Saturday, March 01, 2008

Back in the US, back in the US, back in the USSA

I can't help but butcher some Beatles lyrics as I 'cross the pond' yet again, moving back to the joyful, peaceful, prosperous, and free, yes free, United States of America. 'Twas a very sad goodbye, leaving the roommates in London:
Left to Right: Gianfranco, Sana, me and Sjors behind me, Jim, Shahnaz, Masachi, and Lenart - I'm not sure who's idea it was to have props, but it seems to have worked out ok.
But I received an equally joyful welcome home by my beautiful fiancée, Kelly, in McLean, VA, where we'll be living for a while.

So the plan now is to settle in a bit, enjoy the lack of sirens, mice, random people urinating at the entrance of my living space, and other 'charms' of London. Soon we'll be apartment hunting for a place for just Kelly and I - something in the DC area. And planning: wedding planning, financial planning, life planning, future planning, family planning, world peace planning (nope, haven't got to that just yet) - but you get the picture.

Oh, and I hope to keep up on my studies. I'm technically withdrawn from the college until September, but in academia as with so much of life, what technically is and reality aren't always the same. I'll be in touch with my advisors and should make sure I have something pretty substantial to present to them before destroying the earth a little bit more, I mean flying, back to the UK (oh, and yes I will check on cross-Atlantic passenger boats, for sure).

I also got the crazy idea to write a book. I've been thinking of writing a book seriously for a few years now and this just might be my chance. A dear friend of mine in Missoula, Raven, has published one book and is finishing a second with an excellent niche publisher, Llewellyn, ("New Worlds of Mind and Spirit" is their motto). He thinks they might like something accessible to their audience on Buddhism. I think it would be fun. We shall see....

'Tis all for now. Oh, and I'm switching back to my other blog - American Buddhist Perspective. More there very soon!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Blogisattvas, Bristol, and more...

Last week was another interesting one in my life (for me at least).

HEALTH/STRESS: It began Sunday with wrenching stomach pains and other things a bit on the gross side in Gozo, where I was vacationing. It could have been 'too much sun' from our day out Saturday, or food poisoning as my GP (doctor for y'all in the US) here diagnosed on Thursday. It could also have been just another turn in that Adrenal Fatigue thing I may have. With this I seem to have nearly all of the listed symptoms.
PHD UPDATE: Once back in London I had a meeting with my advisors - a brainstorming session that would hopefully set me on track for the summer to work on my own from the states. It was fantastic. I came away wishing I could somehow smuggle Professors Keown and Caygill in my back pocket back to the states (just pop them out once a week for more brainstorming and pep-talks) :) I'll have to post more on the details, but we came away with a further plan/outline for my thesis, something like:
  1. Methodology
  2. Literature Review
  3. Ethics as a Path
    1. Buddhism (from greed, anger, delusion toward freedom from these)
    2. Kant (from drives, desires and inclinations toward freedom/autonomy)
  4. Case studies: perhaps death and dying, perhaps sex with animals (ha! apparently a bit of an issue for both early Buddhists and Kant - should make for juicy discussion)
I can't wait to be rested enough and have the time to really dig in!
TRAVELS: Now I'm very happily in Bristol, where I did my Buddhist Studies MA. I'm staying with my good friend SJ, who was a housemate of mine back then. I've had the pleasure to meet up with old coursemate Mary and her boyfriend Alex yesterday and today I've just met up with Ken Robinson, a fascinating retired gentleman who has made a home for himself in the Buddhist Studies department here in Bristol. Tomorrow I'll hopefully see my old advisor, Paul Williams, and meet several of the new students before catching a bus back to London.
BLOGISATTVAS: In much more lighthearted good news, I have won a pair of Blogisattva Awards this year. I won a couple in 2006, the inaugural year for them, and was nominated for a few last year. So it was quite a lovely surprise to come up as a winner again this year. I should note that I was on this year's selection committee (but abstained in all cases from voting for myself - of course). The above link will give you the full list of winners - I highly recommend them all! My own awards came in the form of:
  • Best New Blog, 2007: Progressive Buddhism, a group blog with contributions by Ordinary Extraordinary [Justin Farquar], WH [William Harrison], Nacho Cordova, Buddhist_philosopher [Justin Whitaker], odin [Paul Jahshan], Tom [Tom Armstrong], and Joe in 2007.
  • Best Achievement Blogging on Matters Philosophical or Psychological [blog, blogger]: American Buddhist [the combination of American Buddhist Perspective (1/1-9/23/07) & American Buddhist in England (9/23-12/31/07)]; Justin Whitaker
  • Best Opinion or Political Blog Post ["post"; blog; blogger]: "Politics: toward a Buddhist immigration policy"; American Buddhist in England; Justin Whitaker
I'm most surprised by the Political Post award, as it is typically a subject I avoid (half jokingly I'd say I don't talk politics unless I have either lots of energy or lots of alcohol in me). But I do keep up on the news and did see something recently that made me smile. It was when Hilary Clinton said during a debate something to the effect of, "whatever happens next, I am proud to be here on stage with Barack Obama." Now, while everyone and his sister seems to have their own (often cynical) spin on this, I found it to be very beautiful, like a moment of genuine humanity in the otherwise very cruel and ego-driven game of politics. Of course soon enough they were back at it, but that is the nature of samsara, isn't it?

I, for one, will do what I can to see Obama in office next January. But first - the countdown on the right is telling me I have 3 days, 3 hours, and 3 minutes before I touch down in DC - a far more important milestone in my little life for the time being.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Life: Homeward Bound

Shortly before my Malta trip we decided I should cut short my stay in London and get me back to the US, so..... Well, the countdown clock on the right might have tipped you off, but I'm headed back now in just a week.

The plan now?
  1. Withdraw (temporarily - until September) from the college.
  2. Continue to work at my own pace, maybe focus on languages (Pali and German) for a bit.
  3. Get back to DC: rest.
  4. Apartment hunt: someplace between central DC and out in the boonies west of there (like Round Hill, VA - population: 500)
Simple enough? After a very tiring few months in London, I think so. Going from a city map that looks like this:To (potentially) this:
certainly has its appeal. So, adios for now, London. I look forward to resting up and spending plenty of QT with my fiancee. But first, a quick trip to Bristol to see old friends over the weekend :)

* For when we do get that apartment: Feng Shui Tips

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Blakey day

One of my housemates in London is doing his MRes on Blake and at some point came up with the adjective: Blakey. Today I was sent this quote (below) and stumbled across the image below that somewhere out in the Buddha-blogosphere...
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
There is something humerously ironic about so much of contemporary life; in how true both of these statements from Blake can be (one of simple and profound unity, one of a child's endless desires). Today we had a beautiful picnic, Margaret and Bruce and I, in a protected little cove on the Northwest side of Gozo. There we had just the sound of the sea and the wind, the occasional flower or bit of sand, but mostly we just basked in the sun until the clouds rolled in. It was fantastic, filled with plenty of moments of "eternity in an hour"(the downside being that an eternity in the Mediterranean sun can really knock you out, but anyway).

The irony is in just how much work it took to find this blissful simplicity: a train, a plane, a mini-bus, a ferry, and a car. So maybe I'm a bit like that little child, too - only now waving down with a big grin from the moon.
On a not so Blakey but related theme (Buddhism), I had a chat with one of my housemates before I left last Tuesday: a Korean woman named Soyoung, an artist and Taoist. She observed that people here [London] talk a lot about fixing things in the world, the problems out there. But nobody seems to look at themselves. I agreed.

Our little college seems to be cause-central, but it is all (how to put this kindly?) superficial. One example is the Burma protests last fall. They threw together some people to join the London march, but half bailed out, and those who made it just seemed to be there to take pictures (you can see them all in my photos - ha!). A discussion on the topic I attended wound up being led by a socialist reporter who ranted about the "Western Imperialists' hand" behind all of this. I brought up China (the country most funding the oppressive military junta) and was shot down with the response that we can't really look at the big countries on this one - we must organize the student movement!

Mentioning "the movement" seemed to push a button in many of the students because they began buzzing and nodding in agreement. The idea of blaming "Western Imperialists" but not looking at the big countries pushed some of my logical consistency buttons and I kept quiet for the rest of the rally, or discussion.

Anyway, back to the story. So, Soyoung, the Korean woman, tells me this and I say, "Yes, but for me at least I can empathise. I need quiet and time to really look within - when I do get that, I get very introspective and I become creative and thoughtful and all those wonderful things. But when the world is a cacophony as it is here, the body seems to be on high alert and every sense organ (including the mind, which for us Buddhists is a sense organ) is turned outward."

She thought for a moment, and then said two very profound words:

"lotus flower."
For those who haven't had "Buddhist similes 101" the lotus flower is a symbol of the purity of perfect awakening emerging from the muck (they like to grow in gross muddy ponds) of ordinary life. Sort of like the Western idea of "every rose has its thorn" or something like that.

So, me being "smart" and not wanting to be one-upped spiritually, I came back with, "well, even a lotus needs decent conditions, right? It can't grow in rock." All of which I thought was very clever - yes we need to see ourselves as overcoming the muck of daily life, but we do need proper conditions to do our spiritual work...

She didn't have to think much this time. She just rolled her eyes and said:
"philosophy!" and laughed...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Life: Whirlwinds Strike Again

Sometimes life moves fast, sometimes it moves slow.
Grace happens when we move at the speed of life.
Suddenly life around this sentient being is getting awfully fast. I'm just 45 minutes away from my train to Gatwick airport, where I'll depart for a three-hour flight to Malta, then a quick taxi ride to the ferry where my good friends Margaret and Bruce expect to be awaiting me to accompany me to their place on the island of Gozo. Yay!

Then, seven days in Gozo. I'm bringing only my camera and three books: Kant's Metaphysics of Morals, A book on Buddhist Ethics, and -get this- a novel (I haven't read one of those in who knows how long). Oh, and a notebook and a journal.

After that, a day or two in London - meeting my advisors - and then on to Bristol for four days to visit SJ and other friends from my MA days. Then just two more days in London, one really, and I fly back to the US - for good (on the 28th). Just in time to see my beautiful fiancée lead a Socrates Café in McLean VA (fitting, as it was at such a Café that we first met!).

So... the whirlwind cometh (again). And, provided I keep up with it, not much should be rattled up and it looks like it will drop me back on earth right where I need to be.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Living: memed

I've been memed - Patia has tagged me with the 4 Things meme.

4 Jobs I've Held:
  1. Dish washer, prep cook, cook: Yat Son Chinese Restaurant, Helena, MT
  2. Bookkeeper (the old IGA grocery store in Missoula where the Good Food store is now)
  3. Tutor for first-year medical students in Medical Ethics, Bristol, England
  4. Program Coordinator, the Center for Ethics, Missoula, MT

4 Movies I've Watched Over and Over Again:
  1. Pink Floyd: The Wall
  2. A Beautiful Mind
  3. Ashes and Snow
  4. The Peaceful Warrior

4 Places I've Been:
  1. Aran Islands, Ireland
  2. Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA
  3. La Alhambra, Granada, Spain
  4. Florence, Italy

4 Places I've Lived:
  1. Helena & Missoula, Montana
  2. Cheney, Washington
  3. Bristol, England
  4. London, England

4 TV Shows I (used to) Watch:
  1. Mr. Ed
  2. Gilligan's Island
  3. MacGyver
  4. Discovery Channel (everything)

4 Radio Shows I (used to) Listen To:
  1. G. Gordon Liddy (AM conservative talk radio - I 'monitored' his show when I worked in commercial radio in Helena, MT)
  2. KBGA College Radio 89.9 (everything - undergrad days in Missoula)
  3. BBC News and Commentary (Bristol, UK)
  4. NPR (everything - especially News, Pea Green Boat & Prairie Home Companion)

4 Things I Look Forward To:
  1. Spring (yes! - borrowed from Patia)
  2. Our next president (YES - also borrowed from P.)
  3. Teaching again, and most of all....
  4. Seeing my love, Kelly, sooooon!!!

4 Favourite Foods:
  1. Indian Curry
  2. Salmon
  3. The Cosmopolitan Bohemian meal: artisan bread, Italian cheese, Australian wine
  4. Potato Soup

4 Places I'd Rather Be:
  1. Anywhere with Kelly
  2. Watching the sun set from Mount Sentinel (Missoula)
  3. Admiring the BIG Sky over Helena, MT
  4. see #1 above

4 People I email regularly:
  1. Kelly
  2. My mum
  3. Bristol Friends
  4. Ali in Missoula

4 People to Tag:
  1. Chris
  2. SJ
  3. Tom
  4. Greg

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Living: return to nature

Epping Forest pond reflection

I spent much of today in Epping Forest with friends. Oh, the blessing of nature...
We drank greedily of the blossom-sweet air, breathing in birdsong and the chatter of leaves skipping across the moss-green carpet. Tiny, colorful rocks demanded my attention as if I were a child, and laughter poured out of crevaces long covererd by London soot. We wandered, not lost, but free - free from paths and the pretense of time and destination.

Eventually our empty stomachs reminded us of our mortality and we descended again to earth and to London...
Sometimes we are lucky enough to be given a sign of how life is supposed to be. And we're luckier still if we see it.
A few years ago a friend passed me on a Sunday morning as I sat beneath a tree in front of my Missoula apartment. He called from his car window, "why aren't you at church?"
I just smiled, looked up for a moment, and said, "I am."
Justin + sunshine + nature = happiness. (add good friends to flavor)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Living: Insight from the Dalai Lama

Today's words from the Dalai Lama calendar from my brother are worth meditating on:
If a person's basic state of mind is serene and calm, then it is possible for this inner peace to overwhelm a painful physical experience. On the other hand, if someone is suffering from depression, anxiety, or any form of emotional distress, then even if he or she happens to be enjoying physical comforts, he will not really be able to experience the happiness that these could bring.
The point here, I take it, is that what is 'out there' around us is not nearly so important as what is 'in here' in our own minds. Dharma teachers are often quick to tell stories of travels in India and Tibet, amongst the poorest people of the world, where they were greeted with kindness and joy - and often gifts - in contrast to the folks in wealthy western countries where people are stingy and cynical.

Yet I think it is equally important to state that we all need good conditions to cultivate the serenity and calm which is naturally inherent within us. Even a Pope or Dalai Lama, in the midst of utter chaos, will find life incredibly difficult. Think of the sixth Dalia Lama, raised in turbulent times, shrouded even from potential teachers for many years, a virtual prisoner well into his teens. Or of Pope Pius XII in the chaotic years of WW II.

We all need the initial conditions for happiness: some degree of peace and quiet, safety and sufficient nourishment. But beyond these, and these are amazingly readily available if we search for them, it is upon us to do the work of cultivating the inner peace which is the mark of the sage, the yogi, the sensai.

In are difficult times, it is always fair to seek greater comfort. This is part of our human nature and the realization that we all have difficult times. Even as hard as it is to seek help, it is equally wonderful to be asked, and to be trusted in another's time of need. This is the beauty of humanity: we care for each other. Even when our reasons escape reason, we care. And we want to help.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Living: Sunseeking

For about six months now, I've been a subscriber to Dr. Mercola's twice weekly newsletter, thanks to a recommendation by Kelly's friend, Liz, on their blog. I would very strongly recommend it myself; his no-nonsense advice and copious research, not to mention headlines like Soft Drinks: Disease in a Can have won me over.

One of Dr. Mercola's commonly discussed topics is the fact that most of us in the developed world do not get enough sunshine. That's right, not enough. I don't know about you, but I grew up with the message that 'too much sun can give you cancer' but nobody told me that 'too little sun can give you cancer too' - until now (another article, and another). And for the cancer we do get, the most common cause is our poor diet (too much processed food, filled with too many - sometimes carcinogenic - additives).

But, beyond cancer, too little sunshine obviously puts many of us (myself included) into quite a funk. As for dealing with these winter blues, Dr. Mercola has some great suggestions:
  • Get sun! A light-box or full-spectrum light bulbs will also help. Two years ago I flew to Hawai'i for a week and felt like I was walking on clouds for about three weeks even back in Missoula. In six days I'll be visiting friends on the tiny island of Gozo, Malta, where the forecast is for plenty of sunshine and highs in the 60s. And I've just ordered a six-pack of the above bulbs for Kelly in DC.
  • Exercise more - and keep it fun. Even when I don't feel like it, I still manage to get to the gym four or five days a week. Sometimes I'm there for as little as 20minutes, but even then I feel good that I went. Often enough, though, I manage 40minutes to an hour and walk out feeling really great.
  • Avoid comfort foods! Starchy/sugary foods actually stimulate quick bursts of serotonin (the 'good mood' hormone) in our brains, so we do feel good when we eat them. But it's a short-lived high, followed by a blood-sugar crash and (often enough) feelings of guilt for our indulgences. Eat more fresh veggies - green stuff especially.
  • Sleep! Our bodies follow the rhythms of the day pretty darned well, producing the 'sleep hormone' melatonin earlier as the days grow shorter. Unfortunately, most of us have lives and schedules that don't allow us to listen to our bodies and sleep more in winter months. Change this! Cut back activities in the darkest winter months as much as possible - your body, moods, and friends will thank you for it.
  • Get more Omega 3s. These are fats (that's right, you're supposed to eat more fat!) found most commonly in fatty fish like wild salmon (but NOT farmed salmon), and also in some vegetable products such as flax seed and rapeseed oils and walnuts (a good webpage).
  • Change your routines: pamper yourself; journal/reflect on your day and life; get out to the country - or out of the country if you can; clean (especially if this is new to you); listen to good music, etc. I've been LOVING my new noise-canceling headphones, listening to uplifting pop music and to the gayatri mantra (see below) - a wonderfully soothing and uplifting Sanskrit chant.

Beatles: Here Comes the Sun

Nina Simone: Here Comes the Sun

Richie Havens: Here Comes the Sun

I hope you like this song as much as I do! :) I grew up with lots of Richie Havens, too, so it brings me a smile just to hear his voice.

The Gayatri Mantra
May all beings be well,
may all beings be happy,
may all beings be free from suffering.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Living: Reflecting

I received this as an email today. Somehow it just seems perfect (more to follow):



Hello everybody, we are starting on a new issue of Smiths, the themes are Reflections/Home (working title.) We are asking you to reflect back on your lives, and give us submissions of the contemplative kind, in any form: stories, articles, objects, postcards. Etc.

Often going home, away from the whirlwind of uni life, is a good time for this kind of reflection, and with the majority of us not coming from central London, going back to our home towns for a stint with our parents can be quite a sobering experience. We want you to tell us about your other lives, what you get up to away from Goldsmiths. With the media often being London–centric, this issue of Smiths is the definitive non-London issue.

Some examples of articles we would like submissions about..

- Photos of ‘home’.
- Reviews/interviews with people you knew who are now in bands (whether they are famous or still local).
- Interesting traditions from your hometowns.
- Fashion photography (perhaps examining the ‘makeover’ process some people undergo when coming to a new city/uni).
- Postcards from your hometowns, perhaps with stories etc on the back.
- Any experiences which are very much nostalgic to you now.

We would also like you to submit photos which could be on the front of a postcard for New Cross, the photos would need to encapsulate how you feel about New Cross (and surrounding areas), a postcard you could send to someone who doesn’t live here. 4 winning photos will be chosen and published as pull-outs in the magazine.

Please note- We would like submissions of the above things, but this is in no way a final list. PLEASE BE CREATIVE with your ideas around this theme, remember you can write about ANYTHING as long as you feel it links to the theme in some way, and as stated before, submissions can be in any form.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Living - moving?

Today I visited another hall of residence for a potential move, Raymont Hall. It has some pros and cons I'll need to mull over for a day or so; feel free to chime in with advice.

  • It's on a quiet road in a residential neighborhood, I now live on a major highway in a busy neighborhood.
  • The room would be a bit bigger with a nice desk, my own toilet and shower, and a larger window, overlooking either a quiet internal garden/courtyard or facing out where it would get several hours of direct sunlight.
  • Laundry services are on-site; right now I have to walk a couple blocks to do laundry.
  • It's 15 minutes' walk from college, I'm about 5 minutes now (a small thing).
  • The kitchens there are filthy; the kitchens here, despite the mice, are immaculate in comparison.
  • No internet in the rooms (this may be a pro though if it means I get more work done).
  • It is $30/week more in rent.
The people there (and thus potential noise from them) are a bit of a mystery. I know a couple people living in the hall, but none near where I would be (A2 or A18). I really, really like the people in my hall, so I would be leaving them and the daily kindness and support that they give me.

There is also the fact that I'll only be in London for about six more weeks (my ticket to DC and, more importantly, Kelly, is purchased for March 25). Of that six weeks, I already have a week booked in Gozo (many many thanks to Margaret and Bruce!), and will spend about eight days in Bristol this month and next (many many thanks to SJ!). So that only leaves about four weeks, twenty-eight or so days. Is it worth it to move for so short a time? I know I'll survive here at Batavia Mews; but I also know I won't thrive. At Raymont I might thrive, or then it could worse somehow...

Anywho... something I'll mull over for a day or so. Please feel free to give thoughts or things for me to think about. Thanks.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Living - Goodies from Home

Today a bit of joy came in the form of a package from my folks in Montana. Enclosed were three things: a Christmas card from our jeweler with nice photos of Kel's ring, a daily Dalai Lama calendar from my brother, and noise canceling headphones I ordered.
Mo Anam Cara, Gaelic for My Spiritual Friend (or soulmate). Kelly recognized this spiritual bond between us from our very first evening together.

Claddagh: Heart, hands, and crown. "Let love and friendship reign." With an emerald in the heart for our soul-home, Ireland, the Emerald Isle.

Wow, silence! Or at least very close.

Dalai Lama wisdom to come - soon! I also took a walk today to some other potential flats to live in but they weren't so great. Tomorrow I'll see another one where I hear they have authentic sunshine, a garden, rooms with balconies and they serve you Piña Coladas at sunset. Ok, I made up the Piña Coladas part but the rest is true I swear.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Quote of the Day:

Primum vivere, deinde philosophari
First live - then philosophize.

(from my daytrip to Cambridge with housemates)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Reflecting on Aristotle, (1 of 4)

I've just read the chapter on Aristotle in "Ethics in the History of Western Philosophy" and found his thought to be incredibly close to that of Buddhism. A major part of my thesis, it seems, will be in showing some of the key differences and why Kant may provide coverage of those differences. I also found Aristotle to be incredibly close to Kant...

Some notes (those in black are roughly exegesis, in red are my thoughts/interpretations):

First, while in Plato we find a "radical and sound alternative" to Athenian democracy (the same democracy that exhausted itself in a 30 year war with Sparta and executed its greatest thinker, Socrates), in Aristotle we instead find a detached and conservative ethics. Aristotle's work is less a critique of his society and more an attempt to raise up and clarify its highest attributes. Aristotle's three works on ethics: the Eudemian Ethics, Nicomachean Ethics, and the Magna Moralia are all closely related to politics rather than strictly individual ethics.

Happiness, or flourishing (eudemonia) for Aristotle is to be accomplished by building a rich inner life as opposed to the (perhaps later Stoic) ideal of simplifying one's needs and expectations. Aristotle asserts that man is by nature a social/political creature, and that one cannot flourish in isolation.

To distinguish which goods lead to happiness and which do not, Aristotle asks what is the particular nature of humanity, apart from all other creatures. The oft cited analogy is that of asking what is the nature of a knife apart from other kitchen utensils: it cuts. A good (or virtuous, Aristotle uses the same term, areté) knife cuts well. Humanity's special nature, that which sets us apart from other creatures is our employment of reason, our ability to act either rationally or irrationally.

'Ok,' you might think, 'it is our best nature to act rationally, so we ought to do that, right?' Well, strictly speaking, no. This is a case of the philosophical problem known by the fancy term: the naturalistic fallacy, aka. the is/ought problem. The problem is the reasoning that just because something is that it therefore should be that way. A simple example to illustrate this is to say, 'ethnic cleansing and perhaps soon genocide are again happening in Africa. We can say this 'is' a fact but certainly we would not say it 'ought to be' that way.' Some things that are, are wrong.

Aristotle gets around this by positing the virtues as the principles by which to judge whether something is good or bad. Reason is on the is side (of the is/ought divide). So reason itself cannot be employed to determine the rightness or wrongness of an action: you could have a very reasonable war criminal and a fairly irrational (but otherwise harmless) store clerk. What is needed as an logically external standard, and that is the virtues. They are external because they flow not from human nature per se, but from the practical nature of society and thus may vary from one society to the next.
In the next post I hope to finish the exegesis on Aristotle, covering his discussion on the relationship between moral and intellectual virtues as well as his determination of what makes an act right.

Third, I will point out some of the continuity and difference in Kant's though. And finally I hope to finish with a comparison of some of these ideas in Aristotle to Buddhist ethics.