This was written by the great Christian scholar Thomas Merton:
Our philosophy of life is not something we create all by ourselves out of nothing. Our ways of thinking, even our attitudes toward ourselves, are more and more determined from the outside. Even our love tends to fit ready-made forms. We consciously or unconsciously tailor our notions of love according to patterns we are exposed to day after day....
Love [Merton begins to examine one of these patterns] is regarded as a deal. The deal presupposes that we all have needs which have to be fulfilled by means of exchange. In order to make a deal you have to appear in the market with a worthwhile product, or if the product is worthless, you can get by if you dress it up in a good-looking package. We unconsciously think of ourselves as objects for sale on the market. We want to be wanted. We want to attract customers. We want to look like the kind of product that makes money. ...In doing this we come to consider ourselves and others not as persons but as products, as "goods," or in other words, as packages. We appraise one another commercially. We size each other up and make deals with a view to our own profit. We do not give ourselves in love, we make a deal that will enhance our own product, and therefore no deal is final. Our eye is already on the next deal, and this next deal need not necessarily be with the same customer. Life is more interesting when you make a lot of deals with a lot of new customers.
The trouble with this commercialized idea of love is that it diverts your attention more and more from the essentials to the accessories of love. You are no longer able to really love the other person, for you become obsessed with the effectiveness of your own package, your own product, your own market value.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I've been watching Joseph Campbell videos lately and learning about the Hero's Journey. We are all heroes treading on this path. So I found this video that describes the Hero's Journey step by step using The Matrix. Hope you enjoy and strive to live the hero life.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
These are some beautiful verses from Srila Rupa Goswami's Sri Laghu Bhagavatamrta pertaining to Lord Nrsimhadeva, whose Appearance Day is tomorrow:
"Let me offer my obeisances unto Lord Nrsimhadeva, who is always enlightening Prahlada Maharaja within his heart and who always kills the nescience that attacks the devotees. His mercy is distributed like moonshine, and His face is like that of a lion. Let me offer my obeisances unto Him again and again.
Lord Nrsimhadeva is always assisted by Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, and He is always embracing to His chest the goddess of fortune. The Lord is always complete in knowledge within Himself. Let us offer obeisances unto Nrsimhadeva.
Narada Muni described to King Yudhsisthira the anger of the pillar's son (Lord Nrsimha), which with its deep roar stunned lotus-born Brahma.
THe hair on Nrsimhadeva's head shook the clouds and scattered them here and there, His glaring eyes stole the effulgence of the luminaries in the sky, and His breathing agitated the seas and oceans. Because of His roaring, all the elephants in the world began to cry in fear.
Airplanes were thrown into outer space and the upper planetary system by the hair on Nrsimhadeva's head. Because of the pressure of the Lord's lotus feet, the earth appeared to slip from its position, and all the hills and mountains sprang up due to His intolerable force. Because of the Lord's bodily effulgence, both sky and all directions diminished in their natural illumination.
Although very ferocious, the lioness is very kind to her cubs. Similarly, although very ferocious to non-devotees like Hiranyakasipu, Lord Nrsimhadeva is very, very soft and kind to devotees like Prahlada Maharaja."