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Just not sure why it's any weirder to be born twice than once. I guess we'll all find out in the end.
Here's some links to think take a look at and get you started.
Also, just think about it relation to thermodynamics. Energy can't be created or destroyed, just change form.
I would also caution against drawing such a firm conceptual line between "facts" and belief. These aren't as far apart as many would like to believe.
Undoubtably, the shifts in climate and the hand of "man" on the landscape (prehistoric, historic and modern) have contributed to a tenuous situation, the fact remains that there are currently more trees dotting our hills, valleys and mountains than in almost any time in the past. In fact, the sheer number of trees is partly to blame for the "devastation" that we see.
To subtly insinuate that wildfires are somehow enemies of the forest which will ultimately wipe-out the trees amounts to little more than sensationalism and fear mongering and is the sort of rhetoric that does very little to provide elephant readers with an informed and nuanced understanding of fire's role on the landscape.
I don't, in anyway, read from Matthew's article that it is improper for one to necessarily make a living doing kirtan. What he opposes is the "commercialization" of such an enterprise. The commercialization of yogic/spiritual practices/teachings has been criticized from their inception. Srila Prabhupada makes no bones about the impropriety of "selling" one's services in the recitation of the Bhagavatam. I imagine the same would apply here.
I think it comes down to this. Yes, individuals choose to dedicate their lives to kirtan. This is a wonderful choice, but implicit in such a choice is an agreement to surrender to the will of the Lord. Krsna instructs that none are more dear to Him than those who dedicate their lives to spreading His name. Is the idea that if one chooses this path, that somehow or other Krsna will fail to follow through on His agreement of protecting His devotees?
Living as a kirtan wallah is to choose a life of faith. I don't think one need fear starving if s/he is sincere in his/her endeavor. The Lord will provide, provided we are sincere.
In the above link, Sripad Aindra Prabhu puts it very simply, performing kirtan for one's own glorification results in little more than "sinful" reactions for all involved.
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In echo of the comments above, I did wonder why there was not a more critical questioning eye turned towards the "gold-standard." I wouldn't advocate taking shots at it, as this might imply that there was nothing of substance upon which it could/should be critiqued. In the end, I think it is valuable to bring a critical eye to the inner workings of science because in not doing so, we merely serve to perpetuate the myth that somehow "science" has stumbled upon the God's eye objective vision/truth of the world.
Perhaps in the next piece.
I choose images for any number of reasons from simply filling space, because they're appealing, all the way up to because I'm trying to make a point, or animate a theme in the writing. I'm willing to say that the choice of the Fool card is closer to the latter than the former, but it really defeats the point if I simply come out and give you the answers, don't you think?
I'd prefer to leave it open so that everyone has the opportunity to invest themselves in it's meaning, or simply ignore it. Although, I am grateful that you cared enough to ask and reflect.
I choose links for a number of different reasons. Some are informational, some are promotional, some are intended to induce further thought in support of the notion they are linked to, some are intended for the opposite, some illuminate a theme discussed throughout the piece in either a direct or indirect fashion, and in reality, most operate across several borders all at the same time.
The one in question falls into the final category, as I don't agree with your characterization of it as simply pertaining to the role of men in family relationships.