Monday, April 09, 2007

Food for thought...

While Christianity and Islam tend to behave like cancers: propagating mainly by violence and destruction of their living environment, Buddhism and Hinduism tend to behave like AIDS: propagating by love and destroying their own defense mechanisms.

Yet all are lethal diseases.


Uma said...

the word love is often misused and misunderstood! thanks for making this blog as an good example for that!

joune said...

i don't think it's misused.. it could be misused if there was one proper use for it, but love is a word that has a different meaning for everyone who uses it and for every moment it is used.. and even a different one for the person it is said to! the end it doesn't really have a meaning anymore.

jasen said...

joune... now a deconstructionist...hmmm?

is artistic creation an act of love (whatever that now means)?

joune said...

"deconstructionist"? i'm not sure it should be generalized like this but my opinion of religions is nothing particularly new..

as for art being an act of love... mmmh.. sure! art is just as loosely defined as love is; i'm sure we could find matching definitions! ;-)

Uma said...

Yeah! you are right, just by what you wrote about the usage of ‘love’, you should be able to understand ‘how big’ it is, again people perceive it in their own way as in “the blind man and the elephant”
There is nothing wrong in not believing in something, or nothing wrong in perceiving something incompletely (again like the blind man) but just defining or justifying with this incomplete perception is just as a result of fear! People are frightened of ‘love’ and religion. Modern day’s people only believe only in facts, but it needs wisdom to put the facts together and perceive love and religion, when any one of our senses stop working suddenly (say if we stop seeing when we are trying to cross the street), we are end up in sudden panic and fear! It’s the same fear,(the failure of sixth sense) which makes people to jump into conclusions which is as dangerous as people fighting in the name of ‘love and religion’.

We should come out of this fear, the fear of ourselves, the fear of incompleteness in us , start accumulating the facts about love and religion, the day we feel bliss, just by hearing the word of love and the day we feel unfortunate to affiliate ourselves just to one religion, we can understand that we started perceiving love and religion. It’s a long process!

Sorry for a long lecture! Since the blog title is food for thought! I guess I can take the liberty to post this comment! Just some more healthy food for thought! Remember McDonalds is not the only place on earth, which server food, and please don’t define food with what you ate in a ‘fast foods’ shop!

joune said...

i love it when people begin with "you are right" to mean that "you are wrong".. good job on diplomacy Uma ;-)

at least the good thing about "McDonald philosophy" is that it leaves plenty of room for debates.. which is actually the whole point for it!

now, to answer you; you are right, (meaning that you are right! i am more basic!): i am indeed afraid of both love and religion! the first one probably because i don't understand it, the second one because i believe i do! the way.. the elephant link doesn't work..

Uma said...

Hey! I meant you are right! Meaning “you are right” in saying

“but love is a word that has a different meaning for everyone who uses it and for every moment it is used.. and even a different one for the person it is said to!”

your observation on love is right, but the conclusion is not! When a blind man says that the stomach of elephant is like a wall, he is right in saying that, but puting a “full stop” to that statement is not right! Or considering that as the ultimate truth about elephant is not correct! That’s just a fraction of it and there are lots more to be discovered before coming to a conclusion!

Even the people who fight in the name of religion think that they have understood religion! As I said before, the day people want to be a part of ‘all the religions’ in the world, then they understood the religion,

Here is the elephant link

joune said...

i have to agree with the elephant (whose wisdom is not to be denied!) but i'm not sure i get the jump to religions...

Faith is one thing and it is just as personally defined as love is.. but religions are nothing but political parties and their goal is to organize the society according to their views -only they try to sell you their ideas in the holy name of God!
Because of this, people tend to mix up the two concepts when actually they have nothing in common.. faith in the context of religion is only a tool for manipulation..

Embrassing all the religions at once would be like voting for all the candidates at once! But they all have their own program.. you can't be liberal, national front and communist all at once!

Uma said...

when you have time, check out these interviews, it 'may' give you a little different perspective of religion

jasen said...

the deconstructionist remark refered to your statement about the word love not having a meaning anymore...

may i offer up this thought... every 'thing' or idea has three names.

1. the personal name you give some thing. i can call it art and you can laugh at me all day and think i am crazy for calling it art. this is the personal and subjective name.
2. the cultural or collective name we share for some thing. such as a chair, there are many examples of a chair that we can both agree on.
3. the thing's true name. this is a thing's true form outside of our collective names for it. plato's concept of form and idea is similar to this... we can all agree to call it a chair or art, but this does not change a thing's true name.

so our words we use for dialogue live in and between these three names or regions...

is it possible that catholic, prodestant, hindu, buddist, jewish, etc. are all part of the second region? if so, they may in fact all share the same name from the third region... the true name (whatever that is).

i do not think we need to vote for all the candidates, just pick one, dig deep and you will discover the true name...

When you share a photograph with us, do we see in it the same thing you see?

Uma said...

Hey nice definition, Can we call this as Metaphysics?

When we just dig one deeper, that may make us to stick to the one which we are exploring and condemn the other? (Based on their superficial differences)

But when we dig each one deeper, (without voting for one) we can see the deep common the goodness in all. This will make us to accept all equally without trying to affiliate us one and not try to limit to one just because we acquired it by birth…..

Am I right? Or I just understood your explanation wrongly?

joune said...

Thanks Jasen.. that's a nice one :)

yet -it's my nature!- i'll give my understanding of it..

to me, it sounds a bit too much like what a preacher would say.. and it uses two common preachers techniques to get us confused!

first, it uses the terrible god/faith/religion mix that is religion's principal trick: if you had been talking about the concept of "god" i would have agreed with you, but to transfer the reasoning to religions is what i call religious manipulation..

second, it puts the blame on the audience that if you can't see it yet, it's because you haven't been digging deep enough.. i don't quite buy the "we can't explain it to you, you have to find it for yourself".. it's not so much that the church cannot explain, it's more that it doesn't want you to understand: you must believe!

another common philosophical trick is to say that one cannot deny the existence of god because the mere fact that we're speaking of it make it exist!.. but in saying this, god becomes a concept, an idea that we talk about, and looses it's religious meaning (and then i do agree!)

..on your third region, something bugs me as well.. as i understand it, it represents the "true self" of something, outside of any definition we may give it; what it is intrinsically.. but to call it the "true name".. a "name" is to me related to communication between people and as such can only be applied to the first 2 regions.. the 3rd region is by definition beyond communication., when are you guys coming to paris so we talk of all this?! ;)

jasen said...

thanks for the comments. it is difficult to have this type of dialogue over a computer, but it is fun trying... the two paragraphs on religion are some what generic, i just used religion as an example to illustrate what i meant by the three names or regions.

i should clarify part of it... if one is going to "participate" in a religion, i think you can only pick one. now this does not mean you agree with the full doctrine and always follow the party line... many of today's dessenters are tomorrow's saints. i do think it is equally important to study other religions, other than one's own (the irony here is that i personally have no religion, so i should not even be suggesting these things). this, i think occurs on a more objective level, and while many great things are learned from the objective viewpoint, it suffers from a lack of subjective participation.

I agree with your comment on the third region... it is ultimately beyond communication. It resides in a world beyond the horizon of human reasoning and knowledge. But many great poets (and photographers) have brought us very close at times (tarkovski may have actually stepped over to the other side). Some consider it "all", some consider it "nothing"... it definitly is meta from where i stand.

And also, if it is ultimately beyond communication, then i can not explain it to you, (so you will have to find it yourself)which you argue is one of your reasons for distrust of religion.

regarding paris, we are considering visting europe this summer... i know you just took a long vacation, but do you have any more planned? if we make it to europe, we are going to visit paris.

joune said...

the more pointless these discussions the more i enjoy them! (i really am my father's son!)
true, it's not easy to discuss this over a computer, for it's not easy to discuss it anywhere, but it's even harder in "real life".. how often do you take the time to do so? especially with friends thousands of miles away!
i'm glad this blog gives us an opportunity to share pointless thoughts!..! the "intrinsic nature of things" in region 3 is beyond communication and as such you cannot explain it to me.. true: neither you nor anyone.. at most you can think you understood it (have your own idea of it), in which case it falls back to region 1, or even collectively agree with your peers on a "common definition" (although how truly common is the understanding?), and make it part of region 2..
the danger comes when the community decides that this common definition/understanding is THE ultimate truth and try to force it on others.. what is beyond explanation is also beyond judgment.. how do they know what you have understood or not? (neither do they care in fact; they only want you to assert that you believe in their views)
belief is a very dangerous concept, for behind the noble facade religious people have given it for years, it simply delegates your thoughts to someone else's..
and the very trick is this: in the name of making you believe that you suddenly understand THE "true nature of god", religious people sell you a social structure with its rules and codes to follow, and in doing so they become no more than politicians in disguise.. when you embrace a religion, by birth, marriage, or even by choice, you are confronted not so much with a new understanding of the divine nature but with a set of social constructs, and that's ultimately what you follow (even partially if you choose to be not too strict about it).. but where's the link with the spiritual?? it's lost at this point; it was only the hook which served to capture your mind..

many people despise "Da Vinci Code" for being a "fiction that plays with reality"... when the whole point of it is to be a fiction, or rather another version of THE fiction that religious people have held for absolute truth for 2000 years... (the idea is not even the author's, his contribution was merely to take it out of some university drawer and bring it to the world)

also as you rightly said, art is in the eye of the viewer.. several people will perceive it differently depending on their cultural backgrounds or their mood, and one perception may not be more true than another.. and this is true for everything; the true/intrinsic nature of things interact with us to shape our perception of them while we cannot influence it.. the strength of art is often its ability to reveal your own emotions in a way you wouldn't have thought of, and show them to you from an external point of view.. that's usually when you are moved by a work.. but this comes from the interaction of the work and yourself, not the work alone..
and as you put it, even the artist may have his own perception of his work different from that of the spectator.. if i am the author of a photograph, does it give me the right to dictate what you should see in it?.... ultimately, even if there is a god and he is the creator of all things, does it mean he should dictate the way we perceive him, or his creation?

by the way, i'm sure everyone had already guessed you weren't religious yourself since you cannot possibly have this type of discussion with religious people! (and trust that i've tried!).. it always ends up in "but that's THE TRUTH! what are you debating anyways?!". and the discussion is cut short.

(..incidentally, the discussion has totally refocused on "the religions of the book".. the danger i see in "asian religions", as i suggested originally, is extremely different..) regarding paris!.. no worries, i'm here to stay for a while! and i will be delighted to welcome you here! of course you can stay at my place and everything.. so get moving! ;)

Anonymous said...

Uma says Mordern people look for facts and do not understand religion and love, today that is the stand of religious leaders, they use scientific facts to explain various concepts in religions. Any religious concept with scientific explanation is never disputed anymore :).

JM said...

Salut maître du Jquery!!!
Ou il est ton fil RSS?

joune said...


bonne lecture :)

Ed Viswanathan said...

joune. Very interesting blog.

You wrote: Buddhism and Hinduism tend to behave like AIDS: propagating by love and destroying their own defense mechanisms. “….

hmmm ..Can you elaborate that.

I am of the opinion that Hinduism and Buddhism [which came from Hinduism] have no defense mechanisms since they are CULTURES and they never expect to defend anything.

Since even an atheist can proudly proclaim, he or she is a Hindu, almost anything and everything is welcomed in Hinduism.

Satyameva Jayate. Truth Alone Triumphs and NOT falsehood.

So if something they preach is UNTRUTH, then that will not withstand the test of time.

That is basis of all Hindu & Buddhist beliefs.

joune said...

Ed.. thanks for joining in :)

i agree, Buddhism comes from Hinduism and neither was meant to be a doctrine, and i also agree with the fact that everything and anything is (or should be) welcomed in Hinduism (despite what some Hindu nationalists have tried in the recent years: unfortunately, in the facts, Indian politicians have been turning Hinduism more and more into some kind of intolerant morale police)..

now my sentence was a bit of a shortcut.. i meant that these cultures tend to annihilate the defense mechanism of their adepts (if that's making any more sense)

as the Dalai Lama acknowledges himself, Tibet was easily invaded by China because Tibetans always lived in autarky, cut from the rest of the world and willingly ignorant of scientific progress or political context.. and that because of their culture..

now of course it should be blamed on the evil Chinese.. but when you're sick, should you blame it on the microbes or on the fact that you didn't take good care of your health?

Indians have faced the same issues for hundreds of years with the Moghol invaders and later with the British... and even today, with economical weapons replacing the old swords and canon balls..

no matter how open they're willing to be, these religions still lock the mentalities 5000 years back

Ed Viswanathan said...

OK, now I got it.

"Showing the other cheek” is a concept originated in Jainism and Buddhism and that is not a Hindu concept at all.

True that Hindu scriptures state “Ahimsa Paramo Dharma.” Meaning “Non-violence is the highest virtue.” But the next line reads “ Dharma himsa tathaiva cha.” "So too is all righteous violence."

Non - violence is the best virtue to be followed by man; but scripture also tells us that certain dire moments in the life of individuals, as of nations, when we will have to meet force with force in order that justice is done.

The whole idea of doing nothing to defend Hindu culture is NOT Hinduism at all. Apathy on the part of Hindus is deplorable.

If INACTION and NON-VIOLENCE are the cardinal virtues of Hinduism, there would not have been any Mahabharata war.

After listening to Lord Krishna [18 chapters and 700 verses] Arjuna did not run away from battlefield.

Instead he fought a fierce war and killed all his enemies.

I am not advocatiing viloence, but to defend the culture in a peaceful manner.

Hindus have to wake up and smell the coffee. They have to stand up and defend their culture. Every Hindu is a cultural ambassador of Hinduism. They cannot run away from their duties.