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  • hardie karges 6:42 am on April 3, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddha, , , ignorance, , , , , ,   

    Buddhism of the Present Moment: Averaging Past and Future, Science and Superstition… 

    The one who can control himself, can control the world—his world…

    Sometimes the only way to remove hatred and ignorance from our lives is to remove the haters and ignorant people from our lives. And fortunately, that’s still possible, as our increasingly crowded world still has some empty places yet to be traversed and social ambitions yet to be fulfilled. But what happens when there is no place to hide, when social mobility comes to a standstill? Where do we go then to find peace and quiet, to find love, knowledge, and acceptance, where before there was only ignorance and hate?

    The obvious place to go is inside of course, deep inside, within our own minds and consciousness, both terms that I use with some trepidation, science-lover that I am, when what I really mean is memory. Because other than the constant (live) stream of sense perceptions that occur in real time, then all we really have is memory, which is anathema to the present-moment Buddhist or Eckhart Tolle disciple, but which is nonetheless a major part of our conscious waking moments.

    Besides those two there are only dreams, which occur in present time but in an undefined space, and conscious thinking, which some ‘non-dualists’ and latter-day Buddhists (‘thoughts without thinkers’) insist is not really real, but which nevertheless occupy reams and tomes of studied critiques and analyzed comparisons for the only purpose of knowledge itself, any benefits to be derived in subsequent interactions with the same world of biology, chemistry, and physics, or language, history, and psychology, from which it ultimately came in the process of experiment.

    And none of that can reasonably be denied, though it could certainly be claimed that we have spiritual lives that are bigger and better than all that. And I would tend to agree. So, the challenge is to make sense of it all, science and meditation, or action and renunciation, so that we can combine lives of action with our spiritual lives, which should also include science, and not just deep introspection, which was all that Buddha—and Plato—had. The answer is implicit, of course, in the Middle Path.

    Because that concept of the Middle Path works not only between Buddha’s luxury and lack, or the Mahayanist dichotomy of existence and non-existence, but still works for a modern secular dichotomy between introspection and science. And that is the supreme beauty of Buddhism, of course, that it is an ongoing dialectic, in which wrong choices are corrected. The Buddha himself wasn’t perfect, and even accepted a lesser status for women, which often figures prominently in misguided Buddhist theses for past lives and reincarnation, hint hint. But we can correct the mistakes of the past with the revelations of the present. And so we must.

     
  • hardie karges 12:50 pm on May 23, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Buddha, , Echkart Tolle, , , Hawking, , , , , Wittgenstein,   

    Pandemic Sutra on the Concept of Change in Buddhism 

    The Buddha wasn’t perfect, and he knew that, regardless of the speculations of some later Mahayanists and their need for transcendent divinity of which the earthly manifestations are just that—nasty, mean, brutish, and short, like life with the sea serpent Leviathan of Hobbes without Calvin. Why else would he have referred to us as no-soul ‘heaps’ of inconsequential ‘skandhas’ with little to commend us but the causes and conditions to which we are subject and of which we are so much a part?

    Zen troublemakers took the Mahayana transcendental position a step further by claiming perfection for all of us, but I’m not sure how that works out except as a point of convergence with some Christian transcendentalists who also think similarly, and so might actually save the world from its own self-destruction if enough people from enough different places could ever agree on any one thing for long enough for us to stop fighting and allow the world to heal from our destructive abuse of it.

    (More …)
     
  • hardie karges 12:15 pm on March 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AA, arahant, , Buddha, dimension, Fake Buddha Quotes, , , Murakami, passive voice   

    Buddhism Redefined: Suffering is inevitable. Pain is optional… 

    Or so I say. Read carefully. That’s not the famous quote, of course, and in fact, it is almost a refutation of the original quote, which goes something like: “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”—but not quite, a refutation, that is. Because anything worth saying is certainly not worth refuting, even if it is almost the opposite of what is being asserted. And what is being asserted, in most cases of this quote, is that this is a quote from the Buddha, which it is almost certainly not. But this illustrates how fervently Americans want Buddhism to agree with Western psychology, if not religion.

    And as proof of the falsity I send you to the well-known and superlative website Fake Buddha Quotes, which goes into the origin at some depth and with much commentary. Here’s a hint: It also likely predates the usual retort that it is from Haruki Murakami, and may even derive from the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step playbook, which is apparently full of such zingers, even the one about “drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick,” haha. Hey, it’s not easy coming up with pithy quotes every day! Just ask any self-styled guru on any FB self-help group.

    But the expert is also of the opinion that it is ‘congruent’ with Buddhism, which is probably a vague enough way to phrase it, in form and substance, given its geometry connection, that he may very well be right, somehow some way, as long as he is not explicitly saying that it is foundational to Buddhism. Regardless, I would be of much less the same opinion, and categorically assert that my reversal of the quote is much closer to the foundations of Buddhism, in which the Buddha categorically asserts that suffering exists, no mention of options, unless you want to jump to the conclusion that removal of the causes is a viable option.

    Which is true, if you have the training of an arahant or Bodhisattva, which very few of us do, even on a good day. So I would assert that my reversal of the famous quote is more correct than the original, from a Buddhist perspective, which it may or may not ultimately be, but that’s my take. So in this thought experiment, suffering is something of a dimension, our dimension, of primarily mechanical waves, not light, which appears to us as an overwhelming force, or a higher dimension, and gravity, another force, or a lower dimension, same thing (let’s leave the strong and weak quantum ‘forces’ for another day).

    Then there are the causes of this suffering, whether it is truly a dimension of not. The four Noble Truths explicitly state that craving is cause, but it DOES NOT state that it is THE (one and only) cause, and this is a common misconception of Buddhism, especially among argumentative American Buddhists, which says as much about Americans as it does about Buddhists, and brings us back to the reasons that we’re having this thought experiment in the first place, i.e. Westerners like to argue fine points, not to sharpen the cutting edge, necessarily, but to wield it widely. Note: Sanskrit has no definite articles in its grammar.

    Finally I think the important point is that pain, indeed, is optional. Indeed we know that drugs exist to alleviate pain, and can do so quite effectively, so there’s that. But there’s also the fact that dimensional suffering doesn’t necessarily have much to do with pain at all in the first place. It’s almost more like a passive grammatical voice in which we are objects of a preposition, or proposition, and not true subject. And that may speak volumes. Buddhist suffering is like suffering for your art or you child. It doesn’t have to hurt. And it requires practice, faith, and joy…

    Source: https://fakebuddhaquotes.com/pain-is-inevitable-suffering-is-optional/

     
  • hardie karges 1:14 pm on March 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Buddha, , , , Dyaus Pitra, , Mata, mise-en-scene, mutation, , Prithvi, , ,   

    Buddha in the Raw: Nature is the Dharma of Birth… 

    People come and go. Events come and go. But dharma is always there, hand in hand with Nature. In fact, in at least a couple or three SE Asian languages, the word for ‘Nature’ itself translates from the original Pali/Sanskrit as ‘Dharma of Birth,’ jati in its original meaning as ‘birth’ long before it came to supplant varna as the most common word for Indian caste, in a more polite form connected to job description, apparently, as if birth were all about some inherited profession, and not the deep ancestry, mostly defined in the popular imagination by color, varna, long before we could count mutations on the y-DNA sex chromosome, and ultimately define the haplogroup in stages, simply by its imperfections in transmission, just like all attempts at eternal life. Breathe deeply.

    And thank God for that Y-chromosome, so that we can reproduce sexually, rather than by other lesser means and mixtures. But the dharma is intrinsically involved, and that is the point, whether in molecular makeup or some concept far removed, in language, DNA’s lofty handmaiden, jealous of DNA, even long before its discovery, and desirous of co-opting that proclivity into the various nominal grunts and syllabic sonic glides that connect hard consonants verbally into molecular syllables capable of standing alone but always looking for partners to run with, creating words and sentences and paragraphs and histories, all under the auspices of simple reproduction, conceptually rather than biologically, and capable of moving through space without stepping incrementally into the medium of space, but rather capable of quantum leapfrogging through the intervening leagues in an instant or less, with or without the materialistic crutches of light and sound.

    We are imperfect creatures of the void and the stuff, any dualism merely implied but not intended, since the 1 and the 0 of stuff and void are ultimately reconcilable into a common source whether conceptual or mathematical, and who’s to know the difference anyway? Dualism and non-dualism are but snapshots in time, incapable of independent existence, and often confused for far greater achievements than they really aspire to. For insertion of the thing into the void is merely the mise-en-scene for a movie into which we were born and from which we will die, scarcely even pretending to know the reasons why or wherefore, simply that it is thus and will be recorded as such by any witness capable of the feat. There are more important things to do and accomplish in the short time allotted to any given system of biological life, and that is the task to which we are beholden as children of the Sun and Moon, in their earthly representations, Dyaus Pitra and Prithvi Mata, Sky Father and Earth Mother, reproducing throughout an uncertain infinity. It is thus. Let old mourning become new mornings, and rebirth can occur in spirit, not flesh…

     
  • hardie karges 1:05 pm on December 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddha, , , ,   

    Snarky Buddha Tweet: Special Sale on Kindness and Compassion, all at reasonable rates… 

    I’m looking for something in everyone’s eyes: honesty, kindness, consideration, and compassion, smile optional, must be willing to re-locate. Laughter is the best medicine, no prescription required. Love comes with a warning…

     
  • hardie karges 2:35 pm on November 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddha, ,   

    Snarky Buddha Tweets: Karmic Fallacy of Posthaste Ex-Post Facto… 

    When in doubt, do nothing—quickly. Meditate or contemplate, the choice is yours. There is no call to action. You don’t have to take the bait. And you certainly don’t have to fight to the death, literally or verbally. For all that, there just isn’t the time. The last word is for the biggest ego and the smallest mind…

     
  • hardie karges 2:08 pm on November 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddha, , Cowboy, Kung Fu, Western   

    Kung Fu Consciousness in a Cowboy Western World… 

    Sorry, grasshopper. Your dreams can’t all come true. So I guess a few will have to do. Life can sometimes be frustrating for humans and other sentient beings. So said the Buddha. Almost eight billion people on this planet, and our best friends are cats and dogs, go figure…

     
  • hardie karges 12:47 pm on November 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddha, ,   

    Snarky Buddha Tweets… 

    Idealism and nihilism cancel each other out. The real world is imperfect but hopeful, sometimes cruel, sometimes kind. I can see your heart, but I can’t read your mind…

     
  • hardie karges 11:48 am on July 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddha, , , , Koran, ,   

    Rapping on Rebirth and Reincarnation, in the Failed State of a Rental Car Nation… 

    The best rebirth is the one that occurs every day. That’s the one that comes right after the Koranic ‘little death’ that occurs each night, and right before the large plate of bangers, beans, and mash with which we submit to break our fast…

    And that little baptism indeed feels better than mere goodliness, a splash in the face, and a new start to the race, and no shame short of crying that we have to go and spoil it all by a mad dash to some sh*t-stained place of work, four corners and a stool from which to count more beans and pretend that this is what drives our evolution…

    Language loses all logic in transmission and translation, so what we strive for becomes strife, and the passion we suffer becomes the passion we love, and we fool ourselves into thinking that it’s all from above, when in reality we struggle to make sense of the simplest things—life, love and the happiness of pursuit, in the face of disease, pestilence, and a plenitude of nemeses…

    So let’s call it the ‘little rebirth’ so as not to confuse it with the big ‘R’ of karmic retribution, and reincarnation, jumping generations and landing on layered platforms, slathered thick with that special sauce of multiple feedback loops, such that we can never escape the prison of consciousness, creating enough past lives to fill volumes of pre-history, such that bad karma apparently extends before the birth of the human race, by conservative estimate…

    But can we be blamed for something that predates the birth of consciousness and so intent, by extension? I hope not, since intent is the basis of all guilty verdicts, and if there is no veridiction to the sentences that we are dealt, then it’s probably better to simply say nothing at all…

    The Buddha’s 100,000 lives, more or less, would extend back at least three million years, more or less, probably more if indeed good lives those of his certainly would be, so probably better to simply write it off as metaphor, and get on with our own lives…

    For we waste time in counting, and more precious time in the combat of exposition, stipulating silly syllogisms for the sake of argument, when the only recourse to recognition is through those labyrinthine passageways of the heart…

    Logic falls flat. Reason lies bleeding. Slide rules are antiquated and calculators require batteries, not always included. There is no path forward when the pathway is circular, and no convenient exit when the doors are all closed. Dharma requires no dogma. Dialog requires no debate…

     
  • hardie karges 12:07 pm on June 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Buddha, , , , , , sankhara   

    Buddhist Impermanence and Greek Change, flip sides of the same coin… 

    Change doesn’t have to be a cause of suffering. It can also be a cause of liberation, if it’s compassionate, kind and helpful. And if that deviates from the standard Buddhist line of progression, then I’m sorry, but I think it holds true, at least for the modern day, with our modern ways. I personally haven’t shed too many tears over coming changes in a long time, but maybe that’s just a part of growing up, not sure, so maybe I better re-listen to Bruce Springsteen, since he sometimes gets it right, even if the Buddha didn’t. Now I embrace change, but true, it’s certainly better if it’s a change I initiate, so maybe that is the crucial line of distinction.

    So when the Buddha is quoted as saying ‘sabbe sankhara anicca,’ i.e. all things are impermanent, the implication is that that is bad, but maybe that is a faulty conclusion. It is one of the three Buddhist marks of existence, after all, along with suffering and no-self, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate ‘badness’, so maybe it’s just a fact for your perusal, echoing Heraclitus some 3000mi/5000km away (as the crow flies) in Greece right about the same. Coincidence? Ask that crow; only he knows for sure, and he might be fibbing. The fact that both likely had ancestors from the same ‘hood up north 2000 years before is likely irrelevant at this point, so I won’t mention it.

    Bottom line: everything changes but change itself, and if that scares you to death as a child about to move to a new town, or a young adult about to experience Love’s first great letdown, then rest assured: not only does this get easier, but you might even learn to like it, and seek it out, the other, if not another, geographical changes generally considered more socially acceptable than personnel changes, especially after a certain ‘use-by’ date, after which the changes become functionally impractical, and old dogs find it hard to learn new tricks.

    But learn they can, if the will is there, and who knows what ‘sankhara’ means anyway? (It does NOT mean ‘karma’ as modern ‘re-birthers’ like to suggest) I say ‘things’ as shorthand for ‘I don’t know,’ but the devil may indeed lie in the details, if ‘formations’ implies that it is my own fault if they change against my wishes, since I set myself up for that fall in advance. Because he never said that everything changes, but that all ‘formations’ are impermanent, and that is not necessarily the same thing, if ‘formations’ can exist or not exist without necessarily undergoing any intermediate state from one existence to another.

    But our lives necessarily proceed from one point to the next as if we had moved from one point to the next, not simply ceased to exist at one point and re-emerged at another. And so we measure our lives in time. And we mark our journeys in space. And we formulate emotions in reaction to it all. And we develop theories to explain it. So don’t become discouraged if the journey is long. All paths eventually lead home…

     
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