Thursday, January 16, 2014

"The eternal dream is born on the wings of ageless light"

A loony

      A family of monkeys follow me on the way to class, and water buffaloes halt traffic as they casually stroll across the street making their way to the closest pond. The air smells of mint and smoke, and off in the distance I hear the chanting from the Shiva temple mix with the call to prayer from the nearby Masjid. These are a few of the things which have become common, almost to such a degree that I no longer notice them. Almost daily I take long walks by myself, and sometimes I am not sure whether to burst into tears or erupt in laughter. Solitude makes me feel more alive than anything else, while simultaneously giving me the sensation of losing my mind completely.

      Rest assured, all is well. After trekking through the hills of Maharashtra, I settled down in the quaintness of the Konad coast. Many of the villages along the seaside have retained their traditional ways, and they have a genuine charm that is warm and inviting. I found the perfect little beach-side shack in Murud, and woke up to  find a little puppy on my door step. I ended up breaking my pact of staying in a different city each night, as Murud was just too peaceful to part with. The locals encouraged me to try their favorite beverage known a Taadi; a coconut based wine which cleans your digestive system while also giving a natural high. Two for one, yeah!

       Now I return to Hyderabad for another semester What is this academia of which I have spent the last fifteen years subjecting myself? We throw around big ideas, theories and terms with our super sophisticated words, intellectually fondling each other as we write papers and prepare presentations. But what are we doing?! *sigh* Perhaps it's dangerous to think so much. For now Ill just roll with it and see if I can figure it out along the way. I have discovered, however, that I no longer wish to consider myself an artist or a scientist; rather some kind of mixture of the two. Courses for this semester include:

Theories of Power and Opposition
Foundations of Cognitive Science
Politics in the Globalizing World
Biological Anthropology
Hindustani Shatriya Sangeet

      The more I get into music, the more I realize I cannot work exclusively with this medium. My compositions are becoming more like experimental theater, and as far as my overall life aspirations I am more apt to facilitate sound studies as appose to music studies. Anthropology also has it's limitations. Interdisciplinary study seems to be the only way to satisfy my interests as far as the academic world is concerned, and the study of consciousness is one which demands interdisciplinary approaches. Some mixture of philosophy, anthropology, music and cognitive science should yield the concepts I am seeking, once I get over this whole "why am I even in school" thing. RocknRoll!

I hope everybody enjoyed the refreshment of the full moon.
Big lovin hugs to all yall peoples across the globe,

Baba Granjam - Nate King


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

" I wish that I was born a thousand years ago,"

The Rollin' Stone

      People ask me, "Where are you going?" and I respond, "I don't know". The one thing I do know is that I am seeking, just like everyone else, for some truth; something beyond the mundane, mindless, 'going-through-the-motions' kind of life. I have learned to detach myself from the expectation that I will reach this goal of knowing, because to reach it is to stop growing. Just by seeking I am already there, and by being there I am absolutely here!...Okay...allow me to back up a bit.

      After spending time with my mother and sister I set off to Maharashtra as I have a friend (a carnatic flute player) who was willing to let me stay the night in his home. From there I set off to find an ashram in hopes of spending new years eve in meditation. The Rama-Krishna mission in Mumbai turned me away because apparently foreigners must have references? And the Gagangiri ashram in Khopoli seemed suspicious of my appearance and told me this place was reserved for devotees.

     Ironically, I ended up spending new years eve in a church! A very nice young man saw me wandering the streets of Khopoli and invited to a midnight worship service where members of the village shared testimonies and sang family songs that have been passed down through generations ( I ended up playing some guitar).
It was here that I realize I have come full circle; back to Christianity. After experimenting with Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and other practices, my interest is returning to the religion that was thrust upon me as a child.

     Who is this Jesus fellow everybody's so wild about? What is all of this "died for our sins business"? Is this somehow related to the idea that we are all "born with a black heart of sin"? I am extremely skeptical of the Catholic church, and the obvious corruption therein. Would Jesus have really been interested in building a golden city with palaces for the religious leaders? At what point did his message get skewed and turned into some mutilated form of sheep herding. Was there really even one man named Jesus, or is this actually a compilation of several different influential figures.

      I do not claim to know the answers to these questions, but I certainly enjoy asking them. In the bible, Jesus is born...there's a little note about his childhood...and then suddenly he's in his early thirties performing miracles and such. What happened during those missing years? There is a theory that he lived in India;
 practiced spiritually with monks and learned ancient methods of soul realization and enlightenment. Of course, this is controversial, because it takes away from the Euro-centric view of Christianity.

    I am interested in Jesus the teacher, not the martyr. Jesus the man, not the god. His words, not the words of the church and religious leaders. People often talk of the second coming of Christ, and this is commonly
 thought to mean a literal return of Jesus in the flesh. There is, however, another way to interpret this idea of second coming. Imagine instead Christ Consciousness: The state of being that he achieved. Imagine further that this consciousness could be realized within yourself and those around you. Imagine that we could each become our own Shepard, instead of another roaming sheep.

    As of now, I'll keep roaming. There are some ancient Buddhist caves nearby that I hope to visit. After that I'll see which way the earth's magnetism is pulling me and set off to find a place to rest for the night. I wish not to offend anyone, only to stir up interesting conversation and deep contemplation. Please feel free to comment here, on facebook, or in a personal message to me. I love feedback, almost as much as I love my readers.  Let's keep livin' the dream.

Don't stop believin',
Granola Baba