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  • hardie karges 12:50 pm on November 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , infinity, , , ,   

    Silence is the Perfect Companion to Budddhist Emptiness.,, 

    Emptiness, shunyata, is one of the prime tenets of the Mahayana school of Buddhism, of course, and arguably the defining one, the one without which it would not exist. But it has always been of slippery definition itself, it born of the zero-principle, shunya, and conceived at that very same epoch of history, such that the two developments are impossible to separate…

    And the brief definition of emptiness is that it is an extension of the Buddhist concept of non-self, anatta, so that now we are postulating that not only is the self empty of substance, but so is everything empty of substance. That is not to say that it is not real, necessarily, but that it is not real in any enduring permanent way. So in that sense, nothing is real…

    And this fits in well with the modern physics conception of reality as composed of sub-microscopic particles that are better defined mathematically than physically, even chemically. So that’s the back-story and the sales pitch, but how does that make anyone’s life any better? But in fact, there is much more to it than the sublime metaphysics or the arcane math and physics…

    In fact, I propose, there are lessons for life in there. For one thing, aren’t our lives too often defined by our possessions? A philosophy of emptiness discourages that. Secondly, referring back to the title, emptiness does encourage silence, and meditation, which I not only encourage everyone to practice, but which has been proven many times over to be a safe and salient benefit to health, especially mental health…

    (And despite the fact that ‘guided meditation’ has many fans, especially in the West, who just can’t stand the silence, I suppose, I still maintain that silent meditation is the best, and in fact the only practice that I would consider true meditation. ‘Guided meditation’ should be called something else)…

    Most importantly, though, emptiness facilitates a view of self and the universe that is non-dualistic (while I readily acknowledge that any dichotomy of self and universe is itself dualistic). And this may very well be the origin of modern consciousness, i.e. linguistic consciousness. Before that there was only a non-linguistic kind, which, for all the benefits of language, may have been better in many ways…

    At the very least, it is worth returning to, on a regular basis, and hence the value of meditation. Philosophy leads everywhere at one and the same time. Do you prefer the conundrum of the One versus the Many? Or do you prefer the vastness of Infinity? Duality is an illusion. The One is Many. But only Emptiness is Infinite…

     
  • hardie karges 11:22 pm on January 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , infinity,   

    The Possibilities of Life 

    This is the Blue Planet, bathed in oxygen, a fire smoldering under control, not explosive enough to self-destruct, just oxidize and slowly turn to rust in the solid parts, slowly turn to life in the warm wet zones along rivers between thighs. This is it. Don’t look for more of us ‘out there’. It’s a pipe dream. However many planets there are out there, there’s one in that many chances of finding civilized life like ours. We’re it. Blue-green algae, yeah sure, there’s probably more somewhere. There’s probably no reason to stock up on cyanobacteria for that cryogenic tour. ‘Intelligent life’, though, that’s a different trip. First of all, you’ve got to realize that if humans go extinct here on Earth, then they probably wouldn’t come back again. Ever. Okay, I don’t really know that, infinity being a bit unpredictable, but I suspect it’s true. Platonic Forms are wishful thinking, anthropomorphism in its idealistic form. Think dinosaurs might make a comeback some day? Don’t bet on it. Second, intelligent life in any other circumstance, whether time or space, would not necessarily look like us. Is an ape really any smarter than a bear? Isn’t the possibility equally great that they might produce some mutant offspring with grossly oversized head that might one day outsmart all the others and rule the world? They themselves are an evolutionary improvement over their dog-like ancestors and can already walk on their hind legs to boot. Their trained dancing numbers even show those psychotic qualities so intrinsic to the master race.

     
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