Monism – Your Mileage May Vary

Juneau old growth forest - where I first experienced Otherness.

In my corner of the internet there is some discussion (and some insulting, some deliberately not listening, and some jumping to conclusions) about monism and polytheism. Here are my two cents.Monism is the idea that there is one unifying source. It is NOT the same as monotheism. Monotheism is the idea that there is one god and one god only. Almost all monotheists are monists, but not all monists are monotheists. Can polytheists be monists? Yes, yes they can. How important are such … [Read more...]

Sabotage

That can wait. I totally need more tea.

Even when I haven't moved house and had a baby, even during my most inspired periods, I struggle with sabotage. Why is it that I do the things I know don't make me feel good, that get in the way of the work I want to do? Why do I procrastinate? Especially when I have such little uninterrupted time?I am reminded of a passage from the New Testament, Romans chapter 7:15 "I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing that I hate." The context is about … [Read more...]

An Uncomfortable Education

Sometimes a lingam is just a lingam. [Shivan Lingam from the Kushan period, Government Museum, Mathura, by Biswarup Ganguly, via Creative Commons]

I'm exhausted. School is out and I have an infant and two kids all day, every day. I haven't adjusted yet. I need more structure or the eldest child will be the death of us all. Last week was also my birthday, so there were a few fun birthday gatherings. Last week was also my blog post about Wendy Doniger's controversial alternative history of the Hindus, and with that came all the comments. And those comments were intense. Processing those on top of everything else left me feeling very … [Read more...]

The Hindus: An Alternative History

TheHIndus-Cover

Wendy Doniger's 700 page exploration of Hinduism and the history of the Hindus has been extremely controversial. The Hindus: An Alternative History was  published in 2008, received scathing reviews from Hindus, and was banned for a time in India. This is how I heard of the book to begin with. What could possibly be so scandalous that a country would ban a book of its history? As someone with more than one degree in religious history and a practitioner of Hindu devotions* I wanted to check out … [Read more...]

The Gods Are All Around Us

Larger view of Olympia's Ganesh

Driving down the main drag of Olympia, Ganesh stares out at passing drivers and pedestrians. His bright visage adorns a curry house. He's been there for months. My family almost always cries out 'Jai Ganesh!' as we pass by. Seeing him so publicly makes me smile. My three year old daughter always wants to know why he looks angry. I'm guessing the artist didn't mean to make him look that way; Ganesh is rarely angry! My daughter insists I know the answer, so I have to make something … [Read more...]

Maxim Monday: Speak Plainly

[Attempting a gentle return to blogging, I begin with my series, Maxim Mondays, wherein I ponder one of the Delphic Maxims, in an effort to get through the entirety of them.]I whole-heartedly embrace this Maxim, and I encourage you to do so as well! Let us eschew passive-aggressive vagaries. Let our yeses be yeses, and our no's mean no. Let us mean what we say and say what we mean. Our words have power, for good or for ill. If we mean something less than kind, then just be plain about it. … [Read more...]

The Left Hand Path

My left hand

[I wrote this piece near the beginning of my blog project, when I was devoted to one tradition for a quarter each, and I shifted from practicing all Hinduism all the time to practicing the Feri tradition.*]A discussion of the ‘left hand paths’ is an appropriate segue between the Hindu and Feri traditions. They might appear radically different, but you might be surprised. I was!Like all dualities, the split between left and right hand paths is a bit of a false dichotomy. Each side has ele … [Read more...]


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