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  • hardie karges 12:45 pm on November 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible, , , , Ecclesiastes, Gurkha, , Nepalese, Pete Seeger, , , , The Byrds   

    Buddhism by the Book: Circular Arguments in Cyclical Existence… 

    “In springtime grow flowers. In summer grow fruit. In autumn count blessings. In winter take root,” I once said in a playful moment. In Christianity, of course, that sentiment is made famous in the quote, “To everything there is a season,” as originally expounded in the Biblical selection Ecclesiastes 3: 1-13, and brilliantly revised early in my lifetime in the work of Pete Seeger’s “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” and made famous by The Byrds, back when they were skinny.

    The meaning and essence of the thought expressed, of course, is the rhythm and circularity of the seasons. But I think it works equally well in Buddhism, or any other belief system, for that matter, in that by extrapolation, it perhaps can apply to the entire universe.

    We know little of the universe, though, so it is usually visualized in its macrocosmic view as planets in motion, even if the reality is equally a microcosm, if not more so, i.e. particles. But in its macro view, we see the revolution of moons around planets around stars around a poorly defined black hole center, and that is usually enough to convince us that there is at least some order to the universe, with or without an omnipotent creator, with or without an omniscient plan, aka ‘intelligent design.’

    This is again one of the pet projects of fundamentalist Christians, notwithstanding the likelihood that a God of true engineering capabilities could have come up with many mind-blowing designs, rather than the same one over and over with design adaptations that can easily be explained by natural selection if not epigenetics.

    But most Buddhists find their circularity in various iterations of the theme of rebirth and past lives, something which was never really the Buddha’s Big Idea, but which he’d have likely been foolish to reject, but not the latter-day obsession with it, in an almost inverse proportion to its scientific viability.

    But that is the difference between religion and philosophy, that religion craves certainty, even where no certainty exists, and not casual musings, or even a healthy dialectic. Scientists have no such illusions. And the best philosophers are scientists, and vice versa, with or without the background in math or Plato.

    So physicists today get an undefined Dark Matter occupying most of the universe, philosophers get Wittgenstein’s defenestration of language, and Buddhists after 2500 years get a soft pad on a cold floor with some bloke blabbing in the background, when I’d really rather meditate ‘like the Buddha did’—silently.

    In almost every ancient Buddhist text, if you translate ‘samsara’ as ‘the world’ instead of ‘cyclic existence,’ it stills makes as much, if not more, perfect sense. Coincidentally the language which today preserves more Sanskrit than any other language, Nepalese aka Gurkha, uses the word ‘sansara’ to mean ‘the world,’ no accident. In Hindi they use ‘dunia,’ from the Arabic. They probably got tired of cyclic existence. But let’s not argue. The only thing to argue for is the end of all argument. That is the only cyclic existence that I know…

     
  • hardie karges 7:51 am on March 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible, , homelessness, , ,   

    Buddhism and Christianity: Homelessness as Renunciation? 

    IMG_2234Despite the quick conclusions of some Western sympathizers, there is nothing more opposed in this world than the modern doctrines of Buddhism and Christianity. Sure they both want you to be good and do good, but beyond that the ways and means are almost exactly the opposite. Christianity plays offense. Buddhism plays defense. Christianity is a religion of action. Buddhism is a religion of renunciation. Christianity is a religion of passion. Buddhism is a religion of dis-passion…

    Originally, though, that word ‘passion’, in Latin, meant ‘suffering’, and so at that point, they indeed did have something in common, the bond of suffering, and the bond of enlightened transcendence, through the experience, and hopefully release, from suffering. Since then, they’ve largely gone separate ways, through the vagaries of circumstance, cultural and otherwise. So that today, the Western Christian ideal would be to achieve eternal life, this life. The Buddhist ideal is to escape ‘the wheel’ entirely… (More …)

     
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