Mummies in Buddhism, Hindu cannibals: Dr. Reuben Rutledge’s cultural anthropology essays


Mummification in Buddhism

This paper is written about the obscure but very important practice of the mummification of lamas and other important monastic figures. The primary focus will be on the Tibetan and Mongolian traditions, but the similarity with other Buddhist traditions will also be examined. As there is very little information on the topic of Tibet itself the author has decided to extend his study to all Buddhist countries. It is interesting to note that this practice is common throughout Buddhism.

One of the most significant achievements is self-mummification. This practice is found not only in Tibet, but also throughout the Buddhist world. Mummification by others, typical of the Egyptians, will be also explored, along which natural mummification, where no mummy was intended.

You may find the rest of the article here:

The Batak of Sumatra

      During the time I was working on the Encyclopedia of Hinduism I spent time writing about Indonesia.  I had already researched Bali and had written about it. Accidentally I discovered the Wong Tenggar of Java. This was another leftover of the period when South-East Asia was Indian.  I decided to discover other remains in the Island of Indonesia. Eventually I focused of Sumatra where I discovered the Batak. They were a sophisticated culture with a system of writing. They also turned out to be cannibals. The Indian influence on this people created a fusion between native culture and Hinduism. In fact, they were actually Hindus.

      As to their eating habits, they were primarily agriculturalists. Rice and maize are the two primary crops grown. Taro, yams, and potatoes are also grown along with coffee and tobacco.  Cattle and pigs are also raised, and they eat beef and pork, unlike Indians. Meat and fish are not regular staples of their diet. Frogs, mice, insect larvae, and ants are also known to be eaten. In fact the Batak diet is so unrestricted that ‘if it moves, they will eat it.’

     Of course one thing that moves which is eaten is their neighbor. It is one of their most striking and notorious customs. 

Find the rest of this article here:

Reuben Rutledge is a Ph.D. candidate at California’s Institute of Integral Studies and specializes in the anthropology and history of various Eastern cultures.  He frequents the vibrant San Jose art scene and has spoken at the Kaleid Gallery downtown. He may be contacted at

Eddie Freeland: Taking a Palette Knife to San Francisco


Edward’s passion for painting and creative inspiration has always been driven by his Northern California surroundings. While working as a freelance painter, at the age of 11, he began to focus his energy on the vineyards of Livermore, Napa, and Sonoma. Most of his work from this early period was created in watercolor and has received high marks at juried competitions, and earned him various scholarships over the years.

More recently Edward is drawn to the diverse and international influences that converge within the city of San Francisco. They have encouraged him to travel the world and proliferate his artistic expression. From these experiences, along with his time studying Fine Art at the San Francisco Academy of Art, Edward has continued to expand his approach to the creative process. His most recent works have been impressionist paintings, crafted with oil and pallet-knife on canvas, capturing San Francisco’s urban city-scapes with rich and layered tones. He displays his paintings throughout the world and continues to be available for commissions and charitable events. To view Edward’s most recent work please visit his blog at EDWARDFREELAND.BLOGSPOT.COM or the Artist-Xchange Gallery at 3169 16th Street, San Francisco, Ca.

Lisa Amato: Photographs from a Beautiful World


“I was born and spent my early years in Niagara Falls, New York. I moved
to Northern California as a teen and found that, even at that young age, I
was in awe of the vast and diverse scenery. Now, along with my husband,
two sons and Bella, my beautiful dog, we enjoy hiking, going to the beach,
and anything that involves the great outdoors.

Living in the Bay Area, I am witness to this area’s ability to traverse
both the minute wonder of a ladybug resting on a sunflower petal to the
overwhelming expanse of a Pacific sunset. Everywhere I go, an opportunity
to capture a truly breathtaking moment presents itself; whether it be the
rugged peaks of the Sierras, the almost surreal Northern California shore,
or the opulent colors of the wine country.

It was the limitless beauty of the natural world that first inspired me to
pick up a camera, and thus began what came to be not just a casual hobby,
but a passion for capturing the world around me through a camera’s lens.

I am a self-taught photographer who has learned through trial and error,
taking untold numbers of shots to find that one that is just right.”

Lisa also creates cards designed to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.  It has pictures of all 5 cards included in the pack as well as a photo of the back.  All proceeds are donated to Susan G. Komen For The Cure.

Lisa may be reached through her website Her work is also available on Etsy:

First Exposures – creative projects of San Francisco photography students

First Exposures: Youth Opportunities

Through Photography



Group of aspiring photographers working with mentors to produce real zines with an authentic do-it-yourself feel. Each piece reflects a personal interest or theme: the experiences of an autistic brother, dogs, cityscapes, school, traveling. Photographers work on their pieces over several months, mastering the use of the cameras as well as stylistic compositional elements such as balance, contrast, foreground and background.


Artworks in themselves, the zines incorporate commentary and captions in the style of the photographs and their subjects. Adobe Books in SF’s Mission District, a musty old eclectic used-book store where people still make time to sit in armchairs and discuss Immanuel Kant and Goethe and modern politics and enjoy free pastries left as offerings to wooden figurines of Hindu and Buddhist deities, showcases the work of the First Exposures students.


From First Exposures:


First Exposures: Youth Opportunities Through Photography is a special interest mentoring program where academic skills and life skills are developed by combining the benefits of mentoring relationships with art education. The volunteer mentors are professional, commercial and fine art photographers with a commitment to youth and to education. Their students are creative young people, aged 11-18, with backgrounds that include homelessness, foster care or low-income living situations. The students and mentors work together in one-to-one partnerships in a group setting. First Exposures fosters supportive intergenerational relationships in a stimulating environment of active learning.


First Exposures is a demanding program. Both the students and their mentors agree to attend each Saturday class from 10:00 to 2:30 PM for at least one academic semester. Most students and mentors stay in the program for one year. Students develop photographic skills and get exposed to a larger world than they may otherwise know. We meet at either SF Camerawork (a nonprofit photography gallery) or RayKo Photo Center (an excellent community darkroom). We reinforce our class time spent in experiential learning environments: field trips to local newspapers, major museums, alternative art spaces, commercial photography studios, and local colleges or universities. Once each semester we go on a “Photo Safari” field trip to locations like San Francisco Zoo, Fort Point, the Hyde Street Pier, the Marin Headlands, or SF Botanical Gardens. The students use their cameras to explore and interpret these places along with sites and people closer to home.


First Exposures was initiated at Eye Gallery in 1993 and was redeveloped under SF Camerawork’s sponsorship in 1996. SF Camerawork is the base of a support network for the partnership between the student and his or her mentor. This network includes the support of the youth service providers who work collaboratively with SF Camerawork and First Exposures, Bay Area mentoring organizations, professional child care workers, and the student’s families or guardians.


For additional information, contact Erik Auerbach at 

(415) 512.2020 x107


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The Terrorists: Short Fiction by Staci Ferrick and Edward Mock


The Terrorists
Staci Ferrick and Edward J. Mock
Copyright, January, 2009, by Staci Ferrick

“Heads up Jack!  Here come our friends out of passport control.  Hold up your Dallas Tigers pennants”.

“Thanks Tom, I’m all smiles for the FBI cameras.”

Holding up his Lubbock Lions pennant, Tom smiled.

“Over here fellows!  Baggage claim is this way.  Our bus is outside waiting for you,” yelled Jack.

The tired, weary young men followed the pennants and eventually claimed their luggage and soccer gear.  As prearranged there was almost complete silence among the soccer players.  They looked exhausted and bored.

Read more here:

Edward J. Mock resides at 2114 Spalding Dr., Maryville, TN 37803. His phone is 865-379-1708. Staci Ferrick is on the West Coast and may be reached by commenting to this entry.

Theano’s Day – tribute to resourceful philosophers

If you haven’t written a post for Theano’s Day please go ahead and write one when you see this, and comment to let us know!

For Theano’s Day, I’ll honor the contributions of women thinkers and researchers who kept their philosophical pursuits alive and lived out their values during tough financial times.

Anna Doyle Wheeler left a bad marriage and made sacrifices afterwards for her daughters’ education, including not having a home of her own and trading services in exchange for room and board with various friends and family members. She translated major French philosophical works of her time into English and also wrote treatises on the nature and value of education and on women’s freedom and rights.

Laura Bassi produced work in physics and fluid dynamics as well as theoretical philosophy. She lived in Italy during the 1700s and raised twelve children together with her husband, so probably had to balance time and money also. She lectured from home at some points when her children were very young.

Christine Pisan was left a near-bankrupt widow with children, and supported herself through help from from family and friends and eventually through freelance writing 😉 She wrote on the nature of virtue and ethics, and created some stylized courtly love poems.

Theano, today’s namesake, was part of a larger group of women and men in the Pythagorean school: Many of their writings survive to this day, and include work in geometry, mathematics, artistic proportion and balance, beauty, and the purpose and meaning of life. Theano had daughters who wrote philosophical documents also, and whose writings form part of the early Pythagorean works.

Theano’s Day Posts – as of 1:45 PM PST – will be updated throughout the day


Brandon’s post on the ideas and history of Socrates’ teacher, Diotima of Mantinea: Diotima introduced Socrates to a paradigm for finding and understanding beauty at higher and more abstract levels, starting with the physical world and going deeper into the realm of ideas.

Kristie LeVangie, creator of the Shades of K- podcast, writes to celebrate Margaret Fuller and educated, thinking, and hardworking women everywhere who balance the life of the mind with work and family responsibilities:

Callisto’s post on Simone de Beauvoir…she included the Wikipedia link to provide a comprehensive overview of Beauvoir’s life and works in terms of existentialism/freedom of choice and her feminist ideas, such as how she believed women should not be objectified as ‘other’ and ‘mysterious’ and should just be thought of as regular people:

Valeria Holtz’ comparison of the ideas of Margaret Cavendish and Alfred Whitehead, in terms of the active role of the mind in generating and understanding knowledge of the physical world, and in terms of looking at patterns that emerge over expanses of space and time rather than separating and reducing observations to certain discrete units. Holtz argues that Cavendish’s ideas resemble Whitehead’s more so than currently thought, and that she certainly laid the groundwork for many of his seminal concepts.

I will add more as they come in, and will create one myself later.

Music for Theano’s Day: Eneida Marta’s Mindjer Doce Mel (Woman Sweet Honey) From Africa’s Guinea-Bisseau (northwestern coast), Marta sings accompanied by a calabash water drum – a gourd placed in water – and the video shows girls and women dancing, swinging, and reading. And there are plenty of men in the band too, having a wonderful time singing and thinking.