The Elusive Patriarchy by Oxana Poberejnaia

oxanaThe sense of separate personal identity is elusive. It is difficult to observe, find and bring to the surface of consciousness where, according to Buddhist beliefs, it dissipates naturally, like a bubble of foam popping. In the same way patriarchy is entrenched in so many different ways and on so many different levels in society that it is as difficult to reach out to it and weed it.

tharavadamonkThere is a Sutta in Theravadin Canon called “Khemaka Sutta” (About Khemaka). The main character in the Sutta, Buddhist monk Khemaka explains his understanding of the “lingering residual ‘I am’ conceit, an ‘I am’ desire, an ‘I am’ obsession.” Khemaka says that it is as difficult to capture and wash away as the remaining scents in clothes that have been washed over and over again.

In Western psychology, there is a notion of catharsis: allowing one self to experience previously repressed emotions. For instance, ancient Greek tragedies like Oedipus are seen as these psychological journeys for the audience. The spectators initially refuse to admit they have certain forbidden impulses. However, through empathising with the protagonist they unwittingly allow themselves to experience those. Healing happens as a result.

Continue reading “The Elusive Patriarchy by Oxana Poberejnaia”

Things That Make Me Cry: The Practice of Unbelief by Leanne Dedrick

I have been doing a lot of unpacking lately, both literally and figuratively. I have recently moved to a different city, and returned to a place I once knew well, many years ago. It hasn’t been a case of ‘going home again’ as much as it has been an expression of self awareness of my preferences, but as with other significant life events, there are surprises waiting around each corner — surprises that carry with them hidden issues that require figurative unpacking. For the purposes of this post, however, I will only address one. It is the one that left my FB friends scratching their heads and sending me comments like, “WTF?” and “Wow. You surprise me!” and “Have you lost your mind?” It also led to the most annoying statement anyone can ever hear, “Obviously, you have issues you aren’t dealing with…” I don’t know about you, and maybe it is just my age, or the fact that I am a philosopher, but it is damn near the biggest insult you can pay me. The way I see it, and live it, my obsessively organized and compulsively compartmentalized mind is constantly on hyper-drive when it comes to analyzing and ‘dealing’ with my ‘issues.’ So after a few days of sitting with (read: doing anything but calmly sitting with) my annoyance and reviewing my own out of character posts, I have gotten to a place where I can begin to unpack the responses of others, rather than perseverate on my own insecurities. Continue reading “Things That Make Me Cry: The Practice of Unbelief by Leanne Dedrick”
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