Haleki’i and Pihana Heiau State Historical Sites, Maui, July 2010

Wrapping up the visit to Maui, which can’t be concluded without a nod to our favorite Maui finds:

  • At Mana Foods of Pai’a, we seemed to stop here daily for groceries. They carried an exceptional brand of Maui made smoked paprika hummus. Both local and organic, the prices are decent and the fare exceptionally delicious.
  • Cane and Taro in Lahaina’s Whaler’s Village was surprisingly tasty for such a popular tourist spot. The Hawaiian Swordfish was perfectly cooked, dressed with a simple ginger butter sauce that left the fish naked enough to stand up on its own flavor and meatiness.
  • CJ’s offered the best mixed plate in Kaanapali, including mango-glazed short ribs, outstanding kalua pork and mahi mahi, as well as deliciously sweet and sour pineapple coleslaw.
  • In Haiku, Hana Hou’s chop steak, sauteed with garlic and onions, served with a side of macaroni salad and steamed rice, featured Maui Cattle Company’s tasty and local beef. Elegant yet casual with slightly upscale local fare, banana groves and roaming chicken make a perfectly authentic upcountry dining spot.
  • Our favorite eats by far was Pai’a’s Fish Market. Their ahi burger, washed down with Maui Brewing Company’s Coconut Porter, so absolutely divine, makes me want to cry because I don’t know when I can taste paradise again.
  • This trip couldn’t have been possible without the savvy advice from Vince and Vangie Meneses, Jake Sanders, and Andrew Doughty’s indispensable Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook.

The last hours of Maui were spent on sacred grounds at the Haleki’i and Pihana Heiau State Monuments, just outside of Wailuku, which served as religious ceremonial site and home to Hawaii’s chiefs and high-ranking officers. The following information on the sites are referenced from Hawaii Web and Maui’s Historical Society writer Lyons Kapi’ioho Naone III, who is highly respected as a Hawaiian healing practitioner. The hallowed land featured below offered the perfect chance to contemplate our visit in silence and beauty. Until next time, Maui. Mahalo!

From The Salon: “Agora” Film Review

Rachel Weisz stars as Greek astronomer Hypatia in "Agora."

Originally released last year with limited U.S. screenings, audiences best take advantage of this next go-round because Agora is worth every second. Directed by Alejandro Amenábar, his vision of Alexandria is a sumptuous yet often gory feast. Starting at 391 AD, the film circles around three focal points, the perpetual religious warfare of the time, the disintegration of the Roman Empire, and the assumed life’s work and teachings of philosopher and mathematician Hypatia, played by Rachel Weisz, who is stunning in her Hellenic garb, draped in pure Grecian white or clothed in rich purples and vibrant fuschias. The only comparable marvel to rival her is the city of Alexandria and its great Library, envisioned with grandeur and filled with a light and beauty that matches Weisz.

Hypatia, a historical figure, was Greek, which might excuse Ms. Weisz’s conspicuously pale skin as she plays fair maiden amidst her significantly darker Egyptian and Mediterranean counterparts. Daughter of Theon, a prefect of Alexandria, Hypatia is brilliant in math, philosophy, and astronomy though none of her original writings survive. Other philosophers and scientists pay tribute, in their texts, to her contributions, which include the charting of the celestial bodies and the invention of the hydrometer. She lived in the Roman outpost of Alexandria, and Carl Sagan, a modern day champion of her, once argued, without sufficient substantiation, that Hypatia might have been the Ancient Library of Alexandria‘s last librarian. Agora‘s filmmakers took this speculation and ran with it, creating an opulent setting for one very luminescent individual.

Read entire post at Ruelle Electrique.

Pantheism in the NY Times

I don’t like this NYT columnist by any means, but how often does Pantheism get into mainstream news, save for the Harper’s blogger, who is always posting the Youtube symphonies paired with Romantic art? Ross Douthat in his “Heaven and Nature” barely touches on an excellent point, that pantheism is the preferred doctrine for artists and intellectuals since the classical era, think Lucretius.

…Instead, “Avatar” is Cameron’s long apologia for pantheism — a faith that equates God with Nature, and calls humanity into religious communion with the natural world…

At the same time, pantheism opens a path to numinous experience for people uncomfortable with the literal-mindedness of the monotheistic religions — with their miracle-working deities and holy books, their virgin births and resurrected bodies. As the Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski noted, attributing divinity to the natural world helps “bring God closer to human experience,” while “depriving him of recognizable personal traits.” For anyone who pines for transcendence but recoils at the idea of a demanding Almighty who interferes in human affairs, this is an ideal combination.

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