Friday, March 29, 2019

Archbishop Scroop from Henry IV part 2

I've always been interested in the specious reasoning of so-called spiritual people to be violent.

Here is the justification from Archbishop Scroop for warring:

we are all diseas'd
And with our surfeiting and wanton hours
Have brought ourselves into a burning fever,
And we must bleed for it; of which disease
Our late King, Richard, being infected, died.
But, my most noble Lord of Westmoreland,
I take not on me here as a physician;
Nor do I as an enemy to peace
Troop in the throngs of military men;
But rather show awhile like fearful war
To diet rank minds sick of happiness,
And purge th' obstructions which begin to stop
Our very veins of life. Hear me more plainly.
I have in equal balance justly weigh'd
What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer,
And find our griefs heavier than our offences.
We see which way the stream of time doth run
And are enforc'd from our most quiet there
By the rough torrent of occasion;
And have the summary of all our griefs,
When time shall serve, to show in articles;
Which long ere this we offer'd to the King,
And might by no suit gain our audience:
When we are wrong'd, and would unfold our griefs,
We are denied access unto his person,
Even by those men that most have done us wrong.
The dangers of the days but newly gone,
Whose memory is written on the earth
With yet appearing blood, and the examples
Of every minute's instance, present now,
Hath put us in these ill-beseeming arms;
Not to break peace, or any branch of it,
But to establish here a peace indeed,
Concurring both in name and quality.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Buddha and Shakespeare

Not sure if I can swing a narrative for all these links. I've been obsessed with Shakespeare lately and recently explored the antisemitism in Merchant of Venice. So today I just googled Buddha and Shakespeare.

Here is a link about how we create our worlds with our minds, with Hamlet quote.

Wise Attention points out that Shakespeare helps us to imagine different perspectives. They are both heroes of consciousness for him.

This person looked for similarities after being on retreat.

Here is a review of Buddhism, Shakespeare, and deconstruction.

Here is a review of Whacking Buddha: The Mysterious World of Shakespeare and Buddhism, by Mark Lamonica.

There is another book Buddha and Shakespeare. It came out in 2004 and there are no reviews of it on Amazon.

I had thoughts on how to avoid harm after reading Jo Nesbo's Macbeth.

I've also explored the idea of fathers giving away daughters in marriage and the oppression of women.

Shakespeare has replaced my study of the suttas, and Dharma. I don't know if it's possible to have overload but since 2004 I've been reading a lot of Dharma and I wanted to cast a wider net. I read as a Buddhist now.

And yet I still like to hear biographies of Thai Forest Monks.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Article on animal consciousness in the Atlantic

"Apart from Pythagoras and a few others, ancient Western philosophers did not hand down a rich tradition of thinking about animal consciousness. But Eastern thinkers have long been haunted by its implications—especially the Jains, who have taken animal consciousness seriously as a moral matter for nearly 3,000 years." (ROSS ANDERSEN MARCH 2019 ISSUE Atlantic)

"Female trout “fake orgasms,” quivering as though they’re about to lay eggs, perhaps so that undesired males will release their sperm and be on their way. We have high-definition footage of grouper fish teaming up with eels to scare prey out of reefs, the two coordinating their actions with sophisticated head signals. This behavior suggests that fish possess a theory of mind, an ability to speculate about the mental states of other beings."

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Roy on Caste

You've been vocal against the caste system in your fiction as well as your non-fiction. How do you navigate your own caste identity?

I don't have a caste identity, because I am not a Hindu. A lot of people thought my father was a Brahmin, but he was not. He was a Brahmo Samaji, who then became a Christian. But that argument that only Dalits can write about Ambedkar or one shouldn't write about Gandhi—that's an opinion, but I don't agree with it at all. My caste identity is totally muddled; I don't fit in anywhere. The RSS keeps putting this thing out that she is actually a Christian, as if that immediately means I would grow horns. Everyone says whatever they like.

As for criticism, you can't react to it in some stupid way—you have to accept that it is a complex thing, and you have to take care of what you are saying and why you are saying it.

India is so complicated—people outside can't fully grasp the way caste operates. People think if you write in the vernacular, you are a radical person. But that's not true because the vernacular itself is colonised by the upper castes. A lot of radical Dalits choose to write in English, for instance. There are so many streams of things that are happening.


I forget where I got that photo and I'm trying not to steal and give credit, get permission, so if anyone knows, please let me know.

If suffering is a cue to turn to the Dharma, then we shall have plenty of cues. One recent article I felt grateful to read was by Robina Courtin, whom I'd never heard of before. Here is a quote:

"Attachment is such a simple word, but it’s multi-faceted. At the most fundamental level it’s that feeling of neediness deep inside us; that belief that somehow I am not enough, I don’t have enough, and no matter what I do or what I get, it’s never enough. Then, of course, because we’re convinced that’s true, we hanker after someone out there, and then when we find the one who triggers our good feelings, attachment manipulates to get him, convinced that he’s the one who will fulfill my needs, make me happy. Then we assume he’s our possession, almost an extension of myself."

I've been reading Montaigne's essay: That to study philosophy is to learn to die. I see Hamlet read it. There's a part in it where I thought of the 6 Element meditation, that Bodhipaksa teaches so well. This essay is pretty hard to read, and I've read a lot about death: How We Die, Denial of Death and When Breath Becomes Air. (I've been reading Montaigne because he was an influence on Shakespeare. I'm currently reading A Midsummer Night's Dream, which is pretty trippy. Quite amazing.) Attachment to life is the ultimate attachment.

One of the things about the TBC is that they don't do some of the modern presentations, they don't use the word attachment that much. That's more of an IMS word.

I'll end with a quote from Jane Eyre:

“I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.”

Meanwhile the fear of people listening to themselves and not chasing the twin muses of capitalism and tyranny, was blown up in China.