As one who respects the individual's search for a spiritual path leading to an authentic and integrated life, your cover story ("The Spirit Trade," Aug. 5) left me with a conclusion opposite the one suggested. Because there's so much falling under the rubric of "New Age" in today's marketplace, many drawn to this "alternative" movement are really participating in something that's anything but alternative.
Admittedly, I'm a Christian who seems to be in a perpetual lover's quarrel with the church, so I totally understand the vast disconnection and disaffection today's spiritual seeker feels with organized religion. But to write off established religion as "man-made" while elevating spirituality as "God-made" is disingenuous, mostly because the promulgation of these spiritualities is made possible because of the largest profit-driven, man-made religion on the block: capitalism.
But what leaves me cold and empty about New Ageism is that, by and large, it proffers spiritual insight, even enlightenment, without a social ethic that extends beyond individual acts of kindness. Important as such acts of kindness are, any spirituality that is focused on the subjective to the exclusion of organized, community-based religion is a monument to irrelevance.
The path that makes the most sense to me is both traditional and eclectic: be a seeker, read and absorb wisdom from afar, and allow such knowledge to challenge and clarify a more earnest religious life grounded in community and available at the church, temple or synagogue of your choice.
Who's indignant now?
I find your indignation over the tree trimming/pruning policies and practices of NES and corresponding championing of the disgruntled citizenry contradictory (Editorial, Aug. 5). It is easy to attack the "big guys" and champion the poor citizen trampled under the jackboot of "policy." Perhaps you have acted without due consideration of the facts.
The disgruntled citizenry you champion are at best guilty of asking for an NES subsidya free ride to get their trees trimmed/pruned their way. These disgruntled citizens are asking NES ratepayers to assume the financial and physical responsibility for trimming/pruning of trees on their property that encroach on the power line right of way, a subsidy of a property owner's responsibility. If a property owner wants control over the pruning of the trees on their property that encroach on the public utility right of way, they need to step up ahead of NES to protect power line integrity.
The neglect and irresponsible behavior of property owners is visible throughout the NES service area. One of the most grievous is where NES crews have to cut a branch on either side of a power line encapsulated by a tree branch. The trees along power lines look "butchered" because the property owners have not managed the volume of their trees. NES only trims to protect the power lines; the other portions of the tree are not trimmed/pruned by NES and are the responsibility of the property owner. Conscientious tree volume management by the respective property owners would negate NES "butchery." Examples of NES "butchery" are going to continue until property owners assume responsibility for their encroaching trees and practice responsible tree volume management.
Dales Alex Jacob
I read your recent article that mentioned the Tangled Moon in Lebanon ("The Spirit Trade," Aug. 5). It just so happens that the young boy mentioned in your article, proudly displaying his new crystal-tipped journey staff, was my 8-year-old son Benjamin. Ben was so proud when he saw the article. It is his first time in print. Great article. Thank you, Maria. You made his day.
Sports writer Randy Horick wrote last week, "Ferreting out fellow lawbreakers in the SEC shouldn't be all that hard." Actually, Randy, it isn't. It's getting the NCAA to pay attention to it when UT does it that is the hard part. And may I add my belief that, one day, silly old Tommy Gallion won't seem quite so funny to you. By the way, I'm from the University of Alabama (class of 1963) and still I thought that article was pretty funny.
Lynda Ann Miller
Bumble1994@aol.com (Louisville, Ky.)
About disaffected moderates
I see where Roger Abramson thinks Bush will win because people won't want to trade horses in midstream ("10 Reasons Why Bush Will Win," Aug. 5). Deborah Kerr had the answer for that one in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp: Lots of people have had to do itit's better than drowning.
Consider Mrs. Kerry. She was a lifelong Republican, widow of a Republican senator, who remained a registered Republican long after her marriage to Kerry. I think she's representative of traditional Republicans, Eisenhower Republicans, who have been dispossessed by the Bolshevik takeover of their party. I don't say that these disaffected moderates will vote for Kerry, but I suspect many of them will refuse to vote for Bush.
427 East Burton St., Murfreesboro
He wore a tie to high school
Please help Roger Abramson pull his head out of his rear end, as it appears to be stuck up there pretty far ("10 Reasons Why Bush Will Win," Aug. 5).
He is so Cute......Thanks for the reading material....
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