Sunday, November 21, 2004

Which came first: the inhalation or the exhalation?

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Had a conversation about Heidegger with my friend Govert today.

My introduction to Heidegger as an undergraduate painted him as reducible to his Nazi politics, and I am still recovering from that inaccurate reading. But as I try to understand and embrace his holistic views, I am always a bit repelled as well.

My current take is that his philosophy was an admirable but ultimately unsuccessful attempt at holism. I feel that his negativity towards Western metaphysical/scientific/technological rationality is too dualistic…Manichaean as Walter Kaufmann would say. His thought fails to answer the question why, if Western metaphysics is so harmful, is it so widespread?

Aurobindo’s (and, subsequently, Wilber’s) approach does critique scientific rationality as limited, but also sees it as an important and necessary stage on the way towards nondual whole consciousness.

Sterling Newberry appears to be writing a book in blog-posts on what he calls "meso-thinking". That is, in between large-scale, statistical macro-thinking and mechanical micro-thinking, between reality as a pyramid and reality as a sphere. Very turquoise.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2004 8:07 PM
Subject: "Arafat the Monster"

One unfamiliar with Middle Eastern history would get the impression from Jeff Jacoby's rant, "Arafat the Monster," that Palestinian violence came out of nowhere. One would never know that it is the Israelis who are occupying foreign land. Jacoby deliberately denys the Palestinians recognition of their status as dispossessed. Thus while piously posing as honorer of the murdered, he contributes to the cycle of hatred and violence. Not that Jacobs cares, but the Globe may want to consider whether publishing unbalanced, partial views serves its own interests. It does not serve the public's.
Things seem very easy for those who have no conscience.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Eerily appropriate post-election "Thought of the Day" from Eknath Easwaran.

When you move amidst the world of sense, free from attachment and aversion alike, there comes the peace in which all sorrows end, and you live in the wisdom of the Self. – Sri Krishna (Bhagavad Gita)

The grace of God sometimes comes in the form of sorrow. If we are not prepared to realize the unity of life, the Lord in his infinite love will let us suffer until we are forced to change our ways.

Of course, it isn’t at all easy to change: often it is quite painful. It’s very much like learning to use a stiff arm again. If your arm has been injured, and twisted into a rigid position, even the slightest movement becomes painful. Yet you have to learn to move it in order to regain the use of your arm. There is suffering in this, as there often is in any kind of growth.

We should never conclude that our lives are hopeless, that we can never improve, that we are condemned by God or fate or chemistry or conditioning to repeat the same mistakes. We always have a choice. That is the glory of our human nature: not only that we can always choose a better path, but that someday we will. We can never alienate ourselves from our divine Self, and the whole force of evolution is pushing us towards the divine vision, in which we see ourselves as we really are: united with the Lord of Love within our hearts.