Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Obviously, you've encountered that expression before. And probably with an alarming regularity. But no, I'm not writing this to accentuate the difference between types of English, spoken or rolled.

I got into this conversation with a colleague over lunch & talked about gun control, & the state of creationism & the religious right here in the US - you know, the kind of juicy "isms" that make me salivate.

We had many commonalities in our opinions though these were borne out of different experiences;well, I should say that Joe's were experiences that involved real people & mine were accumulated from print & electronic media. What did you expect anyway?

The course of the conversation led JB & me to talk about how religious texts need to be examined in the social context of their origin. I was tactless enough to throw in how all religions really had tribal, pagan origins & assorted ramifications. This, though, isn't correct of all religions, particularly of Jainism, & Buddhism.

The two further extrapolations I had in mind coming from this thread were that pagan, tribal societies had hard, well-defined,value systems (if you're not with us, you're against us etc), & that ambivalence/intellectual honesty is really a modern thing - particularly characteristic, in the US at least, of the generation X - another topic of conversation with JB.

And then I read this.

I was wrong. Again. The rigveda, for a document that predates most known bodies of knowledge, actually is ambivalent about the creation of the universe. Yes, the Vedas talk about Gods before the "trinity" culture became mainstream Hinduism. But even so, for a book that old, if that wasn't ambivalence & intellectual honesty, then.... whatever (ambivalence etc)


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