The Internet and the Divine? by Ivy Helman

studyWhen my dad was in town for the wedding, he asked me a question about Prague.  I didn’t know the answer.  So, I said, “let me look on my all-knowing phone.”  I googled the question, found a reliable website and told him what it said.

I used to only mention the qualifier all-knowing, or omniscient, in relation to theology, often in discussions of theodicy: who is the divine in the midst of evil and suffering?  If we presume that G-d is all-knowing, does that mean that the divine has competition?  Perhaps that is a crass remark, but I also think there is a measure of truth to the idea.  In reality, the phone is not a divine competitor, but the internet might be.  And, maybe, then the phone is our intermediary or our way to access the divine.  Computers belong to this distinction as well.

This concept of technology taking the place of the divine is not new.  The television set has been accused of being an altar.  That is clearly not a compliment.  Continue reading “The Internet and the Divine? by Ivy Helman”

Masyanya’s Punk Buddhism by Oxana Poberejnaia

oxanaIn autumn 2001 I attended a youth workshop in Moscow, where I saw for the first time a brand new flash animation character who would accompany us in our young adulthood. Her name is Masyanya. She is a leader of a punk rock band. She does not take herself too seriously, but she means everything she says or does. I look up to her. She makes me laugh. And in one of the recent episodes Masyanya taught her male friend Lokhmaty (Shaggy) Buddhist meditation.

220px-Masyanya-Lokhmaty-Hryundel_from_cartoon_Russian_Punk_RockMasyanya is a creation of Oleg Kuvaev, a male Russian designer and animator. You can read his brief history of the project and watch episodes without dialogue here. On YouTube there are some Masyanya episodes with English subtitles, like this one, entitled “Women Triangles”.

Continue reading “Masyanya’s Punk Buddhism by Oxana Poberejnaia”

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