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  • hardie karges 6:53 am on April 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ecstasy, , Joseph Campbell, , Wall Street   

    Now that I’m Buddhist: Where’s the Ecstasy? Where’s the Bliss? 


    Buddhism in Sri Lanka

    Where’s the enlightenment available in four fashion-friendly colors and tested without harm to any animals? Shady men in rose-colored glasses sell hopes and dreams on semi-abandoned street-corners in Harlem, under dim lights, on the dark web, and in the dark corners of your mind, promising enlightenment and fulfillment, all at reasonable costs, but with no guarantees, no money back, no warranty implied or intended, you pay your money and you take your chances…

    No, I’m not talking about the latest designer drugs from the bathroom labs of Little Pharma, more like the latest New Age-y religious fads from the laptop labs of the Western Lands, in which you read a book, take a course, have a sit, make some new friends, do some yoga with the semi-naked guy and his six-pack flashing, and then wham! Bam! Presto change-o, you’re in a new dimension, of lights and colors and sounds you’ve never seen before… (More …)

  • hardie karges 5:04 am on June 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Joseph Campbell, , , therapy   

    #Religion 101: Don’t just stand there; believe in something… 


    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    We westerners like to believe in things, and that is the way it should be, I think, even if we don’t always agree with the powers that be. Donald J. Trump was elected because most of his supporters believe in something, even if that ‘something’ is a bit unfathomable to the rest of us, even if DJT himself gets rich from his policies, while many of his most ardent supporters won’t get jack…

    But this goes way back in the American narrative: “We don’t accept charity,” said many a proud dusty son of Tom Joad, back in the Midwestern Depression-era ‘Dust Bowl’ that sent thousands scrambling for a better life in the California fields, orchards and vineyards, many of them only a few generations removed from the Enclosure Acts and potato famine that reduced the Scottish and Irish populations by half, from heights that will likely never again be reached, as long as there is a new frontier somehow somewhere… (More …)

    • davekingsbury 2:46 pm on June 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Narrative therapy sounds intriguing … a creative remedy for those stuck in old dead (or dead old) stories? You paint interesting pictures here, as always …

      • hardie karges 9:18 pm on June 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        ‘Narrative therapy’ indeed sounds VERY interesting, just discovered by me, so hope to research and comment further, but seems that is one of the mind-brain’s ‘operating systems’, music possibly another, though I see visuals as the big prize here, just a hunch… Thx, Dave, for your comments, as always…

  • hardie karges 8:35 am on March 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Joseph Campbell, mythology, ,   

    Religion, Philosophy, Mythology: Land of 1000 Dances, God of 1000 Faces… 


    Hindu Temple in Sri Lanka

    Joseph Campbell got it backwards, you know, with his emphasis on the ‘Hero with 1000 Faces’, as if the hero were really the important actor on this world stage, he with his light-saber or Bowie knife, long bow or trebuchet. They were mostly just movable actors on a movable stage, and not so smart for the most part, simply acting on hunches best articulated by others. The important aspect were the ideals they represented, the gods they served, and the food supplies they secured, for this was what would advance their respective societies.

    The problem with Campbell’s analysis is that he is largely describing a literary device, not the world of real people in which heroes are definitely hard to find and much more nuanced in the roles they play, few in fact going through the formal stages that Campbell describes. In the real world, gods are more important for that very reason: they ARE literary devices, custom-built to serve a mythological purpose. Heroes are expendable. Gods are not. The fact that Hollywood might not even know the difference speaks volumes.

    The epiphany, of course, is that heroes—and gods—can, are, and should be made to order to fit the circumstances and needs of their particular flock. Thus violent Europeans get a god of love while overly possessive Orientals get a god of non-attachment and hyper-sexed Middle Easterners get a god of strict prohibitions. Still it seems that there should be a higher common denominator than this and that there could and should be a higher level of spirituality to unite them all. A bicameral legislature of divinity, perhaps? Sounds good to me… (More …)

  • hardie karges 9:20 am on August 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Joseph Campbell,   

    Which is More Important in Life: Meaning or Experience? Living for the Present, or the Future… 

    ‘Living in the Moment’ is the big mantra of our modern age—and it shows. Almost nothing is being left for the future, certainly not responsibility and sustainability. With all due respect to those visionaries of bygone times who honestly felt that we needed to loosen our butt-screws and learn to boogie, fretting our guitars rather than fretting over the future, I respectfully suggest that maybe that train of thought long ago left the station, and maybe needs to backtrack a bit…

    I’d respect my hero Joseph Campbell less if he hadn’t himself backtracked on his own famous dictum to “follow your bliss,” which he later amended off-the-cuff to “blisters”—sounds less hedonistic. Still the die is cast. We are a nation and world society that follows its whims like no other before, all the while marching off the cliff of non-sustainability, the capitalist foundations of this society heavily based on oil and other fossil fuels that will one day run out, and destroy the planet, long before its people will give it up, most likely…

    To put it bluntly, we’re committing societal suicide, or let’s call it “civilicide”. And that’s the global level. On a personal level we’re doing no better, sacrificing all for the moment, rather than plan for a future that may or may not come. Sounds like self-defeating prophecy to me. I think I realized this while myself writing an article for inclusion in a book about ‘following your passion.” But most of my friends—artists, musicians, writers and such—don’t need to follow their passions. They need jobs!  I don’t need 150 more countries; I need focus!  Nevertheless, in the course of that project I came up with a concept that I like even better–highest common denominators.  More on that later…
    (More …)

    • Kc 11:31 am on August 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      speak for yourself on the sustainability thing, we’ve been working for years to be that way, it is a bit more difficult (or not) in a mean small southern town, but by god, we have food, at least within hitching distance or walking if needed. Home grown food, and finally the farmers’ are disliking chemicals. it is high time. still i dream of a farm, pigs, goats, chicken, a mule and 5 acres, plus a well, an outhouse wd be nice but it really matters not where you poop as long as you poop. the self sustainability dream is alive and well in MS, ya just gotta know some people. and Barter, barter, and more barter. peace to you Karges.

      • hardie karges 11:54 am on August 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I was referring to society, yes, self-sustainability is achievable with land and seeds…

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