January 31, 2006
Posted by Madhava Gosh under Thomas Merton
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The demoniac person thinks: “So much wealth do I have today, and I will gain more according to my schemes. So much is mine now, and it will increase in the future, more and more. He is my enemy, and I have killed him, and my other enemies will also be killed. I am the lord of everything. I am the enjoyer. I am perfect, powerful and happy. I am the richest man, surrounded by aristocratic relatives. There is none so powerful and happy as I am. I shall perform sacrifices, I shall give some charity, and thus I shall rejoice.” In this way, such persons are deluded by ignorance.
“I have learned that an age in which politicians talk about peace is an age in which everybody expects war: the great men of the earth would not talk of peace so much if they did not secretly believe it possible, with one more war, to annihilate their enemies forever. Always, “after just one more war” it will dawn, the new era of love: but first everybody who is hated must be eliminated. For hate, you see, is the mother of their kind of love.
Unfortunately the love that is to be born out of hate will never be born. Hatred is sterile; it breeds nothing but the image of its own empty fury, its own nothingness. Love cannot come of emptiness. It is full of reality. Hatred destroys the real being of man in fighting the fiction which it calls “the enemy.” For man is concrete and alive, but “the enemy” is a subjective abstraction. A society that kills real men in order to deliver itself from the phantasm of a paranoid delusion is already possessed by the demon of destructiveness because it has made itself incapable of love. It refuses, a priori, to love. It is dedicated not to concrete relations of man with man, but only to abstractions about politics, economics, psychology, and even, sometimes, religion…”
January 30, 2006
Posted by Madhava Gosh under Illusions
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Here is an example of messing with the optical mind. If someone has enough time and creative energy, they can create convincing illusions, inside our empirical realm. Actually, the whole world is an illusion, not in the sense that it doesn’t exist, but in that we take it for one thing and it is another. It is reality versus Reality. Temporary versus eternal. The illusion is we think it will last as it is, and that it is all that is.
It would be a mistake to ignore reality, that is only another kind of illusion. I mean ignore it in the sense of “I don’t need to floss my teeth because this is all temporary.” That sort of reasoning is a young (usually) person’s misapplication of the concept of illusion. While it is true we are not our body, our body IS our body and needs care. So floss your teeth, your future self will thank you for it.
To see several photos of real illusions in rooms like the above, and to see how it was done, click here.
January 29, 2006
Posted by Madhava Gosh under Poetry
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If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.
And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider–
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
January 28, 2006
An old man goes to see the doctor and gets some tests done. When the results come in, the doctor calls the old man in and says, “You’d better sit down. It’s pretty bad.” The old man, naturally, gets all nervous and asks, “What is it doc? Don’t hold back — just give it to me straight.”
“Well,” says the doctor, “you have cancer. But, sir, I’m afraid you also have Alzheimers.”
The man replies, “Wow. Well, at least I don’t have cancer.”
Certainly, the above runs the risk of being a bit tasteless, but that is the advantage of being granted honorary old age status by my medical condition — I feel a license to use gallows humor. Sort of liberating in a way. Lots of things that used to seem important become uninteresting. That includes sectarian cultural based visions of what spirituality is. A lot of the guilt trips used by institutions (and wannabes who want to control institutions) to maintain their elitist self images seem crude and pathetic attempts to avoid facing reality. Sacrificing their humanity on the altar of the “Absolute”. It is starting to amuse me more than annoy me. Some annoyance remains though, so be advised I may not be more lenient when the BS is flying. :-)
January 27, 2006
Here is a devotee who is doing KC crosswords (His puzzles seem to be aimed at a bit older devotee):
“Krsna and Balarama learned the art of dressing hair in various styles and fixing a helmet in different positions on the head. They also learned how to set up a theatrical stage, how to decorate dramatic actors with clothes and with flower ornaments over the ear, and how to sprinkle sandalwood pulp and water to produce a nice fragrance… Then They learned how to make and solve riddles. They learned the art of how even a dull student can very quickly learn the alphabet and read books. Then They learned how to rehearse and act out a drama. They also studied the art of solving crossword puzzles, filling up the missing spaces and making complete words.”
KB 45 Krsna recovers the son of His teacher
Devotee Generated Crossword Puzzle
While simple crosswords are certainly a good tool for teaching kids, don’t assume they are limited to that:
Not Your Mother’s Crossword
January 26, 2006
This is a follow on for the January 21st 2006 post
4. The person in charge
7. A group of people
8. A Famous male soccer player
10. The person who guards the net
1. The thing you do most in soccer
2. What you get when you score
3. You should wear these
5. A good drink for athletes
6. The game zone
9. A round object
Continued for answers
January 25, 2006
Link to complete Article
“NEW DELHI – In the halls of Sacramento, a special commission is rewriting Indian history: debating whether Aryan invaders conquered the subcontinent, whether Brahman priests had more rights than untouchables, and even whether ancient Indians ate beef.
That this seemingly arcane Indian debate has spilled over into California’s board of education is a sign of the growing political muscle of Indian immigrants and the rising American interest in Asia.
The foes – who include established historians and Hindu nationalist revisionists – are familiar to each other in India. But America may increasingly become their new battlefield as other US states follow California in rewriting their own textbooks to bone up on Asian history.
At stake, say scholars who include some of the most elite historians on India, may be a truthful picture of one of the world’s emerging powers – one arrived at by academic standards of proof rather than assertions of national or religious pride…”
January 24, 2006
Posted by Madhava Gosh under Liver Transplant
Missed posting for a bit as I had a little flareup up Sunday. Got so wasted I couldn’t raise my head to drink and was dehydrating from a fever spike. My wife had to go get some straws from Madri our neighbor so I could get some fluids in. By Monday night it had gone down enough so I could make it to the bathroom without it being a huge task, but didn’t even make it to the computer until this morning for a short session. Caught up with my email then had an appointment I couldn’t miss and was wiped out by the time I got home at noon. After a bit of rest, and a little solid food, I may have been able to do something this afternoon but a big wind blew in and the electric kept going in and out so didn’t want to boot up. No budget to replace my machine if it gets fried.
We had a thunderstorm, which is pretty unusual for a January in West Virginia, lightning and the whole nine yards. Now where did that expression come from? Certainly from no one who regularly watches American football, where you need to get a total of 10 yards in 4 chances or give up possession to the opposing team. So why don’t people say “the whole 10 yards” which is significant, whereas 9 yards is a failure? Idiomatic expressions, go figure.
In any case, I am just blathering on instead of doing any real work to make a post. As usual, whining about my declining material body, but what can I say, I am used to this one and having to trade it in seems to be a lot of bother just now, so I do tend to focus on it more than I probably care to in order to get a few more miles out of it.
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