Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wisdom Network News: Midlife Crises Galore

T.B. Macpherson

Male midlife crisis from a Jungian point of view (

Midway through a promising career as a world-renonwed Buddhist teacher, British born Ajahn Brahm, took it upon himself to ordain women in the Theravada tradition -- a first for a senior monk in Thailand's forest tradition. The fallout continues in spite of the fact that there are now fully ordained Buddhist nuns in various Theravadin countries:

Thai Buddhist council severs ties over women
BANGKOK (Monsters&Critics) - Thailand's Sangha Supreme Council, which governs the country's Buddhist monkhood, has severed all ties with an Australian monastery for ordaining two Buddhist nuns, media reports said Tuesday. "The expulsion took effect Monday after the council had ruled to cancel the monastery's status as a branch of Wat Nongpapong in Ubon Ratchathani province," The Nation online news site reported. More>>

It's never too late to change your mind spiritually -- or to change it back again -- as this story from India illustrates:

SURAT CITY - In its offensive against conversion of tribals to Christianity, the Maharashtra-based Shree Sampraday sect claimed to have reconverted 1,747 people back to Hinduism in Surat on Monday. A shadow has, however, been cast on the event with Surat district magistrate taking note of the organizers’ failure to seek permission for reconversion as stipulated in the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, 2003. The camp to reconvert tribals, who had embraced Christianity was held in the city for the first time and nearly 5,000 people from Maharashtra and Gujarat participated in the ceremony. More>>

Need to portray Hinduism’s human face
CHENNAI - Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa here on Thursday refuted perceptions that Hindu spiritual organizations lacked social consciousness and that they lacked commitment to social service. He said networking and showcasing their social activities was the best way to demolish such myths. “This myth (about Hinduism) needs to be demolished in order to gain the rightful place for these organizations in the global order of things,” he said at a function to inaugurate the first ever “Hindu Spiritual and Services Fair-2009,” by over 100 Hindu spiritual organizations across India. More>>

Former Security Advisor predicts two wars for India
"In the next four years Pakistan and China may attack us." The former Indian National Security Advisor, Brajesh Mishra, has predicted that in next four years, India may have to defend itself from Pakistan and China at the same time. Mishra said that China's present threat to India is more dangerous than in 1962, when the countries clashed in a war, and that Indian politicians were to blame for India's weak defense position. He pointed out at a book-release function in New Delhi that there has been a change in China's stand regarding Kashmir, which could lead to a bigger threat. More>>

But what midlife crisis would be complete without an impulse for sexual indiscretion or outright misconduct? Divorce or infidelity is usually enough. Yet, from time to time people, even monks, get in much more trouble.

  • One year jail term for pedophile Briton in Cambodia
    PHNOM PENH (AFP) — A Cambodian court on Friday sentenced a British man to one year in prison for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl. Judge Ke Sakhan of Phnom Penh Municipal Court convicted 51-year-old Gareth Ashley Corbett, arrested in the popular seaside town of Sihanoukville in July, of committing indecent acts. He handed Corbett the one-year jail term and ordered him to pay a 1,000-dollar fine. More>>
  • Mo. man says monk rape charge retaliation
    ST. LOUIS (UPI) -- A Missouri man facing an extortion charge is sticking by his allegations that a Roman Catholic monk exposed himself to him. Steven Gillispie, 45, told the St. Louis (Mo.) Post-Dispatch that he made up a rape allegation only after the monk's order failed to pay him off over what Gillispie said was a flashing incident that actually took place. More>>

Then there's the meaning of life and the search for it. It's about giving of yourself, saving the world, doing for others, communing with nature... All that is accomplished by becoming an activist participating in a great movement like saving the whales and the ocean.

Japanese whalers clash with militant activists
CANBERRA, Australia – Japanese whalers and militant conser-vationists have clashed in the Antarctic Ocean over two days, with weapons including water cannon, blinding lasers and bottles of rancid acid, both sides said Wednesday. (Slideshow: Whaling Controversy) Each accused the other of coming dangerously close during the clashes. Neither reported any injuries or ship damage. More>>

Pondering Nature, God, and Existence
(NYT) Mr. Douthat tells readers that in the absence of an “escape upward” from heartless Nature into the arms of a God willing to “take on flesh and come among us,” human existence is a tragedy. He further says that we are “beasts with self-consciousness” who “stand half inside the natural world and half outside it.” More>>

Scientists complete sequencing Tibetan antelope genome

Fluffy mystery at edge of Solar System solved
( Our solar system is passing through a cloud of interstellar material that shouldn't be there, astronomers say. [Is it Xirbiru?] And now the decades-old Voyager spacecraft have helped solved the mystery. The cloud is called the "Local Fluff." It's about 30 light-years wide and holds a wispy mix of hydrogen and helium atoms, according to a NASA statement released today. Stars that exploded nearby, about 10 million years ago, should have crushed the Fluff or blown it away. So what's holding the Fluff in place? "Using data from Voyager, we have discovered... More>>

The vast Santanic conspiracy

Is St. Nick the tool of a plot too monstrous to mention? Could it be… SATAN?

Christian soldiers, marching as to war in the pitched battle for the meaning of Christmas, worry that Santa is a tool of the vast Satanic conspiracy. To be sure, the similarity of their names, identical but for one transposed letter, is provocative.... Could the Religious Wrong be right, just this once? Is Santa the Deceiver’s way of hijacking the Christ child’s birthday? Kriss Kringle is a corruption of the German dialectal Christkindl, “little Christ child.” Were Satan and Santa separated at birth? More>>

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