Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Sound of One Hand Clapping

Like some of you who read this blog, i usually read Rocana's Sampradaya Sun. I read it to find out the alternative news about Iskcon and the latest controversies. I also enjoy Rocana's opinion articles where he exposes the shallow thinking going on in the devotee world. And of course, the transcendental philosophy that is available on the site. I applaud Rocana's dedication-- both in publishing articles that are free from censorship and for his take on many contemporary issues related to Iskcon and its leaders. I am in agreement with him on most issues.

Where i take exception is when i read articles where an author seems to be writing just to hear the sound of his own voice. The writer may quote Srila Prabhupada or a particular scripture to death, but rather than feel a sense of clarity and freshness after reading the article, as i do when i read Prabhupada's classes or purports or conversations, i feel like i'm being pushed or pulled into a corner of the author's own narrow biases. The message is always exclusive, rather than inclusive. The author's got it and you don't, if you dare disagree.

Never mind that he or she is as conditioned as the next soul. Or that the finer aspects of spiritual subject matter are so profound that they are inconceivable until one becomes self realized. No, the author has a monopoly on understanding the mind and heart of the pure devotee. And they go on for what seems like endless paragraphs to cow us, the reader, into agreement. I find such articles boring, belittling and frankly, useless. Unless, of course, someone enjoys listening to the sound of one hand clapping. No matter how long it goes on, it don't make no sound.

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