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  • hardie karges 8:33 am on July 31, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Christmas, , , , Magi, magic, , ,   

    Buddhism 498: Emptiness is the Path to Infinity 

    If you’re doing it right, then one day a sense of calmness will come over you, as the zeroes take over, and the fractions become less, a mind divided unable to reproduce itself properly, and the ensuing life even less. Because language knows no natural limit, and so will run on until stopped, vowels and consonants forming verbs and nouns like chickens and eggs, and no one knows which came first, since no one was taking notes in a class too crowded for convenience and too full for breath…

    But people wonder why meditate, since there’s so little time and so little space, that to waste any extra must certainly be counter-intuitive, but, in reality, the exact opposite is the case. Because meditation creates more time and more space in the process of killing it, such that if you really want to experience infinity, then the only way to do that is with emptiness.

    Because infinity cannot exist full of stuff, and that is fundamental to the concept, and who would want it anyway, except a kid at Christmas before the sun’s even up, learning the false lesson of abundance under the magic of the Magi, who got lost on the way to Bethlehem, but couldn’t see any reason to let a good story go to waste? So, a kid in a manger becomes the unlikely savior of humanity, when all we really wanted was a full belly and an empty mind, empty of hate and anger, with Big Ideas optional.

    But we can do that on command with a little silence and a lot of discipline, let the confusion die down and out, and be reborn in spirit every hour of every day with a little self-control and a lot of kindness, creating a world of forgiveness and reconciliation, instead of aggression and competition, for access to scarce resources, to create even more, when the obvious answer is to first consume even less. And that is the difference between Buddhism and Christianity, to consume less or produce more, when the truth lies somewhere in between.

  • hardie karges 7:22 am on December 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Christmas, , , , Saturnalia, sila   

    Putting the Buddha back in Christmas, and the Rebirth back in New Year… 



    Kwan Yin Fest near Chiang Dao, Thailand

    So I’ve made a big deal, for myself at least, over the fact that, at least in my mind, we as humans, and as Buddhists, or whatever, don’t really have to do anything to be upright moral citizens of this world and this civilization. As long as we don’t do any bad things, then all should be well, for each of us, morally and ethically and spiritually. It is no one’s place and position to prescribe the behavior of others, so long as they are doing nothing wrong and causing no one any harm…

    Then there’s Christmas, the Big Deal for Christians worldwide, with much spillover into other countries, especially those which have significant consumer cultures. But that’s not really what it’s all about, not for those who really ‘get it’, i.e. get the fact that it’s all really about what you give, not what you get. So what you get, hopefully, is the satisfaction of making other people happy… (More …)

  • hardie karges 9:41 am on December 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christmas, , freesom, responsibility   

    Free Will and Freedom, Surviving Christmas… 

    Well, we all survived the most difficult day of the year—Christmas, aka the Royal Gorge—so I suppose that life goes on and we will live to see another day. This is good, I think, considering the options. I generally try to avoid sharp objects on that day. To say that Christmas has ‘lost its way’ would be an understatement, of course, but then: isn’t that true of all religions and holidays?

    The challenge as always is to make this world as perfect as we humanly can, in terms of truth beauty and goodness, as a reflection of that more perfect world of spirit. That means a world that is clean green and serene, with an interesting cast of characters displayed upon the green screen, for eventual release in a theatre near you. And on a personal level that means that each of us has the freedom—and responsibility—to do good. Let’s get started.

    Of course we Westerners—including Americans, especially Americans—believe in freedom like nothing else, absolute and inviolable, in yo’ face and reliably profane, seldom profound. You score points in Western culture by showing skin, by showing balls, by being offensive and downright insulting. Aggression is our calling card and massive armies our stock in trade.

    “The best defense is a good offense,” or so the story goes. We ‘liberate’ peoples around the world, giving them their ‘freedom’ and wishing them good luck, with a pat on the back and a Starbucks coffee coupon, worth a couple bucks. Welcome to America. Real freedom is nothing like that, though. Real freedom is a metaphysical necessity, a metaphysical reality, nothing to do with the chains around your heart or your ankles.

    Real freedom is a freedom of the will, the freedom to do good or bad, and to be called to answer for your actions and your decisions. This is the essence of morality, to do good or bad, of your own volition. There is a tendency in popular societal narratives to avoid and evade this responsibility but it is real, and disallowing it only perpetuates it, presumably so that no one’s feelings get hurt.  For example, it is often said that alcoholism is a disease, implying not only that it isn’t your fault, but that there is a cure. I’d say that there is more likely a cure if the onus is placed squarely on the shoulders of the free agent.

    Likewise no one should get credit for his moral actions if nothing is truly given. For some rich bloke to act like he’s moral because he threw the bums a dime in his prime is pathetic and ridiculous. Better you should cross the street to help a handicapped person open a door—for no money or even thanks. That is an act of kindness and charity that confers merit upon the bearer regardless of any financial importance.

    Our rush to put a monetary value upon everything, acts of kindness included, is a sign of our own poverty, not those of the so-called ‘poor’. We have only mastered money when we can live without it. And the hypothetical ‘freedom’ involved in portraying various religious prophets in various acts of sex, distress or undress is not freedom. That’s something else. I am NOT Charlie what’s-his-name…

    Freedom is all about responsibility, the responsibility to do good, not purchase mass quantities of consumer goods. Let’s add another tenet to our hypothetically perfect religion—moderation in consumption and strict recycling and extreme non-wastefulness. Christmas needs to take a different direction. Maybe the best offense is a good defense. Sounds good to me.

  • hardie karges 11:25 am on December 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Christmas,   

    Merry Kerygma (Disgust for Dogma), I Am Furious (Mellow): Fugue State in 3 Parts… 

    (There comes) that feeling that you get when victimized by the wannabes, lackeys and lapdogs of late-era capitalism who feel their futures to be threatened, so busy themselves building bunkers and moats, walls and bridges; bankers salesmen agents middle-men and their sons and daughters working commissions tighten the screws holding back proletarians and progress, especially in America the most Communist of all countries…

    …a communism of the mind, brutalist structures strictures and constructions, multiple male-enhanced skyscraping erections, filling post-apocalyptic city centers long vacated for the necessities of parking, crumbling rusty dusty rotting hulks, beauty sacrificed to convenience, with female submission to financial straits and straighteners for the benefit of comfort; souls slathered with gadgets and gizmos and widgets and whatchamacallits; freedom falls flattest and fastest when and where the wallets are fattest, lives battered and fried, looking for existential catsup… (More …)

    • davekingsbury 3:46 pm on December 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Letting go of the preconceptions and mass deceptions … great line! This has inspired a new year resolution. 2016 will be the year I satirise the clichés we all live by …

  • hardie karges 3:43 pm on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Christmas   

    I Hate Birthdays 

    I hate birthdays, and Christmas is even worse; Thanksgiving is okay, but the New Year is a blessed curse, as if one day were really better than the other, as if wishing could make it so, as if we were born again Christian every moment of every day best part being the childhood the holidays and the presents no past only future surfing the current like a rogue wave tsunami, traveling at the speed of light mass infinite begging for forgiveness I’d like to say it doesn’t matter but really it does the little things like the candles on a cake and a peck on the cheek or the lips life is too short to stumble through unnoticed and un-noted sleeping in caves when a split-level would be nice or merely riding the waves when a double-decker would do well we came down from the trees to cross swords we came down from the trees to cross oceans to cross thresholds…

    • mary 8:51 pm on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      food, religon, politics, my head is swimming. Keep on writng and writing and writing. Tomorrow morn. I get up early to pick my own organic snap beans, young early ones. We’re learning here in MS, about some of the things our mother’s never taught us. That includes the guy with the post it notes, all over his body. Thanks.

  • hardie karges 10:27 am on December 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Christmas, , ,   

    Christmas Goes Viral: Festivus for the Rest of Us 

    Babel on in Babylon, the Hanging Gardens (as imagined) and the Tower of Babel

    Everything is a caricature of itself now, and entertainment is king. So Christmas in America is when we all get to return to our childhood fantasies, beyond sugar plums and into consumer gluttony—or not. If Thanksgiving morphs simple thanks toward God into thanks for the goods, then Christmas goes beyond celebrating the birth of Christ into celebrating the birth of consumerism. It doesn’t have to be that way.

    George Costanza’s dad on the old ‘Seinfeld’ series made alternative celebrations official, but I’m starting to warm up to the many ‘orphan’ events that now spring up around this time of year to give the rest of us some reason for the season: simple social camaraderie and spiritual communion, nuclear family optional. ‘Nuclear’ can sometimes be dangerous, after all.

    Christmas—and Christianity—is not alone in pushing their holidays to absurd viral proportions, though. Other countries and religions do it, too. Anyone who’s gone to Thailand for the Songkran water fest (read: ‘water fight’) is witnessing the modern spectacle of what started off as a simple dousing of water as a symbol of renewal. And I hear that the daylight fasting that occurs during Islamic Ramadan says nothing about what happens after dark. This is cultural neoteny, the evolutionary regression to childhood (in biology, literally the decreasing age of reproduction). (More …)

    • mary 9:52 am on December 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      and a happy winter solstice to you. no xmas for us-mas. the shortest day of the year-grand, it means they will be getting longer, if that is a good thing or not i am uncertain. pax

      • hardie karges 11:28 am on December 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yes yes yes, it is all good if we want it to be that way and act accordingly…

    • Esther Fabbricante 6:54 am on December 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Family is first with me – 31 members including in-laws and step children..
      Merry Christmas to you.

  • hardie karges 11:22 am on December 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Christmas, ,   

    Awesomenessificationizing in a World w/o Him 

    Awesome”: the word defines our lazy consumer/consumed age, selfies self-centered, Christmas especially, speaking volumes while explaining nothing, an idle exclamation and simultaneous proclamation of all things hubristic, ourselves extrapolated outward for viewing and public worship—self-worship—the worst kind, “awesome” not to be confused with “awful” its evil twin, same word really, merely inflected with opposing sentiment, neither of them even in the same emotional league as that original feeling of awe that inspired it, and which inspires millions, that feeling of smallness in witnessing grandiosity…

    So how did the same word, and same original feel, come to mean two such opposite things? That’s what it is to be human, dahling, language—and thoughts—mutating at the speed of sound in direct proportion to the distance from the source, so much like biological Evolution that it’s hard to see them as anything other or different, as often declared by scientific minds specializing in such fields with (pedi)grees much higher than my own…

    We humans are a rather imperfect lot, at best blessed, at worst cursed, in reality most likely somewhere in between, the recipe for fulfillment in direct proportion to intent, a sliding scale of satisfaction, hard to accomplish anything without really intending it, or retrofitting the logic, intent being the key, left in this slow cool world to fend for ourselves or die trying… (More …)

    • Kc 1:55 pm on December 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      awesome, iconic and literally, words that stick in under and around my craw. do people not read the dictionary anymore?

  • hardie karges 3:58 am on December 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Christmas, ,   

    About a minute from now, the clock will simultaneously turn 00:00 Dec. 25 in Pago Pago, American Samoa and 00:00 Dec. 26 in Apia, (West) Samoa and for one fleeting instant it will be Christmas Day all over the world. So seems like a good time to say Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noel! Feliz Navidad! Errymay ristmaskay! (etc.) and a good time to renew a commitment to peace, love and understanding… sleep in heavenly peace, wake up to a whole new world…

  • hardie karges 10:07 am on December 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christmas, ,   

    Tis’ the Season… to Avoid Depression: FA LA LA 2U2 

    Tis' the Season… to Avoid Depression: FA LA LA 2U2.

  • hardie karges 9:52 am on December 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christmas, , , holidays, ,   

    Tis’ the Season… to Avoid Depression: FA LA LA 2U2 

    I have my own Christmas traditions, developed over decades and continents, usually wherever I happen to find myself on the blessed day, either for lack of imagination or some rogue inspiration, none of which places can usually be considered ‘home,’ as the concept seems to have largely eluded me over the years.  If stuck at ‘home,’ I find that the day can even make me extremely depressed if I don’t deal with it pro-actively, because even though I’m extremely put off by the commercialism of Christmas, that doesn’t mean that I can entirely dismiss it.  I know; I’ve tried. (More …)

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