Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Mother’s hand

[“How Do You Like Baroda City?” by doctorzamalek January 26, 2011
That was the question a young boy asked me at the wedding. My answer three days later is still the same: I like it very well.
One thing about traveling in India is that since reasonably good hotels can be had for reasonable prices, one often holes up in them for weeks at a time (only 9 days this time, but often I’ve done much longer in one hotel). And after a few weeks in a hotel, not only does the room start feeling like home, but at the very least you start forming smile-and-wave relationships with dozens of people who work at or frequent places you frequent yourself. I tend to be a creature of habit with my food and drink orders anywhere, and so I’m not even needing to place orders in Baroda anymore; it’s a quick nod as soon as I enter the door, and they just go ahead and prepare what they know I’m going to want anyway. And the cafĂ© workers down the street, in particular, are almost my friends at this point. I’ll be sorry to leave all these people behind.
Back to Bombay tomorrow to wind this trip down and head back into a possible political hurricane in Cairo, just as the semester starts (next week) and as we inaugurate our new President (February 7).]

Graham Harman was touring Vadodara when the Egyptian Revolution erupted. There is nothing to remotely suspect The Mother’s hand, but still! [TNM] 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Savitri Era Religion offers a complex and rich environment

Among the visitors to spiritual organizations like Sri Aurobindo Ashram are some dead serious, sincere and intense young people who claim to be on the spiritual path but seem to be on the verge of losing their mental balance, if they have not lost it already. The question naturally arises what makes something as laudable as the spiritual path a risky road to walk on. The risk lies in a faulty approach to spirituality. Young people who become miserable as a result of their engagement with spirituality invariably treat spirituality as yet another worldly achievement. They go about searching for techniques that would take them to the peak by the easiest, shortest and fastest route. They treat spirituality like mountaineering… Unless they correct the fatal flaw in their approach to spirituality, they end up on the psychiatrist’s couch.] 

FLAGSTAFF, AZ—Three months after setting off down a long spiritual path to find himself, 38-year-old Corey Larson arrived at the conclusion Tuesday that he does not care. "I spent many long hours meditating, studying the works of great thinkers and spiritual leaders, and delving deep within myself for some kind of answer, and then it hit me: I couldn't care less," Larson said of his soul-searching journey. "Fuck it. Fuck it all." Larson briefly considered writing a self-help book to make the journey easier for others, but decided that he also didn't give two shits about whether other people arrived at the same conclusion he did.]

Fortunately, Savitri Era Religion offers a much more complex and rich environment for fostering life’s thousand longings without pinning the spiritual tag. The so called spiritual journey doesn’t begin midway in life but is a continuous quest from life to life. So, no failures or losers here; each one’s unique trajectory is firmly on course. Charaiveti, charaiveti! [TNM]