Monday, August 18, 2008


Evaluate : i-val-yoo-eyt, verb
1. Estimate the nature, quality, ability, extent, or significance of
2. Form a critical opinion of
3. To form an idea of the worth of

I am learning to evaluate my interactions based on what is done, rather than by what is said, or by what I am told. The difference between the two is sometimes quite remarkably different. I don't consider myself naive, or gullible, but I am trusting, and tend to believe what I am told. To learn a more objective evaluation of reality is a valuable exercise in growth.

Kali, also known as Kalika is a Hindu goddess associated with death and destruction. The name Kali means 'force of Kala or time' which makes all things transient. Despite her negative connotations, she is not actually the goddess of death, but rather of Time and Change. Although sometimes presented as black and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation still has some influence.

More complex Tantric beliefs sometimes extend her role so far as to be the "Ultimate Reality". Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kali as a benevolent mother goddess. One of the underlying distinctions of Tantra, in comparison to other religions, is that it allows the devotee the liberty to choose from a vast array of complementary symbols and rhetoric that which suits one’s evolving needs and tastes. From an aesthetic standpoint, nothing is interdict and nothing is orthodox. In this sense, the projection of some of Devi’s more gentle qualities onto Kali is not sacrilege and the development of Kali really lies in the practitioner.

The Tantric approach to Kali is to display courage by confronting her on cremation grounds in the dead of night, despite her terrible appearance. In contrast, the Bengali devotee appropriates Kali's teachings, adopting the attitude of a child. In both cases, the goal of the devotee is to become reconciled with death and to learn acceptance of the way things are.

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