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  • hardie karges 10:36 am on January 28, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Eskimo, , Greenland, , , ignorance, , Scandinaian   

    Buddhism 202: Defeating Ignorance, Fear, Hatred, and Anger… 

    Hatred and fear chase each other around the room like cats and dogs that never slept together as newborns on cold nights. Because fear is the primal emotion, even if anger usually takes the rap. You can have a commandment, “Don’t get angry!” But you can’t have a commandment, “Don’t be scared!” Or it wouldn’t make any sense if you did, simply because life doesn’t work that way. Fear is a primal reality, just like suffering. You can’t just command it to go away. And hatred usually expresses itself as anger. It’s almost like Dependent Origination.

    Because the reality that’s immediately prior to fear in ordinary consciousness is probably ignorance, since most fear is based on ignorance, just like cats and dogs that see a difference between them and assume that there’s danger, or because they were taught that way, when in fact there is only fear and ignorance. But the newborn puppy and kitty have no such luxury. They only know that it is cold, and an extra body will deliver warmth, right when and where it is needed. I learned this from direct experience in my own house in a country with no heaters and two pets that hadn’t yet learned to fear each other.

    So, there is primal knowledge, also, and that knowledge will tell you that in a desperate situation, you cling to each other, not stubborn ignorant outdated concepts. The Scandinavians in Greenland learned that lesson the hard way, dying out on the island they ‘discovered,’ rather than ask help from the Eskimos a couple hundred kilometers to the north, who were masters of that environment. You can call it racism, or you can call it fear or ignorance, but the result is the same—defeat.  But society can’t legislate primal fears.

    Society can only legislate actions, and behavior. So, if anger and hatred are among the ‘poisons’ of Buddhism, then the best cure is not only self-control, but release from the ignorance that is primal cause. If I hate someone because they are a different ‘race,’ then I should certainly exercise self-control, so as not to exhibit anger, but even better, much better, is to work on the root cause of both that hatred and anger, the fear and ignorance that is underlying. The best way to do that is to become friends. Try it. It’s called kindness. It’s contagious…

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  • hardie karges 6:42 am on April 3, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ignorance, , , , , ,   

    Buddhism of the Present Moment: Averaging Past and Future, Science and Superstition… 

    The one who can control himself, can control the world—his world…

    Sometimes the only way to remove hatred and ignorance from our lives is to remove the haters and ignorant people from our lives. And fortunately, that’s still possible, as our increasingly crowded world still has some empty places yet to be traversed and social ambitions yet to be fulfilled. But what happens when there is no place to hide, when social mobility comes to a standstill? Where do we go then to find peace and quiet, to find love, knowledge, and acceptance, where before there was only ignorance and hate?

    The obvious place to go is inside of course, deep inside, within our own minds and consciousness, both terms that I use with some trepidation, science-lover that I am, when what I really mean is memory. Because other than the constant (live) stream of sense perceptions that occur in real time, then all we really have is memory, which is anathema to the present-moment Buddhist or Eckhart Tolle disciple, but which is nonetheless a major part of our conscious waking moments.

    Besides those two there are only dreams, which occur in present time but in an undefined space, and conscious thinking, which some ‘non-dualists’ and latter-day Buddhists (‘thoughts without thinkers’) insist is not really real, but which nevertheless occupy reams and tomes of studied critiques and analyzed comparisons for the only purpose of knowledge itself, any benefits to be derived in subsequent interactions with the same world of biology, chemistry, and physics, or language, history, and psychology, from which it ultimately came in the process of experiment.

    And none of that can reasonably be denied, though it could certainly be claimed that we have spiritual lives that are bigger and better than all that. And I would tend to agree. So, the challenge is to make sense of it all, science and meditation, or action and renunciation, so that we can combine lives of action with our spiritual lives, which should also include science, and not just deep introspection, which was all that Buddha—and Plato—had. The answer is implicit, of course, in the Middle Path.

    Because that concept of the Middle Path works not only between Buddha’s luxury and lack, or the Mahayanist dichotomy of existence and non-existence, but still works for a modern secular dichotomy between introspection and science. And that is the supreme beauty of Buddhism, of course, that it is an ongoing dialectic, in which wrong choices are corrected. The Buddha himself wasn’t perfect, and even accepted a lesser status for women, which often figures prominently in misguided Buddhist theses for past lives and reincarnation, hint hint. But we can correct the mistakes of the past with the revelations of the present. And so we must.

     
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