Wednesday, April 25, 2007


What do Aldous Huxley, Alice Coltrane, George Harrison, Nina Hagen, jd salinger, actress Heather Graham, jazz fusion guitarist John McLaughlin, and "Cabaret" author Christopher Isherwood have in common?

They're all converts to Hinduism.

Which is interesting, because the way I understood it is that you're either born a Hindu or you're not.

But apparently you can be naturalized, sort of like how Arnold Schwartznegger became an American.

Since Monday's intense astrology session, I've been doing a little bit of research on Ram Dass's book Be Here Now (in which the former Kermit Riggs aka Bhagavan Das figures prominently) and BD's own memoir, It's Here Now (Are You?), and thinking about the idea of giving up everything in order to have everything -- which is what both of them did.

I did that once, when I moved away from my father to live with my mother when I was 12.

I gave up my horse, a massive bedroom, swimming pool, tennis court, indoor and outdoor riding arenas, a Winnebago and more (including, it turns out, my inheritance. But that's for another chapter).

What I got in return was freedom, access to knowledge and a chance to become a full-fledged (albeit rather annoying) human being.

I'd had an epiphany while sitting alone in my mother's living room during a visit. I felt such a sense of peace I could not return to my father's house, where I'd lived in fear 24/7 since the age of 8.

Being a coward, I called to tell my father and Xmas Judy I wasn't coming back -- rather than doing it in person.

The decision wasn't noble; It was what I had to do. I had no idea what I was giving up. Or getting into (my mother was so poor, despite the monthly payments, that we qualified for the free school lunch program. And for a long time we had no car).

When I returned to say goodbye and retrieve my things from my father's house, I found out that it was a wasted trip. Xmas Judy had given all of my clothes and toys and other worldy possessions to her niece -- who had been like a sister to me. Buckwheat had already been sold.

Actually, they saved my gym uniform for me (my name was embroidered on the back and there aren't that many Satya Cacanandas in the Midwest). And for some reason I got to keep my brand-new red, white and blue Bicentennial Schwinn Varsity ten-speed.

When my mother complained that I had nothing to wear to my new junior high, my father gave her $200 for a new wardrobe for me.

I ended up with something like four tops, three pairs of pants, shoes and some sneakers.

Not exactly the path to popularity in the purgatory that is seventh grade.

I created an elaborate chart where I recorded what I wore each day, so that it would seem like I had more clothes than I actually did.

It didn't work; no one liked me, except for my friend Jeanine.

I wonder if that's what it'd like to give it all up and become Caca Das....


  1. Anonymous12:05 AM

    What would wonderful Al Gore say?

    Whoa there. You stated previous you have an automobile with air conditioning! Do you know how anti-green/environmentalist that is? Do You?

    "the power steering pump and the A/C air compressor, which is a special type that was only made for two years and is impossible to find so I must fork out $500 to replace the entire thing. I'm living with the noise for now."

    If you are truly an environmentalist, (doubtful, you live in a big city) you will disconnect your ac on that car, and sweat into your hippy/greeny hemp underware just like Al Gore would!!!

    Or better yet, walk!!!!!

    For Christ's sake!

  2. Wow, what a very sad post. There's a big difference between giving away what you have and having it taken away from you. I wish for you forgiveness.

  3. JAIPUR, India (Reuters) - An Indian court ordered the arrest of Hollywood star Richard Gere on Thursday for kissing Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty at an AIDS campaign event this month saying it was an obscene act committed in public.

    Gere's repeated kisses on Shetty's cheeks at an event to promote AIDS awareness in New Delhi sparked protests in some parts of India, mostly by Hindu vigilante groups, who saw it as an outrage against her modesty and an affront to Indian culture.

    The order by a court in the northern city of Jaipur came in response to a complaint by a local lawyer.

    The judge watched a video recording of Gere kissing Shetty and found him guilty of violating Indian laws against public obscenity, the lawyer, Poonam Chand Bhandari, said.
    Reuters Pictures

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    The court also summoned Shilpa Shetty to appear on May 5, Bhandari said, adding that Gere was also ordered to be arrested.

    Gere can be sent to jail for up to three months or fined or both for the crime if he is arrested. He is not in India now but can be held if he visits the country again.

    The Hollywood star is a devout Buddhist and a vocal supporter of the Tibetan cause and visits India frequently to meet the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in northern India.

  4. and elizabeth hurley might be thrown in jail for walking around the fire with shoes on during her wedding cerremony in rajasthan.

    don't you love ram dass?

  5. And Hurley's former boy toy is in trouble.

    Hugh Grant has been arrested after allegedly hurling a tub of baked beans at a photographer.

    He also reportedly kicked Ian Whittaker, and, according to the photographer, said he wished his children would die of cancer. Grant's lawyers, however, have refuted that any such comments were made by the actor.

    Grant — who has been arrested before, when caught with prostitute Divine Brown in America — was taken to a police station last night for questioning over the alleged assault.

    The arrest followed a clash with the freelance paparazzi photographer outside Grant's Chelsea home on Tuesday morning.

    Mr Whittaker said he had turned up to take pictures of the actor's former girlfriend Liz Hurley, who lives in the same street. When Grant, 46, arrived in his car he asked him to smile as he took his picture.

    The film star allegedly snapped, swearing at Mr Whittaker, 43, and reportedly kicking him three or four times. Then, as Grant entered his house, he allegedly turned and threw a plastic container of baked beans at him.

    The actor, who split from his girlfriend Jemima Khan in February, allegedly then said: “Do you know who I am? I'm a millionaire,” and screamed “Leave me alone.”

    Mr Whittaker told a tabloid newspaper: “I said Give us a smile please' and he looked really angry.

    “I walked backwards and he walked after me. He was effing and blinding at me. He kicked me hard three or four times then kneed me in the groin.

    Hugh Grant

    The actor was arrested in LA after being caught with a prostitute
    “He asked if I had a girlfriend or kids and I said I had two. He said I hope they die of f**king cancer'. I'm determined to see this through to the end because of what he said.”

    Police were called to the incident and last night Kensington detectives returned to the actor's home to arrest him and take him for questioning.

    Grant had his fingerprints taken and provided a DNA sample. His other arrest was in Los Angeles 1995, when Grant was fined £1,000 for the Divine Brown incident.

    Scotland Yard could not confirm the names of those involved on Tuesday, but said they were investigating an allegation of assault in Chelsea.

    A spokeswoman added: “A 46- year-old man was arrested and has been bailed to a date next month.

  6. In response to anonymous's post...
    Read the article "Green Manhattan" in the October 18, 2004 issue of The New Yorker. The author makes an excellent case for why urbanites actually live environmentally conscious lifestyles.

  7. Sigh. So much misanthropy in the world of man!

    I hope Mr/Ms Anonymous isn't the sort of hippie that berates people for unenvironmentalism, then rides into the sunset aboard his/her worn out old A/C-free beater that belches burnt motor oil smoke. Because that kind of hippie is just too ironic.


  8. Greeny wannabe DEMS TOOK PRIVATE JETS: 'No one pooled, no one took commercial flights to save money, fuel or emissions'...

    A flock of small jets took flight from Washington Thursday, each carrying a Democratic presidential candidate to South Carolina for the first debate of the political season.

    For Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden, it was wheels up shortly after they voted in favor of legislation requiring that U.S. troops begin returning home from Iraq in the fall.

    No one jet pooled, no one took commercial flights to save money, fuel or emissions.

    All but Biden, who flew on a private jet, chartered their flights -- a campaign expense of between $7,500 and $9,000.

    Federal Election Commission rules allow candidates to pay only the equivalent of first-class fare to fly on private jets owned by corporations or other special interests. But a Senate ethics bill approved earlier this year would require senators flying on corporate jets to pay full charter rates. The legislation must still be reconciled with a House bill and has yet to become law.

    Several senators running for president are abiding by it anyway, either paying charter cost or avoiding corporate jets altogether, as Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain have done. Dodd pays full charter rates when he flies on private planes. The Clinton and Biden campaigns did not immediately explain their policies.

    Candidates who follow the more lenient FEC rules have a financial advantage.

    Democrat John Edwards, for example, regularly uses a jet owned by Dallas trial lawyer Fred Baron, who is also the finance chairman of his presidential campaign. His campaign pays first-class rate for those flights. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also flies on corporate jets and pays first-class rates.

    Under FEC reimbursement regulations, a candidate flying in a corporate or union jet must pay the first-class rate unless the flight's destination does not have scheduled commercial service. In that case, the candidate must pay the cost of chartering the plane.

    For candidates who are now eschewing corporate jets, the cost difference can be significant.

    For example, a one-way first class ticket on United Airlines with four days advance notice is $694 per person. A typical one-way charter flight on a small Lear jet seating six people would cost about $9,000.

    Critics of corporate jet flights for politicians say the difference in cost makes a private jet an extraordinary special benefit and can give corporate executives or union leaders unusual access to a candidate.

  9. it's interesting that the hostile comments on blogs are almost always anonymous.