Off the keyboard of Ashvin Pandurangi
|Introduction from RE: In keeping with the Diner policy of providing a wide spectrum of ideas, perspectives and philosphies on these pages, I welcome long time debate adversary Ashvin Pandurangi as a Cross Posting author on the Diner Blog. Ashvin is an active Diner inside the Forum, and recently began his own Blog, Picturing Christ. Many people also know Ashvin from his work on The Automatic Earth, where he has been Blogging the Collapse with Stoneleigh and Ilargi for a couple of years now.Ashvin’s focus has changed over the last year as he has become immersed in the Spiritual aspects of the collapse from the POV of an Evangelical Christian. His current focus does not fit well on the pages of The Automatic Earth, so to express himself fully on these questions he began his own Blog. It will be no surprise to Diners, but unless you followed the many debates Ashvin and I have engaged in over the last 6 months, you are likely not aware that Ashvin and I do not agree on numerous Philosophical and Spiritual concepts. We DO agree on many of the Economic and Geopolitical problems which face us all, though even there we generally find some way to disagree with each other. LOL. For those interested in searching these arguments down, you can find them distributed through the pages of the Doomstead Diner and The Automatic Earth.
I myself am not an Evangelical Christian, I am not even a Christian of any flavor. The best general rubric for my Spiritual and Religious philosophy is referred to as Panentheism. Here on the Diner, there are some others with similar ideas (notably Diner Author William Hunter Duncan), and there are as well other Christians besides Ashvin (notably Diner Author Surly), and likely quite a few other Religious philosophies as well. Diner Tao Jonesing often weighs in with his Taoist viewpoint on the Diner pages. There are numerous Atheist Diners as well.I have not written too many Blog Articles specifically addressing the Spiritual aspect of Collapse, the main ones are On the Existence of God, Infinite Regression Analysis of God, and Christian Apologetics. I do however periodically drop in on debates inside the Diner which have Spiritual and Religious underpinnings, where Ashvin is often a prolific contributor.
I look forward to reading more from Ashvin, and challenging him where I find inconsistencies in his analysis. It’s always entertaining to engage Ashvin, he’s a very bright fellow and good writer, and our Holmes-Watson Debates can be very entertaining reading. We may end up having a few more of them now across the pages of the Doomstead Diner and Picturing Christ. Time will tell on that one.
Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner
As many of you Diners already know, I traditionally wrote about economic, financial and industrial/environmental collapse for The Automatic Earth. For all human beings who are still fortunate or unfortunate enough to exist on this Earth, these are issues of prime and imminent importance. We are now at least four years running into the start of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, which then morphed into generalized private and public debt crises around the world. Many have predicted that either this year or the next carries the most probability for the next BIG leg down the ladder of financial collapse, including me.
Yet, I was also moved this year to start reflecting on what most people consider to be the more “personal” questions of life, and how the answers to those questions are relevant to the dynamics of collapse. Perhaps it is partly because I started to feel the “collapse blues” that I’m sure most of the people here have experienced at some time or another – a period of time when you feel like everyone and everything is Doomed, and there’s really nothing you can do about it. We can write and talk and discuss until the cows come home, but only a few people will end up protecting themselves from the inevitable downfall at the end of the day.
So that was a part of the reason for my shift in focus, but by no means the whole thing. The more important part was that I felt there was a big piece of the collapse puzzle that was missing for me, and it had to do with the question of WHY – why were the sociopathic bankers so reckless and greedy? why were the shiesty politicians so corrupt? why where the neo-con war hawks so thirsty for blood and oil? Most importantly, though, why could I see hints of all of that sociopathic behavior, all of that corruption, all of that blood-lust and all of that never-ending materialism in everyone around me? My family and my friends were really no different at the end of the day.
Obviously, they weren’t perpetrating evil at Hitler-like scales, but they had generally accepted and supported a paradigm in which Hitler-like people are much more likely to exist than not. That’s what got me thinking that all of these systemic crises we face now ultimately boil down to existential questions – who are we, where do we come from and why do we think and act in the ways that we do? And such questions obviously lead you to the realms of history, philosophy and spirituality. To make a somewhat short story even shorter, I took a leap of faith into those realms of knowledge and I came out with what I believe to be very good answers.
Those answers came in the form of Judeo-Christian theology for me. It wasn’t enough to just have the answers, though… I needed to share them with others – and that is how I came to classify myself as an evangelical Christian. And while I managed to inject some Christian themes into my articles on TAE, and I also managed to get into some fiery debates/discussions here on the DD forum, it simply wasn’t enough. What I needed online was a space of my own to devote entirely to my Christian perspective on all manner of modern day concerns. That is why I created my new blog, PICTURING CHRIST.
Head Chef here at the Diner, RE, has been gracious enough to post this promo piece on DD for me, and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read and consider it. PC will be all about the interplay between metaphysical philosophy, Christian theology, religious history and the systemic crises of materialism that we face today. It will be about exposing naturalism and materialism for the destructive ideologies that they really are, and giving people an arena to consider and discuss spiritual alternatives. Yes, I am an evangelical Christian, and my posts will be centered around the truth I find in the holy scriptures, but I also welcome challenges and alternatives to my views. Faith is nothing if it isn’t tested…
I have only been a Christian for about a year now, so I hope to learn a lot about my own faith from this experience, while hopefully motivating others to learn more about theirs as well. I truly believe that we are living in perhaps the most unique time in all of history, and that the storms looming overhead will leave behind an epic amount of wreckage in their wakes. However, I also believe that it is ultimately our souls which need to be saved on this Earth, not our physical bodies. So if anyone here feels similarly or is simply interested in being convinced (or trying their best to convince me why I’m wrong), I encourage you to visit PC and check out the content.
In addition to the regular posts that will go up, I have added sections for videos and audio files that will deal with all manner of spiritual subjects – such as the NT, the OT, difficult Christian doctrines, numerous fields of apologetics, the New Age, Eastern religions, and much more. I will continue adding pages and content to the site as time progresses, and I am welcome to any suggestions or input from readers as to what they would like to see or hear. There are already three posts up on the site so far, and I obviously recommend you start with the Intro – An Introduction to Picturing Christ
However, if you want to know a little more about why I think Christianity provides the ultimate answer to our current problems of Doom and Gloom, you can give this one a read - How Doom & Gloom Disappeared with the Protoevangelium
And finally, if you’d like to know what I truly mean by “Picturing Christ”, and how that process of picturing can help us navigate the treacherous waters we find ourselves in today, you can check out this latest post - The True Power of Pictures
PS – I am also continuing to work on improving the functionality of the site, including ease of navigation and the posting of customized comments (fonts, colors, embeds, etc.). There are a lot of plugins available on the hosted WordPress platform I am running, so none of that should be a problem.
Thank you all very much for your time and consideration, and I hope to continue interacting with everyone here at the Diner, at TAE and hopefully at PC as well!