he had found himself alone and separated from logic – to the mainland of rationality, 17 had been tied down to the raft – as he had been tied to a bed in a hospital where he had been undergoing rehabilitation, and which he had raged insanely against – so that he would not slide off it back into the jaws of sharks – myths – hunting in the sea of life. Now he was on the mainland, but he chose to journey on. A coin tossed in the air falls back to the ground and rests on it with one face touching the earth and the other looking up at the sky. There will always be two sides to a coin and any story, and it is not only possible but extremely easy to be ambiguous, especially about factors which influence life. However, it is extremely difficult to choose one side of the coin and stand by the decision made – even when the tossed coin lands on the chosen face kissing the ground, while the other which was not deemed right faces the sky and the rest of the world. It is extremely necessary to bend down and turn the face of the coin one has chosen to face oneself. Ori was clear that he would not straddle issues. He would not be equivocal in his approach to anything. With these life choices in his backpack, in the last part of ‘Demystifying God, Eros and Bacchus’, Ori embarks on a voyage where he writes a philosophical story – a philosophical story, characterized by objectivity, and a combination of hard science fiction and soft science fiction, drawing its philosophy from his personal life. It was his second creation; his old creation had shown him the right direction, and his new one would show the right way to the rest of his ilk – a poetic path. 18 Ori called it the ‘Textbook of Life’ – a philosophical story showcasing in its development a movement from lesser to bigger life like his personal journey. It is extremely easy to have a philosophy, especially an erudite and dogmatic one. However, implementing it in one’s own life is another matter. One has to live both that philosophy and life at the same time. Ori had, and a book came out of it. A book where he paid homage to both science and humanity, after his life which had been a voyage over a turbulent sea from a small life to a big life had been demystified. The book was about a voyage through the multiverse, without considering it even remotely as predestined glory but only as a search governed by natural laws and the new God – science – implemented with right life choices. He wrote about human spirit and stars in the multiverse, for humans had always looked to the stars to teach them the way of life – human life and stars being inextricably linked, and being the stuff of beautiful realizable dreams. The absence of an unchangeable fate or serendipitous destiny, determined or controlled by forces external to us, and the presence of a future governed only by choices was shown by Ori in his work, in the form of life rejecting humans more than once as they go in search of a new home among the stars in the multiverse, and humanity eventually needing to become one with a universe which was energy personified – mass linked with energy, E = mc2 . Ori, in his story, tries to show that disorder in life can be reversed and illustrates it by the voyage of his protagonists, 19 Zenith and Nadir, from chaotic planet Earth which contains life in the human universe, through a second with a planet which is life personified, a third which is life itself, to a steady universe which is not only life in its entirety but pure energy characterized by stability in the absence of internal conflict. In the ‘Textbook of Life’, there is no linking God who is always associated with the creation of the human universe to the multiverse or the fate of humankind – not even a vengeful God, even though humans are staring at possible extinction. In chapter seventeen there is talk about the finiteness of number of possible destinies, the multiverse, and time through a ‘finite viewpoint’ which is a product and combination of science, philosophy, and art. In ‘Demystifying God, Eros and Bacchus’, conditionings, and hence biases, influencing the approach to, and analysis of, life at its various stages (leading to further thoughts and actions), if left uncontrolled and embedded, forever in the soil of the mind, without being uprooted completely, and done away with entirely, without a trace, from the mind-garden as life evolves, as certainties leading at the end to dissatisfaction is pointed out. This entire work is not only based on pure logic but is also empirical, basing its convictions upon the time tested facts that, what was not known in science the previous day was definitely explained with solid proof the next, and some myths will remain myths with empty and treacherous promises like fairies and goblins. There is no bending backwards or sitting comfortably in a grey area as a serious inquiry is conducted at various stages with different launching and landing pads. 20 Straight bridges are built in between the various issues addressed in this book to enable smooth traffic over a wild twisting river. Each part of ‘Demystifying God, Eros and Bacchus’ shows different aspects of life with the same goal – to prove that one can move from a small life to a big life. These parts embody ideas central to the main theme of this book – demystification.