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  • hardie karges 12:12 pm on October 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aramaic, Aryan, Brahmi, , Devanagari, Dorian, Kharosthi, , , rishis, Spartan, sramanas   

    Buddhism, Racism, and the Middle Path of History… 

    The purpose of knowledge is to ease suffering, not to lord it over others. When knowledge becomes a tool, then we have a problem that we need to deal with. And we do—have a problem that we need to deal with. You can call it racism, or nationalism, or simply false pride, but there it is, the fact that some people think that they are better than others, and intend to enforce that distinction, while providing sometimes elaborate proofs for its justification.

    More often than not, though, the self-described cognoscenti think they can simply look at someone and deep secrets are somehow revealed, as a flight hostess once explained to me that they are taught to simply look at someone and know what language they speak. Must be nice. But it’s not. It’s cheating, cheating life, and cheating oneself.

    I wondered for a long time, still do, why the Brahmin class of India refused to use written language, long long long, 1000 years, after their counterparts elsewhere were scribbling, scribing, and describing events in the Semitic alphabets that would become the world standard everywhere, except China, Korea, and related countries.

    Meanwhile those Aryans-become-Brahmins only reluctantly acquiesced to allow their divine sacred Sanskrit to be submitted to the little graphs and symbols that constitute written language. They gave many rishis and sramanas their lay-off notices, too, since their services would no longer be required to painstakingly memorize the sacred Vedas, arguably one of the finest pieces of literature ever composed—composed, mind you, but not written.

    That only occurred with the invention of the Devanagari alphabet in the first half of the first millennium CE, and in full use by the 7th century. Until then they had to make do with the rustic Brahmi alphabet, which only came into existence in the last half of the first millennium BCE. By then the Buddhist monkhood was well established, and not subject to the vicissitudes of language.

    King Ashoka at around year 250 BCE used not only Brahmi and Kharosthi, modeled on Aramaic, but Greek and Aramaic itself to inscribe his famous inscriptions—in rock. Still the question remains: why the 1000-year wait? The clue finally came with the example of their long-lost cousins and like-minded Dorians of ancient Greece.

    In the process of becoming the legendary hard-ass Spartans of history, they enslaved many a Minoan along the way, and—drum roll here, please—deliberately denied them education, much like the even-more-distant Mississippi rednecks did to their slaves (author’s note: I’m from Mississippi, but hopefully not redneck). Bingo! It all makes sense now.

    The Brahmin-dominated caste system of Indian depends on holding their ‘lessers’ down (notably darker-skinned and of other origins, well-documented by y-DNA), by denying them the education which preserves Brahmin power. Buddhism rejected all that, though they were still long subject to its ramifications. Despite the current political turmoil, still life is better than it once was, and the message is clear. You can learn from the Buddha or you can learn from a virus. The message is largely the same: Do no harm…

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 12:09 pm on October 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting history here! Knowledge is power, they say, which must be why the priest-caste lay claim to exclusive possession of it. Any good teacher knows, however, that guiding learners to seeing something for (and within) themselves is the correct way.

    • hardie karges 1:13 pm on October 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, well put. Thanks for your comments…

  • hardie karges 12:45 pm on December 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Aryan, , , , , , , selfishness   

    Life and Buddhism at the Crossroads of Culture and the City… 

    Human selfishness is appalling, incompetence assumed, myopia even worse. So it’s no wonder our kids will inherit a Hell of our own making. Of course many people are quite proud of the world we’ve created, and with some justification, certainly, but the question we must ask ourselves is in which direction are we heading. So if you are in love with cars and buildings and highways and cities, then you should be quite happy. But much of our present world is based on white male privilege, of the Aryan upper class, so what would it look like as done by other tribal sources, and by the females who bare the burden of multiple births? Unfortunately that question is hard to answer, since it is typical now to copy the Western paradigm as if it were the only one available. So Chinese plans for the future look almost like a caricature of the Western model, Hong Kong extrapolated exponential, high rises up and down every street, with almost no one left in the state of nature. But that’s exactly what my perfect world would look like, if it were up to me, and if I had the decision to make, because nature is what we are, not concrete and steel, no matter how we feel, under the influence of elixirs and potions and untested notions, the children of experiment, left to our own devices, mostly electronic. But where are we then when the lights go out? Because they most certainly will, somehow some way, in some year, if not some day. And we should be prepared for that eventuality, with no time wasted in transition, not only because it is imminent, but because it is better. We are organic beings, not robots, and to deny our connection to the earth is not only futile, but misguided. If there is beauty in this world, then it comes from nature. If there is good in this world, then it comes from nature. And if there is any truth in this world, then it comes from Nature. And to Nature it should return, in a constant process of recycling, and returning to the source for refreshment. That doesn’t mean living in the wild, not necessarily. It means living in villages, without walls and without fears, no guns and no tears, preferably Buddhist. Villages are feminine and forgiving. Cities are masculine and unforgiving. The world has developed physically, but have we developed mentally and spiritually? That question remains to be answered…

     
    • Robert@69 10:12 pm on December 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      we have developed mentally – clearly technology is a product of our minds – as are religions, billionaires and 5G. Spiritually…ahhh that’s difficult to discern. Christianity, as preached currently in america appears to fulfil the notion of “making a pact with the devil” for power, with Trump. But that speaks more to ideology/mentality than to spirituality and I pray that recent events of rebellion from the base may lead to a “resurrection of Jesus,” in the sense that honest and practicing Christians begin waking up from the spell false prophets.

      Sorry, I ramble. I would hope too that our villages would orient around feminine energies – no guns and much metta and mudita. One of the sweet things about Buddhism as I understand it, is that no one knows quite where they are on the path but we know we are on a path of heart and the 3rd Noble truth reveals that indeed we can lesson our suffering, we do indeed love as we love ourselves, and experience greater spaciousness in our lives.

      • hardie karges 10:19 pm on December 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        You are welcome to ramble. Thank you for your comments. And I largely agree…

  • hardie karges 4:11 am on November 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aryan, Brahmanization, , , , holy war, , , ,   

    Buddhist Holy War, Part II: Tune in, turn on, drop out… 

    img_1893(continued from previous)

    The Buddhist situation 2500 years ago may indeed have been not so different from our own, with a rapidly expanding population soon to go into a stall, and the Brahmanization of India underway, i.e. the caste system, threatening to lock people into a form of submission to which they’d never previously been subjected. And it’s no accident that so many religions sprouted within a half millennium or so of the beginning of the common era, with any self-respecting guru prophesying the End of Days…

    All of a sudden renunciation doesn’t look like such a bad option. And so it is today, because what can they do if you simply refuse to cooperate, simply renounce all ties to the current oligarchs, slave-owners and warmongers? They can’t force you to work. They can beat you; they can even kill you. But they can’t force you to work. They can threaten your loved ones, though… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:41 am on August 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aryan, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam 101: Religion on the Rebound, Religion on the Run… 

    img_1893All three major international religions have carried their original premises to ridiculous extremes, along with their adherents, whether cause or effect, those original premises all quite similar, and compatible, variations on the themes of love, righteousness, and perseverance, each with a different focus, Christianity on the love, Islam on the righteousness, and Buddhism on the perseverance…

    And from these humble commendable compatible and civilizing influences, each has gone their own ways, Islam to the extremes of religious fundamentalism, holy wars and unholy alliances; Christianity drenched in sex, drugs, and all that rap; and Buddhist perseverance easily given over to passivity, even in the face of the most egregious assaults on basic human rights, individuals reduced to fit in cages, self-imposed prisons of consciousness… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 3:45 pm on June 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aryan, , , , John Stuart Mill,   

    Beware of Buddhist side-effects: Peace, Love, and Understanding… 

    IMG_2290Like a new drug, when trying out a new religion, philosophy or belief system, it’s probably wise to ask about any potential side-effects. Of course sometimes those ‘side-effects’ turn out to be something not anticipated, or imagined, and maybe even far better than what was intended. The history of pharmacopeia is full of such examples, when the ‘side-effects’ of a drug led to new usages that yielded great benefits to the healing processes—and perversions—of human beings..

    This also happens in the case of new ideas. Who knew that John Stuart Mills’ evocation of the ‘invisible hand’ of the marketplace would yield not only an Industrial Revolution of textiles and iron, but a digital revolution of gigabytes and live streaming, the former populated by skyscrapers and fashion, the latter by instant worldwide communication and virtual realities intrinsically internal… (More …)

     
    • quantumpreceptor 3:22 am on June 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Well said my friend, well said. It is really easy to see and to judge whether something is beneficial or not. Plant the seed and watch it grow. If you grow weeds, start again. If you grow flowers and fruit you have really done something.

      QP

    • hardie karges 3:52 am on June 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Exactly, my friend, exactly. Thanks for your kind words…

    • Dave Kingsbury 3:37 pm on June 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      You make a very good case here. And provide a useful, well-balanced summary of the differences:

      “Bottom line: the current outcome of Christianity is chaos, consumption and aggression, even if its best days were all about love, growth, and creativity. On the other hand Buddhism is all about silence, adaptation and harmony, even if the bad old days included much too much renunciation, stasis and denial… ”

      All about outcomes indeed!

  • hardie karges 7:38 am on May 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aryan, Buddhist Studies, catuskoti, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Buddhist Studies: lists of lists, definitions defined and translations translated… 

    img_2116If there’s anything more annoying, as a Buddhist Studies MA student, than having to memorize lists of lists after lists full of lists from the annals of the ancients, it’s having to plow through the re-definitions of all those terms from the mouths of the moderns (is ‘anals’ a word?). This is not high scholarship. This is the business of busy-work, the intellectual equivalent of keeping that shovel moving to justify your union job, or to keep your position as the arbiter of privilege in the fan-boy chat-pages of Facebook…

    Yet that’s what they all do, in the Western Lands, at least, and even in the temples, too, as if only one new definition ‘changes everything’, so that the Pali/Sanskrit word ‘dukkha‘ is no longer merely ‘suffering’ but ‘stress’, ‘anguish, ‘dissatisfaction’, or maybe even just ‘a spot of unpleasantness’ so easily resolved by following that Yellow Brick Road known as the 8FP, Eight-fold Path, when the reality is not so easy at all… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:41 am on February 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aryan, , , , , , , ,   

    Buddhism: Meeting of East and West, Aryans and Dravidians, Nobles and… 

    IMG_1184

    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    …us, of R1 genome, y-DNA, that is, not mitochrondial, we the barbarians from the north, land of ice and snow, with broken hearts and bad manners, satisfying ourselves with whomever whenever wherever, animal instincts and animal appetites, with an inclination toward wheels, and gears, and wine, and dark beers, anything to make the boring food go down easier, trail food, and whatever gets you through the night…

    But it must have something incredible to watch, erstwhile Aryans, light-skinned and beefy, from creamy milk, rolling in over the high plains, toward India, literally rolling, in chariots and carts pulled by horses and oxen, herding cows and goats and wayward children, lording it over the local slim swarthy dark-skinned Dravidians, so-called, for lack of a better name, in what must have been the world’s first great culture clash, the likes of which wouldn’t be seen again until the American genocide, this just the preamble to that constitution… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:54 am on November 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aryan, , , , , , , Germanic, , Harappa, Indus Valley Civilization, , , Mohenjo-Daro, , , ,   

    Did Russians Hack Buddhism in the 5th Century BCE? Here’s the deal… 

    IMG_1559NO, this is not click-bait; this is Buddhism, and I’m dead serious. OKAY, so maybe they weren’t Russians exactly, and MAYBE I have a lively imagination, and am an excitable boy from way back, AND you can’t just talk casually about the ‘Aryan invasion’ of India way back when, ever since Hitler crapped on us all with his inimitable armies, half-empty promises and his half-baked theories, BUT there is an element of truth to his Aryan (c)rap…

    Hitler just never did his homework really, all bark and no wood, jumping to conclusions and tilting at windmills, and absolutely no desire to make amends with his lessers of men. But now we have genomic research, which lends a strong measure of empirical (not imperial) truth to what used to be wild speculation, whether it be eye-witness testimony clouded by memory, or no-witness history clouded by time…  (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:19 am on September 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aryan, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    First Noble Truth of Buddhism: It’s a Heartache… 

    IMG_2290

    …and that’s about as accurate as any translation of the Pali word dukkha as any other, certainly better than the ‘stress’ or ‘discomfort’ or whatever currently making the rounds in Buddhist blurbs online and elsewhere, anything but ‘suffering’, the traditional and still most accurate definition. We’re talking about a metaphysical level of suffering here, after all, or at least existential, the kind that envelops you in its inimitable embrace, and lets you know exactly where you stand, or fall, which is usually somewhere nearby and knowable, so treatable…

    The newer ‘stress’-full definition of dukkha suggests a modern post-capitalist phase that the Buddha himself could hardly have imagined back in the classic Upanishadic era of pre-colonial India, actually post-colonial if you count Aryans as intruders, and not the high-class homeboy Brahmins that they usually like to see themselves as. They brought as many chariots, horses, cows and racism as they ever brought religion, more like high plains cowboys than the meditative masters that we now see them as (though they did have good drugs—I hear)… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 11:28 am on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aryan, , Gael Garcia Bernal, , Jon Stewart, Maziar Bahari, Persian   

    Rosewater and Julep, Movies and Reality, USA and Aryan Iran… 

    Imagine a place out on the steppes of Asia, the stepping stones to Europe, maybe the Caucasus, or somewhere farther east, out on the outskirts of the civvies and the cities, say maybe 5-6000 years ago, with the climes warming up and paths leading north, where a group of people probably only a few thousand strong, not so urban, but not so stupid, playing around with wheels and ales and axles and weapons, found a will and a way in this world, spreading outward until they gradually lost contact with each other and their languages became harder to understand, eventually to become the Celts of Europe and the Persians of Asia and the Greeks of the Mediterranean, and the Hittites who never really left, now North Europeans, South Europeans, Indians, Iranians, and… Armenians, who never really left…

    …speaking related Indo-Aryan-European languages, Aryan the same word as Iran, long before it meant ‘Nordic’, swastika a Hindu symbol, Persian sharing words with English and Spanish, “Swas Ti Ka” meaning “hello” in Thai via Sanskrit, long before Hitler crapped on us all, long before Muslims felt like they had to fight for their lives to survive Western colonization, long before Jews decided they weren’t really Middle Easterners at all, more like Europeans in fact, with all that represents…

    Chaos theory: but for a few butterflies fluttering by at random times places and faces altering time-lines and wait times, we might still be one tribe today, speaking mutually intelligible dialects of the same language and fighting over politics, not—wait a minute—threatening the future of the world. After all, are we really that much different? Indians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, French, English and others all have proud histories, major snafus, and a common background. Is their death wish really that much different from our death wish? Are we really any more reliable with a Bomb than they are? (More …)

     
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