Quote for the Day

I’m not concerned about the many years of my nonexistence before birth. Why then should I be concerned about the many years of my nonexistence that will follow death?
– Adam Frank, “What If Heaven Is Not For Real?“  (Hat Tip – The Dish by Andrew Sullivan)

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Internal Self Affirmation

David Brooks had an interesting column in Friday's New York Times. He calls it the Agency Moment:

"the moment when she (Mary Ann Evans; pen name George Eliot) stopped being blown about by her voids and weaknesses and began to live according to her own inner criteria, gradually developing a passionate and steady capacity to initiate action and drive her own life…

Agency is not automatic. It has to be given birth to, with pushing and effort. It’s not just the confidence and drive […]

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Quote for the Day

A touch of the Bhagavad Gita in Alexander Solzhenitsyn's writings:

“What about the main thing in life, all its riddles? If you want, I’ll spell it out for you right now. Do not pursue what is illusionary — property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade, and is confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life — don’t be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn for happiness; it […]

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Is Spirituality a Luxury?

From the Hazlitt blog:

It’s tempting to see an association between yoga and the rich, both in the West and in the East, as proof of the modern corruption of an old tradition. But it’s worth asking why we are surprised that yoga culture should be attractive to the wealthy. Asceticism largely appeals to people only when they have a choice. The Buddha was a prince, and early followers of his ascetic lifestyle were equally well-heeled. In Christian and Jewish culture […]

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What is Self?

When we refer to ourself as I, who do we mean.  Abrahamic religions call it the soul which is distinct from God. The aim of the soul is to enter heaven to be with God.  Hinduism calls it as the Atman which according to Advaita philosophy is not separate i.e. it is intertwined with God and that it is our ignorance that masks this truth. Enlightenment will enable us to see past this Maya and realize The Truth. Well here […]

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Religion & Violence

Here are some interesting excerpts from a fascinating article in The Mahablog by Barbara O'Brien:

Many of the supposed evils of religion — a propensity to violence and dogmatic faithfulness to irrational beliefs — can be found in many kinds of movements, both religious and not religious. And I propose that violent movements of all sorts have two things in common — a “holy” cause combined with a fanatical grievance.

The holy cause does not have to be religious; patriotism will do […]

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Industrialization comes to Religious Prasad

From The Hindu

For a faster manufacturing of the saccharine laddu balls and transportation of the same to the selling counters situated outside the main temple complex at the famous hill temple of Lord Venkateswara the management on Saturday pressed into use an additional laddu-boondi conveyor belt at its laddu manufacturing hall…..To encounter any eventuality arising out of the dysfunction of the second conveyor system and at the same time to ensure an uninterrupted supply of boondi to its kitchen for […]

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Americans’ Perceptions of Various Religions

Of all the religions, Americans have the most positive perception of the Jewish Faith. This is a pleasant surprise, considering rampant anti-Semitism in most of middle east and western world through the centuries. The following table has been reproduced from The Atlantic:

Religious Groups' Attitudes Towards One Another

Pew Research Center

However, this too has to be taken with a pinch of salt.  Even the most favorable perception rates only 63%, when considering […]

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