Archive for June, 2010

The original Western Buddhism

Below is an extract from Emily Colette Wilkinson’s review of Marcus Aurelius: A Life, by Frank McLynn. The parallels with the Buddhist approach are striking, and I can’t help feeling again that it’s a tragedy that Stoic philosophy — the original Western Buddhism? — was stamped out by that Middle-Eastern upstart religion, the early Christian church.

Marcus’ creed held that virtue was its own reward and the only life goal worth pursuing. On the Stoic view, we have no power to determine whether we’ll be rich or poor, famous or infamous, sick or healthy, but we can control whether or not we are good. Thus, life’s pleasures and pains–poverty, disease, fame, death-become “indifferents” to the Stoics–i.e. matters that have no direct bearing on our moral wellbeing and so are irrelevant. As a Stoic, I might be poor and sick and

Posted at 6pm on Jun 26, 2010 | 5 comments
Filed Under: Religion & Society
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June music mix

This is the music my iPhone randomly selected for me while I was driving to Portsmouth and back the other day. It’s heavy on Over the Rhine and Amy Winehouse, but I can’t get enough of either of them anyway. It’s a very eclectic mix!

Here’s the track listing:

Dave Smith And The Country Rebels – White Lines
St. Germain – So Flute
Over The Rhine – Ohio
Alison Krauss – Down To The River To Pray
Amy Winehouse – He Can Only Hold Her
Lucinda Williams – Essence
This Mortal Coil – Another Day
Cocteau Twins – Pandora
Portishead – Nobody Loves Me
Over The Rhine – Nobody Number One
Coldplay – Shiver
Amy Winehouse – Intro/Stronger Than Me

Posted at 7am on Jun 26, 2010 | no comments
Filed Under: Music
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Twitter posts for 2010-06-25

  • On my weekly pilgrimage to @crackskulls with the kids. 15:33:34
  • I just wrote: Does a vegan diet feed the ego? http://bit.ly/cSldoF 19:49:24
  • This day started with me fighting off a migraine, and ended with a sense of calm, spacious equanimity. 21:03:10
  • Trying some tricks to get Twitter Tools to post a daily twitter digest on my blog. Should know soon if it worked. 21:34:15
  • I just wrote: Testing Twitter Tools http://bit.ly/9P6PJz 21:45:56
  • Hmmm. Getting Twitter Tools to work properly is proving beyond me… damn shame. 22:57:26
  • Been up late researching a juicy Fake Buddha Quote. It's time to call it a night. 23:59:28
Posted at 12am on Jun 26, 2010 | no comments
Filed Under: Twitter
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Testing Twitter Tools

I use a plugin called “Twitter Tools” that creates a status update (aka a “tweet”) on Twitter every time I publish a new blog post. Mostly it works, but it’s been a bit buggy and I’m creating this post to test it out. But in case it did work, and you followed the link here from Twitter, here’s a nice photo to reward you.

Yup, it’s a frozen lake on Mars. Now isn’t that cool?

Have I ever mentioned that I want to live on Mars?

Posted at 9pm on Jun 25, 2010 | no comments
Filed Under: Twitter
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Does a vegan diet feed the ego?

eating an apple

The venerable Dayamati, aka Professor Richard Hayes, has a provocative post (“How to feed an ego“) about the tendency for vegans (and to a lesser extent vegetarians) to cling to a notion of “us versus them” purity that reinforces a sense of identity rather than weakens it.

After mentioning a radio program discussing factory farming, he goes on to say:

One of the observations that most caught my attention in these discussions was made by a woman who was a vegan for 20–30 years and eventually changed her diet to include some animal products. She observed that being a vegan is much more than deciding what to eat and what not to eat. It is also taking on an identity. It is carrying all the baggage of a persona that must be defended almost every time one picks up

Posted at 7pm on Jun 25, 2010 | 5 comments
Filed Under: Vegetarianism
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