guest posts

The Religion of Hate.

Two weeks ago, my friend Adwait wrote a guest post here: Thought for Food: Attachment. Last week, I mentioned that I was letting go from this blog a little bit. Letting go also means I’ll be sharing this space with Adwait occasionally. Is that cool? Let us know what you think! That said, here’s his potentially controversial post for today.


You’ve probably noticed that Pastor Jones of Gainesville, Florida is in the news again. What would Jesus have to say about his actions? I certainly don’t think he would award him a medal. Yes, 9/11 was tragic, very much so. Senseless violence that resulted in loss of innocent life. There is absolutely no way for us to try and make sense of what happened on that day. It’s not possible. But, for our part, resorting to vengeful, hateful and irresponsible deeds like those of our good Pastor here will not help us achieve anything. It will not solve our problems. Neither will it help end the meaningless violence being carried out in the name of religion the world over.

Obviously, since he lives in America, Jones enjoys the right to say and do as he pleases. But the world is not going to be oblivious to his actions. People take notice. Sentiments will be hurt. More fuel will be added to the ‘fight-fire-with-fire’ mentality. More anger, more protests, more flag burning, more threats and more loss of life. By the way, what about Pastor Jones’ congregation? Do they also hate just like he does? I shudder to think how far this has spread its wings. On the other hand, one might ask, why single him out? Why not call out the perpetrators who started this mess in the first place? Well, how far back in time shall we go? Religiously motivated violence has existed for centuries. When will this ever end? When are we going to stop hating and killing in the name of religion? It seems rather counterproductive, does it not? That’s not the point of religion.

No matter what his views are, Pastor Jones is just like you and I. Perhaps he grew up in an environment that was a breeding ground for narrow-mindedness and hatred. So it doesn’t seem too farfetched to think that had you or I been in his shoes we might have formed opinions similar to his. After all, underneath our skins and inside our bodies we all have the same heart, the same organs and the same mind. Our thoughts and opinions can easily be twisted and bent any which way. Just like the words in sacred texts that are misinterpreted and abused.  So there is nothing that makes one person ‘more special’ than the next. Not religion, not race, not the size of your TV, not your Armani tuxedos, and not your imported caviar.

Look, we all want the same thing out of life. We all want to be happy and free from suffering. Whatever our beliefs, they are supposed to help guide us down that path. Our faith is simply the means to an end. Every religion at its core teaches brotherhood, to love and care for one another and to respect others. Every religion is rooted in the same basic belief that we are all equally capable of leading meaningful and happy lives. But instead of focusing on what should bring us together we continually find ways to highlight differences. Religion is supposed to benefit humanity and not drive us to the brink of our own destruction.

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, believes that “The purpose of all the major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts.” Sadly, given the current state of affairs and our mindset in general, this only seems like wishful thinking.

Will we live to see the day when religion is no longer used as an excuse for violence and hatred?

Can we truly bring ourselves to change the way we perceive things we do not fully understand?

guest posts · random

Thought For Food: Attachment.

Friends! I have a treat for you! I recently asked my friend Adwait if he would be willing to write a guest post for my blog and he managed to give me something awesome. I’m really excited to share it with you! He doesn’t have a website, but maybe after this, he’ll think about it. It’s also the first guest post on this blog. If you would like to write something here, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me – Lowaww [at] gmail [dot] com.


About the Author
Buongiorno, I’m Adwait. Most people say add-weight. That’s not totally wrong, but that’s not correct either. Phonetically, its ədvəit. Otherwise əd-wait is cool. Not a big deal. It’s a hard name. Europeans and Asians say it right though. Probably because their languages are phonetically a lot more thorough. Call me Andy otherwise. It’s cool. For more information go here.

——-

We all go through trying times in our lives – times that really test our mettle, our resolve to see things through till the very end. Essentially, that’s what life is all about. Isn’t life about appreciating the good moments, overcoming the bad ones and thus becoming more resilient? Who among us can say that their life is just so perfect that they do not have a concern or a single care or are not worried or anxious about anything? We always seem to spend hours thinking and worrying about our problems. But what if we try to understand how, where and why these ‘problems’ originate?

When we look deep within ourselves we might realize that most of our so-called problems originate in our own minds. Our minds are like highly flammable morsels of kerosene-soaked tinder just waiting to burst into flames of negative thought at the slightest provocation. Our thoughts and feelings are constantly being fueled by deadly poisons – pride, anger, jealousy, greed, lust, ignorance, enmity, hatred, fear, desire and most importantly, in my opinion, attachment. Attachment is when we obsess and intensely fixate on something and convince ourselves that we can’t survive without it. Attachment to objects, moments, a status, tastes, smells, sights, attitudes, behaviors, opinions, ideas, places, people, etc. These attachments tend to take over our lives and we lose sight of who we really are. Attachments put us in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction and we constantly want more, more, and more. We become junkies and strive to get our ‘fix’ one way or another. This incessant craving for gratification through external means causes undue stress, makes us worry and leads to suffering.

Next time I find myself worrying about or ‘attaching’ to something I’ll try to discover the true nature of my emotions. I’ll try to look deep within. I’ll try to look at my emotions objectively and without prejudice. What am I being motivated by? Is it due to raw desire, misplaced pride, lust, greed or jealousy? Is it because I think I deserve something (time to get off my high horse)? Am I anxious because I feel that after attaining this object I will be free from my misery? Moreover, if I do attain this object is there a guarantee that my life will remain worry-free thereafter? What’s the worst that can happen if I don’t get it? Does my troubled state of mind truly reflect reality or is this a distorted image that my mind has conjured up?

Tilopa, a tenth-century Indian yogi once said, “It is not the outer objects that entangle us. It is the inner clinging that entangles us.” In other words, the problem and the solution both lie within.