a sundial and thoughts on the sun and time

The sun is taking away your life, each and every day as it traverses the sky overhead.  That is how some people view the passage of time and of one’s life in this flawed world.  Time is fleeting.  It may not be of notice to long-lived stars and galaxies, but man is painfully aware of time and its unceasing, inexorable flow from the present moment into the past.  One might say that time defines man – at the very least it is a limit, a constraint that he cannot avoid or get around while on Earth.

We individuals are like fragile bubbles of consciousness bursting and fading away after a brief moment in the sea of time.  Whether you believe that consciousness continues on a spiritual plane of existence or not, you know that your time on this material plane is short.  Thus, it is our individual responsibility to make the most of each moment in terms of living a constructive and loving life.

The sun may be thought of as taking away our life, but it also provides the energy necessary for life.  Bear in mind that photosynthesis supports the base of the food chain.  As well, physicists tell us that the heavy elements in our bodies were forged (fused) in the nuclear furnaces of now long dead stars.

The following pictures were taken in early February this year in Jaipur (northern India) at the Jantar Mantar.

 

 

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some views of India

The Abrahamic religions are not dominant in some parts of the world.  We wonder if the Abrahamic religions’ ideas and teachings seem as foreign, alien and even perhaps weird to those raised in an Indian religion as Indian religious and spiritual concepts appear to Bible believing Christians and Talmudic Jews.  (No doubt, male circumcision and the idea of a “chosen” people are very alien concepts to the peoples of India.)

India has given rise to what we know as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.  (Much later, Sikhism was an attempt to reconcile Hindu concepts with Islam in northernmost India in the late Middle Ages.)  For us, the philosophy supporting Indian religion appears to be deeper and more profound than the Western philosophy that was used to support Christianity.  Albeit at the village level in the local shrines and local festivals, Hinduism appears to be polytheistic, at the highest level, the Vedas present a monotheistic view.  The major argument appears to be whether God is impersonal (the impersonal Absolute of the idealist philosophers) or is a person (has a personality, a supremely transcendent personality as in Lord Krishna).  The Bhagavad Gita speaks of a personal God (Krishna) who is eternal, immortal, all-powerful and all-knowing.

We now begin sharing pictures taken in India this past February when our blog’s photographer was on holiday in northern India with her family.  The advantage for the Western tourist is that English is spoken by many of the Indians one meets on the streets and on the various tours.

 

 

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houses in evening sunlight

A low angle sun can produce some interesting effects in photography.  For example, when on holiday in the desert, regardless of the season, the colors of the landscape are more alive, the various shades and subtle hues are accentuated in the early morning and again late in the day.

We present the following images in the order these were captured a few nights ago while on an evening walk in our neighborhood.  The summer sun is low in the western sky and its less intense light seems to soften the pastel colors of the stucco and wood houses.  Subjectively for us, there is an eerie, mysterious appeal to these scenes.

 

 

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flowers along the sidewalk

Life goes on.  As humans fail to solve the thorny problems they themselves have created in this age of discord (aka Kali-Yuga), other life forms continue the struggle which is life.  And, some flourish despite man.

Here on the city streets (which if you recall the words from a song by Joe Walsh, “don’t have much pity”), we see flowers in full bloom on a July evening in the northern hemisphere summer.

 

 

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