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Ramanuja – Hindu sage likened to St. Thomas Aquinas

Ramanuja (1017-1137 CE) was a leading Hindu philosopher born in the Brahmin caste. Legend has it that he learned the Vedas when he was a baby, only eight days old.¹ Ramanuja was influential to the Bhakti movement, which favors devotion over … Continue reading


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Sri Ramakrishna – Hindu spiritual figure claiming to have practiced different religions

Sri Ramakrishna (1836-86) began life as an obscure, unschooled village boy, Gadhadhar Chatterji. His first major religoius experience came at age six. Ramakrishna describes his first spiritual ecstasy…while walking along the paddy fields, a flock of white cranes flying against a … Continue reading


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Ram Dass – Bridging East and West

Ram Dass (1931 – ) Richard Alpert, now Ram Dass, was born into a wealthy, educated Jewish American family. After receiving his Ph.D. in psychology at Stanford he grew increasingly dissatisfied with conventional approaches to understanding the psyche. So he became a full-fledged … Continue reading


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Oliver Sacks – A shy man who overcame his “disease”

Oliver Sacks (1933-2015) was an influential British-born neurologist and bestselling author whose clinical and yet anecdotal writing style stresses the inalienable dignity of human beings suffering from neurological disorders. His work looks at how patients with neurological disorders cope and, in so … Continue reading


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Samsara – Round and round and round we go?

Embed from Getty Images Samsara (Sanskrit: wandering, flowing, meandering, and cyclic change) is philosophical word that stems back conceptually to the Veda. But it is not really articulated until the Upanishads. Later, it is more fully detailed in Hindu, Buddhist and … Continue reading


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Comte Henri de Saint-Simon – His concern for the poor shines above everything else

Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon (1760-1825) or, more commonly, Saint-Simon is one of those figures who comes up regularly in sociology courses, especially so-called “classical” or “classical theory” courses.¹ Until writing this entry, I knew little about him. But I … Continue reading


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Evil: Natural, Moral and Intrinsic

How we define evil is influenced by our core beliefs. Materialists and some scientists dismiss the idea of evil as if it were culturally inherited from a world once peopled by believers in magic and outdated superstitions. Today, violent criminals … Continue reading


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Psychiatry – An evolving science

Psychiatrist and patient in counseling session Psychiatry generally sees itself as a branch of medicine specializing in the assessment, treatment, study and prevention of unhealthy psychological suffering. However, not everyone sees psychiatry in an entirely benign light. In a nutshell, … Continue reading