Tagged: DEMOCRACY Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • hardie karges 11:32 am on March 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , DEMOCRACY, Evil,   

    Buddhism and Evil, Parenthetically… 

    There is no evil in this world but that which exists in the hearts and minds of some misguided individuals. Evil is not an entity, existing independently and harvesting souls for current and future consumption. Evil is merely a function of circumstance, born of uncertain causes and subject to uncertain conditions. To remove evil from the world is to purify your own heart first, metaphorically speaking, and then proceed to spread the goodwill to others. If critical mass can be reached, pardon the cliché, then peace can prevail. It’s like reaching herd immunity in a pandemic. Not everyone has to get vaccinated, thank God, or we could never protect ourselves even the slightest little bit.

    This is the curse of democracy, of course, trying to get a large group of people to agree on anything, much less everything. Fortunately there is a hidden democracy, of the soul, so to speak, in which people want the best for themselves and the world, regardless of the cost and sacrifice. If enough of those people can meet and commune with each other, then the world can become a better place, and ultimately find sustainability. But it requires the most serious sort of open mind and the most diligent kind of experimental effort. Sometimes we learn our best lessons from our worst enemies, seasoned and flavored with experience. This is much the essence of Buddhism…

     
  • hardie karges 11:27 am on January 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , DEMOCRACY, , social   

    Buddhism is a Social Paradigm, too… 

    And it’s a vision of a better world, and that is much the reason I have sworn allegiance to it, for without that social component, the reasons are not nearly so compelling. Because if personal ‘salvation’ is the only desired result, then the methods are many, and the results are uncertain. Who’s to really say if the Buddhist methods of renunciation and meditation are truly better than the Christian methods of passion and forgiveness?

    One advocates a certain withdrawal from the affairs of the world, while the other advocates an ever-increasing involvement, to the point that I’m in yo’ mutha’ f*ckin’ face whether you like it or not, got it? So we disparage one as ‘life-denying’ while praising the other’s adherents as ‘full of life,’ without even the slightest acknowledgement that those ‘full-of-lifers’ are indeed usually the ones destroying the planet.

    The fact that that is not what they intend is superfluous. Intent is only the obsession of those same Christian courts that value remorse and contrition while selling those same guns that make all the forgiveness necessary. A simpler solution might simply be to get our gun jollies and joneses in video games and leave the acts of nature to Nature herself.

    And what’s right for a world of three billion people is not necessarily right for a world of eight billion, and that’s just the changes that have occurred in my lifetime. Should we simply wait with bated breath for each individual to make his peace with his Maker, so that the World can survive, or should responsible governments take it upon themselves to limit activities that threaten to aggravate pressures of over-population and global over-heating?

    Then the freedom-loving rabble will raise hackles at all the supposed shackles that they must endure, without even questioning whether these are freedoms FROM of freedoms TO, as though it’s all the same and freedoms of all sorts and types must by definition be unlimited. But this myth of no limits is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated. Buddhism can help with that.

    America teaches eternal life, endless resources, and unlimited freedoms, i.e. Christianity, Capitalism, and Democracy, all packaged and gift-wrapped in bright colorful ribbons and bows, as if nothing could be more natural or necessary, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Still the package played an important role in the development of human civilization.

    Does anyone really wish that we were stuck in year 1492 with no knowledge of the spectacles that were to come in the ensuing centuries? But how now do we rein in our wildest impulses for the good of the many for the good of the future? Thus the Western mind is better to create civilization, and the eastern mind is better to control it. If the current pandemic taught us nothing it taught us that.

    And the lesson can carry into other areas of social concern, beyond pandemics first, and global warming second, into the trickier and thornier issues of war and violence, and the existential abstractions of personal peace, love and understanding. First we extinguish the fires inside, and then we extinguish the fires outside…

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 4:32 pm on January 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Your final paragraph is a great summation of the problems we face which a Buddhist mindset would help solve. Happy New Year and may it be a beneficial one!

      • hardie karges 6:12 pm on January 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Dave, and a Happy New Year to you, too!

  • hardie karges 1:03 pm on December 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bet, , , , DEMOCRACY, epistemology, gambling, , , trifecta,   

    Buddhism 201: There are no Winners and Losers… 

    In the best negotiations and most serious debates, everybody should walk away happy. This is the secret to all good dealings, of course, but all too often forgotten, in the rush to seal deals, and replace stocks, and return to life as normal, on the battlefields of commerce and contentment, where the fruits of life are often commodities, and the rewards are consumption, a vaguely full sensation, quickly desiring something more or better, as if there is no balance.

    But balance there must be if happiness is truly our goal, and that is the open secret of the Middle Path, something so simple, and something so sublime, that it is easily overlooked in the rush to judgment and the customary division of spoils among victors. But did the losers really lose, and if so, then what exactly did they lose? And did the winners really win, and if so, then what exactly did they win?

    The short answer is that no one really knows, and so any bettor worth his chips knows that to cover your assets, you hedge your bets, and hopefully cover the spread in the process. Because not only do we never know whether we truly win or lose, but by even less will we know by how much.

    And that balancing act is more than smart business; it is an epistemological reality, if not necessarily a metaphysical one, which it may indeed very well be. And this is the beauty of agnosticism, which is often reduced in value by vague insinuations that it is avoiding a decision by refusing to take sides. But that is one of the fundamental facts of life and the world: absolute knowledge is simply unknowable.

    This becomes a tautology, of course, in the sense that we are claiming to know that unknowability, but that does not diminish its value, no, or at least not by much. We simply cut the conversation short to avoid endless reductions and descensions into a void. Don’t you wish everybody did?

    So Buddhism as a philosophy is fundamentally an open doctrine, even if Buddhism as a religion is saddled with karma, rebirth, and past lives as customary baggage, just as Christianity comes pre-packaged with democracy and capitalism, the trifecta of hedged bets within the trinity of no limits. And that is as much a myth as reincarnation and past lives, though it doesn’t catch so much flack for it by the simple trick of perception bias: we can’t see the forest we live in for all the trees that stand in the way.

    So we assume by instinct that there is an underlying fundamental reality, even if we are hard pressed to say exactly what it is. Somehow some way it simply is, as Nature is, sublime in its silence, commanding in its occasional outbursts. After all, if the lion and the lamb are raised together in the same crib, then any future violence is unlikely. Thus the dharma is simply an admonition to be like that, like nature. You’ll know it when you see it. Mindful silence is better than mindless chatter almost any day.

     
  • hardie karges 6:47 am on October 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , DEMOCRACY, , , election, millennial, November 6, , , , vote   

    Open Letter to the American Voter 

    IMG_1068Dear American Voter: On Novermber 6, 2018, you will be making what just may be the most important vote of your life. For some of you, it may be the first vote of your life, and for that I say ‘Congratulations!’ But for others of you, in fact, it may just be the last vote of your life, given the penchant of one of our national political parties for erecting ever-increasing obstacles in your path to the voting booth…

    This is contrary to the spirit of democracy, of course, and contrary to the trend of increased voting access that defined our country for approximately fifty years, starting in the civil rights era, which brought so many new people into the national life of our country. “But voting is so old-fashioned!” you say. True…

    By all rights we should each be able to vote on-line with a government-supplied identification code, with no other obstacle than the need to have a digital device, or the means to get to one. But it doesn’t work that way, unfortunately, as one still has to show up in person, often wait in line, and then hopefully have a choice worth making. I even had to show proof of my address last time in Tucson, Arizona, only after making elaborate travel plans for the privilege… (More …)

     
    • hardie karges 12:39 pm on November 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on แสง สี เสียง: Light, Color and Sound and commented:

      Whatever I said two years ago goes double now, double or nothing. If Donald Trump is re-elected, then the USA that I know and love will likely be gone forever. I do not believe in race, nor the racial superiority that he represents (though I go gaga for haplogroups, both y-DNA and mt-DNA). If you are American, it is your duty to vote, no excuses acceptable…

  • hardie karges 4:00 am on August 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , DEMOCRACY,   

    Christianity is Killing Us; Buddhism (and socialism) can help… 

    IMG_2234By ‘Christianity’, of course, I mean the entire Christianity-Capitalism-Democracy (CCD) complex, aka ‘Military-Industrial-Consumer’, that will one day put this entire civilization on its knees, and begging for sweet mercy, if it hasn’t already, because of the fact that most people want their cars, and NOW, rather than some vague undefined future with or without cars, that may or may not drive themselves…

    Why people identify with their cars—and their guns—is slightly beyond my comprehension, but so it is, and must be dealt with, the genie long out of the bottle, and begging for food, if not mercy. That means oil, of course, the essence of Earth’s lower layers, and severely limited, if you believe the Western interpretation, or self-sustaining, but nasty, if you believe the Russian geologists, and ever-percolating upward from a nearly inexhaustible source (consider extra-terrestrial petroleum before laughing too hard)… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 4:38 pm on August 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You seem to have all the bases covered here. I’ve saved it to re-read …

    • quantumpreceptor 2:10 pm on September 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Hardy, I love your blog it’s always good to read. Today I just have one comment. I am a Buddhist and my cup is full of possibilities, and in no way limited. But I do agree we need to learn how to live better, I believe doing no harm extends to our home our planet not just to other beings, this is the way forward. It is too hard to sell such a good idea as you have put forward with only a half full cup.

      QP

      • hardie karges 5:46 pm on September 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Full of possibilities, absolutely yes, empty of extraneous attachments hopefully…

  • hardie karges 8:25 am on June 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: capitalist, , DEMOCRACY, , , , global village, , , , small planet, , totalitarian   

    #Dialectic Burrito Deluxe: #Marx or #Hegel, Tortilla or Bagel… 

    Marx and Hegel are almost (almost!) equally famous for their dialogues and dialectics, with themselves and others, materialism and idealism respectively, thesis antithesis synthesis, history somehow some way marching forward zig-zag drunkenly, reconciling opposites into higher syntheses supposedly, like a ball rolling downhill, picking up speed, bouncing from side to side, before finally choosing a middle course out of entropy as much as any conscious decision-making progress…

    And so we do just that, apparently, nomadic hunter-gatherers until we had the ways and means to settle down with plants and animals, sedentary farmer-herders until we had the ways and means to build elaborate cities with specialized skills, accomplished artisans-craftsmen until we had the ways and means to sell beyond our local ‘hood, market-based buyers-sellers until we had the ways and means to go long distances, peripatetic merchant-travelers until we had the ways and means to mass-produce anywhere any time… (More …)

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

    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 1:07 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , DEMOCRACY   

    The Decline of Western Civilization: RIP Amerika, Christianity, Capitalism, Democracy, etc… 

    Well, we had a good run, we did, Western Civilization, that is, as first articulated by Greece and Rome, before taken up again by London and Paris some 1000 years later, then New York, Toronto and Sydney for the final roll-out. Democracy was our method, Christianity was our mantra and capitalism was our madness. It worked spectacularly, until now, until we’ve run out of resources and ideas. Now we’re put to the test: what’s next?

    Well, it doesn’t look good for the home team; seems capitalism is something of a pyramid scheme—works fine when you’re on top, with lots of resources and free time. Now other non-Westerners can play the game as well or better than us: first Japan, now China, with India, Brazil, and Russia hot on the horizon. Where does that leave us? Well, it should leave us defining the next era, beyond capitalism, beyond consumption, beyond die-hard democracy. But it’s not.

    We’re totally unequipped for what comes next, all of us Westerners, Amerika the least, screwing up the Mideast, sowing our dreams of democracy, and leaving nothing but chaos in the wake—enough, already. We Amerikans have nothing to teach the world about politics, least of all democracy. We can barely get a budget bill through Congress to pay our debts. Now we’re destroying the environment, while still pushing the political and economic agenda of growth growth growth. We’re sick. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:16 am on October 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , DEMOCRACY, , , , , ,   

    Religions Gone Awry, Systems Rendered Asunder 

    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    Islam promotes discipline and ends up glorifying violence. Christianity promotes love and ends up glorifying sex. Buddhism promotes non-possession and ends up glorifying money. Hinduism promotes India. Judaism promotes Israel. How did our major religions go so badly wrong? Good question. An even better question is how to set them right again. It won’t be easy.

    Religion was long ago taken over by politics, and used as a tool for manipulation, souls for sale as the price of politics, people’s desire for meaning in life reduced to authoritarian submission and hopes for the best. Truth, beauty, and goodness have been traded for sex, money, and violence in some devil’s bargain, arbitrage of the soul, leveraged buy-outs of vestigial beliefs, so much debris and detritus… (More …)

     
    • chicagoja 11:22 am on October 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I agree whole-heartedly. However, understanding God never required a religion, a church or even a holy book.

  • hardie karges 1:17 pm on May 2, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: DEMOCRACY, , ,   

    PIDGIN RELIDGIN 

    It’s time for a new religion, preferably one of love, as universally aimed as it is themed, based on science as a guide without being tied to transient precepts and hopeless missions in rundown slums in nameless cities, one that unites politics and economics under its storm-proof umbrella. Democracy and Christianity have been the apologetic lapdogs of capitalism far too long, walking hand in hand down Byzantine cul-de-sacs and Roman highways, just like Islam and jihad, Buddhism and prostitution, Judaism and finance, Communism and alcohol, covering for each other and hiding from the truth. Feed your people physically and spiritually or make way for those who can. Shit or get off the pot; share the wealth or lose it. Create the wealth or think of something better. Democracy has always been borne on the backs of slaves, lofty goals held up by whipped backs and hungry mouths, Greece and Rome and the deep deep South. Two out of three are good enough for me. Colonialism had a prettier face, but the end result was still the same and it had little to do with race. Scar tissue is ugly whatever the circumstance; a little white powder can’t hurt. So slaves became Slavs, Mongols became Moguls, blacks became blokes, and the rest became history.

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel