Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Have you ever...

Come see the softer side of Jeremy...

I talk about my Reli 409 Methods class with an appreciation for all good things, today was one of those days. I went to my earlier class with Donald and it was a great class. Any class with Donald is a good class, no matter the subject matter. Ok, I went to my Methods class and sat down, I was nervously awaiting the guest speaker Dr. T.S. Rukmani, the Chair of Hindu Studies here at Concordia. I have to say that I was incredibly moved by her presentation to us. She spoke some truths that I have never heard before. And you what the good thing about this is? Is that even though she speaks as a scholar, I "Got it." I am, in many ways, insecure in my ability to understand certain things, I judge my level of understanding and my age as a mature student.

I sat in class and I have to say, by the end of class I was levitating out of my seat. Not to mention I was feverishly taking notes on thoughts and truths that were new to me. My professor and the T.A. were sitting directly behind me. And I even asked a scholarly question - I was impressed that I could do that, and I got a very kind and inviting answer from Prof. Rukmani. As a student in the study of Christianity, I would like to believe there is more than one way to interpret and understand texts and my religion, that there is more than one true path, I think, "Outside the box" so to speak.

I am constantly in awe of the transformation I see in myself and my confident ability to relate these things to my peers and friends. I went to my meeting tonight and I was still levitating when I spoke. One of my friends is a librarian at a sister University here in the city and when she heard me say what I did, she perked up in her chair, it was so funny. So here are some truths for you to look at and mull around and think about.

  1. Religion is a living tradition, and in order to understand tradition one must understand the original texts (original sources)
  2. In Sanskrit there is a a presence of the Divine - Culture to Culture - People to People, The same idea can be seen in many different ways
  3. How we see culture is colored/affected by the outside world, society and academia. Imagine for a moment how other people who come to our country and our cities see our culture in a different way than their own from their homeland.
  4. You CANNOT get authentic knowledge from Second Hand Sources
  5. There is NOT "One" Religion - All paths are good and useful
  6. Hermeneutics - (Interpretation) in principle every reading of a text is an interpretation - you may not agree, but it is philosophical
  7. Translations are a poor substitute for the original
  8. TRUTH IS ONE - You can use it in many ways.
  9. TRUTH IS ONE - Can be expressed in different ways, as long as you Do No Harm.
  10. The openness of the student serves you well in studies
  12. Human beings are all the same - it just depends on the degree
  13. Textual studies are very important in "studies"
It wasn't just the words but how they were related to us from such an amazingly spiritual and scholarly person. There was not an air of superiority or arrogance, but a true desire to connect with us the students. I have sat at the foot of a "guru" and "teacher" of the Hindu faith, and today that very same feeling was stirred within me and it just made me feel incredibly blessed.

I love this class, I think Professor Oppenheim is a genious. He has opened me up to a side of myself that I never knew existed, maybe because I was willing to listen and change and learn something that totally freaked me out. I feel at times very inadequate and inferior in this class for the most part, but on days like today when I can relate to a text or a scholar in the ways I am able today, it just blows my mind - like a really good orgasm.

I just love my life.


Blogger eric said...

Hey Fellow Traveller...

Just stopping by to say hi. I know it's been a while.

But I read you every day.

6:29 AM  

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