On monarchy in literature and life

Monarchy has been a feature of human societies since time immemorial, and is ensconced in our literary traditions.  The two passages above are both taken from the funerals of famous leaders depicted in literature, and remind us of recent scenes following the death of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  That is to say, they both display two profound elements that must come into play on any such occasion, namely, solemn ritual and sorrowful emotion.

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Ethics in the Upanishads

Literature from across the world engages with ethical questions and moral quandaries, and plays a role in cultivating our moral sensibilities.  Religious literatures often present ethical teachings indirectly, such as in the form of parables, or more directly, such as moral commandments.  In the Upanishads of late Vedic India, we find both ethical and metaphysical teachings set out in contexts of lineages of teachers and students. 

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On stealing from the gods

wisdom, forbidden knowledge, and access to divinity itself.  Divine trickery may be involved.  And the theft may be followed by divine anger and punishment.  This article will briefly review and compare three such myths, that of the eating from the ‘tree of knowledge’ in the Garden of Eden, the Greek myth of the theft of fire on behalf of humanity, and a similar Vedic myth about the stealing of fire.

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The rage of the warrior in literature

I previously discussed how strong emotions such as grief and rage well up from a very deep place within the self, expressing themselves in ways which go beyond the usual range of human expression, and how, according to the Indian tradition, the first poetic verse utterance emerged as an expression of deep sorrow.  We see this particularly in the expression of rage on the battlefield, as will be described here.

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Some Indo-European thoughts on time

Our day-to-day experience of time passing can be highly non-linear and subjective, as we move from giving rapid presentations to enjoying lazy Sunday afternoons.  Science too has studied how our brains have the ability to slow down and speed up our perception of time.  In this way, our lived experience of the flow of time diverges sharply from the scientific description of this experience.

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