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  • hardie karges 6:00 pm on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Coronavirus, , ,   

    Covid-19 Update: Kudos to the Buddha? 

    Coronavirus under a microscope

    https://ncov2019.live

    Covid-19, aka ‘novel Coronavirus:’ the phrase strikes fear in the hearts of the smartest, and derision in the minds of the not-so, Trumpsters et al adamantly wishing it away, as though that were all that is necessary to defeat a Conspiracy Theory that just can’t find the exit and leave, no matter how hard the combined wits of the Republican Party try… and try… and try.

    But the reality is all too sobering, as we stand at another important crossroads, and possibly wrapping up a dizzying Phase Two, for which there will likely be a Phase Three when the winter kicks in, potential vaccines notwithstanding. The figures are mind-numbing: world leader USA just passed the threshold 200K deaths from Covid-19 and 7M confirmed cases, all while President Trump dodges any responsibility for it, at the same time that he admits that he lied about it all along—and still does.

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  • hardie karges 12:13 pm on July 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Coronavirus, , , , , vegetarian,   

    Nature Asserts Herself with a Vengeance, and a Virus… 

    Nature is not ours to conquer. Nature is there for us to respect, honor, and obey. And if this seems like common sense, derived from common knowledge, believe me that it is one of the hardest commandments to obey, maybe because it was never written down, or maybe because it is somehow counter-intuitive, that what looks like ‘Nature’s bounty’ to us is somehow limited and precious and subject to restrictions on access.

    And isn’t that the way we males perceive our access to the feminine side of life? Because that’s what Nature is, even at its wildest, it is the feminine principle to life, as opposed to the will and violence that haunt the halls of patriarchal civilization. Because even at its most violent, the mighty lion subduing the gentle lamb, I don’t think that there is any enjoyment implied or expressed, simply the fact of life that big fish eat small fish, no offense intended.

    Only we humans have the willpower to construct cities, or the conscious intent to choose vegetarianism, when it is not our historical path that has led us to that conclusion, but pure consciousness. Now I could be wrong, but I don’t think that it is likely that any other species will soon emulate that decision, though they may very well be vegetarian by nature, and who knows the path that Nature has bequeathed upon that other species, whose story we little know, and that has brought them to that conclusion?

    But now we have come full circle, from nature and back again and the only thing that has changed is that we are one step closer to a complete revolution around a celestial body that is in itself in revolution around a celestial body, in some giant circle dance in some giant sky that only makes sense from a distance. So we build cities and take what we want from Nature, gentle bountiful Nature, as if it were a stray lamb on the edge of the flock, and there must surely be more where that came from.

    But there is not, not in any accessible form, that is. Because we are limited by light and gravity, and the restrictions placed by that fourth dimension of Time. Almost anything is possible in Space, but Time in a single dimension is less forgiving than Space in three, and Nature is the perfect example of that. In more than one SE Asian language it is something like the Thai ธรรมชาติ, thammachaht, i.e. dharma jati, the law of birth, straight from the Sanskrit, as filtered through the lens of Buddhism.

    And that’s what Nature is, too, the law of birth, and death, as it pertains to our lives and those that we are privileged to share with. If it took a pandemic virus for us to see that clearly, then so be it, better late than never. Because the new normal will have to be greener and cleaner, or it won’t work. Mother knows best…

     
  • hardie karges 3:59 pm on May 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Coronavirus, , , ,   

    Pandemics, Politics, Global Warming, DNA and DJT… 

    I don’t often write about politics nor pandemics, not because I don’t care, or that I have no interest, but because I have other greater interests, and politics have no easy solutions—and many commentators. But there are meta-theses to this pandemic that are not being discusses by anyone, and so that’s why I feel compelled to comment. The first issue is easy, the treachery of the US government in dealing with this natural disaster, not to be confused with incompetence, which is the normal modus operandi of the Trump administration. But to send people to their probable deaths in uncertain circumstances, when such deaths could be easily prevented, is not just murder. It is genocide, of the genus poverty, thus the annihilation of one class by another higher one. This could be easily prevented by the economic support of those people, from the taxes that they have paid, the same as is done for the corporate entities which are sacred to the US capitalist system, and which all Western European countries are doing for their people.

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  • hardie karges 9:31 am on April 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Coronavirus, , First Noble Truth,   

    Buddhism During a Crisis, Coronavirus Redux… 

    Nothing better illustrates the Buddhist First Truth of suffering than the Coronavirus, proclaimed as novel, but I’m not so sure. Because nothing is truly novel in the realm of suffering, especially when delivered by the sneaky intercessions of a virus. Somebody once said that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional, though it wasn’t Buddha who said that, however congruent with his teachings it may or may not be. No, the Buddha was pretty clear about the inevitability of suffering, and the Eight-Step program to its mitigation, and hopefully cure. Now if there’s a difference in meaning between pain and suffering, then it’s the difference between looking and seeing, listening and hearing, touching and feeling, in that one verb is transitive, affecting objects, while the other is intransitive, something felt, so more than simple observation of another.

    But my point is that Buddhism can help, in times like these, by simply acknowledging the normalcy of suffering, if nothing else. I suspect that many Westerners accustomed to amusement parks and weekend larks will have a much harder time of it than some Orientals accustomed to struggle. After all, you don’t see Asians serenading each other in captivity, now, do you? And if the Western commitment to ‘never change our way of life’ is charming, in a way, then in another way, it’s rather discouraging. This IS a good time for paradigm shifts, I’d say. Because mostly this is a psychological shock, more than medical, economic, or even ecological. Most Westerners are accustomed, even taught, to control Nature, reign her in, to do our bidding, and the idea that She is there as something to be awed and revered, is rather secondary. I mean sure, we go visit national parks and snap our pics, but as often as not we’re snapping pics of each other, and God knows, our selfies.

    Most of all, though, we’ve just never been taught to look inward, and those introverts among us tend to be categorized as ‘losers’ by the type-A bullies who think that aggression comes first, then questions come later, if ever. So I don’t see the Coronavirus as a death sentence, but just the opposite, in fact, an opportunity to make some necessary changes socially and ecologically, perhaps first and most important, but also personally, mostly within the theme of ‘less is more’, simple pleasures, and a shift away from consumption toward contemplation. For now, though, the bottom line is all about control, self-control, preferably. Because I don’t think it’s any accident that the countries hardest hit are those that are the most freedom-obsessive, and the countries doing best are those most controlled. But I prefer the self-control of the Buddhist countries over the government control of the ex-Communist countries of East Europe and elsewhere. So for us it’s a bittersweet victory, but for Nature it’s jubilant. Global Warming lost a battle this year…

     
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