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  • hardie karges 11:18 am on August 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ART, , , , , ,   

    Buddhism and Nature: the Law of Birth… 

    Nature is ธรรมชาติ, ‘dhammachaht,’ dharma jati, the dharma of birth, not the law of rebirth, in at least a few Asian languages, and likely a few more. And that is probably as good a definition of it as I could come up with, notwithstanding the fact that such a ‘birth’ does indeed become for many a ’round’ of which there are many, and which can neither be proven or disproven, ultimately, but for which there is no intrinsic logic, nor empirical evidence…

    But when we Westerners think of Nature, what do we think of, if not something wild and free, and so a tight fit into our narrative of liberty, and the delightful disobedience which that implies, for we love nothing so much as breaking the rules, ALL the rules, if not all the time, then at least as often as we can get away with it…

    But does Nature do that? Not hardly, I don’t think, and the typical Asian view, by invoking ‘dharma,’ is certainly likening it to a law, and therefore something which we disobey only at great risk to ourselves. But that doesn’t mean that Nature is something written in stone, or on crinkled crackling paper, and the ink stains that have dried upon some lines…

    No, nature is something changing, even if the laws invoked may indeed be unchanging—or not. Thus the first rule of DNA—sh*t happens, i.e. mutations occur, and that becomes the raw material for evolution. Now the central dogma of the science of genetics is that these mutations are random, which may or may not be true, but there is much anecdotal evidence that there may indeed be more to it than that, but for which firm and verifiable evidence is heretofore lacking…

    And that doesn’t even consider the fact of so-called ‘genetic drift,’ which no one can or will deny, but only damn by the faint praise of its ‘driftiness,’ thus removing it from any consideration as something maybe far more serious in terms of cause and/or effect…

    All of which is to say that the role of consciousness in evolution cannot be ruled out, even if some commentaries may have jumped the gun in ascribing to it more than its genuine worth, i.e. “consciousness affects evolution; evolution affects consciousness…”

    But this does nothing to minimize the miracle of birth, regardless, which is certainly not random, even if the product of the most random and brutal orgy, which is fortunately not usually the case, even if the Latin-inspired ‘romance’ may indeed often be lacking on cold dark nights in tight cramped corners….

    But Buddhism is more concerned with the suffering implicit, and it is certainly a fact that death is implied in the ‘law of birth’ and that is the proof of the prevalence of suffering, if only by a 51-49% advantage in the scores and statistics. For the world may be defined by its limits and its suffering, but there is much beauty, also, in Nature and Art, and the consciousness of it…

  • hardie karges 6:08 pm on December 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ART, , , , ,   

    Religion Imitates Art: Christian Self-Love and Buddhist Non-Self… 

    img_0953“Man is the measure of all things”…and there began our downfall, this from the Greek Sophist Protagoras and his very sophisticated argument that we human beings are the only thing that matters in this world, our silly views and opinions superior to all others, of course, by virtue of our virtue, and in spite of our spite, the pathological needs of humanity, a sort of radical solipsistic relativism…

    This argument only works with a strong belief and need for self, arguably the origin of consciousness, i.e. self-consciousness, and any further extrapolations indicative of the direction our culture has taken since then, hence our pathological need for democracy, free enterprise, a TV in every room and a car in every garage, every aspect an extension of, and ultimate belief in ourselves, each one of us totally different, supposedly, with or without the bar-code, identified by fingerprints and the DNA from random salivations and assorted misgivings… (More …)

    • davekingsbury 3:05 pm on December 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It doesn’t take a genius to realize that there is a higher consciousness than self-consciousness, or that there are higher needs than selfish ones…absolutely, the opposite is a horror story!

    • Alexia Adder 12:37 am on January 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      It’s true scientifically speaking that all life on this planet is interdependent. Western philosophy tends to emphasize independence and the self in human society, but in reality this is an illusion. We’re part of the animal kingdom. We’re not above it. We’re subject to it.

      • hardie karges 7:53 am on January 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Yes. I’ve been studying genomics. It’s only logical that if we all have a common human ancestor, then we also have prior animal ones, a path back in time…

  • hardie karges 9:21 am on June 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ART, wriing   

    Writing languishes behind the other arts, 

    especially painting, as if a picture were really worth a thousand words. Nevermind, it’s all the same really, the will to express forming scratches on the slate of experience directly or indirectly like drug-induced orgasm or the real thing in all the glorious lugubriousness of its meanderthal mess. You get the point regardless, if you’re lucky, if there really is a point, to all the lines holding hands forming meanings in the minds of men whether the critics approve or not.

  • hardie karges 12:22 pm on June 25, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ART,   

    Forget plot. Life is the plot. 

    Everything else is pretentious pretense. One’s obra maestra is one’s life. The only art involved is to express the various elements that comprise one’s self in new and original combinations. Combination is the essence of art. Nothing is truly original. The same ideas occur at similar times in diverse places given similar situations to work within in an ever-contracting world. The challenge is to lose your self in your work, like creating a child from bodies destined to die, the child itself destined to die, immortality only achieved in the long run from past to future viewed by a mind’s eye too myopic to know that the concept itself is its only limitation. Lose yourself and find the path, a path, any path with heart that embraces infinity without embracing its limitations.

  • hardie karges 8:44 am on June 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ART   


    Art, like language, is a form of communication, but with slightly different goals. The goal of art, like almost anything else beyond mere survival, is to create pleasant sensations and enjoyment, that is, entertainment. The only question is the best way to do that. Meaning is secondary, only one of many sorts of entertainment. Any meaning ascribed to a portrait is usually of the simplest sort, nostalgia and sentiment for an object of affection. Landscapes are no different, really, love of the known sort, simple sensations. With Impressionism and Cubism and Surrealism, we move through increasing levels of abstraction, to the point where familiar objects are non-existent, grossly distorted, or unrecognizable. So what sort of entertainment comes from the pure abstraction of Expressionism? Abstract meaning, one would assume, the pure thrill of colors and textures having their way with canvas. This is probably not true, however, given the implication that anyone, or at least anyone with high intellectual capacity, could and would find enjoyment in it. In actuality enjoyment seems to come from deriving the sort of meaning that comes from having studied art and knowing its trials and travails over the course of history. In other words, the works are derivative, dependent on prior study of other material, high art in the sense of highly schooled art, largely useless for those not in the club.

  • hardie karges 10:50 am on June 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ART, ,   


    “Edit thyself” is the first commandment of writing and the hardest thing for anyone to do with his own work. We love our own work as our own children and hate to cut anything out. More than that, it’s just hard to look at one’s own work objectively, even harder to toss things out, knowing you might never get them back. That’s the feeling you get when the computer goes dead and you haven’t saved your work. It’s a question of negative space and positive space. Are you creating something where nothing previously existed or are you chipping away at the whole potato, just to reveal the precious sculpture within? Is the potato half full or half empty? Are you creating something out of nothing or are you merely clearing away the rubbish so that the diamond can shine through? As a child aficionado of popular music, I lamented the fact that most of the appropriate themes of life had already been discovered, and that therefore the future of the industry was grim, a sad thought, considering the amount of enjoyment that it’s capable of giving. Such are the vagaries of youth. There is no limit to creativity. Its potential is exponential. The more we create, the more there is to create, stone shards, wood shavings, clay splatters, paint drips, wasted words, all just like the film snips lying on the edit room floor of a life almost too abundant for living.

  • hardie karges 9:15 am on June 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ART, destiny   

    I’m not here to pop bubbles; 

    I’m here to blow them. Henry Miller and William Burroughs were products of their times, the best of their batch in my opinion. In 1934 we needed a prolonged insult, a spit in the face of Art, a kick to the ass of God, Man, Destiny, Time, Art, and Beauty, just like we needed Cubism. In 1959 we needed to see ourselves turned inside out, our worst nightmares become reality, just like we needed Abstract Expressionism. We don’t need that right now. My heroes have succeeded in tearing down the old walls that confined us. Now we need to build some new ones on new foundations. We live in a different time and I have a different mission. I want to restore Truth, Beauty, and Goodness to our lives, before it’s too late. Things are too crazy. The planet will survive, but people may not, especially in a civilized form with culture and language. We take it all for granted, the culture that took thousands of years to accumulate, the life that took millions to evolve. It could all disappear in a puff of smoke, with the strike of a match.

  • hardie karges 7:29 am on June 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ART,   


    Forget story line; forget characterization. Like his critic told Jackson Pollock in the movie, “there’s only paint and surface”, words and paper, time, a medium for light and sound. A medium it is, certainly nothing rare nor well done. Nobody’s writing the great American novel anymore, just pulp fiction for ultimate adaptation to screenplay. Most poetry sucks, too, reverted to the flower arrangements in fragile crocks that the Beats smashed to bits fifty years ago to no future avail. When the smoke clears, poetry’s firmly back in the control of the academic pencil pushers and their precious little artifices and the delightful breaking of grammatical rules for dramatic effect. Someone who’d never dangle a participle leaves a subject noun suspended in mid-air at the end of a stanza waiting for the verb beginning the next stanza to rescue it and its lack of importance from certain oblivion, the flying trapeze of literature. This proves nothing except that the author went to poetry class and learned the insider’s language. I get all giggly just thinking about it. Of course ‘slam’ poetry tries to undo all that artsy-fartsy crap by the pure will of ego unleashed on a noisy stage, releasing obscenities on a suspecting public in dire need of sensibilities left to offend. Its similarities and simultaneous emergence with rap music is more than coincidental. Henry Miller and William Burroughs were the right men for the jobs of their times, but it remains to be seen who’s right for the new millennium, an age of interdependence possibly beyond the grasp of heroes.

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