Friday, July 18, 2008

Lotus: Harbin, India & Freedom

I was talking with B at Harbin today on the sun deck near the Mainside pool area. He has visited India, as have I. India feels and is very connected, we agreed ~ it's an incredible place for its tolerant and wide-ranging fabric of life. But India is very ritualistic, he observed, and these patterns are very ingrained in an age-old society. I observed that social patterns there are very unconscious, especially around conceptions of the divine, and there are a lot of these in India. And the U.S., in particular, has 'broken' this, I observed, with, for example, both with Modernity and the separation of church (with some historical connotations of culture, etc.) and state (e.g. see George L. Alexander's 'Separation of Church and State' online in “Friends' Journal” in Jan 2008), written into the U.S. constitution. And the U.S. also has deep-rooted strands of individualism and libertarianism in its fabric of life, which support this freedom to express, to think freely, and to create as one wants. But in some ways, B observed, the U.S. is more spiritual than India. You can create your own 'thing' spiritually in the U.S., that isn't ritualistic, - much more easily than in India, and especially on the west coast of the U.S., I said, {and at places, for example, like Harbin Hot Springs and vis-a-vis the Rainbow Gathering}. And these opportunities for creation expanded enormously and creatively with the 1960s and 1970s.

Anthropological research into the west coast of the U.S. especially California, as well as India, will lead to different interpretations than the above, or extend them in far-reaching ways.

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