One of the reasons apocalyptic literature was so popular during times of political and cultural upheaval, e.g., the late first century CE, was because the oppressed people, e.g., Christians during that time, were expecting God to intervene in human history to bring about the downfall of the oppressors like the Romans and, bypassing “normal” history, thereby to effect radical change. Sometimes the oppressors were the Egyptians; sometimes the Ptolemaic dynasty; other times, the Romans; etc., etc. Each such period generates its own apocalyptic literature, like the Book of Revelation, et al., and each such period is a reaction against the apparent passivity and inaction of God – even the failure of God – to act on behalf of justice for the oppressed. Improbable as it may sound, refl
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I begin with a question: Izzit just me, or have zombies largely taken over popular movie and text culture in the United States? I do not think it is just me. Now, please understand at the outset: I do not ask this question rancorously, or with the least pejorative intent. Fact is, I like “zombie lit”! I am into the 13-volume-and-counting Kindle-book Arisen cycle of zombie lit, by Stephen Michael Fuchs and Glynn James, and D. J. Molles' The Remaining saga of I-don’t-know-how-many volumes. Ditto Max Brooks' World War Z, both movie and book. I have seen, and loved, Abraham Lincoln vs. the Zombies. Ditto Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I am an over-the-top fan of Fear the Walking Dead, The Walking Dead, and Z-Nation. When I take a sabbatical from reading about the history and interpret
After having a mild anxiety attack Sunday evening, I googled "Buddhism and panic attacks" to see what would pop up. I found a half-hour dharma talk on 3/24/11 by Josh Korda at Dharmapunx NYC + Brooklyn about anxiety relief. I recommend it. He discusses both the Buddha's and modern neuroscience's wisdom about why anxiety arises in our minds. I won't rehash the whole talk, but I do want to share what he says early on. Korda explains that when the amygdala (the fear center in our brain) fires up, it's often because it misfires (that's just its nature) as well as for reasons of which we aren't usually consciously aware. When we experience the physical unease associated with the release of cortisol, the meaning-making part of our brain looks around and tries to explain why we feel anxious. It'