February 14, 2012

Are Daddy Issues hereditary?

US filmmaker Sean Stone, son of Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone, converted to Islam on Tuesday in Iran, where he is making a documentary, he told AFP.

As I've mentioned before, over the decades, as the rest of the world has come to hate Oliver Stone, I've grown fond of him. And now I look forward to another generation of Stones carrying the torch of Having Issues on a grand scale.

80 comments:

Anonymous said...

OT, but interesting story about something you've touched on before I think - how parents now obsessively follow their kids' sports when in the past they never did nor much cared.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/15/sports/ncaabasketball/parents-go-the-extra-miles-to-watch-sons-play-basketball.html

anony-mouse said...

1/ If he ever converts to working full time and not living on daddy's money, then you'll know he's rebelling.

2/ Anyhow he'll find that having 4 wives concurrently instead of sequentially, the Hollywood way, means a lot more arguing.

3/ Yet another reason to bomb Iran now. Preferably the nicer hotels.

welcome to gummtown. pop 1. said...

The paradox of religious power. The inclusiveness of Christianity and Islam made them powerful, swelling their numbers through conversion--voluntary or forced; Yet, this advantage of great numbers also made them weaker. Since there are so many different kinds of Christians, there can never be a united Christian people/community. There are Italian Christians, German Christians, Greek Christians, Russian Christians, Chinese Christians, Arab Christians, Egyptian Christians, African Christians, black American Christians, Mexican Christians, Catholics, Orthodox, etc. And since anyone can be a Christian or Muslim, both faiths attract a lot of dummies and bummies. Because there are so many kinds of Christians, they bicker and fight or can be 'divided and ruled' by another people.
Same problem with communism. It was powerful cuz it spread all over, but its advantage became its downfall as Russian communists, Chinese communists, Vietnamese communists, Hungarian communists, Cuban Communists, Jewish communists, African communists, Cambodian communists, and etc didn't see eye to eye.

And look at the Muslim world. Shias fight Sunnis, Alawites fight Sunnies, etc, etc. All Muslims insist on one Islam but fight over dogma and tradition, etc. (Democracy isn't as problematic since it's understood that each nation will have its own unique form of democracy. No one has tried to create one democratic system for all mankind. Even so, democracy runs into trouble when there's too much diversity. Thus, as US becomes more diverse, it's not so much one people under a single democracy as a nation of competing/clashing democracies. Jewish democracy, African-American democracy, white Christian democracy, gay democracy, etc. They don't even agree on same constitutional principles, meaning of 'rights', and laws.

The weakness of Jewish community has been its small numbers. Since Judaism is an ethno-religion or tribal religion, there could only be a fixed number of Jews. Thus, Jews were outnumbered wherever they went. On the other hand, because Jews were a specific, culturally close-knit community united by blood, history, and values, they could amass and practice a very concentrated form of power. Though dispersed all over the world, no people have had a sense of common culture, interest, and purpose than the Jews; it was because not everyone could be Jewish. If Judaism had been more inclusive and 90% of Jews were converted African Jews, Japanese Jews, German Jews, Russian Jews, and etc, Jewish community would be as confused and divided as Christian and Muslim community.

So, Christians and Muslims both gained and lost by great numbers.
And Jews both gained and lost by small numbers. For every advantage, there is a disadvantage, and vice versa. Jews are outnumbered but concentrated/focused in their power; it's like a religion of one family of people.

welcome to gummtown. pop 1. said...

Anyway, there may be a lesson here for white Christians. Look at the Mormon community. In one way, its heretical status in Christian community has been its bane. Mormons never made many converts. But this made for a greater cohesiveness, close-knitness, commonality, and unity among all Mormons, who defacto happen to be mostly white and related. If Mormons had spread like Baptist church, and if 80% of Mormons were blacks, hillbillies, Mexicans, and Asians, the Mormon community would be bigger but also more divided, confused, and acrimonious.
Mormons are like Christian Jews. They are part of a universal faith but also part of a (defacto)tribal community linked by blood, culture, history. Christianity began as a heresy of Judaism but overshadowed Judaism. Mormonism sprouted as a heresy of Christianity and remained that way--never gaining many converts--, but that made it a kind of Judaism redux. In that sense, Mormonism has the best of both worlds.

Anyway, my proposal is maybe white folks could adopt the Mormon formula. Suppose we create a new Christian culture where many separate white Christian communities form along tribal lines. (There would be less need for disagreement over dogma/credo/doctrine since each community would agree to be separate and mind its own business.) Of course, communities would be bound by basic sense of Christianness, but each would form its own Mormon-like organic tribal community. I'm not talking of denominations which are credo- driven. Anyone can be a Lutheran, anyone can be a Baptist, anyone can be a Presby; people come and go, there's a lot of bickering over dogma, and no one really knows what is what. The thing about Jews is even as they've greatly changed ideologically and dogmatically over the yrs, they still feel Jewish because the sense of Jewishness is based on organic ties of blood, history, culture. Jews don't come and go into Jewishness. Even when some leave the Temple, they still feel as Jews organically, biologically, and culturally. The most powerful kind of cultural sense is rooted in biology/history. In contrast, a person who knew nothing of Luteranism can join the Lutheran church one day and then quit the next day. It's come and go. And since he joined for reasons of ideas, he will fight with other Christians over 'what is true Christianity?', which gets tiresome.

Black Sea said...

I bet Shiva's really pissed off right now. No one likes to be left off the guest list. Buddha, on the other hand, is probably pretty mellow about it.

Sean will get around to hanging with these dudes eventually, and maybe Joseph Smith as well.

Anonymous said...

Liam Neeson converted to Islam recently as well while making a movie in Turkey.

beowulf said...

over the decades, as the rest of the world has come to hate Oliver Stone, I've grown fond of him...

Agreed. I though Nixon was one of the best biopics ever made and his quirky documentary South of the Border certainly is entertaining.
http://youtu.be/76IxxapAHQo

Maya said...

Whatever. That's so cliche by now, everyone can see right through it.

What he should have done is become an engineer and talk about all the arts/humanities people in a tone of detached, amused superiority.

Conatus said...

There is a documentary "Absent" about daddy issues.
http://www.absentmovie.com/
They start out talking about the Industrial Revolution, saying fathers who used to be in cottages and farms, left to be industrially efficient and that began the epidemic of fatherlessness. Now the jails are full of guys with daddy issues and prostitutes on the street all have daddy issues.
Dad either disappears like in the ghetto or he just mentally checks out like older white guys who don't want to waste their energy talking to their children.
James Hatfield of Metallica was interviewed at the end. His Dad just checked out and was too narcissistic to give his time and approval.
I guess that is why he wrote 'Enter Sandman' Sublimation and all that stuff. That live version on Youtube posted by enrique is Great!
Maybe Hatfield will do something with the line "Our Father who Art in Heaven."
Rock on Daddy-O

sunbeam said...

I just don't get it.

What is the attraction of Islam?

What can someone possibly get out of it?

A one stop shop for getting all of life's questions answered or something? All religions supply this, it just seems to me Islam does it better than most.

I've thought several times if I personally were picking a religion from scratch, I'd pick Buddhism.

Just boggles my mind. Of all the religions on this planet, he picks this one?

"What he should have done is become an engineer and talk about all the arts/humanities people in a tone of detached, amused superiority."

It's not sarcasm or irony if you really are detached, amused, and superior.

I think I'll see if I can get a copy of Things to Come,

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0028358/

to watch.

After all,

"And if we’re no more than animals, we must snatch each little scrap of happiness, and live, and suffer, and pass, mattering no more than all the other animals do or have done. It is this, or that. All the universe or nothing. Which shall it be, Passworthy? Which shall it be?"

Sylvan said...

"It is not by that which is obscure in Mahomet, and which may be interpreted in a mysterious sense, that I would have him judged, but by what is clear, as his paradise and the rest. In that he is ridiculous. And since what is clear is ridiculous, it is not right to take his obscurities for mysteries." - Pascal

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Rohan Swee said...

I get the impression that the ripest market for conversion to Islam is among liberal-minded middle-aged ladies, who sense an opportunity for one more good round of "Pay attention to me!". See, iirc, Cherie Blair's sister, who made a big deal about putting on a veil and discovering "modesty", at right about the age when nobody was looking anymore, anyway.

elvisd said...

"Whatever. That's so cliche by now, everyone can see right through it.

What he should have done is become an engineer and talk about all the arts/humanities people in a tone of detached, amused superiority."

LOL!

Rohan Swee said...

sunbeam: I just don't get it.

What is the attraction of Islam?


It's fashionable. Back in the day "seekers" were usually all atwitter about Hinduism or Buddhism, and Islam wasn't really on the cool kids' radar, still apparently snoozing as it was in its latest quiescent phase.

Now, of course, Islam is back, and, unlike the previously fashionable Oriental -isms, it has the great advantage of having been a real-life, blood-and-guts, hard-core, centuries-long, and often quite successful, Enemy of the West. It fills that hole in the hearts of the Issues crowd, left by the departure of the late, lamented Soviets.

I'm no longer puzzled, as I used to be, at the complete lack of curiosity my nominally Christian "seeker" peers had in ever exploring the vast patrimony of nearby Christianity, if it was religion they were looking for. But they preferred to leave those dusty tomes uncracked.

What is the attraction of any "exotic" religion? (Putting aside the sincere, non-"issue" believers.) "Issues" aside, I'd posit that as an outsider one isn't first exposed to them in their quotidian manifestations. It's like encountering Christianity for the first time in the form of the glories of Chartres Cathedral or the Bach Passion, rather than in that ugly 1970s-vintage church and your prosaic, irritating fellow parishioners, among whom it must be lived. The beautiful transcendental point isn't yet obscured by the pressing reality of all those stupid fellow humans. And since the faithful of "exotic" religions tend not to be white Europeans, you can be pretty sure that they Have The Answer, and aren't going to turn out to be shallow grasping dickhead hypocrites like your parents, right?

NOTA said...

I wonder if he has ever spent significant time surrounded by religious people who take their religion seriously and are supported indoing so by their whole culture.

Anonymous Rice Alum #4 said...

I though Nixon was one of the best biopics ever made

I have to agree. Just grit your teeth at Stone's most heavyhanded element--the Larry Hagman-as-Secret Master of the GOP character.

Hopkins was quoted as saying part of what he liked about the title role is that Stone gave Nixon more lines than Shakespeare gave Hamlet.

Anonymous said...

Liam Neeson converted to Islam r
he's considering, he hasnt

is this the latest fad w/ the leftist elite? Blair's sister in law did as well.

Anonymous said...

Stone has wasted hours of my time with. rain dead crap I can't take seriously.

Good reasons not to like him.

Hunsdon said...

sunbeam said: I just don't get it.

What is the attraction of Islam?

What can someone possibly get out of it?

A one stop shop for getting all of life's questions answered or something? All religions supply this, it just seems to me Islam does it better than most.

Hunsdon replied: I think one of the attractive things about Islam is that many, many Muslims still seem to really believe, and that belief can be intoxicating. For far too many in the West, Christianity has become a cultural artifact rather than a vibrant and vital force in their lives. (Yes, I used vibrant purposely.)

Anonymous said...

Liam did not convert...

Google might be your friend...

BEFORE you toss on rumor.

Anonymous said...

Oliver Stone one of the greatest US filmmakers.

Anonymous said...

Hey, if Oliver Stone were YOUR dad, wouldn't you have a huge chance of being screwed up too?

Jim Bowery said...

Could Islam be the new Scientology?

Anonymous said...

Liam Neeson converted to Islam recently as well while making a movie in Turkey.

Are you sure he has pulled the trigger? News reports stated he thought about it, but had not done it.

Anonymous said...

sunbeam said...
I just don't get it.
What is the attraction of Islam?


This website may have some answers (although from a militantly Jewish POV):

http://www.think-israel.org/frantzman.islamsaveswhites.html

David said...

The wait for an answer is over. Yes, Daddy Issues are hereditary.

Geoff Matthews said...

I found it odd that he took the name Ali, which can sound like Ollie, which is short for Oliver.
There's your daddy issue.

Maya said...

"It's not sarcasm or irony if you really are detached, amused, and superior."

Who said anything about sarcasm or irony? Engineers, often, do look down upon most other fields, and they often do feel some sort of an amused pity towards those pursuing fashionable artsy intellectualism full time which they consider to be a very nice hobby for people who already have a real career in a real field. Little Stone would stand a better chance of getting under his father's skin if he adopted this world view with skills to back it up instead of becoming bulimic and having sex with older boys, I mean dressing like a goth, I mean converting to Islam.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it, either. They have to know by now that islam is about stonings, amputations, burning churches with worshipers in them, beheadings, etc. (Only college-age left-wingers are still so naive that they think islam is a more intense sort of buddhism). They have to know sharia considers 10 things on the level of feces and that non-muslims and women are on the list And yet they announce their "conversion"(No, I won't say "reversion") to the world, as if there were no shame involved. Strange.

Maya said...

"I get the impression that the ripest market for conversion to Islam is among liberal-minded middle-aged ladies, who sense an opportunity for one more good round of "Pay attention to me!". See, iirc, Cherie Blair's sister, who made a big deal about putting on a veil and discovering "modesty", at right about the age when nobody was looking anymore, anyway."

Statistically, you are absolutely correct. I read an article in Time or Newsweek, a few years back, which asserted that in the United States conversion to Islam is most common among the white women. However, I didn't come to the same conclusion as you. From what I understood (and according to the pictures provided), these women are somewhat unattractive, but not quite middle aged. All the featured ones converted in their thirties, and the mosque issued them a husband, pronto. So now they all have a few kids, since the religious community required them to get the maximum use out of their remaining fertility, a husband and a place in life which isn't conditional on their looks not talents. Hey, there are worse fates out there for women who failed to inspire romance or build a fulfilling, lucrative career. I say: go for it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11.40.

That Frantzman essay was a good sell until he mentioned (giving up) wine in that last paragraph.

Seriously though, he is merely expanding on Mark Steyn's old wisecrack. I paraphrase: we social conservatives just need to grow beards and carry on as normal; it's you liberals that need to be worried.

Gilbert Pinfold.

cmcoct said...

The best scene in "Nixon" is only on the VHS version, in the extra scenes after the movie is over. Stone has the CIA's Richard Helms warning Nixon about the darkest of the dark secrets surrounding Watergate. Spooky stuff.
Why did the CIA agree to play fall-guy with Nixon's silly plan to stop the FBI investigation into Watergate? The most controversial scenes in the movie were the ones showing the even the President is not in charge, even he is manipulated by forces he can barely conceive of, let alone identify publicly.

Stone had a chance to chance to really run with this theme, but he chose not to. Our best chance to decipher "this Hunt is involved, it's very bad, you know that? It all tracks back to the Bay of Pigs thing . . ." slipped away.

Haldeman wrote that Nixon was referencing the CIA's involvement with JFK's murder, and Nixon was threatening to expose it, if the CIA didn't go along.
Was he right? He probably was, but now we'll never know for sure. I wish Stone had the courage to make that kind of movie.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

What is the attraction of Islam?

Why not become Orthodox Christian? The feasts, the fasts, the Great Fast, ascetic tradition, Holy Mysteries, prostrations, daily prayers, it's all there. He could even learn Arabic chant.

"But that's christian, dad!"

Ray Sawhill said...

Sunbeam writes: "I've thought several times if I personally were picking a religion from scratch, I'd pick Buddhism."

I like Buddhism too, but I like Vedanta even better. It's like Buddhism only juicier. IMHO, of course.

LINK

I don't fully understand why Vedanta isn't better-known than it is. It had quite a moment in the sun back in the '50s and '60s, but interest has waned since. The people I run into at Vedanta services are quite smart and civilized, though.

FWIW, I don't fully understand why some people mock westerners who respond to Eastern religion/philosophies. Monotheistic religions mean as much to me -- and resonate with me -- about as much as superhero comic books do. No disrespect meant. If (for example) Christianity or Judaism grabs you, so much the better. But why mock the fact -- and it is a fact in my case -- that they mean less than nothing to me? They seem kinda absurd, to be honest. The Trinity? The "virgin birth"? Please. Where, by contrast, Buddhism and Vedanta make deep instinctive/intellectual/esthetic sense to me, and make my heart and mind soar. I was under the impression that religion has something to do with what you resonate to. And the whole "resonation" thing has to do with loads of non-rational, non to-be-argued-over things.

Marlowe said...

Obviously, Stone's son never bothered watching Midnight Express. Or maybe he did.

For a nation of pigs, it sure is funny you don't eat 'em! Jesus Christ forgave the bastards, but I can't! I hate! I hate you! I hate your nation! And I hate your people! And I fuck your sons and daughters because they're pigs! You're a pig! You're all pigs.

Anonymous said...

"Liam Neeson converted to Islam recently as well while making a movie in Turkey."

Star of TAKEN has been taken?

Anonymous said...

See, iirc, Cherie Blair's sister, who made a big deal about putting on a veil and discovering "modesty", at right about the age when nobody was looking anymore, anyway.

It's like those old batty feminists who hold up signs saying: "Nobody's gonna treat ME like a sex object!"

Anonymous said...

Why not become Orthodox Christian? The feasts, the fasts...

And you don't have to give up Harry Potter, Dungeons and Dragons, and closet devil worship!

Seriously though, most Orthodox Churches are ethnic, and hence closed communities. The only way into them is by birth or marriage.

Anonymous said...

Who is the girl he's currently sleeping with?

My white male friend is converting to Islam in order to continue his access to a Moroccan's pink under panties.

Anonymous said...

"Oliver Stone one of the greatest US filmmakers."

You gotta be kidding.

Anonymous said...

Rebellious? Suspicious? Aberrant? One day they'll identify alleles that give someone these proclivities.

Competitive? Hell, yeah, hereditary. The kid wants to get some attention too, just like his daddy,.

James Kabala said...

Ray Sawhill: The Vedanta Society in Providence, Rhode Island, just had a major building renovation/expansion. I don't know if this was due to increased membership or if the old building simply needed repairs. I assume it is meant to appeal to students at Brown (just blocks away), but I don't know any actual members.

Elsewhere in the neighborhood is a GIGANTIC century-old Christian Science church. I always wondered how many people actually attend these days - I believe they don't even have weekly services anymore. At one time Mary Baker Eddy was considered an American religion-inventor on par with Joseph Smith; clearly those days are over. (I guess her place was taken by L. Ron Hubbard.)

Glaivester said...

Obviously some right-wingers hired some flaming gay boys to secretly convert Oliver's son.

Anonymous said...

The Vedanta Society in Providence, Rhode Island, just had a major building renovation/expansion. I don't know if this was due to increased membership

It is possible that Indian immigrants might be increasing membership. Is Vendanta actual Hinduism or it more "Hinduism Lite" and/or "Hinduism for whites?"

Marlowe said...

The scene from the movie Ed Wood comes to mind, where Wood and his fellow film makers convert to a Baptist Christian denomination who just happen to be funding the movie the crew are shooting.

Charlotte said...

"The most controversial scenes in the movie were the ones showing the even the President is not in charge, even he is manipulated by forces he can barely conceive of, let alone identify publicly.

Stone had a chance to chance to really run with this theme, but he chose not to. Our best chance to decipher "this Hunt is involved, it's very bad, you know that? It all tracks back to the Bay of Pigs thing . . ." slipped away."

Haldeman wrote that Nixon was referencing the CIA's involvement with JFK's murder, and Nixon was threatening to expose it, if the CIA didn't go along.
Was he right? He probably was, but now we'll never know for sure. I wish Stone had the courage to make that kind of movie."


Stone is perhaps the only director who cared enough to go after the truth in spite of the predictable aspersions from critics, who thought their sold-souls were worth the price of their jobs. Hollywood sucks the essence out of any story it touches, like Chinese factories suck the soul out of the mass produced "venetian" lace.

Well--Kubrick knew too. He said there was something "evil" about that place -- Hollywood.

I'm just relieved SOMEBODY working in that nest of liars had the guts to at least try to tell some of the truth.

If you're into daddy issues, E. Howard Hunt's last days confession to to his son, St. John, tells you all you need to know about him and his cog in the wheel. He said that he and his allies did what they did for the "good" of the country. They were active and complicit in the tranceformation of 20th century America.

Defeated said...

Don't we all have daddy issues? A child who watched his father examine fissures in airplane wings and fret over their consequences, might grow up to examine fissures in the social fabric and fret over their consequences.

Anonymous said...

He might be rejecting Western Civilization, but I am willing to bet he will request very Western medicine anesthesia before the circumcision. They are all like that: reject the West on principle, but want all the comforts of Western civilization.

Hunsdon said...

Oliver Stone is a pretty gifted filmmaker, but for an unapologetically leftist director, give me John Sayles any day.

Matewan, Eight Men Out and Lone Star are very well made films that wear their politics on their sleeves. (And Kris Kristofferson as the evil 1950s sheriff is worth the price of admission all on his own.)

Anonymous said...

"OT, but interesting story about something you've touched on before I think - how parents now obsessively follow their kids' sports when in the past they never did nor much cared."

What's wrong with being interested in your kid's games. We are supposed to care about what are kids do because of evolution.They carry our genes. It's perfectly natural, just like nepotism and favoring your own race, but we aren't supposed to do that anymore either.

The real question is why do people care about a bunch of strangers playing sports, most of whom are of a different race and sometimes from a different country.

Anonymous said...

"See, iirc, Cherie Blair's sister, who made a big deal about putting on a veil and discovering "modesty", at right about the age when nobody was looking anymore, anyway.'

Christianity used to be this way too. The Cardinal of Genoa in 1960 condemned women wearing pants. There was also condemnation of men and women swimming at the same beach.

This is quite interesting:

http://olrl.org/virtues/pants.shtml

A quote from another page.
http://olrl.org/virtues/modesty.shtml

"St. John Chrysostom (347-407), the illustrious Bishop of Constantinople and one of the 32 doctors of the Church, had this to say about women who dress immodestly: "You carry your snare everywhere and spread your net in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not indeed by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment. And much more effectively than you could by your voice. When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent? Tell me whom does this world condemn? Whom do the judges in court punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You are more criminal than those who poison the body. You have given the death-dealing drink. You murder not the body but the soul, and it is not to enemies do you do this nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity nor provoked by injury. But you do it out of foolish vanity and pride."

Anonymous said...

Welcome to your fifteen minutes of fame Sean. Wait, uh, what do you mean I can't have a drink???

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Also lets not overlook what Raymond Ibrahim stated about the allure of Islam to men-The pirate effect.Unlike the "feminized" Christianity with its emphasis on love,charity and mercy,Islam openly states that each Muslim is by definition a solider.Plunder,women and adventure are all part of the package.
As in the case of the 9/11 hijackers and other terrorists ,even consumption of alcohol and breaking of other Islamic codes are acceptable under taqqiyah to further jihad.
Coming back to pirates-Heck ,even Jack Sparrow was a Muslim!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Ward

Ray Sawhill said...

James Kabala -- Tks for the info about the Providence Vedanta chapter. No idea why they've been flourishing. The congregations I'm familiar with in NYC and California are pretty static sizewise, and age-wise aren't getting any younger.

Ray Sawhill said...

Anonymous writes: "Is Vendanta actual Hinduism or it more "Hinduism Lite" and/or "Hinduism for whites?""

As I understand it, Vedanta is genuinely Indian, and one of the more philosophical branches of Hinduism. It's quite intellectual, if in a spiritual way. No need to believe in gods or fairy tales, though you're free to find the poetry and beauty in them if you want to. If the topic interests you, checking out Wikipedia's entries on Vedanta, Ramakrishna, Vivekenanda and Brahmananda will get you up to decent speed. Very appealing stuff, IMHO: not at all in conflict with science, not absolutist (you can take as much as you want from it, if anything -- no need to buy into the whole shebang), yet amazingly provocative and insightful about life-experience. A good Vedanta talk -- and they're talks, not lectures or sermons -- can be a brain and spirit-opening thing.

Reg C├Žsar said...

It's ononmastic. The stone has a revered place in Islam.

ysv_rao said...

@Ray Sawhill

As a Hindu ,I would like nothing better for most Hindus to abandon the gross superstition,ignorance and chaos that has typified modern Hinduism and return to Vedanta.

Interestingly Vedanta presages the end of the Epics(the Indian equivalent of the Heroic age) where war,conquest,violence,bloodshed and sexual prowess were renowned for their own right and more "tamer" version of Hinduism as exemplified by the much maligned Manu(a pseudo Adam and Noah rolled into one).

Interestingly the Vedanta society was created by Swami Vivekananda who wanted Hindus to regain some of their martial spirit -to this end he recommended they eat meat and stated that "You will be nearer to heaven playing football than studying the Bhagavad-Gita".

Strictly speaking ,foreigners (which back then even included Northwestern peoples such as the ancestors of Pushtuns and Punjabis) were not to be exposed to the Upanishads.(this was a reason why Brahmins traditionally were not to cross the boundaries of India)
But there was soon to be a backdoor available to non Hindus to explore its mysteries-Buddhism.Buddha was merely carrying on the Vedantic/Upanishadic tradition and they were accepting converts including various "barbarians such as Scythians,Chinese and Greeks.

PS:Germans since the 18th century and now were disproportionately represented among Sanskritists and Indologists.The contributions of one particular Max Muller who coined the term "Aryan" from the Rg Veda are ahem mixed at best!

Rohan Swee said...

Christianity used to be this way too...

Your comment is interesting in itself, but I think we're talking about two different things here.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

@LINK

As to why Westerners dont care for Vedanta/Eastern spirituality-there are various culprits

1.Hippies-these filthy unwashed vermin had wrecked the reputation of pretty much any "alternative" philosphy they touched with their grimy paws with-be it Kabbalah,Hinduism,Buddhishm or Sufism.

2.Therefore Eastern religions got an undeserved reputation for being an "im ok youre ok" type of "philosophy".This I find particularly amazing.Hindus certainly dont find Manus 1000 laws to be particularly libertine

3.Spiritual frauds and charlatans-cashing in the demise of the church as an institution in Western.Various rogues and thugs in saintly form began ministering to the "lost" while helping themselves to their savings as well as easily manipulated female devotees. eg Srila Prabhupada(founder of Hare Krishnas),Rajneesh(embezzler and cult leader) ,Sathya Sai Baba(many fools from Western countries,take the trouble of visiting this charlatan in India so much so that his tiny hometown in S India now has an international airport)

4.Mohandas Gandhi-say what you will -no one likes pacifism!If Americans really did care for turning the other cheek, they need look further than the Amish.Of course Gandhis Hinduism was a modern day perversion of a faith whose most sacred text takes place on the battlefield and is essentially a pep talki by Krishna imploring his protege to do his duty-grow a pair and fight your cousins and uncles for ...LAND!

5.Evangelical and other Christian fundamentalists which consider such religions to be demonic.

6.Reinvigorated Christian and Jewish faith based organizations in the 80s which seek to regain their lost flock.

7.Competition from a fellow monotheist religion-Islam.

Rohan Swee said...

Maya: So now they all have a few kids, since the religious community required them to get the maximum use out of their remaining fertility, a husband and a place in life which isn't conditional on their looks not talents.

You're probably right that this is more representative of converts than my example. And they're nowhere near as irritating, as they likely haven't devoted their earlier lives to sneering at Mary Whitehouse, then in the later years turning around to simper about how moral and upright those Muslims are, relative to all us slaggy degenerate Westerners.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Seriously though, most Orthodox Churches are ethnic, and hence closed communities. The only way into them is by birth or marriage.

Not so. Let the American sectarian conflict begin!

Anonymous said...

What about paganism?

Genuine paganism that is, not the vague, catch-all term.

The Pagan Bible explains genuine paganism and is available in its entirety for free here:

http://www.nyx.net/~wboas/pagan.txt

Vinteuil said...

"What is the attraction of Islam?"

Well, among other things, its theology is much, much simpler & more immediately plausible than that of Christianity: no "trinity," no "incarnation" - & suchlike "mysteries" - just 200 proof monotheism, neat.

Defeated said...

Did you really think he was going to come out while his macho daddy is still alive. He can now hide out in a Muslim country and cavort with the numerous closeted gays. They certainly won't out him to the tabloids. As a bonus, he can put a fake mustache on one of his wives and make his dad a granddaddy. She'll know enough to keep her mouth shut too.

Defeated said...

"Very appealing stuff, IMHO: not at all in conflict with science, not absolutist (you can take as much as you want from it, if anything -- no need to buy into the whole shebang), yet amazingly provocative and insightful about life-experience. A good Vedanta talk -- and they're talks, not lectures or sermons -- can be a brain and spirit-opening thing."

Religion as a NPR blog. And to paraphrase Greg Guttfeld, listening to NPR is like taking a long bus ride sitting next to Judd Hirsch. Not for me. Follow your bliss.

Easterners tend to satisfy their mystical appetites with things like numerology.

dogzma said...

"Well, among other things, its theology is much, much simpler & more immediately plausible than that of Christianity: no "trinity," no "incarnation" - & suchlike "mysteries" - just 200 proof monotheism, neat."

You know the trinity is rather neatly explained making it comprehensible even to children.

All religions have inconsistencies requiring leaps of logic or faith. Just as they all have an internal logic theologians apply when explaining the religions conduct code, eschatological theories and whether or not their faith accepts secular scientific theories.

There is nothing about Islam making it simpler or more obvious than any other religion. From my recollections, more mystical aspects of Islam harken back to earlier gnostic religions while the symbolism has much in common with the paganism of the Arabian peninsula. In other words, Islam belongs to a particular culture as do all the various religions.

If you're looking for simplified universalism incorporating the symbolism of many religions, I think the Baha' i are your best bet. They may even be the esperanto of religion.

Anonymous said...

sunbeam said...
"I just don't get it.
What is the attraction of Islam?"

Maybe it's just a general revulsion with Christianity. There's hardly ANYBODY less "Christian" than your average "Christian". And THAT goes all the way back to the Crusades.

Anonymous said...

they're nowhere near as irritating, as they likely haven't devoted their earlier lives to sneering at Mary Whitehouse,

What's so great about her anyway? She might as well be Pol Pot's sister.

Anonymous said...

Seriously though, most Orthodox Churches are ethnic, and hence closed communities. The only way into them is by birth or marriage.

Not so. Let the American sectarian conflict begin!

All the Orthodox churches that I have encountered are based on some ethnicity - Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Serbian. And all are closed communities that do not accept newcomers no matter how zealous and sincere.

If you have run into a universalist Orthodox church, please let me know.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

And all are closed communities that do not accept newcomers no matter how zealous and sincere.

If you have run into a universalist Orthodox church, please let me know.


I'm a convert in the Antiochian Archdiocese. OCA and ROCOR accept converts as well. ROCOR and Antioch have also started shepherding 'Western Rite' parishes. The Greeks can be very insular but most parishes have figured out that their children are outmarrying, the old folks are dying and they aren't a state-supported Church like in the old country. If you like, go to my blog and EM me.

James Kabala said...

There are a number of fairly well-known American converts to Orthodoxy, including two of the American Conservative bloggers (Rod Dreher and Daniel Larison).

I believe most belong to the Antiochan Orthodox Church, which is Middle Eastern in origin but has adopted a deliberate policy of welcoming converts. However, I am not aware of any Orthodox Church that is explicitly limited to a particular ethnicity and explicitly forbids converts. Anonymous is wrong.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe it's just a general revulsion with Christianity. There's hardly ANYBODY less "Christian" than your average "Christian". And THAT goes all the way back to the Crusades."

I resent being raised Catholic because few people take it seriously. Just look at Newt and his wife. I read while Calista was having her affair with Newt she was singing in the choir every week at church. I consider myself to be stupid and a sucker for taking it seriously while everyone else was partying it up.It screwed up my mind and my life totally. I truly hate people who at 60 or 70 become Christian after they had a pleasant, normal life with all their woman and no guilt.

Vinteuil said...

@dogzma: "You know the trinity is rather neatly explained making it comprehensible even to children."

Well, yeah, I'm familiar with various "explanations" of the doctrine of the trinity that attempt, more or less plausibly, to reconcile it with monotheism.

But when it comes to the doctrine of the incarnation...

...well...

...that's another matter entirely.

dogzma said...

"But when it comes to the doctrine of the incarnation...

...well...

...that's another matter entirely."

Evidence that esoteric philosophies along with elements of pagan religions were intertwined with our more modern monotheistic Judaism, Christianity and Islam was one of the reasons I became an agnostic.

As for Islam, I consider it more heavily synthesized than Christianity because it arose later. I honestly don't know how a non Muslim can view it as more pure or a correction of the earlier two.

Anonymous said...

As for Islam, I consider it more heavily synthesized than Christianity because it arose later

Later, and more at the same time.

Islam is better integrated than Christianity, with fewer contradictions, and more of an intituive sense to an outsider.

Note that this is as much a bad thing as it is good.

dogzma said...

"Islam is better integrated than Christianity, with fewer contradictions, and more of an intituive sense to an outsider."

The Satanic Verses?

Aisha's life on the line for searching for her necklace with a male friend?

You need to back this up with proof unless what you really mean is that there's strict control over the schools of theology.

As an outsider, I've found nothing particularly commonsense about Islam. It's a copycat religion in a totalitarian society; that's all.

If I have nothing to fear from muslims, do not contradict me with meaningless assertions again.

Rohan Swee said...

What's so great about her anyway?

I have to assume that you're the same "anonymous" who keeps having such difficulty grasping other simple points I've made elsewhere.

Maybe it's just a general revulsion with Christianity. There's hardly ANYBODY less "Christian" than your average "Christian". And THAT goes all the way back to the Crusades.

And probably this one, too.

I consider myself to be stupid and a sucker for taking it seriously while everyone else was partying it up.It screwed up my mind and my life totally. I truly hate people who at 60 or 70 become Christian after they had a pleasant, normal life with all their woman and no guilt.

Teh hypocrasy!

But seriously, son, you should be grateful to Rome for providing you with a one stop blame-shop for every misfortune, screw-up, and unhappiness that you've encountered and will encounter in this vale of tears. (And blaming everything on your Catholic upbringing will get you cred with all the right people!)

Anonymous said...

Van Nostrand:

As to why Westerners dont care for Vedanta/Eastern spirituality-there are various culprits

1.Hippies-these filthy unwashed vermin

Do you mean actual hippies (of all ages and generations) or baby boomers?

If you meant those who follow the hippie lifestyle, I see your point. It would have been better if hippies invented an all-new, all-hippie religion. Something like the Church of All Worlds (which is really more geared to freaks than to hippies.)

As for Baby Boomers, they are nothing but followers, following whatever fad happens to be cool.

4.Mohandas Gandhi-say what you will -no one likes pacifism!If Americans really did care for turning the other cheek, they need look further than the Amish.Of course Gandhis Hinduism was a modern day perversion

Which worked for a specific political purpose, getting the war-weary British out of India. But Gandhi really wasn't so great a man, just one who happened to be in the right place at the right time, and knew how to advertise.

5.Evangelical and other Christian fundamentalists which consider such religions to be demonic.

I'll also add jingoistic patriots who may be prejudiced not towards Asians racially, but to their culture. They too often see Red China and/or Imperial Japan in anything Eastern. Irony of irony, who did the most to destroy Buddhism ... Chairman Mao.

The powerful China Lobby of missionaries in the 1950s more than likely did their share of slandering "the godless heathen East".

The popularity outbreak of Eastern religions at the time of the Vietnam War didn't help endear them to conservatives, either.

6.Reinvigorated Christian and Jewish faith based organizations in the 80s which seek to regain their lost flock.

Again, the Baby Boomer Jesus Freaks made peace with the has-beens of the Silent Majority. And the faith-based organizations which you speak made good political mileage out of being "christian". The Jesus Freaks had their cake and ate it too - being Christian but not one of the established churches. That worked only for a short time.

David Davenport said...

... jingoistic patriots ...

My kind of people.

Anonymous said...

David Davenport said...
... jingoistic patriots ...

My kind of people.


Some honesty at last.