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Article by Phil Brown

Phil Brown - Journalist - Author Profile | Email | Website
Phil Brown - Journalist - Author As a journalist I am a senior writer with News Queensland. As an author I write about myself and, if that sounds self-indulgent, you don't know the half of it. Mind you if you read either of my memoirs - Travels with My Angst or Any Guru Will Do, all will be revealed.
Available as Speaker - humorist focusing on problems associated with existential angst and life's journey.
Australia 2000
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I know some people don’t hold with graven images. I’m a Christian and I know some with a more fundamental view might find it strange that we have a house full of Buddhas. I am Catholic, however, and we don’t mind a bit of iconography, among other things.

Truth is I probably identify more with the attitude of Ghandi who, though he was a Hindu, once said “I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew”. His didn’t mention anything about Zoroastrianism or quite a few other religions, but we get his point. Many paths, one heaven, right?

Even though I enjoy the Roman Catholic mass I also like other ceremonies that engender prayerfulness and devotion. And I like their trappings. Someone asked me what I found attractive about Buddhism once and I said, jokingly: “The robes.” There was a grain of truth in that because the outward trappings of various faiths are important, as are the graven images. Buddhism really has the best of them though. There’s something special about Buddhist temples and the Buddha image in its thousands of variations. It’s a universal one that denotes peace and harmony. We have a number of them in our home, mainly collected from our travels in Asia. They help create a domestic aura that calms the soul. I also burn incense and play devotional music from different faiths that helps create a certain a sense of spiritual equanimity.

I don’t worship idols and you won’t find us dancing ecstatically around a golden calf at home - but I think graven images can be helpful as an outward expression of inner realities and aspirations.

We have a few Hindu images as well around the place and our front door is protected by a statue of the elephant headed-deity Ganesha, one of my favourites. Ganesha is, as you may know, is a remover of obstacles, and I have always felt a great attraction to this outward expression of some of the qualities of the Godhead.  And nobody unpleasant has crossed our threshold in recent times so I can only assume that Ganesha is doing exactly what he is supposed to do.

Graven images have their practical uses, after all.

5 Jul 2012

Article/Information supplied by Phil Brown

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.