Filed under: departure lounge, the sweet life | Tags: Bhangra, Peggy's Cove
Buraq with Taj Mahal, a poster from Delhi. Image: Sandria Freitag personal collection/Public Domain Review.
South China Morning Post
Filed under: brave new world | Tags: capitalism, Neoliberalism, New Prophets of Capital, Nicole Aschoff, Oprah, self help, success
Oprah says it’s not the system, it’s you.
She tells us the market will solve grave political, social and environmental problems, as long as we adjust ourselves to its demands.
She sees your anxiety and tells you it is not the fault of all of these very real external social problems; rather it is your fault, you just haven’t worked hard enough to comply with the rules.
For someone doing well, emphasizing how you improve yourself through your own efforts is empowering; the successful cling to this ideology because it has worked very well for them.
But, for someone with anxiety and thoughts of alienation, Oprah’s ideology is pretty dispiriting. It reinforces a punitive view that becomes pervasive and pushes people deeper into helplessness and passivity.
What we get is a passive, atomized, isolated populace unwilling to think and to articulate what ails them and how to make it better; a culture that is punitive – a very real Stockholm-syndrome culture of self censure and self defeat; and finally institutions that, although fatally flawed, remain unchallenged and increase in corruption and power.
The irony is that the message seems so affirming and yet is so destructive, and the tragedy is the lives that it takes.
From New Prophets of Capital:
Oprah is one of a new group of elite storytellers who present practical solutions to society’s problems that can be found within the logic of existing profit-driven structures of production and consumption. They promote market-based solutions to the problems of corporate power, technology, gender divides, environmental degradation, alienation and inequality.
Oprah recognizes the pervasiveness of anxiety and alienation in our society. But instead of examining the economic or political basis of these feelings, she advises us to turn our gaze inward and reconfigure ourselves to become more adaptable to the vagaries and stresses of the neoliberal moment.
The way Oprah tells us to get through it all and realize our dreams is always to adapt ourselves to the changing world, not to change the world we live in. We demand little or nothing from the system, from the collective apparatus of powerful people and institutions. We only make demands of ourselves.
We are the perfect, depoliticized, complacent neoliberal subjects.
extract from New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff, published by Verso Books.
Filed under: the sweet life, unseen world | Tags: Alain Daniélou, animals, Gods of Love and Ecstasy, pasha, pashu, Pashupati, pati, Rudra, vegetables
Shiva’s flock is all living beings: gods, animal, human. Each of the three differ by role and level (in a hierarchy) but aspects of each are evident in each of the other two.
Pati are people in which the god element predominates. Pashu are people in which the animal element predominates. Pasha is the bond that connects all living things.
Pasha is the natural divine law to which all other human laws and conventions must bend. All morality hinges on the pasha which is the bond between god, human, animal and vegetable species.
Wherever the Shiva Dionysus cult spread the pasha respect for the animal and vegetable worlds can be seen.
“Rudra lives in forests and jungles. He is called Pashupati, Lord of the wild beasts.” (Shatapatha Brahmana, XII, 7, 3, 20.) Shiva’s flock comprises all living beings, including man. The difference between beasts, men and gods is only one of role and level in a continuous hierarchy. The various aspects of being are present in varying degrees in all forms of existence. No god is without animality, no animal without humanity, no man without a part of divinity. Three components are distinguishable in all men: pati, pashu and pasha. Those in whom the pati (master) element is dominant are the wise, who are close to the gods, understand the rules of divine activity and creation, and take part in it. Men in whom the animal element predominates are called pashu (cattle). The abstract element, pasha (bond or snare), expresses the unity and interdependence off all forms of life. Pasha, the bond is the body of laws connecting the various elements of matter and living being bound up in creation.
There is no morality other than that of respecting the pasha, or bond, meaning the interdependence of the animal world, the divine and ourselves, and of realizing the place we occupy in the overall plan of the divine work, the affinities which bind us to the animal and vegetable species and the responsibilities which are implicated thereby. Pasha may be defined as the natural law, which is divine law. All other moral law is only social convention, which can have no value on a universal level. All true morality must confirm to these basic laws on which creation is founded. Social conventions established by human laws have nothing to do with religion. Wherever the influence of the Shiva-Dionysus cult has spread, great importance is given to the animal and vegetable world. The aspect of religious history seems often to have escaped the modern scholars of the ancient world.
Gods of Love and Esctasy, The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus, Alain Danielou