The final day was spent visiting sights around the city. Yoga poses images Some were sites of heinous activity, alive only weeks ago, such as the stadium where Yoga poses images women are routinely and publicly executed for senseless reasons. There were graveyards with freshly dug graves for the newly dead, some proudly staked with flags representing martyrs. We took a long drive out past the front lines and saw diligent roadside de-mining efforts on the way to a small village untouched by time. While in Afghanistan, the majority of our contact was with children and old men. They were as intrigued with us as we were with them, and seemed honored when asked to have their picture taken. Everywhere we went, people returned our smiles, and oftentimes would place their right hand over their heart as a gesture of respect or acknowledgment. It was so new and beautiful to communicate so deeply without words.
Evolving Axial Age discourses among the Brahmins
In the texts authored by the Brahmins they began to reflect over, adapt to and re-configure the new signs that reflect the emerging Axial Age episteme. The Axial Age signs of karma, the true nature of immovable self and its liberation were investigated again and again first in the Upanishads and then in the Mahabharata.
Liberating knowledge’ of the true self – leading to end of re-birth’ – was re-formulated as reaching brahman’ in the Chandogya Upanishad. The immovable self was called atman. In later Upanishads, we see how the karma doctrine slowly merged with Brahmin notions. Atman – a new sign – became identified with brahman – a re-constructed Vedic sign. This linking was a part of Axial Age episteme, because knowing (i.e. wisdom – or Gnosticism -was critical) this connection led to release and end of re-birth.