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Showing posts from March, 2015

WHY IS THERE SO MUCH RELIGIOUS TURMOIL IN THE WORLD TODAY?

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MY TAKE: PART TWO


Personally, I have no fantastic suggestions on how to counter the scourge of terrorism that seems immutable and ever increasing.I do think that understanding and reason would help to change the discussion of “what to do” away from some epic Crusades-style war between the Muslim and Christian worlds.There are, of late, more keening discussions, like mine, than there were five years ago but the “epic battle” meme is still the one that largely informs our discussions, not only in America but pretty much across the Western world.As the default dominant world power, our own national discussions don’t lend themselves to rationality or reason so it’s hard to imagine what the US can do to resolve this situation, if, indeed, it can.We seem to be lost in a freeze-frame of frustration and immobility towards tackling the larger issues associated with the growth of terrorism – poverty, disenfranchisement, repression - the issues that drone strikes and intelligence monitoring cann…

WHY IS THERE SO MUCH RELIGIOUS TURMOIL IN THE WORLD TODAY?

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MY TAKE: PART ONE

I’m certainly no expert when it comes to Islam or Muslim culture.My one claim to any such knowledge, I suppose, is my good fortune of having a few Muslim friends and having worked with a goodly number of Muslims both in America and overseas.Other than this, I can’t say that I’ve ever studied Islam except for the Islam volume of a series of books I read about the world’s major religions sometime in my hoary past. I have read parts of the Koran.In essence, I have no education or leaning about all things Muslim and Middle Eastern.
Yesterday’s slaughter in Sanaa, last weeks attacks in Tunis, the Paris killings, 9-11 – if you weren’t careful one could easily believe that the planet was in some sort of death throes with Armageddon just around the corner or co-terminus with tomorrow’s sunrise.Libya, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, ISIL - it all seems so out of control, so threatening.Not without reason, perhaps. Attempting to put what’s happening in some context seems nearly impossible…

YES, VIRGINIA, THE ANCIENT GREEKS REALLY DID DISCOVER THAT THE EARTH ISN’T FLAT

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SCIENCE AND CARL SAGAN’S “COSMOS”


Just finished reading Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos.”We have, here in Good Karma Homestay, a small library consisting mainly of Tom Clancy and Michael Creighton novels, several Krishnamurti biographies, a couple of ayurvedic cookbooks and a host of spiritual tomes, the last being the largest category by far.Searching for something to read the other day, I spotted Sagan’s book, a paperback at over 300 pages, and immediately waxed nostalgic recalling the excitement and awe I felt exploring the cosmos with Sagan through his PBS television series of the same name.The wonder of the beautiful colors and shapes of the galaxies, the awe of the vast distances between stars, the gorgeous nebulae of expanding universes, the mind blowing re-discovery of the science of the ancients: the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Mayans and the Ottomans and how much the ancients knew about the stars, the planets and the universe with not a Hubble Telescope in sight.
But what impres…