Is Hinduism Rational? (Part II)

“Subration is the mental process whereby one disvalues some previously appraised object or content of consciousness because of its being contradicted by a new experience. […] From the standpoint of the subject, to subrate means to undergo an experience — practical, intellectual, or spiritual — which radically changes one’s judgment about something. An object or […]

Is Hinduism Rational? (Part I)

I am well accustomed to being the only religious person in the room. My social circle is fairly diverse, but the friends that I have known the longest and with whom I have been the closest have largely been atheists (some more militant about it than others). Even with the more extreme among them, I […]

The Gods, Atomism, and Ancient Greece: A Humanist’s View

The didactic poem On the Nature of Things by the Latin poet Titus Lucretius Carus (99 – 55 BC), the longest, most detailed exposition of the ancient doctrine of Epicureanism and one of the most widely read and influential texts of the first two centuries AD, went out of circulation in the Middle Ages only […]

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 […]

Richard Wagner: Revolution, and the Re-Founding of Humanity

Richard Wagner: Revolutionary.

Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883) intended his mid-Nineteenth Century innovation of Music Drama to instigate a thorough renewal, not simply of art, but rather of the human situation, as writ large, in society and culture; he foresaw in the late 1840s that his work would require a theoretical basis in metaphysics, aesthetics, and ethics.  As […]

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 […]

Ramakrishna: Did he Really Practice Other religions?

Ramakrishna Coexist

The central argument of the RK Mission for its non-Hindu character was that, unlike Hinduism, it upheld the ‘equal truth of all religions’ and the ‘equal respect for all religions’. The latter slogan was popularized by Mahatma Gandhi as sarva-dharma-samabhâva, a formula officially approved and upheld in the BJP’s constitution.n 1983, RK Mission spokesman Swami […]

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 […]