About Me

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I am a mystic madman, a wandering wildman, scholar of esoterica, dilettante sadhu, dready-headed hippie (only have a few jata on the back of my head right now, though more be forming of this third set of knotted hair), gentle yogi, fierce foe of falsity. I was a preacher, but I renounced that. I was married, but she renounced me. I was a grad student at one of the top universities in the world on my way to becoming a professor, but I realized they taught lies there too. I am protector of souls, lover of mountains, smoker of herb, fond of hot springs, oceans and lakes and rivers and rain and sunshine, devotee of Devi.

Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Thursday, October 30, 2008

लिल Lila, the Divine Play of Life

लिल (lila) is a term I have found quite useful. With all the injustices and imbalances and inequities and violences I have seen and read of in the world around me, to imagine all this as but scenes in a divine play made the best case for what in “Western” philosophical terminology is called “theodicy,” which is basically the attempt(s) to answer the question, “If God is good and God is omnipotent, how can there exist evil?” To envision all the ills of this world as merely illusion, playing out of something like a scripted theatrical production solves many of the problems in justifying the ills of life. We are thus all merely emanations of aspects of the divine, refracted through a crystalline lens, acting out various scenarios of variegated possibilities of divergence from Self. When all is said and done, the curtains drawn, it all makes sense and there is no further need for justification. All sufferings are shown as merely imaginative experiments of possible pathways, and proper unity and purity are shown as having never having truly faltered.

Not that I ever believed there is no place for justice to be exacted by players in this play, mind you, nor that inexcusable violences or abuses ought be overlooked. Rather I believed that so long as one maintains purity of mind and spirit, nothing cannot be overcome or transformed and fitted within a wholistic view of existence that finds life good and worthy of living, beautiful and aesthetically intact.

Well, someone sought to challenge my very effective mode of dealing with the world's ills, for better or worse, a mode which indeed made ills quite ineffective and evil at most a nuisance. I was drawn into a rather desolate and perverse version of “lila,” and indeed one I am not sure well fits the unified version I had in mind. It seems as if some other contending paradigm sought to prove it’s verity above my own, and specifically the Western version of guilt and the inherent evil of humanity, i.e., Judeo-Christian understandings of sin and guilt and suffering. It seemed rather as if the beliefs and intensions of those I had known when I was a Baptist minister were coming back to haunt me. Indeed, the depression and undue attributions of guilt and fear were again somehow injected into my mind to assail the beautiful and truly liberating mode of existence I had come to know and share along the truly र्त (rta—“righteous," and "correct”) path I had found upon abandoning the errant world view of Christianity.

In the reality I had come to know, evil and ills always met due कर्म-धर्म (karma-dharma, “action-consequence/teaching”), and all of life and being was on an exciting and wonderful journey back to the source, अत्मन् (atman—the true and good and pure and benevolent “Self”). Everything that was not of or commensurate to this good Self would be transformed or burned away in the process of तपसि (tapasia—“purifying fire”) through the course of the pilgrimage that is life (or lives) lived. In actuality, these notions are not so far from some of the teachings of Jeshua ben Joseph (aka, “Jesus”), though from other of his teachings I think he should have spent a bit more time in India learning from the yogis.

In the interim, between beginnings and return to अत्मन् (atman), the here and now is time to practice भुतदय (bhutadaya--"compassion") and योग (yoga—“union,” or as Patanjali in his Yoga sutra put it, “Yoga is the alteration of sense vibration” towards a more pure expression of our true, good divine Self), and to celebrate the beauty of existence and each other, and the archetypal modes of divine play that lead us back to the pure union in and of देव-देवि (Deva-Devi--"God-Goddess").

The challenge I faced was a manipulation of चिदचित् (cidachit—“mind and matter”), a use and abuse of powers of illusion to attempt to dissuade me from my path, and to return me to living as a fearful sheep. Well, despite struggles and sufferings and assaults on and even in my mind, my resolve is still firm. Perhaps I now view the playing field or theater of life with a bit less trust, a bit less of what might be called “naivety,” for better or worse, as it seems clear some have or at least recently have maintained some degree of power to attack that good balance and philosophy I have found. Yet I remain convinced that indeed, “all the world’s a stage” is a better metaphor than many, and that when all is said and done, the plot will meet proper dénouement, and we shall all have cause to rejoice at a play well played.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hidden Origins of the West

[Originally my second posting, I decided to move this one to the top due to the importance of the message]

As an undergrad,I was required to take a general Western Civilization course over two semesters. A History and a Literature professor teamed up to teach each section, and we were required to read assorted of the so called classics, and were also assigned history readings from the Western Civ. textbook. A pretty typical survey of so called "Western" history and literature over the expanse of a few thousand years.

As a student at a sectarian Christian institution, we were required to enroll in a semester each of Old and New Testament History. Though some of our professors indeed stimulated us to critically question the traditional receptions of both Western Civilization in general, and to a lesser degree, the conventional reception of the Bible, I have since realized the virtual conspiracy of European and American scholars--and not just the religious ones--to conceal the true origins of "Western" civilization and religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam, to be specific): India.

Abraham and Sarai and Hagar, progenitors of the Hebrew tradition through Sarai, and of the Arab peoples and later Islam through Hagar, were preceded in India by Brahma and his consort Saraswati and Ghaggar (a tributary to the Saraswati river once thought merely mythical by western scholars). According to the Torah, Abraham and his tribe came from Ur of the Chaldese, an area that was unquestionably the site of much activity by Brahmin priests.

Jeshua ben Joseph, who posthumously became known as "Jesus Christ" was preceded historically by Krishna. Krishna's followers are Gopis, his ten-thousand milkmaid lovers. Christ's followers are called the "Bride of Christ," an obvious analogy to "lovers." Stories of Krishna having been crucified upon a tree and rising from the dead purportedly predate Jeshua ben Joseph's time on the cross and purported resurrection (though I have yet to fully research this one).

Several of the primary tenets of Islam are directly analogous to the third person of the Hindu Trimurti (trinity) of Brahma, Vishnu (Krishna), and Siva. Siva wears a crescent moon in his hair. Islam has become represented by the crescent moon. The primary confession of Islam is one of the "kalimas." Kalima is the wrathful form of Siva's co-equal consort. Ummah, or "community" is among the primary tenets of Islam. Uma is the most motherly form of Siva's consort. The Kaaba, once a center of Hindu devotion, still contains a Siva Linga (phallic stone). And I recently discovered that "Alla" is a name applied to Durga, another form of Devi (goddess) that is Siva's consort, yet again predating Islam. And Mecca, the holy city of Islam, is named after the moon god Al Makkah--and mAkali is . . . you guessed it, Sanskrit for moon or the chariot driver for Indra.

Cologne Online Sanskrit Lexicon entry:
461 mAkali m. the moon L. ; N. of the charioteer of Indra L. (cf. %{mAtali})

These versions of the divine in the Hindu Trimurti predate all three of these major and contentious world religions whose origin is supposedly in "the West." The Trimurti represents these three aspect of God (Creator, Maintainer, and Destroyer), as three faces on one head. Perhaps if scholarship and the general constituencies of the rather troublesome trio of Western religions were to recognize their various representations of God as but three faces of One Divinity, facets of a balanced understanding of that which is beyond mortal which predates and presages or emanates their own various versions, they might learn to get along, and to be humble in their presumptions of inventing civilization.

Also of note is that the Aryan invasion theory, i.e., that the dark-skinned peoples of India must have been invaded by blond-haired blue-eyed people from the north in order to have developed such a sophisticated civilization, has been largely disproven by recent evidences. Such racist notions from "Orientalist" scholarship, as well as suppression of the clear origins of the three aforementioned "Abrahamic" religions in India seems to convey that in their insecurities, scholars and theologians and historians of the "Western" world have been either systematically hiding something, or have been blind to the obvious. I recently came across a source which tells that one particularly noted Orientalist who lived towards the end of the nineteenth century, Max Muller (touted as the "father of comparative religion"), stated in a letter to his wife that he intentionally gave a late dating to the sacred texts of India and to the dates of Indian civilization in general, as he realized a threat to the underlying myths of Western civilization were he to tell the truth.

I wish to make these things known not to shame the heritage of Europe and America and the Middle East, nor the three religions of the "Western Tradition," from which have sprung much compassionate action and many good works in spite of sometimes violent interactions and whatever injustices sometimes fomented. Rather I would wish to inspire truly free inquiries and criticisms of traditions that, while noble on some fronts, indeed have been hiding no small degree of dishonest scholarship and lies maintained to prop up religious dogma and civic myths. It is my hope not to thus promote some other set of myths to replace these debunked, but to inspire a fearless examination of the past in order to learn how to live better in the present, and to dispense with false mythological constructs that unnecessarily divide peoples, East and West and North and South. Critical introspection and honest assessments of our origins and our common and unique heritages alike might help usher in an era of understanding and healing. This is my reason and want to rock the boat.

ॐ the sacred AUM (the usual English script phonetic spelling, though missing some of the substance of said sound), is the direct source of the mispronounced and derivative "Amen" of the Hebrew and Christian traditions, and somewhat more accurately pronounced "amin" of the Islamic tradition--though I ought to note, even most of the "Hindu" kirtan (call and response chant) leaders I have heard mispronounce ॐ . . .

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

There is a story as yet unwritten: truth. This story would make the X-Files seem mundane musings. This tale would likely drive most supposedly sane folks beyond the capacity of reason, and would make the disclosure of those government conspiracies and cover ups that indeed exist, from the knowledge of extra-terrestrial visitations to the acknowledgment of the workings of the hidden governing bodies of this world, and even admission of the reality of सिधि (sidhis, "magical powers") seem but trifles to the truth that lies behind these deeper veils. Certain of the worlds mythologies give glimpses, if one has an eye to read between the lines. Stories of gods and goddesses, constructions of earth and heaven and underworld realms give hints of the manner in which reality is (realities are) made and maintained and destroyed, and to the origin and destination of each and all. Yet these all fall short of the subtle and hidden truth that is yet somewhere unreached by all save a few minds, and likely less than a handful understand this true nature of reality, or ब्रह्मन् (brahman,) to use a language more precise, if perhaps still somewhat lacking in the perfect precision that might describe that to which I am eluding.

This truth is not so "terrible," save as it is far from what we are taught and conditioned to believe. These knowledges are not of "heaven" nor "hell," nor any such mundane metaphors. Perhaps more like the still waters of a mountain lake, or the majesty of a mountain, yet not quite nor merely. It is not what most understand as "God," nor can this be reduced to dogma. It might be read as not entirely unlike a लिल (lila, Sanskrit for "divine play"), and yet without acting. Simplicity that would strike dumb our busy world, wisdom that would make the most revered of men and women seem fools.

Light and dark are not even applicable terms to describe that of which I am here endeavoring a feeble and humble attempt to put in words. Resonant with human concepts of good and true and right, yet not encompassed therein, though not breaking with purity. This of which I speak is always already present within each and all, and yet can scarce be grasped, and again, even less easily conveyed in words. Not silence, nor din, though may to some degree be apprehended in solitude, and on occasion in music, both of human artifice and of the song of birds and the wind, rain falling, crickets chirping, waves crashing upon the shore and a rivers rush towards the sea, and even the subtle hum or aum of earth and sky and beyond.
Consider.


Blessings . . .

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hidden Origins of the West


As an undergrad,I was required to take a general Western Civilization course over two semesters. A History and a Literature professor teamed up to teach each section, and we were required to read assorted of the so called classics, and were also assigned history readings from the Western Civ. textbook. A pretty typical survey of so called "Western" history and literature over the expanse of a few thousand years.

As a student at a sectarian Christian institution, we were required to enroll in a semester each of Old and New Testament History. Though some of our professors indeed stimulated us to critically question the traditional receptions of both Western Civilization in general, and to a lesser degree, the conventional reception of the Bible, I have since realized the virtual conspiracy of European and American scholars--and not just the religious ones--to conceal the true origins of "Western" civilization and religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam, to be specific): India.

Abraham and Sarai and Hagar, progenitors of the Hebrew tradition through Sarai, and of the Arab peoples and later Islam through Hagar, were preceded in India by Brahma and his consort Saraswati and Ghaggar (a tributary to the Saraswati river once thought merely mythical by western scholars). According to the Torah, Abraham and his tribe came from Ur of the Chaldese, an area that was unquestionably the site of much activity by Brahmin priests.

Jeshua ben Joseph, who posthumously became known as "Jesus Christ" was preceded historically by Krishna. Krishna's followers are Gopis, his ten-thousand milkmaid lovers. Christ's followers are called the "Bride of Christ," an obvious analogy to "lovers." Stories of Krishna having been crucified upon a tree and rising from the dead purportedly predate Jeshua ben Joseph's time on the cross and purported resurrection (though I have yet to fully research this one).

Several of the primary tenets of Islam are directly analogous to the third person of the Hindu Trimurti (trinity) of Brahma, Vishnu (Krishna), and Siva. Siva wears a crescent moon in his hair. Islam has become represented by the crescent moon. The primary confession of Islam is one of the "kalimas." Kalima is the wrathful form of Siva's co-equal consort. Ummah, or "community" is among the primary tenets of Islam. Uma is the most motherly form of Siva's consort. The Kaaba, once a center of Hindu devotion, still contains a Siva Linga (phallic stone). And I recently discovered that "Allah" is a name applied to Durga, another form of Devi (goddess) that is Siva's consort, yet again predating Islam.

These versions of the divine in the Hindu Trimurti predate all three of these major and contentious world religions whose origin is supposedly in "the West." The Trimurti represents these three aspect of God (Creator, Maintainer, and Destroyer), as three faces on one head. Perhaps if scholarship and the general constituencies of the rather troublesome trio of Western religions were to recognize their various representations of God as but three faces of One Divinity, facets of a balanced understanding of that which is beyond mortal which predates and presages or emanates their own various versions, they might learn to get along, and to be humble in their presumptions of inventing civilization.

Also of note is that the Aryan invasion theory, i.e., that the dark-skinned peoples of India must have been invaded by blond-haired blue-eyed people from the north in order to have developed such a sophisticated civilization, has been largely disproven by recent evidences. Such racist notions from "Orientalist" scholarship, as well as suppression of the clear origins of the three aforementioned "Abrahamic" religions in India seems to convey that in their insecurities, scholars and theologians and historians of the "Western" world have been either systematically hiding something, or have been blind to the obvious. I recently came across a source which tells that one particularly noted Orientalist who lived towards the end of the nineteenth century, Max Muller (touted as the "father of comparative religion"), stated in a letter to his wife that he intentionally gave a late dating to the sacred texts of India and to the dates of Indian civilization in general, as he realized a threat to the underlying myths of Western civilization were he to tell the truth.

I wish to make these things known not to shame the heritage of Europe and America and the Middle East, nor the three religions of the "Western Tradition," from which have sprung much compassionate action and many good works in spite of sometimes violent interactions and whatever injustices sometimes fomented. Rather I would wish to inspire truly free inquiries and criticisms of traditions that, while noble on some fronts, indeed have been hiding no small degree of dishonest scholarship and lies maintained to prop up religious dogma and civic myths. It is my hope not to thus promote some other set of myths to replace these debunked, but to inspire a fearless examination of the past in order to learn how to live better in the present, and to dispense with false mythological constructs that unnecessarily divide peoples, East and West and North and South. Critical introspection and honest assessments of our origins and our common and unique heritages alike might help usher in an era of understanding and healing. This is my reason and want to rock the boat.

ॐ the sacred AUM (the usual English scrpt phonetic spelling, though missing some of the substance of said sound), is the direct source of the mispronounced and derivative "Amen" of the Hebrew and Christian traditions, and somewhat more accurately pronounced "amin" of the Islamic tradition--though I ought to note, even most of the "Hindu" kirtan (call and response chant) leaders I have heard mispronounce ॐ . . .

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Communique

Here goes my first endeavor at this medium, endeavored partially to vent my fury regarding the state of things in this insane world, partially to make myself more available to people I have known and loved over the years, and partially because the words I write might just make a difference, however slight, in the lives of any who happens to read this one of so many millions of like pages of rants published as "blogs."

Regarding the content I intend to print in this medium, well, everything from personal narratives to politics, religion to science, counterculture musings to mainstream criticism. I have lived an interesting life thus far, and though perhaps not so well travelled as many, have encountered some truly amazing places and peoples, ideas and inside information on the underbelly of this land and the subtle workings of life.

I've been a Baptist preacher and a sadhu, a wandering hippie and a working man, and I have only just begun to explore and experience the wonders of this world. Hopefully those insights and experiences I intend to share in these entries will offer inspiration, hope, and cause whoever happens to peruse these pages to question what ought to be questioned and to have strengthened faith in what is solid and true and good in this beautiful and crazy world.

Enough for now . . .

Namaste