My name is Nicholas O’Connell. I like to write about issues concerning intellectual history and religion, but I also write about other things from time to time. Starting in January, I will be entering Columbia University’s South Asian Studies program. I currently serve on the Executive Council of the Hindu American Foundation. I encourage you to comment and subscribe, either through WordPress, Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter.

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3 comments on “About

  1. I have something to ask you if you don’t mind, since I assume you know quite a bit about Hinduism. Is my philosophy compatible with Hinduism.

    You can find it here, http://mythoughtsbornfromfire.wordpress.com/personal-manifesto/

    I use this link so that I do not pan the comment length.

    • Thanks for your question. I’ll do my best to answer it.

      “Hinduism” is a broad enough label that almost any life philosophy can be encompassed by it. “Hinduism” basically means any school of theology or philosophy which is Indian in origin. I can find no other factor which unites Advaita Vedanta, Mimamsa, Nyaya, Tantra, Lokayata, Ajivika, Samkhya, Aghoris, Hare Krishnas, etc. So if you can find things which are “Hindu” which help you understand reality, or help you live the life you wish to pursue, then yes it is compatible with Hinduism.

      For example, you say that you believe that chaos is a fundamental, if not the fundamental aspect of nature/reality. You might be interested in the deities Kali, and Rudra, and some of the philosophy of Tantra. They have a lot to do with primal, chaotic energy. Tantra, and the Kama Sutra and Kama Shastras are very concerned with sexuality as an expression of worship or spiritual practice. And of course, an affinity with nature, which you express, is crucial to the Vedas, and to many ascetic or contemplative schools of Hinduism.

      You say that you never want to lose or surrender yourself, but to instead become stronger and attain a clearer understanding of what you are. Most schools of Hinduism are extremely concerned with realizing one’s true self (though they disagree about what exactly that is,) so this spiritual goal is perfectly amenable to Hinduism. You might find that much of modern devotionalist Hinduism is a bit too altruistic for you. Thats ok. Thats why I’m writing about the virtues of Duryodhana on this blog 😉 Trying to resurrect some of what the Bhakti yogis have buried.

      The “mainstream” Hindu conception of the ultimate reality is a very orderly one however. And let me pose a counterargument to you based on rather mainstream premises: The binary of chaos vs order is a false one which dissolves at the highest point of abstraction. Mainstream Hinduism recognizes that the world is highly chaotic. There is too much going on to understand. Its a polyphony which overwhelms us. Yet, things are also abiding by certain consistent rules. Somehow– existence keeps existing. The chaos of our every day life is supported by an orderly substratum. But scientists tell us that this orderly set of physical rules emerged from a cosmic event (the big bang) which is incomprehensible, and happened for unknown reasons. But other scientists tell us that this universe might be in a state of constant explosion and collapse, and that other universes are doing the same thing. This puts even the chaos of the “big bang” into an orderly meta-context. So which is it, order or chaos? The two are inseparable. If this line of thought interests you, you might want to check out the Principa Discordia (if you haven’t already.) It is a book focused entirely on the chaotic end of the spectrum, as that end has been largely ignored by human theology and philosophy. But even the Principa recognizes that chaos cannot exist without order.

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