The Four Warrior Practices for Achieving: Anytime, Anywhere

We’re all human. So why can some face down even the most terrifying situations, overcoming overwhelming odds, and achieving what so many others others might believe impossible? Reading the classical commentaries on the martial arts, listening to contemporary masters, and hearing how contemporary elite military units tackle situations, tells us that there are less than […]

Punk, Feminism, and the anarchist Femme Fatale

sexy punk girls

Young women did much to shape the Punk movement of the late 1970s, even if they often overlooked or relegated to the role of girlfriend and groupie (think “Sid and Nancy”). Along with Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood was perhaps the first designer of Punk clothing. Siouxsie Sioux was one of the more famous, and early, Punk […]

Adversity, and its Importance

Ferdinand Hodler, The Day (detail).

Friederich Nietzsche tells us that “whatever does not kill us makes us stronger.” It’s a bold statement. Yet, though today the culture often seems to reward those who wallow in self-pity (not least of all through litigation for emotional upsets and “offense”), adversity has played a crucial part in the spiritual, intellectual, and creative development […]

A “Topless Burka-Clad Model” and Radical Islamic Fashion

“The art of apparel is made all the more important in Islamic countries by the absence of any human image,” wrote Titus Burkhardt (1908-1984), a scholar of, and convert to, Islam. “It is,” he said, “the art of clothing that in a way conveys the Muslim’s ideal image of himself as a Muslim.” Perhaps this […]

Profane Sacredness: Spirituality, Sexuality and Violence in Art

Can sacred art be ugly? Can it seem even to be against the sacred? There are a couple of contemporary manifestation of religion and imagery that might cause us to ask these questions. In India, today, poster images of Hindu goddesses Saraswati, Durga and Lakshmi have begun being displayed in public as part of the “Save […]

Authoritarian Personality: Power and Subversion in Popular Culture

Duran Duran: The Chauffeur.

Moral superiority is the preferred pose of those lacking knowledge and understanding, it seems. And today, in our neo-Victorian era, morality is all the rage. Facts, thin on the ground, are swept under the rug with the suggestion that the speaker — whether pundit, politician, or popular entertainer — is morally offended. Yet, throughout the […]

The Spiritual Warrior and the Dharma Way

According to the Bhagavad Gita, it is on the battlefield that Krishna (Lord of the Universe) teaches the eternal truth (Sanatana Dharma), and reveals his omnipotent form, to his disciple Arjuna. Again, we are told that Krishna his brother Balarama defeated the powerful wrestlers sent, by King Kamsa of Mathura, to kill them. Early stories about the Buddha […]

My Path to Sanatana Dharma: Angel Millar

“All men dream,” said T. E. Lawrence, “but not equally.” Artistic, introspective and questioning, even as a child it was clear to those around me that I was, in Lawrence’s terminology, a “dreamer of the day.” I disliked what I regarded as the shallow materialism and trivial ways people interacted in the West. But above […]

Sacrifices, priestesses, and the roots of modern sport

“What is remarkable about [ancient] Greek sport,” says David Sansone in Greek Athletics and the Genesis of Sport, “is the seriousness with which it was taken as a  cultural and even religious phenomenon.” “Sport is, no less than burnt offerings and libations, a form of ritual sacrifice.” Though spotlighted almost exclusively in entertainment — and rarely […]