Wednesday, August 22, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Ken McLeod

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The importance of conventional life is greatly exaggerated and a good death can do wonders.
--
An Arrow to the Heart, pg. 140

 
Ken McLeod

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I do not wish by what I have said to raise any exaggerated expectations as to the worth of these ancient hymns of the Veda, and the character of that religion which they indicate rather than fully describe. The historical importance of the Veda can hardly be exaggerated; but its intrinsic merit, and particularly the beauty or elevation of its sentiments, have by many been rated far too high. Large numbers of the Vedic hymns are childish in the extreme: tedious, low, commonplace. The gods are constantly inyoked to protect their worshippers, to grant them food, large flocks, large families, and a long life; for all which benefits they are to be rewarded by the praises and sacrifices offered day after day, or at certain seasons of the year. But hidden in this rubbish there are precious stones.

 
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The ports of death are sins; of life, good deeds:
Through which our merit leads us to our meeds.
How willful blind is he then, that would stray,
And hath it in his powers, to make his way!
This world death's region is, the other life's:
And here, it should be one of our first strifes,
So to front death, as men might judge us past it.
For good men but see death, the wicked taste it.

 
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At present we live to impede each other's satisfactions; competition, domestic life, society, what is it all but this? We go somewhere where we are not wanted and where we don't want to go. What else is conventional life? Passivity when we want to be active. So many hours spent every day in passively doing what conventional life tells us, when we would so gladly be at work.
And is it a wonder that all individual life is extinguished?

 
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