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Jihadi, Jedi

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — methinks there’s a disproportion here ]
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SPEC DQ jihadi jedi

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From Hurriyet, yesterday:

After recently slamming the warped theology of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Turkey’s top religious body may have another formidable enemy: The Jedi.

In an article for the latest edition of the Directorate of Religious Affairs’ (Diyanet) monthly magazine, Marmara University Assistant Professor Bilal Yorulmaz has warned of the spreading new “religion” of Jediism – the religion of the Jedi warriors in the Star Wars series.

Oh, and..

buddhist too

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Sources:

  • Daily Mail, The curly-haired, bearded hipster from a wealthy family who has become a sword-wielding ISIS poster boy
  • Hurriyet, Turkey’s top religious body slams ‘Jedi religion’
  • Christ on a Cathedral, Buddha at the Printshop

    Monday, August 17th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — art & tech interfacing with religion ]
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    In today’s news, religious statuary:

    SPEC statues christ buddha

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    To the left:

    Vladivostok ‘to get tallest statue of Jesus Christ in the world’

    In Vladivostok, the monument will be composed of two parts: the statue itself and the pedestal housing a cathedral in honour of Archangel Michael.

    The monument stands 50 metres taller than the world famous ‘Christ the Redeemer’ in Rio de Janeiro, and two metres higher than ‘The Christ the King’ in Lisbon.

    I guess that gives it pride (a deadly siubn, no?) of place.

    To the right:

    Japanese temples stop theft by replacing priceless statues with 3D-printed copies

    The abbot of a Buddhist temple in Jiangjin City was concerned about the potential theft of a valuable statue of Amitabha Buddha. After learning about 3D-printing technology, he made a copy of the statue and gave the original to a local museum for safekeeping.

    “There is no way to permanently guard the Buddha statue all of the time,” said the abbot. “Even though this 3D print is just a replica of the original statue, as long as it resides within our temple people can use it as a shrine nonetheless.”

    The image of a 3-D Buddha printing is from the Art Program at Seton Hill University.

    My latest for Lapido: renewing the power of holiness?

    Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — The Dalai Lama and the Pope: two saints, sorta, astride a supposedly secular world ]
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    Pope Francis & Dalai Lama 602
    HH Pope Francis, HH the Dalai Lama. Photos: Jeffrey Bruno, Christopher (CC BY SA 2.0)

    My latest post for LapidoMedia is titled The Dalai Lama and the Pope: renewing the power of holiness. It begins:

    TWO figures of undoubted moral stature now dominate world affairs. Each of them is a religious leader. Each is known by the title His Holiness, but seems to wear the title lightly.

    For neither of them is virtue a lost ideal, neither is morality a private matter.

    Each preaches compassion, consideration for the poor, spirituality above materialism, and the care of the natural world.

    What do these two men have in common, that distinguishes their voices from those of other office holders and persons of power and influence?

    Certainly, each has been featured in Rolling Stone, which indicates their popular appeal.

    Each one’s office has a long pedigree, and each just might be the last of his kind. Perhaps there’s a clue there.

    It concludes with:

    First contemplation, then action: this is the secret uniting heart, mind and hand which gives these two figures their appeal and stature.

    And the need to join together to combat climate change is one arena in which these two men are in strong agreement.

    The Guardian reports from Glastonbury, ‘The Dalai Lama has endorsed the pope’s radical message on climate change and called on fellow religious leaders to “speak out about current affairs which affect the future of mankind.”’

    The Pope writes, ‘The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development.”

    Where will these two religious figures – moral icons of our age – lead our arrogantly secular world?

    To raead the whole thing, visit the Lapidoedia site.

    Sunday surprise – Dylan and the Bauls

    Sunday, July 19th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — how Buddha came by his Middle Way, among other things & songs ]
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    John Wesley Harding Bauls

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    In a fascinating article titled Dylan tunes like you’ve never heard them – in Hindi and Bengali a few months back, Nate Rabe made the assertion — I only saw it today —

    Bob Dylan, unlike many of his contemporaries, seems to never have been drawn to India. There were no pilgrimages to Rishikesh, no gurus, no lost years by the Ganga and, to date, I’ve not detected any Hindustani musical influence in his music.

    Okay — how about his album covers?

    On the cover of John Wesley Harding (above), Dylan is flanked by “Luxman and Purna Das, two Bengali Bauls” — “South Asian musicians brought to Woodstock by Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman” according to Wikipedia.

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    The Bauls — with their one-stringed instrument, the ektara, and their ecstatic songs of devotion — have been an interest of mine at least since the time that album came out in 1967. It was shortly thereafter that I also ran across the album The Bauls of Bengal issued by Elektra in 1966.

    A writer in the rec.music.dylan newsgroup notes:

    Through their songs, dances, gestures, through silences, through postures and looks, the Bauls tell stories of the earth, of the body, of lovers uniting – subtly revealing the mystery of life and laws of nature. Submission to the divine is their tightrope to wisdom. Most Bauls are wandering mendicants, living on what they are offered by villagers in return for their songs. They sing from the heart on their never ending tours and consecrate their lives to a fusion of music, song and dance as the privileged vehicle for attaining ecstasy.

    Edward C Dimock Jr, author of The Place of the Hidden Moon: Erotic Mysticism in the Vaisnava-Sahajiya Cult of Bengal and co-author with poet Denise Levertov of the “slim volume of poetry”, In Praise of Krishna: Songs from the Bengali, wrote on the liner notes of the Bauls’ album:

    Some people have said that it is possible to characterize the Bauls by a distinctive doctrine. I have never found it possible to do so, for it seems to me that they are first and foremost individuals, and that the term Baul encompasses a wide range of religious opinion, traceable to several Hindu schools of thought, to Sufi Islam, and much that is traceable only to a man’s own view of how he relates to God. All Baul’s hold only this in common: that God is hidden in the heart of man, and neither priest nor prophet, nor the ritual of any organized religion, will help man to find him there.”

    Dimock, as you have guessed, is another long-time favorite author of mine, and I once had the privilege of meeting Denise Levertov, whose poem A Tree Telling of Orpheus I hold to be one of the great poems of the 20th century.

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    There is an album out titled From Another World: A Tribute to Bob Dylan, which includes a rendering of Mr Tambourine Man by one Purna Das Baul

    and Nate Rabe’s piece introduces us, among others, to Susheela Raman, covering Like a Rolling Stone:

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    It was a wandering musician playing an ektara, so I have heard, whom the ultra-ascetic known as Siddhartha Gauama overheard saying or singing:

    If you tighten the string too much it will snap and if you leave it too slack, it won’t play.

    That hint was enough. Siddhartha grasped from those words the essence of the teaching he was to make famous as the Middle Way, set aside his austerities as he had earlier set aside his princely status, and in short order attained enlightenment — becoming Gautama Buddha, one of the great masters of our age.

    h/t 3 Quarks Daily

    Déjà Vu as DoubleQuote

    Thursday, July 9th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — Greek or Turk, austerity or quake — as Buddha might say, it’s dukkha, suffering, no? ]
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    This is not the first time we’ve seen the same image serve dual purposes, but it’s still a neat reminder of the hazards of trusting modern media:

    Deja Vu DQ

    Is the poor man experiencing some sort of variant on Groundhog Day?

    Hat tip: Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat.

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    Sparagmos (see title in larger print, left) is an interesting word, btw. Literary critic Northrop Frye:

    The imagery of cannibalism usually includes, not only images of torture and mutilation, but what is technically known as sparagmos or the tearing apart of the sacrificial body, an image found in the myths of Osiris, Orpheus, and Pentheus.


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