Punctuated Equilibrium and Political Evolution

My interlocutor demands that we pick the best dinosaur. But the asteroid has already hit, and the age of mammals is at hand. Read more

Blessing Computers? Why Not?

Some corners of the net are getting a lot of incredulous chuckles about a photo of a Russian Orthodox priest blessing computers in the wake of the recent ransomware attacks. Our Patheos neighbor Hemant Mehta at “The Friendly Atheist”, is one those getting a lot of shares of it. (Though he’s unfortunately promoting the “Russia hacked our elections!!1!” paranoid conspiracy theory in the process.) Regular readers of TZP know that I hold no truck with state endorsement of religion, and… Read more

Kyoto Bonus: Daruma-dera Visit

The figurines symbolize a proverb: if you fall down seven times, get up eight times. Apparently a prior abbot of the temple found this to be the heart of practice, and so started the collection. They range in size from one that comes up to my chest, to ones you can hold in one hand. Read more

Even In Japan, Things Change

Everything needs a little renovation now and again, even the human heart. Read more

Kyoto’s Ancestors Are Watching; Deities In Commerce

It was as if the ancestral spirits were watching out over the city. I don’t have the planners handy to ask them, of course, but I would guess that’s a deliberate ritual placement. Read more

Seven Lucky Gods And The Spiritual Function Of Travel

And it reminds me of one of the spiritual functions of travel: to shake up our neurological imprints. I have heard that in ancient China Taoist masters would hang out in inns, looking for travellers whose minds had been a little unsettled, and slip a little transcendental wisdom into their cracked-open minds. Read more

Punching At The Shrine, Partying At The Temple

It demonstrates the way these two different paths fit together here. Religion is not seen as an either-or choice. Read more

Back In Japan

And so I’ll get a little time in here with both Shinto and Buddhist deities. Read more

Omedeto Rainbow (52 Make-up Week 17)

A rule for art: if you don’t have technique, have a fresh and creative approach. Read more

“Riddle Under Foot” (Poem, 52 Make-up Week 16)

They scatter me and then cut me down but I rise again Read more

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