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  • hardie karges 9:19 am on February 26, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , conspiracy theory, , , , , ,   

    Buddhism and the Case for a Monkhood… 

    Some people think that there is something mystical or magical about monks chanting, in this case the Buddhist scriptures. But really it started as a way to memorize sutras that were not written for 500 years. And this is interesting in a few different ways and for a few different reasons. Firstly, it speaks to the issue of whether the Buddha actually said the things that are attributed to him. After all, if it wasn’t initially written, then how can we be sure? To which I would quickly add: even if it were written, how could you be sure that the Buddha actually said it? Ever heard of ‘fake news’? 

    The fact is that, given the times and the circumstances, memorization was a perfectly acceptable way of recording documents, which is the ultimate goal, after all, since nothing was being prepared for print, only some poorly defined remote abstract history, and of which only time itself would later determine the parameters. And if memorization is acceptable, or even superior, to easily stainable documents, then certainly a large group of literate and disciplined monks would be the perfect way to do it, meeting regularly to iron out any differences in the accurate transmission of such important information. 

    Secondly, it shows that not only were monks charged with a task of utmost importance, but that it was rigorous and highly demanding, thus giving the lie to the idea that monks were always intended to be ‘kept’ as pure and pristine specimens, virgins to the world and unashamed of it. No, they had a job. And lastly, it speaks to the notion of whether the Buddha himself even existed in this life in this world. Conspiracy theorists love nothing so much as to recreate history to their predilections and post-election dictates. 

    But, obviously, if monks have been chanting the same words in an unbroken line of descent from the original 2500 years ago, then that is proof, in and of itself. Yes, there were some breaks here and there, but those were rigorously mitigated, such that though Thailand received the original dharma from Sri Lanka, when things went awry there, the renaissance dharma went back to Thailand to make sure that they had it right. This is serious stuff.  

    But I like the sound of monks chanting, also, and even credit the sound of that on my ears in Mongolia in 2013 as an impetus to my impending initiative towards Buddhism. While listening, it felt like something Matrix-like moved, and ultimately that would be me. Still there is a larger issue of why writing was eschewed for so long when it was obviously the wave of the future, but that probably says more about India itself than Buddhism. Conservatism is not always a bad thing in uncertain times. Buddhism was all about discipline and training long before anything else, so more like kung fu than koans… 

    • quantumpreceptor 12:42 pm on February 28, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Well said Hardy. Being a monk is not easy now was mit easy then and will not be in the future. Memorizing the teachings is a gift that when passed on only expands the blessing. I love your writing keep it up!


    • hardie karges 8:15 pm on February 28, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you!

    • gederedita 12:08 am on March 2, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      I just know this temple from this blog. Iseen from the film but i dont know di temple located. I am lucky to find your blog, Hardie karges.

      • hardie karges 5:33 am on March 2, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        This temple is in Bhutan, near the town of Paro. It’s usually called the ‘Tiger’s Nest.’ Thanks for your comment.

  • hardie karges 6:26 pm on November 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , conspiracy theory, , , , , ,   

    Religion and Politics, part 1: R.I.P. Amerika, Drowning in Democracy and Conspiracy… 

    img_0996When I got on the plane a week or so ago in Thailand, bound for Amerika, I had a feeling of impending doom that I couldn’t explain, so I begged my wife Tang not to go, assuming that it was about personal doom, and my instinct was to protect her. Now that I know what that feeling was really all about, at least I can rest easier for those I care about. What I can’t do is rest easier about the fate of the USA…

    America is now a Third World country, uneducated and proud. Welcome to Thailand and the tyranny of the majority, who just love a populist peddling pathos . We used to vote for our hopes, now we vote for our fears. We vote for the candidate who appeals to our lowest common denominators, not our highest. We build walls, not bridges. The ideas that inspire us now close doors, not open them. But the Big Winner here was not Donald Trump… (More …)

  • hardie karges 12:50 pm on February 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , conspiracy theory,   

    Fall of America, Act III: Bread, Circuses, Conspiracies and Clowns… 

    So what’s all this (c)rap about ‘Establishment’ candidates, and the notion that D. P. Trump and Bernie Sanders are the desirable anti-Establishment alternatives?

    The Establishment generally denotes a dominant group or elite that holds power or authority in a nation or organization. The Establishment may be a closed social group which selects its own members (as opposed to selection by merit or election) or specific entrenched elite structures, either in government or in specific institutions…

    …In fact, any relatively small class or group of people having control can be referred to as The Establishment; and conversely, in the jargon of sociology, anyone who does not belong to The Establishment may be labelled an “outsider”–Wikipedia

    Got that? No? Well, it’s quite simple, really. It’s all about THEM: (fill in the blank). THEY can be anyone you want, anyone you just love to hate, be it the so-called Establishment, the military-industrial complex (cue rat-a-tat), the secret government (cue ghostly sounds), the Illuminati (remember them?), or you-name-it… See where this is going? Yes: how do you spell C-O-N-S-P-I-R-A-C-Y (Note capital letters)? Now, no one disputes the thousands of little conspiracies that occur everyday, but ‘conspiracy theory’ is all about the Big One: the idea that they’re all connected… (More …)

  • hardie karges 11:08 am on April 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: conspiracy theory   

    Free will in human activity is not only possible, but it is essential. 

    This is the problem with Conspiracy, of course, that it postulates some abstract ‘them’ as responsible for all the world’s problems throughout history without ever specifying who ‘they’ are, and making our own actions irrelevant. No doubt there are hundreds of little conspiracies going on all the time. I just don’t believe in the Big C. Without free will there are no ethics, no morals, no courts, and no basketballs, just chrome-plated hardened balls in pinball machines bouncing off cushions and landing on pins in a mad search for rubbers, lights flashing and bells ringing, like your worst Las Vegas nightmare. There is no reason to apologize and blame some abstract determinism for the sad state of human affairs, because in reality, it’s never been so good. There is no reason to apologize for one region’s apparent superiority over the others because such views fail to take into account that such ‘superiority’ might be the death of us all. We might all be rushing to Africa one day to look for something we forgot or some DNA we’re missing to make us real humans again. They’re the real thing, after all; Asians and Caucasians are the mutant freaks. Our best visions are still myopic and ethnocentric. The future is pure mathematical probability and the present is too dynamic to be taken in perspective. Like evolution, you can only look back and see who’s been more successful.

  • hardie karges 8:45 pm on April 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: conspiracy theory   

    The prettiest flowers grow in the ugliest plots, 

    like latter-day hippies taking pink fuzzy comfort in the long loving arms of Conspiracy. Ignorance finds fertile ground in the ashes of a once vigorous culture now gone to seed in an era of uncertainty and self-recrimination. It feels good to know that THEY have caused all the world’s problems, not US. It feels good to know that we’ve got the goods on the hoods and that the day of reckoning will be followed by another long day of supposing, followed by another long day of figuring. It’s your move. Buy a vowel and try to solve the puzzle before it’s too late. Ignorance will surely save us from the excesses of our own intelligence one way or another, by hook or crook. The crooks have got the home-court advantage, but they don’t own the ball. The ball is in someone else’s court now. It took barbarians with battle-axes to save us from the golden age of Greek and Roman slavery. It’ll take some bozos with cell phones and laptops to save us from the silicon age of European and American industrialization.

  • hardie karges 5:34 am on April 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: conspiracy theory   

    Conspiracy invokes the glow of religion in the faces of its disciples. 

    Maybe this is not surprising in a world in which ‘God is dead’. Obviously religions have existed primarily to serve our psychological needs, not our biological ones. Of course if there’s a ‘God’ gene, then it’s got to be fed, one way or another, whether religion, drugs, or meditation, the need for abstraction. Just like you have to go through the motions of reproduction whether you intend to produce children or not. Biologically all we have to do as a species is survive individually, on average, long enough to reproduce. That’s it. Do that and the tree keeps growing. Conspiracy theory serves another need, psychologically, for its practitioners, but also serves as a weathervane for society and culture. Once the battles have all been won and the struggle is gone from daily existence, then what? Once your wealthiest citizens can purchase a round-trip ticket to the space station and return with an armful of souvenirs, then what? Does consciousness eventually turn against itself, rejecting the very things it fought so hard to accomplish? Consciousness is something that has to be fed. If it has nothing to eat, then it will bite the hand that feeds it.

  • hardie karges 1:26 am on April 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: conspiracy theory   

    Conspiracies of ignorance are the real conspiracies, 

    easy answers to rhetorical questions, the need for certainty and reassurance in a world with very little of either. When card-carrying Conspiracy People (CP’s) told me that “we need four more years of George W”, the man they supposedly hated more than Hell itself, then something is wrong. CP’s are doing the same thing that they accuse THEM of doing, i.e. manipulating events to suit their own political agenda, in this case, getting people like me off the fence and into one or the other opposing camps, just like the jihadis are doing in Indonesia. “You can’t handle the truth!” they like to imply in self-congratulation. Hey, I like it on the fence, where I can see both sides of an issue with at least an increased, if not perfect, clarity. The view’s nice here, with a view of the peaks and all. Democracy works, however clumsily and imperfectly. If we succumb to easy fixes for difficult questions and paranoid responses to provocative stances, then THEY win, whoever THEY are.

  • hardie karges 9:59 am on April 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: conspiracy theory   

    Internet defines the age of communication, 

    spooky actions at a distance, intricate inter-connections at an infinite degree of separation. Internet is made for conspiracy; you could never get a quorum otherwise. Fringe elements unite in the musty worldwide cobwebs of Cyberia. Somehow they all manage to read the same sources, as if they themselves were the very conspiracy that they see in others. False prophets emerge from the woodwork and take to the airwaves, the broad fetching smile of religion spreading across their faces, so sure of themselves that it makes me hurt. Ego and logic unite to uplift the individual and undermine the state. We won’t miss clunky old democracy until it’s gone and replaced by something far more efficient. Technology is the new opium of the masses, clean and neat if not discreet. Internet is a maze of false leads and misplaced ideals. You could get lost in there. It works best as a combination telephone directory, Sears catalog and dating service, a meeting place of lost souls and found objects. Forget the revolution; let’s eat!

  • hardie karges 1:18 pm on April 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: conspiracy theory   

    Conspiracy theory runs deep on both sides, 

    both quasi-conspirators and quasi-theorists, from the secret societies of Freemasons and Illuminati to the Rothschilds’ Zion to the eye on the pyramid on the back of the U.S. dollar to the ‘New World Order’ of Prescott, Georges H. & W., and the entire Bush Brothers Band. Deep on both sides indeed, but a bit shallow in the middle. The problem with conspiracy as a way of life, of course, is that it is long on theory and short on facts. An anomalous ‘they’ can be held responsible for any and every evil deed that lacks clear antecedents, and some that do, to the point that there are really no longer any reasons to try to change anything at all, because there are so many convenient excuses for failure. If a Republican wins, it’s because he’s “their boy”. If a Democrat wins, then that’s because “they installed him” for their own reasons. It’s a loser’s paradise: “The game is rigged; all wealth is old wealth; capitalism is a pyramid scheme; nobody loves me”, etc. The extrapolation continues ad absurdum ad nauseum: the moon landing was staged; the earth is hollow (it used to be flat, remember); Argentina and the U.K. fought a fake war in the Malvinas; Saddam was ‘our’ boy; Jesus Christ never existed; WE sunk the economy of Argentina (how many times?), blah blah, yada yada, etc. etc. Now I know why courts are so concerned with motivations and forensic evidence, because otherwise stories like this could be accepted at face value as fact, given their internal logic and crisp story lines. Conspiracy theory is also certainly bolstered by the fact that shit does, indeed, happen. Witness the mock Texas border dispute that lead to war with Mexico, the unexplained battleship Maine sinking that led to war with Spain, the Reichstag fire, the Gulf of Tonkin, The USS Pueblo, maybe Pearl Harbor, and I don’t even want to think about KL007.

  • hardie karges 8:58 am on July 31, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: conspiracy theory,   

    Along the lines of good ‘conspiracy theory’, 

    or maybe the ‘world of opposites’ like ‘The Matrix’ or ‘Vanilla Sky’ or ‘Truman Show’, maybe SE Asia doesn’t even really exist at all. Maybe this is all a set-up and my vitals are being monitored for their responses to given stimuli or my body’s in cold storage somewhere and I’m just being fed images for continuity while my brain’s working nights doing basic computing for NASA. How would we ever know anymore? A lot is taken on faith these days. You step on a plane, pop some Valiums, cop some ZZZZ’s, and the next thing you know you’re going through Customs at Bangkok International. It’s almost as if the intervening space wasn’t even really crossed. You just entered a time-and-space machine and came out again a day later out the other end of a long wormhole. No one takes the long surface route anymore, so how would you know? The fact that we’re losing touch, literally, with the very earth under our feet makes stories of conspiracy and ‘misplaced reality’ not only feasible, but attractive, especially to the disenchanted. Conspiracy theory is more of a danger than conspiracy itself. Conspiracy lurks around every corner. Conspiracy theory follows a logic that attempts to transcend the ordinary, but there’s a logic that transcends conspiracy, i.e. produce the evidence.

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