India Summer

India Summer

Friday, April 6, 2012

What Rabbits and Eggs Have To Do With Oestre/Easter

Origins of the name "Easter":

The name "Easter" originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and God. 

The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE.) a Christian scholar, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). 

She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Similarly, the "Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [was] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos." 1 Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: "eastre." 

Similar Goddesses were known by other names in ancient cultures around the Mediterranean, and were celebrated in the springtime. Some were:
Aphrodite, named Cytherea (Lady of Cythera) and Cypris (Lady of Cyprus) after the two places which claimed her birth; 
Ashtoreth from ancient Israel;
Astarte from ancient Greece;
Demeter from Mycenae;
Hathor from ancient Egypt;
Ishtar from Assyria;
Kali, from India; and
Ostara a Norse Goddess of fertility.
An alternative explanation has been suggested. The name given by the Frankish church to Jesus' resurrection festival included the Latin word "alba" which means "white." (This was a reference to the white robes that were worn during the festival.) 

"Alba" also has a second meaning: "sunrise." When the name of the festival was translated into German, the "sunrise" meaning was selected in error. This became "ostern" in German. Ostern has been proposed as the origin of the word "Easter". 

There are two popular beliefs about the origin of the English word "Sunday."
It is derived from the name of the Scandinavian sun Goddess Sunna (a.k.a. Sunne, Frau Sonne). 5,6 
It is derived from "Sol," the Roman God of the Sun." Their phrase "Dies Solis" means "day of the Sun." The Christian saint Jerome (d. 420) commented "If it is called the day of the sun by the pagans, we willingly accept this name, for on this day the Light of the world arose, on this day the Sun of Justice shone forth.
Pagan origins of Easter:
Many, perhaps most, Pagan religions in the Mediterranean area had a major seasonal day of religious celebration at or following the Spring Equinox. Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a consort, Attis, who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. Attis was believed to have died and been resurrected each year during the period MAR-22 to MAR-25.

Gerald L. Berry, author of "Religions of the World," wrote:
"About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill ...Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection." 3
Wherever Christian worship of Jesus and Pagan worship of Attis were active in the same geographical area in ancient times, Christians:
"... used to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus on the same date; and pagans and Christians used to quarrel bitterly about which of their gods was the true prototype and which the imitation."

Many religious historians and liberal theologians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus' life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans. Others suggest that many of the events in Jesus' life that were recorded in the gospels were lifted from the life of Krishna, the second person of the Hindu Trinity. Ancient Christians had an alternative explanation; they claimed that Satan had created counterfeit deities in advance of the coming of Christ in order to confuse humanity. 4 Modern-day Christians generally regard the Attis legend as being a Pagan myth of little value with no connection to Jesus. They regard Jesus' death and resurrection account as being true, and unrelated to the earlier tradition.
Wiccans and other modern-day Neopagans continue to celebrate the Spring Equinox as one of their 8 yearly Sabbats (holy days of celebration). Near the Mediterranean, this is a time of sprouting of the summer's crop; farther north, it is the time for seeding. Their rituals at the Spring Equinox are related primarily to the fertility of the crops and to the balance of the day and night times. In those places where Wiccans can safely celebrate the Sabbat out of doors without threat of religious persecution, they often incorporate a bonfire into their rituals, jumping over the dying embers is believed to assure fertility of people and crops.

Posted from a Religious Tolerance site.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Studies on Porn and Rape

Legalizing Pornography: Lower Sex Crime Rates? Study Carried out in Czech Republic Shows Results Similar to Those in Japan and Denmark

ScienceDaily (Nov. 30, 2010) — Could making pornography legal lead to lower rates of sex crimes? A new study by Milton Diamond, from the University of Hawaii, and colleagues, addresses this controversial question.
Results from the Czech Republic showed, as seen everywhere else studied (Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sweden, USA), that rape and other sex crimes have not increased following the legalization and wide availability of pornography. In addition, the study found that the incidence of child sex abuse has fallen since 1989, when child pornography became readily accessible -- a phenomenon also seen in Denmark and Japan.
The research results are published online in Springer's journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.
The findings support the theory that potential sexual offenders use child pornography as a substitute for sex crimes against children. While the authors do not approve of the use of real children in the production or distribution of child pornography, they say that artificially produced materials might serve a purpose.
Diamond and team looked at what actually happened to sex-related crimes in the Czech Republic as it transitioned from having a strict ban on sexually explicit materials to a situation where the material was decriminalized. Pornography was strictly prohibited between 1948 and 1989. The ban was lifted with the country's transition to democracy and, by 1990, the availability and ownership of sexually explicit materials rose dramatically. Even the possession of child pornography was not a criminal offense.
The researchers monitored the number of sex-related crimes from Ministry of Interior records -- rape, attempted rape, sexual assault, and child sex abuse in particular -- for 15 years during the ban and 18 years after it was lifted.
Most significantly, they found that the number of reported cases of child sex abuse dropped markedly immediately after the ban on sexually explicit materials was lifted in 1989. In both Denmark and Japan, the situation is similar: Child sex abuse was much lower than it was when availability of child pornography was restricted.
Other results showed that, overall, there was no increase in reported sex-related crimes generally since the legalization of pornography. Interestingly, whereas the number of sex-related crimes fell significantly after 1989, the number of other societal crimes -- murder, assault, and robbery -- rose significantly.

New Studies Suggest On Screen Porn And Violence Reduce Real Rape And Violence

from the more-research-needed dept

I'll be the first to say that this clearly needs to have more research done to support these findings, and there are plenty of questions raised by them, but Slate is reporting on two new bits of research that suggest that online porn reduces rape, and movie violence reduces real violence. The first study looked at the incidents of rape in areas where internet access was prevalent, and found a meaningful drop, even after controlling for "alcohol consumption, police presence, poverty and unemployment rates, population density, and so forth." The report looks at whether it might be other online content, but notes that the internet doesn't impact homicide rates in the same way. In other words, it's only rape that's decreased by internet access. The researcher also notes that it's probably not due to dating sites either, as the effect is most noticeable in those 15 to 19 years old, the least likely to use dating services. The second study finds that crime rates tend to go down following the release of violent movies. Not just following the release, but literally, during the period of night when movies are most popularly shown -- if there's a new violent movie, crime rates tend to drop. This follows throughout the night, and crime rates only pick up again the next morning. The theory here is that if violent criminals are at the theater, they're not out being violent. The reason it lasts well afterwards (the theory goes) is that the violent types are eating popcorn and drinking soda... rather than alcohol, while watching the movie. It's no secret that people have pointed out that these types of activities can often act as a "valve" to release anger, rather than bottle it up until it comes out in a more damaging way. While these two studies are hardly proof (and more research needs to back these findings up), it does suggest that perhaps there's some truth behind those claims.

Study finds online porn may reduce the incidence of rape

Could online porn be responsible for a decrease in rape cases?
A Clemson University study suggests it might.
Todd Kendall, an economics professor at Clemson University, published a study that found "the arrival of the internet was associated with a reduction in rape incidence."
He notes that "association" is not causality, but he does point out that "it is notable that growth in internet usage had no apparent effect on other crimes."
The rate of forcible rape in the past 15 years has declined 30 percent nationwide, according to Bob Dyer in a recent column on Meanwhile, he reports that "never has pornography been more readily available." Dyer attributes the decrease in rapes at least in part to the increased prevalence of porn.

Are the Effects of Pornography Negligible?
ScienceDaily (Dec. 1, 2009) — A Université de Montréal researcher, funded by the Interdisciplinary Research Center on Family Violence and Violence Against Women, has launched a new study to examine the effects of pornography on men. "We started our research seeking men in their twenties who had never consumed pornography. We couldn't find any," says Simon Louis Lajeunesse, a postdoctoral student and professor at the School of Social Work.
"The objective of my work is to observe the impact of pornography on the sexuality of men, and how it shapes their perception of men and women," says Lajeunesse. To do so, he has so far recruited and interviewed 20 heterosexual male university students who consume pornography.
"They shared their sexual history starting with their first contact with pornography, which was in early adolescence. Not one subject had a pathological sexuality. In fact, all of their sexual practices were quite conventional," says Lajeunesse.
The research concluded that 90 percent of pornography is consumed on the Internet, while 10 percent comes from video stores. On average, single men watch pornography three times a week for 40 minutes. Those who are in committed relationships watch it on average 1.7 times a week for 20 minutes.
Lajeunesse found most boys seek out pornographic material by the age of 10, when they are most sexually curious. However, they quickly discard what they don't like and find offensive. As adults, they will continue to look for content in tune with their image of sexuality. They also rarely consume pornography as a couple and always choose what they watch.
All test subjects said they supported gender equality and felt victimized by rhetoric demonizing pornography. "Pornography hasn't changed their perception of women or their relationship which they all want as harmonious and fulfilling as possible. Those who could not live out their fantasy in real life with their partner simply set aside the fantasy. The fantasy is broken in the real world and men don't want their partner to look like a porn star," says Lajeunesse.
Lajeunesse refutes the perverse effect often attributed to pornography. "Aggressors don't need pornography to be violent and addicts can be addicted to drugs, alcohol, gaming and asocial cases are pathological. If pornography had the impact that many claim it has, you would just have to show heterosexual films to a homosexual to change his sexual orientation."

Christian AvardPublished: Friday September 22, 2006
An academic has claimed to RAW STORY that a decline in reported rape of 85% in the past 25 years can be tied to an increase in pornography consumption.
In a study for Northwestern University's Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series titled "Porn Up Rape Down," Anthony D'Amato, a Leighton Professor of Law at Northwestern University, argues that the proliferation of pornography has lead to a sharp decline in rape across the United States.
According to a 2005 National Crime Victimization Survey, the national rate of rape decreased from 2.5 to 0.5 for every thousand people over a 30-year span from 1973 to 2003. The explanations offered include less lawlessness associated with crack cocaine, women being taught to avoid unsafe situations, that more potential rapists are already in prison for other crimes, and sex education classes telling boys that "no means no."
But in an interview with RAW STORY, D'Amato argues that these are minor factors and do not explain the decline in rape. "Suppose you distribute free condoms to a country, and you find, five years later, that the birth rate has gone down 85%. Would you say that it's just a cosmic coincidence or would you say that the distribution of condoms caused the drop in the rate of birth? The reasoning is the same for my position on rape: the causation factor is reasonably inferred, " said D'Amato.
In "Porn Up Rape Down," D'Amato compiled data from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. In 2001, the four states with the lowest per capita access to the Internet were Arkansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, and West Virginia. The four with the highest per capita Internet access were Alaska, Colorado, New Jersey, and Washington.
When compared to Disaster Center's figures for forcible rape for the years 1980 and 2000, the four states with the lowest Internet access showed a 53% aggregate per capita increase in rape, while the four states with the highest Internet access showed a 27% decrease in incidence of rape.
"Critics argue that exposure to depictions of violence causes violent behavior," said D'Amato. "They say that rape is just a subcategory of this principle. They couldn't be more mistaken. Exposure to violent movies, TV programs, or video games has NOT produced more social violence. It has produced the opposite. The amount of social violence per capita in the year 1900 when street gangs attacked pedestrians and murders were common far exceeds the incidence of violence today. Sure, there is violent behavior, but when it happens it makes headlines. Back then it happened so often that it wasn't newsworthy."
"It's not a big mystery," says Bruce David, Editorial Director of Hustlermagazine. "It's consistent with all the research data we've seen. In countries where adult material is legal, generally speaking there is a decline in instances of rape and spousal abuse and we have also seen in places where adult material is illegal that the abuse of women can be rampant, like Afghanistan where women are shot in soccer stadiums."
Will Ryder, Director of Hustler's Barely Legal and Britney Rears video line wholeheartedly agrees. "I have always felt this was an absurd claim and that quite the contrary would take place, due to the fact that most who view adult entertainment usually conclude their session with a self-satisfaction reward and are too damn tired to leave the house and rape somebody. The last damn thing he wants to do is go out and hunt somebody down," said Ryder.
D'Amato's interest in the rape-pornography question began in 1970, when he served as a consultant to President Nixon's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. When the Commission found there was no connection between pornography and violent anti-social behavior, Nixon � according to D'Amato � was furious.
In the 1980s, President Reagan created a similar commission under Attorney General Edwin Meese, who D'Amato said "packed it with people who were on record denouncing pornography." In "Porn Up Rape Down" D'Amato wonders how the social facts could change so drastically in the decade between the Nixon and Reagan reports.
Critics contend that none of D'Amato's conclusions make any sense. "My experience with women across the U.S. is that women now do not report rape," said Gail Dines, associate professor of Sociology and Women's Studies at Wheelock College. "I teach and speak on campuses all over and I know that only 34% of rapes are ever reported and increasingly women are not believed when they tell their stories. I also hear stories that when women do go forward, the college or university will clamp down on women. Or the alleged rapist will get friends to harass her until she drops charges and terrorizes them out of reporting it. This happens everywhere."
Dines also disagreed with the National Victimization Survey conclusion that incidents of rape have decreased by 85%. "It doesn't matter where the statistics come from because women are not reporting. I very rarely meet a woman who has reported a rape. It's by far the exception rather that the rule."
D'Amato believes the most important lesson people should take away from "Porn Up Rape Down" is to question the results of governmental reports. "If people can learn to distrust the findings of governmental commissions, such as the Warren Report, the 9-11 report, or the Meese report on social violence, we would become a more free and democratic nation," said D'Amato. "Our government engineers these reports to shield the perpetrators or to promote the business interests of its cronies and campaign contributors. As I tell my law students, the first thing you need to know about being a lawyer is not to trust the written word."
But critics like Dines suggest that D'Amato � or those who reviewed his study � fail to understand the myriad factors that influence rape. "What causes rape and violence against women is a very complicated issue. No feminist I know would ever say that only pornography is the sole cause of rape. There are multiple causes," said Dines. "To look at the causes of rape you have to look at multiple factors and variables and all I can say is it was reviewed by people who are not aware of the research that's been going on or did not question the nature of debate he was using."

s Porn the Reason for Lower Rape Rates?

Mon, 10/03/2011 - 12:37
Submitted by Betty Dodson
Hi Betty,
My coworker and I were discussing the crime reports in our local newspaper (yes, I still read the old-fashioned, newsprint-on-the-hands newspaper). She and I are both in our mid-forties and we noticed that the instances of stranger rape seemed to not be a prevalent as they were in the seventies and eighties. I don't mean to belittle anyone's experiences with rape but it just seems like stranger-jumped-out-at-me rape either has decreased in our area (Baltimore suburbs) or it is not being reported in the media.
We began to speculate why. I told her that the other day when I was at the public library, I noticed several men viewing porn on the library computers. I concluded that maybe porn was a way for men who might not have the opportunity to see a naked body in real life to satisfy this need instead of raping someone. She said that this could be a possibility especially given the fact that computers and internet access have become more affordable over the years.
This made my day. I enjoy porn and anything which may reflect it in a good light is always welcome. What do you and Carlin think? Could porn usage reduce the instances of rape? What are the rape statistics in NYC?
Hi D,
I just looked around Google and still couldn't find any actual numbers, but then I'm not the best researcher. The consensus seems to be that rape is down. One interesting element is that more rape was being reported by women who knew the guy. The other element was that many rapes go unreported. However, I do believe one benefit of porn is that it does provide an outlet for men to drain off some of their testosterone through masturbation. The downside to porn is that many young people use it as their primary source of sex education. Not so good because porn is still basically entertainment for men that does not always include information about a woman's sexual desires and needs. The Internet is human-kinds salvation. It's one media that is not censored as heavily as your newspaper.
Dr. Betty

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Path of Love

Whatever we wish to know well, we must love.  
We can't master any field of study, whether music, art, an academic field, or a profession, unless we love what we are studying.  
Study without love leads to a shallow, superficial understanding.  
Real mastery comes from love.

The path of love.  
To love others, to love the beauty of this world develops the capacity for love.
To develop your empathy and compassion, develops the capacity for love.

Many of us are afraid of love.  
We have been disappointed before, not only by our romantic loves but also by friends and family we have loved.  
We can become afraid to open up and love again.  
There is an old Turkish saying, "The one who was burned by the soup blows on the yogurt."  
Yet whatever our past hurts and fears of future pain, we must learn to love again.

This is a challenge for all relationships. To provide a safe place to risk loving.

We also fear love because it may transform us.  And it is so.  For the true lover, the sense of self dissolves so that lover, love, and beloved become one.  The ego is afraid of losing control, and even more afraid of dissolving, and comes up with reason after reason for refusing to let go, refusing to let ourselves love fully.

We can let ourselves be inspired by the words of those who have become lovers.

Love (Happy Valentine's Day!)

You may try a hundred things
but love alone
will release you from yourself
never flee from love
not even from love in an earthly guise
for it is a preparation 
of the supreme truth

Friday, February 3, 2012

Anal Sex

MADAME DE SAINT-ANGE — Whether this introduction be wrought before or behind, if she is not yet accustomed to it a woman always suffers. It has pleased Nature so to make us that we attain happiness only by way of pain. But once vanquished and had this way, nothing can equal the joy one tastes upon the entrance of this member into our ass; it is a pleasure incontestably superior to any sensation procured by this same introduction in front. And, besides, how many dangers does not a woman thus avoid! Fewer risks to her health, and none at all of pregnancy. For the present I'll say no more about this delight—your master and mine, Eugénie, will soon award it a full analsis, and by uniting practice with theory will, I trust, convince you, my precious one, that amongst all the bedroom's pleasures, that is the only one for which you should have a preference.

...Philosophy of the Bedroom

The Hippie Ideal

The word "hip" translates roughly as "wise" or "tuned in."  A hippy is somebody who "knows" what's really happening, and who adjusts or grooves with it.  Hippies despise phoniness; they want to be open, honest, loving and free.  They reject the plastic pretense of 20th century America, preferring to go back to the "natural life," like Adam and Eve.  They reject any kinship with the Beat Generation on the ground that "those cats were negative, but out thing is positive."  They also reject politics, which is "just another game."  They don't like money, either, or any kind of aggressiveness.

~Hunter S Thompson on the West Coast, San Francisco breed of Hippies

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Black Elk Speaks

“Behold this day. It is yours to make.” 

“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” 

“Crazy Horse dreamed and went into the world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things. That is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that one.” 

“Any man who is attached to things of this world is one who lives in ignorance and is being consumed by the snakes of his own passions” 

“You have noticed that the truth comes into this world with two faces. One is sad with suffering, and the other laughs; but it is the same face, laughing or weeping. When people are already in despair, maybe the laughing face is better for them; and when they feel too good and are too sure of being safe, maybe the weeping face is better for them to see.” 

“there can be no power in a square” 

“Know the Power that is Peace.” 

“It is hard to follow one great vision in this world of darkness and of many changing shadows. Among those men get lost.” 

“I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream...” 

“Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of the little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.” 

Black Elk