August 11, 2013

Deepak Chopra muddles words like “consciousness” and “quantum”, but that doesn’t make him a charlatan

If we're going to critique Chopra as an interloper into science, let's keep it clean of the ad hominem, and not feed this projection beast. Critique the material only; force ever greater transparency about the distinctions between science, spirituality, and poetry. Don't allow him to perpetuate a transcultural and transhistorical language error that confuses scientific terms with religious terms. Allow for the possibility that like everyone he is less a manipulator than one manipulated by history.
August 10, 2013

His body is a golden string your body’s hanging from: Leonard Cohen and the disgraced guru

For so many men, the spiritual path is a road for those who don’t know how to be their own fathers, who crave to relive the crisis of clashing with authority, to retest themselves, perversely enthralled by the strange virtues of the bully. There’s an erotic self-hatred in it: it feels good to rub yourself raw and then to rub yourself away against an absolute. It feels like justice, like what you deserve. Your right to be here is liminal in the shadows of the temple, the church, Geshe Michael, Abraham, Roshi. But the shadow also protects you and makes you invisible if you are too fearful to grow.
August 8, 2013

Transparency Papers: introduction, and growing up Catholic (part one)

By being clear about our subjectivities, we can begin to dialogue openly with the subjectivities of others, fostering “intersubjectivity”. If we don’t allow ourselves to be transparent, both writers and readers of yoga philosophy can get sucked into the quagmire of projecting and assessing objective authority, rather than sharing experience. And yoga philosophy is nothing if not the language we use to share the ineffable experiences of practice, regardless of who we are, who we’ve studied with, or what our goals may be.