When we talk about the major figures in Western Classical music, Mozart is seen as representing the unique genius of Classicism. His music is the easiest to approach.J.S. Bach is on another level, such that it is almost difficult to think of him only as a composer. His art is filled with mystery, passion, profundity, and exaltation. He is thought of as the apex of the Baroque.
The influence of Beethoven, in comparison to other composers, in my thinking, eclipses the boundaries of music. When his music is known in context, we can begin to understand just how much it changed, not only music, but all of Western consciousness and Western Culture…
Recently, a friend of mine asked what I thought a Dharma center could offer to engage people who are new to Buddhism. The first few items came to mind right away, and within the week the list had grown to six things that I think are especially needed at this time, in this culture.
Friends, a couple of months ago I came across a wonderful podcast called ‘This Esoteric Life’. In it, Christopher ‘Free’ covers a broad range of subjects from The Western Esoteric Tradition, and he does so in an inspired way. So I sent him a message and suggested we do a program on Buddhism and A Belief in the Miraculous as a starting point, and here it is. The program we did together is titled, ‘Esoteric Buddhism‘.
The notes and essays in this collection were written over the last couple of years, as I’ve prepared for events, and communicated with scholars, curators, and representatives from universities. In a few cases, I’ve included something just because it has a family story or two in it.Perhaps all together these will help someone who is interested to get a fuller idea of who my father was, along with his own writing, and his art, of course.
When it comes to the legacy of Barack Obama, the Left is divided. Some see him as a heroic figure that did his best for the country, despite Republican opposition, while others see him as a traitor to progressive values. With Trump’s election, it’s essential that we understand what took place during Obama’s presidency because it’s only in knowing our recent history that a unified progressive movement can make it’s way forward. We owe ourselves and the coming generation of activists at least this much.
As American soldiers returned from Vietnam in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, they were often met with scorn, and mistreated. The anger directed towards them came from an enraged and educated opposition that had gradually become aware of the injustice and sheer criminality of the wars being waged.
Last year I wrote an article, The New Extreme of the American Left, that describes the way many people who identify themselves as progressives today view the modern soldier. I began my article with what I thought was a given: In the late 1960’s and early 70’s, as American soldiers returned from Vietnam, they were met with scorn, spat on in airports, and called “baby killers”. To my surprise, I learned that there is another narrative, being held up by the left in particular (commondreams, truthout, alternet, seattletimes) that says vets were never spit upon. I found this hard to believe, and so I did a bit of research.