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  • hardie karges 11:33 am on May 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ahmaud Arbery, America, , , , Homer, Iliad, ,   

    Karma, Buddhism, Newton, Homer, and Ahmaud… 

    Law of Karma (action) = Newton’s Third Law of Motion: Every action is followed by an equal but opposite reaction, which is pretty easy to understand, and even if it can’t foresee the further ramifications of quantum theory, it still applies in most cases.

    But the religionists couldn’t leave well enough alone, so rather than being content to foresee what Newton would take credit for some 2500 years in the future, they had to go and ‘religio-fy’ it with fear and loathing and generation-jumping superpowers such that a theory of mind that foresaw a theory of physics ends up not even with some valid psychology, but instead a religion of vengeance.

    For many people in this round-ish world of almost 8B truly believe that if they do something wrong, as defined by tradition, then they will be hunted down and threatened with retribution like Ahmaud Arbery in Redneck County, Georgia, and forced to either submit to summary non-justice on suburban streets or fight for their lives like a fox in the hunt.

    But Karma doesn’t usually take such an active role, truth be told, and generally comes only into play as retrofit logic, i.e. if your life has difficulties, then it must be from something you did several generations back, passive voice past subjunctive, and then you just keep filling holes trying to back-fill the logic, rather than take a more active role in trying to subdue your oppressors and thereby prevent further abuses to improve your life.

    Because if a young girl is raped, then she is certainly not the cause, in this life or previous, but the victim, though I have heard a Buddhist monk accuse her exactly of that. But this is a perversion of Buddhism, a dive into superstitions and perverted logic, all for the sake of laziness and fear, to deal with a situation almost too difficult to bear. But bear it we must, if our lives are to have meaning, and the world is to serve our purposes rather than we serve its.

    As always I choose the middle path. My potential Asian Buddhist PhD professor insists that I use passive voice almost exclusively while my potential American literary agent insists that I never do that. But is it not the same language and is it not the same life in the same world? It is, and the call to action—or not—resides within the halls of this hollowed if not hallowed brain, defined equally by emptiness and thing-ness.

    Because Homer proved this point also 2500 years ago with his Iliad in which the protagonists and the antagonists resided only a short 300km/200mi apart, but divided by the Aegean Sea and 1000 years, since they both left the Aryan steppes in search of greener pastures and more fertile valleys, but by different routes, such that this minor sea defines the major gulf that separates Indo from Euro in each of our bicameral minds.

    So House fights Senate and Dems fight Repugs, but really we are all fighting ourselves inside, if not outside, as our random tendencies fight for supremacy, and good struggles against evil. But this is no time for fighting, as worlds lie dying and hospitals are full to overflowing. Now would be a good time to practice some kindness and compassion, and that is the true meaning of Buddhism…

     
  • hardie karges 7:22 am on December 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, , , dana, , , Saturnalia, sila   

    Putting the Buddha back in Christmas, and the Rebirth back in New Year… 

     

    img_1469

    Kwan Yin Fest near Chiang Dao, Thailand

    So I’ve made a big deal, for myself at least, over the fact that, at least in my mind, we as humans, and as Buddhists, or whatever, don’t really have to do anything to be upright moral citizens of this world and this civilization. As long as we don’t do any bad things, then all should be well, for each of us, morally and ethically and spiritually. It is no one’s place and position to prescribe the behavior of others, so long as they are doing nothing wrong and causing no one any harm…

    Then there’s Christmas, the Big Deal for Christians worldwide, with much spillover into other countries, especially those which have significant consumer cultures. But that’s not really what it’s all about, not for those who really ‘get it’, i.e. get the fact that it’s all really about what you give, not what you get. So what you get, hopefully, is the satisfaction of making other people happy… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:20 am on September 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, , , , , reductios, , , ,   

    America, Buddhism, Logic and Einstein’s Equivalence Principle… 

    img_0953You know the American dream, the whole world does: two-story house and a two-car garage, two kids in the breakfast nook and the neighbor’s kids coming over later, God’s little acre in a sanctified suburb, full ownership and bulging bank accounts, stay-at-home mom and a rising-star dad, with a bachelor’s degree in business and a lotta’ backyard gossip, Saturday at the zoo and Sunday barbecue, PTA meetings and postman’s daily greetings, fried chicken and crispy French fries, milk shakes and apple pies…

    Also known as the Australian dream or Kiwi if you prefer, but only a quarter-acre there and the fries just might be pies, so be careful what you eat, otherwise just the same, with a down-under accent, big goofy grins on the chinny-chin-chins, a weekend in the outback, a maid in the kitchen, a promise of deliverance, and the assurance of no limits: neither sky nor sand nor seacoast nor sex, all-you-can-eat in a never-ending buffet of consumer goods, entertainment, sensations, but mostly money… (More …)

     
    • quantumpreceptor 12:33 am on October 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Hardie with avoidance you certainly have the Theravadan view well encapsulated. Why else should one take 300 vows and live separately from many others but to avoid all that is potentially disturbing. In Mahayana and Vajrayana these so called disturbing emotions are actually the fuel for the fire that drives practice further and faster. There are several ways to see this is there not?

      QP

      • hardie karges 1:18 am on October 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Hi again QP: Absolutely. Yes, I love the Thai Forest Tradition, but see it best as the first step along the path, gotta’ re-enter the world at some point in order to save it, which is the highest goal IMHO. Mahayana is a bit fractured right now, though, so can’t help but think that there must be a new paradigm evolving, to account for all the world changes of the last 1000 years, which Buddhism mostly hasn’t answered yet. I don’t know that Secular Buddhism is the answer, but I definitely think it’s part of the discussion. Most religions abhor uncertainty, but I think the capacity for a true dialectic is one of Buddhism’s strengths, fingers crossed. Thanks for your comments…

  • hardie karges 7:16 am on April 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , America, , , , , , , , , , , Rinzai, , , , ,   

    Buddhism is all about love—sweet dispassionate love… 

    img_1111It has long been predicted that Buddhism’s future is in the West, and for better or worse, that may very well be true. So the question then becomes: what kind of Buddhism would that be? For purposes of dialog and dialectic, I see the two chief protagonists to be the Thai Forest Tradition and Zen, both of which have numerous and faithful adherents in the West, and both of which can claim some purity of faith and doctrine…

    Tibetan Buddhism I imagine has as many or more adherents as either of the above, but is already mixed-and-mashed to the max, so the purity of doctrine is just not there, for better or worse, not to mention modern sex scandals, a dubious devotion to physical reincarnation, and a generation-jumping karma of retribution that just won’t quit. This was the final chapter to a previous crossroads, in Asia, and what worked there, and then, will not likely work here, and now… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:04 pm on March 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, , , , , millennials,   

    #Buddhism and #Politics, in Defense of post-Millennials: 

    img_1987Yes, this is a dimension of suffering, more than the sum of your life, more than the breadth of this world, an entire dimension, or two, length width depth time and biology chemistry physics, at the very least, all conspiring to keep you within limits, physical limits, by a margin of maybe 51 to 49, you’re doomed, to a life sentence, paragraph, chapter and verse, complete with death, guaranteed, and there’s not much you can do about that, no matter what some sweet-talking New Age guru with his most articulate drugstore Buddhism tells you…

    And then there are the joys, too, to be fair, to be honest, the joys of family, and communion, and art and culture and sex and first love, but still there will be last rites, and that is the point, and the Buddha knew that, fully and well, he not some party-pooper intent on spoiling the fun, just quite aware that for every count of fun there would be two of misery, in some cause-effect relationship, you can plot it on a graph, and call it the Four Aryan Truths, if you want, to be mitigated by the Eight-Part Path (please do not fold), which will not solve all your problems, but it’s a good place to start… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:06 am on January 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , America, , , , , , ,   

    Religion, Politics, Hope and a Prayer: Happy 2018, Good Riddance 2017… 

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    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    If you’re American, and you’re reading this, then 2017 has probably been a very tough year for you, as it has been for me, for this is the year in which we’ve seen our beloved country rocked to its foundations, for no particular reason, other than the general hatred, prejudice, rudeness, crudeness and bad judgment of our barely-elected President, by a distinct minority, due to the anomalies of our Electoral College system, in which our state lines themselves represent a form of gerrymandering that makes a mockery of democracy…

    But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that as our world grows more crowded, our sensibilities seem to be growing harder and colder, with people feeling less and less toward each other, and governments even worse. The Fall of the (Berlin) Wall in 1989, and USSR in 1991 was supposed to usher in a new era of freedom and responsibility, and instead it has ushered in an era of unparalleled greed and hatred… (More …)

     
    • Terborn Zult 3:19 am on January 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      If “with Communism no longer around to keep Capitalism honest, then Capitalism no longer is (honest),” the question is: how come Buddhism, which has been around for much longer than so-called “communism” (in reality: just the first stages of socialism; and a pretty adulterated version of socialism, for that matter), has never managed to keep capitalism honest, not even for a few decades? If I had the choice, I would most certainly opt for the more efficient -ism….

      • hardie karges 3:46 am on January 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t think it’s ever tried, TBH, since it is not an economic system at all, two entirely different realms, truthfully, such that no matter how much I detest Trump, for instance, I would never suggest that Trump supporters can’t be Buddhists–some are, in fact. Theravada systems are extremely (non) self-oriented, in fact, such that the paradigm is that of a monk not only renounced, but cloistered, and entirely dependent on lay support. I’m moving more in the direction of Mahayana, if not entirely secular, which is much more world-oriented. There is no reason why socialism and Buddhism can’t occur together, really, which is my dream, and certainly much more inspiring, for me at least, than Soviet-style communism, and likely the reason it failed: hard-core materialism is just very inspiring for many, if not most, of us. Thx for your comment, Norbert, and happy new year…

    • RemedialEthics 10:23 pm on June 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on Site Title and commented:
      I stumbled upon this blog at the perfect time. It is now June 2018 and I am so disillusioned with the apathy and outright nastiness of my fellow Americans that I am looking at real estate in Mexico and somehow (thanks to more than a slight case of ADHD) I ended up here and have been peacefully absorbed by hopeful rather than hateful words for the first time in months.

  • hardie karges 4:00 am on August 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, , , , ,   

    Christianity is Killing Us; Buddhism (and socialism) can help… 

    IMG_2234By ‘Christianity’, of course, I mean the entire Christianity-Capitalism-Democracy (CCD) complex, aka ‘Military-Industrial-Consumer’, that will one day put this entire civilization on its knees, and begging for sweet mercy, if it hasn’t already, because of the fact that most people want their cars, and NOW, rather than some vague undefined future with or without cars, that may or may not drive themselves…

    Why people identify with their cars—and their guns—is slightly beyond my comprehension, but so it is, and must be dealt with, the genie long out of the bottle, and begging for food, if not mercy. That means oil, of course, the essence of Earth’s lower layers, and severely limited, if you believe the Western interpretation, or self-sustaining, but nasty, if you believe the Russian geologists, and ever-percolating upward from a nearly inexhaustible source (consider extra-terrestrial petroleum before laughing too hard)… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 4:38 pm on August 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You seem to have all the bases covered here. I’ve saved it to re-read …

    • quantumpreceptor 2:10 pm on September 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Hardy, I love your blog it’s always good to read. Today I just have one comment. I am a Buddhist and my cup is full of possibilities, and in no way limited. But I do agree we need to learn how to live better, I believe doing no harm extends to our home our planet not just to other beings, this is the way forward. It is too hard to sell such a good idea as you have put forward with only a half full cup.

      QP

      • hardie karges 5:46 pm on September 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Full of possibilities, absolutely yes, empty of extraneous attachments hopefully…

  • hardie karges 10:40 am on July 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, animal, , , , reintroduction, , ,   

    Buddhism, Taming the Wild Child: Save the animal, not the wild… 

    img_2116“…the animals I’ve trapped/Have all become my pets/And I’m living off of grass/And the drippings from the ceiling/But it’s okay to eat fish/’Cause they don’t have any feelings–Kurt Cobain, ‘Something in the Way’

    And that’s about right, I’d say. But a tamed animal, a mammal—especially cats and dogs—are nothing BUT feelings, it seems to me, having long ago lost their wildness and their feral instincts, on some cold dark night way back when it was far preferable to cultivate humans as masters, in exchange for security alarm services, rather than toughing it out in the wild with wolves and foxes and other lower uncivilized breeds…

    But we Westerners, Americans especially, are so in love with the wild, and the wilderness, or at least our romantic conception of it, that we go to great and elaborate expense to ‘reintroduce’ those other lower species that we once hunted or otherwise annihilated, i.e. ‘extirpated’ to near or even complete extinction… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 10:31 am on July 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , America, , , , , , , , Type-A behavior   

    Buddhism, Meditation, Alpha Males and the Myth of Leadership… 

    img_1893When people ask me about meditation practice and/or Buddhism, I make it clear that meditation is one thing, and Buddhism is another, though I certainly appreciate both, even if knee problems likely mean that I’ll never achieve the classic lotus pose, and maybe not even the half of it…

    …so sitting meditation becomes chair meditation, which is just as good or better, just not as cool to look at, though maybe better for sati, ‘mindfulness’, if the cross-legged pose is uncomfortable, thus freeing the mind for focus, on nothing, emptiness, the vast undefined, even if in a sitting position less defined than the classic figure-8 flower… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:45 pm on July 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I think the link with the wider world is as significant as the opportunity for personal development. This makes that point firmly, Hardie.

  • hardie karges 7:08 am on June 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, Bizarro, , , Goldilocks, , ,   

    #Buddhism, #Bizarro World, and the 4 Noble Truths of #Christianity… 

    IMG_1183

    Statue of Buddha in Kandy, Sri Lanka

    We all know the Four Noble (Aryan) Truths of Buddhism, of course, indoctrinated in us since birth: 1) the prevalence of suffering in this world, 2) the cause of suffering—desire, 3) the way to reduce suffering—reduce desire, and 4) the way to do that: the Eightfold Middle Path—do not lie, cheat, steal, etc…

    But did you know that Christianity also has Four Noble Truths? Okay, so they’re not exactly called that, but it’s easy enough to interpolate and extrapolate, so here goes: 1) this world is fun!, 2) the cause of fun is desire, 3) the way to increase fun is to increase desire—more bigger richer sexier, and 4) the way to do that: the Ten Commandments: do not lie, cheat, steal, etc. Ha! Gotcha! (More …)

     
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