Journal for 2003 September 11
I just finished reading a little booklet on Jainism that Nirav, an ESG Jain, gave to Claudia. There are so many principles of Jain that I agree with, and so many I do not. But, in accordance with the principle of Anekantavada, or non-one-endedness, I am sure that it is just a matter of perspective. I cannot condemn Jainism in where it differs from me by pointing to the stupid-ness of religion, claiming that as an independent, I am not confused by anyone's dogma. But I don't think there is stupid-ness inherant in religion. Religion is nothing but community build around spirituality. Community has the potential to both distort one's perceptions and enhance them, and in general I think that its effects are essential to the development of a powerful world view.

After finishing that booklet, I started Open Marriage: A New Life Style for Couples by Nena O'Neill and George O'Neill. Claudia picked it up from Holly a few weeks ago. It starts out by seeming to attack all of the great experimental ways of life that I admire: group marriage, communes, polygamy, and chosen bachelor-hood. But as I've read a little further, it makes it clear that it doesn't mean to attack these, and wants to address bodily the same issues that led to these ways of life. It justs so happens that this isn't a book about those ways of life; it wants to consider the merits of marriage, with some new modifications.

I'm confused at why I feel under so much stress recently. Rather, I don't feel stressed, but I seem to be picking up some stress-related behaviours: clenching my teeth and internal twitches. Its true that the repetative grading that Jill and I have been doing puts me under a nasty whip, and I don't get to settle down for any length of time, but its no worse than work at MIT-- I think not as bad.

Our group of instructors, Jill, Diana, and I, found a meeting time this week. Diana and I alienated Jill just a bit by getting enthused by the theory that our book doesn't teach. After the meeting, though, Diana and I got to talking about grading in general. Diana is a educational radical, much like me. She's run classes without grades, and has had wonderful experiences.

It's probably necessary to note the date. The press has been building up to this with newly released tapes and articles. It's difficult to imagine what it might have been like, but I can still conjure possibilities in my mind... More difficult is to think about the act of terrorism on the US and not think about our acts of terrorism on the rest of the world, and the 1984-esque developments since that date. I do not know why I think more about the politics than the sorrow: the formers significance, or my distance from the latter.

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