Do Goldfish Go to Heaven?

Today I got my Ladybird cycle repaired, as my back tire had busted. She is not so happy with me I guess, but I don’t wonder why. Cycling on the roads here is always an adventure, dodging potholes, speed bumps, poop, and bits of trash. And those are the stationary objects.

I also received word from my great friend and ASUO presidential successor Ben Eckstein that one of our office goldfish may not have much time on this earth. Ben and I bought the fish last summer in an attempt to brighten the office, and because I just really love fish. They are so relaxing and low maintenance. Tasty too, I’ve been wanting to cook some fish here… (I currently only get protein through lentils and copious amounts of dairy at the ashram).

Anyway, we have two over-sized goldfish, black, bug-eyed Stu and big, orange Auto. They stand for Student Autonomy. Ben named them. We also adopted some tiny fish at the beginning of fall last year, when a UO welcome event was handing out goldfish as prizes and all of these freshmen were wandering around with plastic bags of fish that they did not know how nor want to take care of. So we adopted six babies, who serve as the tank’s “intern” fish.

lunch time at the ASUO


Since you and I are the original parents of the fish and they are a product of our eternal bond, I wanted to let you know that the fish are not doing great. Stu is probably dying right now, we think he won’t make it to the morning (Consuela and Katie have already cried). We think Auto is alright, but he is really sad for Stu. He even rescued Stu from the filter when Stu just flopped under the filter and was too tired to go on.

 I will keep you posted. Let’s never forget that the fish belong to you and me.

 Love, Ben


Dear Ben,

Nooo!! That is so sad! Please keep me posted on whether Stu decides to leave his body for another realm. Give my condolences to Auto and the rest. 

 Love, Amelie 


At the Society beach office there are some beautiful goldfish in the ponds, shyly swimming under the shelter of the lilypads. Stu’s dance with death got me thinking about animals and reincarnation.  Are animals a less evolved soul that will return to the divine world after it leaves its mortal body, or is it a human who has more work to do to improve its karma?

Kaushal says Hindu and Buddhism philosophy states that all matter is trying to attain to the divine, and souls naturally progress into a more and more advanced body. In the material world we have evolution, and thus in the spiritual world as well. Sometimes souls can devolve, but it is very rare, and only in instances where the soul needs to learn something more before it is ready to manifest in a human body. So as long as Stu has learned what he needs to in this life, he will be born as a more evolved organism. If not, than perhaps he will have scales and gills again.

Humans do not realize that we can evolve into something more because we are at the top of the food chain. But that is the core idea behind the work of thousands of years of India’s practice of yoga. Sri Aurobindo believed that man can evolve into a divine being that communes with God, serving as a vehicle for helping humanity. His main goal was to show us that the purpose of people with a higher consciousness, evolved beings, is to spread the divine love of God throughout the world.




Eugene City Club Lecture

Today I gave a lecture at the Eugene City Club on three current University of Oregon policy issues: the New Partnership, UO’s expansion to turn the public safety department into a police force, and the controversial Riverfront Research Park development. The City Club’s mission is to build “Community Vision Through Open Inquiry” through monthly lunch programs with a guest speaker followed by a Q & A.

City Club Members wait in line for their turn to ask questions. 

I had a very rewarding experience, as members were engaged throughout. I talked for 20 minutes, there was a quick break, and then members fired off questions for the remaining time. The best part was when a mention of state tax reform received applause. They asked a myriad of questions on the three issues, but I also got thoughtful questions about grade inflation and neighborhood livability. We need a broader range of committed Eugenians to get involved in the City Club’s work. Hopefully the ASUO will be more involved in years to come.

Thanks to Mary Leighton and Zach Vishanoff for the opportunity. The RG coverage of it here and on KLCC 89.7, Monday July 1st at 6:30 pm.