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  • hardie karges 1:03 pm on August 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , bliss, , , , , , Three Marks of Existence   

    Buddhism 202: Happiness Sandwiches, with Something in the Middle… 

    If you’re looking for bliss, then you may be disappointed. Happiness for me is the reduction, and hopefully cessation, of suffering. Anything else is icing on the cake. Count your blessings. In other words, bliss is optional and perhaps not even desirable. After all, when your psychological pendulum swings too far in one direction, isn’t it bound to swing back to the other with equal force? It’s very likely. And isn’t bliss an extreme emotion to begin with, tongue flagging and tail wagging, like a dog with a fresh bone, until it’s suddenly all gone?

    And that’s the problem, isn’t it, that extremes usually never cease rebounding in search of their opposites, in ever-widening arcs, never satisfied and never at rest?  It certainly seems that way, the curse of consciousness, chasing its own tail in a race to the finish. When we’re hot, we want cold. When we’re cold we want warmth. At what point do we get to enjoy our happiness? There’s no time like the present of course, and anything else is probably BS.

    And this goes right to the heart of Buddhism, the middle path, but not necessarily The Middle Path, between luxury and lack, or Existence and Non-existence, but any middle path, between any two sets of opposites, for which the middle is almost always the best option, that notion of balance and equilibrium always desirable, even if the word ‘compromise’ doesn’t suit you, with the notion that maybe it’s a cop-out. It’s not.

    It suits me just fine, and I think it should probably be enshrined as an important addendum to the main body of Buddhism, which includes the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold path, and the Three Marks of Existence, especially non-self anatta. Then there’s ahimsa, non-violence, though not necessarily non-action. That sounds like the perfect balance between violence and passivity. So, this notion of balance, little brother to the Middle Path, works almost every time, and should get the attention and credit that it deserves. Try it. You’ll probably like it.

  • hardie karges 6:10 am on September 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bliss, , ,   

    The Simplest Pleasures are Better than the Wildest Bliss… 

    Sometimes the worst of circumstances can yield the best results and the phoenix can rise from the ashes I hope. But this is the relativity of circumstance, again, and the inability to see far when the usual rewards are for immediate consumption. So it’s hard to articulate long-term goals when we can’t even see them. And this is the curse of our fate, I suppose, to be under the social and psychological pressure to ‘go for it’ when we don’t even know what ‘it’ is, much less the route to ‘it’s fulfillment. Thus we are perpetually stuck in the middle, between our desires and reality, by dint of our lack of our view to the future, and the lack of ego-fulfillment for something whose results will only be seen in a far distant world. And the self-proclaimed cognoscenti double down on this dumb-down, logic for the luckless, reduced to ‘this present moment’ for the lack of anything better. But there is something better, whether it’s known or it’s not, and this is the beauty of emptiness and simple foreplay, enjoying the ride when we know not where it goes, only that the ride itself is sublime but not indifferent, and the slower we go the more fulfilling it is. And this is the secret, of course, that contrary to the crush of speed and the big gulp of quick-fix contentment, long-fix containment is really a better option, without even knowing where it all leads, only knowing that the path itself is more proper and fitting. Thus we are handsomely rewarded for our control, more than our wild and crazy lack of it. Self-control is the best of all human qualities, more than passion, more than precision, and the Fifth Noble Truth of Buddhism…

  • hardie karges 6:53 am on April 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bliss, , ecstasy, , , , Wall Street   

    Now that I’m Buddhist: Where’s the Ecstasy? Where’s the Bliss? 


    Buddhism in Sri Lanka

    Where’s the enlightenment available in four fashion-friendly colors and tested without harm to any animals? Shady men in rose-colored glasses sell hopes and dreams on semi-abandoned street-corners in Harlem, under dim lights, on the dark web, and in the dark corners of your mind, promising enlightenment and fulfillment, all at reasonable costs, but with no guarantees, no money back, no warranty implied or intended, you pay your money and you take your chances…

    No, I’m not talking about the latest designer drugs from the bathroom labs of Little Pharma, more like the latest New Age-y religious fads from the laptop labs of the Western Lands, in which you read a book, take a course, have a sit, make some new friends, do some yoga with the semi-naked guy and his six-pack flashing, and then wham! Bam! Presto change-o, you’re in a new dimension, of lights and colors and sounds you’ve never seen before… (More …)

  • hardie karges 9:20 am on August 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bliss, ,   

    Which is More Important in Life: Meaning or Experience? Living for the Present, or the Future… 

    ‘Living in the Moment’ is the big mantra of our modern age—and it shows. Almost nothing is being left for the future, certainly not responsibility and sustainability. With all due respect to those visionaries of bygone times who honestly felt that we needed to loosen our butt-screws and learn to boogie, fretting our guitars rather than fretting over the future, I respectfully suggest that maybe that train of thought long ago left the station, and maybe needs to backtrack a bit…

    I’d respect my hero Joseph Campbell less if he hadn’t himself backtracked on his own famous dictum to “follow your bliss,” which he later amended off-the-cuff to “blisters”—sounds less hedonistic. Still the die is cast. We are a nation and world society that follows its whims like no other before, all the while marching off the cliff of non-sustainability, the capitalist foundations of this society heavily based on oil and other fossil fuels that will one day run out, and destroy the planet, long before its people will give it up, most likely…

    To put it bluntly, we’re committing societal suicide, or let’s call it “civilicide”. And that’s the global level. On a personal level we’re doing no better, sacrificing all for the moment, rather than plan for a future that may or may not come. Sounds like self-defeating prophecy to me. I think I realized this while myself writing an article for inclusion in a book about ‘following your passion.” But most of my friends—artists, musicians, writers and such—don’t need to follow their passions. They need jobs!  I don’t need 150 more countries; I need focus!  Nevertheless, in the course of that project I came up with a concept that I like even better–highest common denominators.  More on that later…
    (More …)

    • Kc 11:31 am on August 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      speak for yourself on the sustainability thing, we’ve been working for years to be that way, it is a bit more difficult (or not) in a mean small southern town, but by god, we have food, at least within hitching distance or walking if needed. Home grown food, and finally the farmers’ are disliking chemicals. it is high time. still i dream of a farm, pigs, goats, chicken, a mule and 5 acres, plus a well, an outhouse wd be nice but it really matters not where you poop as long as you poop. the self sustainability dream is alive and well in MS, ya just gotta know some people. and Barter, barter, and more barter. peace to you Karges.

      • hardie karges 11:54 am on August 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I was referring to society, yes, self-sustainability is achievable with land and seeds…

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