We Have Met the Enemy, and He is Us
We can blame others for our problems but hatred, envy, anger, lust and greed are the actual enemies we face. Some of us succumb to them rather more than others, and hence dissent arises on one scale or another. But all of us find these nuisances assailing us at times, and when they do our peace of mind is naturally disturbed. In such a condition we become likely candidates for conflict, often turning on whoever happens to be available at the time.
Stem Cells at the Water Cooler
The Cause of Crime
When we are confronted with topical issues, the best answers are usually ones that acknowledge the complexity of the issue, and own up to the fact that Hare Krishna devotees – like followers of most faith traditions – may not all share the same interpretation. It might be tempting to simply conclude “ISKCON is for this,” or “all devotees of Krishna must be against that,” but it is much wiser to resist that temptation and instead focus on the principles that help devotees deal with the grey areas.
Keeping Good Men Good
Does prison work? Is it tough on crime and its causes? Figures show that 60% of prisoners re-offend within two years of release. Prison, of course, is an excellent place to meet criminals and learn new tricks. The Vedas point out how our consciousness is quickly shaped by our association, which in prisons is hardly of the best kind.
The lesson from history is that men become corrupt when in close contact with power, money, women and followers. Our little ISKCON blind spot is a vague, if not articulated antinomianism - the belief that when men achieve the grace of God they rise above the laws of God - and somehow the laws of nature.
Krishna: Expert Dancer, Uninhibited Lover
"I would believe in a God who could dance", said German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. During his time, God was generally portrayed as a frozen perfection, remote, static, and wholly unsociable. No wonder he was disillusioned by this stereotypical idea of God.
Global Warming: Science Or Politics?
When millennial climate change patterns are mentioned, many people point to the "2,500 scientists from 130 countries" who have agreed that global warming is caused by the greenhouse effect. Yet not even the International Panel of Climate Change to which these people refer presents definitive scientific proof that the present warming is mostly caused by the greenhouse effect.
The Mirror of Cartoon Satire
In an advertisement on UK television, some reformed Daleks tag along a group of Hare Krishna devotees chanting down the street. Renouncing their exterminating ways, these alien miscreants happily sing in metallic voices, “Peace & Love, Peace & Love”.
Spiritual Struggle or Power Struggle?
Religious life imparts to us the vision to see everyone as, in essence, a beloved servant of God. Yet so often the differences between religions underline a feeling of "the other" that turns those who should be friends into enemies. What often follows is behaviour that may not seem very religious at all.
It struck me like a sad little song. The article was only a measly paragraph, giving the bare facts, not saying much about the victim nor her killers. Maybe any more would have been just too much to bear. The piece, on page 6 of the July 27 NY Times, told of an ‘honor killing.” The culprit was a 70 year old grandmother of 16. I guess she thought she was doing right by her family.
Sport and the Spiritual
When we see Wayne Rooney score a brilliant goal from an impossible angle, we admire his skill, and the Bhagavad-gita says that this is a manifestation of God. It is not that Wayne Rooney is himself God, of course, although some may argue the point.
Confused Confessors: Probe Discloses Clergy’s Diverging Views
The major Italian weekly magazine L'espresso has published a piece of investigative journalism on how Catholic priests handle their confessions; the Vatican became enraged at the disclosures.