Thursday, February 28, 2013

Where Have You Gone, Lord Ganesha?

I know the God(s) of Hinduism don't really abandon their followers, at least to my knowledge...with divinity being in everything, how could God(s) do so anyway? However, lately I've been wondering...if Lord Ganesha even cares about me at all...

Inconceivable, right? I know in my mind it is. But my heart is telling me something different. Which is the opposite way of how it works for most people - their hearts give them hope while their minds are the pessimistic organs. For some reason it's reversed with me...I have to keep thinking myself out of depressive states, keep my mind occupied, so my heart doesn't go to horrible emotions and depression.

Anyway, the point is that lately my emotions have been labile - I know I said that in previous blog posts but for some reason it's intensified. I have happy periods in my day, and I know I have little to be sad about right now. Still, my crying episodes have become more frequent, my energy has decreased further, and I feel like I just don't want to do much of anything.

What's sort of scary about this is that thinking of or meditating on Lord Ganesha either doesn't help, or only helps for a short burst during my sad, depressed periods. That is what is causing these feelings of abandonment. Lord Ganesha probably hasn't abandoned just doesn't seem like His style to suddenly up and leave a follower of his. Still, I can't seem to shake these feelings that something is amiss...

I still need Lord Ganesha to get me through the problems in life...I'm not ready to do everything on my own.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Metal/Hardcore Music as a Universal Language, Part 2: the Mosh Pit

Today for my meditation session I listened to a 44 minute bhajan to Lord Ganesha. I feel it's certainly helped me spiritually for this evening, but today I also found something even more interesting concerning my favorite genre of music, heavy metal. As it turns out, heavy metal can help save lives...that might be an exaggeration, but the point is that National Geographic has covered a study that has discovered that a popular form of dancing at heavy metal concerts, known as the mosh pit, mimics the movements of excited particles of gases, much like what is studied in particle physics.

As for how that can save lives, well, the study says that the research could be applied to people reacting under much different circumstances - namely riots, fires, and the like. But I feel this can also save lives in a spiritual sense...not moshing in a mosh pit, exactly, but rather demonstrating the oneness of the universe. Spiritual people, especially in the Hindu faith, have often said that oneness refers to everything in the universe being made of the same thing - divinity. If everything in the universe can be said to be made of the same thing, then divinity is in everything.

This can be seen as further proof of that concept. For just as matter in the universe reacts in a certain way under certain circumstances, so too do people under certain influences. We are indeed already one with this universe...we just have to realize it, and when great music like heavy metal blares through the ether, our oneness is realized.

It doesn't have to just be heavy metal music, of course, but if heavy metal can prove something like this, surely it shows that the path to the divine is manyfold. Just like how the God(s) of Hinduism are many to show that the many can lead to the One. They are not separate from each other, but parts of a whole, and worshipping a part will grant us the whole.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Temet Nosce

Namaste, readers! I'm doing better than my last post, but still, recent events and my responses to those events have given me a lot to think about. As you can probably figure out from the quote from the movie The Matrix that I've used in the title, this post has to do with knowing myself ("temet nosce" means "know thyself" in Latin) and my relationship with reality.

This concept of my relationship with reality got a mild jolt recently, when a couple of my friends, one in real life and one online, suggested I look into Vedic astrology. Not the traditional Western stuff, but actual Vedic/Hindu/Indian (or whatever you want to call it) study of how the stars effect our lives. My real life friend who talked about it convinced me it might be worthwhile to check it out at least, but my online friend actually figured out my Vedic astrology chart, even though he said he was somewhat new to the practice. I know doing so involves giving him some personal information, but I've known him long enough to realize he probably doesn't even have the means to use said info maliciously. And it's not like I gave him my credit card number. ;-)

What he discerned through study of my Vedic astrological chart, or what he told me of it, anyway, really blew me away - it seemed to describe my life so far and my personality in a nutshell. I know a lot of astrology relies on generalizations, but there were some specifics he told me that lined up surprisingly well. It wasn't all 100% accurate, of course; one or two statements were way off the mark. But enough of it was accurate that I was astonished.

Of course, I'm someone who believes in free will. I like to think we all have some control over our lives. But at the same time, I have to admit that one potential moral weakness of mine is that when it comes to making mistakes, I'm not one to readily accept them as a product of my free will. (I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has this weakness, but I digress.) So it's tempting to dismiss astrology by saying it's a way of avoiding responsibility - the stars influence our lives, so why claim responsibility for our bad actions?

This, however, goes into why astrology makes generalizations and avoids going ultra-specific, in my opinion. Sure, the stars may influence our lives, but they do not dictate them. It can influence our general course, but definitely not the specifics. The specifics of how the stars influence our lives are still up to us.

Think of it this way: if you consume too much alcohol and get drunk, you can commit actions you later had no idea you committed because you were drunk. However, even though you might have been out of your mind when you committed your drunken actions, you still consciously chose to drink too much - that much you can be held responsible for, and it's a very serious action which definitely has consequences!

This means we should strike a balance in our lives between choosing our fate and leaving it all up to God(s). Where that balance lies is different for each of us. I still have yet to find mine, I think...but maybe Vedic astrology can help me find it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Collapsing House of Cards

I have reasons to be happy. My fundamental job duties have changed into something I'm more suited for and enjoy doing. I'm able to get more writing opportunities now than I have before. My energy level seems to be improving somewhat due to a new medicine I'm taking. There are other things that aren't so happy in my life, and some things that are downright sad, but objectively, my life seems to have taken a turn for the better.

And yet I'm feeling depressed. Deeply, darkly depressed, almost at a crippling level.

As for reasons, I can't seem to pick out why. There are a few theories I have...the first being that I can't seem to take care of myself, even after things get better. Money still burns a hole in my pocket. Nutrition still seems to be an alien concept to me. So is cleanliness. But then again, these things could be a result of me being's a chicken-and-egg question at best.

One other theory I have is maybe on some fundamental level, I don't feel like I deserve anything good happening to me. That if my life goes well, someone else's life has to suffer. I don't want that to happen, but it seems to be the law of karma. If I don't want anyone else to suffer...does that mean I have to suffer most of all?

Or maybe it's just that my values and my mindset don't deserve to exist. One of many examples of this is my apparent hypocrisies towards life. I hate conflict and violence, yet others insist my playing violent video games means I support violence and conflict. I hate consumerism but still spend like there's no tomorrow. I hate social injustice but lack the will and bravery to do anything about it.

On some fundamental level, I hate myself...and the more things get better, the more it seems apparent that I should hate myself. I don't know what to do with myself anymore.

Is being happy too much to ask of myself? Apparently yes.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Laziness Can Save the World

I found a fascinating article on left-leaning/progressive news source AlterNet today that I think is the ultimate feel-good article: apparently working less hours and having more leisure time can reduce global warming. If you read the article at the link, that will give you the best idea of how this works; I'm no climatologist, so I can't really give an effective summary. Also, the study isn't perfect; it doesn't take into account what people would do with more leisure time. What I can say, though, is that the message of the article makes sense.

So often in our present-day society, at least here in the USA, so much emphasis is placed on production and profit - how much can I produce? How much can I contribute materially? And most of all, how much profit will it make us all? It's the maxim here that a productive citizen is a good citizen, and those who don't contribute in the form of being employed are ridiculed, criticized, lambasted, etc. I'm not saying this is necessarily bad, but sometimes even those who are employed are subject to this treatment if even after they earn whatever is given them they still can't support themselves. Hard work is the only way to avoid condemnation, and even then that's no guarantee.

I could go into a pages-long rant about how the economic structure of the US is screwed up and only benefits the super-rich and makes wage slaves out of the rest of us, blah blah blah...but that's not the point of this post. The point is that this constant drive to produce, work, and measurably create profit is not only killing our mental health, in the form of work-related stress, mental breakdowns and anguish from job-related worries, and just plain burnout; it's also killing the planet. This constant drive for hard work requires resources and their consumption. If we all work hard constantly, sooner or later the resources required to sustain that hard work will be exhausted.

Yes, hard work can earn you more money, but money can't buy you time, the ultimate thing you need to rest and relax. It can only buy things requiring hard work and resources others use. And what good is that if you don't have the time to use them...or end up killing the environment in the process?

Now, I'm not advocating anyone quit their jobs here...keeping busy is one good way to keep the blues away, as I can attest to. And working for one's place in society is a good thing to practice, as it can teach selflessness as well as selfishness. Everyone needs to do some work to keep themselves, and others, alive. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing in this case. We need to find a balance in our lives, and that balance is not only beneficial to our lives, but the lives of all living things.

Some might balk at the idea of having too much time on their hands. Here's a hint on what to do with more free time, though: meditate. ;-)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Attacking the Darkness

Namaste readers!

It seems the content of this blog has gotten slightly stale of late, at least to my eyes...I can't seem to come up with topics to write about that truly inspire me. It looks like my writing has reached some sort of peak, in the sense that it honestly appears as if I've gone as far as I can go...writing doesn't seem to get me much of anywhere these days, be it in terms of recognition or adoration, paying the bills, or even personal gratification.

I will keep writing, and I will keep this blog alive by whatever means necessary. It's just that...well, in summary, I'm a bit burned out. Writing seems to be more of a chore these days than anything. I don't seem to be gaining anything from it. In response, I've tried going into some other artistic pursuits - I've tried drawing, most recently, and I can't seem to draw well even with instruction from a book or teacher. I've juggled around the idea of playing a musical instrument, but it seems like that road would lead to frustration. I know these aren't things that are learned overnight. I know one has to practice to be good at them. But for some reason, I can't muster the patience...

Perhaps this is the reason why worshipping Goddess Saraswati comes across as such a good idea to me right now, as She is the Goddess of Creativity. I've said some prayers/mantras to Her. I just wish inspiration, perseverance, and other such artistic blessings would come a little sooner...

I have the urge to create. I feel it's in my blood. But the urge to create, and the ability to create well, are two separate things, I've discovered. If I can't even create well, then why do I still have the urge? I'm even beginning to wonder what the point of me creating is. It's like I'm trying to attack the darkness - darkness isn't something that can be killed with just a candle. But that's all I have against it.

Please help me, Goddess Saraswati and Lord Ganesha...