~Meniscus Archives~

Spring 2004
Issue #3

February - April 2004

Sex, Not Just for Teenagers
Mr. Ruggles

Like No Other Time, by Tom Daschle
A review
by Kristi Spurrier

Maintaining Spirituality in the Void We Call America
Mr. Ruggles
Libra Seeking Balance
Melissa Bator
What 2004 Means to Me
The Tonic
Bush's Capitalism: 21st Century Entropy
Jon Heinrich
Don't Think Twice,
It's Alright

Mike Kirkpatrick
Cows in the Road
Dan Berthiaume
Love, at 100
Pete Pidgeon
Summer's Freckles
Wes Ratko
Not a Love Story
Sarah Erdreich
Miami New Years
Team Meniscus
Tuckerman Ravine
Jon Heinrich
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival: Ten tips for a successful Jazzfest
Chrystie Hopkins
Meniscus New Years Picks
Bootyjuice is a Band
Derek Gumuchian
One Double Grande Instrumental, Please (Hold the Flavored Syrup):
A Review of
Self-Titled Debut

Brian Gagné
Show Review:
Vida Blue, 1/3/04
Jackie Gleason Theatre, Miami, FL

Jon Heinrich
CD Review:
Spaceship Integration
Live From Nowhere

CD Review:
The Recipe
All You Can Eat
Love Is...
-Ryan Collins
Traded for Monkeys,
Livid [In Tall Grass]
What a Calamity!

-Brian Gagné
Meniscus Premier Launch Party
Zeitgeist Gallery
Cambridge, Massachusetts
August 14, 2003

Metro Saturdays hosts
Meniscus Portland Launch
Sky Bar @ The Roxy
Portland, Maine
August 30, 2003

State of the Art
Lounge Ten
Boston, Massachussets
October 23, 2003


Maintaining Spirituality in the Void We Call America
Mr. Ruggles
Published 2/14/04

For the sake of this article we will define spirituality to clear up any misunderstanding. Spirituality will be the act of connecting to a higher understanding, above self, humanity, and religion. Religion is a framework for spirituality, which is why so many have evolved. If there was only one type of connection there would be only one religion (which I’m sure some people would be thrilled with). I stand to argue that it can only be an unconscious connection and the culture of America appears to be hacking away with sheer determination to slay this beast.

America preaches values, integrity, pride and respect. To be hard-working and do for your country, try and get ahead and live the American dream. That’s a lot to ask 280 million people. But where in our lifestyle does spirituality fit. Why is there a full on attack of new ageism and pseudo-ethno-spirituality. Yoga, reiki, shamanic rituals are all becoming part of the regular vocabulary. We have the highest murder rate of developed countries, the weakest social system and the biggest military. Is this the system of enlightened peoples?

It is hard to quantify spirituality, it is more of a feeling, but first some points can be brought up to demonstrate how we have come to this point. This is a quick list of subjects to be covered:

  • Religion getting in the way
  • The need for personal definition
  • The lack of community, Individualism gone mad
  • Elders not respected, Wisdom not collected
  • Disconnect with nature, stars, other worlds
  • Lack of immediate experience
  • People’s creativity not fostered
  • The lack of rituals, dance and music as part of society
  • Love not being the pervasive value

Religion, in the way:
Sorry to all the people who this does not apply to, you are not to be glossed over. But saying that I see a huge problem with religion today in America. Somehow people have the feeling that if they join the club they get a free pass. In my book this is not true and is a bit sad. I think people truly want to believe in something above them and humanity. If it is a physicist, thinking of other dimensions or a Hindu thinking of the afterlife. I grew up with a lot of people going to church or temple and sitting wait for the time to leave and going right back to it the next week. There are also plenty of people caught up in the detail of a religion, the liturgy and history, the big books and rules to follow. If one follows the rules and understand the stories then they are spiritual, right? I think that spirituality lies solely in each persons hand, we are the only ones we can rely on, and everything we ever need to know is inside the melon on top of our shoulders. We know everything, but why can’t we remember it all? Well, it just may be that we need people and events in our life to spur this information out of our memory. But all this crap about guru’s and spiritual teachers, they can only teach you their way, what if that is not right for you, what if it is? Cults are just religions that haven’t caught on enough, they have someone with some idea of spirituality and they talk to others and get them on the team, next thing you know there all screwing the leader (he always has all the fun for some reason) and then isolating from society and possibly killing themselves. This is only a scenario but you know what I mean. For some people having a framework is good and it helps spur on their own knowledge, but far to often it leaves people in another void of confusion, that this system does not mesh with their experience of life, and what’s left is a corny person who wouldn’t know spirituality if it kicked them in the head. (if offended see top of paragraph)

The need for definition:
Who are you? A spouse, friend, lover, worker? Or are you a person who has the traits of being a spouse, friend, lover, and worker? To me this is a serious delineation. People are all too comfortable with defining themselves for the sake of comfort, to know where they stand and who they are. I believe that the key to our culture is to erase this mindset and all be defined as people, with characteristics. This will do a couple things, first off it makes everyone equal. To say you are a person leaves no room for judgment. If I say I have a friend who is a person, there is no preconception. I would look onto that person as another entity of equal big picture significance. How can anyone be more spiritually significant than another? Another thing this lack of definition would do is to let people know that they might need to be defined in the societal sense but they do not in the spiritual sense, it will liberate from all of your waking life and responsibilities. People might not ever see a way out of their waking life, but the spirit world is always strong outside our constructs.

This stuff is way too serious, I’m only this serious about twice a day for 30 minutes… so I’ll leave us with a nice wind swept fossil of a tree standing next to a beautiful woman


Meniscus Magazine © 2004. All material is property of respective artists.