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  • hardie karges 9:54 am on June 20, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bill Gates, , , Donald Trump, , , , ,   

    Karma is not a B*tch; She is Mother Nature… 

    I made the coffee too strong, and got too excited, so I spilled it accidentally, and now everything’s fine–Life 492…

    That is a simple enough little ditty, now, isn’t it? On one level it’s just a description of another manic Monday living in the USA, down in jungle land, for what it’s worth. And on another level it’s a brief glimpse into the horrors of the caffeine addiction to which I’ve relapsed after successfully divorcing myself from that horrible fate—or so I thought. And on an even different level it’s a description of life itself, as the joking attribution suggests.

    But on a higher level it also says something about Karma, not the Karma of retribution that speaks to the need of some religions for punishment, if not by some God, then by some force, or doctrine. For isn’t monotheism really the replacement of deities by doctrine, so more than the reduction in godheads, really more of an increase in letterheads? And it’s not a Karma of simple cause and effect, which is really more like a business transaction than a connection with a higher force.

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  • hardie karges 10:23 am on June 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: beauty, , , Donald Trump, goodness, , , , , , truth   

    Buddhism in the Facebook Era: Truth Falls Flat in the Face of Entertainment 

    I’ve often said that the ultimate quest in a human’s life—my life—is for truth, beauty and goodness, with the implication being that this is the proper field of inquiry for religion and philosophy. But is that what really happens? Beauty isn’t so hard nor controversial, since we tend to all have similar views on what inspires feelings of beauty, if not art, within us, and not dissimilar to the quick and easy Internet definition on MS Bing: “a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.”

    That sounds about right, now, doesn’t it? And even more so when slightly modified to allow that this combination of qualities might also “please the intellect or moral sense.” Cool. Sounds good to me. I think that we can all agree on that. And the concept of goodness dovetails nicely into that concept of beauty, such that it almost serves the chief purpose of clarifying exactly what we mean when we talk about goodness or simply ‘the good.’ And that’s exactly what the ancient Greek philosophers talked about, they who basically invented the term ‘philosophy,’ and for whom the definition of ‘goodness’ was something like: “you’ll know it when you see it.”

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  • hardie karges 1:09 pm on March 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Donald Trump, , , , , ,   

    Goodbye Corona, Hello Global Warming, Dark Age Optional… 

    Proof of Vaccination

    I got my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine against the Covid-19 virus today, so I guess that now is as good a time as any to put the finishing touches on this pandemic. Yes, I know that it’s not over and could go on at least another year or more, but for me, this is a defining point, and so I think I hear the fat lady singing. And I say that with a twinge of sadness, because for me it’s been a good year, not in material acquisitions, but in spiritual gain. Because the times of greatest stress and suffering often coincide with the greatest spiritual gains. This is as obvious in Jesus’s eschatological emergence as the Roman Empire entered its down days, as it was in the Buddha’s times, with the emergence of India’s and China’s rise as the two dominant centers of world population, a position that they maintain to this day.

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    • Dave Kingsbury 4:17 pm on March 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      First, congratulations on receiving the double dose – each successful step something we can all celebrate. Second, can’t fault your analysis of the recent past nor your prognosis for the near future. Third, you outline new ways of thinking and responding which are also – satisfyingly – a return to older wisdoms. Vive l’humanite!

      • hardie karges 5:03 pm on March 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Hear hear! Thanx for your comments, Dave…

  • hardie karges 10:05 am on December 31, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Donald Trump, , Joe Biden, ,   

    New Year 2021: Thank You, Covid-19 (but we really need a Gandhi)… 

    Years come and go. The dharma stays the same…

    Assuming that Joe Biden will eventually win this monster of a 2020 US election, we can only thank one thing: the novel Coronavirus, aka Covid-19. That much is clear. Without it, and DJ Trump’s miserable performance in combatting it, he likely would have won, assuming that everything else remained the same, which is not necessarily the case (but it would have been even closer, if that’s possible)…

    Specifically I’m referring to the massive protests and riots that have accompanied the Black Lives Matter movement, which I fully support, despite the massive looting and violence, which I fully detest, to the point of disgust. I reiterate: that might not have happened, were it not for Covid-19 (lockdown stress disorder?), butterfly effects of Covid-19 yet to be documented… (More …)

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

    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 3:59 pm on May 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Donald Trump, ,   

    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 5:46 am on November 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Donald Trump, duality, Hate, ,   

    The Possibilities for Peace, Love and Buddhism in a Trumpian Universe 

    I don’t hate Donald Trump the person. That would be unkind. I hate Donald Trump the concept. And there is more at stake than kindness, anyway, since it is sometimes hard to be kind toward someone who is not a kind person himself. But ultimately we’re all made of the same stuff, so to hate others is ultimately to hate yourself and hate the world we live in, imperfect though it may be, and defined by that, in fact. Even consciousness has a basis in what we call the stuff of this world, so ultimately any mind-body duality is more apparent than real, illusions of the slippery sort, and likely the basis of religion, the division of this world into self and other, mind and body, good and evil, and our attempts to reunite all the apparent opposites, that only exist because we perceive them that way, when if we could avoid them in the first place, then we would truly be a step ahead. But that is the psychic stuff that this world is made of, ‘mental formations’ in Buddhism, the hopes and fears and illusions and divisions and contradictions and emotions that I must write before they smite. But hatred, and love, are in categories by themselves. This era, too, will pass, and we will then have to decide what we’ve learned and where we go from here. But hatred is difficult to take back, un-do, or transform, so probably best avoided altogether…

     
  • hardie karges 7:37 am on February 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Donald Trump, Edward Conze, impeachment, , , SDNY,   

    DJ Trump and the Sarvāstivādin Theory of Momentariness… 

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    Reflections in the back seat

    For those of you who are not in the process of pursuing a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies, let me explain that the Sarvāstivādins were a large Abhidharma-era group that split off from the mainstream Theravādins after Asoka’s third Buddhist Council at Pataliputra c. 250 BCE, over their insistence that ‘everything exists’, i.e. ‘sarvam asti‘ (or something like that, my Sanskrit sucks), while the Theravādins preferred a bit more ‘discrimination’…

    And part of that theory of everything was an atomistic conception of time: atoms, of both time and matter, and classifiable as either: (1) states of consciousness (citta); (2) mental ‘concomitants’ (cetasika); (3) corporeality (rūpa); plus (4) nirvāna. According to the Sarvāstivādin conception of time, these could exist equally well in the past, present or future. For their part the Theravādins only acknowledged the present, albeit in successive moments… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:10 am on January 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Donald Trump, ICE, , , , , ,   

    Buddhism and Donald Trump, Criminal Intent and Modern Justice 

    img_2116Intent is the elephant in the courtroom of modern justice, beyond forensics and beyond genetics, the need to know what someone was thinking and why they thought it, at such-and-such a time and such-and-such a place. But isn’t this a system doomed to failure? And is it really necessary? Only we European-derived Westerners could invent a term like schadenfreude, delight in the misfortune of others, not so much the passive enjoyment of something such so strange, but that we do it so often that we have a name for it…

    But that is indeed the case, that we are so obsessed with our feelings that our whole system of justice is based upon it, such that if someone is supposedly repentant, then that counts in his favor, whereas without it he is doomed to longer incarceration, as if we could really know the difference, so to make ourselves feel good we reward the best actors, and maybe the most honest are doomed to perdition… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:07 am on November 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Donald Trump, , moksha, nibbana, , philoosophy, , satori   

    Buddhist Enlightenment is Hard Work; Saving the Planet is even Harder… 

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    Kwan Yin (Kuan Im), Sino-Thai Bodhisattva

    I don’t think too much about Nirvana or satori, Nibbana or moksha or any of the other Promised Lands of Buddhism, simply because they seem to refer to another sphere or another dimension or another life which I have little interest in, when the problems of this life should be plenty to keep us busy for the foreseeable future…

    Because the hate and anger must stop here, grounded and defused and refused re-entry into the society of minds and hearts of men, egos run wild with apparent abandon and artificial stimulation. Enlightenment is probably not even about bliss at all. It’s probably hard work, suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and true suffering, inflicted by the whims and wills of men with minds conditioned to inflict cruelty… (More …)

     
    • Alex 12:55 am on November 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I think Buddhists can have a very important place in commenting on politics as Buddhists – just needs to be done in a Buddhist way; from a place of loving kindness

      • hardie karges 1:11 am on November 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Maybe. But that’s a subject of much debate. And there are risks. Thanks for your comments.

        • Alex 1:15 am on November 26, 2018 Permalink

          There are risks to any actions as none are neutral, but I think we should still try. In a time of much hate and anger, we have a chance to try and change the tone 🙂

        • hardie karges 10:35 pm on November 26, 2018 Permalink

          We definitely should try to change the tone, no question about that, samma ditthi, samma vaca, etc…

    • Dave Kingsbury 5:02 pm on November 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      As always, Hardie, you achieve an unflinching PoV which seeks to include rather than avoid and employs common sense in a very down-to-earth way. Hard work that pays off, I’d say. And as you say, ‘Enlightenment is probably not even about bliss at all.’ Realism, perhaps?

      • hardie karges 10:30 pm on November 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thx, Dave. Theravada enlightenment may be about bliss, but not the Mahayana version, I’d say, gotta’ improve the status of others, also. Thanks for your comments…

        • Dave Kingsbury 1:52 am on November 27, 2018 Permalink

          My pleasure – no man is an island, to use John Donne’s words …

        • hardie karges 3:57 am on November 27, 2018 Permalink

          Indeed, haha… (guess I forgot to attribute the Shakespeare quote in my own post, or even put quotation marks, oops!)…

        • Dave Kingsbury 7:30 am on November 27, 2018 Permalink

          That Hamlet soliloquy is as good a summary of life/death as one might hope for.

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