A former Hindu goddess of fortune (health, beauty, wealth), Lakshmi is a Censor at Teotihuacan these days. Her materialistic ideals has made her a favorite of mortals and her idealistic tendencies has made her a favorite of immortals – both Daevas and demons. Lakshmi was the consort of Vishnu in all his incarnations. Fortuna and Tyche were her avatars in rival pantheons, but she is neither an implacable force of nature nor a whimsical mistress. Continue reading Lakshmi

Do people deserve the government they have?

This is a controversial question, and affirmed by Niccolo Machiavelli, Thomas Jefferson, Plato, and many, many others. The current state of the American government is doubly damning because people do get the government they deserve. Because not everyone is alike, there are people who want to rule and there are others who prefer to be ruled. And the latter – a majority – want someone else to rule, do the work, so they can focus their energies on other pursuits. Continue reading Do people deserve the government they have?

Praising Prostitutes

Prostitute in Paris by Adrian Borda

I think prostitution is a private business transaction, and should not be considered in other terms. The prostitute (male or female) is free to enter into contracts. The claim that it is merely an exploitative service where the client is interested only in the prostitute’s services, not them personally is tantamount to the claim that the client seeks only the services of a professional (lawyer, doctor, professor) and not them personally. The prostitute is not a victim, nor a wage laborer – the contract is with a client, not an employer. Continue reading Praising Prostitutes

War? What is it good for?

Apotheosis of War 1871 by Vasily Vereschagin

I’m currently working on a story that focuses on the politics of war in a hyperliberal society where its members are expected to promote democratic values (be fair to all, fit in, cooperate). Whoever doesn’t conform (acts out, be combative and aggro) loses popularity points and is scorned/scapegoated. This society reinforces its values (harmony, cooperation) through overt and covert means (performances, entertainment, the appearances of the esteemed and respected) but in doing so it hides the reality of constant strife, conflict, and increasing competition in politics and art. Continue reading War? What is it good for?

Death is the road to awe. A movie review of The Fountain

The Fountain of Youth in The Fountain

So far, I’ve heard people call this movie “dull,” “pretentious,” “too cerebral,” and “too slow.” Critics said the same thing about 2001, and nowadays it’s one of the 5 greatest scifi films ever. Possibly the most ambitious film released this decade, if not ever, The Fountain is a multi-layered love story wrapped around a science fiction-slash-fantasy riddle told with three different timelines. The director Darren Aronofsky has pulled it off again in his follow up to his first two fine films, Pi and Requiem For A Dream. Continue reading Death is the road to awe. A movie review of The Fountain

Gone fishing…

Dear folks, everybody’s favorite heretic will be taking a leave of absence for the next 3 weeks. Do not fear, for i have packed thick books with me (Essence of Christianity, The Ego and Its Own, World as Will and Representation, and Quicksilver) for amusement if my relatives fail to meet standards. Once i return i plan to start a study on Heidegger’s Being and Time. Have a great summer!

Is Hinduism self-contradictory?

Hindu gods & goddesses, by Awet Moges
Hindu gods & goddesses, by Awet Moges

This blog is an attempt at dialectical thinking with respect to Hinduism.

If Hinduism relies on the thesis that all sensory experiences are illusory, why doesn’t this affect the experience of “enlightenment,” where the realization that experiences are merely illusory? At least one experience should not be an illusion in order to determine that all other experiences are illusory.

The polemic forces the Hindu on either horns of a dilemma. Either the thesis of illusion is false or enlightenment is impossible – or the Hindu can admit that he is inconsistent. The only way to defeat the argument is to admit that the experience of enlightenment is itself not an experience. Regrettably that defeater is little more than ‘moving the goalposts…’ Of course the Hindu may assert that the only way is to “experience” it yourself. Then my experience is not necessarily illusory.

If all my experience are illusory then I cannot look forward to experiencing enlightenment on my own to determine that my experiences are illusory. By the by, dialectic operates on either/or reasoning, while other methods work differently (dialogic involves Both/And).